Snow Tuesday night; wettest meteorological winter on record

Winter weather advisories cover most of central Minnesota; 1-3 likely in Twin Cities

Winter precipitation ranking
Winter precipitation ranking.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Iowa Emergency Management

It’s not your imagination.

All that snow, ice, and rain outside your door this winter has added up to the wettest meteorological winter (December-February) on record in a good chunk of the Upper Midwest.

The map at the top of this post shows the rankings for the wettest winter on record from Iowa Emergency Management’s data plotter. A No. 1 ranking indicates the wettest such period on record. Records in this data set go back to 1893.

In the Twin Cities, we’ve recorded 6.45 inches of liquid equivalent precipitation for the months of December through February.

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As for snowfall we stand at 71 inches so far this season. That’s good enough for the 17th snowiest winter on record so far. And we still have March and April ahead.

The average snowfall in the Twin Cities for March is 10.2 inches And April is 2.5 inches.

If we receive just average snowfall through March and April we would end up around 83.8 inches for the season. That would be the seventh snowiest winter on record in the Twin Cities dating back to 1883.

Top winter snowfalls in the Twin Cities
Top season snowfalls in the Twin Cities.
Minnesota State Climatology Office

Next snow Tuesday night, Wednesday

Our next snow maker in this most active winter season rolls into Minnesota Tuesday night. It’s a moderately strong low-pressure system that will track from Rapid City, S.D., at 6 p.m. to the Twin Cities by noon Wednesday. The Twin Cities will ride the southern edge of the snow zone with this system.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s NAM 3 km model shows the likely progression of the snow zone between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 6 p.m. Wednesday:

NOAA NAM 3 km model
NOAA NAM 3 km model between 6 pm Tuesday and 6 pm Wednesday.
NOAA, via Tropical Tidbits

Snowfall totals

The most persistent snow and heaviest snowfall totals will likely be north of the Twin Cities across central Minnesota. Snowfall looks intermittent in the Twin Cities overnight into Wednesday, with the heaviest snowfall totals across the northern Twin Cities into central Minnesota.

Winter weather advisory
Winter weather advisory
Twin Cities National Weather Service office

Overall snowfall totals of 1 to 3 inches look most likely in the Twin Cities, with heavier snowfall between 3 and 7 inches across much of central Minnesota to the north.

Here’s the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts model snowfall output at a 10:1 snow-to-water ratio.

European model (ECMWF) snowfall output
European model snowfall output.
European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, via Pivotal Weather

Here’s the latest available snowfall output from the Twin Cities National Weather Service office. Northern Minnesota will get less snow with this system.

Snowfall projection 2
Snowfall projection.
Twin Cities National Weather Service

Snowfall looks likely during the Wednesday morning rush hours. With temperatures mostly in the 20s to around 30 degrees, it will likely be slick on many roads again Wednesday morning.

Forecast low temperatures Wednesday
Forecast low temperatures Wednesday

The month of March opens with yet another challenging rush hour this season.