Powerful October storm delivers wind, rain; Black Hills see heavy snow

Minnesota is fortunate to be on the warmer side of this weather system

Rainfall and wind gusts Wednesday
Rainfall and wind gusts Wednesday
NOAA

The season’s first powerful winter-like storm is blasting the northern Plains. Minnesota is on the warmer, rainy side of this system.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration’s NAM 3 km resolution model shows bands of rain and embedded thunderstorms rotating around the low-pressure system sweeping through Minnesota through tonight.

The loop below runs between 1 p.m. Wednesday and 1 a.m. Thursday.

NOAA NAM 3 km model
NOAA NAM 3 km model between 1 p.m. Wednesday and 1 a.m. Thursday.
NOAA, via tropical tidbits

Rainfall totals

The heaviest rainfall with this blustery October system favors western Minnesota which could see an inch of rain. Much of eastern Minnesota will end up closer to one-quarter inch of rainfall with this system. Wind gusts over 40 mph Wednesday are common.

Rainfall and wind gusts Wednesday
Rainfall and wind gusts Wednesday.
NOAA

Big temperature contrast

Large temperature contrasts help drive big storms in the Upper Midwest. Check out the temperature differences between Minnesota and the western Dakotas today. Temperatures are in the 30s on the backside of this system, with 60s on the warmer side here in Minnesota.

Forecast high temperatures Wednesday
Forecast high temperatures Wednesday.
NOAA

Heavy snow west

Farther west on the cold side of this storm, nearly 2 feet of snow has fallen in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Wind gusts have been clocked at 60 to 70 mph in that area:

  • 3 NNW Scenic [Pennington Co, SD] MESONET reports NON-TSTM WND GST of M61 MPH at 11:50 AM MDT --

  • 5 WNW NEW Underwood [Pennington Co, SD] MESONET reports NON-TSTM WND GST of M73 MPH at 11:50 AM MDT --

Minnesota is fortunate to be on the warmer side of this weather system. But the first heavy snow and blizzard warnings of the season in the Black Hills area remind us that wintry weather is not far away.

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.