A breezy and chilly Sunday, with rain/snow showers at times; warmer temps this week

Recap of the North Dakota blizzard

We’ll have some on and off snow showers and rain showers across most of Minnesota and Wisconsin Sunday, with a transition to mostly rain showers in the south toward afternoon.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern through Monday morning:

NOAA NAM simulated radar Sunday through Monday morning

Pay more attention to the patchy nature of the precipitation than the exact location of the rain and snow. Southwestern Minnesota will be mostly dry Sunday, while northern Minnesota could see some scattered snow showers linger into Monday morning.

Listen for updated weather information on MPR network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Temperature trends

Our average high temperature is 60 degrees in the Twin Cities metro area this time of year. Wouldn’t that feel nice?

Some spots in the metro areas could briefly touch about 41 degrees Sunday afternoon, but it’ll be a breezy and chilly day. Minnesota and western Wisconsin highs will be mainly in the upper 30s to around 40.

Monday highs will reach the 50s in parts of the southwest, with mainly 40s elsewhere:

Monday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Twin Cities metro area highs are projected to reach the mid 40s Tuesday, followed by around 50 on Wednesday, upper 50s Thursday and lower 60s on Friday.

Snowstorm summary

The Grand Forks, North Dakota office of the National Weather Service has posted a summary of the blizzard that started Thursday and lasted into Saturday.

Here’s their overview:

A crippling blizzard impacted central and eastern North Dakota and the Red River Valley from Thursday October 10th to Saturday October 12th, 2019. The storm began with rain and drizzle, and this gradually transitioned to snow. Snow persisted for the longest over the Devils Lake basin, James River Valley, and portions of northeast North Dakota, where snowfall totals of up to 3 feet and drifts up to 5 feet were observed. Further east in the Red River Valley and northwest and west central Minnesota, a longer period of rain and wintry mix occurred with a slower transition to snowfall.

The snowfall totals were amazing:

Snow totals Thursday through Saturday morning
National Weather Service

According to the NWS:

The heaviest snowfall total occurred over the Devils Lake basin and James River Valley, where up to 3 feet of snow fell. In eastern North Dakota, many locations received 6-12 inches of snow. Northwest and west central Minnesota received mostly rain and wintry mix with up to 4-6 inches of snow.

Peak wind gusts reached 50+ mph in many areas:

Peak wind gusts Thursday through Saturday morning
National Weather Service

The NWS posted this summary of the blizzard’s impact:

Local Impacts:

  • Interstates 29 and 94 and U.S. Highway 2 closed in eastern North Dakota from October 11-12.

  • Widespread area school closures on Friday October 11.

  • Reports of many trees and branched downed from heavy snow load and strong wind gusts.

  • Multiple airline flight cancellations and some airports shut down.

  • Many stranded motorists. Cars stranded in snow and in flooded ditches.

  • Around 20,000 customers without power for NoDak Electric and around 1000 customers without power for Ottertail power as of noon October 11th.

Fall color update

If you still plan on doing some leaf-peeping, here’s the latest fall color report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources:

Saturday fall colors
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Keep in mind that the fall color report includes all deciduous trees, not just maples. A Wisconsin fall color report is also available.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.

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