Snowfall to create icy roads this evening into Christmas morning

Temperatures were bitter cold this morning.  Early morning low temperatures dropped to 35 below zero at Babbitt and Embarrass in northern Minnesota.

Low temperatures this morning. Image:Midwest Regional Climate Center

Wind chill readings have eased slightly as temperatures have moderated today. But snow has been falling in western Minnesota since early afternoon with the heaviest snowfall in Morris, Appleton and Ortonville.  This snow is tracking east.

Screen capture radar at 2:45 p.m. Image:Wunderground.com

Snowfall amounts in southern and eastern Minnesota as well as western Wisconsin will tally between 2 to 4 inches the remainder of the afternoon and evening.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center paints an area in line to receive 4 inches of snow this evening in western Wisconsin.

Area most likely to accumulate four inches of snow after dark. Image:NOAA

There is the possibility of another burst of snow coming before daybreak on Christmas morning in central Minnesota. The North American Mesoscale Forecast System depicts a bulls-eye of a quick inch of snow around 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

Forecast of liquid precipitation between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday. Image:NOAA

Temperatures will be not as cold on Christmas Day, but another surge of cold air arrives Wednesday night.

Low temperatures on Thursday morning. Image:National Weather Service

A more robust moderation in temperatures moves in on Friday but winds will add a bit of a chill.

Highs on Friday.

As we close out 2013, I see a continuation of surges of arctic air keeping temperatures below normal along with frequent bouts of snow.

The Global Forecast System model has temperatures dropping well below zero again on Sunday morning. Image:NOAA/Twisterdata.com