Wind and snow slow commutes; colder Thursday night, Friday

Patience will be our ally on the roads Thursday.

The snow arrived just in time to snarl up traffic during our morning commute, and winds will pick up this afternoon as snow continues. Plan on a slow afternoon-evening commute. Whiteout conditions are expected in portions of western and south-central Minnesota Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening.

Thankfully, quiet weather is on tap for Friday, but it’ll be very cold.

Storm details 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential snow pattern Thursday:

NOAA NAM simulated radar Thursday morning through evening, via tropicaltidbits

Projected snow totals are highest to the east:

National Weather Service Twin Cities

Here are storm details, and info on the winter weather advisory that includes the Twin Cities metro area until midnight:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
837 AM CST Thu Feb 7 2019

…LOCALIZED HEAVY SNOWFALL AMOUNTS IN CENTRAL MINNESOTA THROUGH
NOON…

…BLIZZARD CONDITIONS DEVELOPING IN SOUTHWEST AND WEST CENTRAL
MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON…

…DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILLS TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING…

.The Blizzard Warning remains in effect for areas along and south
of a line from Morris, to Mankato, to Owatonna from noon today
through midnight tonight.

The Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for areas along and
east of a line from Pepin, to Menomonie, to Rice Lake through
midnight tonight.

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for the remainder of
central and southern Minnesota and portions of west central
Wisconsin through midnight tonight.

In addition to total storm totals of 3 to 5 inches across the
Winter Weather Advisory and Blizzard Warning areas, a small area
of central Minnesota will see up to 6 inches, with localized
higher amounts through early afternoon.

Total snowfall amounts of 6 to 8 inches will occur in the Winter
Storm Warning in west central Wisconsin. Winds are expected to
increase late this morning, with blizzard conditions developing
across west central into south central Minnesota by the afternoon
and lasting through the evening.

Dangerous wind chills will accompany this system, with a Wind
Chill Warning becoming effective tonight, through Friday morning
for locations along and west of a line from Redwood Falls, to
Litchfield, to Little Falls. To the east of the warning, a Wind
Chill Advisory will become effective across the rest of central
and southern Minnesota, and counties along the Minnesota border
in western Wisconsin ,for tonight through Friday morning. Wind
chill values will range from 35 below to 40 below zero in the
warning and 30 below to 35 below zero in the advisory.

MNZ043>045-050>053-059>063-066>070-076>078-WIZ014-023-024-072245-
/O.CON.KMPX.WW.Y.0011.000000T0000Z-190208T0600Z/
/O.CON.KMPX.WC.Y.0007.190208T0600Z-190208T1800Z/
Morrison-Mille Lacs-Kanabec-Benton-Sherburne-Isanti-Chisago-
Wright-Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-Washington-McLeod-Sibley-Carver-
Scott-Dakota-Le Sueur-Rice-Goodhue-Polk-St. Croix-Pierce-
Including the cities of Little Falls, Princeton, Mora, Foley,
Elk River, Cambridge, Center City, Monticello, Minneapolis,
Blaine, St Paul, Stillwater, Hutchinson, Gaylord, Chaska,
Shakopee, Hastings, Le Sueur, Faribault, Red Wing, Osceola,
Hudson, River Falls, and Prescott
837 AM CST Thu Feb 7 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST
TONIGHT…
…WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO
NOON CST FRIDAY…

* WHAT…Snow and blowing snow with very cold wind chills
expected. Snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches. Winds gusting as
high as 35 mph. Wind chills as low as 30 below zero expected.

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

* WHEN…For the Winter Weather Advisory, until midnight CST
tonight. For the Wind Chill Advisory, from midnight tonight to
noon CST Friday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Patchy
blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The
hazardous conditions will impact the evening commute. The
dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed
skin in as little as 10 minutes.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery
roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

A Wind Chill Advisory means that cold air and the wind will
combine to create low wind chills. Frostbite and hypothermia can
occur if precautions are not taken. Make sure you wear a hat and
gloves.

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.

