Tracking first major wintry storm Friday

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." -Benjamin Franklin

Add winter in Minnesota. I'm sure if Ben Franklin lived here he would agree.

The season formerly known as winter is ready to arrive in grand style for most of Minnesota. I'm still tracking a major winter storm Friday that looks likely to deliver more than a foot of snow to central and northern Minnesota. Today's early model runs confirm a slight storm track shift to the southeast. That would bring the heavy snow zone squarely into central Minnesota, and increase chances for at least some accumulating snow in parts of the metro as rain changes to snow Friday evening.


Storm track shifts southeast

The latest runs from both the Euro and GFS models favor a more eastward storm track. Both models now take the center of the surface low just southeast of the Twin Cities Friday. Changes may still occur, but here's NOAA's GFS model's latest idea of  the storm track.

NOAA GFS model via

A foot of snow?

In this scenario rain changes to snow in the Twin Cities Friday evening with some accumulation possible on the backside as the system moves into northern Wisconsin. The heavy snow zone lays out roughly from west central Minnesota through Brainerd to the Iron Range and Ely. A foot plus looks increasingly likely across north central Minnesota.

Here's the snowfall output from NOAA's GFS model.

GFS snowfall output via

Stay tuned as we watch the model runs come in this week. This could be a good one to start the season northwest of the Twin Cities.

November Lite for now

This is the warmest start to November on record for many of us. The 2016 growing season is now 50 days longer than average at MSP Airport. Welcome to a Norman, Oklahoma growing season this year.

As Kai Ryssdal from Marketplace would say, let's do the numbers.

  • +13.2 degrees - temp vs. average at MSP Airport so far in November

  • 217 days and counting - 2016 growing season in the Twin Cities

  • 207 days - previous record for longest growing season

  • 167 days - average growing season at MSP Airport (1981-2010 data)

Three more blissfully mild November days lie ahead. Watch the storm gather out west as Minnesota basks in temperatures nearly 20 degrees warmer than average through Thursday.


The sequence of events this week. Mild and dry through Thursday. Rain likely changes to snow Friday evening in the Twin Cities.

Graphic: Twin Cities NWS

Decent Thanksgiving?

Looking ahead into next week, the latest trends suggest a mainly dry and slightly milder pattern for Thanksgiving weekend. A weak ridge of high pressure sets up aloft over Minnesota for Thanksgiving Day.


Highs should make the low 40s Thanksgiving Day in the Twin Cities. The longer range GFS hints at another potential snow system the last few days of November.

NOAA GFS data via IPS Meteostar

Stay tuned.

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