Canada snow cover increases: Is Minnesota next?

It’s finally starting to look like November Canada. Snow cover has increased significantly in the past week.

Check out the North American snow cover images below. The first is from November 9th. The second is snow cover Monday.

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You can see that snow has filled in and expanded south in Canada over the past few days. Also note the narrow band of snow from last week in Wisconsin & Iowa has melted away.

On track for Saturday snow: Plowable in Alexandria, Brainerd & Duluth?

It’s November and we’re used to seeing the first good dumping of snow in places like Fargo, Brainerd and Duluth this time of year.

That’s why it was a little unusual when tiny Caledonia in far southeast Minnesota was among the first to get on the 2011 snowfall board when 3.1″ fell last week.

Now it looks like the traditional snow “powers” in Minnesota like Brainerd and Duluth may get on the board by Saturday.

If the latest model runs are right, the snow could be heavy in central and northeast Minnesota, and the chances for accumulating snow in the metro are growing.

The System:

A classic “Colorado Low.” Early model runs are developing low pressure in Colorado Friday. The so called “lee cyclogenesis” in the lee of the Rockies is a breeding ground for winter storms.

The Track:

Monday’s GFS model runs have trended south with the track. The latest model runs track a deepening low pressure system from near Denver Friday, to Omaha early Saturday, to La Crosse by Saturday PM, then onto Green Bay.

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GFS Model forecast with low pressure near Ames, IA at noon Saturday. Rain snow line near the northwest Twin Cities according to this possible scenario.

If this track verifies, it’s an excellent track for accumulating (and potentially heavy!) snow in central and northeast Minnesota and possibly even the Twin Cities.

Storm Timing:

At this point the most likely window for rain and snow is Saturday and Saturday night.

Temperature Profile:

If the 18Z GFS run is to be believed at this point, the system would be cold enough for all snow north and west of a Redwood Falls-Northwest Metro-Hinckley line early Saturday. Rain would then quickly change to all snow as the system passes by later Saturday.

Possible Accumulations?

If the above forecast track pans out, the heaviest snow (and it could be a plowable pile) would fall from Fergus Falls, Alex, St. Cloud & Brainerd to the Iron Range Duluth and the North Shore.

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GFS model lays down heavy snow band (6″ to 8″+?) from Fergus Falls through Brainerd, the Iron Range to near Duluth Saturday.

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****The models and storm track will likely change, but given the current track, everyone from Redwood Falls to Fargo, St. Cloud, Brainerd, Iron Range, Duluth, The North Shore, and possibly the even Twin Cities should be alert for the possibility of the season’s first significant snowfall Saturday.****

As we say in the weather biz….stay tuned!


  • Caleb


    Will this bring strong N-NW flow (winds) as the low is to the south? How far North will that reach?