* Cold, dry start - no problems getting into work/school/store this morning.
* Freezing drizzle may arrive by midday - with temperatures around 28 around noon a few roads may become glazed with ice. Watch the bridges and secondary roads - major roads, interstates and freeways should remain mostly-wet.
* Sleet (ice pellets) changes to wet snow this afternoon, an inch or two by 6 pm. Expect a slow PM commute. A winter weather advisory is in effect.
* Temperatures hold between 30-32 this afternoon - wet freeways may become icy/snow-covered after 5 pm.
* Snow totals range from 2-4" in the metro area - more north and east of the Twin Cities.
* Wet roads will become icy after 7 or 8 pm - a few inches of snow likely on top of the ice, making for very poor travel conditions tonight. In general, the later in the day you travel, the worse the conditions will be on area highways.
Here It Comes. No, it's not exactly Snow-Mageddon, but the comma-shaped swirl showing up on the infrared satellite image is a hint of trouble to come later today, a relatively brief, concentrated burst of snow (possibly spiked with a little ice). I still expect a "plowable" accumulation - enough to shovel, scrape and plow - treated freeways stay mostly-wet up until 4 pm or so - but most roads will become snow-covered after 6 or 7 pm, as temperatures fall rapidly through the 20s.
Monster Tornado. Shortly after 3 pm a half-mile wide tornado slammed into Caledonia, Illinois, leaving behind a trail of destruction and multiple injuries. The damage is extensive, as you can see in this YouTube video clip. The BBC has more on the unusual late-season outbreak of severe weather in the Chicago area here.
A Taste Of What's To Come. In spite of bright sun over much of central and southern MN temperatures only reached 17 at Alexandria, 23 in St. Cloud and 24 in the Twin Cities. 2.5" snow fell at Duluth, 3.5" at International Falls, where there is a healthy 11" on the ground - finally!
Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Life In The Hothouse: How A Living Planet Survives Climate Change. Author Melanie Lenart wrote a book focusing on how we might someday (soon) adapt to a warmer, stormier, more unpredictable environment. An excerpt from the article: "I also wrote it for people who want to go beyond global climate model projections. A close look at how the planet fared during past hothouses and warm periods makes it clear that we humans would face tremendous problems with even a slight warming, much less some of the numbers we are talking about for later this century. Forests might survive in many places they exist today, and perhaps even expand in others — but these changes still often involve fire and other die-offs along the way. Storms and hurricanes might help cool the warmest parts of the planet, but they still do tremendous damage when they strike cities. Heat waves, drought, floods that are off the charts, such as what we’ve seen in Pakistan and, for that matter, Rhode Island — these are the types of problems that come with changing climate."