By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A winter storm is set to hit Minnesota on the same day the Twin Cities set a record high temperature for December 4.

The high temperature reached 57 degrees in the Twin Cities Monday, breaking the previous record of 56 degrees set over 70 years ago.

Don’t expect the warmth to stick around too long, however. A winter storm system to the west has already racked up some impressive snow totals in central North Dakota. That storm brought wet snow to western Minnesota this afternoon.

Northwestern Minnesota is expected to be hit the hardest, with 4 to 8 inches of snow expected in the Bemidji area – with possibly higher snow totals further north. The storm will affect all of western Minnesota, from Bemidji to Morris to Worthington.

“Those are some of the spots that will see some pretty dangerously strong winds as well,” Brickman said.

The metro area saw the storm system move in Monday evening, first bringing heavy rain and then later snow. The snow was sticking on the roadways, making for a potentially messy morning commute.

The snow will move out of the state overnight.

 

After highs in the mid-50s, we’ll get down into the upper-teens overnight.

Expect high temperatures in the low-20s Tuesday with strong winds. The cold weather continues throughout the week.

MnDOT crews in St. Cloud are already preparing for December’s first snowfall, with officials reminding Minnesotans to give the MnDOT trucks plenty of room to do their jobs.

“We’ve had this great weather pretty easy sailing for drivers,” J.P. Gillach, a MnDOT representative, said. “We see this every year that the first snowfall comes, and it takes a while for drivers to get their skills back back on their game. And we see people crashing into plows a lot.”

Because this is starting out as rain they don’t want to pre-treat the roads with Brine, saying that it would only wash off. Power companies are also preparing for ice buildup on power lines, which could lead to outages.

St. Cloud residents like Carol Bieniek, meanwhile, are getting in their last-minute holiday decorations before things get too rough.

“You know, with this nice weather you kind of forget about it, that Christmas is coming,” she said. “Otherwise, if it was cold and snowy, we’d have more done.”

Officials are already advising no travel in the Marshall area as winds pick up.

State Patrol said as of 8:45 p.m. Monday, there had been 121 crashes on Minnesota roads — including one fatal. There were also 60 spin outs, according to State Patrol.

While plows got busy on the roads, Arrow Ace Hardware was hoping to get busy indoors. They’re stocked with salt and shovels. But so far, Christmas lights and extension cords have been the top sellers this December.

“If they all of the sudden see it coming down they’ll come running in. See the snow coming down and you’ll see customers rushing in,” Andrew Nash said. “It gets hectic but it’s all in the fun I guess.”

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