Winter storm socks northwest part of stateby Paul Huttner, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Just days after highs in the 80s and wildfires popping up around Minnesota, winter is setting in for the northern corner of the state.
Some of the same areas hit hardest by fires this week are getting relief in the form of snow -- some of it heavy.
• Winter storm details on the Updraft blog
Winter storm warnings are out for the Red River Valley and northwest Minnesota, Huttner said. Six to 12 inches of snow are more than likely, with the heaviest snowfall rates coming through between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. before things gradually tapering off. The Grand Forks area was already reporting 3 inches of snow by 7 a.m.
A cold front will spread across the rest of Minnesota today, with temperatures dipping down through the 40s and into the 30s in the Twin Cities overnight tonight.
The storm is good news for drought-stricken regions. Meteorologist Greg Gust said some areas of the northwest are down anywhere from five to eight inches below normal precipitation over the past 12 months.
"This will give us some moisture and some relief," he said. "But this is not enough to guarantee the whole rest of the fall season is fireless, by any means. It's just going to give us a break and give us some recovery. But we need to see it again, please, and maybe again, please, as we get through the month of October into early November."