Blizzard warnings issued, 16+ inches of snow possible in parts of Minnesota

This is a monster storm that could bring blizzard conditions with it.
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UPDATE 9:40 P.M. 

A winter storm warning has been issued for much of central, east-central and south-central Minnesota, including the metro area, for Friday afternoon through Saturday. 

Total snow in these areas is expected to range from 8-15 inches with locally higher amounts up to 18 inches. Snow totals are expected to be lower in southern Minnesota. 

Original story

The highly touted winter storm we've been talking about all week remains on track to dump a scream-worthy amount of snow on parts of the state. 

How much snow are we talking about?

According to the National Weather Service, 10-15 inches are expected from west-central and southwest Minnesota to east-central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, with 18 inches in localized areas. 

Less snow, 4-7 inches, is expected in south-central Minnesota. 

One to two-tenths of an inch of ice is also possible as the snow changes from rain to snow. 


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Meteorologist Paul Douglas tweeted out a pair of computer models that are blasting the metro area with 13-16 inches of snow and areas of west-central and southwest Minnesota with 20+ inches. 

Paul Huttner of MPR's Updraft blog tweeted out a similar graphic in which western Minnesota is getting double digit totals while the metro is in line for up to 10+ inches of snow/slush. 

Fox9's Keith Marler says his early thoughts are up to 6 inches in the metro and 12+ for western Minnesota. 

The Weather Channel has 12-18 inches for southwest Minnesota and 8-12 for pretty much everywhere else within the winter storm watch. 

AccuWeather has a huge chunk of western Minnesota in line for 12-24 inches, including areas just west of the metro area. 

Areas in red are under a blizzard warning. The blue represents a winter storm watch. 

Areas in red are under a blizzard warning. The blue represents a winter storm watch. 

Blizzard warnings already issued

Nasty winds up to 45 mph will also be possible with this, especially in west-central and southwest central Minnesota where blizzard warnings have already been issued

The best chance for whiteouts will be late Friday night across west-central Minnesota, the weather service says. 

A historic snowstorm?

Bill Borghoff, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, has said this storm has a chance to be historic if the computer models prove correct. 

The state record for most snow in a 24-hour period is 36 inches, occurring in Finland, northern Minnesota on Jan. 7, 1994. That storm went on to produce a total of 46.5 inches. 

There University of Minnesota climate department has a list of famous Minnesota winter storms, and quite of few them feature terrible blizzard conditions, but these are the storms listed with the biggest snowfalls, including the Armistice Day blizzard of 1940. 

  • Nov. 11, 1940 - 27 inches near St. Cloud, 17 in the metro.
  • Dec. 5-8, 1950 - 25.2 inches in Duluth.
  • Mar. 1-4, 1966 - blizzard dumps 37 inches near International Falls.
  • Mar. 3-4, 1985 - 6-24 inches across the state and 90 mph winds in Duluth.
  • Jan. 6-8, 1989 - 26 inches of snow in the Red River Valley. 
  • Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 1991 - 28 inches at MSP, nearly 37 in Duluth. 
  • Feb. 28-Mar. 2, 2007 - 20 inches of snow and 50 mph winds in Duluth. 

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