Bright sun, freezing temperatures and a half foot of snow greeted Brainerd residents Wednesday morning.
The DNR office in Brainerd measured 6 inches of snow, well below the foot of snow forecast Monday and Tuesday by the National Weather Service in Duluth.
Mike Bettwy, meteorologist with the weather service, said there were three factors that contributed to the storm being weaker than expected: Intense rainfall and thunderstorms in Iowa and Missouri robbed the system of moisture, the storm tracked farther west than expected and the overall storm wasn't as intense as expected.
"Overall, this storm didn't deepen quite as rapidly as first envisioned," Bettwy said. "Areas to the south got quite a bit of precipitation but we just missed out on it."
Mixed with freezing rain and winds gusting up to 35 mph, Tuesday's snow created difficult driving conditions in central Minnesota, with several crashes and vehicles reported in ditches in the Brainerd area.
Lloyd Weise worked Wednesday at opening up his driveway along the St. Mathias Road after 6 inches of fresh snow fell Tuesday in the Brainerd area. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
The weather service reported 7 inches of snow in Little Falls; 6.5 inches in Long Prairie, Hewitt and Pequot Lakes; 6 inches in Crosslake; 5.5 inches in Nisswa; 5.3 inches at Leech Lake; 3.4 inches in Hillman; and 1.9 inches in Onamia.
It is expected to remain cold Thursday, with low temps 16-21 degrees below in the morning and a high temp of 11-16 during the day.
It will warm up heading into the weekend, with low temps of 2 degrees below to 3 degrees above in the morning and high temps 28-33 degrees during the day Friday, lows 12-17 degrees and highs 38-43 Saturday and lows 18-23 and highs 38-43 on Sunday.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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