Late evening models runs tracking Thursday & Friday's clipper systems farther north. That will likely mean less snow for the metro. Thursday system may bring a coating to 1". Friday may bring another 1" to maybe 2" at the outside.
Also, GFS tonight backs off on severity and duration of arctic air late next week into next weekend. It may not get that cold, for that long...possible a couple of sub-zero nights late next week.
Get ready for a parade of Alberta Clippers.
The "tall ships" of weather are heading for Minnesota in a fast moving upper flow from the northwest.
Each system looks to bring a quick hitting shot of 1" to 2" of snowfall to Minnesota. In total the systems could lay down a total of 3" to 6" over the next week, before the mother lode of arctic air finally breaks off and heads south late next week.
Here's the rundown on what could be as many as 4 different clipper systems sailing through Minnesota over the next week.
Clipper #1: Thursday:
Timing: Snow pushes into eastern ND & NW MN in the morning. Snow spreads toward the metro by about lunchtime....pushing east into WI by around PM drive.
Intensity/duration/accumulation: Light snow intensity with a duration of about 3-4 hours. Accumulations around 1".
Primary impact: Metro: Post lunchtime and early PM rush Thursday.
Clipper #2: Friday:
Timing: Snow in eastern ND & western MN by lunchtime. Metro snow spreads west to east during late PM or early evening, with bulk of the snow Friday night.
Intensity/duration/accumulation: Quick onset & shot of more moderate snow intensity with a duration of about 6-7 hours. Accumulations centered on about 2". (Range 1.5" to 2.5"?)
Primary impact: Metro: Friday night travel. Slick roads linger early Saturday AM. Weekend temps look seasonably cold but not arctic. Metro highs in the teens Saturday. Lows near 0 Sunday morning with single digit highs Sunday PM.
Clipper #3: Monday:
Timing: Crystal ball gets murkier...and timing can easily be off on systems this far out. There could be a brief shot of light snow Sunday night, but the bulk of this clipper appears to arrive late Monday.
Intensity/duration/accumulation: Light snow with a duration of closer to 12 hours? Accumulations around 1-2".
Primary impact: Metro: Monday night & Tuesday AM rush.
Clipper #4: Wednesday?:
It's too far out to have credible detail, but it appears another inch of fluff is possible before the mother lode of arctic air surges south late next week.
Arctic outbreak to follow late next week?
The well advertised and somewhat delayed arctic outbreak appears to be on track for late next week into next weekend. (January 20th-25th)
A series of increasingly bitter chunks of arctic air should break off from the Arctic Circle and be driven south by a strong northwest jet stream late next week.
The GFS is still cranking out lows in the -20 to potentially -25 range for next weekend...with daytime highs struggling to reach -5 to -8.
If the GFS verifies, there could be a period of 48 hours plus of continuous sub zero temperatures in much of Minnesota including the metro.
Very well laid out, Paul. It's nice to have things presented so clearly!
How much confidence do you have in the GFS model that it will verify for the bitter cold late next week? Is there agreement with other models? In other words, if you were a betting man, would you bet that it will get that cold?
I'm never THAT confident in the long range GFS...which has a tendency to overblow cold outbreaks. ECMWF does a much better job with arctic outbreks IMO.
In fact GFS has backed off the cold air quite a bit in tonight's run.
Stay tuned...hopefully it won't get that cold!