A moderate risk for severe weather continues across Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa today. All severe modes are possible, with the highest threat of tornadoes along the warm front in southeastern Nebraska and far southwestern Iowa.
The image to the left shows the forecasted STP (Significant Tornado Parameter) at 5pm this evening. Very high numbers are forecasted for southeastern Nebraska, especially for the Lincoln and Omaha areas.
This is the HRRR (High Resolution Rapid Refresh model) showing the simulated radar at 5pm. A line of severe thunderstorms is expected to quickly develop this afternoon and move east/northeastward. As I mentioned above, any storms that can remain discrete and move along the warm front, are most likely to produce tornadoes, and the possibility of large, destructive tornadoes. If you live in southeastern Nebraska, especially from Lincoln to Omaha, please pay close attention to the weather this evening and take any tornado warnings very seriously.
One thing that could limit the widespread tornado potential, is if these storms go linear quickly. There would still be the potential for embedded supercells to produce tornadoes, but severe straight line winds could become a bigger threat. This is especially likely as these storms continue to move into Iowa late this evening and into the overnight hours.
Meanwhile back here in the Twin Cities, heavy rain will become likely overnight tonight. The heaviest rains may remain just southeast of the metro, where 1-3" of rain is possible through tomorrow morning.
Happy Mother's day to my mom and all of the other moms out there!
Scary mother's day shaping up tomorrow, with a moderate risk for severe weather out across Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. Everything is in place for severe weather, including the possibility of large destructive tornadoes, especially along the warm front in Nebraska/Iowa. If you live in this area or have friends and family in this area, please be aware of the weather tomorrow afternoon/evening.
As of 4:30 pm heavy sleet is moving back into the Twin Cities metro. This will change over to all snow over the next hour or two and become heavy at times tonight. As you can see I've made some slight changes to the forecast I posted last night. There's no doubt this has been a challenging forecast for many meteorologists today.
Storm total forecast for MSP: 6"
- Snow is really beginning to pick up to the west of the Twin Cities and will continue to develop towards the metro this evening. 6-8" with remains likely just to the west and northwest of the metro.
- My forecast remains consistent from last night as I still expect to see 4-8" across much of the Twin Cities metro. Most of the heavy snow will fall across MSP between 6pm - 2am. Drier air will work into the metro after 2am, limiting accumulations beyond that time.
- The biggest change to the forecast comes late this evening and into the overnight hours just to the south and southeast of the Twin Cities. As the main surface low pushes northward a very heavy band of snow will develop from Albert Lea - Owatonna - Red Wing. 6-8" with possibly a few higher amounts will fall within this band overnight with thundersnow possible.
- The snow will exit the entire state of Minnesota by late tomorrow morning. The morning rush hour could be very difficult, but temperatures will rise above freezing during the day and should help to make for a much easier evening commute.
- As I mentioned yesterday enjoy the snow while it lasts because it won't be around long. We'll still see temperatures rise into the 50s and 60s, with even 70 a possibility next week. Enjoy!
From a personal standpoint I really hope this is the last snowfall forecast I post on this website this spring. From a meteorological standpoint a very impressive storm system will take aim at the entire Mississippi River valley Thursday into Friday. For tomorrow, a moderate risk for severe weather is out for the lower Mississippi River valley including much of southern Missouri and all of Arkansas. The potential is there for all modes of severe weather including damaging winds, hail, and tornadoes.
The biggest challenge in forecasting snow on the northern side of this system is how much energy will be focused on producing thunderstorms to the south and how much energy will be left over to develop heavy snow to the north. One model (NAM) really winds this system up with a potent closed low which produces a prolonged period of heavy snow through and just north of the Twin Cities. The other models are much more progressive with this system in pushing it more quickly to the northeast, leaving the heaviest snow totals to northern Wisconsin. Below is a timeline of what to expect from this system.
Storm total forecast for MSP: 7"
- Temperatures will remain near or above freezing at MSP overnight tonight. Rain, possibly mixed with sleet will develop and move northward tomorrow morning. A rumble of thunder may even be possible as heavier rain moves into metro early tomorrow afternoon.
- Snow will develop and become heavy at times across eastern South Dakota into western and central Minnesota early tomorrow afternoon.
