The pattern of getting hammered by a winter storm and then falling into a quiet couple of weeks has been the norm so far this winter in Minnesota, and it just so happens to have been a little more than two weeks since the state was last hit hard by a storm.
Nearly 9 inches of snow was dumped on the Twin Cities two days before Christmas, followed by couple of inches on Dec. 29. Since then, only a trace of snow has been recorded. That could change later this week if a storm system forecast to spin up over the Rockies and southwestern Canadian prairies moves southeast through the region.
"A little moisture later in the week. It's going to start maybe as rain Thursday changing to snow, differing scenarios as far as accumulations go," says meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.
"It does look like we see some snowfall, especially Thursday night when things cool off into Friday. The European model is actually the most aggressive this go-around – several inches of snow possible in the western part of the state during the day Thursday, and then it probably translates over to snow for us (in the Twin Cities) at some point after we see a bit of a mix Thursday."
According to the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service, "there is growing support for a more southerly track" of the system, including the European model currently projecting what the weather service says would be "much bigger issues than light rain, freezing rain, and snow showers."
"It has a full scale blizzard in the eastern Dakotas and western MN Thursday into Friday,"the NWS Twin Cities' forecast discussion says of the European model.
Nothing is guaranteed this far ahead of the storm system, as it could easily stay north and impact Canada while leaving Minnesota breezy and mostly dry.
However, the Duluth office of the NWS mentions in its forecast discussion that model guidance is indicating "increasing probabilities for significant accumulating snow" across its forecast area of northern Minnesota.