Don't Despair Snow Lovers. This thing isn't over yet. Although we'll see a cold rain much of tonight, a changeover back to snow is likely late - I think we'll wake up to a couple inches of slush, in fact the northern suburbs could pick up 2-5" of snow before this thing winds down during the day tomorrow.
Doppler At 5:13 pm. It looks like we'll be OK for evening rush hour. Surface temperatures are just above freezing as far north at St. Cloud and Cambridge. A period of sleet should quickly change over to mostly rain this evening and tonight, before changing back to wet snow in the metro, after 4 or 5 am. We could still wind up with 1-3" of slushy snow Wednesday morning before flakes begin to taper off. Radar courtesy of NOAA (and GR2 Analyst).
- Rain is likely overnight, mixed with sleet at times, in the immediate Twin Cities. If you're heading toward Mille Lacs or St. Cloud rain will quickly change to sleet, then snow.
- Watch the bridges, especially outside the MSP metro area. Surface temperatures should hover around 32-34 much of the night, but glaze ice may build up on some bridges, especially north metro.
- Latest models change rain over to wet snow after 4 or 5 am, with a potential for a few inches of slushy snow Wednesday morning. I could see some 2-4" amounts north metro (closer to 5 or even 6" near St. Michael and Monticello), maybe 2-3" downtowns and only 1-2" southern suburbs. Once again: a big north/south snowfall gradient with this system.
- Like snow? Head up to Duluth or the Brainerd Lakes area this weekend. Some 12-20" amounts are likely, biggest of the winter (by far). Get up there soon: 40s may melt most of the snow by the middle of next week. One model (GFS) is hinting at upper 50s the second weekend of March. Just our luck.
- Forget the calendar; this will be a typical storm for late March. Temperatures hold at or above freezing for much of the storm, so I expect metro freeways to be in fairly good shape. But if you're driving west on I-94 or 10 conditions will get worse as you approach Monticello and St. Cloud. Roads in the Alexandria area may become quite treacherous.
- Winter Storm Warning has been downgraded to a Winter Weather Advisory for the the Twin Cities. Warnings are still posted just north of the metro, where precipitation should fall as (mostly) snow overnight before slowly winding down Wednesday.
- Blizzard Warnings are posted for a small portion of west central Minnesota, where no changeover to ice is expected, and travel will become increasingly treacherous.
Warning Downgraded To Advisory For MSP Metro. Winter Storm Warnings are still posted for central and northern Minnesota, but a surge of warmer air aloft has lowered the risk of major snowfall amounts from Redwood Falls, Hutchinson and the Twin Cities on south. I still expect a slow, slushy Wednesday AM commute, but with temperatures a few degrees above freezing most major roads and freeways will probably be wet. The latest from the local NWS office here.
How Much? Although the brunt of the snow is sailing north of MSP, we'll still have something to show for all the buzz and media hype: I'm thinking 2-4" north metro and maybe 1-2" southern 'burbs between 5 am and noon on Wednesday, just enough snow to gum up secondary roads, some bridges and side streets. From Alexandria to Brainerd over a foot is expected, maybe as much as 18-20" near Duluth. NAM solution above courtesy of WeatherCaster.