Twin Cities forecast: Messy Monday with heavy rain, freezing rain likely

A storm that's moving through Monday morning will bring significant precipitation to some areas.

However, this storm will be very different from last week's big one; it will be mostly liquid, but temperatures for many locations may start below freezing, leading to freezing rain and icing issues.

Areas generally south of Interstate 94 could see an icy glaze before sunrise, but temperatures should warm above freezing rather quickly after the onset of precipitation, leading to mostly a plain ole rain event.

However, in the area north of I-94 and east of the St Croix River, it could be a different story, with several hours of sub-freezing temperatures during the rain. We call this freezing rain because it's raining when temperatures at ground level are below freezing, leading to ice accumulation on many surfaces like roads, driveways, sidewalks, trees, powerlines and anything else that does not have snow on it (the snow actually soaks up the moisture).

This can lead to very icy roadways, difficult travel, and in some extreme cases, power outages. This worst-case scenario could develop in parts of western Wisconsin and even areas just north of the Twin Cities, where a quarter inch or more of icing will be possible during the first half of Monday.

While significant freezing rain will likely miss the bulk of the metro, road and bridge temperatures are quite cold because of the last couple of days. The sunshine and warmer temperatures Sunday afternoon will help them thaw, but how much that prevents icing on area roads is not known at this time and likely won't be known until our precipitation gets underway late Sunday evening. So, plan for a slow and slippery Monday morning commute with the possibility of an icy glaze on roadways. 

Tuesday is looking seasonable, but there's a chance for snowflakes Tuesday into Wednesday.