Weather Whiplash: Snow to spring fever in 48 hours

Take a look out your window. What you see now will look very different in the next 48 to 72 hours.

Minnesota’s chaotic spring weather is here. And while Thursday looked more like winter in parts of Minnesota, this weekend may actually get you to finally believe that the calendar is ready to turn to April and restore your faith in the season formerly known as spring.

Snowy coating on the Weather Lab deck in the west metro. Paul Huttner/MPR News

Thursday rain and snow fest

Thursday’s weathermaker is sailing off to the east, but not before leaving behind some impressive rain and snow totals in Minnesota. Here’s a look at some preliminary snowfall totals. As expected the snowy epicenter centered on Duluth.

Twin Cities National Weather Service

Get updated final snowfall totals here as they come in.

The system produced mostly rain in the metro, followed by a late afternoon snow burst that left a snowy coating.

I measured an inch of slush at the Weather Lab in the west metro. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport picked up more than a quarter inch of rainfall before the snow moved in. Temperatures hovered above freezing all day as expected, and that kept snowfall totals down.

Twin Cities NWS

Weekend spring fever outbreak 

Friday is a transition day, cool but dry. Winds turn back into the south again Saturday, and by Sunday afternoon the warmest air mass so far in 2014 blows into Minnesota. The late Saturday surface map shows the warm front poised out west to blow through Sunday.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The more conservative Global Forecast System model has upped temperatures for Sunday afternoon to 59 degrees in the metro.


The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts continues to lead with warmer numbers Sunday — and holds the warmth into part of Monday with a more westerly (warmer) track on the next low pressure system.


Temperatures in the 60s will be common in southwest Minnesota Sunday, and may creep into the Twin Cities metro area. Want 70s? Just drive a few hours drive to Des Moines, Iowa, or Sioux City, Iowa. I hear they are lovely this time of year!


Both models bring in the next low pressure system Monday. The latest trends suggest it may be similar to Thursday’s track — starting as rain in the metro and ending as some wet snow. Again, heavier snowfall is possible north and west of the metro.


Next week looks cooler, but not as cool as it did a few days ago. Progress. A potential system next Wednesday shows signs of being pushed south of Minnesota in the latest model runs.

In the meantime, enjoy the warmest weekend of the year so far!