A spring snowstorm turned Easter Sunday into a whiteout.
As much as 10 inches fell in parts of far southern Minnesota as a storm system stalled over the Twin Cities, where snow fell at the rate of 2 inches an hour early afternoon.
The snow let up in the metro area before 7 p.m., leaving behind totals between 4 and 8 inches rather than the initial forecast of 3 to 6 inches. Numerous crashes and spinouts were reported as plows struggled to keep up.
“We could see a little more [snow] here in the metro where that band has set up,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Brent Hewett.
To some, the weather reinforced the stay-at-home order, while others got outside to take advantage of the change in weather with a snow angel or another opportunity to bust out the snowblower.
In the southern portion of the state, areas like Oronoco and Milton Township saw 10 inches before sunset. The southeastern edge of the Twin Cities received the metro area’s deepest totals with more than 6 inches reported early evening in Eagan, Bloomington, Prior Lake, Savage and Burnsville.
The snow piled up to the south, with the cities of Belle Plaine, Albert Lea and Rochester reporting 7 inches in the early evening. Whiteout conditions were reported along Interstate 90 between Fairmont and Sherburn.
Gusty northeast winds were expected to shift northwest by Sunday night, and gusts up to 35 mph could lead to areas of blowing and drifting snow, though the NWS said the wetness of the snow could help mitigate that.
Hewett said temperatures Monday will be in the low to mid-30s, with scattered snow showers possible in the afternoon. But plenty of sunshine will help clear off sidewalks and roadways to “start the melt all over again.”
Hewett said the snow had an upside, despite all of the challenges, with some saying it felt more like Christmas than Easter.
“It’s the perfect snow for making snowmen to celebrate the holiday and wonder if it’s December or April,” he said.
Snow bunnies popped up in front yards and on social media along with “Merry Easter!” messages Sunday.
Dallas Nicol, of Rosemount, said his family is staying with his mother in Albert Lea during the stay-at-home order. They all celebrated Easter on Saturday instead of Sunday because of the weather. That afternoon, Nicol and his wife, Yen, grilled outside and kayaked on Fountain Lake with their son, Connor, 1, and daughter, Emma, 4, who hunted for eggs outside before the grass disappeared under fresh snow.
On Sunday, Nicol went out for a quick solo kayak to compare a 60-degree and sunny Saturday experience to Sunday’s winter wonderland.
“It was quite a big difference,” he said.
Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report.