Winter won’t release its chilly grasp on Minnesota, and Le Sueur is starting to feel it.
From business to government, the late winter is making things a little tougher to deal with in the city, and it might not be done yet.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Jim Taggart said that most of this week will be warmer than it’s been, but there is still a chance to see snow, along with storms and other inclement weather.
While Tuesday and Wednesday were predicted to see temperatures closer to 50 degrees, Taggart predicted that the late week would give way to a series of storms.
“That’s the best shot we have right now,” he said, noting that the earlier part of the week would be the better choice for outdoor activities.
Taggart said that a weather system coming from the Rocky Mountains will break out later in the week, potentially causing hail and a few of the season’s first thunderstorms.
Though it may not be welcome news, Taggart also said the late weekend weather could bring another accumulation of snow.
Another weather service meteorologist, Eric Ahasic, said that the lingering winter could be chalked up to a stagnant jet stream.
Ahasic explained the jet stream as the border of cold air from the arctic and warm air from the equator. Air north of the jet stream is colder and air south of the stream is warmer.
The jet stream has been sitting down around the Gulf of Mexico, but this week’s more turbulent weather patterns will signal the jet stream is being pushed up a bit.
For Le Sueur City Administrator Jasper Kruggel, the biggest problem that the weather sets up is due to potential damage to the roads.
“The freeze-thaw cycle is pretty extreme,” he said.
The freeze-thaw cycle melts down the snow, turning it into water. That water then flows into various gaps in roads before it expands at night when temperatures dip below freezing again. That creates and expands potholes and cracks in the roads.
What’s worse: the weather prevents the city from fixing the problem.
Due to the temperatures, Kruggel said that they aren’t able to use their hot-patch asphalt, which lets them create a more permanent seal to fill in the gap.
Instead, Kruggel said that city workers instead are required to use cold-patch asphalt, which works only in the short term.
In addition to damage to the roads, the city has to keep them clear. Each year, the city sets aside a bit of its budget to pay for snow plows. But due to the need to pay for plows later in the year, Kruggel said the city will likely go over its snow clearing budget for this year.
Businesses are also affected by this lasting snow. Due to last week’s two-day snow storm, Thomas Samora said that he wasn’t able to do much at work.
Samora said that he works with a construction contractor out of Montrose as a framer, but they weren’t able to work because they would need to use ladders and the wind and snow was too unsafe. So instead, he and his coworkers went home around noon.
“That’s five hours of work right there,” he said.