First Alert Days: Tracking a major winter storm

Dangerous travel conditions Wednesday night through Friday
Published: Dec. 20, 2022 at 5:45 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – There is a major winter storm that is set to impact the upper Midwest Wednesday night through late Friday. Travel conditions are expected to be dangerous to life-threatening. Here’s the full forecast breakdown.

Winter Weather Alerts:

Winter Weather Alerts
Winter Weather Alerts(KTTC)

“Winter Storm Warning” will be in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Saturday for areas in pink. A “Blizzard Warning” will be in effect for Freeborn and Steele counties from 12 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Saturday. I want to point out the phrase from the National Weather Service with the warnings.

“Impacts...Travel Will Be Very Difficult. Blowing Snow Will Significantly Reduce Visibility. The Hazardous Conditions Will Impact Holiday Travel. Gusty Winds Could Bring Down Tree Branches And Cause Power Outages.

* Additional Details...Life-Threatening Wind Chills Are Expected Thursday Through Saturday, Dropping As Low As 40 Below Zero Thursday Night Through Friday.”

Weather Timeline:

Weather Timeline
Weather Timeline(KTTC)

Snow will start to build across SE MN and NE IA Wednesday evening. Snowfall is expected to continue through Thursday morning. Snowfall amounts WILL NOT be the major issue with this system. The major problems will be strong winds and dangerous wind chills. Winds will be around 25-35 mph with gusts reaching around 40-50 mph Thursday and Friday. This will cause blowing/drifting snow and whiteout conditions.

Travel Forecast:

Travel outlook
Travel outlook(KTTC)

We’re looking at significant/extreme impacts on the roads from Wednesday night into Friday. Blowing/drifting snow is expected to increase across SE MN and NE IA Thursday PM through Friday night. Whiteout conditions are possible, especially in rural areas. These conditions paired with dangerously cold wind chills are a nightmare combination.

Snowfall Forecast:

Snowfall forecast
Snowfall forecast(KTTC)

Snowfall amounts will range from 3-8″ area-wide. With temperatures in the single digits, this will be light and fluffy snow, which could enhance the blowing/drifting element.


Rochester: 3-7″

Austin: 3-7″

Mason City: 3-6″

Albert Lea: 3-8″

Winona: 4-7″

Preston: 4-7″

Dodge Center: 3-7″

Red Wing: 4-8″

Wabasha: 4-8″

Byron: 3-7″

Stewartville: 3-7″

7-day forecast
7-day forecast(KTTC)

High temperatures will stay cold on Christmas Eve and Christmas. Highs will be in the single digits with wind chill below 0.