8-12" Expected Across Much of Metro by 7 am Friday
February 20, 2014 — 4:04pm
Latest WRF Projections. The HopWRF model (3 km resolution - as good as it gets) shows a band of 9-10" across much of the immediate Twin Cities metro, with 8-10" for St. Cloud and Brainerd. The storm appears to be hooking farther west, so the shield of heaviest snow is also pushing farther west as well, with 6-8"+ snows now expected over roughly the eastern half of Minnesota.
* Winds gust to 30-35 mph later tonight, and I could see blizzard or near-blizzard conditions for portions of the Twin Cities metro after 8 PM or so. Expect a night of treacherous travel conditions, getting worse the farther away from the metro you drive. I expect numerous cancellations and delays Friday morning.
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Let. It. Snow. Old Man Winter will assist you in your attempt to get into the holiday spirit over the next 36 hours with a long-duration period of wet snow. Roads will be mainly wet today, but snow will start to stick on area highways by late afternoon; by tomorrow it will actually look like winter out there. About time.
Shocking: meteorologists actually have something to do, which may be an anomaly in this El Nino-warmed winter that's setting up. A surge of southern moisture will spark steady, slushy snow - resembling something we might experience in March vs. December. By the time the flakes stop flying late Tuesday much of the area will have 5-8", a few towns may boast up to 10" of heavy, wet snow. Hey, it's winter in Minnesota. It's supposed to snow!
Well this is unusual: a risk of an actual "storm"? I'm sorry, an inch of snow in late November doesn't qualify. But a slow-moving surge of moisture approaching from the south may drop enough snow to shovel and plow late Monday into midday Tuesday. It's still premature to lob around inch-amounts, but on our (patented) scale from nuisance to plowable to crippling this could definitely wind up in the plowable category. Stay tuned...
Well, we had our Thanksgiving excitement: 1.3" of slush at MSP International Airport; more south and east, less north and west. Just enough to remind us that the start of meteorological winter is a few days away. On paper. There still isn't much in the way of bitter air showing up within a few thousand miles of Minnesota; I see a mild bias continuing into mid-December, possibly longer. We'll see snow and cold fronts, just not the volume we're accustomed to.
Somewhere along the way an inch of snow became a "storm". BREAKING NEWS! When temperatures are near 32F as they will be today an inch of snow is a nuisance, most major roads stay wet with accumulation on lawns, fields, and slow-moving relatives. There probably will be some slippery roads by late afternoon and evening, especially south/east of MSP, where a couple inches may pile up. Since we've all forgotten how to drive on snow please be careful out there! Better yet, stay home, have an extra plate of food and ponder the many things we all have to be thankful for.