Heavy snow overnight ended around daybreak Saturday in the Twin Cities area and much of Minnesota, leaving slippery roads and thousands of people without power.
Xcel Energy reported numerous outages through the metro area and parts of southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin on Saturday morning. Metro Transit said half of buses were delayed, with Green and Blue Line light rail trains "experiencing minor delays." Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was experiencing delays, mainly in departing flights.
The strong winds from the powerful storm are expected to diminish through late this morning, bringing an end to winter storm conditions, the National Weather Service said.
Sunday will bring a high of 46 in the Twin Cities metro area, the Weather Service said, with a slight chance of precipitation in the afternoon. But another large storm system is likely to affect the Upper Midwest on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Weather Service said, bringing mixed precipitation, including the potential for accumulating snow in western and central Minnesota.
A blizzard warning went into effect Friday afternoon for the Twin Cities area, and 5 to 10 inches of heavy, wet snow was expected to fall in the metro by the time the calendar turned to April on Saturday morning. Heavier amounts were predicted across far western Minnesota and western Wisconsin, the Weather Service said.
Blizzard warnings were also posted for western Minnesota, and thunderstorms that could produce hail and tornadoes were possible in the southeastern corner of the state before snow arrived Friday night, the Weather Service said.
The wide range of weather came as a complex storm system moved out of the Rocky Mountains into the Central Plains.
Snowfall amounts were forecast to range from 5 to 8 inches in a swath from the Morris and Canby areas in western Minnesota through the Twin Cities and into western Wisconsin, the Weather Service said.
With winds howling between 35 and 45 mph, blizzard conditions were likely west of a line from Benson to Hector to New Ulm to Madelia. Near-blizzard conditions were possible eastward to the I-35 corridor, the Weather Service added.
"Hazardous travel conditions are expected," the Weather Prediction Center said, with roads becoming snow-covered and visibility dropping to near zero.
All modes of severe weather — thunderstorms, hail, wind and an isolated tornado — were possible across far southern and southeastern Minnesota.
To the north, areas such as Fergus Falls, St. Cloud and Cambridge could see 2 to 6 inches of snow, the Weather Service said.
"Thunderstorm activity ... could shift and affect totals," the Weather Service said. "That is why the snowfall ranges are large across the region."
Any snow that falls will push the Twin Cities up the list of the snowiest winters of all time. As of Friday morning, the metro had picked up 81.2 inches of snow for the season, the eighth highest total since records have been kept. Next on the list is the 81.3 inches that fell in 1961-62. The metro needs only 5 inches of snow to move into the No. 5 slot, the Minnesota Climatology Office said.