April snowstorm: the latest forecast details

Forecast models continue to show a major snowstorm moving into Minnesota later today and tonight, with snow continuing Saturday and Saturday night.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern from today through Sunday morning:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Friday through Sunday morning, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of snow or rain.

In the Twin Cities metro area it will be a rainy Friday, with a thunderstorm also possible. The rain is expected to become mixed with snow later this afternoon or this evening, then become all snow overnight. The snow continues on Saturday and Saturday night.

We could see 7 to 12 inches of snow in the metro area by late Saturday night, even isolated higher amounts. It’ll be very windy from this afternoon through Saturday.

The snow starts sooner in southwestern Minnesota and parts of west-central and central Minnesota.

Winter storm and blizzard warnings

Much of southern and central Minnesota and western Wisconsin are under warnings later today through Saturday night.

Here’s a summary:

NWS Twin Cities

The winter storm warning in the Twin Cities metro area starts at 10 p.m. this Friday and continues until 1 a.m. Sunday:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
359 AM CDT Fri Apr 13 2018

…BLIZZARD CONDITIONS EXPECTED ACROSS WEST CENTRAL INTO SOUTH
CENTRAL MINNESOTA TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING…
…SEVERE WINTER TRAVEL CONDITIONS ALSO LIKELY ACROSS THE REST OF
THE SOUTHERN HALF OF MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN
BEGINNING LATE TODAY…

.A significant winter storm will develop this afternoon and
continue through Saturday night. All precipitation types, strong
winds, and blizzard conditions will occur in this winter storm. A
Blizzard Warning is in effect tonight through Saturday evening
for west central and south central Minnesota. A Winter Storm
Warning is in effect for most of east central and a portion of
south central Minnesota and all of west central Wisconsin. St
Cloud, the Twin Cities, Mankato and Albert Lea are included in the
warning. As well as Rice Lake, Ladysmith and Eau Claire Wisconsin.
A Winter Storm Watch remains in effect for areas north of the
warning areas.

Showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue this morning,
and persist for much of the day as temperatures remain in the mid
30s in central Minnesota to the lower 40s along the
Minnesota/Iowa border. Colder air will begin to move into central
Minnesota this afternoon and evening, changing the precipitation
to snow. In addition to the heavy snow, strong gusty winds of 40
to 50 mph will bring blizzard conditions to west central
Minnesota. The best chance for whiteouts will be late Friday night
across west central Minnesota. The rain will turn to a wintry mix
of freezing rain, sleet, and snow across south central and east
central Minnesota, and west central Wisconsin Friday evening,
before changing to all snow by Saturday morning.

Total snow accumulations of 8 to 15 inches are expected from west
central and southwest Minnesota to east central Minnesota and
northern Wisconsin, with totals nearing 18 inches possible across
southwest Minnesota. Totals will taper off to 4 to 8 inches
across south central Minnesota. There may be a sharp gradient in
the watch area north of Alexandria and Little Falls. In addition,
total ice accumulations of one to two tenths of an inch are
possible across the southern third of Minnesota into west central
Wisconsin.

MNZ060-062-063-066>070-075-WIZ023-025-027-131700-
/O.CON.KMPX.WS.W.0008.180414T0300Z-180415T0600Z/
Hennepin-Ramsey-Washington-McLeod-Sibley-Carver-Scott-Dakota-
Nicollet-St. Croix-Dunn-Chippewa-
Including the cities of Minneapolis, St Paul, Stillwater,
Hutchinson, Gaylord, Chaska, Shakopee, Hastings, St Peter,
Hudson, Menomonie, and Chippewa Falls
359 AM CDT Fri Apr 13 2018

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING
TO 1 AM CDT SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Heavy mixed precipitation expected. Total snow
accumulations of 10 to 14 inches, and ice accumulations of
around one tenth are expected.

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

* WHEN…From 10 PM this evening to 1 AM CDT Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will be very difficult to
impossible. Tree branches could fall. Winds gusting as high as
45 mph will cause areas of blowing and drifting snow.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet
and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible. Strong
winds are also expected. 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.

From Stearns and Meeker counties through Benton and Sherburne counties, the winter storm warning begins at 7 p.m.:

MNZ049-050-131700-
/O.UPG.KMPX.WS.A.0009.180413T1800Z-180415T0600Z/
/O.EXA.KMPX.WS.W.0008.180414T0000Z-180415T0600Z/
Stearns-Benton-
Including the cities of St Cloud and Foley
359 AM CDT Fri Apr 13 2018

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 AM
CDT SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Heavy mixed precipitation expected. Total snow
accumulations of 5 to 8 inches, with localized amounts up to
12 inches, and ice accumulations of are expected.

* WHERE…Stearns and Benton Counties.

* WHEN…From 7 PM this evening to 1 AM CDT Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on difficult travel conditions.
Winds gusting as high as 40 mph will cause patchy blowing and
drifting snow.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet
and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible. 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.

Details of the blizzard warning in southwestern and west-central Minnesota:

MNZ054>057-064-065-073-131700-
/O.CON.KMPX.BZ.W.0002.180414T0000Z-180415T0600Z/
Lac Qui Parle-Swift-Chippewa-Kandiyohi-Yellow Medicine-Renville-
Redwood-
Including the cities of Madison, Benson, Montevideo, Willmar,
Granite Falls, Olivia, and Redwood Falls
359 AM CDT Fri Apr 13 2018

…BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO
1 AM CDT SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions expected. Winds gusting as high as
45 mph will cause whiteout conditions in blowing snow.
Significant drifting of the snow is likely. Total snow
accumulations of 11 to 15 inches, with localized amounts up to
17 inches, are expected.

* WHERE…Portions of central, southwest and west central
Minnesota.

* WHEN…From 7 PM this evening to 1 AM CDT Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will be very dangerous to
impossible. Tree branches could fall.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected or occurring. Falling and blowing snow with strong winds
and poor visibilities are likely. This will lead to whiteout
conditions, making travel extremely dangerous. Do not travel. If
you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get
stranded, stay with your vehicle. 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.

Snow forecast

Impressive snow totals are expected from this storm:

NWS Twin Cities

Some freezing rain is also possible at times, mainly from late Friday into early Saturday:

NWS Twin Cities

Updates

Updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you can also find updated weather information on the MPR news live weather blog.

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.