Spiraling snow showers, high winds sweep across Minnesota

Gusty winds, snow showers and well below normal temperatures

wind gusts Thursday NWS
Forecast wind gusts Thursday
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Pivotal Weather

Thursday brings a return of more clouds and even higher winds. We’ll also see snow showers spread out across much of central and northern Minnesota with temperatures well below normal.

Storm system crawls across Minnesota

Our storm system is another slow mover, just like last week’s. Yet again, we have a cutoff upper-level low. This means it’s literally separated from the main flow (jet stream) of the atmosphere. It’s only moved at a pace of 9 mph over the past 12 hours.

Expect snow showers, even bursts of snow to rotate around the low as it slowly sweeps across Minnesota Thursday.

uppper low
Storm system slowly spins across Minnesota
College of DuPage Weather

Some of these bursts could whiten up the grass with a coating to one-half inch of snow with big flakes.

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precip loop THU
Snow showers will spin around a vigorous low Thursday
College of DuPage Weather

Thursday’s snow showers will be instability based — the upper atmosphere has cooled 30 to 40 degrees while the lower atmosphere has cooled about 20 degrees. Any peak of sun and any residual moisture will create convective (like a thunderstorm but smaller scale) snow showers.

Northern Minnesota will see additional snowfall of a little more significance. Most places way up north can expect 1 to 3 inches.

snow forecast THU2
Additional snowfall Thursday into early Friday
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Pivotal Weather

Epic spring storm

This storm has been a pretty intense spring storm system with tornadoes and a blizzard all within the Upper Midwest over the last couple of days.

The National Weather Service office in La Crosse, Wis., determined two tornadoes struck southeastern Minnesota. The town of Taopi, near the Iowa border, was hit by an EF-2 tornado with up to 130 mph winds.

The tornado was on the ground for 7.3 miles at a width of 250 yards.

Taopi tornado
Survey of the Taopi, Minnesota EF-2 tornado
National Weather Service

Another tornado hit near Spring Valley in Fillmore County. That one was determined to be an EF-1 with up to 100 mph winds and was on the ground for about 2 miles.

Blizzard conditions slammed North Dakota, with more than 2 feet of snow falling in the central part of the state. 

snow totals MAP
Snow totals over the past 72 hours
NOAA, via Pivotal Weather

In addition to the heavy snow, strong winds created intense blizzard conditions with wind gusts recorded above 60 mph.

Hope in sight

The climate prediction center is forecasting higher odds of above normal temperatures as we head into next weekend and the end of April.

cpc outlook
8- to 14-day temperature outlook
National Weather Service