A winter storm warning is in effect from noon Saturday, March 9, until 7 a.m. Sunday for nearly all of Minnesota, including the lakes region.
The National Weather Service noted a major winter storm will impact the area beginning Saturday morning with heavy snow anticipated in western and central portions of the state.
"This will be a heavy wet snow and add extra stress to buildings, which could lead to roof collapses," the weather service reported. "Shoveling this heavy wet snow could lead to health issues."
The forecast calls for a chance of snow showers and freezing drizzle before 8 a.m. Saturday followed by snow and a high that might finally push the lakes area above freezing by 1 degree. Conditions may be breezy with 2-4 inches possible. Snow could be heavy at times Saturday night with another 3-7 inches falling along with gusty winds. By Sunday, the forecast is for cloudy skies, breezy conditions and a 40 percent of snow showers before noon. The high may reach 27 degrees.
The city of Brainerd declared a snow emergency in advance of the storm expected to arrive this weekend. The city reported snowplows will start their work at 5 a.m. Sunday, March 10, and plow the entire city.
Parking is banned Sunday on all snow emergency routes, all north-south streets or streets that generally run north and south, all streets south of Wright Street and all streets west of the Mississippi River.
Monday, snowplows will begin at 7 a.m. and do cleanup where cars were parked on the previous passes on east-west streets and haul snow from the downtown district.
Those leaving vehicles on the street on east-west streets Sunday will be plowed around. Cars parked on snow emergency routes will be ticketed and towed immediately, the city reported. Parking is banned starting on the day the streets are scheduled to be plowed and until they have been plowed from curb to curb. These rules do not apply to downtown as its special services district has different parking regulations during snow emergencies.
For the week ahead, the weather outlook anticipates a mostly sunny Monday with a high near 27. Tuesday brings a chance of rain and snow and a potential warmup to a balmy 35. Snow is likely Tuesday night. Wednesday and Thursday may provide additional rain and snow. It's possible a high may climb to 40 degrees Wednesday. By Friday, there may be a cool down back to the upper 20s, and finally a day without either rain and snow in the forecast-at least for now.