How much? Snowfall expected to continue into Tuesday
Maybe March’s idea of entering like a lion was just a few days late, at least that may be the hope of those ready for spring.
But just how much snow was in this late season storm may not be known until Tuesday afternoon. The snow producing ability of the storm was still in question late Monday as bands of snow hit the Brainerd area in earnest as predicted just before 7 p.m. Central Minnesota remained in a winter storm warning through 4 a.m. Tuesday with the heaviest snowfall amounts expected to fall across the Brainerd lakes area.
Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service in Duluth still expected 8 to 10 inches to hit the lakes area. During an afternoon weather update, the weather service reported a high confidence Brainerd lakes area residents would be digging out from 9 inches or more when all was said and done.
Early in the day the light snowfall, with about a half-inch accumulation as of 2 p.m., had a few doubting the arrival of heavy snow.
The weather service expected the heavy snow to start in Brainerd about 7-8 p.m. and carry through to 3-4 a.m. Tuesday. Travel conditions, the weather service reported, will be difficult Tuesday morning. The Minnesota State Patrol reported too often motorists were driving too fast for conditions.
Meteorologists were less confident regarding how much snow would fall to the east, in the Duluth area. The storm cutoff may mean snowfall totals drop off dramatically toward the Arrowhead with a possible 6-7 inches in west Duluth and 2-3 inches in East Duluth.
The large storm system is expected to make an impact across much of Minnesota and well beyond its borders.
The National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings for a long swath stretching across the Upper Midwest from North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota, then southeastward into western and southern Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa, northern Illinois, northern Indiana and into western and central Ohio. The Chicago area and other parts of northern Illinois were forecast to get 7 to 10 inches by Tuesday night.
North Dakota took the brunt of the storm early Monday with no travel advised in several counties. In the northeast part of the state, Devils Lake had 11 inches of snow by midmorning, and a foot of snow fell in Sarles about 60 miles to the north. In southeastern North Dakota and parts of eastern South Dakota, freezing rain that coated roads was more of a problem but there were no immediate reports of major accidents.
In the Brainerd lakes area, the heaviest snow was expected overnight. Heavy snow combined with wind gusts as high as 20 mph was expected to create challenging travel conditions.
During the day Tuesday, the weather service reported snow could be moderately heavy for the morning commute between 6-8 a.m. but then diminish as the day ages. Another 1-3 inches is possible Tuesday, mainly before 3 p.m. On the plus side for this late season storm, unlike the early winter Alberta clippers, temperatures will be mild in the wake of the storm. That should be welcome news to shovelers who could be faced with heavy snow.
The high Tuesday is expected to reach 28 degrees. It’s a performance that should be repeated Wednesday beneath partly cloudy skies. There is a slight chance of snow after noon Thursday with a 32 degree high. Expectations are to exceed that by a couple more degrees Friday.
The weekend forecast now includes a slight chance of rain and snow Saturday, Sunday and into Monday.
By Monday, the high may climb to 35 degrees.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.