Making the transition from winter to spring is about as smooth as a drive down a road pitted with potholes.
A surge of precipitation was tracking through southern Minnesota at daybreak and will be mainly rain in southeast Minnesota, but will transition to snow and freezing rain in northwest Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas. Northeast Minnesota is the most likely to receive accumulating snow.Track the wintry forecast from Duluth at this storm update website.
NOAA's forecast for the probability of snow accumulating six inches or more by 7 a.m. CDT Sunday.
NWS Warnings and Advisories for today into this evening are shown below. Pink shaded area is a warning for freezing rain changing to accumulating snow. The blue shaded area is a winter weather advisory for ice accumulation this morning. The forecast remains a work in progress.
The discussion from National Weather Service meteorologists this morning from the Chanhassen Office included this comment about the confidence of ice accumulation in the area of central Minnesota under a winter storm warning:
THE WINTER STORM WARNING IS QUESTIONABLE AT THE MOMENT. THERE IS FREEZING RAIN OCCURRING IN THE NORTHWEST PERIPHERY...WITH ONE TO TWO TENTHS OF AN INCH OF ICE POSSIBLE. THEN SNOW COMES IN THE AFTERNOON/EVENING. WILL LEAVE THIS WARNING RIDE FOR NOW. WILL LIKELY DO SOME ADJUSTMENT TO COVERAGE/TYPE LATER THIS MORNING.
Today's forecasted maximum temperatures from the National Weather Service show the mercury climbing well into the 30s in southeast Minnesota and into central Wisconsin.
Ice accumulations may make roadways slick for a time this morning in the metro area, but wet roads are likely later this morning and this afternoon.
Travel with caution as road conditions may vary considerably.
Generous precipitation from the system will put yet another dent in the drought status, although a frozen landscape is likely to result in runoff into ponds, creeks, rivers and lakes. Some minor flooding is possible on roadways due to clogged drains.
This forecast from the NAM sugests the heaviest precipitation will occur through central into northeast Minnesota this afternoon and evening.
The Twin Cities metro area, at this time, does not appear to be in a region of heavy rain today. But the forecast remains a challenge.
Radar image shortly before 7 a.m. CST displays a break in the precipitation this morning in central Minnesota.
Over a third of an inch of precipitation fell in St. Cloud and at the Twin Cities International Airport overnight. I measured 0.38 inches of precipitation in Eden Prairie as of 7 a.m. CST
A mixture of cold rain and snow changed to snow in western and central Minnesota this afternoon with the accumulation of several inches from Alexandria to Brainerd, including a report of 6.5 inches of snow at Millersville in Douglas County, northwest of Alexandria.
Snow will spread northeast the remainder of the afternoon, but is expected to taper from west to northeast this evening. Snowfall totals of 4 to 6 inches are likely from near Grand Rapids to Duluth and Hibbiing.
Heavy rain this afternoon resulted in some flooding problems around Mankato, where a twenty-four hour total rainfall of 1.20 inches was reported.
From the National Weather Service in Chanhassen at 220 p.m. CST:
STATE PATROL REPORTED THAT A SEGMENT OF THE SOUTHBOUND RIGHT LANE OF HIGHWAY 169 HAS BEEN CLOSED JUST SOUTH OF ST PETER DUE TO A MUD SLIDE.
In the greater Twin Cities Metro area, rainfall amounts have approached a half inch since the rain began late last night.
A cold front was tracking southeast through the state and will usher in cooler air during the overnight hours. The front will stall over northern Iowa on Sunday. Another low pressure will move along the front from Missouri on Sunday.
Heavy snow may develop over southeast Minnesota on Sunday night into Monday.
Snowfall potential with the next storm favors Rochester, LaCrosse and west central Wisconsin.
The National Weather Service in LaCrosse, Wisconsin has issued a winter storm watch for the shaded area for Sunday night and Monday morning.
Snowfall probability of eight inches or more from NOAA's NCEP for Sunday night and Monday morning.
From the National Weather Service at LaCrosse this afternoon, expressing the uncertainity of the path of the next snow producer:
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LA CROSSE WI 259 PM CST SAT MAR 9 2013
...ANOTHER EARLY SPRING SNOW STORM FOR THE REGION...
.WINTER IS NOT OVER YET AS ANOTHER ROUND OF HEAVY SNOW IS LIKELY
FOR AREA. SNOW WILL MOVE INTO NORTHEAST IOWA AND SOUTHWEST
WISCONSIN LATE SUNDAY AFTERNOON...SPREADING NORTHEAST ACROSS THE
AREA SUNDAY EVENING. THE SNOW WILL GRADUALLY EXIT NORTHEAST
4 TO 8 INCHES ARE EXPECTED WITH THIS STORM. WHERE THE HEAVIEST
SNOW FALLS IS UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME. THE BULK OF THE
ACCUMULATIONS WILL OCCUR SUNDAY NIGHT.
I'll keep an eye on the path of the next system and have an update for you here on Updraft on Sunday morning.
Watch for refreezing on highways and sidewalks overnight as the temperatures fall below freezing. Ponding of water in low spots near curbsides may create hazardous conditions.