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Shifting storm tracks: Significant storms Friday, next week?

Sven Sundgaard has the details on an interesting forecast.

There could be a significant snowstorm in the region Thursday into Friday, though it remains unclear just how far north the heaviest snow will reach. Basically, models in the past 24 hours have suggested a more northerly track for the storm, which would deliver snow to Iowa, southern Minnesota and Wisconsin

"Since we are now about 72 hours out from this potential system, better consistency trends and confidence should increase markedly later today or tonight," says the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities. "This progressive, but potent system should have a swath of heavy precipitation on its northern half."

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Take a look at the NAM model simulation below. It's in good agreement with the northward shift for the Thursday-Friday storm, with heavy snow possibly slamming southern Minnesota, northern Iowa and Wisconsin. 


Temperature profiles could cause a big headache for forecasting what falls from the sky. Will it be cold enough for all snow or warm enough for mixed precipitation, freezing rain or all rain before changing over to snow?

"This system has quickly become the biggest headache in the forecast with lots of uncertainty and a potential higher impact event," the NWS Twin Cities says. 

If the NAM is accurate, there could be a swath of heavy accumulations. The latest run puts northern Iowa and Wisconsin, and maybe far southern Minnesota, in line for those higher totals. 


The Canadian, European and American models, shown in order from left to right below, are all similarly focused on the Minnesota-Iowa border for the heaviest snow. 

model outputs

After the Thursday-Friday storm blows through, the weekend will pass and attention will turn to what could be a doozy of a storm system somewhere in the middle of the country Tuesday-Wednesday next week. The storm track will determine everything, but with moisture unabated from the Gulf of Mexico there could be some significant weather associated with the system. 

"This storm will need to be watched," the NWS says. 

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