Next up: The cold.
Friday’s snowfall was expected to dwindle overnight over southern Minnesota, parts of which are now blanketed in several inches of new snow. Even the Twin Cities metro area, which has generally been a brown landscape most of this winter, got a little brightening up.
The sun will come out Saturday across much of the state, according to the National Weather Service. But it won’t bring much warmth. The high in the metro area will be 9 above zero, with windchill values as low as 12 below. Sunday won’t be much warmer, with a high near 12 and another change of snow.
Friday’s fast-moving storm, which shifted a bit farther north than originally predicted, was expected to bring 2 to 4 inches of new snow to Scott, Dakota and Carver counties, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
Much deeper totals were reported to the south, along the Minnesota-Iowa border.
By late Friday evening, 11 inches of snow had fallen in Clarks Grove, in Freeborn County. Ten inches fell in Sherburn, 8.5 inches in Albert Lea, 8 inches in Amboy and Glenville, 6 inches in St. James, 4 inches in Mankato and Waseca, and 1.5 inches in Prior Lake, the Weather Service said.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported late Friday that many roads in southern Minnesota were snow-covered, and the State Patrol was responding to scores of crashes.
Statewide, the patrol reported 76 crashes between 2 and 9 p.m., 10 with injuries (but no fatalities) and an additional 68 other vehicles sliding off roads.
A winter weather advisory was set to expire at 1 a.m. Saturday for the southern suburbs and along a line from Willmar to Red Wing. A winter storm warning remained in place for the southern and southwestern portions of the state.
Any snowfall at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will be the first measurable snow of 2019 and the first precipitation since two-tenths of an inch of snow fell on Dec. 31, said Weather Service forecaster Alexandra Keclik.
Behind the snow, temperatures will tumble to their lowest readings of the season and possibly bring the first subzero temperatures of the year. The temperature at the airport has not dipped into negative territory since Feb. 12 last year, but could get there Saturday night at minus-1, Keclik said.
If that happens, it would mark the latest for a below-zero reading at the airport since weather record-keeping began in the 1800s.
A slice of the polar vortex that has been bottled up in northern Canada for much of the winter will slide into Minnesota, and winds gusting to 20 mph will make it feel plenty chilly after a warm start to January that included record-setting 47-degree highs on Jan. 4 and 5 at the airport.
Sunday night’s supermoon
The weather will affect Minnesotans’ chance of seeing Sunday night’s supermoon, which will occur as the moon, Earth and sun line up for the only total lunar eclipse this year and next. At the same time, the moon will be closer to Earth and appear bigger and brighter than usual.
In the Twin Cities, the forecast is for mostly cloudy skies during prime-time viewing. Northeastern Minnesotans will have a clearer shot at seeing the supermoon and eclipse, with just partly cloudy skies, said NWS meteorologist Michelle Margraf.
Amateur astronomer Bob King, who lives in Duluth, expects prime viewing time to occur from 10:15 to 11 p.m.
He guesses the eclipse will be on the bright side, awash in a mix of colors — darker and redder at the bottom and orange and yellow at the top. The gradation of colors will give it a 3D look, King said.
“Bring binoculars,” King advised. “They’re super nice to look at the moon when it’s totally eclipse because you can see the moon hanging in the stars. … The stars will pop out.”
Staff writer Mary Lynn Smith contributed to this report.