5-10 inches of snow possible through Monday as clippers sweep Minnesota

Much of Minnesota could see 6 inches of snow by Monday night

NOAA GFS model Friday through Monday
NOAA GFS model Friday through Monday.
NOAA via tropical tidbits

Get ready for a few shots of light to moderate snow, Minnesota. A family of clippers sails southeast across the Upper Midwest through Monday.

Let’s break down the snowfall timing and likely totals through Monday.

System 1, Friday night

As our temperatures moderate Friday, a low pressure through trailing from a low in Canada will sweep across Minnesota Friday night. A band of snow moves into the Red River Valley Friday afternoon and pushes southeast across Minnesota through Friday night.

Snowfall likely reaches the Twin Cities between about 6 and 8 p.m. Friday on most forecast models. Here’s the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale Forecast System 3 km model loop between noon Friday and midnight Saturday:

NOAA NAM 3 km model Friday
NOAA NAM 3 km model Friday.
NOAA, via tropical tidbits

Overall snowfall totals with Friday’s night’s system likely range from 1 to 3 inches across Minnesota, with the heaviest totals favoring the northern half of our state. Here’s the Canadian model snowfall output.

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

System 2, Saturday night

A second clipper rides across Minnesota Saturday night. This one also looks likely to bring a zone of 1 to 3 inches across much of central and southern Minnesota.

NOAA GFS model snowfall output
NOAA Global Forecast System model 24-hour snowfall output by Sunday morning.
NOAA, via pivotal weather

System 3, Monday

The strongest of the three weather systems likely arrives late Sunday night through Monday. This clipper looks more potent, and appears capable of delivering heavier snowfall totals.

Snow likely begins late Sunday night, and continues across parts of central and southern Minnesota through Monday. This system looks likely to mess with both rush hours Monday.

Here’s NOAA’s Global Forecast System model Monday.

NOAA GFS model Monday
NOAA GFS model Monday.
NOAA, via tropical tidbits

It’s still early and the storm track could change, but Monday’s clipper appears capable of delivering a 3- to 6-inch snowfall across parts of central and southern Minnesota.

6 to 10 inches total by Monday night?

We’ll have to see how each of the three systems tracks, but forecast models are cranking out significant snowfall between the three systems through Monday.

The Canadian model is on the conservative side and suggests most of central and southern Minnesota will add around another 6 inches of snow through Monday.

Canadian model snowfall output through Monday
Canadian model snowfall total output through Monday.
Environment Canada, via pivotal weather

NOAA’s GFS model is more aggressive, and cranks out more than 10 inches of snow for parts of eastern Minnesota potentially including the Twin Cities, with more than a foot in western Wisconsin.

NOAA GFS snowfall output
NOAA GFS total snowfall output through Monday.
NOAA, via pivotal weather

Peak snow depth ahead

We’re entering the season of typical peak snow depth in Minnesota over the next few weeks. Right now there is already plenty of snow to play in across central and northern Minnesota.

Here are some select snow depth readings reported across Minnesota as of Thursday.

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, 5 inches

  • St. Cloud, 7 inches

  • Duluth, 12 inches

  • Brainerd area to Leech Lake, 14-16 inches

  • International Falls, 16 inches

  • Chisholm, 20 inches

  • Tofte, 22 inches

  • Wolf Ridge, Finland, 26 inches

Here’s the current snow cover map across Minnesota.

Snow cover across Minnesota
Snow cover across Minnesota.
NOAA / National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center

The next four weeks look like peak snow cover across Minnesota.

Growing snow depth could potentially be good news for adding springtime runoff to lakes and rivers across Minnesota. This is shaping up to be a good winter across our region for recreation that relies on snowfall.

Get out there, Minnesota!

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.