Timing Out Thursday's Blizzard

Posted at: 02/19/2014 7:21 PM
Updated at: 02/19/2014 8:40 PM

8:30PM Update:  After looking over the latest computer model data coming in, the trend has been for a slower progression but stronger overall storm system.  We've boosted the expected snow totals a bit and subtle shift in placement has been made.  Blog below has been updated accordingly.

A rapidly strengthening winter storm will be moving across the upper midwest Thursday.  For Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa, the biggest threats will be heavy snow followed by a strong wind. 

We're expecting anywhere from 5 to 11" of snow, the heaviest falling right through the heart of the area.  Snow will wrap up Thursday night around 9pm to Midnight.

The strongest winds will be stirring up Thursday evening.  Widespread blowing snow, white outs, and major drifting will occur from sunset thru sunrise Friday.  Travel will be treacherous, and likely impossible as roads begin drifting shut.  I am recommending any travel plans that take you outside of city limits be postponed.

This can be a life threatening situation if you become stranded in the open, inadequately prepared for the elements.  While the air temperature will be in the teens and 20s most of Thursday night, the wind chill will be nearing -10°.  It's imperative, if you do become stranded, do not stray away from shelter seeking help.

Storm Tracker Break Down:

Midnight- 9AM:  First little bit of precipitation begins falling across the area.  Temperatures are warm enough that rain/freezing rain will be possible.  Impacts from any accumulations should remain rather minor.

After 9AM:  Wintry mixture changes over to snow.


Late Morning-Evening:  Snow will be heavy at times from late morning through the afternoon.  At times snowfall rates will be 1"+ per hour.  Don't be surprised to hear a clap of thunder in there too.

Sunset - Sunrise: Strong wind kicks up.  30-50 mph wind gusts will be common.

Wind won't significantly ease until after sunrise on Friday.  Until then I'm expecting many roads be impassible due to drifting.

Useful Links:

Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit ready if you ABSOLUTELY MUST venture out.
Use our Interactive Radar to track the worst of the storm.
Here's a list of Closings/Delays.
The Latest Watches/Warnings
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