Snow, blowing snow likely Thursday and Friday

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect
Meteorologist Shawn Cale has the latest on the snow and blowing snow in the forecast for Thursday.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 1:19 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 10:03 PM CDT
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It is looking more and more likely that the spring storm system we’ve been tracking will be a dangerous one with the potential to bring 2 to 5+ inches of snow and 45+ mph wind gusts to our area Thursday, Friday and possibly even into Saturday. A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for much of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa from noon Thursday through Friday morning. While snow will stop falling by Friday morning, the strong wind gusts and blowing snow could continue to impact travel through Friday, Friday night and well into Saturday. The wind will gradually decrease throughout the day Saturday. This is a developing storm and we will be updating the forecast as it moves in. Check back for the latest updates on what is looking more and more likely to be a dangerous winter storm.

Here’s a more detailed look at the upcoming system.

Tonight will be cloudy and a bit breezy with temperatures falling into the mid 30s by daybreak.

A low pressure system that has been developing over the Rocky mountains will move northeast across Kansas and into Iowa tonight into Thursday morning. As this is happening, a cold front will also be moving in from the west. Rain will begin to develop across far southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa before daybreak Thursday. Rain will move northeast into south central Minnesota by mid morning. Rain will continue through much of the morning while temperatures are still above freezing. By late morning, the cold front will push through which will cause temperatures to drop and the wind to kick in. Rain will change to snow by early afternoon and snow will continue, heavy at times, through Thursday afternoon and Thursday night. Snowfall amounts will depend on when the rain changes to snow and how fast the snow moves out Thursday night. As of right now, it looks like snowfall will be in the 2 to 5 inch range with locally heavier amounts possible. The Mankato/North Mankato area will likely fall somewhere in the 2 to 4 inch range.

The biggest issue with this storm system will be the wind. Northwest wind gusts from 35 to 45 mph are likely and will create blowing snow and quite possibly whiteout blizzard conditions while snow is falling Thursday afternoon and night. Snow will stop falling from west to east Thursday night into Friday morning, but the strong 35 to 45+ mph wind gusts will continue through Friday, Friday night and much of Saturday. The wind will gradually decrease throughout the day Saturday. So, while the falling snow will only last for about 12 to 18 hours, the wind could continue to create travel impacts well beyond that time frame.

After the system passes, we are looking forward to another blast of Arctic air that will drop morning low temperatures into the single digits and keep our highs 15 to 20 degrees below average through the upcoming weekend. Temperatures will bounce back to near 40 degrees by Monday and Tuesday, but we are watching yet another potential system that could bring rain and snow by mid to late next week.

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