UPDATE Snowfall amounts down from predictions, but system still impactful on region
Published 9:42 am Thursday, February 23, 2023
At least for our area, epic snowfall amounts equated to under a foot of snow.
While still impactful to the region, the Austin area fell short of the over a foot of snow predictions made before this week’s large system settled over Austin.
From the start of the two-part system to 6 a.m. Thursday morning, the National Weather Service is indicating 6 to just under 10 inches of snow falling on the area, with the heaviest amounts in the state sitting north and west. Racine recorded the most snowfall in the area with 10.5 inches. To the north, Hayfield recorded just under 10 inches.
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A large part of south central and southeastern Minnesota north of Interstate 90 had reported totals of 12 inches or more.
The area remained under a winter storm warning until noon today.
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, roads in southeastern Minnesota varied between snow and ice covered and partially covered Thursday morning, still better than parts of southwestern Minnesota where blowing snow made traveling inadvisable. Roads, including I-90, were closed to the South Dakota border due to blowing snow and low visibility.
This week’s system had far-reaching effects for much of the nation, including Minnesota where Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz authorized a peacetime emergency ahead of the storm, which mobilized the National Guard to rescue stranded drivers if need be.
Weather also contributed to nearly 1,800 U.S. flight cancellations on Wednesday and another 759 by Thursday morning, according to the tracking service FlightAware. Another 6,000-plus flights were delayed across the country.
More than 400 of those were due to arrive or depart from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Another 5,000-plus flights were delayed across the country.
According to the NWS, clouds will gradually begin clearing throughout the day today and with it will come dipping temperatures with a low of -6 predicted. Wind chill values could go as far as -18 thanks to 6 to 15 mph winds and gusts of 24 mph.
Friday will see a high of 13 under partly cloudy skies with a slight chance for light snow. The weekend is expected to be mostly sunny to sunny on Saturday and Sunday with highs of 26 and 36 respectively possible.
— The Associated Press contributed to this story