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It's Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and there will be statewide tornado drills in both states today (April 20, 2017). The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for Minnesota and Wisconsin counties - including all of the Northland - at 1:45 p.m. today. Most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning sirens at that time.
Rain may change over to snow in parts of the Northland overnight, with some slushy accumulation possible by Thursday morning. The National Weather Service reports that the higher terrain in and near Duluth and up the North Shore, away from Lake Superior, may see 1 to 3 inches of snow overnight. Some additional accumulation is possible on Thursday before temperatures rise into the 40s. Any precipitation that falls will be accompanied by gusty north-northeast winds.
A wintry mix of snow and freezing rain is falling in parts of the Northland this morning. The Duluth International Airport was reporting light freezing rain and 32 degrees as of 6 a.m., with freezing rain and 30 degrees in Hibbing, and snow and 32 degrees in Cloquet. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for St. Louis, Carlton, Lake, Cook and Koochiching counties until 10 a.m. today.
After a mild spring weekend in much of the Northland, wintry conditions are slated to return to the region tonight. Light rain is expected to change over to light freezing rain and snow tonight in parts of the Northland -- with light ice accumulations and perhaps up to 2 inches of snow in Northwestern Wisconsin by the time it ends early Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported. Elsewhere in the region, the Twin Ports and points north and westshould largely escape the wintry mix, the Weather Service said.
A celebration for the 2016-17 UMD men's hockey team -- in particular the senior class -- will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Amsoil Arena, the school announced Sunday. Doors open at 5 p.m. Fans will have a chance to get autographs and take photos with the NCHC and North Star College Cup trophies. Find more information at www.umdbulldogs.com . UMD finished as national runner-up, after falling to Denver 3-2 in Saturday's national championship game.
A messy mix of rain, freezing rain and snow is expected to move across the Northland overnight, and may cause dangerous driving conditions on Friday morning. The National Weather Service reported that roads in the region may receive a light glaze of ice before precipitation changes over to snow. A winter weather advisory is in effect until 9 a.m. Friday for Lake, Cook and central and northern St. Louis counties for the possibility of 1 to 3 inches of snow on top of light freezing rain. Lighter snow accumulations are expected elsewhere in the Northland.
The National Weather Service in Marquette, Mich., reported that the official snow depth in Ironwood on Wednesday was zero -- just the second time that has happened in the month of February in the past 100 years. The previous no-snow February day in the past century was Feb. 27, 1942. Ironwood, along with nearby Hurley, typically sees abundant snow each winter, thanks to lake-effect snow off of Lake Superior. Ironwood hit 56 degrees on Tuesday and nearly reached 50 again on Wednesday, part of a prolonged stretch of unseasonably warm weather.
The Northland's recent stretch of unseasonably warm weather has caused some North Shore waterfalls to shake off their winter coating of ice, at least in part. Temperatures have climbed into the 40s and 50s in recent days -- April-like conditions, only in mid-February -- and on Monday the region saw widespread rainfall of a half-inch or more. While there was plenty of ice to be found on the Gooseberry River at Gooseberry Falls State Park northeast of Two Harbors on Sunday, there also was a lot of open water at and near the falls.
Two rounds of snow dropped more than a half-foot of accumulation in parts of the Northland on Tuesday, causing difficult driving conditions for much of the day. One person died in a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 61 near Two Harbors just after 10 a.m., and one person was injured in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 35 near the Boundary Avenue exit at about 7:45 a.m., the Minnesota State Patrol reported. A rollover crash with injuries was reported along U.S. Highway 53 near Independence just after 4:20 p.m.
Musher Ryan Anderson won his third John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon title this morning, crossing the finish line near Duluth just after 10 a.m.