Feisty clipper Friday: Sharp snowfall gradient across Twin Cities – MPR News

Buckle up anywhere west of the Twin Cities Friday.

Our inbound Alberta clipper looks feisty. I give this storm a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 for snow and wind potential Friday anywhere west of the Twin Cities.

Winter storm warnings expanded

The Twin Cities National Weather Service office expanded winter storm warning a couple of counties eastward Thursday afternoon. The warning zone basically includes all of Minnesota west of the Twin Cities.

Including the cities of Morris, Madison, Benson, Montevideo, Granite Falls, Redwood Falls, New Ulm, St James, and Fairmont

235 PM CST Thu Jan 13 2022

…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO MIDNIGHT CST FRIDAY NIGHT…

* WHAT…Heavy snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 7 to 10 inches.

* WHERE…Portions of south central, southwest and west central Minnesota.

* WHEN…From midnight tonight to midnight CST Friday night.

* IMPACTS…Travel could be very difficult. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

Winter weather advisories include the southwest half of the Twin Cities. We could literally see a snowfall gradient from zero to 1 inch far northeast, to 5 or 6 inches in the far southwest Twin Cities.

Including the cities of Long Prairie, St Cloud, Monticello, Minneapolis, Chanhassen, Chaska, Victoria, Shakopee, Hastings, Faribault, Red Wing, and Owatonna

235 PM CST Thu Jan 13 2022

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO MIDNIGHT CST FRIDAY NIGHT…

* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 1 to 5 inches.

* WHERE…Portions of central, east central, south central and southeast Minnesota.

* WHEN…From midnight tonight to midnight CST Friday night.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning or evening commute.

Snow coverage increases overnight

Snowfall is on track to increase from the Red River valley into western Minnesota in the wee hours after midnight Friday. Light snow likely pushes into the Twin Cities between about 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Friday morning.

Notice how the northeast Twin Cities is literally on the edge of the snow:

NOAA NAM 3 km model

NOAA NAM 3 km model between 3 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday.

NOAA via tropical tidbits

Sharp snowfall cutoff near Twin Cities

These systems often feature dry air eating away at the northeast edge of the snow zone. That typically produces a sharp snowfall gradient on the northeast edge of the storm.

That’s why we could see an incredible snowfall gradient with little snow in the northeast Twin Cities, to as much as 5 or 6 inches in parts of Carver County in the far southwest Twin Cities. We could see a foot of snow in parts of southwest Minnesota.

Snowfall projection

Snowfall projection.

Twin Cities National Weather Service

Factor in snow and wind to your Friday travel plans. Travel will be increasingly difficult as you move west and south of the Twin Cities.

Stay safe, Minnesota.

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