After holding hope that rain and sleet would persist with forecasts released this morning, the National Weather Service is reverting back to original forecast models calling for nearly a foot of snow for the Northwest Metro area of the Twin Cities, including the STMA community.
Snow should begin falling this afternoon and mangle the evening commute. Interstate 35 south of Lakeville was already tied up with crashes and low visibility at 1 p.m. Wednesday, forcing MnDOT to ask drivers to avoid the corridor from Lakeville to the Iowa border.
Here’s an updated statement from the NWS in Chanhassen:
SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW SPREADING NORTHWARD ACROSS SOUTHERN MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON…..A Blizzard Warning remains in effect northwest of a line from Redwood Falls to Saint Cloud. A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect for much of southern and central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area. A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for portions of south-central Minnesota, and West Central Wisconsin. An initial band of snow, heavy at times, will gradually shift northward through southern Minnesota, and into central Minnesota, as well as portions of west central Wisconsin this afternoon.
Locally 3 to 6 inches of snow will fall before tapering off some in the late afternoon and early evening. However, more snow, heavy at times, will redevelop across Minnesota, and into west central Wisconsin later this evening, and overnight. Based on snowfall totals increasing from Fairmont, northeast to the Twin Cities and portions of west-central Wisconsin, the Winter Weather Advisory has been upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning.
The new Winter Storm Warning is west of a line from Fairmont to Faribault to Hastings in Minnesota, to Prescott, to Rice Lake in Wisconsin. Slowly, the band of heavy snow this afternoon will reach western and central Minnesota by late this afternoon. There could be a brief period late this afternoon, and into the evening where snowfall intensity is less, but redevelopment of heavy snow is likely later this evening, and into the overnight hours across most of southern Minnesota, with the exception along the Iowa border where more sleet and rain will become mixed in. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour will be possible at times, especially this afternoon.
Periods of mixed precipitation in the form of rain, snow, and sleet are expected along and south of a line from Redwood Falls, to the Saint Cloud, to Ladysmith, Wisconsin starting Thursday morning as much warmer air surges northward. Winds will increase tonight with gusts of 45 to 55 mph by Thursday. This will produce areas of blowing snow over much of central and southern Minnesota into western Wisconsin. Blizzard conditions are likely across west central Minnesota. Travel could become nearly impossible in this area by Thursday. MNZ042>045-050>053-110130- /O.EXT.KMPX.WS.W.0009.190410T2100Z-190412T1800Z/ Todd-Morrison-Mille Lacs-Kanabec-Benton-Sherburne-Isanti-Chisago- Including the cities of Long Prairie, Little Falls, Princeton, Mora, Foley, Elk River, Cambridge, and Center City 1222 PM CDT Wed Apr 10, 2019 …
WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM 4 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 1 PM CDT FRIDAY… * WHAT… Accumulating snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 9 to 15 inches. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph. * WHERE…Portions of central and east central Minnesota. * WHEN…From 4 PM this afternoon to 1 PM CDT Friday. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible. The latest road conditions for Minnesota can be found at 511mn.org and for Wisconsin at 511wi.gov, or by calling 5 1 1 in either state.