Icy, Slushy, and Wet, February 27, 2023

radar loop
Radar animation showing rain and heavy rain spreading over southeastern and east-central Minnesota during the morning of Monday February 27, 2023.
Source: College of DuPage NEXLAB

A small, short-lived, but quite strong weather system brought heavy rain to southeastern Minnesota, a significant glaze of ice mixed with rain to east-central parts of the state, and accumulating snows to parts of northeastern Minnesota on Monday February 27, 2023.

After producing a highly unusual barrage of wintry weather in southern California over the weekend, a strong low-pressure system crossed the southern Rockies, reorganized in eastern Colorado late on Sunday February 26, and headed towards southern Lake Michigan. An area of intense thunderstorms with destructive winds formed in Texas and Oklahoma Sunday evening, within a broader area of general thunderstorms and heavy rains that extended into Nebraska. This entire precipitating system rotated around the center of low pressure while moving northeastward, ultimately losing the lightning and thunder but maintaining a broad shield of moderate to heavy rain.

The heaviest rain centered on Iowa and southern Wisconsin, but some of it clipped southeastern Minnesota early on Monday, and light to moderate rain spread even farther northwest, into the Twin Cities, and north from there into far east-central and northeastern Minnesota.

The cold air in place caused the rain to freeze upon contact with surfaces and objects in the Twin Cities, and to the north and east. This freezing rain resulted in a heavy glaze on many roads and sidewalks, just in time for the morning commute. Temperatures hovered around the freezing/melting mark while much of the rain fell, with some areas seeing more continuous sheets of ice, and others seeing the ice dissolved into a slushy concoction. 

Snow began falling by daybreak over parts of northeastern Minnesota, particularly along and near the north shore of Lake Superior.

February 27, 2023

Back to top