National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A strong winter storm brought heavy snow and very strong winds to much of the area from Saturday evening (Feb 23rd) through Sunday (Feb.24th). The combination of snow and wind resulted in blizzard conditions across northeast Iowa into north-central Wisconsin.

Precipitation moved in Saturday evening, starting out as a rain and wintry mix, then gradually changing to snow from west to east as the night continued. The heaviest snows, in places over a foot, fell along an Austin, MN to the Medford, WI line. The snow came down fast, from 1 to 3" per hour at times. The bulk of the accumulations occurred by 6 am Sunday for locations south of I-94, lingering further north through the noon hour.

As the snow was ending, winds started ramping up. Sustained northwest winds around 30 mph were common across the open areas of southern Minnesota and northeast Iowa - gusting upwards of 55 mph! These winds spread east into western Wisconsin later in the morning, persisting through the afternoon. The strong winds and heavy snow created blizzard conditions and major drifting across much of northeast Iowa, southeast Minnesota and into north-central Wisconsin. White-outs in open areas were common. There were numerous road closures (including Interstate 90) along with some tow bans. 

Radar loop (February 23-24, 2019)
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