We’re off to a gray, murky, and in some cases, slippery start to the week today as a large storm system pushes its way through the Upper Mississippi Valley. Most of our area has been under a Freezing Rain Advisory since 6:00 this morning and will continue to watch for the threat of freezing rain through 3:00 this afternoon. While most of the local precipitation has moved in to the northeast, we’re still keeping an eye out for pockets of sprinkles or a little drizzle that may begin to freeze on contact as surface temperatures fall off a bit. Most of us will see temperatures fall into the upper 20s or just below freezing in the lower 30s this afternoon as cooler air pours in from the northwest with this system. The bottom line here is, things are looking up, but we’re not in the clear yet because things may still get a little icy in some patches. Things are expected to dry out considerably by early evening and there may even be some clearing of our cloud cover around midnight tonight while temperatures will drop into the teens for the overnight period.
Meanwhile, the same storm system is producing heavy snow in it northwest flank way up to the north of us in northeastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories have been posted for today through this evening. Some spots near Bemidji and Thief River Falls may receive 6 inches or more of heavy snow from this potent winter storm. To our south, there is a Tornado Watch in effect until 6:00 this evening for eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois as the cold front with this system pushes eastward into a much warmer, juicier air. Speaking of thunderstorms, you may have heard a clap of thunder earlier today in far southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa as there were a couple of thunderstorms developed and rumbled eastward fairly quickly with the main precipitation band as the activity moved through the local area.