Please don't adjust your computer screen or smartphone settings. Yes, there are new colors showing up on the weather models, suggesting extreme amounts of snowfall this week, mainly over central and southern Minnesota and Wisconsin. 1-2 FEET by Friday with a potential for even more in a few spots? Good grief. Deep breaths. Snowfall totals are still up in the air but this could be one of the snowiest weeks in years.

This will be a long-duration, slow-moving storm system coming in phases, with cold temperatures that will make the snow more powdery and prone to blowing and drifting. Blizzard conditions are possible in some areas by Thursday.

ECMWF predicted snowfall by Wednesday AM
ECMWF predicted snowfall by Wednesday AM, courtesy of WeatherBell

A Few Weather Headlines...

1). The heaviest snowfall totals this week will probably remain (just) south of Duluth/Superior, but it may be a close call. From today through early Wednesday morning about 3-6" of snow is expected. Plowable but you should get around OK.

2). The main storm tracks from Denver to Waterloo, Iowa Thursday, drunk on a deep layer of moisture streaming in from the Gulf of Mexico. Heaviest snow falls Wednesday night and Thursday as the storm tracks just south of Minnesota toward Milwaukee, with heaviest snow bands setting up a 100-200 miles north and west of the track, deeper into the cold air.

3). Travel may be most difficult Wednesday and Thursday with blowing and drifting snow and possible white-out conditions. Blizzard Warnings may have to be issued by Thursday. Heaviest amounts may stay south of Duluth, but by Friday snowfall totals for the week could easily be in the 8-12" range with 1 to 2 foot totals over central Minnesota and central Wisconsin.

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GFS snowfall totals by Friday morning, courtesy of
GFS snowfall totals by Friday morning, courtesy of

You thought winter might be winding down? Old Man Winter heard you and is about to create a "here, hold my beer" moment. Take it easy out there this week. This will be pretty bad, even by Minnesota standards, and record snowfall amounts can't be ruled out to our south. Commuters won't be happy. But snow lovers are grinning, and it's very good for Minnesota's drought.

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