Heavy Snow over Southeast Minnesota:
November 10, 2006

A classic late fall storm moved from Oklahoma to Illinois on November 10th. A narrow band of heavy snow fell with this system over southeast Minnesota, northern Iowa and Wisconsin. The precipitation began late Thursday night on the 9th over Iowa and spread northeast over southern Minnesota during the wee hours of the morning on November 10. Some thunderstorms were mixed in as well with the rain over northeast Iowa and southern Wisconsin. The snow gradually tapered off during the evening over southeast Minnesota.

Enough cold air moved into the system to produce mainly snow in Minnesota. The heaviest snow fell in a swath from 10 to 13 inches from Austin to Rochester, falling at a rate of one to two inches an hour at times. The heaviest amount in Minnesota reported to the National Weather Service was 13 inches near Byron in Olmstead County. The Twin Cities only got a trace.

One promising aspect of this storm is that it brought copious amounts of water to the landscape over south central and southeast Minnesota. Since the ground was not frozen yet, much of the melting snow percolated into the ground. From one half to three quarters of an inch of liquid fell from this storm where the snow was the heaviest. By November 17, most of the snow had melted with only 2 inches left on the ground in Rochester, compared to the 10.5 inches they had on the ground right after the storm ended.

One the negative side, this storm was quite a headache to those who had to travel in it. Some interesting accounts of this winter storm were featured in Bill McAuliffe's Weather Blog Air Mass from travellers on Interstate 94 in Wisconsin.

Tales from the storm
Several folks found a way to respond when we asked for accounts of what was 
happening on Interstate Hwy. 94 near Osseo during Fridayís massive snow. 
They told of people building snowmen in the median, 5-mile backups, the 
suddenness of it all the natural and human dramas that storms always bring.

Theresa Schousek wrote:

I am writing to you from the Holiday Inn in Tomah. Yes, I am spending the night
 here though I am only 2.5 hours from home at normal highway speeds. I live in 
Houlton, Wisconsin, just 3 miles from Stillwater, MN. I am traveling from a 
conference . . .in Milwaukee to home. At the rest stop just before Mauston, I 
had heard rumors from truckers that there was ice at Osseo and there were a lot 
of accidents. This seemed surprising given that it was just starting to rain and 
just cloudy at Mauston. I hit Tomah at 11:30am and there was sleet and whiteout 
conditions. I couldnít see the brake lights of the car in front of me and when I 
started sliding. I decided to exit and eat lunch. . . A lady that came reported 
that there was a 15 car pile up at Osseo. She said it had been an hour and a half 
since the accident and they were estimating another hour before the interstate 
would be clear again. She recommended that I take (Hwy.) 12 to the Twin Cities, 
if I was willing to travel at 20 mph; otherwise, she said,  "Check in, get in the 
Jacuzzi and give it up for the day." I havenít seen my daughters in a week and a 
half. . .Here I am stranded, just wasting my day surfing the web. Meanwhile my 
husband claims that all is clear at home . . .

And from Carl Erickson:

My wife Colleen and I spent the past week on our honeymoon in the Dells. We left 
for home today at noon. There was freezing rain in Baraboo and things gradually 
got worse. We saw at least 7 cars in the ditch and a van flipped-over in the 
median. After Hixton, traffic stopped completely. I talked to a trucker who said 
there was an accident . . . and some people had been waiting 3-hours already 
closer to the accident. There was a Greyhound bus behind us that people were 
walking-up to and presumably using the bathroom. . .There were at least 5 miles 
of cars behind us. We took back roads home for a total trip time of 6.5 hours.
Listed below are maps from the National Weather Service depicting the snow amounts.

Map of November 10, 2006 snow event from the Chanhassen National Weather Service.

Map of November 10, 2006 snow event from the La Crosse National Weather Service.

Listed below are National Weather Service Statements about this winter storm.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
109 PM CST FRI NOV 10 2006
SNOWFALL REPORTS FROM OFFICIAL WEATHER SERVICE OBSERVERS THROUGH 100 PM...

LOCATION          COUNTY          AMOUNT (INCHES)

ALBERT LEA        FREEBORN         12
KIESTER           FARIBAULT        11
AUGUSTA           EAU CLAIRE (WI)  10
MANCHESTER        FREEBORN         9
MANKATO           BLUE EARTH       8
NORTHFIELD        RICE             7
OWATONNA          STEELE           7
ZUMBROTA          GOODHUE          6.5
RED WING          GOODHUE          6
8W FARIBAULT      RICE             5.5
STANLEY           CHIPPEWA (WI)    5
AMBOY             BLUE EARTH       5 
WATERVILLE        LE SUER          5
WELCH             GOODHUE          5 
MENOMONIE         DUNN (WI)        4.5
EAU CLAIRE        EAU CLAIRE (WI)  4.5       
NORTH MANKATO     NICOLLET         4.5
JANESVILLE        WASECA           4
WINNEBAGO         FARIBAULT        4
MADELIA           WATONWAN         4 
CHIPPEWA FALLS    CHIPPEWA (WI)    3
FAIRMONT          MARTIN           3
WELLS             FARIBAULT        2.5
5S FARMINGTON     DAKOTA           2
SPRINGFIELD       BROWN            1


PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
1129 AM CST SAT NOV 11 2006

...NOVEMBER 10TH SNOWFALL TOTALS ACROSS THE AREA...

