Two rounds of a messy mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and howling winds is expected to impact much of the state of Minnesota this weekend into Monday night.
The National Weather Service forecast has evolved since the initial winter storm watch was issued Thursday, Dec. 26, but confidence remains that the system will impact much of the Northland.
“This will be a long-duration storm with two periods of precipitation: Saturday through Sunday evening and Sunday night through Monday,” the weather service stated. “Questions still remain in regards to precipitation types and timing, particularly from the Brainerd lakes into the Twin Ports.”
The Brainerd area now appears to be on tap for 3-4 inches of snow during the first round, expected to begin about 6 a.m. Saturday. The second round, expected Sunday night, may bring 1-2 inches more. But snow totals don’t illustrate the full picture. Much of the region is also expected to see ice accumulation beginning Saturday night into Sunday, bringing with it dangerous road conditions and the potential for power outages. Winds could gust 20-40 mph throughout the storm.
Wintry mix is expected to begin Saturday afternoon and extend into Sunday. A changeover to all snow is expected Sunday night with snow then lingering into Monday. The worst travel conditions are expected Saturday night into Sunday.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, the counties of Cass, Wadena and Todd were under a winter storm warning, while Aitkin, Crow Wing, Morrison and Mille Lacs counties remained under a winter weather advisory.