We stay warm today in the Twin Cities forecast, with temperatures jumping to the middle 60s. You’d never guess that later this week, a winter storm is brewing that has the potential to give us more than a foot of wet, sticky, snow.
Already, there’s a winter storm watch issued as of Monday morning for western Minnesota and portions of the Dakotas:
Expect those blue shades above to gradually spread east, likely over the Twin Cities – but with a few days for exact details to change. Here’s the storm system in question, below:
Note that area of low pressure, centered over Nebraska in the early stages (the “L”). That’s the center, and as it slides northeast, the storm system draws down cold air and the northern half of the storm looks to have enough cold air to produce snow, rather than rain (see the blue in the image above, which indicates).
So what does that all mean, at this point? Unfortunately, for Minnesotans ready for a real spring, it’s looking similar to last year’s storm system.
How much like last year’s storm? Well, here were the forecast snowfall totals from that storm system just before it hit. You can see that I didn’t believe it’d be all snow (we got close to 15″, instead of 5-8″ – read that old forecast here):
So what are we looking at for this new storm system? Here’s the GFS snowfall forecast, assuming we end up with a wet snow:
Last year’s blizzard in April ended up tallying 15.8 inches of snow, which moved to #12 on the top 20 snowstorms list.
This storm system has the moisture (questions remain about the cold air) to produce something equal to, or greater than, last April’s storm. Those aqua shades of snow in that map a couple paragraphs up show anywhere from 10-12″ of snow to 32″ of snow. We’ll see how this all develops over the coming days. Stay tuned!
Follow Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer on Twitter. Aaron is a meteorologist who lives in Minneapolis and is the digital communications and social media associate for the nonprofit Avivo in Minneapolis. He is Ward 8's representative on the Minneapolis Bicycle Advisory Committee, Deep down he's a weather geek and has a degree in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences from UW-Madison to prove it. He's spent time working at TV stations in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa prior to arriving in Minneapolis to work for WeatherNation and now forecasting for MinnyApple. His favorite weather career moment came while storm chasing for his Iowa station (he went on 40+ storm chases during that time), when he saw a mile-wide EF-4 rated tornado.