Mix of heavy snow, freezing rain, ice accumulation in store for Brainerd area
The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a winter storm warning from 9 a.m. Tuesday through 7 p.m. Wednesday for Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Todd and Wadena counties.
BRAINERD — Heavy snow, sleet, freezing rain, accumulating ice and strong winds are concerns with a powerful winter storm expected to hit Tuesday, April 4, in the Brainerd lakes area.
Snowfall amounts have trended slightly downward, but this is going to still be a pretty impactful system.
The National Weather Service in Duluth issued a winter storm warning from 9 a.m. Tuesday through 7 p.m. Wednesday for Aitkin, Cass, Crow Wing, Todd and Wadena counties, with 4-6 inches of snow possible and ice accumulations up to a tenth of an inch possible.
“We have a pretty large system that’s going to be impacting the region here over the next couple of days,” said Bryan Howell, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Duluth.
While projected snowfall amounts have decreased in the Brainerd lakes area, the amount of rain and freezing rain the area could get has increased, Howell said.
The worst conditions are expected Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning, with snow turning over to freezing rain and sleet, with the potential for thunderstorms in some areas, Howell said.
Freezing rain coupled with strong winds with gusts as high as 46 mph could lead to isolated power outages, Howell said.
“Temperatures are going to be right around the freezing mark, so any slight fluctuations in temperatures is going to have a big impact on how much ice accumulates,” Howell said. “There’s a very narrow window where freezing rain usually can occur. We are expecting most of these accumulations on elevated surfaces as opposed to roadways.”
The weather service reported travel could be very difficult, with patchy blowing snow significantly reducing visibility.
The storm should start to taper Wednesday night, with light snow ending on Thursday. The Brainerd lakes area remains in an area of uncertainty as far as snowfall, the weather service reported, with about a 43% chance the area could have more than 6 inches of snow.
“This system is still very dynamic,” Howell said. “Severe weather down to our south could play a role in what actually happens up here. Snowfall amounts have trended slightly downward, but this is going to still be a pretty impactful system.”
MATT ERICKSON, Editor, may be reached at email@example.com or 218-855-5857.