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UPDATE: 'Major’ Winter Storm Striking Inver Grove Heights, Dakota County

The National Weather Service calls today’s snowstorm “major” and “powerful.” Up to 12 inches of snow could fall today.

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UPDATE 4:15 P.M.: Here is the latest advisory on the winter story from the National Weather Service:

...BLIZZARD CONDITIONS UNDERWAY ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA...

...VERY HEAVY SNOW TOTALS EXPECTED THROUGH CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN...INCLUDING THE TWIN CITIES METRO... .A BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR MUCH OF WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA THROUGH THIS EVENING FOR STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH...WITH GUSTS NEAR 45 MPH CREATING WHITEOUT CONDITIONS. A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH MIDNIGHT FOR EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR HEAVY SNOWFALL. FAR SOUTHERN MINNESOTA REMAINS UNDER A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOWFALL.

THE POWERFUL WINTER STORM WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN INTO THE EVENING. SNOW HAS ACCUMULATED HEAVILY ON TREES AND POWER LINES...BRINGING THE THREAT FOR ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES INTO THE EVENING HOURS AS WINDS INCREASE.

TEMPERATURES WILL PLUMMET BEHIND THE SYSTEM TO WELL BELOW ZERO LATE TONIGHT OVER WESTERN MINNESOTA WITH WIND CHILL READINGS AS LOW AS 20 TO 30 BELOW. TRAVEL IN THE BLIZZARD AND WINTER STORM WARNING AREAS IS DISCOURAGED. TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT...IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE...AND STRANDED MOTORISTS RISK GETTING FROSTBITE OR HYPOTHERMIA DUE TO THE FRIGID WIND CHILL LATE THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT.

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT...

* TIMING...SNOW...HEAVY AT TIMES...WILL GRADUALLY DIMINISH FROM WEST TO EAST THIS EVENING. THE WIND WILL THEN INCREASE FROM THE NORTHWEST WITH DRIFTING SNOW EXPECTED THROUGH LATE EVENING.

* TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...8 TO 12 INCHES. LOCALIZED TOTALS OF UP TO 16 INCHES IN MINNESOTA.

* OTHER IMPACTS...AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE THIS  AFTERNOON OVER CENTRAL AND EASTERN MINNESOTA AS NORTHWEST WINDS INCREASE TO 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH. SNOW HAS ACCUMULATED HEAVILY ON TREES AND POWER LINES...BRINGING THE THREAT FOR ISOLATED POWER OUTAGES INTO THE EVENING HOURS AS WINDS INCREASE.

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ORIGINAL STORY: Here is the text of a warning issued by the National Weather Service in Chanhassen at 9:23 a.m. Sunday:

...FORECAST SNOW AMOUNTS HAVE INCREASED AS MAJOR WINTER STORM CONTINUES...

...BLIZZARD CONDITIONS EXPECTED ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING...

.A BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR MUCH OF WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON DUE TO THE COMBINATION OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS BETWEEN 20 AND 40 MPH.

A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT TODAY FOR EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR HEAVY SNOWFALL. FAR SOUTHERN MINNESOTA REMAINS UNDER A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY TODAY FOR LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOWFALL.

A POWERFUL WINTER STORM WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY. SNOW WILL EXPAND THIS MORNING AND BECOME HEAVY AT TIMES TODAY. BEHIND THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM...SUSTAINED NORTHWEST WINDS OF 20 TO 30 MPH ARE EXPECTED OVER WESTERN MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON BEFORE GRADUALLY TAPERING OFF THIS EVENING. SOME WIND GUSTS MAY EXCEED 40 MPH. CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL RESULT IN WHITEOUT CONDITIONS MAKING TRAVEL NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE BY THIS AFTERNOON. AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW ARE ALSO EXPECTED FARTHER EAST...BUT LIGHTER WINDS PRECLUDE THE ISSUANCE OF A BLIZZARD WARNING AT THIS TIME.

TEMPERATURES WILL PLUMMET BEHIND THE SYSTEM TO WELL BELOW ZERO LATE TONIGHT OVER WESTERN MINNESOTA WITH WIND CHILL READINGS AS LOW AS 20 TO 30 BELOW. TRAVEL IN THE BLIZZARD AND WINTER STORM WARNING AREAS IS NOT ADVISED. TRAVEL WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT AND STRANDED MOTORISTS RISK GETTING FROSTBITE OR HYPOTHERMIA DUE TO THE FRIGID WIND CHILL LATE THIS EVENING AND TONIGHT. 

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT...

* TIMING...SNOW...HEAVY AT TIMES...WILL DEVELOP TODAY. THE HEAVY  SNOW WILL TAPER OFF THIS EVENING WITH A FEW SNOW SHOWERS  EXPECTED THEREAFTER. THE WIND WILL THEN INCREASE FROM THE  NORTHWEST WITH DRIFTING SNOW LINGERING THIS EVENING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...8 TO 15 INCHES WITH THE HEAVIEST AMOUNTS IN MINNESOTA.

* OTHER IMPACTS...AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE THIS  AFTERNOON OVER CENTRAL AND EASTERN MINNESOTA AS NORTHWEST WINDS INCREASE TO 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING.

SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

Click here for the updated forecast for Dakota County.

Planning to take photos of the snowfall this weekend? Submit your shots to Inver Grove Heights Patch by adding them to our community gallery.

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