Thanksgiving 2014 Travel Headlines

  • Clipper brings snowy travel to Minnesota Wednesday
  • Both morning and evening metro rush hours affected with some snow
  • Slick roads with temperatures in the 20s Wednesday
  • Latest Twin Cities radar loop
  • Most of Minnesota will see 1 to 3 inch accumulations by Wednesday evening
  • Heaviest snowfall totals and Winter Weather Advisories favor the Minnesota River to west of metro with some 2 to 5+ inch totals likely
  • Nor’easter brings rain/snow mix and travel delays to many major East Coast airports Wednesday
  • Coldest Thanksgiving in 29 years for Minnesota – sunny with highs in the teens
  • Favorable Black Friday weather – snowy AM dusting then clearing – highs in the upper 20s
Winter Weather Advisories up Wednesday for 2 to 4 inches of snowfall bracketing the Minnesota River Valley. Twin Cities NWS

Upper Midwest: Snow impacts Wednesday

Snow will impact travel across Minnesota and the Upper Midwest Wednesday. I am a little concerned about underselling this system on the busiest travel day of the year. There are some signs this system may be a little more “productive” than advertised. I have a hunch NWS may be adding more counties to the winter weather advisory. That may include the western Twin Cities metro.

The culprit on the busiest travel day of the year? A respectable Alberta Clipper diving southeast into Iowa. The system spreads a snowy swath across the Upper Midwest.


Here’s a look at weather and travel conditions at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Snow will be in progress across most of Minnesota and a good chunk of the Upper Midwest. Plan accordingly, with extra travel time allotted.


Snow spreads across Minnesota from west-to-east overnight. Snow should start in earnest in the metro between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m., just in time for the morning rush hour. Snow will end from west to east late Thursday afternoon into evening, meaning most of the day and both rush hours will be slower than usual.

Snowfall totals favor 1 to 3 inches in the metro, with southwest metro towns like Victoria, Chanhassen, Chaska and Waconia most likely to approach the 3 inch mark.

NOAA via Iowa State University

The sweet spot for 2 to 4+ inches from a productive little Clipper brackets Minnesota River communities like Granite Falls, New Ulm and Mankato. Some models show a potential snow “boom” that could flare just west of the metro, with some 3″ to 5″+ totals possible. The Global Forecast System output below may be on the high side, but I wouldn’t rule out some 5″+ totals just west of the metro by tomorrow night.

NOAA GFS 5-day snowfall totals include lake enhanced totals near the North Shore. NOAA via

Stay tuned…there is a chance this system ramps up a little more than expected in some parts of Minnesota Wednesday.

Roller coaster temperatures next seven days

Get ready for more big swings in temperature the next seven days. Our push-pull weather pattern continues, with plenty of ups and downs the next week or so. We may poke our heads above the thawing point Saturday and again by next Tuesday or Wednesday.

ECMWF model output via Weatherspark

Nor’easter: Heaviest snows inland

It looks like the rain-snow line will ride inland with mostly rain for D.C., and rain trending to snow in Philadelphia and New York City Wednesday. The heaviest totals should fall just west of the biggest eastern cities, but expect travel delays if you are heading east Wednesday.


My friend and weather colleague Jason Samenow is the Weather Editor for the Washington Post’s always excellent  and not overly hyped Capital Weather Gang.

I spent some time with Jason and toured his weather crib in the Post newsroom this fall during a visit.

Washington Post Newsroom. Paul Huttner/MPR News

Jason and his team are keeping close tabs on the storm for D.C. and the East Coast. Snow is an even bigger deal in D.C. and along the east coast than it is here in Minnesota. The confluence of 75 million people packed into the I-95 corridor presents a snow removal challenge second to none.

Good luck with the forecast Jason!