Be careful out there: Another 3-6” of snow expected

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 17, 2014 - 4:38 AM

Expect a slow slog to work this morning. Again.

By the time the latest blast of winter finishes with the metro area, there could be as much as six inches of fresh snow waiting to be shoveled, blown and plowed. A winter storm warning is in effect until noon.

The heaviest and most intense snow of the day will fall before 9 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

That means motorists may be dealt a double whammy: slippery roads due to the volume of snow and poor visibility because of blowing snow.

The good news is that sunny skies and warmer temperatures should ease the ride home, with a long overdue thaw bringing some relief from a winter of slippery roads and subzero temperatures.

Light snow began falling in parts of northwest and north center Minnesota at 2 a.m. Flurries were falling in Duluth by 3 a.m., with snow coming down in Hibbing, Silver Bay and other cities across the Arrowhead Region.

Temperatures in the Twin Cities remained in the low 20s overnight. By Tuesday, readings could hit the mid 40s before slipping back below freezing over the weekend.

The Twin Cities has recorded 42 days of subzero temperatures this winter, well short of a record, but Duluth topped its previous high when temperatures hit minus 9 early Sunday, the 60th day of the season with a below zero reading this season.

And if you’re thinking there’s more snow out there than a normal winter, you’re right. The metro area has recorded 42.2 inches, 4.3 inches above normal and, by Monday, almost a dozen inches more than last year when there was 31 inches.

Can we blame the cold and snow on Canada? Yes and no, said Tony Zaleski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“We’re blaming it on the fact that we have persistent Arctic air blowing into the area,” he said. And that’s because of the large amount of snowpack over the Canadian prairies.

Zaleski said subzero temperatures generally end by early March. We might be safe by March 4 or 5, he said, what with the days getting longer and more sunshine.

Hold on.

Susan Hogan contributed to this story.

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