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Heavy snow likely tonight

We started Sunday off with clear and sunny skies but the afternoon brought in clouds ahead of our next winter storm. Light snow will begin early this evening and last into the mid morning of Monday with a Winter Storm Warning in effect until 3 p.m. Periods of moderate to heavy snowfall are possible between 9 p.m Sunday and 3 a.m. Monday with snowfall rates of 1-2″ per hour. Travel around the region will be difficult as winds gust near 30 mph creating blow and drifting snow and low visibility. Temperatures will hold steady around 3° this evening and rise during the overnight hours.

Anticipate a slow and messy morning commute to work Monday with light snow continuing into the mid morning. When all is said and done, Rochester and areas to the north and east could pick up around 8-10″ of snow. Areas stretching from Albert Lea, Austin, to Decorah could receive 6-8″ with Mason City on the line of 5-6″ of snow. Towns to the west and south of Mason City will see less than 4″ of accumulation. Strong winds will remain a concern throughout the day, creating blowing and drifting snow on roadways in open areas. Monday will see a highs in the upper single digits with wind chills near -20°.

Following Monday’s winter storm dangerously cold Arctic air plunges into the region for the midweek. Tuesday will only manage highs in the negative single digits with partly sunny skies and strong northwest winds. A Wind Chill Watch will go into effect Tuesday morning and last into Thursday morning; I anticipate this to be upgraded to a Wind Chill Warning after the winter storm exits our region. Wind chills will near -60° Tuesday and Wednesday night creating life-threatening conditions with frost bite possible in 5-10 minutes. This will be the coldest air we have experienced in our area since late January and early February of 1996.

Wednesday’s morning low will fall into the -30s with the afternoon high warming to -20 degrees. Thursday’s morning low will once again near -30° with highs in the negative single digits. Thursday afternoon and night could see a slight chance for light snow.

Temperatures climb back above zero on Friday with highs near 10 above and mostly cloudy skies. The weekend could see temperatures in the lower 20s with a slight chance of snow for Saturday afternoon and night.

Sarah Gannon

Sarah Gannon

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