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Snowstorm delivers but white blanket isn't likely to last long

At last, it looks like winter. This week may feel like the culmination of two seasons with fresh snow, bitter wind chills and a forecast for above normal temperatures. Forecasts include expectations of 50 degrees next week. With highs in the 40s ...

Tuesday's snowstorm provided the winter's second largest snowfall with about 4.5 inches in Brainerd. The last snowfall of any size was in November. Renee Richardson/Brainerd Dispatch
Tuesday's snowstorm provided the winter's second largest snowfall with about 4.5 inches in Brainerd. The last snowfall of any size was in November. Renee Richardson/Brainerd Dispatch

At last, it looks like winter.

This week may feel like the culmination of two seasons with fresh snow, bitter wind chills and a forecast for above normal temperatures. Forecasts include expectations of 50 degrees next week. With highs in the 40s this weekend, this last snow may have a short shelf-life. Snowfall totals ranged from less than 1 inch to 6.5 inches in Minnesota.

The snow storm's path cut a diagonal line across the state from the southwest corner to the Arrowhead, traveling right over the Brainerd lakes area. About 4.5 inches fell in Brainerd by late morning with a light accumulation after that measurement. A stronger sun quickly cleared up shoveled sidewalks and plowed streets.

But the relatively mild temperatures and melting snow in the storm's wake will give way to bitter wind chills through this morning. A northwest wind of 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph is expected. The National Weather Service advised motorists to expect reducing visibility on area roads and dangerously cold temperatures. Wind chills may reach 20-30 below zero. A wind chill advisory remains in effect until noon today.

"Another night of dangerously low wind chills is expected Wednesday night and Thursday morning," the National Weather Service in Duluth reported. "Wind chill advisories may be needed again."

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Statewide, the Minnesota State Patrol responded to 278 crashes between midnight and 3 p.m. Tuesday. The busiest time was between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Of those crashes, 32 involved injuries. One person was seriously injured. One person died. And 121 vehicles went off the roadways.

All lanes of Interstate 94 between Clearwater and Hasty were closed Tuesday morning due to multiple crashes. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported blowing snow was causing black ice and drifting on Interstate 94 between St. Cloud and Alexandria, on Highway 169 between Zimmerman and Onamia and on most roads throughout central Minnesota. Multiple crashes and spinouts were also reported along much of I-94 between Alexandria and the Twin Cities.

For updated conditions on roads, go to www.511mn.org or call 511.

Snow totals:

6.5 inches - Alexandria.

5.3 inches - 1 mile west/northwest of Brainerd.

5 inches - Fort Ripley (10 miles east).

4.8 inches - Long Prairie.

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4.5 inches - Brainerd.

4 inches - Maple Grove.

5 inches - Superior, Wis.

3.5 inches - Motley.

3 inches - Little Falls.

2.3 inches - St. Cloud.

2.1 inches - St. Paul.

2 inches - Ely.

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RENEE RICHARDSON, associate editor, may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com . Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz .

Related Topics: WEATHER
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