Gray to blue by Thursday; watching weekend snow chances

Gray is the weather flavor of the day across most of Minnesota.

A stubborn cloud deck slides overhead Wednesday. A few breaks in the overcast may allow for some sunny peeks, but our better chances for bright sun and blue skies arrive Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model paints the expected fraction of cloud cover through Thursday.

NOAA GFS total cloud fraction, via tropical tidbits

Thursday still looks like the mildest day this week. Highs crack the 40s across most of Minnesota. True spring lurks teasingly close to the southwest.

Highs Thursday via NOAA

Pesky snow cover

The Upper Midwest clings to a thin pesky layer of stubborn ice-laden snow on the ground. There’s still deep snow in northern Minnesota.

NOAA

Temperatures show signs of more slow melting in the next few days.

NOAA, via Weather Bell

The big questions is how much more will fall?

Weekend system

There’s still high confidence in rain or snow across Minnesota Friday night into Saturday. The forecast questions revolve around the track of the significant snow band and drier air to the northeast. That could potentially mean a sharp cutoff from shovelable snow to flurries across the Twin Cities.

NOAA’s GFS model paints the forecast dilemma with this system. A sharp snowfall cutoff on the storm’s northeast side. This solution would produce relatively little snow in the northeast Twin Cities, to a potentially plowable 4 inches-plus on the south and west sides.

Heavier snow totals could fall along the Minnesota River Valley to Austin.

NOAA GFS 24-hour snowfall, via tropical tidbits

Wednesday night’s model runs should grab a better hold of the weekend system. In theory.

Stay tuned.

The nor’easter is ramping up today along the east coast.

Snowfall totals over a foot are likely in and around New York City and Philadelphia.