Update: 1-2" Icy Slush Much of Metro, 3-6" Expected Northern/Western Suburbs (up to a foot parts of central Minnesota)
April 16, 2014 — 6:48pm
Amazing Snowfall Gradient Across Metro Area. Otsego reports 9" of snow on the ground, with 7" at Ham Lake, 5" Forest Lake, 4" Maple Plain and 5" at Delano. Expect a burst of moderate to heavy snow this evening, capable of a couple inches of slushy accumulation across most of the metro, but as much as 3-6" for portions of the northern and western suburbs before snow tapers around 10-11 PM.
Latest Snowfall Reports, Updated 6:30 PM. 10.5" of snow has already piled up near Big Lake with 10" at Annandale and 9" at St. Francis, in northern Anoka County. An icy mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet changes to mostly snow this evening with 1-2" for the immediate downtowns, less south of the airport, more north and west of Minneapolis. The far northern and northwestern suburbs will see a plowable snowfall; most of it cutting off after midnight. Latest snow reports from NOAA are here.
Latest WRF Model. The 18z HopWRF (3 km resolution - it's done a pretty good job this winter isolated snowfall amounts) shows a band of 5-8" from near Willmar and St. Cloud, as much as 10-12" from Sandstone and Hinkley to near Duluth and Superior by Thursday morning. Expect some 3-6" amounts for the far northern and western suburbs. The farther north and west you drive up I-94 or I-35 the more treacherous travel conditions will be overnight. Pretend it's still February.
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Monday turned out a little nicer than expected: low 70s with glimmers of sun. I think it sprinkled for 3 minutes or so. Not bad at all. We got all that "nice weather" out of the way, now it's time for a little payback, served runny and cold. Just rain today into much of Wednesday, but enough cold air may mix down for a slushy mix Wednesday PM, even an inch of snow close to the MSP metro by Thursday morning. Spring in Minnesota is a cool, cruel mistress. You'll see.
OK, so it will be tough topping this past weekend for beauty and splendor. Highs near 70s with generous sunshine, at least from the Twin Cities on south. North of MSP it got gray and chilly in a hurry. A few showers pop today with more 60s, and then a relapse arrives with jacket-worthy 40s, maybe even a few inches of slushy snow by Wednesday across parts of central and northern Minnesota. Isn't April fun?
What can you say about Saturday? As fine a day as I can ever remember (anytime, anywhere). Extraordinary doesn't quite sum it up adequately. I expect more clouds today, even a shower north of MSP this morning, but we should see more 60s today and Monday before a reality check on Tuesday. Probably just a cold rain in the metro but a slushy surprise may await parts of central and northern Minnesota by Tuesday night. I can hardly wait!
Good luck staying indoors the next couple of days. Plan on enough sun for upper 60s to near 70F, with low humidity and a reasonable bug count. A few showers and T-storms Monday mark the leading edge of a cooler front, but nothing too traumatic is brewing in the 7-Day.
Now we're getting the sloppy storms we should have experienced in March. Back in February we were getting weather more typical of early April. Makes perfect sense to me. The sun stays out most of today and Saturday, your faith in a Minnesota spring restored. At least for the moment. If you listen carefully you can almost hear your lawn growing...