Break out the shovels | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Break out the shovels

Winter storm may bring a few inches to the lakes area

Posted: January 28, 2013 - 11:15pm

Residents may be greeted by a few inches of fresh snow for the morning commute depending on overnight temperatures and the storm track.

The lakes area remains in a winter weather advisory through noon Tuesday as a significant winter storm painted a swath across the upper Midwest overnight. The National Weather Service reported the storm was creating a corridor of heavy snow from 5-8 inches in parts of north central and northeast Minnesota.

While the heaviest snowfall may fall north of the immediate Brainerd lakes area, the storm was expected to bring a wintry mix of freezing rain and light to moderate snow amounts here.

“This system will result in reduced visibility in places due to heavy snowfall rates and icy conditions where freezing rain falls,” the National Weather Service in Duluth reported.

Light ice accumulations followed by snow, in some cases significant and heavy, were expected to create slippery roads and hazardous travel conditions Monday night into Tuesday. Snow was expected to develop rapidly on a line roughly from Backus to Grand Rapids and Ely.

Police scanner traffic included reports of vehicles in the ditch after dark Monday as temperatures hung on just above freezing and a mix of fog and mist persisted. By 8 p.m., Brainerd was still 33 degrees.

The mix of freezing rain and snow was expected to turn to all snow after 3 a.m. as temperatures dropped to 25 degrees. The weather service said 1-3 inches of snow may fall overnight with another inch possible Tuesday, mainly before noon.

Tuesday’s high may reach 31 degrees. The chance for more snow, at 20 percent, continues Tuesday night as the temperatures drop. An overnight low of 4 degrees is expected with gusty winds up to 20 mph.

With daytime temperatures taking a nose dive Wednesday, what precipitation does fall will soon freeze in place. Wednesday’s high may reach 11 degrees. Stronger winds, up to 25 mph, should make it feel even colder. Wednesday’s low will likely drop below zero, perhaps as cold as 10 below. Temperatures will remain cold Thursday with a high ranging from 4 below to 1 above. Thursday’s overnight low — predicted to hit 18 to 23 below — will likely bring back thoughts of last week’s extended cold snap. Friday won’t shake that comparison as sunny skies produce a high of 3 degrees. But expect temperatures to recover more quickly than last week as highs rebound to the mid-20s Sunday and Monday.

RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at 855-5852 or renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Dispatchbizbuzz.