Brandon Weatherz: Tracking ice, snow, rain and winds

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The Northland picked up rain, snow, freezing rain, and sleet overnight, leading to snow and ice on many roads. Additional impacts to travel are expected today with a Winter Weather Advisory extended to Douglas and Bayfield County until 11 am. Northeast Minnesota keeps the Advisory until 7 am Friday. The heaviest snow will fall in Northern Itasca, Northern St. Louis, and Koochiching County where a Winter Storm Warning is in effect until 1 pm Friday.

Duluth officially set a new season snowfall record at 2:30 this morning! By 5 am, a storm total of 2″ brought the season total to 137.1″. We won’t add much to this today as warmer air nudges in to keep a wintry mix of precip types with us, but additional accumulation is expected tonight as snow takes back over. Ice accumulation remains a concern today, primarily from the Twin Ports to the Iron Range and northeast across the Arrowhead. The greatest ice accumulations are expected along the high terrain of the North Shore.

Intense east winds continue through the day, bringing the potential for power outages. Waves of 11 to 16 feet build on Lake Superior. Winds will shift around the low pressure system as it cross the region and passes to our north this evening and overnight. By Friday, the worst of the winds will be behind us and a breezy southwest wind will linger.

Flooding also remains a concern. Parts of east central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin picked up more than an inch of moisture by early this morning. Additional moisture from rain and snow will increase looking from east to west across the Northland with less than a half inch for Ironwood, around .75” in the Twin Ports, and greater than an inch possible for much of north central Minnesota.

Snow accumulation has been rather on track with what we’ve been saying. We still look to International Falls for 12”, then amounts fall going south. There’s some disagreement in how far south in north central Minnesota 6” potential will extend. I expect it will graze northern Crow Wing County, then reach across Grand Rapids to Virginia and Ely. 3-6” reaches from the Brainerd Lakes region toward Duluth and north. We continue to expect a split in the Twin Ports with Hermantown on the edge of 3-6”, and 1-2” downtown Duluth and in Superior. Light accumulation is possible in Wisconsin, but generally under an inch.

The bulk of accumulation will have fallen by Friday afternoon, but light snow will linger in the region Friday night into Saturday as the responsible weather system loiters nearby. Expect chilly temps to be with us this weekend, but any lingering snow showers should bring very little in the form of accumulation.