Storm evolving; heaviest snow this afternoon into the overnight

The surface low pressure that will spin up snowflakes and clobber Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa during the next 36 hours is beginning to strengthen this morning in central Kansas.

Surface analysis from 5 a.m. CST. Image:College of Dupage

The consensus track of the low pressure center remains similar to last evening’s computer model runs.  This means the heaviest snow can be expected from southeast Minnesota, the eastern Twin Cities and into northwest Wisconsin.

Ensemble low center track. Image:NOAA Weather Prediction Center

The National Weather Service in Lacrosse, Wis. depicts the perilous conditions expected later today.

NWS LaCrosse

Today’s weather map from the National Weather Service

Note that this powerful storm could bring flooding rains, severe winds and large hail to parts of the Ohio Valley. Isolated tornadoes are possible as well.

Precipitation was beginning to  increase in coverage over western and  southeast Minnesota around 6 a.m. CST.

Regional Radar from 6 a.m. CST. Image:Wunderground.com

The enhanced satellite image depicts the growing thunderstorms in northern Missouri.  This area of precipitation is expected to expand north, running into the colder air mass over Iowa and Minnesota as we move through the day.

Enhanced IR Satellite image at 530 a.m. CST from Unisys weather.

NOAA’s Rapid Update Cycle Model shows snow blanketing the upper Midwest at mid afternoon.

 

Model output from FAP of simulated radar reflectivity at 2 p.m. CST. Heavy snow will likely be falling in the brighter colored bands. Image:NOAA/College of Dupage.

Snow is expected to fall heavily at times through the evening and into the overnight. In the Twin Cities Metro area, snow totals by 7 a.m. CST on Friday are likely to range from 5 to 10 inches.  Blowing and drifting snow can be expected.

Much colder air will be sweeping into Minnesota overnight.  By daybreak on Saturday  morning wind chills will be well below zero. Subzero air temperatures are expected in central and northern Minnesota.

Low temperatures on Saturday morning.