Winter storm warnings expand into Twin Cities

The notion of heavy snow is not over for the Twin Cities folks.

Our inbound storm is driving a wedge of moderate to heavy snow into the Twin Cities area as expected Wednesday. Thundersnow has been reported at several locations including Pipestone, New Ulm and St. James. Multi-inch snowfall totals have already been recorded across southern Minnesota.

  • Owatonna [Steele Co, MN] TRAINED SPOTTER reports SNOW of 4.00 INCH at 12:37 PM CDT
  • Tracy [Lyon Co, MN] CO-OP OBSERVER reports SNOW of 4.10 INCH at 11:30 AM CDT
  • Marshall [Lyon Co, MN] CO-OP OBSERVER reports HEAVY SNOW of 6.80 INCH at 11:15 AM CDT

The intensity of the snow band has prompted the Twin Cities NWS office to upgrade the Twin Cities area to winter storm warning status.

Twin Cities National Weather Service

What to expect

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s High-Resolution Rapid Refresh model shows moderate to heavy bands of mostly snow with a little rain mixed in through Wednesday night across south-central Minnesota including the Twin Cities area.

NOAA HRRR model through 1 a.m. Thursday, via tropical tidbits

I’ve been on the higher side of forecasts for metro snowfall with this storm.

In my post last evening, I forecast a range of 5 to 15 inches of snow across the Twin Cities with heavier totals favoring the northwest metro.

I still think that’s possible. Final totals will depend on how much changes to sleet and rain Thursday. We will likely see a few hours of sleet, and some rain in the Twin Cities Thursday afternoon.

Overall I still like the looks of NOAA’s Global Forecast System model snowfall totals by late Friday. It still suggests a big gradient across the Twin Cities from southeast to northwest.

NOAA GFS model snowfall output, via pivotal weather

Blizzard warnings west

One area has been remarkably consistent with this storm. The heavy snow zone and blizzard conditions still favor western Minnesota.

Including the cities of Granite Falls, Olivia, and Redwood Falls
1222 PM CDT Wed Apr 10 2019

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT THIS
EVENING…

…BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM THIS EVENING TO
10 AM CDT FRIDAY…

* WHAT…Blizzard conditions and snow expected. Total snow
accumulations of 12 to 23 inches and ice accumulations of a
light glaze expected. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph.

* WHERE…Yellow Medicine, Renville and Redwood Counties.

* WHEN…For the Blizzard Warning, from 7 PM this evening to 10
AM CDT Friday. For the Winter Weather Advisory, until 7 PM CDT
this evening.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult to
impossible. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce
visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning
or evening commute. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches.

It’s already a bad travel scenario across southern and southwest Minnesota.

Travel conditions will become increasingly difficult Wednesday night and Thursday morning!

Stay tuned.