Heaviest snow hits southern MN Friday; cold weather through the weekend

A bit of snow remains in shady spots around the Twin Cities metro area, but the snow has disappeared from most sunny spots:

Highland National Golf Course in St. Paul was almost snow-free on Thursday. Ron Trenda | MPR News

The snow tally for this 2018-2019 snow season is only 11 inches at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and we’re running 17.6 inches behind our normal pace:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration /National Weather Service data for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

We average 12.2 inches of snow during January in the Twin Cities, but we’ve seen only a trace of snow at MSP airport so far this month.

We have some catching up to do!

Heaviest snow south

Portions of southern Minnesota will see heavy snow this Friday into Friday evening.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential snow pattern as we go through Friday and Friday night:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Friday morning through Friday night, 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.

The heaviest snow is expected over far southern Minnesota:

NWS Twin Cities

Southern parts of Carver, Scott and Dakota county could see between 1 and 2 inches of snow Friday afternoon/evening, with just a dusting of snow in the north metro. At this point, it looks like the downtown areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul will tally less than 1 inch of snow. Check forecast updates.

Here are the winter storm warnings and advisories:

NWS Twin Cities

Winter storm warning details look like this:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
436 AM CST Fri Jan 18 2019

…SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW WILL IMPACT TRAVEL TODAY ACROSS
SOUTHERN MINNESOTA…

.A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for Yellow Medicine,
Redwood, Brown, Watonwan, Martin, Blue Earth, Faribault, and
Freeborn Counties from 6 am through 10 pm. A Winter Weather
Advisory is in effect north of the warning area up to a line from
Madison, to Olivia, and the city of Faribault.

Total snowfall amounts of 5 to 8 inches are likely in the warning
area, with 2 or 5 inches in the advisory area. There will be a
sharp gradient near the northern edge of the snow with little or
nothing expected north of I-94.

Snow will begin to develop in west central and southwest
Minnesota between 6 and 9 am. This area of snow will spread
across southern Minnesota, especially south of the Minnesota
River Valley through the afternoon, before ending this evening.
Locally heavy snowfall is possible this afternoon along the Iowa
border. The evening commute is expected to be impacted from areas
around Redwood Falls, to Mankato, and Owatonna Minnesota. Further
to the north, uncertainties on when snow will begin or even
develop, especially further north into central, and east central
Minnesota, so travel will likely not be impacted.

MNZ064-073-074-082-083-091>093-181845-
/O.CON.KMPX.WS.W.0001.190118T1200Z-190119T0400Z/
Yellow Medicine-Redwood-Brown-Watonwan-Blue Earth-Martin-
Faribault-Freeborn-
Including the cities of Granite Falls, Redwood Falls, New Ulm,
St James, Mankato, Fairmont, Blue Earth, and Albert Lea
436 AM CST Fri Jan 18 2019

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM CST THIS
EVENING…

* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 8
inches expected.

* WHERE…Yellow Medicine, Redwood, Brown, Watonwan, Martin, Blue
Earth, Faribault, and Freeborn Counties.

* WHEN…Until 10 PM CST this evening.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Patchy
blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The
hazardous conditions could impact the morning and evening
commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather
conditions will make travel very hazardous. If you travel, keep
a charged cell phone, 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.

And from the Twin Cities office of the NWS, here are details of the winter weather advisory for locations south of the metro area:

MNZ067-075>077-084-085-181845-
/O.CON.KMPX.WW.Y.0002.190118T1200Z-190119T0400Z/
Sibley-Nicollet-Le Sueur-Rice-Waseca-Steele-
Including the cities of Gaylord, St Peter, Le Sueur, Faribault,
Waseca, and Owatonna
436 AM CST Fri Jan 18 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM CST THIS
EVENING…

* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4
inches expected.

* WHERE…Sibley, Nicollet, Le Sueur, Rice, Waseca and Steele
Counties.

* WHEN…From 6 AM to 10 PM CST.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The
hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening
commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will
cause primarily travel difficulties. Expect snow covered roads
and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

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.

________________________________________________________________________________

10 a.m. update

The NWS has expanded winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories northward a bit:

NWS Twin Cities

The southern part of the Twin Cities metro area (Carver, Scott and Dakota county) is in a winter weather advisory until 10 p.m. today.

Here are the details:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
922 AM CST Fri Jan 18 2019

…SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW WILL IMPACT TRAVEL TODAY ACROSS
SOUTHERN MINNESOTA…

.A Winter Storm Warning has been expanded north to include Lac
Qui Parle, Nicollet, Waseca, and Steele counties. In addition, the
Winter Weather Advisory has been expanded north to include Swift,
Kandiyohi, McLeod, Carver, Scott, Dakota, and Goodhue counties.

Total snowfall amounts of 5 to 8 inches are likely in the warning
area, along and south of a Madison, to Mankato, and Owatonna
line. 2 or 5 inches of snow is expected in the advisory area,
mainly along and south of an Appleton, to Glencoe, to Red Wing
line. There will be a sharp gradient near the northern edge of
the snow with little or nothing expected north of I-94.

Snow is quickly spreading east across southern Minnesota this
morning, with the heaviest snow expected this afternoon. Snow
will slowly taper off this evening.

MNZ066>070-076>078-182330-
/O.CON.KMPX.WW.Y.0002.000000T0000Z-190119T0400Z/
McLeod-Sibley-Carver-Scott-Dakota-Le Sueur-Rice-Goodhue-
Including the cities of Hutchinson, Gaylord, Chaska, Shakopee,
Hastings, Le Sueur, Faribault, and Red Wing
922 AM CST Fri Jan 18 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM CST THIS
EVENING…

* WHAT…Snow. Snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches.

* WHERE…McLeod, Carver, Scott, Dakota and Goodhue Counties.

* WHEN…Until 10 PM CST this evening.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The
hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening
commute.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will
cause primarily travel difficulties. Expect snow covered roads
and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

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.

________________________________________________________________________________

You can check the latest forecasts, watches and warnings from the NWS offices in the Twin Cities, Sioux Falls, S.D., and La Crosse, Wis.

You can check snow accumulations for Minnesota and western Wisconsin as they are posted by the NWS. Hover over a location on the NWS snow map to see the snow total and the time of observation.

Updated road conditions will be posted by the Minnesota and Wisconsin transportation departments.

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Cold temps linger through the weekend

Friday afternoon highs are expected to range from single digits below zero in northwestern Minnesota to teens in the Twin Cities metro area and southern Minnesota.

Similar highs are on tap for Saturday:

Some spots in the metro area will probably reach the middle teens Friday and Saturday.

Sunday highs are also very chilly:

Our average Twin Cities high temp is 24 degrees this time of year. Metro area high temps rebound to the lower 20s next Monday and Tuesday.

Snow depth

Although Friday’s snow is missing northern Minnesota, there’s still plenty of snow on the ground up there. Here’s the latest Minnesota snow depth map from the Minnesota State Climatology Office:

Minnesota State Climatology Office/Department of Natural Resources

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.