A significant storm system remains on track to bring Minnesota rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain, but where those types of precipitations fall will ultimately be determined by the precise storm track and temperatures at the surface and aloft.
According Tom Novak, precipitation Friday night in southern Minnesota could include thunderstorms, a wintry mix and even some freezing drizzle, with the bulk of the moisture associated with the system expected to fall throughout the day Saturday.
Some storms on Saturday could be strong or severe in southeast Minnesota, Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.
"Thunderstorms will be possible Saturday afternoon and evening, with a conditional threat that some could become strong to severe mainly south of Interstate 90. At this time, the main threats look to be damaging winds and hail," says the National Weather Service.
Check out the European model's lightning simulation from about 9 a.m. through midnight Saturday.
But where the ice and snow accumulates is where the most treacherous travel conditions can be expected, and for the Twin Cities, the National Weather Service is currently thinking (and this could change yet) that Saturday morning will start with a wintry mix or freezing drizzle, followed by a midday lull before the main wave of precipitation moves through, bringing parts of Minnesota snow, a wintry mix, freezing rain and all rain.
"The best potential of several inches of snowfall remains across west & central Minnesota Saturday night into Sunday morning," says the National Weather Service.
Here's a good look at the NAM computer model's radar simulation Friday night through Sunday morning. Clearly, it'll be a mess, but the Twin Cities right along that line where it could be a bit of everything.
What the European model shows
Snow: a narrow band of 1-3, perhaps even 4 inches in some spots, from southwest Minnesota up through the Twin Cities and into Wisconsin.
Freezing rain: biggest issues would primarily be in north-central Wisconsin, if the European model verifies.
What the Canadian model shows
Snow: minor accumulation in central Minnesota, with the highest amounts along the shores of Lake Superior.
Freezing rain: a narrow area of up to a half inch of ice in central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.
What the NAM model shows
Snow: pockets of heavy accumulation from southwest to east-central Minnesota.
Freezing rain: upwards of a half inch of freezing rain from south-central Minnesota, northeastward through parts of the Twin Cities and east-central Minnesota and into northern Wisconsin.