Ice then a 50 degree warm-up?: January thaw expected after icy start to the week

Published 7:01 pm Saturday, January 14, 2017

Austin and much of Minnesota are about to see a big weather swing.

First, the area will see a mixed bag of wintry precipitation on Monday and Tuesday, but then temperatures could warm to the mid-40s late in the week.

“We have kind of a mixed bag of precip coming in Monday into Tuesday, that’s our main concern right now,” said Clint Aegerter, a meteorologist with The National Weather Service in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

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“But then afterwards it does warm quite a bit,” he added.


Information courtesy the National Weather Service

Aegerter warned that conditions could get dicey on Monday and Tuesday, as the system will bring snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain — the biggest question is how much and which type will hit the area. As of Saturday, trends were pointing toward a high risk for ice with snow more likely to the north and west.

As of early Saturday, a winter storm watch was in effect in Freeborn County, where ice and 6 inches of snow was possible, but Mower County wasn’t yet under any advisories or watches.

But slick conditions were still expected in Austin, and Aegerter urged people to use caution and prepare for slick conditions.

“Take your time driving and be aware of those slick roads,” he said.

But unlike last week’s system that brought freezing rain, snow and then a cold front on the back end, this system will bring warm air. Southerly air will follow late in the week, bringing temperatures to 35 by Thursday and possibly the low to mid-40s by next weekend.

“Quite the warmup, really,” Aegerter said.

Temperatures in Austin dipped to minus 6 with an 11 below wind chill value early Thursday, so a warm-up to the mid-40s could mean a 50-degree swing in about a week.

According to extended forecasts, highs will be above freezing most of this week, but temperatures will then drop to the mid-30s on Jan. 22 and 23 before temperatures dip back to the January normals of the lowers 20s next week.

“It won’t last a real long time,” Aegerter said.