Storm dumps five, six inches of snow in region

Wind, cold made it a bitter weekend

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Friday’s snow made it tough for motorists on Broadway.

ST. PAUL — A snow storm forecast to be the most severe blizzard of the year so far by some weather experts, dumped five to six inches of snow in much of the region Friday and early Saturday.

The pending storm caused many school districts in the region to make the call Thursday night to close school Friday.

New Ulm had 4.5 inches of snow on Friday, and another 1.25 inches by Sunday night, according to weather observer Victor Roepke.

Statewide, the North Shore of Lake Superior got the most snow, according to weather spotters who relayed snow totals to the National Weather Service (NWS) as of 5:50 p.m. Saturday.

The list was topped at 16.5 inches measured at Hovland, 15 inches at Lutsen, 14 inches at Finland, 13 inches two miles northeast of Grand Marais, 11.2 inches at Silver Bay and 11.1 inches six miles north of Two Harbors.

Snowfall was measured at 6.2 inches at Redwood Falls. Six inches was recorded at Mankato and St. James; 5.5 inches at Marshall. Five inches were reported at New Ulm and Springfield. St. Peter got 4.5 inches. Hutchinson and Glencoe reported 4.3 inches.

Following the snow, high winds on Saturday caused white-out conditions and blizzard warnings in open areas, particularly in western Minnesota and parts of southern Minnesota. Travel was difficult and not advised in some areas Saturday.

Wind gusts of 45 to 55 mph were reported in southwest, south central and west central Minnesota Saturday and Sunday.

Temperatures fell into the single digits above and below zero, causing very cold wind chills, as low as 30 below zero, and icy road conditions Saturday.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reported travel may become nearly impossible, was not advised and restricted to emergencies only in much of Minnesota.

By Sunday afternoon, statewide highway conditions improved slightly. Many roads and south of the Twin Cities were reported to be completely covered with ice Sunday afternoon. Some roads farther west and south were reported to be partially covered with ice, according to MnDOT.

Warmer weather is forecast later this week with forecast daily highs of 18 on Tuesday, 35 Wednesday, 32 Thursday with possible snow showers, 25 Friday with possible morning snow showers, 29 Saturday and 30 Sunday.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com)