(KMSP) - Moisture is streaming into the area Monday morning with areas of freezing rain and snow likely for many in central and southern Minnesota during the latter half of the morning and through the afternoon. A break in the precipitation is expected at some point late Monday before returning as another quick burst of snow for many areas overnight Monday and into Tuesday morning before our storm wraps up by lunchtime Tuesday.
Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for the entire area but they mean entirely different things depending on your location. for areas in northern and western Minnesota, it will likely be just snow that flies with 3 to 5 inches of accumulation by Noon or so on Tuesday. But for the metro and points south and eastward, its a bit more complicated as there will likely be some periods of freezing rain that mix in with that snow. This will give these areas less snow, but overall travel impacts may be greater as a glaze of ice will form on anything it touches.
Freezing rain is when it rains and temperatures are below freezing, forcing that liquid water to freeze when it hits anything on the ground.
This causes everything from the roads to sidewalks to your roof, deck, and trees to be coated in a layer of ice. While it typically takes a few inches of snow for travel to become difficult, it takes a very small amount of ice to cause problems… even just one one-hundredth of an inch… basically just a drop can cause major issues on untreated surfaces.
For the metro, a tenth of an inch, or even more on the south side, could freeze up through the course of Monday and early Tuesday, combined with what could be a couple inches of snow, could make for some pretty treacherous travel. For other parts of southeastern Minnesota, there could be enough ice to cause trees and power lines to begin failing causing widespread power outages.
Here is a nice reminder of the different types of winter precipitation from the National Weather Service… Stay tuned!