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Unexpected band of heavy snow dumps 10 inches in southern Minnesota

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A narrow band of heavy snow that caught forecasters and residents by surprise moved through southwestern Minnesota, dumping 7 to 10 inches of snow in some cities Tuesday night.

The most snow fell along Interstate 90 through Albert Lea. Mapleton, located just south of Mankato, picked up the most snow, receiving 10.5 inches, according to KEYC. KARE 11 was reporting 50 school closing alerts. The snow forced several schools to have two-hour delays Wednesday morning.

Besides the narrow band of heavy snow, most of the area saw the forecasted 2 to 5 inches, according to WCCO's Mike Augustyniak. Augustyniak admitted he was among the forecasters who didn't foresee the heavy snow, but this can happen when such a narrow band moves through.

The National Weather Service said a snowstorm ended up staying in the area longer than predicted, according to the Austin Daily Herald.

“The biggest thing was the duration of that little snow band over our area there,” Dan Jones, NWS meteorologist, told the newspaper. “It of course produced a little heavier amounts underneath that snow band.”

The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported difficult driving conditions in southern Minnesota Wednesday morning, according to the Associated Press

Marshall, Minnesota, got about 8 inches of snow (Aaron Ziemer photo from Wednesday morning):

This was from the National Weather Service Tuesday night:

As for Wednesday's forecast, the majority of the state will see cloudy skies and high temperatures in the 20s, except for northwestern Minnesota, which could see a wintery mix. A winter weather advisory is in effect in the area from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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