First the hype, now the heap: Winter Storm WarningUPDATE:Heavy snow and high winds will combine to create blizzard conditions Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday across much of the Northland as late winter storm barrels out of the Great Plains.
By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
From sunny skies and melting snow today to blizzard conditions and below zero temperatures by Tuesday evening -- March meteorological madness in the Northland.
Heavy snow and high winds will combine to create blizzard conditions Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday across much of the Northland as late winter storm barrels out of the Great Plains.
A foot of snow is forecast for the Twin Ports and 15 inches or more is possible for the Iron Range into Lake and Cook County. Areas to the south and east of Superior will receive about 10 inches.
“It’s going to snow some all day (Tuesday) with the heaviest snow in the late afternoon,’’ said Carol Christenson, National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist in Duluth. “Do what you have to do early… We don’t want people to be caught off guard because the snow is light during the day. It’s going to be very difficult to travel tomorrow afternoon and evening.’’
The heaviest snow will end early Wednesday but blowing snow will remain a problem until past noon.
Snow will be spreading across much of Minnesota from the southwest to Northeast Tuesday. A winter storm warning for all of Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin from 1 p.m. Tuesday until 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Similar conditions and storm tracks have spurred major blizzards in the Twin Ports in recent years.
March is a very volatile month meteorologically as fading pools of cold winter air clash with the increasing areas of warm spring air. That instability turns what had been simple snowstorms last month into potential snow-and-wind making machines.
Snow: The heaviest snow, more than an inch an hour at times, will fall Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.
Wind: Winds will blow 30-40 mph and gust as high as 50 mph Tuesday night and early Wednesday near Lake Superior, sending wind chill values falling to dangerous levels and creating white out conditions.
Cold: Temperatures will drop to near zero by Wednesday morning and stay cold all day, with single-digit highs and below zero readings Wednesday night and early Thursday.
Ice: Large amounts of broken ice on Lake Superior could be pushed onto shore at the Head of The Lakes thanks to easterly gale-force winds off the lake.