A misty ice fog this morning; heavy snow possible tonight northern Minnesota

The rain gauge at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport accumulated nearly a half-inch (0.49) of precipitation on Sunday. This is a record for Jan. 27, beating the old record of 0.42 inch set in 1916. The observer measured 3 inches of snow on Sunday at the airport.

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A dense, icy fog blanketed a large part of Minnesota with temperatures below the thawing point of 32 degrees this morning. Visibility was as low as a quarter-mile from Duluth through the Twin Cities to Albert Lea. Travel with caution. Visibility is expected to improve later this morning.

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A sharp contrast in temperatures is seen on the map above, with highs as mild as the 60s in Illinois. Last night, around 10 p.m., a thunderstorm was reported to the west of Chicago at the Dupage County Airport.

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A mixture of freezing rain/sleet and snow is expected to form in western Minnesota later today. This wintry mix should change to all snow tonight.

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RUC model water content precipitation ending at 9 p.m. CST. Source:NOAA/College of Dupage

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NOAA’s NCEP forecast for probability of snowfall exceeding 4 inches or more today and tonight.

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Liquid precipitation forecast for next 24 hours from NCEP/HPC. Some of this precipitation may fall as sleet or freezing rain.

Travel will be very hazardous through the night in northern portions of Minnesota, where a Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the potential for 4 to 8 inches of snow.

In the Twin Cities lighter amounts of snow are on tap for later tonight and Tuesday.

The upper Midwest is in the path of a blast of Arctic air on Wednesday.

9amwednam.gif Surface temperatures, wind in knots and pressure field valid at 9 a.m. CST Wednesday. Source:NOAA NAM/College of Dupage

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Source:NOAA/College of Dupage

NAM forecast at approximately 5 thousand feet on Thursday at noon displaying the impressive onslaught of perhaps the coldest air mass of the season. Temperatures and wind field paint the icy cold quite nicely. In this case, bright red is extreme cold.

Below normal temperatures are expected through Saturday.

Craig Edwards

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