* Chance of significant snowfall has diminished a bit today, leaning toward a coating, mixed with freezing drizzle at times. Afternoon highs near 30 should mean wet/slushy interstates/freeways - side streets and bridges may become icy. I'm more concerned about icing today than accumulating snow. Freeways/interstates may be wet/slushy, but side streets and bridges may become very icy by midday/afternoon.
* Brief break in the action Friday as temperatures fall through the 20s.
* Second, much more significant snowfall late Friday night into Saturday. Unlike today's wet, slushy (icy) snowfall, Saturday's snow will be dry/powdery/fluffy - quick to accumulate, prone to blowing and drifting by afternoon and evening, especially outside the metro area. Potential for over 12" close to home.
* Dangerously cold weather arrives over the weekend - wind chills dip into the -20 to -35 range by Saturday night and Sunday. Highs will not climb above zero across much of Minnesota Sunday and Monday, including the metro area.
* I realize this is Minnesota - the locals know how to dress/adapt for bitter cold, but it's worth repeating: the risk of frostbite and hypothermia (gradual drop in body temperature) will be very high from late Saturday into midday Monday. Plan on checking in with older friends, family and neighbors to make sure their homes/apartments are staying warm enough. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, disorientation and "gibberish" - if you suspect hypothermia call 911 immediately.
Latest Model Guidance. The 12z NAM/WRF model prints out close to an inch of liquid precipitation Saturday with a snow/rain ratio expected to be somewhere between 15/1 and 20/1. That could translate into as much as 1 to 2 FEET of snow for MSP by Saturday night. Sustained winds are forecast to be 23 mph. by 6 pm Saturday - meaning (in reality) winds may be in the 25-35 mph range, close to blizzard criteria. I'm not predicting a blizzard yet, but each passing run looks more impressive in terms of snow and wind. It's unclear where the heaviest snow bands will set up, but there is little doubt that a major snowstorm will create a fair amount of havoc Saturday, followed by the coldest December day in 2 years.
More Tornadoes In Unusual Places. This time it's a YouTube clip showing an apparent touchdown in Portugal. Very odd to see tornadoes - in Europe - in December?
Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
THURSDAY NIGHT: Light snow and freezing drizzle, coating to an inch possible. Low: 18
SATURDAY NIGHT: Flurries taper - wind chill dipping to -25 at times. Low: -8
"I knew I was on thin ice when a close friend who is CEO of a tech company cautioned me: "It will get attention, and people will call it BS, and I will be one of them." It was a sobering comment echoed by the folks at Ad Age when they gently suggested I better have a damn good argument as claiming that Facebook has "jumped the shark" was likely to be "controversial."