UPDATED: Winter Storm Warning Issued For Northern Minnesota Ahead Of Weekend Snow Storm
UPDATED 8:00 AM 12/4/21
The National Weather Service in Duluth has upgrade our previously-issued winter storm watch to a winter storm warning, effective from midnight tonight (Saturday night) through 6 am Monday for the area in pink in the map above.
Heavy snow is expected, from 6 to 10 inches possible in much of the warning area, with some places in elevated terrain along Lake Superior having the possibility of seeing 10-16 inches.
You'll also notice an area in far Northeastern Minnesota shaded in red. This is a blizzard warning, impacting Grand Marais and areas along the far tip of the arrowhead region during this storm.
Timing shows snow moving in from the west through the evening hours of Saturday, continuing through the day on Sunday. In a breakdown of snow timing (below), the Twin Ports area could see a half an inch or so by midnight, with the heaviest snow happening through the early hours of Sunday. Snow should taper off early Monday morning.
There continues to be some uncertainty with snowfall totals along the southern edge of the storm's path. The map below shows a line between Duluth and Walker and into Wisconsin being part of an area of question as to what to expect. That said, confidence still seems to remain high that the Twin Ports area could still see substantial snow this weekend.
UPDATE 7:30 AM 12/3/21
The National Weather Service in Duluth has issued a winter storm watch from midnight Saturday night through 6 am Monday morning for this weekend's storm, covering most of Northern Minnesota, including the Twin Ports area and onto the Wisconsin South Shore. While there is still some uncertainty with the exact path and snowfall totals to expect, there
While there is still some snowfall total uncertainty, the NWS office in Duluth has updated the possibility of Northland towns seeing 4+ and 6+ inches of snow in a new map, published earlier this morning. On that map (on the left below), much of the Northland sees favorable odds of seeing over 4 inches of snow, with the Iron Range, North Snore, and areas on the South Shore seeing the best odds. Duluth's odds of seeing 4+ inches still ranges high, at 88%.
In the other map (on the right, below), you'll see that there are sizable odds of seeing 6+ inches of snow across the region as well, with the greatest odds being areas along the Lake Superior shoreline. Odds of 6+ inches in the Twin Ports area are still pretty high, at 73%.
So, how much could we see? As the notes above explain, there are still variables that could impact that answer. Models are suggesting 4-8 inches of snow for the Twin Ports area in many cases. A clearer picture will continue to develop later Friday and into Saturday before the storm arrives.
ORIGINAL POST 11:53 AM 12/2/21
How appropriate for the first weekend of December - An opportunity for for some "shovelable" or "plowable" snow appears to be targeting the Northland for this weekend.
The National Weather Service has been keeping an eye on a low pressure system for this weekend that aims to bring the potential of 4+ inches of snow to parts of the region. The specifics remain a bit unclear, but a constant seems to remain - somewhere in the region is likely to get a solid coating of the white stuff before the start of next week.
What to expect
In an update on Wednesday from the National Weather Service in Duluth, they shared that the potential of seeing "more than 4 inches" of snow from this weekend's weather system exists across most of Northern Minnesota, including the Twin Ports area and up to near the Canadian Border.
As they mention in the message (and as is always the case in extended forecasts for winter weather), there is some uncertainty with what will happen. In recent computer models, the system has been trending northward, focusing on Northern Minnesota. Though, there is not full agreement in the models, as is often the case the further away from when the storm is expected.
An example of some of the disagreement in models is shown below. It shows 4 different models and what they expect by 3 pm Sunday afternoon. Each frame is a different model's expectation. Each one shows a slightly different path, but there seems to be some general agreement that somewhere in Minnesota will be getting some heavier snow.
But, how much snow could we really expect?
Before you get too excited, please remember that these are computer models, and there are real-life factors that can change the actual results of what happens.
Looking purely at what the models are suggesting, the center of the purple section of each of these models could see (on the high end) anywhere from 8 to 13 inches of snow. Specifically for the Twin Ports area, anywhere between 4 and 10 inches could come with this system. That's a big window. Again, uncertainty. Don't panic, but make sure the shovel is ready.
As things get closer, that picture will get more clear.
When could we expect this snow?
In the later part of the day Saturday, areas to the west of the Twin Ports are likely to start seeing snow. The Twin Ports itself would then probably see snow Saturday night and into Sunday, wrapping up Sunday night sometime.
Keep an eye on the latest conditions and make sure your winter car kit is in your vehicle. Even if we don't get a bunch of snow, it is a good idea to be ready for the winter season. We're just getting started!