MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A clearer picture is emerging of the spring snowstorm headed toward Minnesota, and weather officials are describing it as “potentially historic.”
The National Weather Service says that the storm will bring severe impacts to the state Wednesday night through Friday morning, similar to last year’s record-breaking April snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow on the Twin Cities.
A potentially historic storm will arrive late Wednesday, bringing a variety of precip types, strong wind gusts in excess of 50 mph, and very heavy snow totals. The snowfall gradient near the metro may end up tighter than currently shown. Prepare now for a severe winter storm. pic.twitter.com/cr6KxLgUY5
— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) April 9, 2019
The storm is going to look very different depending on where you are in Minnesota. Some may get a foot of heavy, wet snow, others we get a mix of snow, sleet and rain — and there is even a chance of “thundersnow.”
The storm will move northwards into southern Minnesota by late afternoon, and will arrive in the Twin Cities after the evening commute. A blizzard warning has been issued for southwestern Minnesota, covering Marshall, Morris, Willmar and even the western edge of St. Cloud. Weather officials say confidence is high the area will see heavy snow, at rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour, by the time the storm system settles over the state on Thursday.
Warmer air will start moving into the state Thursday morning, leading to rain showers from the Minnesota-Iowa border to the Twin Cities, which may cut down on snow totals.
Along with the snow, strong winds with gusts greater than 50 mph will create blowing snow in the area, making travel close to impossible. Outside the blizzard area, much of the rest of Minnesota is under a winter storm watch, including the Twin Cities metro. Snow totals in the metro could range from 6 inches to more than a foot, depending on how much of the precipitation falls as snow, sleet or rain. Northern, western and central Minnesota will see the most snow accumulation.
It will all be over by Friday afternoon, and temperatures look to be below average this weekend, with highs climbing into the 40s. The sun will be out Saturday and Sunday, and the increased sun angle should quickly work to melt away the snow. By this time next week, we’ll be staring at the grass again.
Last year, the April storm’s 16-inch snowpack melted in about a week.