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Snow is ex­pect­ed to re­turn to the Twin Cities area Mon­day night. If that in­spires you to en­gage in some tra­di­tion­al out­door fun, your op­por­tuni­ties are fad­ing fast.

Fish hous­es must be pulled from the ice by mid­night Mon­day in the low­er two-thirds of Minnesota.

Ice rinks are in vari­ous stages of shut­down in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Warm­ing hous­es are closed in Minneapolis as of Sun­day night, and flood­ing and main­te­nance has been dis­con­tin­ued at all but the re­friger­at­ed rinks in St. Paul.

"Based on cur­rent weath­er fore­casts, the skat­ing sea­son is quick­ly com­ing to an end," St. Paul parks spokes­man Brad Meyer said Sun­day.

But snow is back, or at least ex­pect­ed to be. A Sun­day National Weath­er Service forecast pre­dicts up to 3 inch­es be­tween mid-evening Mon­day and 6 p.m. Tues­day, and Paul Douglas predicts 2 to 4 inches.

It's been a while. Tony Zaleski, a fore­cast­er with the National Weath­er Service in Chanhassen, said "the last time we had any­thing like this" was when 3 inch­es fell at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Jan. 8.

The heavi­est snow­fall, per­haps up to 2 inch­es, is ex­pect­ed be­tween 6 a.m. and noon Tues­day, Zaleski said.

Temperatures through the week will remain below freezing, with daytime highs in the teens and 20s, and some subzero temps for lows.

At the state Department of Nat­u­ral Resources, of­fi­cials say dark hous­es, fish hous­es and port­ables must be re­moved by 11:59 p.m. Mon­day in the southern part of the state and by 11:59 p.m. March 16 in the north­ern one-third.

Enforcement ac­tion will be tak­en if shelters re­main af­ter the dead­lines, the DNR said last week.

People still can skate out­doors in the cit­ies, but in the case of St. Paul, "if the ice be­comes chop­py and slush­y, we'll then re­strict access," Meyer said.

In Minneapolis, Ronnie Morgan, an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sist­ant at Mc­Rae Park, had hoped its warm­ing house could re­main open for one more week. But Sun­day marked the end of the sea­son for the warm­ing area at Lake of the Isles, and an employee there who de­clined to give her name said there was a good turn­out on the fi­nal day and night.

She was heard to say, "See you guys next year," before hanging up the phone.

Anthony Lonetree • 651-925-5036