The latest forecasts that show a significant winter storm heading to Minnesota by midweek had many people commenting on social media Sunday with variations of: “That’s it, I’m moving.”
“I know some people were hoping it was, but this is not an April Fool’s joke,” said Brent Hewett, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Chanhassen.
A mix of rain and snow could start falling Wednesday before changing into just snow, Hewett said.
“There’s potential for significant snow on the cold side of the storm, and as it tracks now, the Twin Cities will be on that cold side,” he said.
Still, it’s too early to know where the rain, snow or sleet will fall and how much will accumulate.
Current models show a “mind-blowing” amount of precipitation, but NWS meteorologists feel that those models are overpredicting, Hewett said.
But, he said there’s “high confidence” that parts of Minnesota could see 6 or more inches of snow and gusting winds on Thursday that could mean reduced visibility as that snow blows around.
The system was over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday evening and wasn’t expected to make landfall until Monday morning.
When it does, the NWS will have more updated data, Hewett said.
“As we get closer, we will probably put out a winter storm watch,” he said, emphasizing that it’s a fluid storm system and forecasts will continue to update. “We just want the public to prepare and keep a close eye on it.”
For those turning to social media to bemoan the winter weather this spring, Hewett offers this reminder: April brings an average of 3 inches of snowfall to the Twin Cities.
“Snow in April is definitely not unheard of,” Hewett added.
Still, the significant snowfalls stand out in residents’ memories, and this week’s could add to that list.
“It could have some pretty bad impacts,” Hewett said. “At least keep the snow shovel and snowblower accessible and the snow boots ready.”