After 5-9 inches of snow slammed Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, on Tuesday, another snowstorm is set to plow through the state on Thursday.
This time, the heavy snow is expected to accumulate along and north of a line from Benson to St. Cloud to Mora, where a winter storm watch is in effect beginning at 4 a.m. Thursday and lasting through the day.
Areas in the winter storm watch can expect:
"A band of snow is expected to develop late tonight (Wednesday) and persist through Thursday and into early Thursday evening. Snow rates of 1 inch per hour are possible, especially late tonight and early Thursday. Precipitation will transition from snow, to a wintry mix, to all rain over a short distance as one heads southeast. This will result in a tight snowfall gradient that may shift slightly in future forecasts. In areas that remain snow, total accumulation in excess of 6 inches is possible."
More than 6 inches of snow is possible, with the models suggesting Alexandra, for example, could get anywhere between 3 and 15 inches, according to the National Weather Service. The Duluth office of the weather service notes the most likely area to see amounts between 7-9 inches is the Brainerd Lakes Area to Duluth and into the Minnesota Arrowhead region.
Another big question that remains to be answered is how far south the heavy snow will fall.
"Some uncertainty remains on the southern edge of the forecast swath as there will be a transition to a wintry mix or all rain the further southeast you go, so there is the potential for a shift in the location of the heavier snowfall," says the weather service.
Here's the radar simulation from the NAM Nest computer model, which keeps the Twin Cities in rain – which will wash away Tuesday's snow – while the heaviest snow remains within the current winter storm watch area.
Tuesday's storm resulted in more than 1,100 traffic crashes and spinouts throughout Minnesota, and this coming storm has the potential to cause more widespread travel issues.