Just when you thought it was safe.
The weather maps might be playing a belated April Fools' joke on Minnesota, or they might be onto something. It's too early for high confidence but several recent model runs over the past 24 hours suggest chances for significant s...s...snow next week. That was hard for me to type.
This could be a late-season model fantasy that vanishes with the next model run, or it could be the real thing. More below on a forecast that should come with a warning label.
Avert eyes if squeamish.
Friday warm front
First, we warm up. Temperatures rise across Minnesota as we head into the weekend. Warmer air pulses into Minnesota Friday afternoon.
High temperatures will be very cloud-dependent this weekend. Cloud cover will be widespread Friday through Sunday.
If clouds hang in the temperature outputs above and below could be too optimistic. But if we get a few breaks in the afternoon temperatures will get a quick bump with the milder air mass and stronger April sun intensity.
Low-pressure gathers in the central plains and drives rain showers across Minnesota. Friday looks mostly dry. Saturday's rain seems to favor the morning hours. Sunday could bring more sustained rains.
Multiple waves of April showers this weekend add up to a decent soaking. Most forecast models favor widespread half an inch rainfall totals, with some local 1 inch totals favoring the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. The weekend timing could be better, but at least it's mostly rain.
Snowy rumors next week?
I tried to ignore Wednesday's forecast models runs for next week. But when they persisted with the idea of possibly significant snow next week, I had to practice acceptance.
It's still way too early to get wound up about our snow chances next week. This could just be a bad case of forecast model hiccups. The system could come in warmer, take a detour, or vanish from the maps.
But when three of the most trusted forecast models all say basically the same thing, it gets your attention. The American, Canadian, and European models all suggest a potentially significant snow system somewhere in Minnesota next Wednesday into Thursday.
So, here's the deal. I'll show you a sample that represents the general pattern the models are seeing next week. But you promise not to take this as gospel, knowing we're still six days away from this event and this can and will change.
Here's the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Global Forecast System model for next Wednesday and Thursday.
For entertainment purposes only. Your results may vary.
Right now the models are not pretty for April-snow-phobic Minnesotans next week. Let's see what Friday's model runs bring.