Sunny Tuesday but snow on the way

That warm mid-February sun pushed the temperatures above freezing and melted some snow and ice today from the Twin Cities down through southeastern Minnesota.

The visible satellite photos this afternoon showed clear skies over much of eastern and southern Minnesota while clouds have moved into the northwest. Note the track of the Minnesota River in southern Minnesota and ice-covered Lake Mille Lacs in the center. Recent snows whiten the open terrain of southern and west central Minnesota but are masked by buildings and trees in the metro area.

vis sat feb 12, 2013.jpg

source:NOAA

The real weather Tuesday was going on much farther to the south. Heavy snow has been spreading from the Texas Panhandle across western Oklahoma. Farther east, in the warmer air, heavy rain and spotty flooding have been a problem from Louisiana through Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

An Alberta Clipper with mostly light snow will head across Minnesota from the northwest on Wednesday. Here is where one of the forecast models “thinks” it will be snowing between 6 p.m. and midnight tomorrow:

nam 06z precip.gif

source:NOAA/College of DuPage

Around two to three inches of snow is likely for much of the northern half of Minnesota during Wednesday-Wednesday night, but a few locations from around Mille Lacs into northwestern Wisconsin could pick up a bit more than that. The Twin Cities should be on the southern edge of this event with light snow beginning by late Wednesday afternoon and then accumulating around an inch overnight.

Look for a couple chilly days Friday and Saturday with highs in the teens, about ten degrees cooler than normal.

Following a warm-up beginning on Sunday we might slip a bit down the thermometer. Today the Climate Prediction Center issued a new six- to 10-day outlook for Feb. 18-22. It forecasts much of the western half of the United States and east into Minnesota to be colder than normal during that period:

6-10 day outlook feb 12, 2013.gif

Look for a pretty crescent moon to rise shortly before 9 p.m. this evening. It will be a waxing crescent with just 7 percent of the disk illuminated.

Bill Endersen

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