Twin Cities rides edge of heavy snow starting late Monday night

You’ve heard that old saying about two seasons in Minnesota — winter and road construction?

This February brings two weather modes: snowing and getting ready to snow.

Our next snow system moves into Minnesota this evening. The Tuesday morning rush hours look snowy once again.

The good news? With temperatures into the 20s (above zero) this afternoon road should actually improve as salt works more efficiently.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and your local road crews are modern day miracles that somehow keep us (mostly) on the road this month. February’s 16.3 inches of snowfall so far at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is good enough for the ninth snowiest February on record, so far.

There are signs that this morning that the worst of winter’s cold (and snow?) may be behind us soon. Both snow systems this week look lighter than they did a few days ago. And there are signs of a thaw late next week. We’ll see.

Sunday arctic fluff

Sunday’s snow system overperformed many forecasts. One reason is the incredibly high 26-1 snow to water ratio.

Tuesday snow

Our next snowmaker arrives late Monday night. Snow develops in southwestern Minnesota Monday evening. Flakes arrive in the Twin Cities in the hours surrounding midnight. The storm track has trended further south over the past 24 hours.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System and other models take the surface low south of Chicago.

NOAA GFS model, via tropical tidbits

The more southern storm track should keep the heaviest 6 inches-plus snowfall totals just east and south of the Twin Cities.

Right now, I’m leaning toward snowfall of 2 to 5 inches as a range in the Twin Cities with the best chance for 6 inches in the southeast metro.

Here’s the forecast map from the Twin Cities National Weather Service:

Thursday’s potential snowmaker is trending lighter. Right now, I’m leaning more in the 1- to 3-inch range for snow Thursday. Stay tuned on that one.

Thawing out late next week?

Temps in the 20s today should help the roads improve. We stay seasonably cold into next week. All that fresh snow will be around to enjoy and play in for a while.

NOAA, via Weather Bell

The upper-air pattern hints at a milder Pacific flow and a possible thaw late next week.

NOAA upper air map for 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23

Stay tuned.