Now: Rush hour snow blitz, Thaw next

Another morning rush hour and another snow blitz.

Twin Cities National Weather Service

Moderate to heavy snow bands are sliding through eastern Minnesota into western Wisconsin today. Here are a few quick headlines with the storm.

  • Winter storm warnings in effect until noon for metro, 3 p.m. to the east
  • Moderate to heavy snowfall band moves through this morning
  • Snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour for 3-4 hours
  • 3-  to 6-inch snowfall range common in metro
  • 4  to 8 inches for much of Wisconsin to Chicago
  • Snowfall ends from west to east this morning through midday
  • Warmer temps push in behind the snow
  • 40s likely Tuesday
Morning Mayhem: Car slides off freeway at I-35W @ Chicago Ave in Minneapolis. Minnesota Department of Transportation

AM snow burst

Here’s a look at the radar as another snow burst moves in just in time for AM rush hour this morning. Note the bright blue…a band of moderate to heavy snowfall moving right through the metro at rush hour. (again) Snowfall rates in this band approach 1″ per hour.

Weather Underground

You know it’s a good storm when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Storm Prediction Center weighs in.

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0109
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0329 AM CST MON FEB 17 2014

AREAS AFFECTED…PARTS OF NRN IA INTO MUCH OF SRN/ERN MN…INCLUDING THE MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL AREA

CONCERNING…HEAVY SNOW

VALID 170929Z – 171200Z

SUMMARY…A 1 TO 3 HOUR PERIOD WITH HEAVY SNOW RATES ON THE ORDER OF

1 INCH PER HOUR IS EXPECTED ACROSS MOST LOCATIONS…LIKELY IMPACTING ROAD CONDITIONS THIS MORNING.

DISCUSSION…MODELS SUGGEST THAT FORCING AHEAD OF LARGER-SCALE UPPER TROUGHING SHIFTING EASTWARD ACROSS THE NORTHERN PLAINS…TOWARD THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY…WILL MAINTAIN THE NORTHEASTWARD/EASTWARD DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT AREA OF LARGE-SCALE ASCENT ACROSS NORTH CENTRAL IOWA AND SOUTHERN/EASTERN MINNESOTA THROUGH 12-15Z. THIS IS WHERE THERMODYNAMIC PROFILES REMAIN COLD AND SUPPORTIVE OF SNOW.  ALTHOUGH SNOW TOTALS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN SOMEWHAT MODEST…PRIMARILY DUE TO LIMITED SNOW DURATION…IT DOES APPEAR THAT LIFT WILL BECOME MAXIMIZED IN THE DENDRITIC GROWTH LAYER FOR A 1-3 HOUR PERIOD IN MOST LOCATIONS ACROSS THE AREA. COINCIDING WITH THE NORTHWARD ADVECTION OF PRECIPITABLE WATER IN EXCESS OF .5 INCHES…SNOW RATES MAY AVERAGE ONE INCH PER HOUR…AND MAY IMPACT THE MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL MN METRO AREA BY 12-14Z.

3.8″ snowfall at the Huttner Weather Lab in west metro as of 7:40am. Paul Huttner/MPR News

Here’s the Twin Cities National Weather Service take on events this morning.

Twin Cities NWS

The intense snow band has already laid down 1.5 to 4 inches west of the metro. Here are some snowfall reports so far.

Winter Storm Warnings extend from Duluth through the metro all the way to Chicago with this one.

NWS

Bottom Line: Expect 3-4 hours of moderate to heavy snow as the intense snow band moves through this morning. Snowfall totals will range form 3 to 6 inches in most areas. Snow ends from west to east late morning into midday.

Milder temps in the 30s and even some sunshine will break out in western Minnesota and work east today. Temps will warm into the 40s by Tuesday afternoon, as our February thaw kicks in.