A blizzard warning is in effect until midnight tonight in western and south central Minnesota.
The warning, issued this morning by the National Weather Service, covers cities and counties mainly west of a line from Alexandria to Litchfield to Owatonna.
Northwest winds of 30 to 40 mph, with higher gusts of up to 50 mph, will accompany light snow today over western and south central Minnesota.
Blowing snow has created whiteout conditions, with visibility reduced to less than a quarter of a mile, especially in rural and open country, the NWS said. Travel is discouraged. Motorists who need to be on the road are advised to bring a winter survival kit and to stay with their vehicle if they become stranded or disoriented.
The NWS said the blizzard conditions are the result of a low pressure area centered over southern Ontario, which is wrapping bands of snow across the northern Plains.