Tracking a developing winter storm for the upper Midwest

It’s tempting to start tossing out snowfall predictions with the weather system forecast to arrive in the upper Midwest Saturday night. Not a single snow flake has yet to form to our southwest, thus I’ll stall on predicting snow amounts for a specific location.

There is no reason, at this time, to make adjustments to the forecast reasoning that was posted this morning. The latest model runs still suggest the best chance for the highest snowfall totals to be northwest of the Twin Cities.


The model ensemble tracks for the center of the surface low are clustering in southern Minnesota on Sunday. Heaviest snow most often falls to the north and northwest of the track of the surface low. Temperatures in southeast Minnesota are likely to reach the lower 30s on Sunday. Precipitation could fall as a cold rain in Rochester.



Forecasters might be weighing the more southerly track of the European model by placing the red triangle in Iowa, well south of the ensemble output for Sunday. If the European model verifies, the Twin Cities could experience mostly snow, versus a wintry mix.

The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Watch for the Dakotas through much of Minnesota in western Wisconsin for Sunday. Some locations in western Minnesota could experience near blizzard conditions.



Here’s the latest thinking on the probability of snow accumulating 6 inches or more on Saturday night and Sunday from NOAA NCEP/HPC issued Friday afternoon:


Quiet weather is in store through Saturday morning. Travel is likely to become hazardous after dark on Saturday.

Craig Edwards

  • Ian C

    I myself am pretty biased in favor of a pile of snow from this storm, but why are the NWS folks so reluctant to latch on to the Euro model? Given that it’s a superior product and has done a better job of predicting our storm tracks than our own models, you would think this would nudge their confidence a bit further south. Well, I’m a believer in the Euro model! Bring on the snow!

  • Gary Lundquist

    That would be due to arrogance, I would imagine.