'Very rare' lake-effect snow off Mille Lacs Lake possible Monday

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If you're going to be around Mille Lacs Lake on Monday, watch out for some rogue snowfall. 

"Near-record cold temperatures are expected today and tomorrow, with temperatures falling to near zero tomorrow morning," says the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities, then dropping this fascinating weather bomb on Minnesotans: 

"Lake-effect snow showers are possible around Mille Lacs today, with more widespread light snow possible Wednesday." 

Lake-effect snow is common along the shores of Lake Superior, but how often does it happen on a regular lake, even one as big as Mille Lacs?

"It's very rare because the difference between the air temp and lake temp has to be significant and this time of year we don't get cold enough to produce accumulating snow. When we get the required air temps, the lake is already frozen," said NWS meteorologist Bill Borghoff, in a response to a query on Twitter.

On Sunday, Borghoff predicted 2-4 inches of snow on the south side of Mille Lacs through Monday, saying the setup was good but "we'll see if it pans out." 

Computer model simulations from the weather service's HRRR model show snow developing around Mille Lacs – and Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake further north – on Monday afternoon. Click here to see the GIF if it doesn't load below

hrrr_ref_frzn_ncus_fh1-17

Meanwhile, the rest of Minnesota will be stuck in frigid temperatures, with record cold high temperatures possible Monday and Tuesday, in addition to overnight lows dipping to near zero degrees (even in the Twin Cities). 

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