Storm will trigger high waves, could again damage Duluth's shoreline

One of the most complex winter storms in my forecasting memory is on our doorstep. Here’s what we know as of Wednesday morning:

• The forecast track has shifted a bit north from what models were indicating on Tuesday.

• Heavy snow will spread slowly from southwestern Minnesota to the Arrowhead.

• Blizzard conditions will cause travel to become nearly impossible mainly in west central Minnesota beginning Wednesday night.

• A wintry mix with much lesser amounts of snow will fall on south central and southeastern Minnesota.

Duluth harbor area threatened again

Powerful northeast winds across Lake Superior are forecast to drive huge waves into the Duluth harbor on Thursday. Shoreline flooding and damage are expected.

Shoreline flooding and damage are likely in the Duluth Harbor area on Thursday.

Twin Cities

Precipitation will likely reach the Twin Cities by early Wednesday afternoon. Expect a variety of wintry mix from then through Thursday, then snow Thursday night and Friday.

Mixed precipitation has been falling on a broad area of southern Minnesota this Wednesday morning. Several weather stations in the southwest corner have been reporting thunderstorms.

Heavy, wet snow will spread slowly northeast from southwestern Minnesota to the Arrowhead.

Winds will increase and cause widespread blowing and drifting beginning Wednesday night, especially in west central Minnesota where a blizzard warning will go into effect Wednesday evening and continue into Friday.

Travel conditions are likely to become nearly impossible in the blizzard area as heavy snowfall will be accompanied by wind gusts of 40 to 50-plus mph in open areas.

Winter storm warnings will be going into effect for less-severe winter conditions of snow and blowing snow from New Ulm to Buffalo, Brainerd and most of northern Minnesota.

The Twin Cities area will be right on the edge of white versus wet weather on Wednesday and Thursday. Expect periods of rain, sleet and snow or a combination through that period.

Precipitation should be in the form of wet snow from Thursday night into Friday.

A greater amount of rain or sleet would decrease the snowfall total. Either way, they ground is warm so some snow will melt either due to the rain or the warmth of the ground.

Metro snowfalls could be around 3 to 6 inches with greater amounts just to the northwest side, but that is a rather low-confidence forecast due to the expected variability of precipitation type.

Milder temperatures will get snowmelt underway this weekend.

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