It's a good bet that a plowable snowfall will happen somewhere in Minnesota on Friday, but where exactly it happens will depend on an evolving storm track.
"A wide area will be affected by accumulating snow beginning Thursday night and lingering through most of Friday. The track of the storm and amount of snow will be refined over the coming days," says the National Weather Service.
Monday's weather models were tracking the storm system right through the heart of Minnesota, while Tuesday's early model runs have slid the storm track further to the west, which would put the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota in line for accumulating snow. But the storm track remains very fluid.
"The model trends over the next 12-24 hours will be crucial in seeing how this system evolves, especially once shorter range higher resolution models begin to pick up on it," explains the forecast discussion from the NWS Twin Cities.
As the weather service notes, Alberta clippers tend to produce only light accumulations, but this storm system might be a bit of a hybrid low pressure system and could be in contact with ample moisture, which could result in higher snow totals.
The NWS says the snow/liquid ratio should be something near climatological norms, so about 12 inches of snow for ever inch of liquid. The American model is painting a swath of anywhere from 0.3 tenths of an inch to 0.7 tenths of an inch, which would equate to 3-8 inches of snow, with the higher amounts in a narrow corridor with amounts decreasing sharply on the outside of the heaviest band.
The European model is actually a little more aggressive with precipitation totals as high as 0.8 or even 0.9 tenths of an inch, which would equate to 6-10 inches of snow if it were to verify.
The Canadian model pretty much mirrors the European model, perhaps even slightly more intense, so 8-12 inches in a narrow swath? It's pretty wild at this point, but it goes to show that this Friday system will be worth monitoring in the coming days.
We'll have more with meteorologist Sven Sundgaard and Tom Novak later today and throughout the week.