Update: Snow/sleet to rain today for metro; Heavy snow north!

Noon Update:

Next wave of mostly snow/sleet moves through metro early PM. Warm air should change precip over toward rain between 3pm and 6pm, but we could see a shot of snow & sleet until then.

Latest Twin Cities radar loop

1st waves of snow & mixed precip arrive in Minnesota

Warm air pushing north today & tonight

Morning model runs still strongly support change to all rain for metro by this evening

Snow coverage & intensity increasing today in central Minnesota

7″ to 15″+ snowfall possible from Alex to Brainerd & Duluth!

Up to 1″ of rainfall for metro later today & tonight?

Localized ponding & street flooding from rain (and snow melt) tonight in metro?

Morning Models: Still on track

Look for mainly light and scattered snow & mixed early, with coverage and intensity increasing this afternoon and evening as the core of the storm approaches.

The morning (12Z) NAM and other models still confirm several key aspects of today’s developing storm.

1) The heaviest snow band still appears to lay out from Alex/Fergus Falls to Brainerd to Duluth. A general area of 7″ to 15″ looks likely here, with some 18″+ totals possible…especially near Duluth and along the North Shore.

2) The so called “freezing line” in the lowest mile of the atmosphere shifts well north of the Twin Cities tonight according to the models. The morning NAM model run lifts the freezing line at 5,000 feet above ground level (850millibars) north of St. Cloud by 10pm tonight.


This should virtually assure a change to all rain for the metro for several hours, most likely between 6pm tonight and 4am Wednesday. This will coincide with the peak of the storm’s precip intensity, meaning most of the precip should fall as rain in the metro.

The 12Z (morning) NAM is cranking out 1.67″ of precip for the metro with this storm. It appears most of that will fall as rain later today and tonight.

With surface temps above freezing (as high as 37 degrees?) this should mean a very wet night with rain and rain-induced snowmelt triggering some big time puddles from the metro south.

There could even be a few rare February thunderstorms tonight in the metro and southern Minnesota!

As the low moves by tomorrow morning, colder air will funnel in, changing rain back to snow in the metro. It still looks like the metro could pick up 1″ to 2″+ of snowfall on the backside of the system Wednesday.

9 metty2.PNG

Snowfall amounts will increase in the northwest metro (up to 3″?) and then soar as you head toward St. Cloud on I-94 where 5″ to 10″ may fall. The heaviest snow bands may produce over a foot…from Brainerd to Duluth!

9 nammy earl.PNG

Stay tuned for updates as the system unfolds this afternoon and tonight!


  • Martin Farrow


    What is the line chart plot (you either show total precip or snow)? I have been trying to find this plot on the web.

  • Paul Huttner
  • Shane

    Is the storm tracking further south putting us in a more favorable path for snow in Minneapolis/St. Paul…or is that just wishful thinking?

  • Martin Farrow

    Thank you Paul. I’ll add that to my collection 🙂

  • Disco


    Where do you get the google map with the NAM? The one where you’ve drawn the freeze line? Thanks.

  • Heather

    Paul, I’m in a heated debate with my co-workers over the weather here in Hudson. I am steadfastly standing by your forecast, but they are all chanting “snow! snow!”. What are you seeing that is so different from the other meteorologists out there?

  • Paul Huttner

    Hi All:

    The next wave moving in early PM is snow/sleet. The transition to rain will likely occur between 3pm and 6pm.

    Anything can still happen…but models are still pushing lots of warm air up here by this evening.

    So a shot of snow early PM then rain later…a little something for everyone?


  • Rick

    Hi Paul,

    Whether it comes as snow/sleet or rain, it’s a lot of needed moisture here in the metro. However, because it looks like it’s going to be mostly rain can you talk about how this affects our backyards. My grass desperately needs some moisture. Is rain at this time of year of any benefit? Will this end up being all runoff, evaporating or will the water eventually seep into the frozen ground?