Paul Douglas has the latest update on the impending winter storm

With this storm snow totals almost will not matter because of the high wind

Paul Douglas
January 17, 2020 - 11:30 am

Now that the snow is gradually moving into the Twin Cities, here's an update from WCCO's Paul Douglas on what to expect:

Snow should reach the metro between noon and 2 pm, and then snow will fall at the rate of 1"/hour through rest of the afternoon, evening and early tonight.

It will be a very slow Friday PM commute; MSP may have 3-4" of snow on the ground by 5 pm or so with low visibility and strong winds.

Snow through Sunday
(Courtesy of Praedictix)

Heaviest snows taper off during the wee hours of the morning, but then the winds will pick up, topping 35-40 mph at times, creating white-out conditions. The best chance of blizzard conditions will come over far western Minnesota, where the National Weather Service has posted Blizzard Warnings. No travel is recommended in this area late tonight  into midday Saturday. It's going to be very rough out there.

I'm still going with 5-10" for most spots by lunchtime Saturday; a few spots could still see closer to a foot. It becomes almost academic, because high winds will spark severe blowing and drifting, and the snow will become difficult to measure. Let's just say it'll be....enough.

Peak Wind, Saturday
(Courtesy of Praedictix)

I would hesitate driving unless absolutely necessary from this evening through the morning hours Saturday. Conditions will go from impassable to merely treacherous Saturday afternoon. If you have the option, wait until Sunday to travel and dig out as winds finally subside.

Watches and Warnings, Snow Storm
(Courtesy of Praedictix)

If you don't like the snow and cold, consider this: temperatures thaw the latter half of next week with a string of 30s. I still don't see any extended polar outbreaks, not the week after week of subzero air we suffered through last winter. Small consolation, but the flow is still more Pacific than Arctic.

Temperature Outlook
(Courtesy of

If you like snow, it's almost time to celebrate: this will be a dry, powdery, Colorado-like snowfall. Conditions for downhill, cross country and snowmobiling should be ideal by Sunday; about as good as it ever gets!

Here are all three of the weather models so you can see that they all pretty much agree on what we're getting for totals.

Snow Total 1
(Courtesy of

Snow Total 2
(Courtesy of

Snow Total 3
(Courtesy of

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