Posted at 8:32 AM on January 25, 2010
by Paul Huttner
You knew it couldn't last forever.
The other shoe drops with a wintery thud today. The second part of our messy two-part weekend storm ramps up today with gusty winds, blowing snow and plunging temperatures. As the last upper wave pinwheels around the central low pressure system, everything from heavy snow to a full blown blizzard is raging.
Blizzard warnings are flying in the Red River Valley today. Snowfall of 1 to 4" and winds gusting over 50mph are dropping visibilities producing near whiteout conditions in some places. Travel conditions are downright dangerous in these areas. Temperatures are falling through the teens into the single digits and wind chills are plummeting to sub zero levels.
In northeast Minnesota, heavy snow has been falling since Sunday. A solid 10" has already piled up in Duluth, with 8" on the ground in International Falls. Winter storm warnings continue in all of northeast Minnesota today.
In the metro, we can expect snow and snow showers to add up to between 1" and 3" before it ends late tonight. Gusty northwest winds and temperatures falling into the teens will make for slick roads through tonight.
Big Janaury thaw a memory:
The return to winter brings and end to our prolonged January thaw. Today's maximum temperature of 34 degrees (just after midnight) will go down as the 15th consecutive day of above average maximum temperatures in the metro. The string of mild weather pushed our monthly average temperature for January into positive territory for the first time. Temperatures are now running 1.1 degrees above average for the month in the metro.
Enjoy it now, because it looks like temperatures plunging to levels 5 to 10 degrees below average for the next week will mean January will finish slightly cooler than average.
Be careful on the slick roads and walkways today!
Posted at 6:00 PM on January 25, 2010
by Paul Huttner
As blizzard conditions continue to rage, MNDOT has closed nearly all major Interstates and highways in southern and western Minnesota.
Do not attempt travel in southern or western Minnesota tonight.
A raging blizzard is roaring south from the Red River Valley into much western and southern Minnesota this evening. Blizzard conditions extend as far south as Iowa with visibilities at or below 1/4 mile.
Blizzard conditions occur when sustained winds of 35 mph or greater and considerable falling or blowing snow reduces visibilities to 1/4 mile or less. Blizzard conditions are occurring in many western and southern Minnesota communities. Blizzard warnings are in effect until midnight for most of western and southern Minnesota.
Snowfall will gradually end from north to south in Minnesota late tonight. Sustained winds of 35 mph with gusts over 40 and even 50 mph will maintain near whiteout conditions in open areas until at least midnight.
And additional half inch of inch of snow may fall in the metro before snow ends later tonight.
Use extreme caution if you must travel anywhere west or south of the metro tonight. Or better yet, you may want to postpone travel until conditions improve.
Tuesday should bring a return to sunshine and more placid weather conditions.