Storm Update: Snow intensity increasing

Our 7th winter storm in 6 weeks is here.

Snow has arrived in the metro, and will pick up in intensity as we head through the afternoon. Bands of heavier snowfall intensity are increasing and will move through the metro through the PM hours! Expect road conditions to rapidly deteriorate this afternoon!

This is our first weekday storm in a while, and the PM school bus trip home and PM rush hour will be affected this time.

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Snow picks up on MNDOT traffic cam at Highway 7 & Williston Rd. in Minnetonka late Monday morning.

Here is the latest on the growing storm.

-Snowfall Coverage Expanding:

A long wedge of snowfall runs from eastern Montana through the Dakotas into Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The leading edge of snowfall continues to expand rapidly northeast.

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Twin low pressure centers pushing snow east from the northern Rockies Monday.

Timing:

Snowfall will continue this afternoon into this evening, before tapering off late tonight. In the metro, snowfall may taper off, or become mixed with freezing drizzle after midnight. There could be an icy coating at the storm’s tail end overnight.

Intensity:

Look for peak snowfall intensity between about 2pm and 8pm tonight. Snowfall rates could approach 1″ per hour at times during this window late PM into this evening. We should have a good 2″ to 4″ down by PM rush in the metro.

This of course is peak PM rush hour, and I expect very difficult travel with moderate to heavy snowfall rates (visibilities 3/4 to 1/2 mile!) during the PM rush tonight.

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NAM model suggests 6.5″ snowfall (blue) with snowfall rates near 1″ per hour late today. Also notice wetter snowfall and freezing drizzle potential (red).

Totals:

The latest morning model runs confirm the notion of cranking out about .60″ liquid…and an overall snow:water ratio of around 10:1. That’s a good 6″ of snow for much of the metro. I still think an overall range of 4″ to 8″ looks good for the metro…with some heavier 8″+ totals north of I-94 from Alexandria to St. Cloud and Hinckley.

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Latest NAM model run lays out broad 6″+ totals.

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Morning NAM run…7.8″ for metro?

Storm Character:

This “warm advection” snow event will feature a heavier wetter snow at times than in our past few snowstorms. It should be good snowball & snowman snow! Enough warm air is mixing in that ice is a concern late tonight.

Also the warmer nature of the storm means there is no bitterly cold shot of arctic air behind the system. Temps may push 30 degrees on Tuesday.

And yes, there is another shot of plowable snow possible Thursday…but first things first.

Bottom Line:

The storm is here! Prepare for snow to increase in intensity through the PM into tonight!

Here are some links to track the storm today.

-Latest Twin Cities radar loop

-Latest NWS warning info

-Latest snowfall totals

-MNDOT Traffic Cams

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