The first snowfall of the season could be a big one.
Crow Wing, southern Cass, Morrison and Aitkin counties are under a winter storm warning through Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Duluth reported this morning, with total snow accumulation of six-10 inches possible by Tuesday night.
"It's going to be a good one for one of the first storms of the year," said Bill Carroll, meteorological technician with the weather service in Duluth.
Winds of 25-35 mph are also expected to cause blowing and drifting snow, making travel difficult and dangerous. Low temperatures will be in the teens and 20s throughout the week. High temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper-20s.
The Little Falls Police Department reported freezing drizzle this morning in Morrison County, making roadways difficult for motorists to travel. The State Patrol received 8-10 calls about vehicles in the ditch between Little Falls and Brainerd.
Jeff Hulsether, Brainerd city engineer, said the city, anticipating more than four inches of snow, is preparing to declare a snow emergency. On the first day of the snow emergency all emergency routes and north-south running streets will be plowed. On the second day, east-west running streets will be plowed. Parking is prohibited on snow emergency routes and other streets until they have been plowed from curb to curb. City crews probably will be out early Tuesday, Hulsether said.
Duane Blanck, Crow Wing County highway engineer, said his crews are ready to respond to the storm.
"We've had our preseason training, we've had a dry run of the routes and we're ready to go," said Blanck, whose drivers normally start plowing at 3 a.m. the day after the storm begins.
The storm will weaken Tuesday night, but Carroll said there is a good chance of continuing snow in the Brainerd area through Sunday.
A few southwestern Minnesota school districts canceled classes today in preparation for a major winter storm moving into the Upper Midwest.
Officials in the Lake Benton, Pipestone-Japer, Wabasso, Heron Lake-Okabena and Murray County Central districts were among those deciding to call off school entirely or send children home early.
Light snow started falling in Brainerd around 9:30 a.m.
The snowstorm will end one of the mildest Novembers on record in Minnesota. Warm temperatures and sunshine prevailed for much of the month.
On Oct. 25, a surprise blizzard dumped 10 to 12 inches of snow on eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. But temperatures rose to the 50s and 60s and the snow melted away.
(This story includes information from The Associated Press.)
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