Tracking Saturday snowfall totals

Accumulating snow still likely in central and northern Minnesota

Forecast snowfall totals
Forecast snowfall totals Saturday
Duluth National Weather Service

One rule of Minnesota weather? If the cold air is here, the snow can’t be far behind.

Case in point Friday morning. A little upper air wave snuck through the forecast models grid largely undetected. The result? A few minutes of quality snow showers that got our attention this morning.

Saturday brings a stronger and more widespread system to central and northern Minnesota.

Forecast models still drag a cold low-pressure system across Minnesota with a band of snow north of the low center.

Here’s the Canadian model solution.

Canadian model Saturday
Canadian model Saturday
Environment Canada via tropical tidbits

Expect several hours of snow across central and northern Minnesota Saturday. The Twin Cities rides the southern edge of the system, and may see a mix of a few rain showers and a few flakes.

How much snow?

Friday’s forecast models have eased off a bit on the notion of higher snowfall totals some suggested Thursday.

For the Red River Valley and northwest Minnesota, general 2 to 4-inch totals with some local 5-inch totals still look likely Saturday.

Forecast snowfall totals for Saturday
Forecast snowfall totals Saturday
Grand Forks NWS Office

Including the cities of Crookston, East Grand Forks, Ada, Twin Valley, Halstad, Warren, Stephen, Argyle, Newfolden, Middle River, Grygla, Red Lake, Redby, Ponemah, Thief River Falls, Red Lake Falls, Fosston, Fertile, McIntosh, Erskine, Bagley, Clearbrook, Bemidji, Mahnomen, Naytahwaush, Waubun, Alida, Ebro, Lake Itasca, Long Lost Lake, Lower Rice Lake, Roy Lake, and Upper Rice Lake

1149 AM CDT Fri Oct 16 2020


* WHAT...Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts possible.

* WHERE...Portions of north central and northwest Minnesota.

* WHEN...From 5 AM to 3 PM CDT Saturday.

* IMPACTS...Plan on hazardous travel conditions. Significant visibility reductions from heavy snow will be possible.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS... While generally 1 to 4 inches are expected, the locations of higher amounts are still unknown.

For central and northeast Minnesota, overall it still looks like a range of 1 or 2 inches on the low end, to as much as to 5 inches in some higher-end locations like the Sawtooth Mountains above the North Shore.

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Duluth MN

1129 AM CDT Fri Oct 16 2020


A fall storm will bring the first accumulating snow of the season. Snowfall amounts and locations are still being refined. Adjustments may be needed later this afternoon and tonight.

Including the cities of International Falls, Ely, Isabella, Bigfork, Hibbing, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, Grand Marais, and Grand Rapids

1129 AM CDT Fri Oct 16 2020


* WHAT...Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches.

* WHERE...North Itasca, Central St. Louis, Northern Cook and Lake, Koochiching, North St. Louis, South Itasca, Southern Cook and Southern Lake Counties. This includes the Tribal Lands of the Grand Portage Reservation and the Bois Forte Band, Deer Creek, Nett Lake and, Lake Vermillion areas.

* WHEN...From 5 AM Saturday to 1 AM CDT Sunday.

* IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Slow down and use caution while traveling. The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 5 1 1. Road conditions can also be found at for Minnesota or for Wisconsin.

Snow is early

This emerging cold pattern is bringing snowfall to Minnesota earlier than average this year. The average first inch of snow in northern Minnesota is early November. Many locations will see that more than two weeks earlier than average this year.

Duluth fall snowfall statistics
Duluth fall snowfall statistics
Duluth National Weather Service

Okay, 2020.

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.