Major winter storm

Here we go. A major winter storm in April.

If you are planning any travel around Minnesota the next 48 hours get ready for wind, rain sleet snow and thunder. It all depends where you are.

A powerful winter type storm is moving in and will be with us into early Saturday.

Rain is spreading northward today from Iowa into Minnesota. As the day goes on, rain will gradually change to snow from west to east. By nightfall the rain snow line should be very close to the Twin Cities. That means a mixed bag around the metro. We will see rain, sleet and snow from southeast to northwest across the metro this evening. It appears rain will change to all snow as we go through the night here in the metro.

The strong dynamics and forcing with this storm will mean thunderstorms may develop as well. Thundersleet or thundersnow is a possibility tonight as the strongest part of the storm draws near.

As for snow totals, it still appears at this time that the heaviest snow band will set up from Redwood Falls to Willmar to St. Cloud to Cambridge to Duluth. This area could see 12″ to 18″ by Saturday morning, with plenty of blowing and drifting snow as winds gusts over 30 mph.

Here in the metro I expect a snow gradient again. The best chance of 6″ to 12″ should favor the west and north metro, with substantially lower amounts of 3″ to 6″ south and east of the metro as these areas remain mixed with rain longer.

This will be a mostly rain event for Rochester and La Crosse, with a few inches of wet snow possible Friday after the changeover to snow occurs in southeast Minnesota.

The bottom line is, get ready for a major winter weather event for the next 48 hours. Expect near blizzard conditions and school closings as we move toward Friday. Stay tuned for updates on Minnesota Public Radio.

Here are some resources to keep tabs on the storm. Stay safe!

Twin Cities radar loop

Twin Cities NSW storm coverage

MNDOT metro traffic info and cameras


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