Time will tell if Crow Wing and Cass counties get an anticipated 9 inches of snow from storm
Snow still expected after midnight Thursday; Pine River-Backus Schools to have e-learning day Thursday and all activities are canceled
Some snow or lots of snow?
That remains the question for Crow Wing and Cass county residents.
If we don’t see more significant snow by midnight, we’ll end up with lower snow amounts than what we’re forecasting currently.
Time will tell — and those who want to know may have to stay up into the wee hours Thursday morning, Feb. 23.
Or just go to bed and look out the window when you wake up Thursday.
“If we don’t see more significant snow by midnight, we’ll end up with lower snow amounts than what we’re forecasting currently,” Kevin Huyck, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth, said Wednesday afternoon.
Nine inches of snow, plus or minus a few inches, were still expected from midnight to noon Thursday in northern Crow Wing County into Cass County, he said. A weather service email predicted 5-9 inches for this area.
The forecast has become quite a bit more complicated since the weekend.
Pine River-Backus was the only area school district so far to schedule an e-learning day Thursday. All school activities are canceled Thursday.
Significant travel disruptions are still likely due to heavy snow rates and blowing snow.
Crow Wing and southern Cass counties are in a winter storm warning, and Cass County north of the Crow Wing border is in a winter weather and wind chill advisory.
Circling back to snow totals, northern Crow Wing County remains in an area of high uncertainty as it’s on the northern edge of the storm. Snowfall amounts may cut off more sharply than currently forecast, the weather service said.
It all depends on the existing dry air.
“The forecast has become quite a bit more complicated since the weekend,” Huyck said. “We originally anticipated a single area of low pressure driven by a single wave in the atmosphere aloft that has now evolved into several low pressure systems at the surface interacting and conflicting with each other.”
In other words, the precipitation is much more spread out and generally less intense, he said. And Crow Wing and Cass counties are on the extreme northern periphery of the system, pulling in dry air from the north and northeast.
That dry air is sublimating the snow, or causing it to disappear.
“Last week and through the weekend it appeared to be a much more concentrated system as opposed to spread out — what we’re seeing today,” Huyk said. “If not for that, folks in your area would already be seeing moderate to heavy snow.”
Some meteorologists are calling this a potentially historic and record-setting storm for the southern part of the state and possibly the Twin Cities area.
Huyck said the weather service expected the snow intensity to increase in the evening hours Thursday and lift northward to central Minnesota.
Time will tell.
Significant snow accumulations in excess of 6 inches from the system could lead to dangerous winter driving conditions, the weather said in an emailed briefing.
In addition, gusty winds of 30-40 mph could produce blowing snow and reduced visibility. The snow should be on the light and fluffy side.
Cold wind chills are forecast through Friday, Feb. 24, that could cause frostbite to exposed skin.
Hey — share your snow totals
We love pictures of rulers in the snow.
Huyck said the National Weather Service welcomes snow measurements from people.
Measure snow in an area that was cleared before a snowfall, preferably by setting out a plywood board, and send measurements to:
- NWS Duluth website: https://www.weather.gov/duluth/
- NWS Duluth Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NWSDuluth
- NWS Duluth Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/NWSDuluth
“We love pictures of rulers in the snow,” Huyck said.
Wednesday night: Snow, mainly after 8 p.m. The snow could be heavy at times. Widespread blowing snow, mainly between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. Low around 2 below zero. Blustery, with a northeast wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches is possible.
Thursday, Feb. 23: Snow, mainly before 1 p.m. Areas of blowing snow before 11 a.m. High near 7. Blustery, with a north wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches is possible.
Thursday night: Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 15 below zero. Wind chill values between 20 below zero and 25 below zero. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph.
Friday, Feb. 24: Mostly sunny, with a high near 8. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming south in the afternoon.
Friday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 6 below zero. South wind 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday, Feb. 25: Mostly sunny, with a high near 18. Breezy, with a south wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Saturday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 4 below zero. West wind 5 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Sunday, Feb. 26: Sunny, with a high near 29. Breezy, with a south wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Sunday night: A chance of snow after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 22. Breezy, with a southeast wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Source: National Weather Service, Duluth
Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.