Mother Nature had all Minnesotans on edge earlier this week with wild spring snow predictions being made.
As of Tuesday afternoon, April 9, when this newspaper was produced, it was anticipated that a lot of snow would come our way. Those reading the newspaper now can look out the window to see what actually is happening, but as of Tuesday the National Weather Service in Duluth anticipated significant snowfall from Brainerd to Walker starting Wednesday, April 10. Depending on whether Mother Nature was kind to us, the current situation may or may not reflect such a prediction.
"As of right now, what we are calling for the Brainerd lakes area northwards generally looks like a total snow of anywhere between 8 to 16 inches," National Weather Service Meteorologist Bill Leatham said Tuesday afternoon. "That 8-inch total would be closer to Walker and the 16-inch total or higher would be toward the Brainerd lakes."
It's possible the storm may have passed farther to the north, increasing accumulated snow totals throughout the area. The path of the storm will have been determined early Wednesday morning when meteorologists had a chance to analyze data collected by weather balloons while the storm was over land.
"There is still some uncertainty on the track that's coming in," Leatham said Tuesday.
Leatham said snowfall was expected to start early Wednesday, bringing with it 25-mph winds. Light rain was forecast to move in at first, shifting gradually to rain and snow mixture in the evening and into snow late Wednesday night.
Wind speeds were forecast to increase as the snowfall continued into Thursday with wind and snow peaking Thursday evening. Likewise, the snow and wind were expected to die down overnight, and wrap up late Friday afternoon or early evening with a rain and snow mix.
"It's going to be very windy," Leatham said. "We have wind gusts as high as 45 miles per hour which, we don't have a blizzard watch at this point, but there could be blizzard conditions from time to time."
During the snow event road conditions were expected to be slippery and hazardous like early winter snow conditions. Leatham recommended anyone planning to travel should keep an eye on weather predictions on Minnesota 511 or the Minnesota Department of Transportation website for road conditions and closures.
"It's going to create some very difficult travel for people," Leatham said. "If people are going to travel, it's looking very hazardous if they are going out onto the roadways."
If the lakes area receives snow totals at the high end of the prediction, it is possible this year could break some records. The highest snowfall record for Brainerd was 15 inches on April 10, 2008, though Leatham doesn't expect it to get that deep. By comparison, the highest snow total for April 11 in Brainerd was 6.3 inches in 2013 and 3.5 inches April 12, 1983.
As all Minnesotans know, "it's not nice to fool Mother Nature," but Mother Nature sure can fool us. Readers of this newspaper should now know with certainty what she had in store for us.