Why should this storm be any different?
Thursday's numerical forecast model solutions are coming into better alignment on Saturday's inbound storm. The latest trends favor a southern storm track that paints the heaviest snow zone in southern Minnesota. That puts the Twin Cities on the sketchy northern edge of the snow zone.
Let's start with the current winter storm watch zone that blankets southern Minnesota. Much of this area will likely be upgraded to a winter storm warning Friday.
Including the cities of Redwood Falls, New Ulm, St Peter,
Le Sueur, Faribault, Red Wing, St James, Mankato, Waseca,
Owatonna, Fairmont, Blue Earth, and Albert Lea
307 PM CST Thu Nov 29 2018
...WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING
THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING...
* WHAT...Heavy snow and wintry mix possible. Potential for up to 8
inches of snow with icing under 1/10 of an inch. Winds could
gust as high as 35 mph.
* WHERE...Along and south of a line from Marshall, to St. Peter,
and Red Wing.
* WHEN...From Saturday morning through Sunday morning.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Travel could be very difficult,
especially along I-90 and along I-35 between the Twin Cities
and the Iowa border. Patchy blowing snow could significantly
Southern track trends
I had hoped for more forecast model consensus on storm track trends and that has happened. All major models now favor a southern solution that lays out the heaviest 4 to 8-inch snow zone across southern Minnesota. NOAA's GFS model is in that range, with just glancing lighter snow shot near the Twin Cities.
Twin Cities: Snowfall gradient
Many models now place the northern edge of the snow right in the Twin Cities Saturday. That would produce another snowfall gradient across the Twin Cities. The notion of less snow in the north metro and more in the south seems solid. Check out the GFS, it lays out the cutoff zone right through the Twin Cities. You can see how a shift of just 30 miles north or south will make a big difference in snowfall totals.
We may get some sunny breaks Friday. That will help boost temps and I still think a few local bank thermometers in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota will flash 40 Friday afternoon. Highs will be mostly in the 30s this weekend with colder air returning next week.
Stay tuned as we tweak storm track and snowfall totals Friday.