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‘Best of The Globe 2018' now underway

Snowy April breaks southern Minnesota records, and it isn't over yet

Texas-born Chris Formby, right, wearing tennis shoes, frees compacted snow ahead of neighbor Tom Lynum, a former Texas resident, during the snowstorm on Sunday April 15, 2018, in Stillwater, Minn. (Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press)

ST. PAUL—The biggest snowstorm of the season — and one of the top 20 snowstorms in Twin Cities history — is over. But another one could arrive Wednesday morning, bringing 1 to 3 more inches.

There's a strong likelihood of snow falling in the Twin Cities, but there's a chance it won't accumulate if it comes late enough in the day, according to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Chanhassen.

"That might be the last of the snow, but I feel like I've said that before this spring, so I kind of want to bite my tongue on that until the middle of May," meteorologist Jacob Beitoich said. "It's just been such a crazy last few days."

Southern Minnesota could see upwards of 6 inches this week.

After the snow Wednesday, temperatures in the Twin Cities are expected to gradually climb, reaching the upper 50s early next week.

The metro area could break another record if it doesn't hit 60 degrees by April 29 — that's the record for latest 60-degree day, set in 1874.

"I think it'll be really tough to break that one," Beitoich said. "That's two weeks from now, and our normals then are around 60. It's not impossible, but I would be surprised."

The storm broke several records in southern Minnesota:

•Largest April snowstorm. The Friday-Saturday-Sunday-Monday storm total of 15.8 inches broke the previous record of 13.6 inches from 1983.

•Highest April monthly snowfall. The Twin Cities have received 26.1 inches so far this month, crushing 1983's record of 21.8 inches.

•Snowiest start to the calendar year. The previous record was 69.5 inches, set in 1982. This year, the Twin Cities have received 70.3 inches so far.

•Record low maximum temperature. The highest temperature Sunday was 28 degrees, breaking a record of 32 degrees set back in 1951.

•The snowfall was also the 12th biggest in Twin Cities history, and meteorologists suspect the 2017-18 season may end up being one of the top 10 snowiest seasons in history as well, though they're still confirming the numbers.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported 630 crashes statewide between Friday at midnight and Sunday at 8:45 p.m. Three of the nearly 70 injuries were serious, and there were two fatalities.

On Friday night, a pedestrian, identified as 54-year-old Paul Michael Piekarski of Hamel, was fatally struck by a vehicle while crossing Minnesota 55 in Medina.

On Sunday night, a motorist was killed when a Metro Transit bus broadsided a car that had spun out on Interstate 94 in north Minneapolis. The bus, occupied only by the driver, hit the car on I-94 at Lowry Avenue, fatally injuring one passenger, 30-year-old Rashid Mohamed Faqid of Minneapolis. The car's driver and another passenger were injured. The bus driver was not hurt.

Nearly 1,200 vehicles spun out or went off the road, and 20 semis jackknifed, according to the State Patrol.

About 750 flights were canceled out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which closed all its runways for eight hours on Saturday because of blizzard conditions.

The airport put out sleeping mats for as many as 500 people stranded at the airport. An airport spokesman estimated 100 people stayed on the mats, while the rest were able to make it to nearby hotels.

By Monday, all three runways were up and running all day, but ticketing areas were busy as people attempted to reschedule canceled flights, according to airport spokesman Pat Hogan.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Sun Country Airlines fliers were stranded in Mexico after the Eagan-based carrier canceled their weekend flights back to MSP because the storm coincided with the end of seasonal service to their vacation destinations.

The airline said it was compensating the passengers for the return portion of their fare, but fliers were on their own to book flights on other carriers.

Also, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Anoka-Hennepin and other school districts canceled or delayed classes Monday, citing snow-clogged roads.

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