Blizzard conditions expected to impact travel in northwest Minnesota

Heavy snow, strong winds, blowing and drifting snow, and whiteout conditions are likely, making travel difficult or impossible.

Weather announcement web art

BEMIDJI — The Minnesota Department of Transportation warns motorists in northwest Minnesota that a forecasted winter storm with heavy snow and strong winds will significantly reduce visibility and can make travel difficult or impossible later Tuesday and Wednesday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning that goes into effect at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning through 7 a.m. Thursday morning, with long-duration blizzard conditions expected.

Heavy snow, strong winds, blowing and drifting snow, and whiteout conditions are likely, making travel difficult or impossible.

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Weather forecast for April 3 from the National Weather Service.
Courtesy / NWS

According to the NWS, heavy snow and mixed precipitation are expected with total snow accumulations of 4 to 10 inches for the Bemidji area and ice accumulations of around one-tenth of an inch, with winds gusting as high as 45 mph on Wednesday.

More snow is expected on Thursday with total accumulations of 10 to 16 inches.


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Weather forecast for April 4 from the National Weather Service.
Courtesy / NWS

Widespread falling and blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions will impact the morning and evening commutes.

Motorists are advised that the forecasted storm may result in travel advisories or road closures, and they should prepare for changing weather and monitor road conditions at or by calling 511.

The forecasted conditions could become a life-threatening situation for stranded motorists. Drivers should plan accordingly with an emergency supply kit and clothing for extreme cold.

"If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency," the weather service said.

When a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area and rescue may not be possible. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or sentenced to 90 days in jail. In addition, if travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties will apply.

MnDOT snowplow operators will do their part to make highways safe and motorists should remember to:

  • Stay alert for snowplows, which turn or exit frequently and often with little warning
  • Stay back at least 10 car lengths behind the plow. Don’t drive into a snow cloud.
  • Slow down to a safe speed for current conditions.
  • Turn on your headlights and wear your seat belt.
  • Turn off the cruise control.
  • Be patient and remember snowplows are working to improve road conditions for your trip.
  • Don’t drive distracted.

For additional tips on safe winter driving, go to

Annalise is the editor and a photographer at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is a Mass Communication graduate from Bemidji State University. Her favorite pastime is exploring the great outdoors and capturing its natural beauty on camera. Contact Annalise at (218) 333-9796, (218) 358-1990 or
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