Snow Update: Winter Storm Watch; Storm shifts slightly west

Update 6pm:

No real changes in thinking at the weather lab just yet. Heavy, sloppy snow band still progged SE of the metro. Let’s see what tonight’s model run does!

PH

Update 3pm:

Today’s model runs have shifted the storm track slightly to the west. This brings the potential for heavy snow one step closer to the metro, and may produce the season’s first flakes in the eastern Twin Cities by Tuesday night.

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Heavy snow looks likely in Rochester, Winona, Eau Claire and Menomonie, and maybe as close to the metro as Red Wing and Hastings. Winter Storm Watches have now been posted as close to the Twin Cities as St. Croix, Pierce and Goodhue Counties.

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URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN

224 PM CST MON NOV 7 2011

…HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE ACROSS SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL

WISCONSIN TUESDAY NIGHT AND EARLY WEDNESDAY…

.A WINTER STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR TUESDAY NIGHT AND EARLY

WEDNESDAY FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA AND MUCH OF WEST

CENTRAL WISCONSIN. THE WATCH AREA IS ALONG AND EAST OF A LINE FROM

ALBERT LEA TO RED WING TO CUMBERLAND.

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM DEVELOPING OVER THE CENTRAL PLAINS WILL

BRING RAIN TO SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN LATE

TONIGHT AND TUESDAY. AS THE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM MOVES NORTHEAST

ACROSS WISCONSIN TUESDAY NIGHT…THE RAIN WILL CHANGE TO

SNOW…WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR SIX OR MORE INCHES OF ACCUMULATION

ACROSS THE WATCH AREA BY MIDDAY WEDNESDAY.

MNZ078-085-093-WIZ015-016-023>028-080430-

/O.NEW.KMPX.WS.A.0006.111109T0300Z-111109T1800Z/

GOODHUE-STEELE-FREEBORN-BARRON-RUSK-ST. CROIX-PIERCE-DUNN-PEPIN-

CHIPPEWA-EAU CLAIRE-

INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…RED WING…OWATONNA…ALBERT LEA…

RICE LAKE…BARRON…LADYSMITH…HUDSON…NEW RICHMOND…

RIVER FALLS…PRESCOTT…MENOMONIE…BOYCEVILLE…DURAND…

PEPIN…CHIPPEWA FALLS…BLOOMER…EAU CLAIRE…ALTOONA

224 PM CST MON NOV 7 2011

…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH

WEDNESDAY MORNING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED

A WINTER STORM WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING

THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.

* TIMING…TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY MORNING.

* MAIN IMPACT…HEAVY WET SNOW WITH SIX OR MORE INCHES OF

ACCUMULATION POSSIBLE…WHICH MAY LEAD TO DIFFICULT TRAVEL.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT

SNOW…SLEET…OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.

CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

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NAM model paints heavy snow band in SE MN!

Stay tuned as we get new data in today & tonight, but plan on (potentially heavy) snow in SE MN & western Wisconsin Tuesday and Wednesday!

PH

****

Happy Winter Weather Awareness Week! Right on schedule, the season’s first snow event is ready to plow into the Upper Midwest.

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Looking at the maps it appears to be a near miss for the greater Twin Cities metro, with a rainy, snowy slushy direct hit for southeast Minnesota.

If you live in or are planning travel to Rochester, La Crosse, Winona, Preston, Caledonia, Harmony, or if you’re planning travel down I-94 toward Eau Claire and Tomah get ready for a snowy smack Tuesday & Wednesday.

The System & Storm Track:

A fairly strong but compact low pressure system developing in the Southern Plains.

The low pressure center will track to near Chicago by Wednesday morning.

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Timing:

It looks like a rain snow mix could break out as early as Tuesday in southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Intensity of heavier rain and snow should peak late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as the low tracks through Chicago.

Precip should end later Wednesday.

Temperature Profile:

The storm looks just cold enough to produce a rain snow mix changing to mostly wet heavy slushy snow. The ground is warm, so the first few inches could melt on contact depending on snowfall intensity.

Air temperatures are expected to be above freezing for most of the event. But temps could fall to near 32 early Wednesday morning during the heaviest snowfall intensity. That could help snowfall stick to the ground, trees etc.

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Precip Totals & Snowfall Accumulations:

This looks like a wet but compact storm. If the track holds it would put the Twin Cities right on the edge with the heaviest totals over southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Overall liquid totals could be as high as 1″ with this system in those areas.

Various forecast models are painting anywhere from 2″ to as much as 8″+ of falling snow in a band from eastern Iowa through southeast Minnesota into western Wisconsin.

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Meteogram paints some big (and scary) multi inch snowfall totals for Rocheter, MN by Wednesday!

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Of course much of that will melt on contact with warm ground, but I do expect a few inches of slushy but potentially “shovelable” snow in Rochester, Winona, La Crosse, and along I-94 between Eau Claire and Tomah by Wednesday morning.

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Enjoy our Monday sunshine, but get ready for a snowy sloppy blast south and east of the Twin Cities Tuesday & Wednesday!

PH

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