WILLMAR — White-knuckle driving today will give way to white-frosted eyebrows tomorrow, as temperatures are forecast to tumble to minus 14 Tuesday morning in the Willmar area. With a stiff breeze as well, the area is forecast to experience a minus 26 degree windchill in the early morning. The mercury will budge no farther than one degree for the day.
Bone-numbing cold is expected through Wednesday.
The Willmar area recorded 3.7 inches of snow as of reports from Monday morning at daybreak. Snowfall totals in the area ranged from 2.5 inches in the Glenwood area to 4 inches in Dawson and 3.3 inches in Montevideo, according to the National Weather Service's Twin Cities office.
Strong winds with gusts of 35 miles per hour and ice- and snow-covered roadways made for treacherous driving conditions through the day Monday. No major crashes were reported in the Willmar area as of late afternoon Monday, but law enforcement officers responded to reports of minor accidents and vehicles leaving the roadway.
Schools throughout the region started two hours late Monday due to the weather.
Minnesota Department of Transportation plow trucks encountered lots of snow at the start of operations Monday, and continued to deal with drifting and blowing snow during the day, according to Sandy Schlagel, public affairs coordinator in the Willmar office. She said compacted ice on the roads was the major concern. Salt is ineffective at these temperatures. Plows were sanding intersections.
Schlagel encouraged motorists to slow down and drive according to the conditions.