You needn't look further than the opening line of the long-term forecast discussion from the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service to have your eyebrows raise and start wondering if a big chunk of Minnesota, including the metro area, is going to get smacked with a snowstorm in mid-October.
"I know the question that is on everyone's mind. What is Tuesday looking like? Are we seeing our first major snowfall of the year?" reads the forecast discussion. The answer: To be determined, but if you ask the computer models, the answer at this point would be favoring a "yes" over a "no."
"It is fairly safe to say that there is reasonably high confidence that most areas except for those along I-90 will see accumulating snow," the forecast discussion adds. How much is unclear at this point, but the weather service is saying there's about a 50-50 chance at this point that the Twin Cities picks up 2 inches or more.
What the weather service knows at this point is that it will likely be cold enough for mostly snow to fall across most of Minnesota during the duration of Tuesday's precipitation.
But snow amounts probably won't stick around for too long, and warm soil temperatures will undoubtedly cause melting that will lessen accumulations.
"The models all really agreeing," said meteorologist Sven Sundgaard. "All the models give us at least a couple of inches of snow, maybe more."
Keep in mind that the Twin Cities averages 0.6 inches of snow in October, so this is a bit unusual.
The European model is forecasting 4-6 inches in the heaviest areas:
The American model is more aggressive, showing eye-popping totals possible:
The North American Model (NAM) is similarly aggressive:
Again, those amounts will probably look like less due to melting, rain mixing in (if it does), and wet snow compacting. Check back for updates as we'll be watching this storm system closely.