ALERT DAY for Friday and Saturday: Heavy snow, gusty winds and Arctic cold

A strong winter storm will impact the ABC 6 Weather First area heading into the weekend delivering heavy snow and gusty winds followed by a punch of Arctic cold.

A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for all of southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa and a BLIZZARD WARNING is in effect for north Iowa counties in northern Iowa until Saturday morning.

Snow will continue to overspread the area through Friday night. Higher snowfall rates of 1″ per hour will lead to some heavy snow at times.

The bulk of the snow will end by Saturday morning, however as Arctic air builds in and remnants of the storm still close, light snow showers will be possible throughout the day on Saturday.

The wind will also ramp up throughout the day on Friday with gusts up to 35 mph. The wind will remain elevated throughout Saturday. The wind combined with the light and fluffy nature of the snow, will lead to blowing and drifting resulting in hazardous travel especially in open and rural areas.

Behind the storm, Arctic air will surge in with temperatures falling into the teens below-zero by Sunday morning. Temperatures will generally remain below-zero until likely Tuesday.

Wind chills will likely be at dangerous levels of -25° to -35° especially on Sunday and Monday mornings.