* Winter Storm Warning in effect, Blizzard Warnings south/west of MSP.
* Blizzard Warning area expanded to include south metro: Carver, Scott and Dakota counties under a blizzard warning through the evening hours.
* Moderate to heavy snow continues into the evening hours, tapering to flurries tonight.
* Heaviest snow bands setting up over the southern/eastern suburbs: best chance of picking up 16" or more of snow - 30 mph winds will carve out some 2-5 foot drifts. I'm pretty comfortable going 12-16" from Lakeville and Northfield to Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Hastings and Red Wing. But Elk River may see closer to 8-10" with 6-8" for Ham Lake, maybe 2-5" for far northern suburbs like Princeton and Cambridge. St. Cloud area: 2-5", no accumulating snow for Brainerd.
* Snow totals of 12-16" across much of the metro area by 9 pm tonight, closer to 4-8" for far northern suburbs. The steadiest/heaviest snow shuts off after 7 or 8 pm this evening.
* Going out on a limb: I think MSP will wind up with close to 16", making it one of the Top 10 Snowfalls for MSP. My hunnch is we'll come in #6 or #7 on the list; modern-day records dating back to 1891.
Most Snow Since 1991? Here are the top 6 snowfall amounts from a single storm. Not sure if we'll get to 16.7", but we may come close, certainly a Top 10 event. Data courtesy of the NWS and the MN State Climate Office.
* Close to blizzard criteria, especially outside the metro area. Sustained winds of 25-30 with gusts over 35 mph. will produce white-out conditions. I think the worst travel conditions will come just south of the Twin Cities - be very careful heading south on I-35, 55 and Highway 61.
* Dangerous wind chills tonight and Sunday - dipping to -30 F. at times. Significant threat of frostbite and hypothermia, a gradual drop in body temperature. Infants and the elderly are most susceptible.
Definitely "Plowable". Thanks to Tricia Frostad in Chanhassen for sending me a photo of the snowy scene outside her window. Snow is falling at the rate of an inch every 1-2 hours - even heavier bands setting up over the south metro of the Twin Cities.
* Latest snowfall reports are here, courtesy of the National Weather Service.