An arctic front is plowing through southern Minnesota this evening. A quick shot of snow precedes the front, followed by a brisk northwest wind and falling temps.
The snow burst will lay down a quick coating to as much as an inch in the metro.
**Expect snowy roads for the tail end of rush hour and into this evening in the metro!**
As the snow band came through St. Cloud, it dropped a quick inch of snow in 30 minutes!
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
444 PM CST WED JAN 18 2012
0435 PM SNOW ST CLOUD 45.55N 94.17W
01/18/2012 M1.0 INCH STEARNS MN PUBLIC
PICKED UP AN INCH OF SNOW IN ABOUT 30 MINUTES.
Snow is also falling in most of northern Minnesota with the front and arctic air outbreak.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
414 PM CST WED JAN 18 2012
0400 PM SNOW 1 N PILLAGER 46.34N 94.48W
01/18/2012 M1.0 INCH CASS MN TRAINED SPOTTER
Prepare for a wintery evening with plunging temps and dangerous wind chills tonight!
2 above at MSP this morning (coldest so far this winter)
3pm - 6pm Arctic front arrives in the metro (quick snow burst)
-6 forecast low Thursday morning at MSP
-10 in metro suburbs Thursday AM
-20 to -25 from Roseau to International Falls and Ely Thursday AM
January 19th, 2012 new record for latest sub zero temp at MSP if forecasts verify
Snow chance trending south Friday (metro on northern edge)
3" to 6" along I-90 corridor and in northern Iowa Friday?
Sunday snow chance for much of Minnesota
No major warm ups in sight next 16 days
29 to -7 GFS model forecast temp range at MSP next 16 days (06Z run)
Even colder arctic outbreak potential first week of February
Arctic Outbreak: Season's coldest air (so far) on the way
It's finally here.
A "for real" arctic front is moving into northwest Minnesota and will push southeast through the state by tonight. Behind the front, the season's coldest air mass will spill in from the Canadian Prairies.
Temperatures plunged to between -20 and -36 in Saskatchewan and Manitoba near Lake Winnipeg Wednesday morning.
By Thursday morning temps will plunge below zero in all of Minnesota.
Extreme cold warnings are flying for much of Minnesota and the Dakotas.
Another new record Thursday:
We bottomed out at 3 degrees Wednesday morning at MSP. That's the coldest day so far this winter season.
It looks almost certain that temps will dive below zero Thursday morning. I'm forecasting -6 for MSP Airport, with -10 or colder in some metro suburbs.
If we dip below zero Thursday (and not before midnight) we'll set a new record for the latest sub zero reading in the season at MSP Airport.
With arctic cold spilling south, it may be a race between midnight and zero in the metro!
Friday clipper trending south:
A clipper will sail through southern Minnesota and northern Iowa Friday. As is often the case with these systems, the progression of model runs is taking the system a little further south with each passing run.
The latest track trends put the metro on the northern edge of snow, with the highest accumulations along the I-90 corridor and into northern Iowa.
At this point it appears southern Minnesota and northern Iowa could get 3" to 6" of fresh snowfall, with the metro on the edge of lighter totals. There could be a wide "snowfall gradient" from nothing... to a few inches from north to south across the metro Friday.
Stay tuned, I'll nail down forecast metro snow totals Thursday.
Right now, Saturday looks cold and sunny with lows near 0 and highs around 10.
Our next chance of snowfall after Friday comes Sunday. GFS and NAM are advertising another would be clipper as slightly milder air (average) in the 20s pushes back in Sunday. Let's see how the models handle this one.
Extended outlook: Cold pattern persists-no major warm ups in sight
The medium range forecast models suggest that the cold will have some staying power over the next two weeks.
The GFS model is printing out a range of temperatures between 29 and -7 for MSP the next 16 days, with 4 mornings near or slightly below zero. We'll see. The GFS sometimes leans cold, but the overall pattern makes sense.
The GFS also suggests an outbreak of even colder arctic air coming south the first week of February. This also makes sense, since there is still -30 to -50 degree air in Alaska that will likely come south eventually.
This week may not be the coldest week of winter in Minnesota.