Wet snow ends early Sunday; who will win the golden shovel?

The timing was pretty good for Twin Cities residents. We had good travel conditions through most of the daylight hours. The rain didn’t mix with sleet and snow until late Saturday afternoon, then the wet snow arrived for the evening hours:

Saturday March 9, St. Paul      Image: Andrew Krueger, MPR News


Be careful on the slippery roads!

I bet that you can’t wait to shovel this latest batch of flakes! This snow is much heavier than the fluffy snows that we saw last month.

Here’s a shoveling tip, from the NWS:

The big picture

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

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Saturday evening through Sunday 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. Accumulating snow tapers off by around sunrise on Sunday in the Twin Cities metro area, but snow continues to the northeast.

How much snow?

Locations in western Minnesota are prime candidates for the golden shovel award for highest storm totals.

Holloway, in Swift county of west-central Minnesota, came in with a 12 inch snowfall total around 8 p.m. Saturday. We’ll see the final tally on Sunday.

Here’s the NWS depiction of potential storm totals:

NWS Twin Cities


Notice the double-digit snowfall totals in much of western Minnesota from this winter storm.

I expect snow totals by late Saturday night/early Sunday morning to range from about 7 or 8 inches in the far northwest corner of the Twin Cities metro area to 4 or 5 inches in the far southeast corner of the metro. Minneapolis and St. Paul look to be somewhere in the 5 to 6 inch range.


As of Saturday evening, winter storm warnings continued for much of Minnesota and western Wisconsin for a combination of heavy snow, reduced visibilities and hazardous travel conditions:

NWS Twin Cities NWS Grand Forks NWS Duluth

Here’s a storm discussion, plus details of the Twin Cities metro area portion of the winter storm warning, which runs through Saturday evening and overnight Saturday night:

National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
Issued by National Weather Service Duluth MN
840 PM CST Sat Mar 9 2019


.A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect north of a line from
St. James to Faribault to Eau Claire, and a Winter Weather
Advisory continues for the rest of southern Minnesota today into
early Sunday.

Snow will be heavy at times overnight with snowfall rates of 1 to
2 inches per hour. The snow is expected to end by early morning
Sunday. Snowfall totals of 8 to 12 inches are likely in west
central Minnesota. Areas in east central Minnesota and western
Wisconsin will see about 5 to 8 inches of snow. Snow totals of 2
to 4 inches are expected in the advisory area across southern
Minnesota. All wintry mix of precipitation has moved out of the
area this evening.

Strong northwest winds will develop later tonight and Sunday
morning with gusts near 35 mph possible across southern and
western Minnesota. This will lead to areas of blowing and drifting
snow. The Winter Storm Warning continues through Sunday morning
across western and portions of southern Minnesota due to the
potential for blowing snow.

Morrison-Mille Lacs-Kanabec-Benton-Sherburne-Isanti-Chisago-
Wright-Hennepin-Anoka-Ramsey-Washington-Carver-St. Croix-
Including the cities of Little Falls, Princeton, Mora, Foley,
Elk River, Cambridge, Center City, Monticello, Minneapolis,
Blaine, St Paul, Stillwater, Chaska, and Hudson
840 PM CST Sat Mar 9 2019


* WHAT…Heavy snow. Additional snow accumulations of 3 to 5
inches. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph.

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

* WHEN…Until 7 AM CDT Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Plan on slippery road conditions.


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.


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.

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

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

You can check snow accumulations as they are posted by the National Weather Service. Hover over a location on the National Weather Service snow map site to see the snow total and the time of observation.

Temperature trends

Most of Minnesota and western Wisconsin will see Sunday afternoon highs in the 20s, with some 30s in southeastern Minnesota:

Our average high this time of year is 38 degrees in the Twin Cities metro area.

Metro area highs are projected to be in the upper 20s on Monday, followed by mid 30s Tuesday and lower 40s Wednesday. We’re looking at highs in the upper 30s Thursday, then lower 30s on Friday.

Spring ahead
It’s that time of year. We turn our clocks (the ones that don’t automatically adjust) ahead one hour Saturday night or early Sunday as we convert to Daylight Saving Time:

NOAA sent this message out on Friday:

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.