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As temperatures surge to near 70 degrees in the Twin Cities on Sunday, a potent storm system that will be capable of dumping heavy rain and maybe even accumulating snow is just a few days away. 

It's still unclear how strong the storm system will be and how much snow will be possible (and where the snow will be possible), but the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities says models are favoring "a more powerful storm system with heavier precipitation for the region." 

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The timing of the storm system looks to bring precipitation chances to Minnesota beginning Wednesday and lasting through Friday as the system stalls out over the Great Lakes. 

Here's a roundup of what the NWS offices from the Twin Cities, Duluth and Grand Forks are saying about the storm system. 

NWS Twin Cities: Temps should be cool enough to support some snow after the initial precipitation falls as rain, but "any accumulation would likely be light" in the Twin Cites area. 

"However, there is still plenty of uncertainty regarding the timing of this transition from rain to snow, especially across western and central Minnesota. A transition earlier on Thursday, as currently looks possible over the Dakotas & northern Minnesota, could lead to more impactful snowfall accumulations. Northwest winds will also become quite gusty late Thursday into Friday, which could impact travel in any areas that see snowfall amounts of more than a few inches."

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The Twin Cities is yet to receive its first measurable snowfall of the season. The average first measurable snowfall, which is at 0.1 of an inch, is Nov. 4. The latest on record was in 2016 when it didn't happen until Nov. 18. 

NWS Duluth: Rain on Wednesday will change to mixed precipitation by Wednesday night before a transition to all snow Friday night. 

"It's at this point where minor accumulations will be possible across portions of northern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin, with lake effect snow showers persisting the upcoming weekend for South Shore locations."

The weather service says it's just too early to "get excited" about any significant snowfall accumulations, noting however that it "does seem certain that our region will finally have its first taste of winter." 

NWS Grand Forks: "Rain is expected to change over to snow from northwest to southeast as we head into Thursday morning, with most areas seeing either snow or a rain/snow mix by midday. Some areas may change back to rain during the afternoon, however, temperatures will generally be falling throughout the day, thus any change in timing or track could change this significantly."

"As for accumulations, snow will struggle to accumulate at first, with totals heavily dependent upon longer exposure to higher snowfall rates. The area most likely to see higher impacts will be the northern Red River Valley, eastward into northwestern Minnesota given the current track."

Meanwhile, AccuWeather is already forecasting rain changing to snow Wednesday night into Thursday, saying accumulating snow will be possible in many areas "from the Dakotas and Nebraska through Minnesota and Wisconsin into western Ontario.

"The storm's track will determine exactly where the heaviest snow totals will occur," AccuWeather says. 

What are the models showing?

This is where people start to freak out, but you need to take these maps with a ton of suspicion because nobody knows just yet how cold it will get and how fast rain will change over to snow. 

The American model continues to be extremely aggressive and showing crazy amounts of snow in far northern Minnesota. 

GFS (American) model

GFS (American) model

The European model is suggesting accumulating snow in western and northern Minnesota. 

European model 

European model 

The Canadian model isn't as potent but has minor accumulations possible across pretty much the entire state. 


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