Skip to main content

Twin Cities included in winter storm watch

Will this be a repeat of last year's April snowstorm?


Not much has changed in the National Weather Service's latest forecast for what they're now calling a "potentially historic" winter storm that'll push through Minnesota and the Upper Midwest Wednesday-Friday.

In today's Weather MN blog, brought to you by Pet Evolution, we can tell you that on Monday the weather service issued a winter storm watch that includes the Twin Cities.

That has not changed, but instead of saying 7-15 inches of snow could fall, they've adjusted totals slightly, now ranging 8-12 inches, although totals in the north metro could exceed a foot.

The thing to watch out for, the weather service says, is a very tight snowfall gradient where the rain takes longer to change over to snow. Right now, that area is just southeast of the Twin Cities. Any shift further north/northwest could dramatically lessen snow totals.

If you live in parts of west/southwest Minnesota, look out. Isolated locations could wind up with snow totals of 2 feet. Basically, everywhere from pretty much Marshall all the way to Duluth could get walloped with 12+ inches of snow.

Tab2FileL (2)

Blizzard warnings have been issued in west/southwest Minnesota and all the way up into Stearns County, including the cities of St. Cloud, Litchfield, Willmar, Redwood Falls, Lac qui Parle and Marshall.

Sign up for our BREAKING WEATHER newsletters

"Blizzard conditions are expected across western Minnesota where wind gusts of 50+ mph will combine with over a foot of snow to produce nearly impossible travel conditions," the NWS says.

Here's a look at the simulated future radar from the North American Model (NAM 12KM) reflective from 5 a.m. Wednesday through 1 p.m. Friday. This is a loop of what could happen, not what will happen.

Minneapolis/St. Paul could end with one of its 10 heaviest April snowfalls if the airport records more than 7.6 inches of snow. The biggest April snowstorm in MSP history was last April 14-15 when 15.8 inches fell.

Bookmark the Weather MN blog and check back for updates

4:45 P.M. UPDATE

A winter storm watch has been expanded and now includes the Twin Cities metro area.

Everywhere in blue is included in the winter storm watch. 

Everywhere in blue is included in the winter storm watch. 

The National Weather Service says snow totals in the Twin Cities could reach 7-15 inches with winds gusting as high as 50 mph.

Here's the updated language from the National Weather Service.

"A significant winter storm system is possible across a large part of the Upper Midwest starting Wednesday evening, and lasting through Friday afternoon. Light precipitation will begin to develop late Tuesday night, and into Wednesday morning in far southern Minnesota. A mixture of snow and rain will occur in far southern Minnesota, with little or no snowfall expected. Any snow that falls Wednesday morning will likely partially melt during the day.

By late Wednesday afternoon, and into Thursday night, this is when the bulk of the precipitation will fall across southern Minnesota, and into west central Wisconsin. Confidence has increased that a band of moderate to heavy snow will likely arrive Wednesday evening and continue through Thursday. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour will be possible at times.

Winds will increase Wednesday night as the system lifts northeastward. Winds will likely gust to 40 to 50 mph on Thursday. This will lead to areas of blowing and drifting snow.

Blizzard conditions will be possible. In addition, periods of mixed precipitation of rain, and sleet will be possible at times, mainly in southern Minnesota. Snowfall will taper off and winds should subside Friday.

Additional updates to this Winter Storm Watch is possible, with the watch possibly expanding farther south or north. This is dependent on the exact track of the storm."

Higher totals upwards of 20 inches are currently forecast as realistic possibilities in southwestern Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 5.06.25 PM

Any shift in the storm track could change the forecast so stay tuned for updates. 

8 A.M. 

Two massive April snowstorms in less than a calendar year? 

It's definitely becoming more and more likely. A powerful winter storm is expected to blast through the southern two-thirds of Minnesota on Wednesday and Thursday, leaving behind a boatload of snow for some and ice and rain for others. 

Today's Weather MN blog is brought to you by the good folks at Pet Evolution

In anticipation of what could be a pretty nasty storm, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm watch for parts of west and southwest Minnesota, and the Twin Cities will likely be included when the watch expands later Monday. 