Here are details of the blizzard warning in southern Minnesota that includes Mankato and Albert Lea Thursday afternoon and evening:

Brown-Nicollet-Watonwan-Blue Earth-Waseca-Steele-Martin-Faribault-
Freeborn-
Including the cities of New Ulm, St Peter, St James, Mankato,
Waseca, Owatonna, Fairmont, Blue Earth, and Albert Lea
837 AM CST Thu Feb 7 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST
TODAY…
…BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO MIDNIGHT
CST TONIGHT…
…WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO
NOON CST FRIDAY…

* WHAT…Snow. Blizzard conditions and dangerously cold wind
chills expected. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph. Wind chills
as low as 35 below zero expected. Snow accumulations of 2 to 4
inches.

* WHERE…Nicollet, Waseca, Steele and Freeborn Counties.

* WHEN…For the Winter Weather Advisory, until noon CST today.
For the Blizzard Warning, from noon today to midnight CST
tonight. For the Wind Chill Advisory, from midnight tonight to
noon CST Friday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Areas
of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The
dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed
skin in as little as 10 minutes.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

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

A Wind Chill Advisory means that cold air and the wind will
combine to create low wind chills. Frostbite and hypothermia can
occur if precautions are not taken. Make sure you wear a hat and
gloves.

A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or
freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery
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.

The blizzard warning is already in effect for much of western Minnesota, here are details for the southwest:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Sioux Falls SD
319 AM CST Thu Feb 7 2019

MNZ071-072-080-081-097-SDZ040-056-071730-
/O.NEW.KFSD.WC.W.0002.190208T0600Z-190208T1800Z/
/O.CON.KFSD.BZ.W.0002.190207T1500Z-190208T0600Z/
/O.CON.KFSD.WW.Y.0008.000000T0000Z-190207T1500Z/
Lincoln MN-Lyon MN-Murray-Cottonwood-Pipestone-Brookings-Moody-
319 AM CST Thu Feb 7 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM CST THIS
MORNING…
…BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM THIS MORNING TO
MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT…
…WIND CHILL WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO NOON CST
FRIDAY…

* WHAT…Snow. Blizzard conditions and dangerously cold wind
chills expected. Additional snow accumulations of up to one inch
expected. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph this afternoon into
the evening hours. Wind chills as low as 40 below zero expected.

* WHERE…Portions of east central South Dakota and southwest
Minnesota.

* WHEN…For the Winter Weather Advisory, until 9 AM CST this
morning. For the Blizzard Warning, from 9 AM this morning to
midnight CST tonight. For the Wind Chill Warning, from midnight
tonight to noon CST Friday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Areas of
blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous
conditions could impact the evening commute. Gusty winds could
bring down tree branches. The dangerously cold wind chills could
cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

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

A Wind Chill Warning means the combination of very cold air and
the wind will create dangerously low wind chill values. Frostbite
can occur quickly and even hypothermia or death if precautions
are not taken.

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 the state you are calling from can
be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

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.

___________________________________________________________________________

11 a.m. update:

The NWS has expanded the winter storm warning to include the Twin Cities metro area and counties bordering the metro area to the northwest:

The heaviest snow amounts will tend to be on the northwest side of the metro area.

Details:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
1025 AM CST Thu Feb 7 2019

…SNOWFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR THROUGH NOON IN SOUTH
CENTRAL AND EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA…

…WINTER STORM WARNING HAS BEEN EXPANDED FURTHER WEST THROUGH
MIDNIGHT TONIGHT…

…BLIZZARD CONDITIONS DEVELOPING IN SOUTHWEST AND WEST CENTRAL
MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON…

…DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILLS TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING…

.The Blizzard Warning remains in effect for areas along and south
of a line from Morris, to Mankato, to Owatonna from noon today
through midnight tonight.

A Winter Storm Warning has been expanded west to include areas
north and east of a line from Gaylord, to Dassel, Clearwater, St.
Cloud, Milaca, and Mora. This includes the Twin Cities metro area
through midnight tonight.

The Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for areas along and
east of a line from Pepin, to Menomonie, to Rice Lake through
midnight tonight.

Outside the Winter Storm Warning, a Winter Weather Advisory
remains in effect for the remainder of central and southern
Minnesota through midnight tonight.

Snowfall totals as the storm ends tonight will average between
2 and 5 inches across the Winter Weather Advisory, and Blizzard
Warning areas before it tapers off later today.

