Minnesota digs out after heavy snow, with another storm likely next week
Published in Weather News
Heavy snow overnight ended around daybreak Saturday in the Twin Cities area and much of Minnesota, leaving slippery roads and tens of thousands of people without power. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport recorded 8.5 inches of snow.
Xcel Energy reported around 35,000 outages through the metro area and parts of southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin as of Saturday afternoon, with crews working to restore power. The Minnesota State Patrol reported 346 crashes statewide from 4:30 p.m. Friday to 11:30 a.m. Saturday (41 with injuries, none serious), 629 spinouts and 18 jackknifed semitrailer trucks.
Widespread reports were circulating of unplowed stretches of interstate freeways throughout the Twin Cities even by late morning, and residential plowing seemed to be moving slowly as the day progressed.
Metro Transit said about a third of buses were delayed at 3 p.m. Saturday. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was experiencing delays, mainly in departing flights.
Preliminary totals showed 12 inches in Monticello and Medina, 11 inches in Oakdale, 9.5 inches in Brooklyn Park, 7 inches in Chanhassen, and 0.5 inches in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Sunny skies with a high in the uppers 30s Saturday brought prodigious melting.
Sunday will bring a high in the mid-40s in the Twin Cities metro area, the National Weather Service said, with a chance of a light wintry mix in the morning, mainly in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
Another large storm system is likely to affect the Upper Midwest on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Weather Service said, bringing mixed precipitation, including the potential for accumulating snow in western and central Minnesota.
A blizzard warning went into effect Friday afternoon for the Twin Cities area and western Minnesota, and thunderstorms were possible in the southeastern corner of the state before snow arrived Friday night, the Weather Service said.
The wide range of weather came as a complex storm system moved out of the Rocky Mountains into the Central Plains.
The snow has pushed the Twin Cities up the list of the snowiest winters of all time. As of Friday morning, the metro had picked up 81.2 inches of snow for the season, the eighth highest total since records have been kept. The metro needed only 5 inches of snow to move into the No. 5 slot, the Minnesota Climatology Office said.
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