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Message from the MAC on the winter storm

One of the biggest winter storms in recent history is forecast for the Twin Cities this week based on the latest data from the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS has issued a winter storm warning from 3 p.m. Tuesday to 6 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 21-23).

The MAC wants to ensure all MSP tenants and partners understand that this winter storm event is expected to have a major impact on airport operations and transportation across the region.   

Please do what you can now to share this information with airport employees. All airport partners should prepare for winter storm conditions through Thursday afternoon, including excessive snowfall and blizzard-level winds.

Here is the summary of the predicted weather event:

  • Based on current data, meteorologists are forecasting a minimum of 19" of snow.
  • The storm will hit in two rounds:
  • The first round is forecast to begin Tuesday around 3 p.m. and subside Wednesday morning with total snow accumulation of 4-8". Snow rates of up to ¾" an hour are expected.
  • The second round is expected to hit the region Wednesday afternoon, with far more extreme conditions. The NWS expects several straight hours of snow rates of 1" to 2" per hour, especially in the late evening Wednesday and early morning hours Thursday. This second round of the storm event could add another 10-15" of snow.
  • High winds, with gusts up to 45 mph, are also expected.
  • The storm should move out of the region late Thursday morning, but the cleanup and impacts are expected to linger through to the weekend.

Given these anticipated conditions, we should all prepare for the following:

  • Significant air travel disruptions with canceled or delayed flights. Airlines have already begun issuing weather waivers, allowing passengers to change their flights without any fees.
  • A high level of stranded passengers due to canceled flights, especially Wednesday evening through Thursday.
  • The need to assist and serve stranded passengers for an extended time; concession operators may be requested to open or extend venue hours to meet demand.
  • Employees who may be unable to travel home or travel to the airport for work
  • Disruptions to mass transportation, as well as hazardous road conditions for drivers across the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota. The National Weather Service is already advising people to prepare to stay indoors and avoid travel by vehicle once the storm arrives.

If tenants or partners need additional resources or assistance from the MAC before or during this winter event, please email our Emergency Operations Center at   

The safety of our passengers, employees and all other airport users is our highest priority.

The MAC will continue to stay engaged with the NWS, airlines, tenants and other operating partners to make sure we have the latest information so we can all effectively prepare and respond throughout this winter storm event.


Roy Fuhrmann
Chief Operating Officer
Metropolitan Airports Commission