Winter gearing up for its debut; 1-4 expected for Austin, but 5-10 possible to the south

Published 11:14 am Friday, November 20, 2015

It’s less than a week until Thanksgiving, but it could look a bit like Christmas tonight.

The Winter Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for 3 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Saturday ahead of a storm expected to bring the first measurable snowfall of the season to Austin and Mower County.

The latest projections Friday morning called for 1-4 inches in Austin, but the system could bring as much as 5-10 inches in parts of Iowa, southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

“Accumulations in the heavy snow band of 5 to 10 inches are likely,” the advisory read. “Snowfall will drop off rapidly north of the band with little if any accumulation expected north of I-90.”

High temperatures in Austin on Friday will be around 34 degrees with a low dipping to about 20.

Though the ground and roads are still holding in heat, the weather service warned snowfall rates could allow snow to accumulate on the roads and hazardous winter travel should be expected.

Driving conditions were expected to deteriorate quickly during the heavies snowfall. Visibility could be limited at times.

Even if Mower County and Austin don’t see the heaviest snow, the area should get a taste of winter over the weekend. High temperatures will only reach about 25 degrees on Saturday and 29 on Sunday, while lows will dip to about 13 on Saturday night and 22 Sunday night.

Next week, high temperatures should hover in the upper 30s and lower 40s for much of the week.

Looking ahead to the holiday weekend

After tonight’s snow, conditions are expected to remain dry and sunny until there’s a chance of rain Wednesday night to transition into a rainy Thanksgiving Day next Thursday, when there is a 70 percent chance of showers.

Austin’s annual Christmas in the City Kickoff downtown could see a bit of snow, and Black Friday’s high will be around 32.

The holiday weekend should remain cool with a high near 32 next Saturday and a high near 28 next Sunday.