It's going to be a whopper of a snowstorm blasting through Minnesota Tuesday and Wednesday, as the National Weather Service has upped the forecast snowfall totals area wide.
The bullseye appears to be centered over the Twin Cities, with a foot of snow now possible by midday Wednesday. Winter storm warnings blanket nearly two-thirds of the state.
"Snowfall totals of 6 or more inches are likely in the warned area, with amounts of 9 to 12 inches expected from Fairmont, through Mankato and the Twin Cities to Rice Lake, Wisconsin," says the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service.
The heaviest snow is expected late Tuesday night into the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday.
Additionally, strong northwest winds gusting 30+ mph are expected overnight into Wednesday, so even after the snow stops falling, blowing snow could continue to be an issue. The snow will be wet and heavy, which should help mitigate some blowing and drifting concerns, but not all.
When the snow starts, it's going to come fast and furious.
"Basically, we'll go from having unrestricted visibilities, to visibilities of 1/2 mile or less in about 30 minutes, with snow rates near 2" per hour expected," the National Weather Service warns.
The onset of intense snow to start is forecast to last for a couple of hours before more modest, yet still up to 1-inch per hour rates, take over.
Here's what the NAM weather model radar simulation looks like.
Do note that if precipitation begins as rain or mixed precipitation, that could cut down snow totals. But as of now the weather service is plopping 9-12 inches of fresh snow over the metro and many surrounding areas.
Once we dig out of this behemoth of a storm, Minnesota will again be in the crosshairs of another sizable storm system that could bring precipitation Friday-Sunday, with the bulk of any potential snow coming during the weekend.
Right now, computer models suggest rain and mixed precipitation for the southern half of Minnesota, with the real accumulating snow concerns living in the northern half of the state. We'll provide updates on that system in the days to follow.