Winter storm brings accumulation, attention

December 4, 2018

A weekend winter storm inconvenienced travelers and sent dozens of drivers into ditches, but caused little damage.

It still was enough to get Chris Bruin, Weather Channel meteorologist, out of the studio in Atlanta to report live from the streets in and around Rochester during the weekend.

Bruin was last in the field providing live coverage of Hurricane Michael, which devastated the panhandle of Florida and the Georgia coast in October. This weekend’s snow storm was a chance for Bruin to get back into the field and make his first-ever trip to Minnesota.

Bruin rendezvoused with professional videographer Ron Tupper and audio engineer Steve Oakley, both from Green Bay, Wis., and Philadelphia-based field producer Mike Bogad to cover the storm for the cable weather news network.

The team arrived in town Friday and gave live, on-air updates from around Southeast Minnesota — mostly from Rochester. Bruin, a Florida native, said he was impressed with city snow removal efforts.

“Seeing how they clear the roads here is really impressive,” he said.

City crews worked overnight Sunday through Monday morning to clear snow off downtown streets. Hundreds of crashes and spinouts were reported across Minnesota. The Minnesota State Patrol reported 191 crashes — none fatal — and 155 spinouts along with six jackknifed semis statewide between noon and 9:45 p.m. Saturday.

Bruin said the 7.1 inches of snow measured at the Rochester International Airport through Sunday morning puts Rochester at seasonal precipitation average. Across Minnesota, snow totals reached 11 inches at Sherburn and near Lakefield as of Sunday morning. Winnebago reported 9 inches of snow, Mankato 8 inches and Caledonia 7. Minneapolis had about 3 inches.

Cooler temperatures made roads slick and winds drifted snow over roadways Sunday night, causing multiple vehicles to skid off roadways.

Cooler weather should come to Minnesota as the clouds leave. Today’s high temperature in Rochester of 25 will be followed by a high of 21 Tuesday.

Bruin recalled seeing snow for the first time as a child and trying to save it in a cooler to take home to Florida. He arrived home with a cooler full of water.

Bruin and the crew headed their separate ways Sunday as he flew back to Atlanta, Bogad headed to Minneapolis to fly home and Tupper and Oakley traveled back to Wisconsin.

Bruin said he might be back in the field later this week to cover a potential snow storm in the Ohio Valley. Tupper and Oakley join a crew covering the Milwaukee Bucks for ESPN.

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