Icy conditions create slippery commute

Wintery mix, newCold front poised to blast through area Wednesday
Overnight freezing drizzle made for a slippery commute across the St. Croix Valley this morning.

And while travel conditions were slowly expected to improve today, National Weather Service forecasters said a cold front will sweep through the region Wednesday, bringing bitterly cold air and gusty winds.

The Valley, along with a large part of eastern Minnesota and west-central Wisconsin, was under a NWS freezing rain advisory until 9 a.m. today. The NWS office in Chanhassen reported accumulating ice across much of the region this morning.

“Light snow, patchy light freezing drizzle and area of fog will be possible this morning,” said an NWS statement. “Slick road conditions are expected across much of the area.”

This morning’s slick roads followed dense fog that covered the area late Monday¬† and led the NWS to issue a dense fog advisory Monday evening.

Although overnight temperatures were around the freezing mark, forecasters expect today’s high will rise to the middle 30s with light winds. The added that the big change occurs tonight and Wednesday.

“Arctic air will return for the latter part of the week with bitterly cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills possible Wednesday night into Friday morning,” according to the NWS.

Tonight is expected to cloudy and turn cold with scattered flurries and a low near 14. Wednesday will see clouds, snow flurries and steady temperatures in the middle teens with northwest winds 16 to 21 mph and gusts up to 30 mph, producing wind chills of 5 below to 2 above.

Wednesday night  will be cloudy and cold with a low near 4 below and northwest winds 10 to 15 mph. The combination of wind and cold temperatures will produce wind chills of 10 below to 20 below.

Thursday will be breezy and cold with a high near 0 and west winds 10 to 15 mph. Thursday night will see lows fall to near 13 below. The cold air lingers Friday with highs in the upper single digits and lows near 0.

Contact Erik Sandin at erik.sandin@ecm-inc.com

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