Slick, snowy weekend ahead

Winter goes out with a wet, white punch on Valley

As the St. Croix Valley waits under snow for spring to arrive the Settlers Cabin sits empty in a snow-covered field earlier this week (Gazette photo by Lee Miller)

As the St. Croix Valley waits under snow for spring to arrive the Settlers Cabin sits empty in a snow-covered field earlier this week (Gazette photo by Lee Miller)

Spring is five days away, but winter plans to stick around for a while.
The St. Croix Valley, along with a large part of west central and eastern Minnesota remains under a winter weather advisory until 1 a.m. Saturday as a series of storms brought freezing rain, sleet and snow today and is expected to drop more snow on the region tonight.

The Valley will a brief respite from snow Saturday into Sunday before another system brings more snow and gusty winds late Sunday into Monday.

These latest storms come one day after a fast-moving system dumped several inches of snow on the Valley early Thursday, causing a slow morning commute.

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen said today’s storm organized Thursday across the Northern Plains and would move across the Upper Midwest today through Saturday morning. A wintery mix developed across west central Minnesota in the early morning hours today and spread southeast in the overnight hours, forecasters said.

“The northern suburbs are turning to snow. The main stuff is already starting to slack off,” said NWS Meteorologist Jim Taggart.

Although Stillwater saw little ice accumulation, but the area could see 1 to 3 inches of snow this morning and another 1 to 3 inches of snow late tonight and early Saturday.

“With both waves, the best chances for seeing wintery precipitation will exist along and north of a Granite Falls to Mankato to La Crosse line,” the NWS said.
A high of 35 is forecast today in the Valley with overnight lows dropping to the upper teens. Taggart said the colder air tonight will make the next system moving in from the Dakotas primarily a snow-maker.

“It should be here after dinner time,” he said. “It will be all snow, at least for the Twin Cities.”

Saturday and Sunday will be cloudy to partly sunny with highs in the upper 20s. Lows will range from 8 Saturday night to 20 with snow likely Sunday night.

“It looks like it’s going to be all snow. There’ll be a little bit more wind with this one. There’ll be some blowing and drifting snow we’ll have to worry about,” Taggart said.

Although spring arrives in the Northern Hemisphere at 6:02 a.m. CDT Wednesday, Taggart said the extended outlook calls for a chilly remainder of March.
“In the next 10 days, it looks below normal,” he said, adding that the Twin Cities should also see above normal precipitation.

Taggart said this winter is reminiscent of the winter of 1953-1954, which started out mild but had a cold and snowy end.

“Usually by the end of March our temperatures warm up,” he said “It will eventually warm up. We do have some snow pack and I heard that some lakes still have two feet of ice.”

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