Low pressure will move across Nebraska and Iowa tonight into Saturday. Light snow will develop across North Dakota this evening then spread into eastern South Dakota, western Minnesota, and northern Iowa overnight. Snow may become heavy at times Saturday morning over southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. By early Saturday morning, winds of 25 to 45 mph can be expected along and east of Interstate 29. This may produce widespread blowing snow, especially where there is currently snow on the ground. A blizzard watch is in effect for portions of southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa with a winter weather advisory over eastern South Dakota. The snow is expected to end by late Saturday afternoon. The heaviest snowfall is expected to be east of Interstate 29 where 3 to 6 inches of snow is possible. Along and west of interstate 29, snowfall is expected to range from 1 to 3 inches. Here is the forecast snowfall for Friday night and Saturday.
In addition, as low pressure strengthens to the south of the area on Saturday, the northerly winds will increase and draw bitterly cold air southward. High temperatures will be reached early in the day Saturday, with steady to falling temperatures through the later morning and afternoon. Blustery north winds will persist into Saturday night and early Sunday, with the core of arctic high pressure settling across the area Sunday night. Wind chill readings will drop below zero Friday night, and continue to plunge through Saturday night, reaching a dangerous 15 below to 35 below zero by early Sunday. Here are expected wind chill readings on early Sunday morning.
Travel will be difficult in Minnesota and northern Iowa beginning late tonight and continuing into Saturday evening. If travel is planned for the weekend, make sure to top off your gas tank. Pack your winter survival kit, including high energy food, extra blankets and clothing. Wear clothing appropriate for the extreme chill, and limit outdoor exposure time.