Heavy snow Sunday afternoon into early Monday; followed by the coldest temps in years

Periods of light snow are expected across the southern half of Minnesota this Saturday morning into early afternoon.

Our main snow event of the weekend begins on Sunday.

The big picture

Snow will move into western Minnesota Sunday morning, then spread across eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin during the afternoon hours.  Snow continues Sunday night into Monday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential snow pattern Sunday morning through Monday afternoon:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Sunday morning through Monday afternoon, 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.

Heavy snow for many areas

Our season snowfall total is currently running 19.5 inches below normal in the Twin Cities metro area.

That’ll change late Sunday afternoon into Monday, as we see our first heavy snowfall of the season in the metro area.

Here are snowfall projections for the storm:

NWS Twin Cities

Much of the metro area should see 6 to 9 inches of snow by the time it tapers off on Monday.

A winter storm watch includes the Twin Cities metro area from 3 p.m. Sunday to 3 p.m. Monday:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
326 AM CST Sat Jan 26 2019

…HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW SUNDAY AND MONDAY…

.A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for much of central and
southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin from Sunday afternoon
into Monday afternoon. The Watch is in effect for locations
generally along and south of an Alexandria to Rush City to
Ladysmith line. Snowfall amounts in the 5 to 9 inch range are
possible, with isolated higher totals. Blowing snow will also
become a concern on Monday as northwest winds become gusty.

A Winter Storm Watch means there is potential for significant
snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Continue
to monitor the latest forecasts.

MNZ050>053-059>063-066>070-075>078-083>085-092-093-261730-
/O.NEW.KMPX.WS.A.0002.190127T2100Z-190128T2100Z/
Benton-Sherburne-Isanti-Chisago-Wright-Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-
Washington-McLeod-Sibley-Carver-Scott-Dakota-Nicollet-Le Sueur-
Rice-Goodhue-Blue Earth-Waseca-Steele-Faribault-Freeborn-
Including the cities of Foley, Elk River, Cambridge, Center City,
Monticello, Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul, Stillwater, Hutchinson,
Gaylord, Chaska, Shakopee, Hastings, St Peter, Le Sueur,
Faribault, Red Wing, Mankato, Waseca, Owatonna, Blue Earth,
and Albert Lea
326 AM CST Sat Jan 26 2019

…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
MONDAY AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…Heavy snow possible. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 9
inches possible. Blowing snow is also possible with wind gusts
as high as 35 mph.

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

* WHEN…From Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult. Patchy
blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The
hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. The
cold wind chills as low as 20 below zero could cause frostbite
on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Storm Watch means there is potential for significant
snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel. Continue
to monitor the latest forecasts.

The winter storm watch begins at noon Sunday in west-central Minnesota.

___________________________________________________

4 p.m. Saturday update:

The NWS has included the Twin Cities metro area in a winter storm warning from 3 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday:

The winter storm warning begins at noon on Sunday in west-central Minnesota.

Details of the winter storm warning for the Twin Cities metro area:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
336 PM CST Sat Jan 26 2019

…HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY…

.A potent clipper system is still on track to shift southeast from
the Dakotas into Iowa then to Michigan Sunday through Monday. This
system will bring accumulating snow to all of central and southern
Minnesota into western Wisconsin Sunday afternoon through Monday
morning. The greatest snow accumulations look to occur from west
central Minnesota through the Twin Cities metro to around the Eau
Claire area, with lesser amounts towards northern Minnesota,
southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin.

Therefore, Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for all of
central and southern Minnesota through western Wisconsin, with the
exception of a small portion of southwestern Minnesota south of
the Minnesota River. In these areas, a Winter Weather Advisory has
been issued.

Snowfall amounts in the warning area can be expected to range from
6 to 9 inches. Snowfall amounts in the advisory area can be
expected to range from 3 to 6 inches.

This system is expected to cause significant travel impacts,
especially Sunday night through the Monday morning commute.
Continue to monitor the latest forecasts and statements.

MNZ050>053-059>063-066>070-075>077-083>085-093-270600-
/O.UPG.KMPX.WS.A.0002.190127T2100Z-190128T2100Z/
/O.NEW.KMPX.WS.W.0002.190127T2100Z-190128T1200Z/
Benton-Sherburne-Isanti-Chisago-Wright-Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-
Washington-McLeod-Sibley-Carver-Scott-Dakota-Nicollet-Le Sueur-
Rice-Blue Earth-Waseca-Steele-Freeborn-
Including the cities of Foley, Elk River, Cambridge, Center City,
Monticello, Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul, Stillwater, Hutchinson,
Gaylord, Chaska, Shakopee, Hastings, St Peter, Le Sueur,
Faribault, Mankato, Waseca, Owatonna, and Albert Lea
336 PM CST Sat Jan 26 2019

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM SUNDAY TO 6 AM CST
MONDAY…

* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 8
inches expected.

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

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

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult. Patchy
blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The
hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. The
cold wind chills as low as 20 below zero could cause frostbite
on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

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.

_____________________________________________________________________________

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

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.

Extreme cold after the storm

Saturday afternoon highs are expected to be in the single digits across the northern half of Minnesota, but they might stay below zero near the Canadian border. Highs reach the lower teens this afternoon in much of southern Minnesota, with some mid-upper teens possible in the far southwest.

Sunday highs range from below zero in the far north to teens in southwestern Minnesota:

Twin Cities metro area highs are expected to be around 10 degrees on Monday. Then it will be extremely cold, with  highs in the single digits below zero Tuesday and Thursday, and possibly a high of about -10 on Wednesday. Highs rebound to about 12 above on Friday.

Twin Cities metro area low temps are expected to reach the 20s below zero late Tuesday night/early Wednesday and late Wednesday night/early Thursday.

Minnesota and Wisconsin will have dangerously cold wind chills Tuesday through Thursday:

NWS Twin Cities

Snow cover

Although our snow cover is minimal in the Twin Cities metro area, there’s plenty of snow on the ground throughout the rest of Minnesota. Here’s the latest Minnesota snow depth map from the Minnesota State Climatology Office:

Minnesota State Climatology Office/Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

That hole in the significant snow cover will fill in late this weekend into Monday!

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.