Morning and midday radar trends (see below) turned out to be right on. As the system slides south, the northern edge of the snow shield is grazing the southeast metro, setting up in Dakaota County.
It looks like most of the metro will get skunked (spared?) with this system. Expect a slushy inch or so in the SE metro, especially Dakota county.
Staeady snow has been heavy at times in southeast Minnesota & northern Iowa. Here are some totals so far courtesy of the La Crosse NWS.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
228 PM CDT TUE APR 19 2011
...RECENT REPORTED SNOWFALL TOTALS FROM AROUND THE AREA...
LOCATION SNOWFALL TIME LAT/LON
WAUKON 8NW 3.2 0140 PM 43.34N 91.6W
MONONA 2.0 0114 PM 43.05N 91.39W
CHARLES CITY 3.0 0136 PM 43.07N 92.68W
CRESCO 4.7 0136 PM 43.38N 92.12W
DODGE CENTER 0.7 0150 PM 44.03N 92.86W
HARMONY 5.0 0119 PM 43.56N 92.01W
SPRING VALLEY 4.0 0113 PM 43.69N 92.39W
SPRING VALLEY 3E 3.4 1252 PM 43.68N 92.31W
SPRING GROVE 4N 3.2 0130 PM 43.60N 91.64W
AUSTIN 3.5 0105 PM 43.67N 92.98W
SOUTHWEST AND CENTRAL WISCONSIN
...LA CROSSE COUNTY...
HOLMEN 2S 2.0 0119 PM 43.95N 91.26W
WEST SALEM 1.5 0115 PM 43.90N 91.1W
VIROQUA 7SE 4.0 1225 PM 43.51N 90.83W
OBSERVATIONS ARE COLLECTED FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES WITH VARYING
EQUIPMENT AND EXPOSURE. NOT ALL DATA LISTED IS CONSIDERED OFFICIAL.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI
1143 AM CDT TUE APR 19 2011
...TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
...DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
0929 AM SNOW HARMONY 43.56N 92.01W
04/19/2011 E3.5 INCH FILLMORE MN PUBLIC
1015 AM SNOW ROCHESTER AIRPORT 43.91N 92.50W
04/19/2011 E2.0 INCH OLMSTED MN PUBLIC
1028 AM SNOW SPRING VALLEY 3E 43.68N 92.31W
04/19/2011 E2.4 INCH FILLMORE MN PUBLIC
1057 AM SNOW FAYETTE 9W 42.84N 91.91W
04/19/2011 E2.5 INCH FAYETTE IA PUBLIC
1059 AM SNOW CALEDONIA 6S 43.54N 91.50W
04/19/2011 E4.7 INCH HOUSTON MN PUBLIC
1100 AM SNOW AUSTIN 43.67N 92.98W
04/19/2011 E1.5 INCH MOWER MN PUBLIC
1104 AM SNOW MANTORVILLE 44.07N 92.76W
04/19/2011 E1.1 INCH DODGE MN PUBLIC
1105 AM SNOW DOUGLAS 2N 44.16N 92.57W
04/19/2011 E1.8 INCH OLMSTED MN PUBLIC
1107 AM SNOW WINONA 3S 43.99N 91.61W
04/19/2011 E1.2 INCH WINONA MN PUBLIC
1110 AM SNOW LYLE 2NE 43.54N 92.92W
04/19/2011 E3.8 INCH MOWER MN PUBLIC
1112 AM SNOW RENO 3SW 43.53N 91.33W
04/19/2011 E1.8 INCH HOUSTON MN PUBLIC
1113 AM SNOW DORCHESTER 43.47N 91.52W
04/19/2011 E2.3 INCH ALLAMAKEE IA PUBLIC
1114 AM SNOW WAUKON 8NW 43.34N 91.60W
04/19/2011 E2.1 INCH ALLAMAKEE IA PUBLIC
1116 AM SNOW LANSING 4SE 43.32N 91.16W
04/19/2011 E3.2 INCH ALLAMAKEE IA PUBLIC
1117 AM SNOW NEW HAMPTON 43.06N 92.31W
04/19/2011 E3.0 INCH CHICKASAW IA PUBLIC
1120 AM SNOW ELKADER 6SSW 42.81N 91.43W
04/19/2011 E0.7 INCH CLAYTON IA PUBLIC
1124 AM SNOW ST ANSGAR 43.38N 92.92W
04/19/2011 E3.5 INCH MITCHELL IA PUBLIC
1127 AM SNOW LA CROSSE NWS 43.82N 91.19W
04/19/2011 E1.3 INCH LA CROSSE WI PUBLIC
1131 AM SNOW SOLDIERS GROVE 43.39N 90.77W
04/19/2011 E2.8 INCH CRAWFORD WI PUBLIC
1132 AM SNOW STEUBEN 2SW 43.15N 90.89W
04/19/2011 E1.8 INCH CRAWFORD WI PUBLIC
1134 AM SNOW PRAIRIE DU CHIEN 43.03N 91.14W
04/19/2011 E1.5 INCH CRAWFORD WI PUBLIC
1136 AM SNOW GILLINGHAM 43.43N 90.45W
04/19/2011 E1.3 INCH RICHLAND WI PUBLIC
1139 AM SNOW WESTBY 3ENE 43.66N 90.82W
04/19/2011 E1.6 INCH VERNON WI PUBLIC
Sticking with the notion of 1" to 2" in the metro by morning for now...but I'm seeing radar trends (and dry air near the surface) that may indicate the system is sliding south.
There is still a chance most of this system will miss the metro to the south, but I still think the next wave of precip should overrun the metro through midday into the PM.
Heavy snow still a go for the I-90 corridor, where visibilities have been under 1/2 mile in moderate to heavy snow at times.
Stay tuned as precip fights to work north today...
***Original post 8:30am***
Our unseasonably late winter weather system is here.
A mixed bag of rain and snow is expanding slowly north today through southern Minnesota.
Rain/snow mix in southern MN Tuesday morning.
The system is "temperature critical" meaning a swing of just 2 or 3 degrees in any one spot will spell the difference between rain and snow today. Colder air and dark of night should mean a change to all snow by this evening as the system slides by to the south.
As we talked about yesterday, snowfall accumulations still appear to be heaviest in southeast MN & western WI. I expect a band of 3" to 6"+ along the I-90 corridor from Worthington to Albert Lea and Rochester to La Crosse....running up through Winona and Eau Claire.
Snowfall rates will be intense enough to overcome warm ground in these areas...and I expect some slick roadways today & tonight into early Wednesday.
The overnight model runs confirm yesterday's thinking form the weather lab, and it still appears we'll get more of a glancing blow from Willmar through the Twin Cities to Rice Lake, with 1" to 3" on most lawns by Wednesday morning.
It looks to me like most of the metro will see an inch or two on grassy areas early Wednesday morning, with the best chance of 3" in the south & east metro.
Poor model performance again?
This system is still not in the books and anything could happen, but it looks like several model runs got it wrong again. This has been a trend this spring with Upper Midwest weather systems. The GFS (and to some degree the NAM) has been all over the map, with wildly varying snowfall projections for the metro. I wonder if the numerical modelers in Washington D.C. are paying attention.
It takes a lot of forecasting savvy and guts to stare down computer output of up to a foot of snow, and forecast an inch or two. Quite frankly it's getting old and tiresome. The GFS in particular has had an abysmal record with snowfall projections for the Twin Cities this late winter & spring.
Expect some flakes to fly as we head through the day and tonight, mostly in the southern half of Minnesota.