(Blog update by meteorologists Rob Koch and Ron Trenda)
A stronger Alberta Clipper moves through Minnesota Sunday and Sunday night. Northern and northwestern parts of Minnesota could see 2 to 4 inches of powdery snow, with a few isolated 6 inch totals between Detroit Lakes and International Falls. So while the Alberta Clipper lacks the moisture to produce a widespread 6 inch snow or more, its powerful winds of 30 to 40 mph will shake, rattle and roll your windows, siding and car, if travelling starting Sunday afternoon.
The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Twin Cities from 3 pm Sunday until noon Monday. Calling for up to an inch of snow with visibility reduced to less than a mile at times in open areas. Near blizzard conditions are likely in southwest, west central and northwestern Minnesota. A blizzard warning is in effect for far northwestern Minnesota and parts of west-central Minnesota into North Dakota from 9am Sunday until 6am Monday. From Crookston to Alexandria, snowfall totals could reach 3 to 6 inches. Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for this area:
Graphic shows the threat for winds of 50 to 60 mph Sunday across the western third of Minnesota. Travel difficulties are expected to develop by the afternoon.
Model agreement. Forecasting snow has never been and I doubt ever will become a perfect science. There’s far too many variables. Good model continuity does help to pin down the snow amounts and allows us forecasters to feel more confident with our predictions. With this clipper I have moderate to high confidence in the snowfall map below. You can see it predicts between 2 to 6 inches in the northern parts of the state, while the east receives a 1/2 to 1.5″ and the south central 1″ or less.
Credit: Tropicaltidbits.com 60 hour snowfall forecast based on the NAM 4km model.
February trend. The snowfall frequency of storms producing an inch or more in the Twin Cities lowers this time of year according to climatestations.com. The most common snowfall from a storm system around Feb 7 in the Twin Cities is between 1/2 to 1 inch. Cast your eyes forward to the first week of March, that’s when we often start to see more 4 to 6 inch snows.
Stress and sweaty hands: No one likes to get behind the wheel of their car or truck when Mother Nature gets in a foul weather mood. By mid-morning Sunday expect white out conditions in the western third of Minnesota. Gusty winds ramp up over central Minnesota early in the afternoon and finally in the east and south about an hour or two before the Super Bowl. If you have any travel plans, consider delaying them until Monday or equip your vehicle with a winter survival kit and make sure your cell phone battery is fully charged and with you. Patience on the roads will be your best friend.
Sweater weather. Get some extra mileage out of those heavy sweaters. Below average high temperatures look to make a return by Tuesday and stay with us through at least mid-February. While there could be an isolated mid-to-upper 20 degree day, highs in the teens to low 20s are going to be common.
Credit: Tropicaltidbits.com Colder than average temperature from Minnesota to Florida next week. EPS model compared climatology data from 1981 to 2010.