Cold, wind settle in

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, March 11, 2009

People in the Albert Lea area woke up to cold and windy late winter snowstorm this morning.

About three-quarters of an inch of snow accumulated with the storm. At 6:30 a.m. today the wind-chill factor was 21 below zero at the Albert Lea Municipal Airport, with the air temperature of zero. The wind speed was 18 mph with gusts of 31 mph. Area schools are on track for classes today.

Heavy snow fell to the north. Interstate 94 remains closed between Fergus Falls and Jamestown, N.D. Bemidji reported 12 inches of snow, Ada 12, Moorhead 10, Baudette 6, Pelican Rapids 3 and Grand Forks, N.D., 5. Alexandria had 8 inches of snow. St. Cloud had 4 inches, Litchfield 3.5, Hutchinson 2.5, Minneapolis 1 and Owatonna 1.

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The Minnesota Department of Transportation and Minnesota State Patrol advises no travel in the 12 counties due to extremely hazardous driving conditions. Counties include Becker, Big Stone, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Mahnomen, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Wilkin.

In the Albert Lea area, United South Central School District, with schools in Wells, dismissed at 1:40 p.m. Thursday. Some districts to the west closed, such as Fairmont at 1:15 p.m. and Windom at 1:30 p.m. Some schools in northern Iowa, such as Osage, Ventura and North Iowa in Buffalo Center dismissed classes.

The National Weather Service’s forecast for today is: “Mostly sunny, with a high near 12. Wind chill values between 16 below and 26 below. Blustery, with a northwest wind between 17 and 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. “

Tonight: “Mostly clear, with a low around 4 below. Wind chill values between 8 below and 13 below. West northwest wind between 10 and 13 mph becoming light.”

Thursday: “Mostly sunny, with a high near 23. Wind chill values between 4 below and 6 above. Calm wind becoming south southeast around 5 mph.”

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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