Saturday morning Clipper, Polar Vortex returns next weekend?

Classic Winter Weekend

This will be one of those classic “Chamber of Commerce” Minnesota winter weekends.

A fresh layer of powder to spruce up the landscape and make skiers and snow lovers of all stripes happy? Check. Milder temperatures so we can easily get out and enjoy the winter landscape? Roger that.

It just doesn’t get any better than this weekend when it come to great outdoor winter weather in Minnesota.

Weather tip for the weekend: This could be one of the the best overall weekends of winter for fresh snow and classic winter temperatures.Get out and enjoy it!

Image: La Crosse NWS

Saturday morning Clipper

Technically the snow will begin Friday night for western Minnesota. The leading edge of snow with our next Clipper rolls into the Twin Cities metro just after midnight.

The track of the incoming low favors a snowy stripe centered on the Interstate 94 corridor. Fargo, Alexandria, St. Cloud, the Twin Cities, Rochester and La Crosse, Wis., all look likely to pick up a good 2 to 4 inches through mid-morning Saturday.

Here’s a look at the surface low spinning down the I-94 corridor Saturday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Rapid Refresh model. (Click image to animate)

Image: NOAA

This will be a dry powdery snow. Snow:Water ratios with this system should run at least 20:1, which means easier shoveling great skiing. This kind of “champagne powder” on a Saturday morning is white gold at the cash register for Minnesota’s ski areas, snowmobile and resort industries.

Here’s another look at modeled snowfall totals from NOAA’s North American Mesoscale model.

Image: NOAA via

Milder weekend

Temperatures this weekend will be ideal for getting outside to enjoy the fresh snow. Colder air pours south again next week.

Image: Weatherspark

Polar Vortex Part Deux:

The Global Forecast System is insistent that the Polar Vortex will return, and another shot of bitterly cold arctic air will surge south next weekend.

The GFS has wobbled a bit the past few days on the magnitude and duration of the coming cold wave, but has not backed off the notion of temps nearly as cold (or colder) as what we endured last week. It’s still early, but if the models are right, the duration of the next sub-zero cold wave could be longer than what we saw last week.

Image: IPS Meteostar

Keep in mind the GFS is notorious for pumping up arctic outbreaks a week out, then backing off in magnitude as we get closer. We’ll see about this one. I’m convinced it’s going to turn colder again, and probably sub-zero next weekend. The question is just how cold, and for how long?

Stay tuned!