Seasonal shock: Rain & snow today; 1st metro flakes? Cold here to stay for now

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.72″ rainfall as of this morning at MSP Airport

Snow! from Sioux Falls to Willmar, St. Cloud, Brainerd & Iron Range

1st snowflakes of the season possible in metro today

-Latest Twin Cities radar loop

-Latest Duluth radar loop

-Sioux Falls

-Latest NWS hourly readings for Minnesota cities

Cold air here to stay through the upcoming weekend

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It’s Baaaaack!

As advertised here comes our 1st taste of winter for much of Minnesota.

The good news?

A cold but soaking wind driven rain with totals over .75″ to 1″+ from the metro south & east. Here are 24 hour precip totals as of Thursday morning.

(click image for bigger view)

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Source: University of Utah

The not so good news?

The rain is cold enough to be snow west from Sioux Falls to Redwood Falls, Willmar, St. Cloud, Brainerd, Hibbing…etc.

1″ to 3″ of slush could pile up in those areas today, with a few snowflakes possible in the metro as the colder air gushes in on bracing northwest winds.

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Source: University of Utah

There are a few factors working against heavy snow totals today in central Minnesota, and against any accumualtions in the metro.

1) Temps above freezing in most areas

2) Warm ground – melting on contact

3) Dalylight

As a result we may see precip “change phase” a few times today in many areas…from rain to snow and back again. I still think snow will come down heavy enough that we will see some 1″ to 3″+ slushy accumualtions from Willmar to St. Cloud, Little Falls, Brainerd to the Iron Range & Ely!

Prepare for a wintery blast today than lingers into this weekend!

First Rain & Snow event of “Dual Pol” era:

One of the advertised benefits of the NWS new Dual Polarization upgrade is that we’ll be able to differentiate rain and snow better.

If today is any indication, this is going to be a big benefit.

Check out this morning’s doppler shot from MSP. You can see the finer, “air brushed” smudges of snow west of the metro…and the blotchy rain cells east.


Source: WxUnderground


  • Beth


    You were right on with the new doplar information. We got into the van, listening to MPR as we pulled out of the garage, hearing you talk to Cathy about what you were seeing and that it was likely snowing in Dassel, and sure enough, we pulled out into what had just been rain, and instead turned to snow falling. As if on cue, the timing was impeccable.

    Thanks for all of your work in helping us be prepared and learn more each day.