- Snow will spread eastward into the metro tomorrow evening, with the northern and western suburbs seeing the fastest changeover to snow. Snow will become heavy in the Twin Cities late tomorrow evening into the early morning hours on Friday. Friday morning's commute could be an ugly one.
- I think much of the Twin Cities metro will see 6-8" of snow with the southeastern suburbs seeing closer to 4-6" due to a longer period of rain/sleet. Higher amounts closer to 9" are possible to the northwest from Willmar to St. Cloud to Duluth.
This may be a great time to enjoy what could be our last snow storm of the season - sorry no guarantees though. If you're completely fed up with winter and snow, there is a reason to be optimistic. This snow won't last long as temperatures quickly rise back into the 40s this weekend and 50s early next week. We may even have another shot at 60 next Wednesday, and our first 70 of the spring next Thursday. The snow may frustrate you for the next few days, but a week from now it will feel like a distant memory.
After a quiet start to March, we're heading into a very active weather pattern to finish the month. Although we continue to see temperatures well below average to begin the spring, late March snow storms are very typical for the Upper Midwest including Minnesota. Three storms have their sights set on the Upper Midwest through next Wednesday, April 2nd. Storm #1 takes aim on South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin tomorrow. Storm #2 could take a very similar path through the area on Monday. Storm #3 currently looks to slide a little farther south towards Iowa next Wednesday, but there is still plenty of time for this to change as this storm remains a week away.
Storm total forecast for MSP: 2-3"
- Tomorrow's storm will take a nearly identical track to last Tuesday's March 18th's storm. The one big difference with this storm is the amount of moisture it has to work with as it taps into the Gulf of Mexico. This will be evident as rain develops in the warm sector across eastern South Dakota and southern Minnesota tomorrow morning, while the warm sector remained mostly dry with last week's storm.
- Rain will move into the Twin Cities around mid-morning tomorrow where a quarter inch or more of rain is possible. At the same time heavy snow will develop across eastern South Dakota stretching into central-northeastern Minnesota.
- Rain will change to snow in the Twin Cities tomorrow afternoon. The heaviest snow will fall between 4-8pm, just in time for the evening rush hour.
- The heaviest accumulations are expected from Montevideo-St. Cloud-Duluth, MN, right in line with where the heaviest accumulations were located with last week's storm. 6-9" is possible within this narrow, heavy band. I expect 1-3" across most of the Twin Cities metro, with 3-6" possible for the far northwestern suburbs. With such a high moisture content, this snow will fall as the very wet and heavy variety.
- At least we catch a short break in between systems this weekend. We'll see highs on Saturday back into the 40s, with a chance at hitting 60 in the Twin Cities on Sunday!
Happy St. Patrick's day everyone! As our snowpack continues to melt, most of you (including myself) have spring on your mind. As is typical in March, mother nature likes to throw us a curveball. Although the weather hasn't been too bad over the past week and a half, it has still been a long, cold winter. Unfortunately it is not over yet. A strong low pressure system continues to move southward through Wyoming this evening and will move across the Nebraska/South Dakota border overnight. This will focus its energy on central/northern Minnesota throughout the day Tuesday. A timeline of what to expect is listed below.
Storm total forecast for MSP: 1-3"
- Light radar echos are beginning to show up near Mille Lacs Lake this evening. Rain/Sleet will develop near this area late this evening, and turn over to all snow overnight. Snow will become heavy by early tomorrow morning along a line from Mille Lacs - Sauk Centre - Benson, MN.
- Temperatures will hover around 30 overnight at MSP. A band of light rain/freezing rain/sleet will become possible early tomorrow morning at MSP. This looks very similar to what happened this morning as warm air advects northward from the southwest.
- As snow continues to the north throughout the day Tuesday, warmer, drier air will keep MSP dry and above freezing from late Tuesday morning through the early evening as the surface low moves near La Crosse, WI. The forecasted surface low track is just a little too far north to bring the heaviest snows into the Twin Cities metro. Usually for the heaviest snows in the Twin Cities, the low should track just to the south of La Crosse, WI. This is the main reason behind keeping the heaviest snows just to the west/northwest of the Twin Cities, from Montevideo - St. Cloud - Duluth, MN where 6-10" of snow is possible.
- As the surface low slides to the east, a band of moderate snow will move through the Twin Cities late Tuesday night. 1-3" will be possible within this band.
