Winter storm warnings are in effect for Minnesota and southeast North Dakota until 9:00 a.m. CST due to heavy snow.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), heavy snow is expected to hit “portions of central, north central, northwest and west central Minnesota and southeast North Dakota.” Total snow accumulations are forecast to reach five to seven inches.
The weather warning for the states says that the impact from the snow could cause slippery road conditions and reduced visibility. The morning commute will also be impacted, as well as cold wind chills going as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit, causing frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes, according to NWS.
The hazardous conditions are set to continue into tomorrow, also affecting Wisconsin. According to the NWS Weather Prediction Center, the storm system that hit California on Saturday is now making its way into the Great Plains. The latest forecast explains that moderate to heavy snow is expected to spread eastward from the northern High Plains into the Upper Mississippi Valley overnight Sunday.
“Storm total snowfall of four to eight inches is expected by Monday evening from North Dakota into north-central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin,” the forecast says. “Locally heavy snow up to about a foot will be possible in and around far northwest Wisconsin into the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan.”
The forecast also says that a cold frontal passage will bring windy conditions to the Dakotas and the Upper Mississippi Valley. A “secondary surge” of colder air will reach the north central Plains by this evening and will generate dangerously low wind chills of -20F to -30F. High temperature departures from average will range from -10F to -20F behind the cold front as far south as Texas for tomorrow.
Morning commuters in North Dakota and Minnesota can find their local travel news on either North Dakota Transportation and the Minnesota Department of Transport. Travelers can also dial 5-1-1 from their cell phones for the latest travel updates near them. Commuters are warned to plan for slippery road conditions and reduced visibility from snow squalls.
NWS warns that those caught outside in -20F conditions risk frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, frostbite is an injury that happens in extreme cold weather conditions. The body tissues become frozen, most commonly the nose, ears, fingers, toes, cheeks and chin. Symptoms are:
- Redness or pain in a skin area;
- A white or grayish-yellow skin area;
- Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy;
- Blisters; and
- Gangrene (severe cases).
People with conditions such as peripheral arterial disease (PAD), diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, or Raynaud phenomenon, are more susceptible to frostbite. John Hopkins Medicine advises the following if symptoms present:
- Seek medical attention immediately by calling 9-1-1;
- Get into a warm room as soon as possible and remove any wet clothing;
- Cover the person or area in warm blankets;
- Avoid walking on frostbitten feet or toes to avoid more serious damage;
- Immerse the areas affected by frostbite into warm (not hot) water until normal skin color returns;
- Do not soak the affected area in warm water too long (no more than 30 minutes);
- Warm the affected area using body heat;
- Do not rub or massage the affected area as this can cause further damage;
- Do not use anything hot, such as a heating pad, stove, or furnace, to warm the affected area; and
- The frostbitten area should be gently washed, dried, and wrapped in sterile bandages and kept clean to avoid infection.
For further updates, visit NWS for local and state forecasts.
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