In addition, an area of increasing snowfall rates of 1 to
2 inches per hour will occur in south central, and east central
Minnesota before noon. This area of increasing snowfall rates
will move into west central Wisconsin this afternoon. Anywhere
these localized areas of 1 to 2 inches per hour snowfall rates
develop, you can expected locally higher totals before it begins
to taper off this afternoon.

Outside these localized heavier snowfall rates, total snowfall
amounts of 6 to 8 inches will occur in the Winter Storm Warning
in portions of central and east central Minnesota, as well as west
central Wisconsin. Winds are expected to increase late this
morning, with blizzard conditions developing across west central
into south central Minnesota by the afternoon and lasting through
the evening.

Dangerous wind chills will accompany this system, with a Wind
Chill Warning becoming effective tonight, through Friday morning
for locations along and west of a line from Redwood Falls, to
Litchfield, to Little Falls. To the east of the warning, a Wind
Chill Advisory will become effective across the rest of central
and southern Minnesota, and counties along the Minnesota border
in western Wisconsin ,for tonight through Friday morning. Wind
chill values will range from 35 below to 40 below zero in the
warning and 30 below to 35 below zero in the advisory.

MNZ044-045-050>053-059>063-066>070-WIZ014-023-024-080030-
/O.UPG.KMPX.WW.Y.0011.000000T0000Z-190208T0600Z/
/O.EXA.KMPX.WS.W.0004.000000T0000Z-190208T0600Z/
/O.CON.KMPX.WC.Y.0007.190208T0600Z-190208T1800Z/
Mille Lacs-Kanabec-Benton-Sherburne-Isanti-Chisago-Wright-
Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-Washington-McLeod-Sibley-Carver-Scott-
Dakota-Polk-St. Croix-Pierce-
Including the cities of Princeton, Mora, Foley, Elk River,
Cambridge, Center City, Monticello, Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul,
Stillwater, Hutchinson, Gaylord, Chaska, Shakopee, Hastings,
Osceola, Hudson, River Falls, and Prescott
1025 AM CST Thu Feb 7 2019

…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT…

…WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO
NOON CST FRIDAY…

* WHAT…Heavy snow. Very cold wind chills expected. Additional
snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches. Winds gusting as high as
35 mph. Wind chills as low as 35 below zero expected.

* WHERE…Portions of northwest and west central Wisconsin and
central and east central Minnesota.

* WHEN…For the Winter Storm Warning, until midnight CST
tonight. For the Wind Chill Advisory, from midnight tonight to
noon CST Friday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions. Patchy
blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The
hazardous conditions will impact the evening commute. The
dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed
skin in as little as 10 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.

A Wind Chill Advisory means that cold air and the wind will
combine to create low wind chills. Frostbite and hypothermia can
occur if precautions are not taken. Make sure you wear a hat and
gloves.

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 snow accumulations as they are posted by the National Weather Service. Hover over a location on the NWS snow map to see the snow total and the time of observation.  Be aware that some of the snow totals include snow that fell on Wednesday.

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

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

Wind chill advisory

As winds pick up and temperatures plummet, wind chills will become important.

Much of central and southern Minnesota will have wind chill advisories or warnings starting at midnight Thursday and running until noon Friday:

NWS Twin Cities

The Twin Cities metro area will be in the wind chill advisory beginning at midnight this Thursday.

Temps drop

Metro area temps will be falling Thursday afternoon.

Friday highs will be in the single digits below zero across most of Minnesota, peaking at zero or slightly above zero in the Twin Cities metro area:

NOAA

Lows Saturday morning drop well below zero statewide:

NOAA

Highs Saturday will be very chilly:

NOAA

Sunday highs rebound a bit:

NOAA

Metro area highs are expected to reach the lower 20s Monday and Tuesday.

Snow deficit

Through Wednesday, our season snowfall total at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was 22.3 inches. That was 13.4 inches below our average snow total to this point in our snow season:

NOAA weather data for Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

We’ll narrow that gap with Thursday’s snowfall.

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.

  • Michael Larsen

    Amazing proof that today is the first day of Solar Spring, the 90 days where day length increases the fastest. Our solar panels are generating 500 watts, in the midst of a raging snowstorm.