Two-act snow system for Minnesota this weekend


Our next winter storm is winding up and heading for the Upper Midwest this weekend. This one is a two-act snow performance. Winter storm watches are up for southeast Minnesota. The first wave arrives with a couple snowy inches Friday night. The main event rolls in Saturday night through Sunday morning.

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Two-part system

The lead wave spreads snow into western Minnesota Friday afternoon and evening. Snow will likely reach the Twin Cities area after Friday's rush hour, but before midnight. Snow continues overnight. Much of Minnesota may actually catch a break in the snow for a few hours Saturday.

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Then the main parent low-pressure storm races northeast Saturday night into Sunday. NOAA's GFS model depicts the two-phase system.

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NOAA GFS Friday into Sunday morning via tropical tidbits.

Heaviest snow across southeast Minnesota?

The storm track could still shift. But the model consensus on storm track is zeroing in on laying the heaviest snow zone out from northern Iowa through southeast Minnesota into Wisconsin.

Right now I'd favor a 6" to 12" swath either side of a Clear Lake, IA-Albert Lea-Rochester-Osseo, WI line. The Twin Cities seems most likely to pick up 1" to 2" Friday night, and another 3" to 6" Saturday night into Sunday. That's likely another 4" to 8" snowfall range across the metro by Sunday afternoon.

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NOAA GFS snowfall output via tropical tidbits.

Big system

This efficient snow producer comes with wind this time. Blowing and drifting snow will be an issue Saturday night and Sunday. Warnings run all the way to the Mexico border in southeast Arizona.

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Deep snowpack

This is some of the deest snow we've seen in years across parts of Minnesota. Plenty to play in. In the city, we're dodging big snow piles. It's hard to get around by foot let alone by cane. Or wheelchair.

Pattern locked-in 

Yes, there another chance for some snow next Tuesday. Temps rise into the 30s this weekend. Right now I don't see any extended break in the snow and cold through next week. That's the first week of March people.

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NOAA via Weather Bell.


My informal poll shows that 71% of Minnesotans have had enough of the snow this winter. Most of the rest say bring it on. Spring will come. Eventually. We must be earning one heck of a summer this year.

Hang in there Minnesota.