Friday AM Update:
Overnight models are in support the Weather Lab thinking below. If any shift is noticed, it may be a slight shift to the north. This keeps the Metro on the southern edge of the storm, and could mean a rapid cut off in accumulations over the Twin Cities from northwest to southeast.
Let's see if the Friday morning model runs confirm, or shift a little north again. Any further shift to the north could mean accumulating snowfall would mostly miss the metro to the north.
Enjoy the milder weather Friday!
Winter Storm Watch posted for eastern South Dakota and far western Minnesota
Morris-Alexandria-Brainerd-Duluth Most likely axis for heaviest snowfall band of 3" to 6"+
80% chance Weather Lab estimate of a plowable (2"+) snowfall in Alexandria, Brainerd, Little Falls and Duluth
On the edge - Twin Cities on the southern edge of this storm
We're within 48 hours of our first significant snowfall for much of central Minnesota.
The System & Track:
Most models agree on a relatively fast moving, moisture lean system that will track through Iowa into Wisconsin Saturday.
Here's what we think we can say with a high degree of confidence in the weather lab as of Thursday night.
-Confidence is growing that the heaviest snow band (3" to 6"+) will set up from eastern South Dakota through central Minnesota toward Duluth.
-A "plowable" snow of at least appears likely from Brown's Valley to Morris, Alexandria, Little Falls, Brainerd, Mille Lacs to Duluth.
-Model solutions still show some degree of variability, especially for the Twin Cities which lies on the southern edge of this system. As of Thursday night, the two most likely scenarios for the metro are light snow in the 1" to 3" range or a near miss to the north, with just a coating in many metro communities. Accumulating snow could still largely miss the (southern) metro to the north, or yet another shift south could increase snow totals. We'll make the final call Friday PM. At this point, little or no accumulation is expected south of the metro.
-Bottom Line: Expect snow from the Twin Cities north Saturday and Saturday night. Significant accumulations are likely along I-94 between St. Cloud and Detroit lakes, and along I-35 north between North Branch and Duluth. Lesser accumulations are possible in the Twin Cities metro area Saturday night.
Stay tuned as we crunch the latest and hopefully definitive model runs tonight and Friday morning!
Soils beginng to freeze up!
My MPR colleague Mark Seeley highlights our first wintery outbreak in his Weather Talk blog.
"Topic: Snow across the north on November 15th
Tuesday, November 15th brought measurable snow across northern Minnesota. Starting in the west in parts of Polk and Marshall Counties the snow moved east toward Lake Superior later in the day depositing amounts from a half inch to over 3 inches.
Some of the snowfall reports included:
0.8 inches at Duluth
1.6 inches at Ely
1.8 inches at Bemidji
2.0 inches at Kettle River, Virginia, and Silver Bay
2.1 inches at International Falls
2.4 inches at Cotton
2.5 inches at Thief River Falls
2.8 inches at Warren
3.0 inches at Roseau and Grand Rapids
3.4 inches at Cook
3.5 inches at Newfolden
In many places the snow did not last long as temperatures warmed into the 30s F. But the snow ushered in the coldest air of the season so far.
Topic: Coldest Temperatures of the Season
Wednesday (Nov 16) and Thursday (Nov 17) of this week brought the coldest temperatures of the season so far to many parts of the state. Many observers reported lows in the teens F. The Twin Cities fell to just 16 degrees F on November 17th, the coldest reading since March 27th. Some western Minnesota observers were even colder, with single digit readings and even below 0 degrees F. Hallock was the coldest spot in the state (and the 48 contiguous states) with -6 degrees F, while Donaldson was -1 degrees F on November 17th. Fosston fell to 0 degrees F. Others who reported single digit lows included: Crookston and Thief River Falls with 1 degrees F; Benson was 3 degrees F; Mahnomen reported 4 degrees F; Morris and Windom fell to 5 degrees F; Park Rapids reported 6 degrees F; and Pipestone and Fergus Falls fell to 7 degrees F.
As a result of the very cold temperatures, the top 3-4 inches of soil began to freeze at University of Minnesota Research and Outreach Centers located at Waseca, Lamberton, Morris, and Crookston. This was true of the soils on the St Paul Campus as well. Drier soils more readily freeze up than wetter ones."
Just wanted to say thank you for a straightforward and enjoyable blog --- you're the most accurate meteorologist in the Twin Cities.
Keep it up!
Thanks Mike! Rock on. Let's hope you still feel that way on Sunday! :-)
When do we get an update?