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Tuesday will mark the beginning of a significant spring storm that is likely to hammer North Dakota and possibly parts of northern Minnesota with heavy snow and high winds, while threatening to drop tornadoes all the way from southern Minnesota to Texas. 

Let's start with the severe weather threat Tuesday evening. According to the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service, how far north the threat goes will be determined by how far north the warm front can move. 

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"Of greatest concern is the increasing risk of severe weather, including the chance for tornadoes, Tuesday evening," says the NWS Twin Cities. 

The HRRR model has the warm front and higher dew points pushing all the way into south-central Minnesota, perhaps even the Twin Cities. If the NAM Nest model is accurate, the threat would be further south, more likely to stay in Iowa. For now, the Storm Prediction Center is basing its outlook on the further north solution. 


Everywhere south of the warm front, wherever it sets up, will be in a zone where all modes of severe weather will be possible, including large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. 

Here's the HRRR model, showing supercell storms erupting around Tuesday evening near southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa. 


'Crippling' winter impacts in ND, maybe MN

North Dakota is going to get absolutely rocked by a blizzard, and it's possible that far northwestern Minnesota is hit very hard by a foot or more of snow and blizzard conditions. 

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We repeat: North Dakota is going to get pounded with some locations receiving up to 30 inches of snow along with 50 mph winds.


Snow totals in Minnesota are far less certain: "Very very uncertain on snowfall amounts Grand Forks, Thief River Falls, and Fargo due to track of low pressure," says the National Weather Service office out of Grand Forks.

The forecast discussion Monday morning adds that "Accumulations of over 12" could occur a county away from where minor impacts may occur."

Keep in mind that snow compacting and melting, in addition to when rain changes over to snow, will impact snow totals. And even though there are some crazy inch amounts in the graphics below, all of the aforementioned variables will make it look like less on the ground. 

Here's how much snow the American, European and Canadian models are prediction Tuesday night through Friday. 

American model: 


European model: 


Canadian model:


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