Winter storm on its way
Published 9:40 am Monday, December 7, 2009
Get out the boots, the snowpants, the heavy coats, the shovels, the snowblowers and all the other cold-weather gear. That is, if you haven’t already.
The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard watch for Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday evening for the southern two-tiers of counties in Minnesota, pretty much from Fairmont eastward, and for parts of eastern Iowa, too.
In case a blizzard watch isn’t enough, the National Weather Service also has issued a winter storm watch for the same time frame, only that covers a much larger area. It gives notice for much of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.
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The blizzard watch indicates the area could see 8 inches in some areas fall before it concludes Wednesday night. For Albert Lea, the weather service calls for 1 to 3 inches.
The wind will be the key factor.
“Model trends over the past 12 hours have this storm system stronger and may produce higher wind speeds during the height of the storm late Tuesday night,” the weather service’s blizzard watch states. “This will aid in the development of considerable blowing snow and drifting snow and will likely produce blizzard — or near blizzard conditions — especially in open country of south central Minnesota.”
The weather service says the high on Tuesday is forecast to be 21, with a wind chill between 0 and 9. KIMT-TV predicts a high of 24. Both call for blowing snow. Gusts by Wednesday could reach 44 mph, the weather service says.