Thursday 12/26/19: Rain and snow on the way to Minneapolis

After a pretty impressive set of high temperatures in Minneapolis and throughout Minnesota for Christmas, we’re now watching a major storm that’ll work its way through the Midwest this weekend.

This storm will start with mainly rain for much of Minnesota, until it switches to snow toward the end. Before any of that comes, there’s already actually a weak storm system that’s been passing over Minnesota:

You can already see some blue over western South Dakota and Nebraska on the left side of the image above – and there’s a lot more of that to come.

Here’s a more broad view as we fast-forward a little bit – now to Friday evening:

What we have is a fairly weak wave of energy to start with over the central Plains states – which quickly intensifies as it heads over Minnesota.

It’s kind of a clash of the titans, at this point, with cold air being pulled in from a much colder central/western Canada — going head to head with air over the Plains and the Midwest that is unseasonably warm. The clash creates a quickly-strengthening/organizing low pressure center.

Here’s the future radar by around midnight to 1 a.m. Friday night to Saturday morning:

The warm air wins at first over Minneapolis/St. Paul, at least after overcoming some initial mixed/snowy precip. By 7-8 a.m. Saturday morning rain moves into the Twin Cities for the duration:

One thing to watch as this storm strengthens, is that it becomes more of a “comma head” — or mature — cyclone. That means it draws in and creates what’s known as a dry slot – and area within the storm that is either dry, or mostly dry. You can see it in the image above near Sioux Falls in SE South Dakota.

Look at this image, then, of the future radar by Sunday morning/midday:

We’ll see snow over northern and western Minnesota, but potentially dry air over the Twin Cities and down toward Mankato and Rochester, as well as Wisconsin.

Should this solution play out – we’ll mostly see just light snow – possibly under 1″ – around Minneapolis/St. Paul, with any snow holding off all the way through Sunday and into Sunday night to Monday.

Stay tuned!



Published by Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer

Aaron graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, and worked as a meteorologist in television for 8 years (NBC affiliates in Wyoming and South Dakota, and the CBS/Fox affiliate in Cedar Rapids, IA, prior to working at the cable weather station WeatherNation). While in Iowa, Aaron worked as a storm chaser and on-air meteorologist, where he went on dozens of storm chases and saw a number of tornadoes.

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