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How much snow will the Twin Cities really get Tuesday?

The computer models forecasters trust haven't been very agreeable.


Snow totals are back on the rise, especially for the south metro. Get the latest right here. 

UPDATE 10:40 A.M. 

Dare we say the National Weather Service has swung and missed again on its snowfall forecast for the Twin Cities?

In our original story, which is in its full form below, we noted that the NWS' prediction went from 3-4 inches to 4-6 inches and back down to 3-4 inches for the metro area today. Well, the latest snowfall map from the NWS says just 1-2 inches more should be expected in the Twin Cities. 

If you already have 2-3 inches, then the forecast fits as originally described. If you have next to nothing, like folks in the south metro, then you're going to miss out for the most part. 

Original story from 6:45 a.m.

The weather is annoying, and it's been extra annoying this winter as snowfall totals have wavered with unpredictability in the days, even hours, leading up to a storm. 

That was the case last week when a snowstorm was forecast to dump 8-12 inches in the Twin Cities. Only 3-4 inches fell for most as the heaviest snow stayed south. But that forecast miss had more to do with the computer models National Weather Service meteorologists trust overdoing snow ratios, resulting in a misfire on forecast totals. 

Another system is arriving in southern Minnesota today (Tuesday) and nobody really seems to know how much snow is going to fall. 

"Confidence for today and tonight remains fairly low despite being about 6 hours out," says the forecast discussion from the NWS Twin Cities, which was issued just before 4:30 a.m.

On Monday, the NWS put out a forecast in the morning that called for 3-4 inches of snow to fall Tuesday in the Twin Cities area. Later Monday afternoon, a new snowfall map was created and it had the metro area in line for 4-6 inches of snow. 

On the left is the Tuesday snowfall forecast issued Monday morning. On the right is the Tuesday snowfall forecast issued Monday afternoon. 

On the left is the Tuesday snowfall forecast issued Monday morning. On the right is the Tuesday snowfall forecast issued Monday afternoon. 

The newest snowfall map once again has the Twin Cities getting 3-4 inches of snow today, which isn't that far off of 4-6 inches, but it's a disappointment for snow lovers who have been underwhelmed by the 17.8 inches of snow that's fallen in the Twin Cities (MSP Airport) this year, which the NWS says is half the amount we usually have by now

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 6.45.57 AM

Although the new snowfall map for today might disappointment folks who were hoping for up to half-a-foot of snow, the NWS says 4 inches still appears likely in the metro and an area of southeast Minnesota as two bands of heavier snow are expected to develop. 

"In both of these swaths, snowfall totals of 4 inches appear likely by this evening. As for the rest of the area, a general light snow will occur and produce 2 to 3 inches," the forecast discussion says. 

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Here's a really good future radar simulation that shows one narrow band developing around the metro area and a second, heavier band, developing a little later in southeast Minnesota. This simulation is reflective of what could happen through 10 a.m. Wednesday. 


Then again, if the heavier snow band develops outside of the metro, the metro will get less. That's how it works. It's extremely annoying but nobody ever said Mother Nature was easy to work with.

In southeast Minnesota, the snowfall map suggests that only 3-4 inches will fall, but the La Cross office of the NWS tweeted at 9 a.m. saying winter storm warnings might be issued today. At 10 a.m. they tweeted that they're updating their snowfall map and that 6+ inches are likely from Dodge Center, Minnesota, to Eau Claire and Medford, Wisconsin. 

The NWS criteria for a winter storm warning is "5 inches or more of snow/sleet within a 12-hour period or 7 inches or more of snow/sleet within a 24-hour period."

Meanwhile, the second storm system remains on track to bring accumulating snow to Minnesota beginning late Wednesday through most of the day Thursday.

The NWS says it'll be a long-duration light snow event that could bring 4-6 inches to the Twin Cities and even higher amounts further north. 

But per usual, it's a good bet that the snowfall forecast maps will be adjusted over the next 24 hours. 

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