Ice, rain, snow make roads slick

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 30, 2001

The weather outside didn’t get as frightful as expected.

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

The weather outside didn’t get as frightful as expected.

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Freezing rain started out icy in the Austin area about 1 p.m. Monday, but as the temperature rose through the afternoon to above the freezing mark, the freezing rain became regular rain. The rain also prevented the area from getting up to 10 inches of snow as predicted. Instead, the region wound up with under an inch and a half of snow. The rainfall totaled 0.47 inches.

Roadways were slick and wet this morning with the ice from Monday’s storm as well as rain water. Motorists were cautioned to be careful driving on area roads today.

While most area schools closed for the day on Monday, school in Austin, Grand Meadow, Hayfield, LeRoy-Ostrander and Southland opened two hours late today and classes at Riverland Community College’s three campuses started at 10 a.m. today.

Bill Harrison, a National Weather Service forecaster, said the storm was caused by a strong push of warm air from the Gulf of Mexico that collided with a shallow layer of cold air near the ground.

"It’s a very unusual amount of moisture feeding this far north for January," he said.

The Minnesota Department of Children, Families and Learning delayed standardized tests and writing exams for 10th-grade students from today until Thursday. The department, fearing bad weather would carry into another day, said it was important that all students take the tests on the same day.

In the Twin Cities, a Northwest Airlines spokesman said the airline canceled about 240 flights Monday, most of them traveling to and from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The airline also prohibited children from traveling alone on Monday, a standard procedure during bad weather.