Model consensus

We have achieved model consensus.

Huh? What the heck does that mean?

It means you’re more confident if you’re a meteorologist trying to forecast a winter storm for the Twin Cities this weekend. But it’s scary when the models start to agree, you always wonder what could go wrong.

December could come in like a wintery lion if the model forecasts bear out for Saturday. After chilly days today and Friday, relatively warm and moist air will begin to push over our cold air dome Saturday. We call this overrunning, and it is the most efficient mechanism for producing lift or “upglide” and the perfect environment for producing snow crystals. The overrunning begins Saturday morning and peaks late in the day.

We could see a period of 12 hours of moderate to heavy snow, and that combined with liquid totals of .50 to nearly 1″ would translate into roughly 5 to 10″ of snow. If we get thundersnow, or convective snow bursts within the storm, those totals could increase in some spots.

Look for Twin Cities NWS to hoist winter storm watches for much of MN by Friday.

Twin Cities NWS Forecasts

What could go wrong? Plenty. The surface low track now looks to be from Colorado to Omaha to Des Moines to near La Crosse. That’s an ideal track for heavy snow in the metro.

If that track moves further south, it will take the heavy snow band with it. On the other hand if a layer of above freezing air works far enough north, it could change snow to ice or rain in some areas, reducing snow amounts.

Stay tuned, but it looks like our first inch of snow this season is in the bag for Saturday. And somebody between the Twin Cities and the Iowa border could see their first foot.


  • Tim

    Great that we won’t have to deal with this in a rush hour and that the kids will have time to play in it, too! The only thing that’s too bad is that my relatives from Arizona and other points South – you know, the ones that came for Thanksgiving and complained about the cold, while I walked around outside in shirtsleeves – will have missed it!

  • Paul Huttner

    Tim & Curt…I completely agree that the weekend timing is excellent. I guess the only people who want big snow on the weekdays are the kids who want a snow day!