Blizzard rages south; Slick Metro AM rush south & east; Snowy coating to 3″+

- Update 2:45am Thursday -

Steadier snow continues to favor the south and east metro overnight into early Thursday.

Expect slick roads in these areas for AM rush hour, with light snow also falling early this morning in parts of the western metro and in the downtown urban core.

Any untreated, unplowed roads are snow covered and slippery, especially in the southeast half of the metro where it has been snowing for several hours. MNDOT Trafic Cams comfirm falling snow and snow covered roads early Thursday morning.

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MNDOT Traffic Cam Hwy 13 @ Yankee Doodle Rd

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MNDOT Traffic Cam Highway 77 & 13

Here are some early snowfall totals so far.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN

214 AM CST THU DEC 20 2012

…A FEW EARLY MORNING SNOWFALL REPORTS FROM SOUTHERN MINNESOTA

AND WESTERN WISCONSIN…

SNOW REPORTS LISTED BY AMOUNT

INCHES LOCATION ST COUNTY TIME

—— ———————– — ————– ——-

4.00 DURAND WI 0210 AM

STILL SNOWING.

4.00 WANAMINGO MN 0200 AM

STILL SNOWING.

3.50 BLUE EARTH MN 0150 AM

STILL SNOWING

3.00 OWATONNA MN 0200 AM

STILL SNOWING.

3.00 WASECA MN 0200 AM

STILL SNOWING.

3.00 FAIRMONT MN 0150 AM

STILL SNOWING.

3.00 1 S OWATONNA MN 1256 AM

STILL SNOWING.

2.50 RED WING MN 0200 AM

STILL SNOWING.

2.50 ALBERT LEA MN 0150 AM

STILL SNOWING

2.00 MANKATO MN 0200 AM

1.50 MANKATO MN 1221 AM

STILL SNOWING…KEYC.

0.20 5 SSE MINNEAPOLIS 1221 AM

STILL SNOWING AT MSP.

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MILWAUKEE/SULLIVAN WI

119 AM CST THU DEC 20 2012

Madison, WI area storm report

3 INCHES OF SNOW IN PAST 2 HOURS. 4 INCH STORM TOTAL. BELTLINE IN MADISON CLOSED WESTBOUND DUE TO CRASH. MANY CRASHES AND SLIDE-OFFS IN MADISON AREA. THUNDERSNOW AT TIME OF OBSERVATION.

-Update 9:25 pm-

Here are the latest model forecast snowfall outputs this evening for MSP Airport.

NAM (oz run) 1.9″

GFS (18z) run 3.6″

Sure sign of a potent winter storm? Thundersnow. Check out the numerous cloud to ground lightning strikes (black squares) in southern Iowa on the Des Moines radar loop Wednesday evening as moisture surges north.

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Snowfall began around 8:45pm in the metro with snow at several reporting sites.

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-Initial post 5:22pm Wednesday-

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Severe Winter Storm still on track for Iowa, SE Minnesota & Wisconsin

“Life Threatening Impacts” expected according to La Crosse NWS

Edging north – storm track continues trend to edge snow slightly north

Warnings expanded north reflect track changes

Blizzard Warnings now include Albert Lea, Rochester, Owatonna & Winona

Winter Storm Warnings now include Zumbrota & Red Wing

Winter Weather Advisories now include south & east metro

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Thursday AM rush hour – metro snow likely – heaviest in southeast metro tapering as you move into far northwest metro along I-94

Growing metro snow totals? Wednesday PM GFS delivers .35″ liquid – that could be “several” plowable inches if it verifies

**If you are planning any travel south along I-35 into southern Minnesota and Iowa or east along I-94 into central & southern Wisconsin through Thursday you may want to reconsider or rearrange your plans. Expect blizzard conditions with near zero visibility winds to over 40 mph, severe blowing and drifting snow, falling temperatures and possible road closures.***

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Here it comes:

Our well advertised major winter storm is moving into the Upper Midwest.

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Snowfall is spreading east & north will increase in coverage and intensity tonight through Thursday morning.

Here are the latest trends as the storm moves in:

Warnings expand north:

The trends we discussed Tuesday for edging the snow shield slightly north appear to be holding.

Blizzard Warnings have been expanded slightly north and now include most of southeast Minnesota. Expect 8″ to 16″ snowfall totals, winds gusting to ver 40 mph and 2 to 4 foot drifts in the blizzard warning areas.

The La Crosse NWS isn’t pulling any punches with some apocalyptic wording.

INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…DECORAH…CHARLES CITY…NEW HAMPTON…

ROCHESTER…WINONA…AUSTIN…LA CROSSE

238 PM CST WED DEC 19 2012

…BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT CST THURSDAY NIGHT…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN LA CROSSE HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT CST THURSDAY NIGHT. THE WINTER STORM WARNING HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

* HEAVY SNOW WILL FALL TONIGHT INTO THURSDAY…ESPECIALLY BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND NOON.

* 10 TO 14 INCHES OF SNOW WILL FALL FROM LA CROSSE INTO NORTHEAST IOWA. 5 TO 10 INCHES EXPECTED ACROSS SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA.

* SUSTAINED WINDS OF 20 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS OF 40 TO 45 MPH WILL ACCOMPANY THE HEAVY SNOWFALL AND COULD CAUSE BLIZZARD CONDITIONS….PARTICULARLY THURSDAY.

* BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW WILL LIKELY LEAD TO ROAD CLOSURES AND LOCALIZED WHITEOUT CONDITIONS THURSDAY. VISIBILITIES WILL DROP TO BELOW 1/4 OF A MILE.

* THIS STORM WILL HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT ON TRAVEL. THOSE TRAVELING OR COMMUTING WILL FACE DANGEROUS DRIVING CONDITIONS.

* EMERGENCY SERVICES AND RESCUES COULD BE HALTED FOR A PERIOD OF TIME DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE STORM.

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Image: La Crosse NWS

Winter Storm Warnings for the tier of counties just north of that include Owatonna and Red Wing. Expect 4″ to 8″ snowfal totals and gusty winds in the warning areas.

Winter Weather Advisories now include the south & east metro. Expect 1″ to 3″+ favoring the southeast metro with some slick roads for rush hour Thursday AM.

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Metro Microcast:

The Twin Cities remains on the northern edge of snow from this storm. The slight northward shift by the GFS and Johnny Come Lately NAM and Euro models favors snow covering most of the metro early Thursday morning; just in time for AM rush. It still doesn’t look like a major winter storm for the metro, but it doesn’t take much to gum up the morning commute.

I expect a sharp cutoff and snowfall gradient from northwest to southeast across the metro Thursday morning. If the system comes in as currently advertised, snowfall totals should range from a coating to 1″+ in the northwest metro…to as much as 1″ to 3″+ in the south & east metro.

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Image: ISU

The best chance of 3″+? South metro through Dakota County and the cities of Lakeville, Farmington and Hastings in the southeast metro.

There’s still one more major model cycle before the snow flies late tonight.

Stay tuned for updates.

PH

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  • Brad Frago

    Owatonna and Medford are now in the Blizzard Warning and Faribault and Northfield are in the Winter Storm Warning.