- If you're looking for spring it's not all bad news this week. Above freezing temperatures are expected through the end of the week with highs in the 40s for Thursday and Friday.
- Unfortunately the warmer temperatures will not last. A cool down is on the way this weekend, and we could be looking at the possibility of record breaking lows by the middle of next week for the Great Lakes into the northeastern U.S. It looks like we are going to end March just as we started it - COLD. Spring has to arrive sometime, right?
It has only been 18 hours since I released my initial forecast for today's snowfall. A lot has changed since then and can best be summed up by Ron Burgundy.
As of noon today the ECMWF and the HRRR are in good agreement setting up a band of very heavy snow along I-35 in Minnesota extending into northwest Wisconsin.
This is turning out to be a classic panhandle hooker and is only picking up more gulf moisture as it heads northward. The slower progression of the storm today will allow the gulf moisture to combine with arctic air and produce heavy snow this evening. The timeline of what to expect is below.
Storm total accumulations will range from 8-10" across the far west metro to 12-16" across the eastern metro, with some locally higher amounts possible. Storm total forecast for MSP: 12-14"
- Light rain is currently changing to sleet and snow across the metro. All snow is expected between 1-2 pm.
- The heaviest snow is expected to fall between 3pm and midnight tonight. Heavy accumulations in the order of 1-2" per hour are likely, especially between 3pm-8pm. Thundersnow is also possible within this time frame.
- The snow will end across the area during the overnight hours, but very strong winds will produce blowing and drifting snow through tomorrow.
I know many have been waiting for the Twin Cities to receive its first big snowfall of the winter so far. It's here. Settle in with a big bowl of popcorn and the drink of your choice and enjoy the show.
It has been awhile since Minnesota has seen a significant snowfall from anything other than a clipper. Southwest flow arrived just long enough to give us a tiny taste of spring, followed by a very potent storm that will produce heavy snow across Minnesota and Wisconsin, and severe weather to the south for Thursday. To the left is my total snowfall forecast for Thursday.
The biggest challenge this system will have when it comes to producing snow is overcoming warm air. With a slow arriving arctic airmass to the north, temperatures will remain near or above freezing at the surface. This could lead to a rain/snow mix at first and reduced snowfall ratios on the order of 8:1 or 10:1. A timeline of what to expect is listed below.
Storm total forecast for MSP: 6"
- A rain/snow mix will develop across the Twin Cities for the morning rush hour. Temperatures will be near or above freezing, meaning snow may have difficulty accumulating at first.
- Precipitation turns to all snow by the late morning and becomes very heavy by the early afternoon, with snow ending during the evening. Accumulations will range from 3" across the far west metro, to close to 9" near the Wisconsin border. I think accumulations of 4-7" are most likely inside the I-494/694 metro loop. Very strong winds will create blizzard conditions across rural areas with blizzard warnings already out for southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.
- Unfortunately northwest flow returns behind this system, in which it feels like we have been stuck in since last winter. This means the return of arctic air, with subzero lows likely through all of next week. By late next week MSP could be looking at lows well into the teens below zero. The good news is we are used to the cold by now, and it is almost March. Even though the weather pattern looks bleak, spring is not too far around the corner.
Hopefully everyone is staying warm through our early December arctic outbreak. It's been awhile since it has been this cold, this early! Tomorrow won't be quite as bad with temperatures at least rising into the lower teens. Along with the warmer air comes more moisture and a chance of snow ahead of our next arctic cold front. To the left is my forecasted snow totals for the day tomorrow.
- Snow will spread across the area late tonight into early tomorrow morning. This will be a very slow duration event, with very light fluffy snow falling throughout the entire day. Right now it looks like the heaviest snow can be expected between noon - 6pm.
Storm total forecast for MSP: 3"
- 2-4" is expected for most of the Twin Cities, with 3-6" possible from Burnsville-Eagan-Woodbury and points southward. Locally higher amounts are possible as you head further south from Mankato to Rochester.
- Arctic air will remain in place through the week, with below 0 lows continuing. Several quick but weak clippers are possible throughout the week, bringing us periods of off and on light snow.
- If you're looking for warmer temperatures, we could finally see them by next Friday. There are still uncertainties on whether this warmer air will hang around, or quickly get replaced by more arctic air from Canada.