Snow spreads across Minnesota Saturday; a quiet Sunday

It’s a snow lover’s delight; our second substantial snow within 48 hours.

But the snow will cause some problems.

People who are out driving in the snow this Saturday afternoon and evening will be dealing with slippery roads and reduced visibilities.

The big picture

Snow will spread across Minnesota this Saturday afternoon and evening.

The snow will be heavy at times, with reduced visibilities.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from noon Saturday through noon Sunday, via tropicaltidbits

Southeastern Minnesota could see some light freezing rain mixed with the snow at times.

The NAM forecast model snow accumulations look like this:

NOAA NAM snow accumulations from noon Saturday through noon Sunday, via tropicaltidbits

NOAA’s High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model shows slightly higher snow totals for some areas, with similar coverage of the heaviest snow band:

NOAA’s High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model snow accumulation from noon Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, via tropicaltidbits

The HRRR loop ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, but a bit of additional snow could accumulate by 6 a.m. Sunday over northeastern Minnesota.

Here are the NWS snowfall projections from Saturday afternoon through Saturday night:

NWS Twin Cities

Accumulating snow could start in the Twin Cities metro area between around 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., but we could see a few flakes before then.

Metro area totals in the 5 to 7 inch range look about right for this storm system.

Some areas along the North Shore of Lake Superior and in northwestern Wisconsin could see double-digit snow accumulations by early Sunday morning:

NWS Duluth

Warnings

Winter storm warnings are in effect this afternoon and tonight for much of Minnesota and western Wisconsin:

NWS Twin Cities NWS Duluth

Here are details of the Twin Cities portion of the winter storm warning, which runs from 3 p.m. this Saturday afternoon to 6 a.m. Sunday:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
310 AM CST Sat Feb 24 2018

…HEAVY SNOW AND SOME BLOWING SNOW EXPECTED SATURDAY AFTERNOON
AND SATURDAY NIGHT…

.A Winter Storm Warning is in effect from this afternoon through
tonight for areas east of a line from Redwood Falls to St. Cloud,
Minnesota except for Eau Claire and Freeborn counties. A Winter
Weather Advisory is in effect for the remainder of the area.

Heavy snow with rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour will spread into
the area this afternoon or early evening. Given the expected
intensity, conditions will deteriorate rapidly following the onset
of the snow. Snowfall totals of 5 to 7 inches are likely across
the warned area with 3 to 5 inches expected in the advisory area.
In addition, northwest winds gusting to 30 mph late Saturday night
will lead to areas of blowing snow, especially across southern
and eastern Minnesota, and western Wisconsin. Travel could become
very difficult Saturday night through early Sunday.

MNZ050-051-058>063-066>070-076>078-084-085-WIZ023-024-026-241715-
/O.CON.KMPX.WS.W.0003.180224T2100Z-180225T1200Z/
Benton-Sherburne-Meeker-Wright-Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-Washington-
McLeod-Sibley-Carver-Scott-Dakota-Le Sueur-Rice-Goodhue-Waseca-
Steele-St. Croix-Pierce-Pepin-
Including the cities of Foley, Elk River, Litchfield, Monticello,
Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul, Stillwater, Hutchinson, Gaylord,
Chaska, Shakopee, Hastings, Le Sueur, Faribault, Red Wing,
Waseca, Owatonna, Hudson, River Falls, Prescott, and Durand
310 AM CST Sat Feb 24 2018

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS
AFTERNOON TO 6 AM CST SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 7
inches are expected.

* WHERE…Portions of west central Wisconsin and central, east
central, south central and southeast Minnesota.

* WHEN…From 3 PM this afternoon to 6 AM CST Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on difficult travel conditions. Be
prepared for significant reductions in visibility at times.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather
conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you
must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your
vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for
Minnesota can be found at 511mn.org and for Wisconsin at
511wi.gov, or by calling 5 1 1 in either state.

Our Twin Cities metro area snow should taper off by around 1 a.m. Sunday, but roads will be slippery until cleared.

