Get ready for the biggest November storm in 9 years: potential for 10 Inches

Wednesday AM rush hour will be a slow-motion snowy slog

Paul Douglas
November 26, 2019 - 11:04 am

Thanksgiving festivities are imminent, but Old Man Winter doesn't seem to care about our impending travel plans. We schedule trips - the weather gets in the way. The first major winter storm of the season is still on track to dump (very) plowable snowfall amounts tonight and early Wednesday. Snow will fall at the rate of 1" an hour at times tonight, and most of the metro will wake up to 5-10" of snow Wednesday morning. There's an outside shot at 12" amounts, especially south and east of St. Paul. Either way, it should be a fairly impressive pile of slushy snow, and morning commutes tomorrow will be impacted in a big way.

NOAA snowfall predictions
NOAA and Praedictix

NOAA snowfall predictions
NOAA and Praedictix

Latest NOAA Predictions. This is NOAA NDFD snowfall data, showing close to a foot of snow for the Twin Cities - which still seems a little bit high to me, but out of the realm of possibility. I suspect (with compaction of snow and relatively mild ground temperatures causing some melting on contact) most of us in the MSP metro will wind up with 7-10". Still a respectable pile of white.

3 KM NAM prediction

NOAA 3 KM NAM Prediction. This is the 12z Tuesday model run, showing 7-9" for much of the metro - which may be closer to reality for most of us. Still (very) plowable, and tomorrow morning's commute may wind up being one of the 3 most challenging of the entire winter season. Nothing like easing into winter.

National Weather Service Update
Twin Cities National Weather Service

Timing the storm
Twin Cities National Weather Service

National Weather Service Forecast Snow Totals and Timing. The brunt of the snowfall occurs tonight, with snow tapering fairly quickly Wednesday morning. There may be enough upward motion for "thunder-snow" tonight, which implies snow falling at the rate of 2", even 3" an hour. A good night to stay off the roads.

Latest Watches and Warnings

Latest Watches and Warnings. NOAA has Winter Storm Warnings posted from Colorado to the U.P. of Michigan for treacherous travel conditions. Blizzard Warnings are in effect for metro Denver, with High Wind Warnings for much of the Midwest, including Chicago - for wind gusts as high as 50-60 mph by Wednesday as this storm gets wrapped up.

This should be the most November snow the MSP metro has experienced in 9 years, since 7.7" fell on November 13, 2010. This should also be enough precipitation (close to an inch liquid) to easily put us over the top and set a new record for the wettest year on record for the Twin Cities, going back to 1872. We are at 40.03" of liquid for the year, the all-time record is 40.3" set in 2016, which we may break by midnight tonight. Batten down the hatches - this too shall pass. Be safe out there tonight and Wednesday.

- Paul Douglas

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