Monitoring our weekend storm; NYC to Boston to be blasted by blizzard

Forecast model disparity continues, but confidence is growing for a major winter storm to take aim at Minnesota, the eastern Dakotas and northwest Wisconsin.

Paul’s been talking about the model differences on the track of the low pressure that will determine the locaton in the upper Midwest that is likely to be buried in heavy snow Saturday night and Sunday.

Twenty years ago I would have been more confident about snow in east central Minnesota, but evidence of decadal warming says not so fast. It appears that relatively mild air is forecast to push as far north as the Twin Cities on Sunday morning and produce a wintry mix.

The National Weather Service has already hoisted a variety of Winter Storm Watches for Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas.

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As travel from New York City to Boston is brought to a standstill in the next 36 hours, our focus is on the developing storm in the Four Corners area of the southwest US.

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IR satellite image from NOAA GOES at 545 a.m. CST

Enhanced clouds/colder cloud tops indicated in blue.

I”ll toss out this text issued out of the Boston NWS Office this morning to give you an idea what is ahead for the folks in the Northeast. Statement issued at 439 a.m. EST.

* ACCUMULATIONS…SNOW ACCUMULATION OF MORE THAN 2 FEET.

* TIMING…LIGHT SNOW WILL DEVELOP BY THIS MORNING…BECOMING

HEAVY LATE IN THE DAY INTO THE EVENING COMMUTE. THE HEAVIEST

SNOW…ESPECIALLY FOCUSED ALONG THE I-95 CORRIDOR… WILL FALL

TONIGHT INTO SATURDAY.

* IMPACTS…BLIZZARD CONDITIONS AND DANGEROUS TRAVEL. WHITEOUT

CONDITIONS ARE ANTICIPATED AS ROADS BECOME SNOW COVERED BY THIS

EVENINGS COMMUTE. STRONG NORTH-NORTHEAST WINDS ARE ANTICIPATED

WITH GUSTS UP TO AROUND 60 MPH…RESULTING IN BLOWING AND

DRIFTING OF SNOW. DAMAGE TO TREES AND STRUCTURES ALONG WITH

SCATTERED POWER OUTAGES ARE ANTICIPATED.

* WINDS…NORTHEAST 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 70 MPH.

The European Model continues to favor a track that has the highest potential to keep the precipitation snow or a snow/sleet and rain mix.

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Source:College of Dupage. Model presents surface pressure pattern at 6 p.m. CST Sunday and temperatures around 5 thousands feet in degrees Celsius.

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Forecasters at NOAA NCEP project a track that also favors a path through Iowa on Sunday.

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Source:NOAA and College of DupageGFS model places the center of the low in southern Iowa on Sunday at 6 p.m. CST with temperatures into the middle 30s in southeast Minnesota.

I examined the vertical profile from the GFS model forecast for Sunday evening and it predicts a cold rain or a wintry mix for the Twin Cities. You’ll just have to stay tuned for updates.

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NOAA’s forecast of snowfall of 8 inches or more on Sunday and Sunday night looks to be a good prediction based on current model data.

  • Rebecca A.

    I have to drive from St. Paul to Stillwater on Sunday morning at 8:30 and am terrified to drive in the snow/rain/ice. What do you predict conditions in the twin cities will be at that time? Thanks!

  • Disco

    Rebecca: it will be bad. Our slop fest weather continues. Leave early, drive slow, and you’ll be fine.

  • Lynne

    What does Monday morning’s commute look like?

  • Terry

    Snow or rain for the Birkie Trail: Cable to Hayward, WI? Can you guess?

  • Jeffrey

    I guess a snow emergency will be declared in St Paul and I will have to dig out and move my car. I hate winter. Am I the only person ready for spring?

  • Rebecca A.

    Thank you for this helpful blog and comments – I read it and rely on it almost daily. One other question. You mention a big storm in the four corners area. Out daughter goes to school in Durango, CO – are they getting a BIG storm? She will be pumped!

  • Craig

    Durango, CO will get in on the snow action. Forecast calls for several inches Saturday through Sunday.

    Monday morning commute may be a little dicey, particularly on side streets in the metro. It appears that the heaviest snow will end overnight on Sunday. Perhaps getting a little ahead of ourselves..

    Examining the morning model runs and will update blog this afternoon.

    Craig

  • Gary

    Flight to FL at 7:30am Sunday. Will we leave on time?

  • Jim Kennedy

    Will be attending Book of Morman Saturday afternoon @ Orpheum, driving up from Iowa Saturday morning. Best to head back home Saturday after the show, or OK to leave Sunday morning? Route is -I-35 to I-90 to Spirit Lake IA. Can go on MN 60 as alternative.

  • what about me?

    Is my husband cheating on me? Do you see money and success in my future?

  • Craig

    Weather gets nasty after midnight on Saturday. Sunday travel decisions need to consider the possibility of slick/snow covered roads along with increasinig winds, particularly west of the Twin Cities.

    Stay in touch. Could probably hold off on deciding travel plans until Saturday afternoon for Sunday.

    New blog posted soon.