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Tracking snow Tuesday night

Shovelful for southern Minnesota?

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It’s time to start tracking snow systems in Minnesota.

An inbound low-pressure wave riding the next cold front will generate an area of snowfall across southern Minnesota Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System (GFS) model seems reasonable in timing and location of the snow band starting Tuesday evening through noon Wednesday.

Under this scenario, the Twin Cities rides the northern edge of the snow shield.

NOAA GFS model from 6 pm Tuesday to noon Wednesday
GFS model from 6 p.m. Tuesday to noon Wednesday
NOAA via tropical tidbits

Plowable snow along I-90 corridor? 

The European and American GFS models favor a more southerly track for the heaviest snowfall with Tuesday night’s system. Under this scenario, the Twin Cities would get a glancing brush from the northern edge of the snow shield. That would keep totals under an inch in the northern and central Twin Cities. The best chance for an inch or more in the Twin Cities would favor the south metro area. 

Here’s the European model snowfall output. It paints 2 to 4 inches from near Albert Lea, Minn., to near and south of Rochester, Minn.

European model (ECMWF) snowfall output
European model snowfall output by noon Wednesday
Via pivotal weather

The Canadian model still brings a couple of inches into the Twin Cities, but it is currently the northern outlier.

Winter weather awareness week

I’m still seeing mixed signals about what this winter will bring for Minnesota. Most trends suggest a winter somewhere either side of average. But I have this nagging (and unscientific) feeling that we’re going to see some significant mild air intrusions (thaws) this winter. 

Overall, we should probably expect a good old-fashioned Minnesota winter with plenty of snow and cold. Yeah, that seems safe.

My gut tells me we will probably end up with less snow than the overly aggressive 77.1 inches pasting we saw last winter (and spring) in the Twin Cities. Parts of western Minnesota picked up closer to 90 inches!

Season snowfall last winter
Season snowfall last winter
Twin Cities National Weather Service

Here’s the latest on winter weather awareness week from the Twin Cities National Weather Service Office.