Winter storm watch now includes southern Twin Cities

Storm track shifting north. Heavy snow more likely to include part or all of Twin Cities Friday.

Winter storm watch zone
Updated winter storm watch zone.
Twin Cities National Weather Service

This is why we watch storm tracks closely with each passing forecast model run.

The winter storm watch zone (above) has been expanded northward to include the southern Twin Cities Friday.

Friday’s winter storm track is trending northward on the most recent forecast models runs. One example, NOAA’s 18Z GFS model run has pushed Friday’s low-pressure system track about 60 miles further north than previous runs.

Of course, that track could still drift back south Thursday, but if the trend holds that would shove the heavier snow bands into parts or all of the Twin Cities Friday.

Here’s the latest storm scenario from NOAA’s 18Z GFS model.

NOAA 18Z GFS model Friday
NOAA 18Z GFS model Friday.
NOAA via tropical tidbits

Again this is just one model, but other models mimic this northward trend. Here’s the 18Z GFS model snowfall output by Saturday. Note the potential for 5-inch to double-digit snowfall totals into and around the Twin Cities.

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NOAA GFS snowfall output by Saturday morning
NOAA GFS snowfall output by Saturday morning.
NOAA via pivotal weather

The morning run (12Z) Canadian model also picked up on the northward trend. It cranks out some prolific snowfall totals just south of the Twin Cities with heavy snow in the Twin Cities.

NOAA GFS snowfall output by Saturday morning
Canadian model snowfall output by Saturday morning.
Environment Canada via pivotal weather

Here’s the latest Twin Cities National Weather Service snowfall projection. It’s shifted significantly north from Wednesday morning’s map.

Snowfall projections Friday
Snowfall projections Friday.
Twin Cities National Weather Service

We’ll watch the forecast models closely Thursday. Current trends suggest the Twin Cities into at least part of the heavy snow band with Friday’s weather system.

Keep the shovel handy.

Stay tuned.