Dusting of snow slows morning commute

Colder air poised to make a Chilly New Year’s holiday in the Valley

cold thermometerSt. Croix Valley residents experienced a slower commute this morning as a slow-moving system dusted the region with enough snow to slow traffic and bring out snowplows.

Although National Weather Service forecasters said the Valley should see additional accumulations of less than one-half inch, a winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. today for much of southern and southeastern Minnesota where forecasters said would receive the bulk of snowfall from this latest system.

Cities under that advisory include Red Wing, Mankato, Rochester, Albert Lea and Austin.

That advisory extends into both northern and northeastern Iowa southwestern Wisconsin, where NWS forecasters said heavier snowfall today will affect travel.

“An additional inch of snow is expected with three- to four-inch overall totals. There will be impacts on travel throughout the day,” forecasters said.

Snowfall is expected to slowly end across the region by early tonight, according to forecasters.

Once the snow ends, the Valley sees a chilly end to 2012 and cold start to 2013, forecasters said.

Cloudy skies will linger Saturday with highs near 20. Saturday night will see partial clearing and cold lows in the low single digits above zero.

Sunday will be sunny, but cold with highs in the low 20s and light south winds. Clouds move back in Sunday night with lows in the upper single digits.

New Year’s Eve Monday will be sunny, but colder with highs only reaching the middle teens. Monday night sees 2012 end a chilly note with lows dropping to near minus-5.

New Year’s Day Tuesday will be sunny and cold with highs only in the middle teens. Tuesday night will be cloudy and not as cold with highs in the upper single digits.

But the extended forecast Wedensday and Thursday has lows dropping below zero Wednesday night and highs only reaching the single digits above zero Thursday.