For those looking for an escape hatch from heavy snow in Minnesota Monday, Saturday evening's forecast model runs appear to have slammed the door on any extended fall fantasy.
Winter is coming fast and hard to Minnesota this November.
Most of the major models have come into agreement as of Saturday night. The only remaining question may be: Will heaviest snow band set up over the heart of the metro, or just north toward St. Cloud, Mille Lacs and Hinckley?
My best read of the maps at this point is that the major winter storm we've been talking about for days now is going to happen Monday into Tuesday. The most likely scenario for the Twin Cities appears to be a snowfall range of between 6" and 12"+ with some locally heavier totals possible. The heaviest snow band may favor the north metro. We will all likely be shoveling and plowing by Monday night.
The Twin Cities NWS has pulled the trigger on upgrading the metro to a Winter Storm Warning for Monday into Tuesday.
Before you keep reading ...
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903 PM CST SAT NOV 8 2014
...SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM TO RESULT IN SEVERE TRAVEL IMPACTS MONDAY AND MONDAY NIGHT...
...CONFIDENCE HAS INCREASED SUCH THAT A PORTION OF THE WATCH HAS BEEN UPGRADED TO A WINTER STORM WARNING...
A POTENT STORM SYSTEM WILL BRING SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL TO MUCH OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN. A LARGE SWATH OF CENTRAL MINNESOTA...FROM THE MORRIS AND GRANITE FALLS AREAS IN WESTERN MINNESOTA...THROUGH THE TWIN CITIES METRO...TO MUCH OF WESTERN WISCONSIN CAN EXPECT 8 TO 12 INCHES OR MORE OF SNOW FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT OR TUESDAY MORNING. MOST IT WILL FALL FROM EARLY MONDAY MORNING THROUGH MONDAY EVENING...INCLUDING BOTH THE MORNING AND EVENING COMMUTES. SNOWFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR CAN BE EXPECTED AT TIMES. ACROSS SOUTHERN MINNESOTA...LESSER AMOUNTS OF 5 TO 8 INCHES CAN BE EXPECTED...AND THIS INCLUDES THE NEW ULM...MANKATO AND OWATONNA AREAS.
Saturday evening's NAM model run is the most aggressive for the metro and points north. The 0z NAM cranks out snow "Snowmageddon" type snowfall totals that could approach 12" to 16" from the Twin Cities north with a 20" bull's eye between the metro and St. Cloud.
Most models favor all snow from the metro north, but a ribbon of above freezing air could mix into the south metro and possibly reduce totals just south of the metro. So far the storm track looks almost ideal for heavy snowfall rates of 1" to 2" per hour by Monday afternoon and evening.
What could possibly go wrong with the forecast for heavy snow? Even a 40 mile northward shift could bring mixed precip into the metro, and reduce snowfall totals accordingly.
Prepare for a major shot of winter by Monday.
Stay tuned for updates and forecast tweaks Sunday and Sunday evening.