National Weather Forecast
A messy weather map is in place across a good portion of the nation on Thursday, with storms, icing, and snow possible. The area with the expected driest weather? The east coast!
Heavy snowfall of several inches (maybe even a foot in the mountains) will be possible from the western United States into the Upper Midwest through the end of the week. An inch or two of rain could fall along the west coast and in the central United States.
Skipping ahead to Friday, a widespread severe weather outbreak is possible across the Mississippi Valley, where an Enhanced Risk of severe weather (threat level 3 of 5) is in place. We will somewhat see two areas of severe storm activity to watch:
- Iowa/Missouri into the Ohio Valley: Storms are expected to form in the midday to afternoon hours on Friday near the area of low pressure and along the cold front. These storms will be fast-moving and initially capable of significant wind gusts and several tornadoes. As storms move east, they will likely form into a line by the late afternoon/evening hours, capable of damaging winds and embedded tornadoes.
- Mid-South: Storms that develop during the mid/late afternoon hours and persist into the evening and overnight hours will be capable of all severe weather hazards (hail, wind, tornadoes). There is expected to be a mix of individual and linear storms.
Forecast loop between 7 AM Thursday and 7 PM Friday.
We also tracking wintry weather on the north side of this messy spring system. This will come in two waves:
- Thursday into Thursday Night: For the Twin Cities metro and southern Minnesota, it will likely start off as some light snow or flurries midday Thursday before transitioning to rain. A few thunderstorms will be possible Thursday Night, and some of those could be strong in southwestern Minnesota. Farther north and west, some icing of up to around a tenth of an inch will be possible from Redwood Falls through the St. Cloud area to the Twin Ports. North of that in northern Minnesota, 3-6” of snow will be possible.
- Friday into Friday Night. A little lull in precipitation may occur Friday morning before more rain and snow move in midday/afternoon. This will change over to snow from northwest to southeast through the afternoon into the evening hours, with that changeover occurring in the metro sometime around or a little bit after sunset. Several inches of heavy, wet snow is expected to occur during this time frame. Winds will also be a concern, gusting up to 50 mph in parts of the state, potentially causing blizzard conditions.
First Round Of Snow: The heaviest will fall across northern Minnesota, where again 3-6” of snow could fall Thursday into Thursday Night.
Second round of snow: This will mainly target central and southern Minnesota, and there will be the potential of 4-10” of snow in a band across the region.
Icing: Areas from western Minnesota across central Minnesota to the Twin Ports could see between 0.05” and 0.15” of ice, mainly Thursday afternoon into Friday morning.
Winds: They’ll be strongest Friday into Friday Night, which is when we could see some areas of the state see wind gusts around 50 mph. These winds will cause blowing and drifting snow as well as whiteout/blizzard conditions.
Due to the expected snowfall with the first push of the system Thursday into early Friday, Winter Weather Advisories are in place in northwestern Minnesota. Winter Weather Advisories are also in place across central Minnesota for Thursday into Thursday night due to the icing potential (including St. Cloud). In central/southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, Winter Storm Watches have been issued for Friday into Friday Night for the potential of blizzard conditions and heavy snowfall.
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– D.J. Kayser