A swath of fresh snow

The snow that fell Tuesday and early today was a nice little precursor of the upcoming snow season for many of us.  Most of the snow had the courtesy to fall overnight and not stick to the roads very seriously.  Unfortunately, some of the moisture froze into ice on streets and roads as the temperature fell below freezing during the dark hours.  Morning crashes were the result.

Before the bright sun could melt it away, the visible satellite photos showed a lovely swath of snow from southwestern Minnesota northeastward through the Twin Cities metro area into northwestern Wisconsin.

The bright white of the fresh snow shows up especially well in southwestern Minnesota. Credit: NOAA

Snowfall amounts were heaviest in southwestern Minnesota where 5 to 10 inches fell from Pipestone to Marshall and Redwood Falls.  Nearer the Twin Cities, 3 to 5 inches fell in the Watertown-Monticello-St. Cloud area.  The metro area itself got mainly 1 to 3 inches with the heaviest on the northwest side.  Officially, Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport measured 2.2 inches.  My back yard in Minneapolis picked up 1.6 inches but the driveway and street had just a trace.

Snowfall totals from the storm. The lightest blue represents 8 to 10 inches around Marshall. Credit:NWS

Rain was the big story in southeastern Minnesota.  About an inch of rain fell in Rochester, Austin and Winona while Preston was soaked with 1.5 inches.

Spotty areas of clouds will float overhead this evening.  If you have clear skies toward the southwest early this evening, take a look for Venus and the crescent moon, a 14 percent waxing crescent, shining brightly in the southwestern sky.  Tonight Venus will set farther to the south than any other night for another eight years, in November 2021.  This sky map might help.

Look for Venus and the crescent moon in the southwest sky early this evening. Credit:spaceweather.com

Snow will continue to melt tomorrow when Minnesota has high temperatures from the mid 30s to the low 40s.

Looking ahead, the weather pattern seems to be settling into zonal flow.  That means that the weather systems track mainly west to east.  The smaller oscillations in the upper winds lead to milder weather and weaker storms with less precipitation for us.  One fairly weak disturbance will head our way by Friday with rain and snow for northern Minnesota and a bit of rain likely for the south.  Saturday and Sunday look dry, but Saturday will be breezy.  Sunday should be better for raking.

Our next weather-maker is likely to arrive on Friday. Credit:NWS/Hydrologic Prediction Center