The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the counties of Winnebago, Emmet, Kossuth, Worth, and Palo Alto Counties in Iowa along with Blue Earth, Waseca, and Faribault Counties in Minnesota. The warning goes into effect at 7 am Sunday and continues until 7 am Monday in the named Minnesota counties, and in the named Iowa counties from 7 am Sunday until 4 am Monday.
Rain overnight will transition to snow early Sunday morning over northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota as a cold front pushes across the states. Gusty winds will develop behind the front and result in significantly reduced visibility due to blowing snow.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Kurt Kotenburg explains what may transpire.
Travel could be very difficult if not impossible during this time frame. Forecasters are saying that areas of blowing and drifting snow will reduce visibility. There could be near blizzard conditions at times during the storm.
If you must travel, take along an extra flashlight, food, cell phone and charger, and water in your vehicle in an emergency. Also remember to fill up the tank of the car in case you might get stranded. Always remain in your vehicle and call for help. Winnebago and Hancock County Emergency Manager Andy Buffington reminds everyone that emergency kits should be kept in the car and assembled before you leave for your destination.
Forecasters in Iowa believe that between 3 to 6 inches of snow will fall in the area as winds reach speeds of near 40 mph. Meanwhile, Minnesota forecasters believe anywhere from 6 to 10 inches of snow will fall in the aforementioned Minnesota counties with winds gusting as high as 40 mph. Due to the heavy wet nature of the snow expected in Minnesota, tree damage and power outages are possible.
Snow Emergencies are already declared in Algona and Whittemore. In Algona, the emergency is declared from 6 pm Sunday to Noon on Monday. In Whittemore, the declaration begins at 4 pm Sunday and continues until 4 pm on Monday. In both declarations, no vehicles are to be parked on city streets or alleys until the declaration expires.
KIOW staff will continuously monitor the situation and keep you informed as to road conditions and closures.