Advisories for snow and a wintry mix through Tuesday morning

Many Minnesotans are dealing with snow or a wintry mix this Monday evening, while parts of southeastern Minnesota have light freezing rain.

Periods of snow are expected Monday evening through Tuesday morning in most of Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin. Some areas could also see a wintry mix that includes light freezing rain and sleet.

Southeastern Minnesota and parts of southwestern Wisconsin will see periods of light freezing rain and freezing drizzle, with a chance of snowflakes and some sleet at times.

The Twin Cities metro area has received about one inch of snow through Monday afternoon. Periods of snow overnight Monday night through Tuesday morning could add another inch or two to our metro snow totals.

The metro area could also see some freezing drizzle, light freezing rain or sleet at times.

The big picture

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern from this Monday evening through Tuesday:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Monday evening through Tuesday, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of precipitation.

West-central Minnesota through parts of central and northern Minnesota will see several additional inches of snow before it tapers off late Tuesday morning.

Here’s the National Weather Service summary of the heavier snow accumulations to the west and northwest this Monday night and early Tuesday:

NWS Twin Cities

Most Minnesotans will see a slower than normal commute Tuesday morning.

Advisories

Winter weather advisories continue Monday evening through Tuesday morning for almost all of Minnesota and Wisconsin:

NOAA/ Winter weather advisories in blue

The winter weather advisory for Rochester Minnesota and far southeastern Minnesota runs through 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Here’s the winter storm discussion issued by the National Weather Service Monday afternoon:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
247 PM CST Mon Feb 19 2018

…MUCH LIGHTER PRECIPITATION THROUGH MIDNIGHT…

…ACCUMULATING SNOW, MIXED WITH FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET RETURNS
OVERNIGHT…

.The majority of the measurable precipitation has ended for most
of Minnesota this afternoon. Some freezing rain, sleet and snow
will occur in west central Wisconsin before tapering off to
freezing drizzle or flurries by late afternoon. There will be a
break in the precipitation for this evening before snow, sleet
and freezing rain returns late tonight for southern and central
Minnesota, as well as west central Wisconsin. Some light freezing
drizzle or flurries are possible this evening, but the majority
of the measurable precipitation will occur after midnight.

By the time the snow ends Tuesday morning, the highest snowfall
totals of 4 to 6 inches will occur along and northwest of a line
from Montevideo to Cambridge Minnesota. Storm total snowfall
amounts of 1 to 3 inches are expected southeast of that line.

Winter Weather Advisories remain in effect for the entire
coverage area through 12 PM CST Tuesday.

MNZ053-060>063-065>068-073>075-WIZ014-015-023-200500-
/O.EXT.KMPX.WW.Y.0007.000000T0000Z-180220T1800Z/
Chisago-Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-Washington-Renville-McLeod-Sibley-
Carver-Redwood-Brown-Nicollet-Polk-Barron-St. Croix-
Including the cities of Center City, Minneapolis, Blaine,
St Paul, Stillwater, Olivia, Hutchinson, Gaylord, Chaska,
Redwood Falls, New Ulm, St Peter, Osceola, Rice Lake, and Hudson
247 PM CST Mon Feb 19 2018

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST TUESDAY…

* WHAT…Light snow or flurries, mixed with freezing drizzle at
times, will continue through midnight. Steadier snow, mixed
with freezing drizzle or sleet will develop after midnight. The
combination of sleet, snow and freezing drizzle will result in
difficult travel conditions, including during the morning
commute on Tuesday. Additional snow accumulations of 1 to 3
inches with trace amounts of ice.

* WHERE…Portions of northwest and west central Wisconsin and
central, east central, south central and southwest Minnesota.

* WHEN…Until noon CST Tuesday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Be prepared for reduced visibilities at
times.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while
driving. The latest road conditions for Minnesota can be found at
511mn.org and for Wisconsin at 511wi.gov, or by calling 5 1 1 in
either state.

