May snowstorm shuts down area
Thursday, May 02, 2013 3:08 AM
Nearly a foot of snow shut down schools, medical clinics, roads and more in southeastern Minnesota Thursday.
It was slow going on Highway 63 north of Spring Valley and other roads throughout the area Thursday morning. (Tribune photo by David Phillips)
The record for snowfall for the entire month of May was two inches, but several cities received more than a foot of wet, heavy snow. Rochester, which is an official weather station, had 14 inches, but areas to the north had reports of nearly 18 inches.
In the Bluff Country area, Spring Valley was tops with more than 11 inches of snow while totals dwindled to the east and particularly to the south.
However, all schools in the area were closed for the day. Olmsted Medical Clinic sent out alerts that its clinic in Spring Valley was closed for the day and the one in Preston was closing at 1 p.m. In fact, the only clinic outside of Rochester that remained open after 1 p.m. was in Chatfield.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation advised no unnecessary travel in Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha and Winona counties, due to heavy snow and reduced visibility.
The snow was falling at about an inch an hour. It was wet and heavy, causing power lines in the area to go down.
The snow let up in intensity overnight, but continued into the morning when it turned to rain. The rain continued all day Friday.
One year ago on this date, it was 80 degrees. The average high is 64, nearly 30 degrees higher than the maximum temperature Thursday and Friday.
Warmer weather is on the way, though, with predictions for more normal May temperatures Monday.