Storm Phase 3: Metro change to snowy AM rush; Heavy snow north

Winter Storm Warnings continue Wednesday for most of central Minnesota

Heavy snow totals for western & central MN

Transition to snow for metro by Wednesday AM rush

Slick AM rush for the metro Wednesday!

1″ to 3″ snow likely for metro Wednesday on colder “backside” of system

Higher totals possible in the north metro?

Snow-rain-ice-sleet Just another day at the Weather Lab Tuesday!

Signs of spring: A shot at 50 next week & weekend?

3 Phase Storm System:

This turned to be a 3-phase system for the metro and much of southern Minnesota. With the exception of more ice than I expected Tuesday evening, phases 1 and 2 behaved about as I expected.

Phase 1: AM snow moved in

The first wave of the storm brought a shot of AM/Midday snow to the area. Totals were well under an inch in most areas.

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Light AM snowfall with rain “dents” in the afternoon

Phase 2: Transition to rain

The second phase of the storm brought warmer air and a heavy mix of precip to Minnesota and western Wisconsin. It was mostly rain for the metro by later Tuesday as expected…some of it heavy.

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A wet rainy weather lab driveway late Tuesday PM


Temps hovered close to freezing, and objects that had been chilled to sub-freezing by Monday night’s cold remained cold enough for rain to freeze on contact.

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Most of the models projected temps between 34 and 37 by late Tuesday. Instead they hovered between 31 and 34 in most of southern Minnesota including the metro. That’s good enough for ice…and that’s what we got.

Ice thickness from 1/4 up to 1/2 inch were observed at the weather lab in the west metro and in Highland Park.

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Winter anticipates spring? Ice over lilac buds in Highland park Tuesday night. (Photo by Bill Stein)

4 precip types in one day!

It’s not often we get 4 precip types in one day, but that’s what I saw at the weather lab Tuesday.

-First light AM snow, then some brief bigger flakes after noon.

-Then rain late PM…some heavy

-Then freezing rain and an icy coating on everything

-Then sleet Tuesday night

What’s next…locusts?

Now: Phase 3

As the center of low pressure moves by early Wednesday, cooler air will get yanked in behind the storm.

Look for mixed precip to change back to all snow between 3am and 6am in the metro.

We could see a brief burst of moderate to heavy snow early Wednesday, and some quick 1″ to 3″ totals…wait for it….just in time for AM rush!

With the low tracking a little further south, the north metro could see some higher snowfall totals.

I still expect t see some 6″ to 12″+ totals come in from Alex, St. Cloud, to Hinckley to near Duluth.

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Snow should taper to flurries as the day wears on…but winds will howl from the northwest and gust over 30 mph in open areas.

Stay safe and enjoy the rest of the storm!


  • Hopefully the freezing rain stops soon. The sound a cracking branches is getting a little too frequent.