Warmer air gushed into Minnesota as expected Wednesday. Minnesota now rides the leading edge of a notably milder air mass. Note the absence of sub-zero readings on the map.
Thaw kicks into high gear
The biggest weather change you’ll notice over the next 48 hours? You won’t be hunched over rushing to the next doorway. Our second (and maybe not our last) January thaw kicks in. Highs in the Twin Cities and much of southern Minnesota soar into the 40s by Friday afternoon.
Riding the Chinook
Chinook winds turbocharge warming of Friday’s inbound air mass. Temperatures push 70 degrees in Denver Friday afternoon. The hangover from that downslope warming will spill into Minnesota Friday.
Bank thermometers may flash 50 degrees Friday afternoon in some southwest Minnesota towns.
Most of southern Minnesota is way behind on season snowfall so far this winter. The Twin Cities is running a 15-inch snowfall deficit so far.
Snowfall update for this winter: The Twin Cities is running over a foot below normal so far this season & St. Cloud and Eau Claire are running about half a foot below normal. Here's a map showing snowfall departures for our region this season. #mnwx #wiwx pic.twitter.com/FVR7fRCLZ5
— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) January 17, 2018
Want snow? Go north
There’s still plenty of snow on the ground up north. Here’s the latest snow cover map. I’ve added some specific snow depth amounts. Patches of bare ground are visible in southwest Minnesota.
Sunday snow potential continues
Today’s model runs continue to advertise heavy snow potential Sunday. The question reamins one of storm track.
Again, snowfall forecasts are not reliable this far out. The only reason I’m showing this is to give you the idea of potential here. I do think somebody in Minnesota will see heavy snow by Monday. Precisely where is still very much an open question. We will get to specific “inches” in the forecast around 24 hours before the snow flies.
With that caveat, NOAA’s GFS now lays out a heavy snow band from the Twin Cities northward.
The latest European model (ECMWF) puts the Twin Cities back in the heavy snow zone. Again, this could very well change as storm tracks shift. But if this were to verify, the Twin Cities would see a pile of snow Monday.
Much can and likely will change by this weekend.