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Blizzard warning Tuesday for NW Minnesota; mostly rain for Twin Cities

Icy mix likely for much of central and NE Minnesota

Blizzard and winter storm warnings
Blizzard, winter storm warnings Tuesday and Wednesday
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Another week, another major storm system for Minnesota.

This one will be a few degrees warmer for southern Minnesota. That little bit of temperature change will mean a world of difference in precipitation type as mostly rain will fall from the Twin Cities south and eastward.

To the north, an icy mix for much of central and northeastern Minnesota, and heavy snow and high winds in the far north and northwest.

Let’s break down the next storm rolling in Tuesday through Wednesday.

The system

The next low-pressure system will track from eastern Colorado Tuesday morning to near the Twin Cities by Wednesday morning then head for Lake Superior.

That storm track is farther north than the past few systems. That means the Twin Cities will be closer to the center of the low and closer to the warmer southeast quadrant of the storm. The result will produce mostly rain from the Twin Cities south and east.

The Canadian model is similar to many solutions that produce an icy mix across central and northeastern Minnesota, with persistent heavy snow in northwest and north-central Minnesota.

Canadian model
Canadian model output between 7 a.m. Tuesday and 7 p.m. Wednesday
Environment Canada, via Tropical Tidbits

Blizzard warning northwest

In the heavy snow and high wind zone, blizzard warnings are up for most of eastern North Dakota and a chunk of northwestern Minnesota, including the Red River Valley.

Including the cities of Crookston, East Grand Forks, Hallock, Karlstad, Lancaster, Roseau, Warroad, Greenbush, Warren, Stephen, Argyle, Newfolden, Middle River, Grygla, Thief River Falls, Red Lake Falls, Cando, Langdon, Cavalier, Walhalla, Drayton, Pembina, Neche, St. Thomas, Fort Totten, Maddock, Leeds, Minnewaukan, Devils Lake, Grafton, Park River, Lakota, Mcville, Aneta, Tolna, Grand Forks, Edinburg, Adams, and Lankin

1203 PM CDT Mon Apr 3 2023

...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON TUESDAY TO 7 AM CDT THURSDAY...

* WHAT...Blizzard conditions expected. Total snow accumulations of 8 to 19 inches. Winds gusting as high as 45 to 50 mph.

* WHERE...Portions of northwest Minnesota and northeast North Dakota.

* WHEN...From noon Tuesday to 7 AM CDT Thursday.

* IMPACTS...Travel will be very difficult to impossible. Widespread falling and blowing snow will significantly reduce the visibility. The hazardous conditions will impact the morning and evening commutes.

Winter storm warnings currently include Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, and Bemidji.

Including the cities of Mahnomen, Naytahwaush, Waubun, Alida, Ebro, Lake Itasca, Long Lost Lake, Lower Rice Lake, Roy Lake, Upper Rice Lake, Park Rapids, Detroit Lakes, Wolf Lake, Fergus Falls, Perham, New York Mills, Parkers Prairie, Henning, Battle Lake, Wadena, Menahga, Elbow Lake, Hoffman, Ashby, Herman, and Barrett

1203 PM CDT Mon Apr 3 2023

...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM TUESDAY TO 7 AM CDT THURSDAY...

* WHAT...Heavy snow and mixed precipitation expected. Total snow accumulations of 4 to 10 inches and ice accumulations of around one tenth of an inch. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph.

* WHERE...Portions of central, north central, northwest and west central Minnesota.

* WHEN...From 6 AM Tuesday to 7 AM CDT Thursday.

* IMPACTS...Travel will be very difficult to impossible. Widespread falling and blowing snow will significantly reduce the visibility. The hazardous conditions will impact the morning and evening commutes.

Snowfall totals

The heaviest snowfall totals with this system favor the Red River Valley and northwestern Minnesota. This system will produce moderate to heavy snowfall rates for a longer time period most of Tuesday and Wednesday.

That will add up to snowfall in the range of 1 to possibly 2 feet at the highest end in northwest Minnesota.

Lower snowfall totals between about 4 and 10 inches are likely north of a line from Alexandria through Brainerd. The Twin Cities will likely pick up very little snow with this system.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s current statewide snowfall projection seems pretty reasonable given current forecast model trends.

Snowfall projection for Minnesota
Snowfall projection for Minnesota
NOAA

Milder weekend ahead

A more springlike air mass will blow in this weekend after the storm. High temperatures around 60 degrees look quite possible from the Twin Cities southward this weekend, with 40s and 50s to the north.

Forecast high temperatures Saturday
Forecast high temperatures Saturday
NOAA

See the 70s in Iowa? A few models are hinting at even warmer air next week. It remains to be seen just how warm we can get next week.

Stay tuned.

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