Tab2FileL (1)

The NWS has made it very clear that they're not sure just yet where the rain/snow line will set up. It could be right over the top of the Twin Cities. Wherever it sets up, there will be way less snow to the south of the line. But areas that get all snow are likely going to get smacked, possibly similar to the way parts of southern Minnesota were pulverized by the powerful storm of April 14-15 last year. 

Here's the discussion from the NWS for areas under the winter storm watch. 

"Blizzard conditions possible. Total snow accumulations of at least 8 inches and ice accumulations of a light glaze possible. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph."

The Weather Channel has placed a bullseye for the heaviest snow in southwestern Minnesota, but also has the Twin Cities getting hit very hard by accumulating snow. Exact snow totals haven't been announced, but The Weather Channel says there is potential for over a foot of a snow in parts of the state. 

AccuWeather is just as aggressive, saying 6-12 inches could fall in the Twin Cities with 12-18 inches possible in parts of western and southwestern Minnesota. 

Subscribe: Sign up to receive BREAKING WEATHER alerts

Bottom line: Computer models are in pretty good agreement with the southern two-thirds of Minnesota taking a direct hit, but the biggest factor in snow totals is where the rain/snow line sets up, and whether it stays warm long enough to delay any rain-to-snow changeover. 

Here's one computer model's (GFS, the American model) spin on how things could play out from 6 p.m. Tuesday through 1 p.m. Friday. Green means rain, pink is a mixture and blue is snow. The darker the colors are, the more intense the precipitation is. 


Stay tuned for updates. It's a good bet that much more of Minnesota is added to a winter storm watch later Monday. 

Next Up

Moorhead family

Authorities pinpoint source of CO that killed family of 7

The victims, all members of Hernandez-Pinto family, were found dead in a Moorhead home.

polymet mining

Court issues mixed ruling on PolyMet, orders more analysis on water permit

The court, however, overruled several challenges to the permit.

SPPD Kua person of interest 01-24-2022

Police release images of woman driving stolen Audi that had puppy inside

It's not clear whether she was involved in the vehicle theft.

J R Jones - Anoka County Jail 2021.10.16 - Resize crop

Fatal hit-and-run driver can avoid prison time with plea deal

He was charged with striking and killing a 56-year-old who was walking her dog.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 11.21.49 AM

Alex Rodriguez: 'I'm not a Packers fan'

He was at Lambeau screaming "Cheese!" and "Let's go!" during the playoff game against the 49ers.

St. Paul Police Department

Woman killed in St. Paul's North End identified as 31-year-old

A 35-year-old man has been arrested in connection to the shooting.

police lights

Homes shot at randomly in Wisconsin; residents nearly struck

The people inside the homes were nearly struck, according to the  Juneau County Sheriff’s Office.

Levi Arneberg

Charges: Man killed roommate's 4 pet ferrets after argument

He told police he swears one of the ferrets was "laughing and breathing" as he kept shooting it in the head, charges state.

Minneapolis police

St. Cloud 27-year-old ID'd as victim of homicide near U of M

The shooting, which also injured two others, occurred Thursday near the 500 block of 15th Avenue South.


snow, snowplow

Twin Cities added to winter storm warning: Snow totals rising

It's been a yo-yo of a forecast from a difficult to predict winter storm.

Winter storm watch issued, Twin Cities in the middle of it

Snow begins Sunday afternoon with most of it falling overnight into Monday.

Winter storm watch: A foot of snow possible in the Twin Cities

The snow is expected to bring heavy snow most of the day Friday.

snow, plow

Winter storm watch issued in advance of weekend snow

One way or another, this storm is going to hit hard in southern Minnesota.

Another dose of plowable snow coming north of Twin Cities

Rain for the metro while areas of northern Minnesota get all the snow.

Winter storm warning issued: Twin Cities in the bullseye

Heavy snow will begin falling Sunday afternoon in the Twin Cities.

Twin Cities added to winter storm warning as large system nears

The storm will bring impacts to the entire state.

Snowstorm arrives late Monday: How much for the Twin Cities?

Highest amounts are expected east of the Mississippi River.