Update on Fridays Winter Storm
Winter weather will be making a comeback with some rain and snow showers tomorrow and also some light accumulations north of the Highway 2 corridor. Only a dusting to an inch of snow is likely.
The main system that has the potential for more than a half foot of snow is expected on Friday where a center of low pressure will move through the Central Plains, into the Midwest, and eventually up into Canada.
There has been some interesting new data that has come in the last 24 hours. Late last week, it appeared that the Northland was going to see a big snow storm. Since then, the track of the storm was shifting farther and farther south. Now, as we get closer to the snowfall event, the track of the storm in some of the forecast data is shifting back Northward again. One reason why is due to the intensity of both the low pressure and high pressure you see above. If the storm is stronger and the high pressure is weaker, the storm will tracker farther north, if the high pressure is stronger, then the storm will remain farther south.
We are looking for consistency before making an official forecast. One computer model showing 12 inches of snow in one particular area doesn’t dictate an accurate forecast. It is best to view numerous forecasts and make a mean average to get a better idea of what is expected to happen.
Here is what we know so far. Snowfall will advance north late Thursday night through Southern Minnesota and Central Wisconsin. By the early morning around 5 am, snow should begin in areas south towards Hayward, Minong, and Siren. By the afternoon, the snow should move up to the South Shore. The question remains how far west the snow will occur. We have seen some new data showing Northeast Minnesota along and south of Highway 2 as well as the North Shore up to Silver Bay seeing snowfall by Friday afternoon. I am not on board just yet as this shift to the west has only occurred just recently.
Northwest Wisconsin has a high confidence level of seeing at least 4 inches of snow except Douglas County. Hayward will see plenty of beneficial snowfall in time for the Burkie. Northeast Minnesota is still in a lower confidence level at this time, but if data continues to project that Northeast Minnesota will see accumulating snowfall, then the Twin Ports will have to get out the shovels as well. Below are three raw model outputs. You can see the differences in the tracks showing a significant influence on the snowfall potential in Northeast Minnesota.
The time stamp you see on each map is the snowfall accumulation from now until that time you see listed.
I expect winter storm watches to be issued by the National Weather Service in the next 24 hours in the Northland in anticipation for this upcoming system in Northwest Wisconsin where snowfall accumulation in excess of 6 inches continues to be shown for several days now. The Twin Cities office has already issued a watch which does include the Metro area.
Anyone planning to drive south on Friday to the Twin Cities or Central Wisconsin should monitor this forecast closely or change your trip to Thursday because road conditions on Friday will be poor, especially with strong north and northeast winds at 20-30 mph at times.
More updates will follow as data continues to flow in.
-Meteorologist Gino Recchia