As the track and timing of this strong weather system becomes more clear, the National Weather Service has decided to issue a winter storm watch for portions of Northern Minnesota, marking the first winter storm watch of the 2017-2018 winter season. This watch goes into effect on Thursday afternoon, and remains in effect until Friday evening with the potential of snow, sleet, or ice accumulations that could impact travel.

The good news for folks in the immediate Duluth-Superior area is that snowfall totals are expected to be less than 4 inches, however areas north of the Twin Ports could see anywhere between 4-8 inches during this snow event. This winter storm watch covers the Minnesota Arrowhead, Iron Range area, and the counties along the Minnesota-Canada border.

Timing for this snow event as of right now sees rain changing to snow on Thursday evening, with the heaviest snowfall expected between 9 pm Thursday night and 6 am Friday morning. Areas in the Twin Ports near Lake Superior could see 1-2 inches of snow, while areas away from the lake in the Twin Ports area could see 2-3 inches. Much of the precipitation around the Twin Ports area is expected to be rain, with overnight snowfall making up most of our snowfall. Parts of the Iron Range could see 3-4 inches, while pockets near Grand Marais, Ely, and International Falls could see 4-8 inches of snow. The biggest unknown is exactly rain will change to snow around the region, which will have a major impact on how much snowfall is seen around the area.

National Weather Service