Take one look at the snowfall forecast maps being issued by the National Weather Service for a powerful snowstorm impacting North Dakota and extreme western Minnesota and your jaw will drop.
The meteorologist who wrote the forecast discussion Tuesday morning for the National Weather Service in Grand Forks began by writing: "The most difficult snow forecast and highest snowfall forecast of my 30 year career."
The storm is expected to deliver two rounds of very heavy snow. Here's round one for Thursday through 7 a.m. Friday.
This is round two, representing additional snowfall from 7 a.m. Friday through 1 p.m. Saturday.
It's laughable to think that 1-2+ feet of snow could fall Oct. 10-11, but that's what the weather service is projecting for parts of eastern North Dakota.
The totals in the row of Minnesota counties bordering North Dakota will be lesser, but 0-4 inches today coupled with 6-12 inches Friday-Saturday is still a lot.
The aforementioned Minnesota counties – Kittson, West Marshall, West Polk, Clay, Wilkin, Cass – are in a winter storm warning from 7 p.m. Thursday though 1 p.m. Saturday.
Here's the official winter storm warning text for the Minnesota counties.
"Rain becoming mixed with snow and turning to snow tonight. Snow, heavy at times Friday into early Saturday. Risk of freezing rain as well this evening. Total snow accumulations of 6 to 15 inches...with highest amounts west of Fargo. Winds gusting as high as 45 mph."
For the Twin Cities, the storm system will bring showers and wind, but the thing people will notice the most is the temperatures plummeting from in the mid-60s Thursday to a high on Friday of around 40.
"We'll see on and off rain today, with more widespread rain coming this afternoon and evening along a strong cold front that will sweep across the area," says the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities. "Most of us will see our first snow fly this weekend, but any accumulations look to be confined to the Morris and Alexandria areas in western Minnesota."