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Andrew Wooster cleared his snowy driveway in Virginia, Minn., on Tuesday.

Mark Sauer • Mesabi Daily News via Associated Press,

Bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists navigated light fog Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in Minneapolis on Nicollet Ave. S. and 26th Street.

David Joles, Dml - Star Tribune

Snowfall totals in the Twin Cities area as of 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

National Weather Service,

It’s beginning to look a lot like … Minnesota in late December

  • Article by: Mary Lynn Smith
  • Star Tribune
  • December 4, 2013 - 11:00 AM

Read today's live blog on storm coverage.

The winter storm pushing its way across Minnesota may not look like much from a bedroom window in the Twin Cities on Wednesday morning.

But hold onto your Sorels. And your wool sweater.

By the time the storm draws to a close on Wednesday, the north metro could be covered in 6 to 9 inches of snow; the south metro 2 to 4 inches, said Tony Zaleski, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Chanhassen. And then most of Minnesota will plummet into a deep freeze, with high temperatures in the single digits — if that.

“This is usually what we get at the end of December or early January,” he said.

But this week will be a test of the Minnesota spirit. With snow falling throughout the day, traffic likely will be slow and jammed, giving metro commuters time to reflect on the winter to come.

“It’s going to be adventuresome,” Zaleski said.,

Some will call it downright nasty. Others will be filled with glee as skis and snowmobiles come out and fish houses go up.

But in northern Minnesota, residents already are knee-deep in winter. Duluth was covered with nearly a foot of snow Tuesday while some spots north of Two Harbors had 22 inches, said Dean Melde, National Weather Service forecaster in Duluth. Another foot of snow is expected to fall Wednesday putting a crimp in some scheduled events, including a local Lutheran church’s annual lutefisk dinner.

That might be the bad news, depending on how you feel about lutefisk. The good news is the heavy blanket of snow will protect pipes and septic systems from the frigid temperatures that will arrive on the heels of the snowstorm, Melde said.

Twin Cities residents also will have to brace for the bitter cold that hits Thursday when downtown temperatures dip into the teens and even colder air descends on the rural areas, Zaleski said. By Friday, the high temperature might hit 6 degrees in the cities; 2 to 4 degrees farther out.

“We’ll be 20 degrees below the average by the end of the week,” Zaleski said.

On Saturday, just stay under a blanket. Below-zero morning temperatures will likely only warm up to a high of about 3 degrees; not even that for those who live in the northern suburbs, Zaleski said.

Temperatures warm to the mid teens on Sunday and then drop back to the single digits on Tuesday. But by Thursday, temperatures will push back into the upper 20s and lower 30s, Zaleski said. By then, noses and toes should begin to thaw.

 

Mary Lynn Smith • 612-673-4788

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