Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Uuf Da! This one sounds like a beast - Major winter storm coming to our area on Wednesday afternoon

Early reports suggest that a storm bringing 20 to 30 mph winds and 8 to 12 inches of snow will hit west central Minnesota beginning mid-afternoon on Wednesday.

**The National Weather Service issued the following information on Tuesday night:

A winter storm warning for central and southern Minnesota and portions of west central Wisconsin starting Wednesday night.

A significant storm system is expected to impact the upper midwest starting as early as Wednesday night and lasting into Saturday. Due to the strength of this system and the prolonged period for which the snowfall is expected, there will be major impacts for travelers.

Although there remains some minor timing issues and the exact storm track is not entirely clear, the large nature of this system and its expected high energy and moisture content will lead to a broad area of heavy snow with some sleet and freezing rain across the Upper Midwest. This storm system is so complex that it will bring several bouts of precipitation with this event.

The first bout is expected to develop Wednesday afternoon and spread northward across the upper midwest. This wave has abundant warm air associated with it so there may be a mixture of sleet and freezing rain as far north as South Central Minnesota and parts of West Central Wisconsin.

The second wave is expected to impact the area Thursday afternoon through early Friday morning with wind speeds increasing from the North.

The final wave will likely be the wrap around moisture which will occur Friday afternoon as the storm system begins to depart the region. The precise timing of each wave of significant precipitation is still uncertain.

Lighter precipitation will likely occur during any lulls. As the storm approaches, snowfall amounts will be further refined. Total accumulations will likely exceed a foot over parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Some good advice: Keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency!

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