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Saturday evening winter storm update

Widespread heavy snow is expected today with blowing snow possible within the Red River Valley and areas west. Look for 6 to 10 inches of snow in areas along and north of Highway 200 with precipitation beginning during the midday to afternoon hours. For areas south of HWY 200 and along/north of I-94, we are expecting anywhere from 4 to 6 inches of snow. A wintry mix is possible for areas in the Wahpeton to Wadena corridor and areas south as the storm approaches the region. This will quickly change over to snow through the evening. -NWS Grand Forks, ND

Current thinking is still depicting most of the snowfall being mostly south and along the North Dakota/Manitoba border tomorrow into Monday before the Low departs. Current NAM 3km is outlier today within model sets. Tomorrow morning will let us know more exactly whether the current thoughts are valid or not on the heaviest snow axis.

  • Winnipeg City: ~10cm ; worst case scenario ~15-20cm

  • Brandon: ~5-10cm ; worst case scenario ~15-20cm

  • Portage La Prairie: ~8-15cm ; worst case scenario ~15-20cm

  • Morris: ~10-15cm ; worst case scenario ~20-30cm

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Snowfall depiction 10:1 ratio (in cm) Thursday morning

.LONG TERM...(Sunday afternoon through Saturday) Issued at 251 PM CST Sat Feb 2 2019 "Afternoon satellite imagery shows a strong upper level low just off the California coast (see below). Model guidance continues to take this low through the central Rockies and into the central Plains/upper Midwest Sunday afternoon through Monday morning. As this occurs, impactful winter weather is expected to develop across eastern ND and into west central/northwest MN.

The first component to this winter weather event will be the potential for a wintry mix across west central MN. This morning`s sounding from Aberdeen shows a very prominent mid level 10 C warm layer. This warm layer is expected to linger across the ND/SD/MN tri- state area through Sunday afternoon due to continued mid level warm advection. This warm layer, combined with ample boundary layer saturation, will introduce the potential for a light wintry mix, including freezing rain, Sunday afternoon and into Sunday night across western MN before precipitation types change over to all snow. The second component is the heavy snowfall potential across the region. Strong and widespread synoptic lift will bring accumulating snow to much of the region Sunday afternoon through Monday morning. Although the main surface low will remain well to our south, strong mid and upper level deformation combined with the synoptic lift will allow a band of heavier snow to develop over the ND/northwest MN region. Current model guidance suggests the most likely region for this region of heavier snow is across northern ND and into northern MN - roughly north of the Highway 2 corridor. However, recent high- res guidance and a few GEFS members suggest the potential for additional banding driven by mid level frontogenesis across the southern RRV and into western MN late Sunday night. Confidence in heavy snow is highest for the Devils Lake region, but exact snowfall totals across much of the region will be driven by where this heavier banding sets up. Finally, there is potential for reductions in visibility due to blowing snow late Sunday afternoon and into Sunday night. Northerly winds at 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 30 mph will help drive cold advection, and hence favorable low level lapse rates for vertical momentum mixing, on the back side of the low. This will likely cause reductions in visibility and impacts to travel, especially in open/rural areas. Snowfall is expected to gradually taper off through the morning hours on Monday with winds diminishing by early afternoon. Impacts to the morning commute are likely, but conditions should improve by the late afternoon hours. Afternoon highs on Monday will remain in the single digits."

- NWS Grand Forks, North Dakota
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