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NWS watching potential for accumulating snow in Minnesota this weekend

The weather service says the storm track will likely change between now and then.

The next chance for accumulating snow in Minnesota comes this weekend. The National Weather Service isn't tossing around amounts, although they are hinting at southern Minnesota having the best chance for accumulating snow. 

"Looks like at least some of us will see snow late Saturday night into Sunday. Right now the best chance is across southern Minnesota into Wisconsin," said the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service on Wednesday morning.  

"The system is still 5 days away, so the storm track will likely shift. For that reason, it is too early for snowfall amounts, but keep checking the forecast, especially if you have travel plans."

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The system is shaping up to deliver a narrow band of accumulating snow, so amounts could vary greatly over short distances. 

"A few inches will be possible. Somewhere between Central and Southern MN. This will be a rather narrow band with a quick drop off in accumulations on either side (north/south)," the NWS Twin Cities tweeted

Here's a look at the simulated future radar from the European model, which is very similar to the American and Canadian weather models. Again, that storm track will probably change what these simulations look like in the coming days. 


For the sake of transparency, the European, American and Canadian models are all showing potential for more than 6 inches in a very narrow band, but the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service is cooling the jets on those amounts by saying in the forecast discussion that snow amounts will "likely be less than 6 inches." 

The caveat in the discussion: "This could certainly change was we get closer to Sunday." 

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At a snowfall ratio of 10:1, here's what the Canadian, American and European models are currently projecting between now and Monday. Again, take this with a grain of salt and understand that the storm track will probably change. 

From left to right, the Canadian, European and American models. These amounts and locations will change between now and Sunday. It also includes any snow that falls Thursday night into Friday. 

From left to right, the Canadian, European and American models. These amounts and locations will change between now and Sunday. It also includes any snow that falls Thursday night into Friday. 

Before the weekend system arrives, hit-and-miss snow showers are possible Thursday night into Friday. The weather service says locations that do see snow probably won't get more than a dusting to an inch. 

After the weekend snow, attention turns to next week when another system could arrive in the middle of the week. It's way too early to start talking about that as anything more than a possibility. 

It's been a rather bland winter snow-wise in the Twin Cities as only three storm systems have produced more than 4 inches, with the biggest coming just before Thanksgiving when 9.2 inches fell at MSP Airport. Other than 4.9 inches falling Jan. 17-18, the metro had a half inch here and there, but that's about it going back to the end of December. 

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