Winter storm blasts Minnesota as governor activates National Guard to assist in some areas

Dangerously low wind chills expected Thursday following latest winter blast
Snow GFS
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 23: Heavy snow flies during a snowstorm at George Floyd Square, the memorial site for George Floyd, on December 23, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mid-forties temperatures this morning are giving way to high speed wind, low temperatures, and heavy snowfall, as blizzard warnings blanket the state. Photo credit Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Whether it's 24 hours, or 24 minutes, weather in Minnesota certainly knows no boundaries when it comes to change.

"We went from mid-40s to below zero in the span of about 18 hours," said meteorologist Brent Hewitt at the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities. "That's a pretty remarkable event."

The state is digging out from the latest winter storm that dumped 8 to 9 inches of snow across parts of the Twin Cities and 5 to 10 inches along the I35 corridor stretching from Mankato up towards Hinckley.

"We did have some 1 to 2 inch per hour snowfall rates," Hewitt said. "The winds were very high with this systems. We say gusts as high as 50 MPH at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and 68 MPH gusts in Redwood Falls."

Travel is expected to remain difficult throughout the morning as the Minnesota Department of Transportation clears drifted roadways.

You can find the latest road conditions here.

As for power outages, Xcel Energy continues to work on restoring power for those left in the dark by Wednesday's storm. At one point, more than 38,000 customers were affected by power outages.

Wednesday night, Gov. Tim Walz authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide emergency relief services for stranded motorists in Renville and Martin counties.

Heavy snow and strong winds stranded motorists in Renville County where two major highways were closed by blizzard conditions. The Armory in Olivia was opened as a temporary shelter while the Fairmont Armory was opened for those stranded in Martin County.