MANKATO — With the first snowstorm behind us, area residents can look to a weekend that promises to bring a rainy, snowy mix and then falling temperatures that could make roads treacherous as people return home from the holiday weekend.
“Especially Saturday you’ll see some drizzle and wintry mix,” said Caleb Grunzke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
He said the large system will drop snow north and bring more rain in southern Minnesota. Much of the state has already set records as the wettest year ever. As of Friday, Mankato already had just under 40 inches of precipitation for the year.
“The main area of snow is farther into northern Minnesota. The transition to a rain and snow mix is across the metro area and Mankato is more in the rain.”
Grunzke said about 3 to 5 inches of snow could fall from Friday night to Sunday. “But the rain is going to take most of the snow away.”
Driving could get treacherous Saturday night into Sunday morning as the temperatures plunge, freezing any rain that fell, with more snow added atop the ice.
A Winter Weather Advisory, from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday, was posted for Blue Earth and Waseca counties.
The Weather Service said motorists should plan on slippery road conditions.
The latest road conditions for the state can be found by calling 511.
Grunzke said they are getting lots of questions on social media about what traveling conditions will be on the weekend, but said they were still monitoring how the storm was going to shape up in different parts of the state.
Saturday will bring temps in the upper 30s, with a 90% chance of rain, snow and wind.
Sunday turns colder, with highs of about 32 degrees, bringing an 80% chance of snow showers and wind.
We should hit a stretch of mostly sunny days Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but high temperatures will only be in the low 20s to low 30s each day.
Joe Grabianowski, superintendent of streets in Mankato, said Friday his crew was waiting to get the call to hit the streets.
“We have our trucks ready, salt on them and ready to go. We have guys on call that will go out when we need it.”
While people have become accustomed to seeing city and MnDOT trucks pre-treating roads with a liquid mix prior to storms, they don’t help when rain’s predicted.
“Pre-treatment doesn’t do any good (with rain and ice). Salt is the best option.”
His crew got a couple of days break since the last storm hit Wednesday.
“It went good, we got everything cleaned up and let people go where they needed to get for the holiday,” Grabianowski said.
“This is pretty typical for this time of year.”
The storm system affecting Minnesota is expected to cause severe storms in the south as the system moves from the west into the Plains states.
Southerly winds ahead of the storm will help draw moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico into the Southern Plains, according to The Weather Channel. That moisture, in tandem with strong winds in the upper atmosphere, will help trigger the development of numerous showers and thunderstorms in the Plains on Saturday.
The severe storms will extend from eastern Texas northeastward into western Kentucky, bringing severe winds and possible tornadoes.