Christmas Day storm could bring icy mix
Several new warnings for ice and heavy snow in northern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin have been issued as the expected Christmas Day storm nears.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Koochiching County, an ice storm warning for southern Cass and Crow Wing counties and a winter weather advisory for the rest of Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin.
Significant ice accumulations are possible, most likely from the Brainerd Lakes region to Grand Rapids and east to the Twin Ports, and the heaviest snow is likely to occur from Koochiching County east to the North Shore, the Weather Service said.
The Weather Service is predicting ice accumulations up to a quarter of an inch in the ice storm warning area, snowfall totaling 4 to 6 inches in the winter storm warning area and a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain occurring in the winter weather advisory area. However, the Weather Service noted that there’s still uncertainty about how warm Sunday will get during the afternoon and evening, when the heaviest precipitation will occur, and colder temperatures will lead to more ice.
The warnings were issued on Saturday morning due to increased confidence in the storm, the Weather Service said.
The weather is expected to cause hazardous travel conditions, the potential for power outages, downed trees and power lines and ice jams on area rivers. Minnesota Power said Friday it will have crews standing by for the storm. The utility urged people to stay away from trees that appear to threaten power lines to their homes, and instead call them at 1-800-228-4966 to report problems. Information on outages can be seen at mnpower.com/OutageCenter.
The precipitation is expected to spread north between 6 a.m. and noon Sunday, followed by a wintry mix beginning around the noon hour, which will change to heavy snow or a mix of ice and snow on Sunday night, according to the Weather Service. Wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph are possible from the east on Sunday and from the west on Monday.