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Areas north of Interstate 394 got a dusting to an inch of snow with the system that moved across southern Minnesota on Tuesday, but the southern suburbs and parts of south-central and southeast Minnesota far-exceeded expectations. 

A whopping six inches was reported in Northfield, which was a smidge more than the 1-2 inches the National Weather Service was expecting. So what happened?

"We encountered very favorable dendritic growth during the day today allowing this snow event to create a lot of snow out of a little water with snow ratios of over 20:1 observed," the NWS Twin Cities said. 

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Here are some of the snow totals so far: 

  • 6 inches - Northfield
  • 5.3 inches - Elko New Market, Henderson
  • 4.4 inches - Farmington
  • 3.5 inches - Apple Valley, North Mankato, Winthrop
  • 3.4 inches - Mantorville
  • 3.2 inches - Rochester
  • 3 inches - Red Wing, Lakeville, Rosemount, Carver, Savage, Waseca, Byron
  • 2.5 inches - Eden Prairie, Inver Grove Heights, Victoria, Savage, Kasson
  • 2 inches - Bloomington
  • 1.2 inches - Falcon Heights

Another brief shot of light snow – the weather service expects an inch or less – is possible Thursday before a more robust storm moves through the region on Friday. 

Looking ahead to Friday snowstorm track

On Monday the storm tracks being generated by the main weather service computer models showed a healthy Friday snowstorm a narrow-but-heavy band of snow right over the Twin Cities metro, but that storm track has shifted south in the latest model updates on Tuesday. 

Tuesday's model runs put the heaviest band of snow over far southeastern Minnesota, with places like Rochester, Winona and La Crosse, Wisconsin, in line for what could be 6+ inches of snow. 

"Most signs point to a fairly narrow swath of heavy snow developing to the northwest of the surface low track, wherever that may be, with a tight gradient to the north and south," the NWS says. 

The key now will just where the Colorado low tracks, with the northwest side of the low producing the narrow swath of snow with a tight snowfall gradient. 

"We will have to see if this southerly trend continues even further trend for another day, or whether it is just a 24 hour aberration, but at this point the greatest risk for heavy snow does appear to be trending towards southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin," the NWS added. 

Here are the latest model runs that show the southward shift from yesterday's guidance. 

European model: 

ecmwf-deterministic-minnesota-total_snow_10to1-9364400

American model:

gfs-deterministic-minnesota-total_snow_10to1-9278000

Canadian model: 

gem-all-minnesota-total_snow_10to1-9364400

We'll have more updates Wednesday with Sven Sundgaard and Novak Weather, so be sure to check in again for the newest storm track and forecast. 

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