Here are the forecast details for northeastern Minnesota:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Duluth MN
343 AM CST Sat Feb 24 2018

…FAST-MOVING WINTER STORM TO BRING SNOW TONIGHT AND SUNDAY…

.Another winter storm will move northward through the western
Great Lakes region tonight and Sunday, bringing accumulating
snow to the Northland. Heavy snow is expected with a swath of 6 to
12 inches of accumulation are expected from from east-central
Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin to northeast Minnesota. Lower
totals of 2 to 6 inches will be found over north-central
Minnesota. Southeast to east winds over western Lake Superior
during the storm will enhance snowfall amounts along the north
shore, where widespread accumulation of 9 to 12 inches is
forecast. The system will quickly move out of the Northland
Sunday afternoon with precipitation ending by mid-afternoon.

MNZ035>038-WIZ001>004-006>009-242145-
/O.CON.KDLH.WS.W.0007.180225T0000Z-180225T1500Z/
Northern Aitkin-South Aitkin-Carlton/South St. Louis-Pine-Douglas-
Bayfield-Ashland-Iron-Burnett-Washburn-Sawyer-Price-
Including the cities of Hill City, Aitkin, Duluth, Pine City,
Hinckley, Superior, Washburn, Bayfield, Ashland, Hurley,
Grantsburg, Spooner, Hayward, and Phillips
343 AM CST Sat Feb 24 2018

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING
TO 9 AM CST SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Heavy snow, with total snow accumulations of 5 to 8
inches, is expected.

* WHERE…Portions of north central and northwest Wisconsin and
east central and northeast Minnesota.

* WHEN…From 6 PM this evening to 9 AM CST Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on difficult travel conditions and
significant reductions in visibility.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather
conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you
must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your
vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for
Minnesota can be found at 511mn.org, and for Wisconsin at
511wi.gov, or by calling 511 in either state.

Much of southeastern Minnesota has a winter weather advisory for snow and possible light freezing rain late this Saturday afternoon into Saturday night:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service La Crosse WI
406 AM CST Sat Feb 24 2018

…Difficult Travel This Afternoon and Tonight…

.Difficult travel is expected to develop late this afternoon and
continue into tonight due to accumulating snow. Snow totals of 3
to 6 inches are expected from north-central Iowa, parts of
southeast Minnesota and into north-central Wisconsin. A light
glazing of ice also possible. The heaviest snowfall is expected
this evening with some snowfall rates of one inch or more per
hour. Some blowing or drifting snow is possible mainly west of the
Mississippi River tonight after the snow ends.

Be ready for deteriorating road conditions by late this afternoon
and through the the evening hours. Delay or adjust your travel if
possible to avoid peak snow times.

IAZ008-MNZ079-086-087-094-WIZ032-241815-
/O.CON.KARX.WW.Y.0010.180224T2100Z-180225T1200Z/
Mitchell-Wabasha-Dodge-Olmsted-Mower-Buffalo-
Including the cities of Osage, Wabasha, Dodge Center, Rochester,
Austin, and Alma
406 AM CST Sat Feb 24 2018

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS
AFTERNOON TO 6 AM CST SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Snow expected. Snow may mix with freezing rain at times.
Total snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches are expected. Ice
accumulations of a glaze are expected.

* WHERE…Portions of west central Wisconsin, north central Iowa
and southeast Minnesota.

* WHEN…From 3 PM this afternoon to 6 AM CST Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. In
addition, some reductions to visibility are likely. Winds
gusting as high as 35 mph will cause some blowing and drifting
snow tonight.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Be prepared for
slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while
driving. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling
from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

Updates

Updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you can read about any watches and warnings in the MPR News live weather blog.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will post road condition updates.

Quiet on Sunday

The daylight hours of Sunday should be quiet, with mild high temps:

This isn’t like those January snowstorms, which typically feature cold winds after the snow ends.

Monday will be even milder, with highs in the 30s statewide:

Twin Cities highs are expected to be in the upper 30s most of this coming week, so some of our snow cover will melt.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.