Here’s the NWS discussion of the freezing rain in southeastern Minnesota:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service La Crosse WI
258 PM CST Mon Feb 19 2018

…Icy Roads This Evening…Additional Freezing Rain Late Tonight…

.Areas of mainly drizzle or freezing drizzle continue, although a
gradual diminishing trend is expected through early evening.
Around a tenth of an inch of ice has fallen over parts of
southeast Minnesota. Untreated roads will be icy this evening
with travel remaining hazardous.

Another round of freezing rain, possibly mixed with snow or sleet,
will move across the area after midnight tonight through Tuesday
morning. Additional ice accumulations up to around two tenths of
an inch are expected leading hazardous travel conditions for the
Tuesday morning commute.

IAZ008-018-MNZ079-086-087-094-200500-
/O.CON.KARX.WW.Y.0008.000000T0000Z-180221T0000Z/
Mitchell-Floyd-Wabasha-Dodge-Olmsted-Mower-
Including the cities of Osage, Charles City, Wabasha,
Dodge Center, Rochester, and Austin
258 PM CST Mon Feb 19 2018

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CST
TUESDAY…

* WHAT…Periods of freezing rain. Snow or sleet could mix in at
times. Additional ice accumulations of one tenth to two tenths
of an inch are expected.

* WHERE…Portions of north central Iowa and southeast Minnesota.

* WHEN…Until 6 PM CST Tuesday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Some power outages and tree damage are
possible due to the ice. Expect hazardous travel, including
during the evening commute today and morning commute on Tuesday.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while
driving. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling
from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

Now, winter storm details for Duluth and northeastern Minnesota:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Duluth MN
300 PM CST Mon Feb 19 2018

…PERIODS OF SNOW AND FREEZING RAIN ACROSS THE NORTHLAND THROUGH
TUESDAY MORNING…

.Snow across central Minnesota, areas near the Twin Ports, and
northwest Wisconsin will continue through this evening. Another
wave of snow will also spread in from the south into the
Northland later tonight, mainly bringing additional snow to
central and northern Minnesota. Freezing rain will also continue
across parts of northwest Wisconsin through tonight, especially in
Price County and areas to its south and east. Expect widespread
snowfall across the Northland through early Tuesday. Snow and
freezing rain will diminish and move out from the south Tuesday
morning. There could be light snow lingering across far northern
Minnesota Tuesday afternoon.

MNZ020-034>038-WIZ001-002-006-200900-
/O.EXT.KDLH.WW.Y.0009.000000T0000Z-180220T1800Z/
Southern Lake/North Shore-Crow Wing-Northern Aitkin-South Aitkin-
Carlton/South St. Louis-Pine-Douglas-Bayfield-Burnett-
Including the cities of Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Brainerd,
Hill City, Aitkin, Duluth, Pine City, Hinckley, Superior,
Washburn, Bayfield, and Grantsburg
300 PM CST Mon Feb 19 2018

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST TUESDAY…

* WHAT…Mixed precipitation. Additional snow accumulations of 3
to 5 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze are expected.
There had already been reports of 3 to 6 inches of snow that
fell this morning and early this afternoon.

* WHERE…Portions of northwest Wisconsin and east central and
northeast Minnesota.

* WHEN…Until noon CST Tuesday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions,
including during the morning commute on Tuesday. Be prepared
for reduced visibilities at times.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while
driving. The latest road conditions for Minnesota can be found at
511mn.org, and for Wisconsin at 511wi.gov, or by calling 511 in
either state.

Freezing rain

How can we have rain and freezing rain when our temperatures are in the 20s?

Why isn’t it all snow?

The official temp that you hear or see is measured about 5 feet above the ground.

It can be much warmer a few thousand feet above the ground, and rain can make it all the way to the ground after falling through a shallow cold layer.

If the surface temp is cold enough, the rain turns to ice as it hits roads, driveways and sidewalks:

NOAA

Ice can also accumulate on cold tree branches and power lines, sometimes causing them to break.

By the way, it can snow when the official temp is in the upper 40s; if the warm layer near the ground is very shallow.

Updates

Updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you can see updated weather info posted on the MPR News live weather blog.

You can check with NWS offices in the Twin Cities, La Crosse, WIDuluth, Grand Forks, ND and Sioux Falls, SD for updated forecast information.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will post road condition updates.