Snow Day Yesterday and More on the Way

Yesterday the kids had their first snow day of the year. With the forecast calling for 8-30″  of more white stuff they might see another snow day this week!

Published December 04, 2013, 01:23 PM

Northland to see heavy snow in afternoon, evening

UPDATE: North of Two Harbors reportedly is approaching 40 inches since Monday.

By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune

The storm that wouldn’t end is far from over.

The National Weather Service in Duluth this afternoon is forecasting snow to fall at an inch or more per hour in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin into this evening, adding another 8 to 12 inches of additional snow by the time the storm moves out of the region early Thursday.

The highest snowfall will occur along the Interstate 35 corridor through the Twin Ports and up the North Shore.

Three-day storm snowfall totals generally ranged from 8 to 20 inches across the region by noon today, with 10 to nearly 20 inches common in Duluth.

The Weather Service says final storm totals will range from 12 to near 40 inches by Thursday. But one report north of Two Harbors was at 39 inches by 1 p.m. with no end to the snow in sight.

When the snow subsides sometime Thursday, bitter cold is expected to rapidly move into the region, sending temperatures below zero and wind-chill levels into the dangerous range. The low temperature Friday morning will drop into the teens below zero with wind-chill values to 30 below.

A winter-storm warning remains in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday for the entire region and travel conditions are rapidly deteriorating with heavy snow falling and gusty winds causing drifting and glazed roadways.

Nearly all schools, universities and many businesses have closed for the day in the Duluth area. Nearly all meetings and events have been canceled for this evening.

The city of Duluth has suggested no unnecessary travel, and it issued a warning about ice and clumps of snow falling off the Aerial Lift Bridge due to gusts of wind.

The Minnesota State Patrol reports 175 crashes since Monday, statewide, and nearly 20 vehicles that had run off the road.

“We don’t get three-day snowfalls very often — every few years. Even for the North Shore and Duluth, for a storm to hit 30 inches, that’s pretty unusual,” Carol Christenson, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Duluth, said. “For us to even forecast snow totals like this, it goes against the averages.”

Kelly Fleissner, who leads Duluth’s snowplowing efforts for more than 400 miles of city streets, said city crews worked 16-hour shifts during the height of the storm Monday night and Tuesday. He said they will hope for an eight-hour break overnight before they come back out in full force before dawn Thursday.

“We had so much snow that we had to stay on the main roads all night into Tuesday morning. So we were late getting into the residential streets. I know it’s been tough for people just to get out of their neighborhoods. But, please, be patient,” Fleissner said. “We’ll have them back out early Thursday. Unfortunately it may be several days before we get to everyone’s street, especially the alleys.”

Even with plows going full tilt, in some cases, the roads were too sodden for those Northlanders who dared venture out. It took Gunnar Johnson an hour to get out of his driveway Tuesday morning in rural Duluth. He lives in the area north of Duluth that reported one of the highest overnight snow totals, 18 inches and counting in Normanna Township.

“It was not what I expected,” Johnson said of the wet kiss of snow that packed down under the weight of his car and created tire lanes of ice.


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