Snow expected to hold off through end of December

Published 9:30 am Friday, December 21, 2012

A front-end loader clears the lot next to Aldi Food Market.

Drivers hitting the road for the holidays will have to deal with what’s already on the ground, but nothing more is on the way.

Following a snow system that passed through the area late Wednesday and early Thursday and led to closures and delays at area schools, Austin residents are not expecting to see much more snow this month, according to Meteorologist Brad Adams with the National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wis.

“There isn’t really much snow in the forecast between now and the new year,” Adams said. “It looks like good travel for folks that are moving around.”

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Austin is below the typical snowfall for this point of year. Besides a trace of snow that fell on Nov. 12, the season’s total of 6.6 inches all fell this month, well below the average total snowfall of 10.4 inches typical of this point in December, Adams said. By the end of the month, the Austin area usually has 13.4 inches.

There’s a chance of slight snowfall on Dec. 29, he added, and a weak system to the north Monday that should not affect Austin at all.

But while the snow will hold off, the low temperatures will not.

“It’s going to be cold,” Adams said. “We’re looking at some lows in the next few days near zero.”

Apart from closing and delaying schools, the sudden influx of snow caused power at the Hormel Foods Corp. plant to go out briefly Thursday after moisture from melting snow entered an exhaust vent. A spokesperson said they fixed the issue and restored all power that afternoon.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed Interstate 35 from the Iowa state line to Freeborn County Road 46, exit 11, from Thursday afternoon through this morning, but the Mower County Sheriff’s Department said no roads were closed in Mower County.