Leave it to Mother Nature to wallop Minnesota with a big dose of winter as the calendar turns to springtime. It sort of feels like putting some salt in the wound after a non-winter all season long and all of a sudden, WHAM!

Are we really surprised, though? I guess I can't say I am.

While we're still on the fringes of getting a truly reliable forecast with accurate snowfall totals, the numbers that are being floated around out there could double the amount of snow some places have seen total this winter, all in a matter of a few days!

Here's the latest on what to expect from this one-two punch of late March snow across the region.

Snow round 1: The "practice round" for the main event?

Being many across the region haven't had to test their winter weather driving or use their shovels or snowblowers much this winter, this is kind of like a warmup for what forecasters suggest may be the "big game" in a few days.

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This first snow event, happening Thursday night into Friday, looks like it will most directly target places in central and southern Minnesota. Snowfall totals in those areas could range from 3-5 to 4-6 inches through areas like Brainerd, St. Cloud, and the Twin Cities with some areas that could see a little more.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service
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Places further north could still see snow, but smaller amounts. Places north of Brainerd and into the Duluth area could see 1-3 inches of snow, but don't let that small amount of snow fool you. As the Duluth office of the National Weather Service warns, roads will get slippery and travel will get tricky.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service
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Things calm down for Saturday, then round 2 rolls around.

Snow round 2: The stage is set for the biggest snowstorm of the season

When you haven't gotten many snow storms, it doesn't take much to be the "biggest of the season", but this one doesn't look to disappoint.

Being referred to as a "messy" system, the storm that is predicted to start on Sunday and extend all the way through Tuesday is bringing a lot of moisture with it.

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What's making it "messy"? Besides the potential snow amounts, some areas could see mixed precipitation and/or rain during this storm. That makes predicting snowfall totals pretty tricky. With the storm still being several days away and questions about the overall storm path and where rain or mixed precip may fall, there aren't any firm predictions being offered quite yet, but we'll look at what could be possible with this storm.

The National Weather Service issued a prediction that the southern half of the state and an area extending toward Duluth has a 70-90% chance of seeing at least 4-6 inches of snow between Sunday morning and Monday morning. That's not the entire duration of the storm, however.

National Weather Service
National Weather Service
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How much snow could we get?

Considering the amount of moisture in this system, it isn't out of the question that some places could see over a foot of snow if it is cold enough for it to snow during the entire course of the storm.

IF the precipitation expected all were to fall as snow, here is what some weather models are suggesting for towns around Minnesota from the second storm:

  • Brainerd: 20 inches
  • Hibbing: 19 inches
  • Grand Rapids: 18 inches
  • Bemidji: 16 inches
  • Duluth: 12 inches
  • St. Cloud: 12 inches
  • Minneapolis: 11 inches
  • Fergus Falls: 11 inches
  • Moose Lake: 10 inches
  • Owatonna: 8 inches
  • Northfield: 7 inches
  • Rochester: 6 inches

Again, this is only one model with a lot of variables still at play, but woof.

We'll have to wait and see how things continue to shape up, but the word "messy" could be a very good way to describe this late-season snowstorm that appears to be heading our way.

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Gallery Credit: Nick Cooper