IN SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA...
                                     
LOCATION                  COUNTY            SNOWFALL              
--------                  ------            --------              
BYRON 4N                  OLMSTED             13.0 
MANTORVILLE               DODGE               12.0                  
ROCHESTER NW SIDE         OLMSTED             11.8        
KASSON                    DODGE               11.5                 
ROCHESTER AP 2NE          OLMSTED             10.5                  
PINE ISLAND 4S            OLMSTED              9.5                
ROCHESTER KTTC-TV         OLMSTED              9.5                
ORONOCO 2E                OLMSTED              9.2                 
AUSTIN                    MOWER                9.0                
MINNEISKA 2S              WINONA               9.0 
ZUMBRO FALLS              WABASHA              9.0 
THEILMAN 1SSW             WABASHA              8.6                  
WEST CONCORD              DODGE                8.5                 
DODGE CENTER              DODGE                8.1                 
HAMMOND 1S                WABASHA              8.0 
ELGIN 2SSW                OLMSTED              7.9 
STEWARTVILLE              OLMSTED              7.1 
WABASHA                   WABASHA              7.0   
OAK CENTER                WABASHA              6.5 
CHATFIELD 4W              FILLMORE             5.8 
GRAND MEADOW              MOWER                5.3 
LYLE                      MOWER                5.0                 
LEWISTON                  WINONA               4.8 
CALEDONIA 6S              HOUSTON              4.3                
WINONA                    WINONA               4.2 
GOODVIEW                  WINONA               3.8                
FOUNTAIN                  FILLMORE             3.5 
SPRING GROVE 4N           HOUSTON              3.3                
RENO 3SW                  HOUSTON              3.2 
LANESBORO                 FILLMORE             3.0 
PRESTON                   FILLMORE             2.8                
HIGHLAND 2SE              FILLMORE             2.8 
CALEDONIA 2S              HOUSTON              2.5                 
     
IN WESTERN WISCONSIN...
                                               
LOCATION                  COUNTY            SNOWFALL           
--------                  ------            --------           
OSSEO                     TREMPEALEAU         16.5                
MEDFORD                   TAYLOR              13.5                
BUFFALO CITY              BUFFALO             13.0                
LONGWOOD                  CLARK               12.0                
GAD                       TAYLOR              11.0 
MEDFORD 4NW               TAYLOR              10.3 
OWEN 2N                   CLARK               10.2               
INDEPENDENCE 3NE          TREMPEALEAU         10.0                
MEDFORD 3N                TAYLOR              10.0                 
MONDOVI 6S                BUFFALO             10.0                
WITHEE                    CLARK                9.5                
WESTBORO 4E               TAYLOR               9.0 
GOODRICH 1E               TAYLOR               9.0                
NEW ROME                  ADAMS                7.8 
ARCADIA                   TREMPEALEAU          7.4                 
HUMBIRD 2NE               CLARK                6.2                 
MATHER 3NW                JACKSON              6.0  
WARRENS 5WSW              MONROE               5.8                 
GALESVILLE 2E             TREMPEALEAU          5.3    
TOMAH                     MONROE               5.3
WILTON 3SE                MONROE               5.2                
BIG FLATS                 ADAMS                5.0                 
HOLLAND                   LA CROSSE            5.0 
WEST SALEM                LA CROSSE            5.0 
NECEDAH                   JUNEAU               5.0 
HIXTON 5W                 JACKSON              5.0 
TAYLOR                    JACKSON              5.0 
ONTARIO                   VERNON               5.0   
ETTRICK                   TREMPEALEAU          4.8 
BLAIR                     TREMPEALEAU          4.5                
CHASEBURG 2S              VERNON               4.5 
VIROQUA                   VERNON               4.2 
WESTBY 3ENE               VERNON               4.2               
FRIENDSHIP                ADAMS                4.0                 
LA CROSSE 1SE             LA CROSSE            4.0 
HILLSBORO                 VERNON               4.0                
HOLMEN 2S                 LA CROSSE            3.7 
LA CROSSE NWS             LA CROSSE            3.6 
BLACK RIVER FALLS STP     JACKSON              3.5                
BIG SPRING                ADAMS                3.5 
FOUR CORNERS              MONROE               3.3 
HATFIELD                  JACKSON              3.0 
NEILLSVILLE 3SW           CLARK                3.0                
LA CROSSE AIRPORT         LA CROSSE            2.9 
MAUSTON                   JUNEAU               2.8                 
LANCASTER                 GRANT                2.0 
GAYS MILLS                CRAWFORD             2.0 
RICHLAND CENTER           RICHLAND             1.3                   
CASSEVILLE 8NE            GRANT                1.1                 
SINSINAWA                 GRANT                1.0 
CUBA CITY 2NW             GRANT                0.9                
STEUBEN 4SE               CRAWFORD             0.5 

OBSERVATIONS ARE COLLECTED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES WITH VARYING
EQUIPMENT AND EXPOSURE. NOT ALL DATA LISTED IS CONSIDERED OFFICIAL.

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URL: http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/snow061110.htm
Last modified: November 17, 2006