The snowstorm that took aim at southern and east-central Minnesota and western Wisconsin overnight produced much smaller amounts of snow locally. But the snow that did fall here was enough to bring out winter driving conditions, and provided a picture of what is to come over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The latest snowfall reports from this region include:
- 2.6 inches in Alexandria
- 2.3 inches in Glenwood
- 1.5 inches in Parkers Prairie
- 2.8 inches in Starbuck
- 2.8 inches in Long Prairie
- 2.0 inches in Wadena
- 1.0 inch in Morris
- 1.0 inch in Otter Tail
Jesse Grabow of the Minnesota State Patrol said that I-94 near Ashby was covered with light snow and was slick, and the freeway conditions worsened for those traveling east. Four inches of snow was reported in Melrose, 6 inches in Albany, 6.5 at the St. Cloud Airport and 8 inches in Clearwater, just south of St. Cloud.
The latest numbers from the State Patrol were 126 crashes statewide from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Of those, nine resulted in injuries, and none were serious or fatal. In that same span, there were 155 vehicle spinouts or off the road, and seven jackknifed semis.
West-central Minnesota may be more affected by the next weather system that is approaching the area. It is expected to arrive sometime Thursday night and hang around through Friday and Saturday, and possibly Sunday morning.
The path of this storm is still unsettled, and causing forecasters added difficulty are the temperatures that could make precipitation fluctuate between snow, freezing rain and rain.
As of now, the weather service's forecast for the Alexandria area includes chances of snow and freezing drizzle Friday morning, snow mixed with freezing rain in the early afternoon before it turns to all snow. That could amount to just an inch or two of snow.
However, snow could be heavy at times Friday night, with 3-7 inches possible, and an east wind of 15-20 with gusts as high as 35 mph.
Although southern and even parts of central Minnesota may contend with more liquid precip on Saturday, the forecast for Douglas County calls for an additional 3-7 inches of snow possible on Saturday. The high will be above freezing at 34, and it will remain windy, with the east wind of 20-25 mph gusting to as much as 40 mph.
The forecast calls for snow to continue Saturday night, ending Sunday morning.