The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) advises that strong wind gusts and blowing snow could impact travel in southwest Minnesota through Sunday.

While most roads in southwest Minnesota are currently dry or partially snow-covered, some are completely covered with compacted snow. Driving conditions could quickly become hazardous on all roadways if strong winds disturb existing snow drifts and reduce visibility.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a blizzard warning for all of southwest Minnesota, including Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties.

According to the NWS, strong winds and blowing snow are predicted to begin this evening and continue through Sunday, with wind gusts as high as 40-50 m.p.h. at times. The NWS reports that blizzard conditions exist when the combination of strong wind, low visibility and heavy snowfall significantly impact daily life. Please note the forecast can change throughout the weekend and that conditions can improve or worsen.

Snowplow crews will be out treating and clearing roads today and tomorrow.

“As long as we can see and be safe, we’ll continue to be out there,” said Craig Gertsema, maintenance operations superintendent. “We’re continuously monitoring and responding to current road and weather conditions.”

MnDOT advises motorists to check weather and road conditions at before making travel plans Saturday evening evening and during the day Sunday.