No end to winter in sight

Snow covers planters and lawn furniture outside Abrahamson Nursery and Landscape on Tower Drive in Stillwater early today. Snow and unseasonably cold spring temperatures blanketed the St. Croix Valley today and are expected to continue into next week. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

Snow covers planters and lawn furniture outside Abrahamson Nursery and Landscape on Tower Drive in Stillwater early today. Snow and unseasonably cold spring temperatures blanketed the St. Croix Valley today and are expected to continue into next week. (Gazette staff photo by Erik Sandin)

Snow blankets Valley, more precipitation on way

The seeming winter with no end blanketed the St. Croix Valley in wet snow today and there appears to be few signs of warmer weather in the near future.

A large part of central and southern Minnesota remains under a winter storm warning until 7 p.m. tonight as the storm slowly moves through the region.

Snow started falling shortly before sunrise this morning on top of earlier light freezing rain. The result was a slow commute with several vehicles reported in ditches along Minnesota 36.

The heavy snow slowed by mid-morning, but more snow is expected throughout today into Friday morning, said Bill Borghoff, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Office in Chanhassen.

“It’s kind of tapering off now, but we’ll see some more snow develop this afternoon and tonight through Friday,” he said.

The storm led the state Department of Public Safety Homeland Security Emergency Management Division (HSEM) to activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center due to storm damage in western Minnesota. Center staff said dthe biggest initial impact from the storm is widespread power outages and downed power lines and trees.

Gov. Mark Dayton signed an emergency executive order Wednesday activating National Guard personnel and equipment to provide relief services to regions affected by the storm.

Borghoff said the storm moved into the metro area late Wednesday, bringing more rain than snow before changing over to snow. Although western Minnesota saw 6 to 12 inches of snow, Borghoff said the metro area will see less snow, with about another 1 to 2 inches expected tonight into Friday.

“It’s going to continue on and off into the evening hours,” he said.

Temperatures are expected to remain around 32 today before falling into the upper 20s tonight. Highs will reach near 37 Friday with cloudy skies, with lows falling to the low 20s Friday night.

The Valley will see a short break in precipitation Saturday with partly sunny skies and highs near 40. Clouds move in Saturday night with lows falling into the upper 20s.

Borghoff said another system is forecast to move into the region Sunday, starting with a rain-snow mix early Sunday for changing to all rain later in the day. And he adds that conditions will not improve heading into the next week.

“We’re going to see another system early next week that might bring more precipitation,” he said.

The forecast for Monday through Wednesday calls for a chance of rain and snow all three days with highs  in the low to mid-40s and lows falling near 32. Borghoff said the below-normal temperatures are expected to linger over the next seven to 10 days.

“It looks like more of the same until further notice,” he said.

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

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