Minnesota’s other winter weather shoe is about to land with a thud.
Thursday brings snow and wind to eastern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. This weekend brings the coldest air of the winter season.
Here’s a breakdown on the major winter pattern change ahead.
Winter weather advisories
Winter weather advisories run south and east of a Duluth-Twin Cities-Luverne line Thursday. Little or no snow will accumulate in western Minnesota. The Twin Cities rides the edge of the 1 to 3-inch zone. Heavier snow will fall in southeast Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Including the cities of Center City, Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul, Stillwater, Chanhassen, Chaska, Victoria, Shakopee, Hastings, Le Sueur, and Osceola 249 PM CST Wed Feb 3 2021
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 3 AM TO 3 PM CST THURSDAY...
* WHAT...Mixed precipitation expected, with mainly snow after 6 AM. Some freezing drizzle and patchy blowing snow is also possible. Total snow accumulations of up to two inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze.
* WHERE...Portions of northwest Wisconsin and east central and south central Minnesota.
* WHEN...From 3 AM to 3 PM CST Thursday.
* IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. Patchy blowing snow could educe visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute.
Winds will gust over 30 mph Thursday. That will cause blowing snow and poor visibility. Driving conditions will be difficult Thursday. Blizzard warnings are up for northern Iowa along Interstate 35.
Here’s a timeline for the storm from the Twin Cities National Weather Service office.
Polar vortex outbreak
I’ve been wondering when and if the Mother Lode of bitterly cold air will be coming south into Minnesota this winter. We have our answer.
Watch how the arctic floodgates open and a lobe of the polar vortex drives bitterly cold air into Minnesota this weekend on this upper air (500-millibar) loop.
Forecast models gauge the coldest temperatures this weekend between about minus 15 and minus 30 across Minnesota. But they also often underestimate the magnitude of extreme events.
My best assessment is that temperatures will range between minus 15 and minus 20 in the Twin Cities Sunday and Monday mornings. Minus 30s seem likely up north. Some of the colder nooks and crannies could approach minus 40.
NOAA’s GFS model is among the colder members this weekend.
100-plus subzero hours?
Temperatures may stay below zero in the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota from Friday night until at least Tuesday afternoon. That could mean at least 100 hours below zero for many locations.
Stay safe and stay warm Minnesota.
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