A winter storm is barreling into Minnesota on Thursday, closing schools, creating commuting chaos and forcing metro residents to clear 5 to 8 inches of snow. Again.
And after the storm moves out, the Arctic cold moves in.
Schools in parts of southern Minnesota, including Rochester, Winona and Faribault, canceled classes Thursday in the face of forecasts predicting that heavy snow and high winds would whip up blizzard conditions. In the Twin Cities, the snow likely will make commutes a slippery slog, turn free time into shovel time and force another round of snow emergencies.
The heaviest snow is expected to fall between noon and 9 p.m., said Tony Zaleski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The west metro may see another 5 inches of snow and the east metro about 8.
“It’s going to be heart-attack snow,” Zaleski said. “It’s going to be pretty darn heavy.”
And with northwest winds picking up to 15 to 25 miles per hour Thursday afternoon, with gusts up to 30 mph, Zaleski offers this advice: throw the snow east — unless you enjoy getting a face full of snow.
Before Thursday’s storm, the Twin Cities already had 47.1 inches of snow, 8 inches more than normal for this time of year.
Parts of southern Minnesota likely will get another 8 to 10 inches, Zaleski said. And 25 mph to 35 mph winds, with 40 mph gusts, likely will create blizzard conditions in some areas, he said.
The hazardous weather prompted Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to move a public discussion on the severe propane shortage from Mankato to St. Paul on Thursday.
But by Friday, the storm will be done and temperatures will fall to the single digits, ushering in a week of frigid weather. Again.