Snow? Rain? Freezing rain? Thunder? A complete miss, perhaps?
Mother Nature is in cahoots with Old Man Winter and there remains the possibility of a major storm system spinning through the Upper Midwest next week, but it's still too early to know where it'll track and what kind of precipitation – if any – will fall.
According to the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service (NWS), there are three possible routes the system will take. As you can see in the graphic below, track B would bring heavy snow and major travel impacts to the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota. Track A would push the snow further north and west, leaving mostly rain for the metro. Track C would be a total miss, which remains possible.
So which track is favored? Honestly, nobody really knows just yet and they probably won't until the storm system, which will be over the Pacific Ocean until making landfall in the U.S. on Monday, at which point the computer models the experts use will start honing in on better specifics.
Regardless, the NWS put this message and graphic on social media Thursday afternoon, suggesting that a blend of tracks A and B are early favorites.
Bottom line, anyone with travel plans Wednesday-Friday next week need to pay close attention to the forecast no matter where you are in Minnesota.
As far as how much snow is possible, it's way too early to start talking about that. Of course, the Climate Prediction Center is already suggesting that some locations in the Great Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley could have snowfall measured in feet.
They don't know where exactly just yet, but they're of the belief that this is a very powerful, moisture-rich system. Here's their words verbatim.
"Heavy snow is forecast to drift northeastward on the backside of the low for the 26th and 27th from northeastern Colorado through the Upper Mississippi Valley, in association with the deformation zone along the trowal. This snow is likely to be measured in feet in many places, although totals are likely to vary susbtantially within the heavy snow area highlighted on the map dependent upon where mesoscale snowbands set up."
In the meantime, there might be an inch of snow in northern Minnesota Friday night, but travel for the holiday weekend into Christmas Eve and Day looks really great.