Winter Storm Warning For Rochester Downgraded But WX Still Nasty
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The National Weather Service has downgraded the Rochester area from a winter storm warning to a winter weather advisory through 6 PM on Saturday.
Dodge, Goodhue, and Wabasha Counties are also included in the winter weather advisory, while Winona, Mower, Fillmore, and Houston counties in remain in a winter storm warning until midnight that will be replaced by the winter weather advisory until 6 PM Saturday. As of 3 PM Friday, the National Weather Service was predicting the Rochester area could see an additional 3-4 of snow tonight and tomorrow, while areas closer to the Mississippi River are forecast to see an additional 4-6 inches of accumulation.
The most recent snowfall reports are not all that impressive in the Rochester area. Most are around 1.5 to 2 inches of accumulation. There was a report of 4 inches of new snow near Winona and 3.5 inches of accumulation near Rushford as of the mid afternoon on Friday.
The snow that has fallen has combined with gusty north winds to create fairly treacherous driving conditions in southeastern Minnesota. The State Department of Transportation is reporting that most major highways in Olmsted County are partially snow covered, although I-90 between Stewartville and Marion is completely covered by snow and ice. Similar conditions are present in Wabasha, Winona, Houston, Fillmore, and Mower counties. As of 4 PM, MnDOT was reporting normal winter driving conditions on most highways north of Highway 14 in Dodge County and along and west of Highway 52 north of Pine Island.
The National Weather Service forecast for the Rochester area currently calls for snow with areas of blowing snow this evening, with snow likely before noon on Saturday. The overall snowfall total in the Rochester area could still be as high as 7 inches.
A mass of Arctic air is predicted to completely envelop the region on Saturday. Forecasters are predicting temperatures will slowly fall through the afternoon and produce wind chill readings in the teens below zero. The morning low on Sunday is forecast to be between -5 and -10 with wind chills as cold as -27. The high temperature on Sunday may not reach zero and the winds are predicted to continue gusting from the west at around 25 mph.
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Gallery Credit: Carly Ross