Heavy snow to blanket the upper Midwest; storm warnings continue through tonight

Snow, mixed at time with sleet and freezing rain in southeast Minnesota, will spread over the state today. The track of the surface low continues to validate the forecast that the heaviest accumulation will occur west and north of the Twin Cities, where 8 to 12 inches may fall by later tonight.

In the Twin Cities metro, snow will be wet and come in heavy bursts this morning. There will likely be a lull in the snowfall intensity at times this afternoon. Accumulations are expected to range from 3 inches in Farmington and Hastings to as much as 8 inches from Rogers to Blaine by late tonight.

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The IR satellite image from this morning depicts the coldest cloud tops in blue color, with some discontinuity to the precipitation associated with the coldest clouds over the Dakotas and Minnesota. IR satellite captured at 545 a.m. CST:

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Source:NOAA

As the surface low travels across Iowa and southeast Minnesota today it will produce bouts of heavy snow through central and northern Minnesota. The snow to water ratio of the liquid precipitation is likely to be about 10 to 1. This translates to snowfall accumulations of 8 to more than 12 inches.

Strong northwest winds will kick in as the low center moves to central Wisconsin tonight. Blowing and drifting snow will result in near blizzard conditions in rural locations. GFS model valid at midnight CST tonight, with surface pressure pattern and the six hourly accumulated precipitation:

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Source:NOAA/College of Dupage

Winds are likely to gust above 35 mph on the backside of the low tonight through Monday morning reducing visibilities in blowing and drifting snow.

For those that have been monitoring the forecast discussion on the favored forecast model, it appears that the final outcome might be a draw. The low pressure center is expected to travel through southeast Minnesota this evening.

Colder air is forecast to settle over the state on Monday night, with overnight lows dropping below zero over the fresh snow cover.

Travel with caution today and tonight, particularly heading north from the Twin Cities.

Craig Edwards

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