Cold and snow ready to pounce on region enjoying record warmthRegional Weather
-- Citizens of the Upper Midwest are about to get jolted back into winter. A cold front will move through the region today, bringing our sunny and 40-to-50-degree days to an end.
Citizens of the Upper Midwest are about to get jolted back into winter. A cold front will move through the region today, bringing our sunny and 40-to-50-degree days to an end.
The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches and advisories for Wisconsin, mostly for tomorrow and into Friday. Northwest Wisconsin will start getting the white stuff tonight. Up to 10 inches of snow are predicted in the north and northwest by Friday morning. Southern Wisconsin can expect 7-to-9 inches, with gusts up to 35 miles an hour close to Lake Michigan. Once the snow leaves, colder weather is in the forecast into early next week with highs mostly in the 20’s each day.
It will be a sudden change from what folks in Wausau enjoyed yesterday. That city broke a 51-year-old record high with 47. Rhinelander and Marshfield tied their record highs for the date, both with 44. Much of southwest Wisconsin was in the 50’s. The south can expect one more day of highs in the 50’s before the cold front reaches that part of the state late this afternoon. It might not get above freezing today in the north.
Say goodbye to a very early spring in Minnesota too. Colder temperatures have started blowing into the state via the Red River Valley -- and within hours, current balmy lows will be replaced by highs in the 20's and 30's statewide. Light snow and below normal temperatures will return to Minnesota for the first time in more than a month.
Wisconsin is supposed to get 3-to-10 inches of snow from tonight through early Friday – and the state D-O-T says it’s ready. The agency has beefed up its 511 travel information system, which provides road conditions and news about potential hazards. It can be reached by phone or the Internet. When the system first went on-line three years ago, users were frustrated because there was not enough band-width to handle high usage during storms. But the DOT’s Chris Quesnell says that’s been fixed – and it now uses eight servers instead of two. Also, new features have been added to the system to make it easier to get specialized information. Quesnell says folks can create custom profiles. And when they call, they can get conditions only about the routes they choose. Users can also get text message alerts. And the D-O-T has added five regional Twitter feeds to put out snow-and-travel information. You can reach the system by calling 5-1-1, or going on-line at 511WI-Dot-Gov. Most of Wisconsin is about to get its first major snowstorm of the winter. La Crosse has only had five inches so far this season, and Green Bay has had just over six.
Old record highs toppled like ten-pins across Minnesota Tuesday as the region one more day of spring-like temperatures. Redwood Falls reached 57-degrees, breaking the old record of 52 set in 1990. The mercury climbed to 54 in Mankato, Alexandria reached 50 degrees, Duluth set a new record-high of 47 degrees, Brainerd hit record territory at 51, and International Falls set a new record with 40-degrees.
Cold is settling in over Minnesota but it's still not clear if any significant snow will fall before Saint Paul's Winter Carnival. The annual series of events kicks off just over a week from now. This year's carnival marks the Minnesota debut of the "Red Bull Crashed Ice" races, on a giant 350-meter track which starts near the Cathedral of St. Paul.
A golf benefit took place in New Prague for injured Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player Jack Jablonski yesterday. The 16-year-old remains hospitalized with a spinal cord injury after he was checked from behind during a game. TwinCities-Golf-dot-Com is hosting its first-ever January tournament at Creeks Bend Golf Club and the fundraiser for Jablonski is sold out. There was also a silent auction this morning. People can make online to donations to the Jack Jablonski Fund at www.Jabby-13-dot-Com.
Chuck Lennon with Explore Minnesota says there are about eight golf courses open and suggests "thinking spring" instead of fighting the lack of cold and snow. But he adds North Shore ski areas remain busy with snowmaking and decent bases. Another idea that's more spring-oriented but works now: hiking on Minnesota's trails.