Brandon Weatherz: Travel becomes very difficult today

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A strong system is on track to impact the Northland today and tomorrow with snow, freezing rain, and high winds. Travel will become difficult to nearly impossible this afternoon and evening. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect across northeast Minnesota including Duluth from 11 am today until 7 pm Wednesday where heavy mixed precipitation will bring ice and snow accumulation, and gusty winds will bring whiteout conditions. We look to Koochiching County for a Blizzard Warning from 3 pm today until 7 pm tomorrow. Snow will be mostly dominant here, leading to only a glaze of ice, but snow amounts around 12”. The South Shore of Lake Superior is in a Winter Weather Advisory from 11 am until 7 pm today for light snow and ice accumulation. The greater concern here will be from 7 pm Tuesday until 10 am Wednesday when an Ice Storm Warning will be in effect. Significant ice accumulation is expected and travel is strongly discouraged.

Widespread snow moves in from the southwest this morning and afternoon with widespread accumulation sticking in time for a slick evening commute. Tuesday evening and overnight is when snow turns to wintry mix and freezing rain from the south. All the while, east winds will now be sustained around 30 mph with gusts near Lake Superior as high as 60 mph. Waves near the shorelines will build to 15 to 20 feet. By the Wednesday morning commute, significant ice accumulation will have fallen from the South Shore to the Twin Ports and possibly down the I-35 corridor, while significant snow will have fallen for much of northern Minnesota. Wednesday will feature a mix of rain, freezing rain, and snow, gradually turning to snow from the west through the day. Winds will remain gusty and continue to allow for blowing snow, but a shift from east to southwest will allow waves to gradually recede. Snow showers linger as a region Wednesday night and Thursday with little additional accumulation expected.

Total snow accumulation will be only 1-3” for much of east central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. 3-6” potential extends from the Brainerd Lakes Area to the Twin Ports. Amounts increase going north with 6-10” from Grand Rapids across the Iron Range. Around 12” is possible from northern Cass County to northern Itasca, northwest St. Louis, and Koochiching Co. The high terrain of the North Shore will see 6-8” with locally higher amounts possible.

Today: Cloudy and windy with snow. Temp steady near 29. ENE wind 25-35 mph. Chance of snow: 90%. Accumulation of 2 to 4 inches expected.

Tonight: Wintry mix of snow, rain, and freezing rain. Low 28. ENE wind 25-35 mph. Chance of precip: 90%. Additional snow and sleet accumulation of around an inch expected. Ice accumulation of 0.1” to 0.3” expected.

Tomorrow: A wintry mix in the morning turns to snow in the afternoon. High 34. E wind shifting to SW 20-30 mph. Chance of precip: 90%. Additional snow and sleet of around an inch expected.

Tomorrow night: Cloudy and windy with a few snow showers. Low 19. W wind 20-30 mph. Chance of snow: 30%.

Thursday: Cloudy and windy with a few snow showers lingering, mostly in the morning. High 32. W wind 20-30 mph. Chance of snow: 30%

Friday: Mostly sunny. High 38. E wind 5-10 mph.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy and breezy. High 42. E wind 10-15 mph.

Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a slight chance for showers in the afternoon. High 49. SW wind 10-15 mph.

Monday: Partly cloudy. High 54. SE wind 5-10 mph.