No April fooling: Storm drops more than a foot of snow on central Minnesota


Robin redbreast and other signs of spring are taking cover in Minnesota. An April snowstorm dropped a foot of snow on parts of the state late Wednesday – causing treacherous roads, canceling baseball games, and aggravating winter-weary residents aching for warmer weather.

Before sundown there were 13 inches of new snow on the ground in Onamia. North Branch and Little Falls reported 12 inches. Find the latest on the National Weather Service's updating snow totals map.

The Weather Service updated its winter storm warning to extend as far south as Hennepin County. 6 to 10 inches were forecast across much of the warning area, but 12 to 15 inches in a band from Sauk Centre to Onamia.

Closings and cancellations were coming in through the evening. St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict are among those calling off Thursday classes. KARE 11 provides a list of closings.

Roads became icy as the storm moved into the region. As WCCO reports, the State Patrol had responded to more than 130 crashes. 20 involved injuries.

In the Red River Valley a truck driver was killed in a morning accident near Barnesville. Valley News Live reports the driver was passing another semi which lost control on the icy road and pushed his vehicle into a bridge support on Interstate 94 near Barnesville.

For most of the day temperatures were too warm for snow in southern Minnesota. KARE's Belinda Jensen noted the sharp difference in temperatures on either side of the storm's edge.

In northeastern Minnesota snow was falling at the rate of an inch or two per hour Wednesday evening. The storm warning showed the heaviest accumulation was likely in Aitkin and Pine Counties of Minnesota and Burnett County, Wisconsin.

Forecasters say winds of up to 45 miles per hour will further hinder travel by land and on the water Thursday. Blowing snow will reduce visibility to as little as a quarter-mile. There's also a gale warning in effect on Lake Superior.

Not exactly baseball weather. The Twins saved fans a trip to the ballpark by announcing early in the day that their game with the Toronto Blue Jays was postponed. They'll try to make it up by playing a doubleheader Thursday.

KARE's Jensen expects snow totals in the heart of the Twin Cities to be 1 to 3 inches by Thursday, with more in the northern suburbs.

So, welcome to the second half of April. Who thought we'd see this much snow in between visits from the tax man and the Easter bunny?

Well, actually if you think back to last year you might remember that at about this time (April 17-19) a storm dumped 7 inches on the Twin Cities and 17 in Duluth.

But let's not think about that.

A few photos from BringMeTheNews readers:

Hutchinson, Minnesota (Photo: Justin Wenzel)

North Branch, Minnesota (Photo: Brinka Boese)

Isanti, Minnesota (Photo: Matthew Larson)

Pine City, Minnesota (Photo: Stephanie Hugill)

Royalton, Minnesota (Photo: Brittney Modrynski)

Elk River, Minnesota (Photo: Audie Nylin Gutzwiller)

Bird prints at the door (Photo: Krista Pouliot)

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