Heavy snow Friday in western Minnesota; Twin Cities may see 2-4 inches

Updated watches and warnings for Friday

Heavy snow in parts of the Twin Cities metro area
Bob Evans clears snow from the sidewalk outside of Ellwood Automotive in the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis in December. Snow could slow down Friday’s morning and evening commutes.
Tim Evans for MPR News 2021

The flakes are coming back! Much of Minnesota will get enough snow to shovel and plow on Friday and Friday evening.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale (NAM) forecast model shows the potential precipitation pattern from 2 a.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Friday:

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NAM simulated radar from 2 a.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Friday
NOAA, via Tropicaltidbits.com

NOAA’s High-Resolution Rapid-Refresh model shows a similar precipitation pattern:

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HRRR simulated radar from 2 a.m. Friday to 11 p.m. Friday
NOAA, via Tropicaltidbits.com

Notice that the Twin Cities metro area rides the eastern edge of the snow, so we’ll watch for any shift in the forecast models this afternoon.

How much snow?

Parts of southwestern Minnesota could see 8 to 11 inches of snow by Friday evening, with lower totals to the east. The area shaded in red has the best odds of 6 or more inches of snow:

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Potential snow totals Friday and Friday evening
National Weather Service

New model information will come in this afternoon. At this point, it looks like Friday/Friday evening snow totals in the Twin Cities metro area could range from 1 to 2 inches in Washington County to 4 to 5 inches in Carver County, Scott County and western Hennepin County.

You can hear updated weather information for Minnesota and western Wisconsin on the Minnesota Public Radio News network, and you can see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Warnings, watches and advisories

Winter storm warnings (shaded pink in the graphic below) start at midnight Thursday and continue through Friday evening in the areas of west-central and southwestern Minnesota that are most likely to see 6 or more inches of snow:

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Winter storm watches and warnings begin midnight Thursday night
National Weather Service

Blue shaded areas are winter storm watches for that same time period.

Here are winter storm warning details for southwestern Minnesota:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Sioux Falls SD 310 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 MNZ071-072-080-081-089-090-131715- /O.UPG.KFSD.WS.A.0001.220114T0600Z-220115T0600Z/ /O.NEW.KFSD.WS.W.0001.220114T0600Z-220115T0600Z/ Lincoln-Lyon-Murray-Cottonwood-Nobles-Jackson- 310 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO MIDNIGHT CST FRIDAY NIGHT... * WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 9 inches. * WHERE...Portions of southwest Minnesota. * WHEN...From midnight tonight to midnight CST Friday night. * IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...Northerly winds gusting 25 to 35 mph on Friday evening may cause patchy blowing and drifting snow. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

Here are details of the winter storm watch that includes Mankato starting at midnight tonight:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN 245 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 ...HEAVY SNOW LIKELY TO FALL ACROSS WESTERN AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA LATE THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING... .Moderate to Heavy snow is expected in Western Minnesota, with the area of highest confidence of exceeding 6 inches of snow being upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning extending from Stevens County down through Martin County in our warning area, with 1 inch per hour snowfall rates possible. The highest overall totals are expected along the Buffalo Ridge in southwestern Minnesota, however snowfall amounts of 4-8 inches remain possible in the Winter Storm Watch. There will be a sharp gradient of lowering snowfall totals as you head into eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A Winter Storm Watch is in effect beginning late Thursday night through Friday evening from Alexandria through Albert Lea. MNZ048-057-065-067-075-083-092-131645- /O.CON.KMPX.WS.A.0001.220114T0600Z-220115T0600Z/ Pope-Kandiyohi-Renville-Sibley-Nicollet-Blue Earth-Faribault- Including the cities of Glenwood, Willmar, Olivia, Gaylord, St Peter, Mankato, and Blue Earth 245 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 ...WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING... * WHAT...Heavy snow possible. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 8 inches possible. * WHERE...Pope County. * WHEN...From late Thursday night through Friday evening. * IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Monitor the latest forecasts for updates on this situation.

Winter storm warnings begin at 9 p.m. Thursday evening in Moorhead and Fergus Falls in northwestern Minnesota, and continue through Friday evening:

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Warnings and advisories Thursday evening through Friday evening
National Weather Service

Here are details:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE National Weather Service Grand Forks ND 252 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 MNZ002-003-029-030-040-NDZ027-029-030-039-049-052-053-150600- /O.UPG.KFGF.WS.A.0003.220114T0000Z-220115T0600Z/ /O.NEW.KFGF.WS.W.0001.220114T0300Z-220115T0600Z/ Norman-Clay-Wilkin-West Otter Tail-Grant-Grand Forks-Steele- Traill-Cass-Ransom-Sargent-Richland- Including the cities of Ada, Twin Valley, Halstad, Moorhead, Breckenridge, Fergus Falls, Elbow Lake, Hoffman, Ashby, Herman, Barrett, Grand Forks, Finley, Hope, Mayville, Hillsboro, Hatton, Portland, Fargo, Lisbon, Enderlin, Gwinner, Milnor, Forman, Rutland, and Wahpeton 252 AM CST Thu Jan 13 2022 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO MIDNIGHT CST FRIDAY NIGHT... * WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches. * WHERE...The central Red River Valley into southeast North Dakota and adjacent areas of west central Minnesota. * WHEN...From 9 PM this evening to midnight CST Friday night. * IMPACTS...Travel will be very difficult. Areas of falling and blowing snow will significantly reduce the visibility. The hazardous conditions will impact the Friday morning and evening commutes. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions for North Dakota can be found at dot.nd.gov/travel and for Minnesota at 511mn.org, or by calling 5 1 1 in either state.

The winter weather advisory in the Detroit Lakes area begins at midnight.

Thursday highs will be in the 20s across much of Minnesota, with some 30s in the southern third of Minnesota plus parts of western Wisconsin. Some spots in the metro area will creep into the lower 30s. Our average Twin Cities high is 23 degrees this time of year.

Friday highs are mainly in the teens, with a few 20s in southwestern Minnesota:

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Friday forecast highs
National Weather Service

The Twin Cities could touch 20 degrees Friday afternoon.

Saturday highs are mainly in the teens:

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Saturday forecast highs
National Weather Service

Sunday highs rebound to the 20s, with some lower 30s to the west:

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Sunday forecast highs
National Weather Service

We could see a bit of light snow on Sunday.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on MPR News at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:39 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.

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