Tricounty News

Accidents, spinouts reported with zero visibility

Generally, this winter I have talked of a break of a day or two to allow us to dig out before another winter storm heads our way. This isn’t quite the case this week, however, and I think you’ll be OK with that news.

Of course, we dealt with another winter blizzard on Sunday that produced wind gusts of up to 55 mph at times and near white-out conditions. Many roads and even interstates were closed across Minnesota on Sunday with the hazardous driving conditions.

Many accidents and spin-outs were reported across the area. I-94 even had to be shut down for a time because of the dangerous conditions from Alexandria to Bismarck Sunday afternoon with the zero visibility.

Actual snowfall amounts Saturday into Sunday were generally from two to six inches across Central, West Central and Northern Minnesota. However, the winds were what really caused the travel headaches and white-out conditions across Minnesota.

On the heels of the blizzard on Sunday, another very cold Arctic air mass moved into Minnesota. Wind chill warnings were issued for most of Minnesota from Sunday night to Tuesday afternoon because of wind chill values dropping at times to 45 below zero.

Warmer air will return for the midweek, but it will be short-lived. Another cold air mass will return by Thursday.

Little moisture is anticipated in the near future. Some light snow is possible across Southern Minnesota Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The rest of the area should remain mainly dry through the weekend.

We will be keeping an eye on the possibility of another winter storm around Feb. 4-5, I can hear the “groans” right now.

For the latest on the roads you can go to www.511mn.org.

Weather history: On this date in 1977, “Because of the extreme cold, the St. Paul Winter Carnival was held indoors for the first time.”

Weather fact: Permanent snow and ice cover about 12 percent of the Earth’s land surface.

MN AT A GLANCE:

Moorhead Low -13 High 19

Duluth Low -16  High 18

Central Minn. Low -11 High 20

Twin Cities Low -9 High 22

Rochester Low -12 High 15

Marshall Low -7 High 23

Wednesday: Partly cloudy and warmer. High 20 Low -4  Wind: SW 10-20 mph Prec. None

Monday’s sunrise, Jan. 27:
7:48 a.m.

Monday’s sunset: 5:22 p.m.

Normal High: 20

Normal Low: -1

Temperatures will return to more “average” readings for Wednesday, but cooler air will push back in by Thursday. It shouldn’t be as cold as in recent days, but it will be about 20 degrees cooler than normal by Thursday.  Little precipitation is anticipated through the weekend.

Thursday: Partly cloudy. High 1 Low -12 Winds: SW/NW 10-15 mph Prec. None

Friday: A blend of clouds and sun.  High 9 Low -1  Winds: NE 5-15 mph Prec. None

Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 11 Low -4  Winds: E 10-15 mph Prec. None

Sunday: Partly cloudy, 20-percent chance of light snow. High 12 Low -1 Winds: SE 10-15 mph Prec. Trace-.20”