Sloppy Tuesday: Messy wintry mix on the way

The weather maps finally look more like late November.

Low pressure tracks south of Minnesota Tuesday. Just enough cold air remains in place for a sloppy wintry mix. Some ice, sleet, snow and rain are all possible across southern Minnesota Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Your Tuesday commutes and Thanksgiving week travel plans feature mainly wet roads, with some icing potential early Tuesday and Wednesday morning as temperatures hover near the freezing mark.

1121-msp22

Winter weather advisories have been posted for much of southern Minnesota including the Twin Cities.

1121-adv
Graphic: Twin Cities NWS

INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...PRINCETON...MORA...ST CLOUD...FOLEY...ELK RIVER...CAMBRIDGE...CENTER CITY...WILLMAR...LITCHFIELD...MONTICELLO...

MINNEAPOLIS...BLAINE...ST PAUL...HUTCHINSON... GAYLORD...CHASKA...SHAKOPEE

344 PM CST MON NOV 21 2016

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM TUESDAY TO 6 AM CST WEDNESDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM TUESDAY TO 6 AM CST WEDNESDAY.

* EXPECT WET SNOW TO DEVELOP AROUND 2 PM TUESDAY AND THEN DIMINISH AROUND 6 AM WEDNESDAY.

* THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL RATES WILL OCCUR BETWEEN 6 PM TUESDAY AND MIDNIGHT WEDNESDAY.

* TOTAL WET SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 5 INCHES ARE EXPECTED.

* LOOK FOR REDUCED VISIBILITIES AT TIMES.

* PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS.

The system:

Here's the low pressure system tracking through northern Missouri Tuesday. It's not nearly as strong as Friday's blizzard producer, but should be enough to generate an initial shot of icing followed by several hours of wet sloppy snow Tuesday into early Wednesday morning. Travlers heading south into Iowa will see mostly rain.

1121-gfs
NOAA GFS model via tropicaltidbits.com

Sloppy snowfall

Several factors are working against heavy snowfall. Still a good swath of 1" to 3" is likely for southern Minnesota. The heaviest bands could produce some 2" to 5"+ totals, and parts of the Twin Cities may fall into that zone.

1121-snow2
NOAA GFS snowfall output via tropicaltidbits.com

Snowier pattern emerging?

The jet stream's extended Canadian vacation is over. The jet shows distinct signs of shifting further south over the next two weeks.

1121-500
NOAA

That will allow enough cold air to filter south to keep most of the precipitation snow heading into early December. The resulting storm track is still in question. NOAA's GFS model is trending toward steering two potential storms further south as we turn the corner toward December.

1121-ex
NOAA GFS model via tropicaltidbits.com

No matter the precise (and still unknowable at this point) storm tracks, expect snow cover to increase across the Upper Midwest as we head into December.

1121-snow-long-range
NOAA GFS snowfall output via tropicaltidbits.com

The additional widespread snow cover may set us up for a more extended period of cold more typical of December in Minnesota. I don't see anything bitter in sight yet, but expect it to look and feel more like December. The cold air should ensure that each passing low is cold enough to deliver all snow. An increasingly wintry looking landscape appears likely in the next two weeks.

1121-16
NOAA GFS output via IPS Meteostar.com

Arctic still freakishly warm

In the longer range it remains to be seen how much cold air will be delivered to Minnesota in December. The Arctic is still running a good 20 degrees warmer than average. It's tough to get too cold when the upstream air mass is still relatively balmy.

1121-arctic
Climate Reanalyzer

The effects of freakishly warm air in the Arctic Ocean continue. Ice is actually melting in the Arctic...in total November darkness. Arctic Sea ice is at yet another record low for this time of year.

And it's not just the Arctic. Climate watchers are also looking at weirdly diminishing ice in Antarctica as well.

It's not just Minnesota that's been in record warm territory this fall. Earth is doing some really weird things at the poles.

Stay tuned.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.