Worst of Thursday's storm north of Twin Cities
Winter storm warnings north include Duluth, less snow for the Twin Cities
There are some interesting forecast model trends emerging for Thursday’s inbound weather system.
It still looks like the heaviest snow with this system will fall across northeast Minnesota including the Duluth area and North Shore. And some of Wednesday’s afternoon forecast model runs have eased up even further on Thursday’s snowfall potential for the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota.
Here’s the latest rundown on warnings, advisories, and storm specifics.
Winter storm warning north
Winter storm warnings have been issued for most of northeastern Minnesota. The warnings run from around Hinckley north through Duluth, the North Shore and Iron Range to Ely.
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Including the cities of Ely, Hibbing, and Duluth
336 PM CDT Wed Mar 15 2023
...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM THURSDAY TO 1 PM CDT FRIDAY...
* WHAT...Heavy mixed precipitation expected. Total snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph causing blowing and drifting of the snow.
* WHERE...North St. Louis, Central St. Louis and Carlton and South St. Louis Counties. This includes the Tribal Lands of the Fond du Lac Band and the Bois Forte Band, Nett Lake and, Lake Vermilion areas.
* WHEN...From 10 AM Thursday to 1 PM CDT Friday.
* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning and evening commutes.
The heaviest snowfall totals with this system will likely fall along and above the North Shore on the Sawtooth Mountains into the BWCA. Check out the wording from the warning zone along the North Shore.
Including the cities of Isabella, Two Harbors, Silver Bay, and Grand Marais
336 PM CDT Wed Mar 15 2023 ...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THURSDAY TO 10 PM CDT FRIDAY...
* WHAT...Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 9 inches. Locally higher amounts of 8 to 12 inches for portions of the North Shore. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph causing blowing and drifting of the snow.
* WHERE...Northern Cook and Lake, Southern Lake and Southern Cook Counties. This includes the Tribal Lands of the Grand Portage Reservation.
* WHEN...From 1 PM Thursday to 10 PM CDT Friday.
* IMPACTS...Travel could be very difficult. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning and evening commutes.
Winter weather advisory south
Most of central and southern Minnesota is under a winter weather advisory Thursday into Friday morning. That includes the Twin Cities area where considerably less snow will fall.
Including the cities of Cambridge, Center City, Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul, Stillwater, Chanhassen, Chaska, Victoria, Shakopee, Hastings, Faribault, Osceola, Rice Lake, Ladysmith, and Hudson
223 PM CDT Wed Mar 15 2023 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THURSDAY TO 7 AM CDT FRIDAY...
* WHAT...Rain changing to snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches with locally higher amounts possible. Winds gusting as high as 40 mph.
* WHERE...Portions of east central and south central Minnesota and northwest and west central Wisconsin.
WHEN...From 1 PM Thursday to 7 AM CDT Friday.
* IMPACTS...Plan on slippery road conditions. Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.
This system is fighting an increasingly powerful March sun and falling again during the warmer afternoon hours in the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. Temperatures will be above freezing once again across southern Minnesota Thursday from midday into the afternoon.
That means the first couple hours of snow could melt on contact with the relatively mild pavement.
NOAA’s HRRR model is among those that are not super impressive for snowfall rates and totals around the Twin Cities but still bring respectable snow to northeast Minnesota.
Note the likely change from rain (green) in the morning to snow (blue) around and after midday in the Twin Cities.
I’m still leaning on the lighter end of snowfall totals overall for the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. The forecast models today continue the trend of less snowfall in the south. The models I trust suggest as little as a couple of inches of slush, to around 4 to 5 inches in some pockets of southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities by late Thursday night.
Here’s NOAA’s latest updated snowfall projection as of Wednesday afternoon.
Here’s a wider look at Minnesota.
Milder next week
I’ve heard from many of you that you’re more than done with our barrage of near-weekly wintry storms that has been persistent since December. I’m with you.
The forecast models finally show a likely break next week, with milder temperatures. The European and American GFS models suggest highs in the 40s, to possibly near 50 degrees in southern Minnesota next week.
Hang in there folks. I can’t say this is our last snow of the season, but we’re getting closer by the day.