The storm system that cut across the central United States on Wednesday was expected to drift north of the Great Lakes on Thursday, the National Weather Service said.
Gusty winds across the region would slowly diminish around the same time, the Weather Service said in a separate forecast.
However, an area of deep low pressure over Central Ontario will produce high winds over the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes on Thursday, meteorologists said. Storm warnings were in effect for Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and parts of Lake Huron.
Light snow and rain will develop over parts of the Upper Mississippi Valley and Upper Great Lakes, with isolated pockets of freezing rain, meteorologists said. The rain will eventually change over to all snow by the afternoon and end overnight.
Conditions did not look favorable for a morning commute in the Twin Cities region, according to the Weather Service. A winter storm warning was in effect until 10 a.m. Heavy snow and additional accumulations of up to two inches were forecast. Wind gusts could reach 60 m.p.h.
“If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency,” the service said.
A high-wind warning was also in effect until mid morning for portions of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. “Damaging winds will blow down small trees and branches, as well as power lines,” the Weather Service said. “Travel will be difficult.”
Tornado watches that had been in effect on Wednesday night in at least eight states expired as dangerously high winds mostly died down. The watches were a result of a storm system that formed in the Four Corners region — where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico meet.
Still, as many communities saw a reprieve from high winds on Wednesday night, people in southern Minnesota were reeling from fresh gusts of up to 70 miles per hour. Parts of Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota were under a winter weather advisory until 3 a.m. local time.
Aaron Jayjack, a storm chaser in Minnesota, posted a video on Twitter on Wednesday evening that showed sheets of snow blowing horizontally across the night sky.
“Really ripping at times here in Alexandria, Minnesota,” he wrote in another post after midnight. “Not a lot of cars out. Roads are slick. Slushy underneath, snow on top.”
Source: NY Times