Week gets off to snowy start; MnDOT advising no travelPublished 10:14am Monday, February 17, 2014
First came the cold, then came the snow.
The Mower County area has been hit by at least 4 to 6 inches of snow over the past few days, with about 2 to 4 inches of snow Monday.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning through 3 p.m. Monday as heavy snow and high winds rolled through the area.
Near whiteout conditions hit Austin early Monday morning. The Minnesota Department of Transportation also advised no unnecessary travel in Mower County and much of southeast Minnesota due to blowing snow causing reduced visibilities. As of noon, MnDOT’s 511 listed most Mower County roads as difficult driving conditions. Icy spots and drifting snow were reported on Interstate 90 and Highway 218.
That comes as no surprise to NWS meteorologists.
“This week looked to be fairly weather-active with several systems coming toward us,” said NWS hydrometeorological technician Tom Stangeland.
Stangeland urged those who needed to travel to check the roads and think twice before heading out, as winter storm conditions would make roads dangerous.
Mower County may see snow again Wednesday night or Thursday, but above-freezing temperatures throughout the week could create icy spots overnight. Monday’s high of 33 will fall to 18 overnight, followed by a high of 36 on Tuesday, 35 on Wednesday and 34 on Thursday. Lows in the mid-teens overnight could freeze snow melted during the day and create icy patches.
Temperatures are expected to drop over the weekend, according to Stangeland, though they likely won’t get as cold as the below-zero weather that struck the region over the past few weeks.
“The temperatures by Sunday, we’re looking maybe mid-teens in the area over there,” he said.