Saturday snow: 2″ to 5″ likely MSP, 5″ to 10″ south

Happy meteorological winter! December opens on a snowy note across southern Minnesota.

Snowflakes up close. Image: Paul Huttner/MPR News

Our first storm of meteorological winter brings heavy snow to the I-90 corridor. The Twin Cities rides the northern fringe of the significant snow zone.

Here’s NOAA’s NAM 3 km resolution model sequence of events.

NOAA NAM 3-km resolution model between 6 am Saturday and noon Sunday via tropical tidbits.

This system looks plowable from the Twin Cities south all the way into northern Iowa.

Here are some storm headlines:

  • Winter weather advisory for the Twin Cities starting noon Saturday until noon Sunday.
  • Winter storm warning up for southern Minnesota.
  • Snow will begin in southern Minnesota Saturday morning and push north.
  • Snow will push into the Twin Cities Saturday PM, most likely early to mid-afternoon hours.
  • Snowfall intensity could pick up quickly Saturday PM, meaning roads will get greasy quickly. Snow should taper off around midday Sunday in the Twin Cities.
  • I’m expecting a range of 2” to 5” for the Twin Cities. Heavier south metro, less north metro.
  • Southern Minnesota will see widespread 5” to 10” totals.
  • Northeast winds will gust to 30+ mph.  Travel will be especially difficult Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Canadian solution 

The Canadian model map below is on the lighter end of snowfall range for the Twin Cities. A shift north increases totals for MSP. A shift south reduces.

Canadian model snowfall via tropical tidbits.

American models

NOAA’s GFS has trended way north over the last 48 hours and brings heavier snow into the southern Twin Cities.

NOAA GFS model snowfall via tropical tidbits.

Early afternoon start

Snowfall onset timing could still change a couple hours, but this still looks pretty good to me. Falkes will likely fly in the Twin Cities by mid-afternoon.

Snow is here to stay

What falls will stick around for a while. Temperatures drop next week.

NOAA via Weather Bell.

It’s December. Let it snow!

  • ginseattle

    Yea! Move north, north, north. Can’t stand blue northers dry and cold. Snow at least makes it feel like you’re getting something in exchange for the cold and wind. I still feel that way, even driving in it. Now ask me in April, and of course, I’ll be tired of it by then. But for now, let her ‘rip.

    • Bob H.

      No amount of snow is good, IMHO; I’m tired of it before it even gets here. Booked my flight to AZ; heading out mid-December.