The new Winter Storm Astro will dump snow over the Upper Midwest and western Great Lakes on Tuesday before tapering off into Canada on Wednesday. For some portions of the United States, this cell brought the first snow of the year. Astro has even set some records for snowfall in some areas.
Minnesota has seen some of the highest totals from Astro, and it occurred in Stearns County, which includes the town of St. Cloud. Along with the small town of St. Cloud, St. Augusta reported 16.5 inches on Monday afternoon. The total in St. Cloud came to about 13.2 inches, breaking the November record of 12.0 that was set in Nov 21, 1898.
North Dakota saw its first snowfall of the year due to this storm on Sunday, with 3.2 inches measured at the National Weather Service office. The first snow in the capital city of North Dakota arrived about two weeks later than the average, and up to 8 inches was accumulated by the time the snow was finished. On Sunday, officials advised that no one traveled during that day in McKenzie, Mercer, Bowman, and Dunn counties because the roads were completely snow covered.
In Montana, up to 12 inches of snow fell down on Sunday. Red lodge received 12 inches, Glasgow received 6 inches, and Glendive received 4 inches.
Webster, a small town in South Dakota, experienced 8 inches of snow and to top it off, freezing rain then began to lay the roads. These conditions forced the Rapid City Regional Airport to close on Monday because of little to no visibility and low temperatures.
Very heavy snow moved through Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on Monday night, and some areas have reported a foot of snow or more. Here are the top totals for Winter Storm Astro so far:
Montana: 14 Inches at Big Mountain Summit
Wyoming: 11 Inches near Lander
Colorado: 6 Inches near Phippsburg
North Dakota: 8 inches near Bowman
South Dakota: 8 ½ Inches in Northern Rapid City
Minnesota: 16 ½ inches at St. Augusta
Wisconsin: 12 Inches at Spooner and Glidden
Michigan: 14.6 inches at Negaunee
On Tuesday, this heavy snow will continue to fall in the central and western Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the far northern Wisconsin. Light snow will then move farther south into parts of southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, with light accumulation possible. On Wednesday, lake-effect snow will move over the Upper Peninsula into Lower Michigan by Tuesday evening continuing into Wednesday as the system moves into Ontario.
As we move forward, the heaviest snow can be expected over northern Wisconsin and the U.P of Michigan. The Upper Peninsula may even see up to 20 inches within the next week. In Minnesota and Wisconsin, a few areas may end up with over 18 inches of snow.
Any rain that has fallen on roads from Iowa to Wisconsin or even Indiana may freeze as the cold air moves south. Also, snow covered roads may be an issue in Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
I-75 in Michigan will most likely see deteriorating conditions as the rain mixes or changes to wintry precipitation. Flight delays are also a possibility at the Chicago O’Hare airport and Midway as well as Milwaukee from strong winds and cloud cover on Tuesday.