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Winter is Coming! Record snow falls on parts of the Northern Plains Tuesday

Minneapolis saw nearly 8 inches of snow Tuesday

Record snow over Minneapolis on 10/20/2020
Record snow over Minneapolis on 10/20/2020 (Minnesota Department of Transportation)

ROANOKE, Va. – While parts of our area come short of record warmth Wednesday afternoon, our neighbors to the north are shoveling out of record snow left over from Tuesday. This comes just a day after communities just north of Des Moines were hit with a snow squall that dumped several inches of snow.

Parts of Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin turned into a winter wonderland Tuesday. While snow in October isn’t uncommon, snow of this magnitude is.

Snow depth as of 10/21/2020

Minneapolis officially recorded 7.9″ of snow, which is a record for the highest snowfall total this early in the season. On average, the first inch of snow in the Twin Cities comes in mid to late November.

Eau Claire, Wisconsin broke the same record after receiving 6.9″ of snow. Places like Rhinelander, Wisconsin, Duluth, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota got a healthy dose of snow as well (between 4 and 6″).

Snow totals in MN and WI from 10/20/2020

Other cities like Rochester, Minnesota, Wausau, Wisconsin, Grand Forks, North Dakota and Aberdeen, South Dakota received anywhere from 1 to 3 inches of snow.

With marginally cold air already in place, a storm system developed on the lee side of the Canadian and Montana Rockies. This system hitched a ride on the jet stream and is now producing rain and storms through parts of the Midwest and Ohio River Valley.

Upper air pattern as of 10/21/2020

We’re too far south to feel any effects from this particular storm. Another storm will dump more snow on Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming and Minnesota by Thursday. This system will slowly move south and give us the chance for rain showers by Saturday afternoon.


About the Author:

Meteorologist Chris Michaels is an American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcaster, forecasting weather conditions in southwest Virginia on WSLS 10 News from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays on Virginia Today.