Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

There is weather outside of the Twin Cities March 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 11:02 AM
Tags: , , , ,
A farm site along Minnesota State Highway 67 between Vesta and Echo on Sunday morning.

A farm site along Minnesota State Highway 67 between Vesta and Echo on Sunday morning.

HONESTLY, I HAVE LIVED in Minnesota long enough that I should know better.

I shouldn’t believe the weather forecasters all the time, especially if those forecasters are based in the Twin Cities. How much or little do they care about the weather in rural Minnesota?

Case in point: This past weekend my husband and I traveled 120 miles west to visit my mom in Redwood County. The forecast, which we always diligently check before driving that direction in the winter, called for occasional flurries. That sounded doable to us.

So Saturday morning we set out, bucking strong winds, to reach our destination. The farther west we drove, the more snow we saw blanketing the landscape. Fortunately those strong Saturday winds did not whip up a blizzard.

Sunday morning, however, we awakened to a Winter Wonderland of snow falling in graceful flakes. You know, the kind of snow that makes you just want to stand there and take it all in for the sheer snow globe beauty of it.

So much for occasional flurries.

Thankfully, no wind accompanied the snow, which continued at a steady pace well into the afternoon. It marked an early departure for us.

A few miles north of Vesta, we came across this truck spun off the Minnesota State Highway 19 curve.

We rounded the curve and drove eastbound into this low visibility, snow-covered roadway situation. Fortunately, shortly after I shot this image, the eastbound lane was mostly cleared of snow. The westbound lane was not.

Pulling onto Minnesota State Highway 19 at Vesta, we realized this could be one long trip back to Faribault. It was slow going until we reached Sleepy Eye, where the snow finally began to clear and roads improved. We followed state highways rather than the short-cut, back county roads we usually travel.

When we drove into Morgan about 30 miles later, snow was still falling strong and steady.

That evening, unpacked and cozied on the couch for the10 p.m. news, the weatherman reported only flurries in southwestern Minnesota. No mention of the several inches that slicked up highways and made for difficult travel.

Between Evan and Sleepy Eye, this pick-up truck cut across the prairie on back roads.

IF YOU LIVE in rural Minnesota, where do you turn for the most accurate weather forecasting?

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


10 Responses to “There is weather outside of the Twin Cities”

  1. Michele Says:

    Looks like some slush and ice, ish!! We had over a foot of snow (National weather had us pegged for 1 -2 inches). We have started checking the on line news web sites of the places we are driving to as well as the National Weather Service, sometimes the differance is huge in the predictions, and the local folks are always better at knowing whats coming around the corner. Thanks for some amazing pictures, glad you arrived safe and sound. 🙂

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Great travel condition, tips, Michele. Thank you. I heard that you had mega snow in Duluth. I’ve never visited Duluth in the winter and I certainly would not want to navigate all those hills during a snowfall.

      I had fun playing around with those snow images, first stripping them of color, then brightening them and finally upping the contrast. I wanted to emphasize the white, because that’s how the entire landscape appeared on Sunday, a sea of white.

  2. Amy Says:

    If it’s any consolation, it’s not like they’re doing a very good job predicting what we’ll see in the TC either.

  3. Yeah, we were expecting 2 inches here in Wgtn – I tihnk we got about that, actually. The roads were still a little ugly this morning…

  4. Carstens Says:

    I like MPR – though it’s based in St. Paul, the weather includes the whole state. Their website and weather blog is also very comprehensive. I grew up 90 miles from Chicago. The same situation – one just had to state out into the bean fields and make an educated guess, because one sure wouldn’t get that info in a weather forecast.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Alright, next trip west, I’ll check MPR, which I read anyway, although not always the weather.

  5. Michael Says:

    I use the National Weather Service website. http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Faribault&state=MN&site=MPX&textField1=44.2974&textField2=-93.2749&e=0
    Will get you the site for Faribault. Type in the city or town you are going to and it will give a local weather report. Yes, you can get the weather for Vesta here also. I really like their Hourly Weather Graph found under Additional Forecasts and Information for telling you what will be happening hour by hour.
    You could check out http://www.511mn.org for road conditions also.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks, Michael. Living on the prairie, you know it’s best to be informed of the weather. Once we arrive in Vesta, we have no internet access as my mom does not have a computer. Just like our cell phones do not work in the southwest region once we’re past Redwood Falls.

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