Archived Story

Snow hits Austin but may not last

Published 10:14am Monday, December 10, 2012

Hold on, snowmobilers. Your time may be yet to come.

While Austin recorded an inch of snow over the weekend, that could melt by the end of the week, according to the National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wis. High temperatures for Monday and Tuesday are forecasted below freezing; however, highs may reach mid 30s by the end of the week.

“It doesn’t take too long to blow through an inch of snow with the soil temperatures still relatively warm,” said NWS Hydrometeorologist Tom Stangeland.

Still, the snowcover over the weekend caught many area drivers off guard as they tried to reacquaint themselves with icy conditions. Austin Police Capt. Dave McKichan reported about five minor fender-benders in Austin over the weekend — mostly from people driving too fast or not slowing in time for stop signs. One person ran over a sign.

A 65-year-old Iowa man was injured Saturday morning after his car reportedly went into the ditch, rolled and hit a tree in northern Freeborn County.

Javier Soto, of West Des Moines, Iowa, went to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea after the crash, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. Soto, whose injuries were not life-threatening, reportedly drove with the cruise function on when he crashed. The report states the road was icy at the time and alcohol was not involved.

“We’ve all got to adjust our driving style to handle the icier conditions,” Stangeland said.

Meanwhile, other areas of the state may hang onto their snow where Austin will not. Just like throughout the summer, precipitation avoided Austin and fell in nearby areas instead. In Mower County, Grand Meadow recorded about 3 inches of snow. Cities farther northeast in Minnesota were buried in snow, such as Red Wing, which received about 9 inches in the past 24 hours, Stangeland said.

Yet the NWS is watching a storm that could move into the area by Friday night. Stangeland said the storm’s path has been hard to track, but if it does hit Austin, there could be freezing rain later turning into snow.

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