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The National Weather Service is offering personalized advice to Minnesotans

Someone is listening when you look to the skies and wonder aloud: Dare I get in my car today?

Someone is listening when you look to the skies and wonder aloud: Dare I get in my car today? Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

Not all heroes wear capes. When this week’s storm swept across the state, showering us with precipitation ranging from frozen to liquid to that bone-numbing gloppy in-between, Minnesota’s National Weather Service was there to answer the question each and every one of us has asked at least once a year: Should I drive?

We don’t mean in a general, here’s-the-forecast-for-your-area-make-of-that-what-you-will kind of way. The service’s Twin Cities office has literally been advising individual Twitter users who are wondering whether they should get in their cars -- from the Stillwater-bound traveler leaving Omaha at 7:30 a.m. to the driver in Durand heading to Cable.

It’s like calling your mom for advice before attempting the drive home from college, but with more science and sometimes a cool chart.

And seemingly no query is too small. The service has also been tackling questions like why snow makes the sky light up or how many inches fell specifically in Prior Lake. It’s even helped out homeowners musing over when to shovel the driveway.

Michelle Margraf from the Twin Cities office says the Twitter hotline is something the service has been doing for a while, whenever possible. (As crazy as the weather gets in this state, it’s not always possible.) Forecasts vary greatly across Minnesota, she says. It’s nice for people to know exactly what’s going to happen along their route.

“We try to help as much as we can.” 

So when you’re planning your travels, stay informed, be safe, and remember to tip your toque to the folks sitting behind their monitors, watching your back.