Wintry weather moves into Austin, Midwest

Published 7:07 am Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wintry weather moved into the Austin area this morning, but there were still some questions as to just how much — and what type — of precipitation to expect.

The National Weather Service seems sure of one thing: There will be plenty of wind. The question is whether there will be enough snow to blow around.

Mower County is under a winter weather advisory until 9 p.m. Sleet started to collect before 6 a.m. and up to 1 to 3 inches of snow was possible across the region, though the weather service’s Austin forecast called for less than an inch of daytime snow.

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However, blizzard conditions still may not be far away, as neighboring Freeborn County was set to be in a blizzard warning from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Winds will pick up to 20 to 25 mph with 38 mph gusts by this afternoon. Winds of 13 to 22 mph with 33 mph gusts are expected overnight and winds will be around 13 to 16 mph winds tomorrow.

Temperatures will plummet overnight to a low of 2 degrees below zero with wind chills near minus 19. Wednesday’s high will be around 7 with a daytime wind chill as low as minus 21. Lows will reach minus 11 Wednesday night with 26 below wind chills. However, a warmup is on the way. Temperatures are expected to reach highs above freezing by Friday, and and several models call for highs in the 50s by next Wednesday and Thursday.

Here’s a rundown of what weather is in store around the country:

Slippery conditions close Interstate 94 in central Minnesota

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS  — Authorities have closed a slippery stretch of Interstate 94 in central Minnesota due to numerous accidents.

State Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Tiffani Nielson says the most serious involved a semi that hit a car whose driver had pulled over to change a tire. One person in the car was hurt. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is detouring traffic between Highway 24 and Wright County Road 8.

Snow turned the morning commute in the Twin Cities into a slippery mess as well, with numerous reports of crashes and spinouts.

A state trooper’s squad was struck and badly damaged on I-494 near Concord in South St. Paul while that trooper was investigating a crash. Nielson says the trooper had to be extricated and was taken to a hospital with a non-life threatening injury.