New system forecast to bring rain, snow to Valley
A winter storm warning is in effect for much of western and central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities and St. Croix Valley, from 7 p.m. today until 1 p.m. Thursday as a slow-moving late winter storm bears down on the region.
Besides the winter storm warning, winter weather advisories were issued for western Wisconsin and parts of south-central and southeastern Minnesota. The area around Eau Claire, Wis., is also under a flood warning.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen said this latest storm would bring several rounds of wintery precipitation starting later this morning through Thursday. Six to 12 inches of snow is forecast in west-central Minnesota today through Thursday.
How much snow the Twin Cities and St. Croix Valley receives depends on how quickly the expected wintery mix changes to all snow late Wednesday, forecasters added.
NWS forecasters said sleet and rain is expected to move into the Twin Cities this afternoon, spread across the east metro and into western Wisconsin tonight.
“The transition to snow will spread slowly east on Wednesday,” forecasters said. “Snow will slowly taper off Thursday morning.”
Along with snow and colder temperatures, forecasters said flooding problems might develop as the storm moves through the region. Although forecasters expect lulls in the rain, there is concern about how much more water thawing soils can absorb and if the rain will be enough to fully melt snow pack in the upper Mississippi River basin and move that water into the river. Forecasters added that ice jams are also a concern.
The Valley can expect rain today with temperatures steady in the middle 30s. Rain and sleet are likely tonight with freezing rain and sleet early Wednesday morning with lows around 29.
Wednesday will see an early wintery mix before it changes to snow Wednesday afternoon and continues Wednesday night with two to four inches possible. Snow continues Thursday with an additional two to four inches possible. Highs will range from 38 Wednesday to 33 Thursday.