A midday Thursday icy update

Noon, Thursday Update

Where’s the snow, Paul? Good question: the models weakened the latest frontal band (slightly), pushing back most of the light snow/freezing rain/freezing drizzle until tonight. As you can see on Doppler, most of the light precipitation (mixed, wintry precip) is north of the Twin Cities. Conditions will remain ripe for very light snow/ice through the morning hours on Friday, I don’t think the PM commute will be terrible today, but the drive in tomorrow may be quiet a bit tougher than usual. Freezing drizzle/flurries taper off for a time during the day tomorrow before the main storm arrives this weekend.

Yuck. Advisories for glaze ice far southeastern Minnesota, dense ice fog southwestern counties, and a winter storm watch for much of the Red River Valley – we’re surrounded by weather headaches! The risk of ice will increase into the nighttime hours tonight, the main surge of moisture arrives this weekend, rain, sleet, changing to mostly-snow by Sunday. Something for the entire family!

It still looks like a period of rain/freezing rain for most of central/eastern MN Saturday, changing over to mostly-snow Sunday, with a potential for a few inches of accumulation during the latter half of this storm – roads may be in fairly bad shape by late Sunday and Sunday night, with icy conditions spilling over into AM Rush on Monday. The changeover to rain/ice still looks fairly likely Saturday, the bulk of the precipitation holding off until late Saturday and Saturday night. The earlier you get your errands done Saturday, the better. Travel conditions Sunday will probably go downhill as the day goes on, as snow starts to stick, even on main roads and freeways (especially after sunset Sunday around 5:30 pm). The drive home, after a (victorious) NFL Championship game Sunday could be VERY, VERY TRICKY.

We’ll keep you posted. Bottom line: we’re still expecting some freezing rain/drizzle, mixed with a little wet snow, little more than a coating of slush – I’m more concerned about glaze ice with surface temperatures holding in the mid 20s. Allow extra time to get around town first thing Friday. A sloppy, almost March-like storm is still on the way for the weekend, starting as rain/freezing rain. If it were all snow we’d be looking at 4-6″, maybe 10″ for western Minnesota, but I think a significant amount of precipitation will fall as rain, keeping final snowfall amounts down quite a bit. Strange to be throwing around the R-word during the coldest week of winter, huh?

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