Next wave of mostly snow/sleet moves through metro early PM. Warm air should change precip over toward rain between 3pm and 6pm, but we could see a shot of snow & sleet until then.
1st waves of snow & mixed precip arrive in Minnesota
Warm air pushing north today & tonight
Morning model runs still strongly support change to all rain for metro by this evening
Snow coverage & intensity increasing today in central Minnesota
7″ to 15″+ snowfall possible from Alex to Brainerd & Duluth!
Up to 1″ of rainfall for metro later today & tonight?
Localized ponding & street flooding from rain (and snow melt) tonight in metro?
Morning Models: Still on track
Look for mainly light and scattered snow & mixed early, with coverage and intensity increasing this afternoon and evening as the core of the storm approaches.
The morning (12Z) NAM and other models still confirm several key aspects of today’s developing storm.
1) The heaviest snow band still appears to lay out from Alex/Fergus Falls to Brainerd to Duluth. A general area of 7″ to 15″ looks likely here, with some 18″+ totals possible…especially near Duluth and along the North Shore.
2) The so called “freezing line” in the lowest mile of the atmosphere shifts well north of the Twin Cities tonight according to the models. The morning NAM model run lifts the freezing line at 5,000 feet above ground level (850millibars) north of St. Cloud by 10pm tonight.
This should virtually assure a change to all rain for the metro for several hours, most likely between 6pm tonight and 4am Wednesday. This will coincide with the peak of the storm’s precip intensity, meaning most of the precip should fall as rain in the metro.
The 12Z (morning) NAM is cranking out 1.67″ of precip for the metro with this storm. It appears most of that will fall as rain later today and tonight.
With surface temps above freezing (as high as 37 degrees?) this should mean a very wet night with rain and rain-induced snowmelt triggering some big time puddles from the metro south.
There could even be a few rare February thunderstorms tonight in the metro and southern Minnesota!
As the low moves by tomorrow morning, colder air will funnel in, changing rain back to snow in the metro. It still looks like the metro could pick up 1″ to 2″+ of snowfall on the backside of the system Wednesday.
Snowfall amounts will increase in the northwest metro (up to 3″?) and then soar as you head toward St. Cloud on I-94 where 5″ to 10″ may fall. The heaviest snow bands may produce over a foot…from Brainerd to Duluth!
Stay tuned for updates as the system unfolds this afternoon and tonight!