While not in line for the wintry wallop anticipated in the northeastern United States, many Minnesotans are being put on notice that a half-foot or more of snow could be heading their way during the weekend.
A storm that's expected to start dropping its snow load on Minnesota early Sunday could leave more than a foot on west-central Minnesota, according to Friday forecasts, 7 to 10 inches from the southwest corner up to Duluth, skirting the north and west metro, with totals tapering off to the southeast. But it may be hard to measure, because it will be driven by winds of up to 35 miles per hour. A blizzard watch was posted for much of western Minnesota Friday, with most of the rest of the state under a winter storm watch.
In the Twin Cities, temperatures near freezing are expected to produce a mixture of snow, freezing rain and sleet beginning Sunday morning, with a mix continuing through the day Sunday and turning to mostly snow all day Monday. However, the weather service cautioned Friday that there are still a lot of uncertainties about what will fall where. While the Twin Cities is on guard for this varied menu of moisture, the East Coast from New York northward is bracing for just one type of precipitation: snow, and lots of it. Forecasts there call for a foot or more during the weekend from Manhattan all the way into Maine.
Airports in the target zone and all around the country were seeing flights canceled before the first snowflake fell. That includes Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where Delta was scrubbing flights all day Friday to cities such as Hartford, Conn., Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Newark, N.J.
Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this story. Bill McAuliffe • 612-673-7646