Snowy Friday in southern Minnesota; model flux on Polar Vortex potential

A pretty potent Clipper sails through southern Minnesota Friday. Snow busts out early Friday in southwest Minnesota. The snow shield will spread east during the morning and midday hours. Travel will become difficult in southern Minnesota. The Twin Cities rides the northern edge of the snow zone.

NOAA’s GFS model is in the middle of model solutions on where the northern edge of the snow zone may set up over the Twin Cities.

NOAA GFS model through Friday via tropical tidbits.

Impressive snowfall totals

Snowfall totals for southwest Minnesota, the I-90 corridor and much of Iowa look impressive. If you are planning travel south Friday, it’s going to be tough sledding.

Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are up for southern Minnesota and most of Iowa.

Twin Cities NWS.

National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
209 PM CST Thu Jan 17 2019


.A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect for Brown, Watonwan,
Martin, Blue Earth, Faribault, and Freeborn counties late tonight
through Friday evening. 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 3 or 4 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 advance eastward across southern Minnesota late tonight
and Friday morning. The morning and evening commutes are expected
to be impacted across all of southern Minnesota.

Most of Iowa will pick up at least half a foot Friday.

Colder air mass

The weekend looks respectably cold across the Upper Midwest. Temperatures moderate again early next week, then turn colder again. The question is how much colder?

NWS forecast for Minneapolis via Weather Bell.

Polar Vortex: Models still in flux

It’s been interesting (and frustrating) to watch the forecast models waffle on the magnitude and position of a possible Polar Vortex outbreak late next week.


Some forecast model temperature solutions for the weekend of January 26-27 have flipped from -30s to +30s for the Twin Cities over the past couple of days.

It’s still unclear how this will shake out. Will it be a glancing blow or full-on prolonged sub-zero Polar Vortex outbreak?

Stay tuned.