A major pre-Thanksgiving storm brought plenty of snow Tuesday night into Wednesday, but less than the potential foot or more that was predicted.
“The Mankato area is similar to other areas of the south, from 7 to 9 inches reported falling,” said Tyler Hasenstein, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
“With how warm the ground was, we may have lost some of that.”
Beginning at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 27, Mankato is in a snow emergency until 8 a.m. Thursday. During a snow emergency there is no parking on streets so snow can be removed quickly and efficiently.
With area schools canceled Wednesday and motorists warned well in advance to the storm, area law enforcement responded to only sporadic calls.
Capt. Paul Barta, of the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office, said that as he drove into work early Wednesday from southeast of Mankato he’d expected to see vehicles in the ditch. “But I didn’t see anyone in the ditch on (Highway) 83.”
He said deputies responded to three non-injury accidents and four vehicles off the road Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. He said winds of 20 mph or more was causing some drifting on rural roads.
Barta said having schools make closing decisions earlier and being able to communicate with parents via emails and texts helps keep people off the roads. “There is more advanced notice on cancellations.”
A Nicollet County dispatcher said deputies responded to some vehicles off the road but not a large number.
Road crews made good progress on clearing streets and highways Wednesday morning and Thanksgiving Day should allow for decent travel, with no snow expected. But high temperatures will be only in the 20s as people host Thanksgiving meals.
Hasenstein said another large winter storm system will impact the region starting Thanksgiving evening and sticking around through Sunday morning.
“There’s still a lot of variability with the system. It is slow moving so it will likely still be around Sunday morning.”
Carrying a lot of precipitation, the system is expected to bring a wintry mix of rain and snow. Hasenstein said the Mankato area is likely to see some rain, but it will depend on how the storm tracks.
On one of the busiest travel days of the year, the storm caused delays at airports across the Upper Midwest, including at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Twin Cities area received 6 to 9 inches of snow.
The Star Tribune reported that about two dozen flights had been canceled Tuesday night at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and delays were expected to continue into Wednesday as crews worked to reopen two runways.
The University of Minnesota called off classes Wednesday, according to the Star Tribune, giving students and teachers an early start to the Thanksgiving break. But the school put out the call for help shoveling out TCF Bank Stadium ahead of Saturday’s big Gopher-Badger football game. Those who are 18 and older and interested earned $14 an hour to shovel.