Just a few hours after our last round of snow, and we are already talking about another storm… this one though will pack more of a punch. It doesn't look like it will bring a terrible amount of snow, but it will bring significant winds to the area followed by another arctic plunge that will rival our first one in the beginning of January. First though, let's talk about the snow. Amounts don't look all that impressive in general, but widespread 1 to 4 inches of the light and fluffy snow looks pretty likely. Here is what a couple of the computer models are saying.
Not a lot by any means. According to these models, most areas will see 1 to 3 inches, but the last couple of storms have overachieved on the snow totals, so the pattern may continue without the models realizing it, so it still looks like 2 to 4 with the bulk of us on the lower end of that scale.
Now, this storm will not bring everything at once; it will have 3 waves. The first will be the snow which will arrive Saturday night and stick around through Sunday. Next is the wind, which won't be picking up until midday Sunday and those will be very gusty right through Sunday night. Lastly comes the ridiculous cold with temperatures plummeting Sunday night and early Monday. So here is a look at the second of the two; the wind. Check out the expected wind speeds Saturday night.
Not all that bad right? Just starting to pick up in southwest Minnesota, but the metro is encased in the very light wind speeds. Now check out midday Sunday and then Sunday evening…
Far worse shape with the orange color showing sustained winds over 20mph and the red color showing sustained winds over 35mph. With the fresh coating of light and fluffy snow, those components pose the risk for more blizzard conditions across much of central and southern Minnesota with the metro just off the eastern fringe.
Once the winds start to calm, the bitter cold takes hold. Below you can see where that arctic air mass originates with the images below showing the core of the cold air moving southward at 5000 feet. The first image is from Friday afternoon, followed by Saturday evening, and then Monday morning.
This cold air encompasses much of the eastern 2/3 of the country and will rival the kind of cold we saw during our first Arctic outbreak of the year a couple of weeks ago. Check out what forecasting computer models are showing for nationwide highs and lows Monday and Tuesday. Remember, these are not a forecast, but just raw data that the computer model spits out.
PLENTY COLD either way…here we go again!