Austin bracing for heavy snow

Published 8:14 am Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Banfield Elementary fifth-grader braces herself against the wet snow falling as she works as part of the Safety Patrol before school early Tuesday morning. -- Eric Johnson/

Old man winter just won’t take a hint. Just as spring appeared to be in full bloom, a strong storm system is threatening to drop 3 to 6 inches of snow.

Mower County is under a winter weather warning until 7 a.m. Wednesday, as heavy, wet snow is expected to persist. The National Weather Service expects the bulk of snowfall, between 2 and 4 inches, during the daylight hours today. Tonight, 1-2 inches are possible.

Accumulations will largely depend on temperatures. Snow is expected to melt early in the day, but heavier snow could add up quickly this afternoon. Roads could become slick and snow covered by this afternoon, but with ground temperatures around 30 degrees, a large accumulation is not expected.

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A high of 35 is expected to fall to a low around 31 overnight.

A half inch of light snow could dust the area Wednesday morning. Depending on temperatures, another system with a rain and snow mix could hit Thursday afternoon.

The NWS said accumulation should not last more than three or four days.

While many Minnesotans may be ready for more snow, it’s not necessarily abnormal.

“La Nina springs are typically like this,” said Jeff Boyne, NWS meteorologist. “They tend to be slower in warming up.”

Mower County is no stranger to late winter weather. In 1988, Austin got 10 inches on April 26 and 27. On May 28 and 29 in 1947, Austin received less than an inch of snow during a region-wide snowstorm where parts of the Midwest received almost a foot of snowfall.