Morning briefing; snowstorm with high winds tonight into Sunday

Snow lingers in parts of eastern and northern Minnesota this Saturday morning, and areas of drizzle/freezing drizzle and light freezing rain are possible in southeastern Minnesota, where a winter weather advisory continues until 9 a.m.

The main snow and wind event arrives Saturday evening and continues overnight into Sunday morning.

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

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon, via tropicaltidbits

The heaviest snow Saturday evening into Sunday is expected to be from southeastern Minnesota into north-central Wisconsin:

NWS Twin Cities

A closer look at southeastern Minnesota:

NWS La Crosse

A blizzard warning begins at midnight Saturday night in central Minnesota, and begins at 9 p.m. in the south metro and at 6 p.m. in southeastern Minnesota. The blizzard warnings end at 6 p.m. Sunday:

NWS Twin Cities

The northern portion of the metro area is in a winter storm watch from midnight tonight through Sunday afternoon.

Here are details of the blizzard warning:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
244 AM CST Sat Feb 23 2019

…DANGEROUS WINTER STORM EXPECTED TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY…

.A Winter Weather Advisory continues through Saturday morning for
portions of west central Wisconsin through southeastern
Minnesota, specifically along and east of a line from Blue Earth
to Faribault in Minnesota, continuing to River Falls and Bloomer
in Wisconsin. Snowfall accumulations of up to around 2 inches
along with up to a tenth of an inch of ice accretion can be
expected through Saturday morning.

A stronger system is expected for Saturday night through Sunday
when accumulating snow plus blowing snow will impact travel,
including blizzard conditions for much of southern and western
Minnesota.

A Blizzard Warning is in effect Saturday evening through Sunday
afternoon for most locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin south of
I-94. This includes southern portions of the Twin Cities metro,
away from more suburban areas. Within the Blizzard Warning, snow
accumulations will range from 1 to 3 inches in the west near the
South Dakota border to 6 to 8 inches along Interstate 35 and east.
The snow is expected from late Saturday afternoon through the
early morning hours Sunday, followed by strong winds of 25 to 35
mph with gusts to near 50 mph for most of the day Sunday. This
could lead to whiteout conditions, making travel very difficult or
impossible in the open areas of western, central, and southern
Minnesota, and far western Wisconsin.

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect Saturday evening through
Sunday afternoon for St Croix, Barron, Rusk, Chippewa, and Eau
Claire counties. Within the Winter Storm Warning, snow
accumulations of 6 to 9 inches can be expected with localized
higher amounts possible. The snow is expected Saturday evening
through Sunday morning, followed by strong winds of 20 to 30 mph
with gusts to 40 mph for most of the day Sunday. This may produce
areas of blowing and drifting snow, making travel difficult for
portions of far southeastern Minnesota into west central
Wisconsin.

A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the counties along I-94
for the potential of 1 to 4 inches of snow and very strong wind.
Winds could gust as high as 40 to 45 mph which could lead to very
low visibility and dangerous travel.

MNZ067>070-074>076-082-083-091-231645-
/O.CON.KMPX.BZ.W.0003.190224T0300Z-190225T0000Z/
Sibley-Carver-Scott-Dakota-Brown-Nicollet-Le Sueur-Watonwan-
Blue Earth-Martin-
Including the cities of Gaylord, Chaska, Shakopee, Hastings,
New Ulm, St Peter, Le Sueur, St James, Mankato, and Fairmont
244 AM CST Sat Feb 23 2019

…BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO
6 PM CST SUNDAY…

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions expected. Total snow accumulations of
3 to 6 inches expected. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph.

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

* WHEN…From 9 PM Saturday to 6 PM CST Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult or
impossible Saturday night into Sunday.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Blizzard Warning means severe winter weather conditions are
expected. 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.

This Updraft blog will be updated around mid-morning.

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.