Willmar Lakes Area sees first snowfall of the year


— The first snowfall of the season arrived in

west central Minnesota

just in time for Winter Hazard Awareness Week, according to the

National Weather Service


Much of the region awoke Monday to its first snow accumulation. The snow will continue through 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. There is a slight chance of snow and freezing drizzle continuing through early Tuesday.

The total snow accumulation Monday is forecast as 1 to 2 inches in west central Minnesota. Meanwhile, southeast Minnesota is forecast to get 2 to 4 inches.

The high Monday is forecast to be near 29 degrees Fahrenheit. The daytime temperatures are expected to drop into the upper teens later in the week.

The National Weather Service provides a variety of different forecast products and watches and warnings. The latest forecasts for snowfall amounts, ice accumulations and wind chills can be found at the NWS's

Winter Weather page



The NWS watch and warning definitions include:

* Winter Storm Watch: Severe weather conditions, including heavy snow, blowing snow, freezing rain and/or sleet, may soon affect your area. If a watch is issued for your area, you should pay special attention to future forecasts and statements, and begin to make safety preparations.

* Winter Storm Warning: Severe winter weather conditions are occurring or are imminent. Most warnings are issued for heavy snow and wind, but may also be issued for ice and sleet storms. If a warning is issued for your area you should take immediate action to ensure the appropriate safety precautions have been taken.

* Blizzard Warning: Visibilities are reduced to less than 1/4 mile for several hours due to falling and/or blowing snow, making travel virtually impossible. The wind will be at least 35 mph.

* Snow Squall Warning: An exceptionally rare warning that most typically applies to lake effect snow squalls, where visibility drops to near-zero. It is issued for one hour or less for a small area, and is relayed as a Wireless Emergency Alert.

* Advisories: These are issued for conditions which warrant increased public awareness and moderately hamper travel, but where the weather is not severe enough to merit a warning.

* Wind Chill: The cooling effect upon exposed skin, produced by the combination of temperature and wind. A copy of the

Wind Chill Chart

is available on the NWS website.