Forecast: A foot of snow, an arctic blast
Get those shovels and snowblowers ready: A winter storm taking aim at the Northland may drop in excess of a foot of snow by the time it moves out on Wednesday.
And you'll want to get the wet snow removed quickly, because it'll be followed by a blast of arctic air that may leave daytime highs struggling to climb above zero by next weekend.
"It's one of the classic ones that bring us plenty of snow," said meteorologist Greg Frosig with the National Weather Service in Duluth.
That means a storm moving out of the Rockies and tracking into the Upper Midwest, and combining with lots of moisture streaming up from the Gulf of Mexico.
"It's going to be several waves of snow" starting today, Frosig said. As of Sunday night, forecasts were calling for 3 to 6 inches of snow across the region today through tonight, before an expected break in the precipitation tonight into Tuesday morning.
A second, heavier round of snow is expected Tuesday into Tuesday night; "that's going to be the main event," Frosig said.
When it's done Wednesday, snowfall may reach 10-15 inches for the Twin Ports and across Northeastern Minnesota. Northwestern Wisconsin may see slightly less snow, perhaps 8-12 inches. The snow that falls should be of the heavy, wet variety.
On Sunday, the Weather Service issued winter weather advisories for the region to be in effect for the next several days, though those may need to be upgraded to a winter storm warning if heavy snow develops as expected.
In the wake of the snow will come northwest winds ushering in arctic air. Temperatures are expected to start in the teens on Thursday morning before tumbling. Lows should fall well below zero Thursday night.
By the weekend, overnight lows may fall into the teens below zero and daytime highs may not rise above zero in some parts of the Northland, with the potential for dangerous wind chills.
Through Sunday evening, the seasonal snowfall at the Duluth airport stood at 5 inches, which is 11.6 inches below normal. As of Dec. 1 last year, Duluth had received 11.3 inches of snow.