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Storm update: Steady snow continues to fall in the Northland

By Andrew Krueger

Duluth News Tribune

 

Bands of steady snow are affecting parts of the Northland today as an early spring storm remains on track to bring heavy snow - perhaps more than a foot in some locations - to the region.

As of early afternoon, snow was falling from the Twin Ports south - including along the Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 53 corridors. Spotters reported several inches of accumulation in the Hayward and Pine County areas.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported difficult driving conditions on I-35 between Cloquet and the Twin Cities, with several accidents and spinouts between Hinckley and Cloquet as of 1:15 p.m.

Heavy snow is forecast to develop across much of the region during the afternoon, causing a challenging drive home. The heaviest snow is expected from Pine and Carlton counties east across Northwestern Wisconsin, including Hayward and Ashland, where snow totals may exceed a foot.

The Twin Ports will be on the northern edge of that band, the National Weather Service reported, with forecast accumulations of about 8 to 10 inches, with locally higher amounts possible. There is likely to be a sharp drop-off in snow totals toward the Iron Range.

In addition to the heavy, wet snow, northeast winds may increase to 30 to 35 mph near the Lake Superior shore on Wednesday, with gusts possibly in excess of 45 mph.

“It’s going to be a nasty day,” said Brian Tentinger, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Duluth.

The storm’s timing may be especially problematic for workers and students. The brunt of the storm is forecast to hit in the afternoon, when snowfall rates may reach 1 to 2 inches an hour at times.

“(Driving conditions) will deteriorate pretty rapidly, especially late Wednesday morning and early afternoon,” Tentinger said.

The heaviest snow is forecast to wind down Wednesday night. Winter storm warnings and advisories are in effect for most of the region from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning; scroll down for more specific forecast information.

Gale warnings are in effect for western Lake Superior, and Tentinger said the strong northeast winds may drive lake ice ashore on Minnesota Point and the South Shore.

EXPANDED FORECAST INFORMATION

Duluth, Cloquet, Two Harbors

A winter storm warning is in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday. Light snow Wednesday morning is forecast to increase in intensity by midday, with the heaviest snow falling during the afternoon. The snow is expected to diminish Wednesday night.

Storm snow totals of 8 to 14 inches are expected, with the heaviest amounts from southern Carlton County into Duluth. Lesser totals are expected north and west of Duluth.

Sustained northeast winds off Lake Superior may reach 30 to 35 mph, with gusts possibly in excess of 45 mph near the lake. The winds, combined with the snow, may reduce visibilities to less than a quarter-mile at times.

Superior, Ashland, Hayward, Hurley, Spooner

A winter storm warning is in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday. Light snow Wednesday morning is forecast to increase in intensity by early afternoon, with the heaviest snow falling during the afternoon hours. The snow is expected to diminish early Thursday morning.

Storm snow totals of 10 to 16 inches are expected, with the heaviest amounts forecast from Minong and Gordon east toward Ashland and Hurley.

Sustained northeast winds may reach 20 to 25 mph, with gusts possibly in excess of 35 mph near Lake Superior. The winds, combined with the snow, may reduce visibilities to less than a quarter-mile at times.

Hinckley, Grantsburg, Aitkin, Brainerd

A winter storm warning is in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday. Light snow is forecast to increase in intensity by late Wednesday morning, with the heaviest snow falling during the afternoon. The snow is expected to diminish Wednesday night.

Storm snow totals of 8 to 14 inches are expected in Pine and Burnett counties, with 6 to 9 inches to the west.

Sustained northeast winds may reach 15 to 25 mph, with higher gusts. The winds, combined with the snow, may reduce visibilities to less than a quarter-mile at times.

Grand Marais, Lutsen, Gunflint Trail

A winter storm warning is in effect from 1 p.m. Wednesday to noon Thursday. Light snow Wednesday morning is forecast to increase in intensity by midday, with the heaviest snow falling during the afternoon and evening. The snow is expected to diminish early Thursday.

Storm snow totals of 8 to 12 inches are expected, with the highest totals in the higher terrain inland from Lake Superior. Sustained northeast winds may reach 20 to 25 mph, with gusts possibly in excess of 35 mph near Lake Superior. The winds, combined with the snow, may reduce visibilities to less than a quarter-mile at times.

Hill City, Pine River

A winter storm warning is in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday. Light snow Wednesday morning is forecast to increase in intensity by midday, with the heaviest snow falling during the afternoon. The snow is expected to diminish Wednesday night.

Storm snow totals of 5 to 9 inches are expected. Gusty northeast winds, combined with the snow, may reduce visibilities to less than a quarter-mile at times.

Iron Range

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday. Light snow that develops Wednesday morning may become heavy at times during the afternoon. 

Storm snow totals of 2 to 5 inches are expected. Gusty northeast winds, combined with the snow, may reduce visibilities.

Grand Rapids

A winter weather advisory is in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday. Light snow that develops Wednesday morning may become heavy for a time during the afternoon. 

Storm snow totals of 2 to 5 inches are expected, with the highest amounts south and east of Grand Rapids. Gusty northeast winds, combined with the snow, may reduce visibilities.

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