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Most of the computer models are in agreement that upwards of a half-foot of snow and even higher amounts along the North Shore will fall in northern Minnesota this weekend. 

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the northern third of Minnesota, which includes the cities of Duluth, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Ely and Virginia, where the chances of a plowable snowfall are becoming increasingly likely. 


"There is still uncertainty regarding the storm track, which will impact snowfall amounts. At this point, it appears that the most likely area to see the highest snowfall is over northern Minnesota, especially along the North Shore of Lake Superior due to lake enhancement and also along portions of the South Shore due to lake effect that may linger into Monday," says the NWS Duluth. 

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At least 4 inches of snow is all but certain within the winter storm watch, while the chances of 6 inches are quite high (70% or higher) across the Northland. Eight or more inches are currently forecast along the north and south shores of Lake Superior. 

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According to the NWS Grand Forks, 6-plus inches could fall in narrow bands of where the heaviest snow tracks Saturday night through Sunday morning. Then on Sunday, winds will be gusting up to 40 mph to create difficult travel conditions.

Here's a look at the European and American computer models, which agree that the highest snow totals will be well into northern Minnesota, with very little snow expected south of Interstate 94. 

European model

European model

American model

American model

The Canadian model, however, brings the heaviest snow further south into central Minnesota, but still keeps the Twin Cities out of the bullseye. The Canadian model definitely appears to be the outlier, but it's certainly worth noting considering the NWS says the storm track could still change. 


Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard will provide an update on the storm track Friday afternoon, so check back for that. 

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