Chris’s Forecast Ahead of Winter Storm

A wild day of weather is on tap across much of the Upper Midwest with a winter storm and severe weather all on tap over a relatively short distance.

Across Minnesota, Winter Storm and BLIZZARD Warnings are set to go into effect this evening and last through Saturday morning. Meanwhile, just south, severe storms are expected. The Storm Prediction Center has issued a rare, level 5 out of 5, HIGH RISK for severe thunderstorms well south of Minnesota across parts of eastern Iowa, western Illinois, and northeastern Missouri. This is where some strong and potentially violent tornadoes are expected this afternoon.

The Twin Cities metro area can expect an initially wet afternoon with periods of rain and rumbles of thunder. Winds will increase, and gust as high as 40 to 50mph by this evening.

For the evening commute, widespread rain will pick up as colder air is dragged southward from the north. This rain will quickly change over to a particularly heavy and wet snow between 7 and 8pm.

Heavy snow will last through much of the overnight hours, with snowfall rates potentially upwards of 2-3 inches per hour at times from the metro eastward into Western Wisconsin. Lighting and Thunder is also highly possible in addition to wind gusts of 40 to 50 miles per hour. Most across Minnesota will see 3 to 6 inches of snow, but from the metro eastward where the heaviest bands of snow develop, 5 to as much as 10 inches of snow could fall.

The sun will be out on Saturday and the wind will subside by the afternoon. The new snow on the ground will not last very long. The strong April sun will begin to melt the snow on Saturday and then the sun and temperatures near 50-degrees on Sunday will melt the rest of the snow.

What a forecast, but in Minnesota, we can handle this! Enjoy the weekend!

-Meteorologist Chris Reece