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NWS: Slow down on the Thanksgiving week winter storm hype

The Twin Cities office of the NWS is trying to limit premature hype.

"Yes, there is a very small chance that a winter storm could impact your travel plans over Thanksgiving," says the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities. 

But the experts aren't trying to scare Minnesotans. They're simply trying to limit the hype before it goes into overdrive over the next 10 days. Notice the key words are in bold: "very small chance." 

So before your palms are sweaty, knees weak and arms heavy, the weather service goes on to say that any storm that actually forms is still 8-10 days away, thus there is (again, in bold) "very high uncertainty." 

In Exhibit A below, you'll see the Tuesday morning simulation of the European weather model. Below that, in Exhibit B, you'll see the very next simulation from the same European model. 

As you'll see, there is a massive difference in where the potential storm track is, if there even is a storm in the middle of next week. And those are just two model runs, so imagine how much the other models vary in storm track and intensity (a lot). 

Exhibit A: Storm that doesn't exist yet totally misses Minnesota. 

floop-ecmwf_full-2019111900.prateptype_cat_ecmwf.conus

Exhibit B: Storm that doesn't exit yet hammers Minnesota. 

floop-ecmwf_full-2019111912.prateptype_cat_ecmwf.conus

The Canadian computer model doesn't have much of anything developing over the region, while the American model's Tuesday morning update had western Minnesota getting the snow. 

All of that explains, in part, why the National Weather Service says there is a "very small chance" with "very high uncertainty." 

While the weather service in the Twin Cities is approaching the conversation with caution, AccuWeather alerting readers and viewers to potential "substantial delays" in holiday travel.  

"There is the potential for heavy snow and winterlike travel conditions with substantial delays to spread from eastern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico to parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan as Thanksgiving travel surges.

"Should the storm develop to its maximum intensity, blizzard conditions may unfold over part of the Upper Midwest with strong winds and low visibility."

Bottom line: The National Weather Service says nothing is imminent but everyone with holiday travel plans should pay attention to the forecast. 

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