Snow, icy roads and now a deep freeze
Ice-covered roads, a frosty wind and heavy snowfalls, this winter storm delivered the promised punch.
Considering storm totals across the state, the Brainerd lakes area caught more of a glancing blow. In north Brainerd, while the snow in the open street measured 3 to 4 inches, the wind-driven snow in driveways piled up to 7 and 8 inches or more depending on drifts.
In Crow Wing County, snow totals ranged from 4.10 inches reported 2 miles northeast of Brainerd to 6.5 inches 3 miles north of Brainerd.
Friday, the Minnesota State Patrol was advising no travel throughout much of the state because of snow-and ice-covered roads.
“We’re receiving reports from veteran troopers in several areas of the state of conditions that are as bad as they’ve seen in 25 years,” said State Patrol Lt. Col. Matt Langer, in a news release. “We need motorists to avoid traveling unless it’s absolutely necessary. It is simply too dangerous right now and (Minnesota Department of Transportation) MnDOT needs room to clear the roads of snow and ice.”
This winter storm’s strongest snow bands were along the eastern side of the state. Even as the storm, complete with blizzard conditions in southern parts of Minnesota, diminished into the early morning hours, the storm’s radar signature continued to punish Duluth. It swirled around the Twin Ports and the Arrowhead and by morning light snowfall reports in St. Louis County varied from 12 inches to 17.5 inches.
The State Patrol reported it expects road conditions to “remain treacherous” for the next several days. With melting temperatures during the first part of the week, roads were slushy and wet. Then came the snow and as temperatures dropped cars and roadways were encrusted in snow and ice.
Don’t expect that to change too quickly. Arctic air and lots of it will be flowing into the lakes area. And it won’t be leaving quickly. The National Weather Service in Duluth is predicting highs in the single digits and lows of 20 below next week. By the end of the week, temperatures aren’t expected to climb out of subzero numbers even during the day.
The weather service reported wind chill advisories may be issued as the week progresses. This weekend gusty winds of 20 mph to 25 mph are expected with wind chill values of 15 below to 25 below.
The normal high this time of year is 29 degrees.