Wednesday Thaw, major winter storm returns Thursday

Brief Winter Respite

At least we got to come up for air this week.

Our brief February Thaw resumes Wednesday. Winter resumes with a vengeance Thursday as the next winter storm smacks eastern Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

It was nice to see my driveway again while it lasted!

44 degrees — high temp at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport Tuesday

Dec. 28 — last time we got this warm in Minnesota with 47 degrees at MSP

40s were common in Minnesota Tuesday. University of Illinois

Tuesday was the warmest day in nearly 8 weeks in Minnesota. We enjoy one more day of thaw Wednesday. Temperatures will be a few degrees cooler, but we’ll still be melting a little snow off the streets and driveways.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Thursday Snowmageddon and blizzard potential

Thursday’s late winter storm is looking like the real deal. There are still track issues to be resolved on Wednesday’s model runs, but what looks nearly certain is that eastern Minnesota into Wisconsin will get a major snow blitz with ferocious winds.

Here’s a look at the system as it rides in and wraps up Thursday in the Upper Midwest. Click the map to animate.


A wind whipped heavy wet snow will blast the region. There could be some double digit snowfall totals in eastern Iowa, eastern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Here’s the view from the Duluth office of the National Weather Service.

699 dlh

The La Crosse, Wis.,  NWS weighs in.

699 lse

Toss in winds over 35 mph and you get the potential for an old fashioned blizzard Thursday. Winter storm watches and blizzard watches are up for Thursday.

Twin Cities NWS

The Twin Cities lines up on the western edge of the heavy snow belt Thursday. Any subtle track changes could make a huge difference in snowfall totals. Stay tuned as I tweak track and snowfall totals Wednesday.

Bottom Line: Be prepared for snow starting around midnight Wednesday night, and a major winter storm Thursday.

  • This is likely going to be wet snow too, isn’t it?

  • ptoadstool

    When you mention “model runs”, are you comparing scenarios based on different computer algorithms?

  • Scott44

    At work here a coworker has been keeping a running total of
    the snow fall at his home. As of the last storm just this weekend he has
    totaled 117.5″ of snow, that is 9.79 FEET of snow! And that is here in our
    home state of Minnesota, but all that the “NEWS” wants to cover is
    how out East they have gotten 50-55″ of snow and how terrible it is for
    them. This is going to be a record snow fall season for us here. And now they
    say that with this storm we might get up to another 13″ of the white
    stuff. And Duluth has set a record of having 60 days with a high below zero. I
    know here we had a good solid 3 weeks in a row with sub-zero temps. Welcome to
    Minnesota!! I love it here, let the snow come, let the freeze happen. In just a
    few months it will warm up and the snow and ice will melt. Then the next day
    summer will end and the snow will begin!!