Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Soggy and sloppy south; heavy snow north

Recent trends of the forecast weather models have shifted the storm track further north for Tuesday and , bringing the low pressure center into southwest Minnesota by Wednesday morning.


This northerly shift draw more warm air into the weather system to cause precipitation to fall mostly as rain during the duration of the storm.


Temperatures will climb well into the 30s in the Twin Cities, with some 40 degree readings expected across southeastern Minnesota near Rochester.


Precipitation will fall as a mix of rain and snow as temperatures hover around freezing Tuesday morning.


The mix will transition to all rain by Tuesday afternoon across the Twin Cities with snow falling from a line north of Isanti to St. Cloud.  Rain will continue across the metro and begin the transition back to snow Wednesday morning by 9 AM or so, where we may pick up an inch or two of snow when it’s all said and done.  Some parts of southeastern Minnesota may not see much precipitation of any kind as the “dry slot”, which I’ve mentioned for the last several days, works into the southeastern quadrant of the low pressure area.  The dry slot is like a shut off valve for moisture.  It can reduce the amount of available moisture to create snow quite impressively.


Central Minnesota will see the bulk of the snow from this system as it will remain cold enough for snow across this area.  Given then ample amount of liquid precipitation this system has to work with, amounts in excess of a foot of snow would not be shocking.  The bullseye for this heavy snow would be from Alexandria to Brainerd to the Duluth area.  Lake effect snows may push snow totals around Brainerd over a foot and a half!  Some places across the Arrowhead saw a foot of snow on Sunday, so residents will be digging out from a second round!

It’s finally starting to look like winter across the northern half of the state.  It only took us until the end of February to make it a reality.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Winter Storm Watch issued for Tuesday


The National Weather Service in Twin Cities/Chanhassen has issued a Winter Storm Watch... which is in effect from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon.

* Timing... snow is expected to develop by Tuesday afternoon and
continue through Wednesday. Snow may mix with or change to sleet and rain Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening along and south of a line from Redwood Falls through the southern Twin Cities Metro area.

* Main impact... snowfall amounts in excess of ten inches are

* Other impacts... significant disruptions to travel are possible
Tuesday and Wednesday should heavy snowfall occur. Gusty winds
Tuesday night and Wednesday may cause significant blowing and
drifting snow... which could exacerbate already poor travel

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A Winter Storm Watch means there is a potential for significant
snow... sleet... or ice accumulations that may impact travel.
Continue to monitor the latest forecasts.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Is the Twin Cities in line for the first major snowstorm of the season?

Earlier this week, it appeared the Twin Cities would take the brunt of a major winter storm with possible blizzard conditions. Over the last few days, the forecast models threw a curveball and shifted the heaviest snow across the northern sections of the state leaving the Twin Cities to about one inch of snow the latter half of Sunday into Monday morning.  The heaviest snows will now fall across central and northern Minnesota.  St. Cloud to Brainerd may see two to four inches of snow, while locations such as Duluth, Grand Folks, and International Falls may see four to seven inches of snow.  Areas near Grand Marais could see eight inches or more of snow.


Temperatures will be approaching 40 degrees by Sunday night, so there is the possibility that some of the snowflakes in the Twin Cities could be mixing with rain.

The southern part of the state may get in the action early next week as a more significant snow impacts the area Tuesday into early Wednesday.  Despite the erratic behavior of the models, there has been consistency so far on a more southern track with this system.  Some of the latest trends are that this system will have a lot of water in the upper atmosphere to work with, around an inch, to give it the capability of dropping a foot of snow to some locales.


One of the concerns I have with this system over the last couple model runs is dry air attempting to work its way into the low pressure center.  This could cut snow totals drastically, and will be something that has to be monitored over the next couple days.  I don’t think this weather maker is a slam dunk in terms of large amounts of snow as others are making it sound.


Officially in the Twin Cities, 18 inches of snow has been recorded for the season so far, or fifth least snowy of all time.  It is possible we could be off the top ten least amount of snow list by the end of next week!



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

First big winter storm likely late this weekend

This weekend may bring the arrival of the first major winter snowstorm of the season as a strong area of low pressure lifts from the Plains states into Minnesota by early Monday morning.  Strong winds are expected with this system with the tightly packed isobars on the surface map below to create blizzard-like conditions.  Winds in excess of 30 MPH will be possible at times.  The GFS model has been advertising this system since last weekend and there has been consistency from run to run of a significant storm impacting the area.  As my confidence grows with this system as each day passes, it’s more of a question of when, in terms of timing rather than if.


Moist air will be in place as this system will be able to tap into the Gulf of Mexico.  I do have some concerns about potential dry slotting across the southeastern quadrant of the system, but I do not think Minnesota will be affected by dry air attempting to work itself in to limit snow totals.


It appears the whole state of Minnesota will be impacted by this system with perceptible liquid in excess of a half inch.  This will lead to significant snowfall.  Based on the current models, amounts greater than a half foot are not out of the question.


I will continue to monitor this system towards the weekend and provide additional updates.  If you have any travel late in the weekend, or attempting to get to work Monday, it may be a very slow commute.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Snow totals from February 20th and 21st

Here is a map and listing of snow reports received from February 20th and 21st across the entire state of Minnesota.


Inches Location County


Lancaster Kittson
7.0 2 W Littlefork Koochiching
6.9 International Falls Koochiching
6.5 8 S Bigfork Itasca
5.8 7 Nw Two Harbors Lake
5.7 3 E Orr St. Louis
5.7 International Falls Koochiching
5.5 Bigfork Itasca
5.5 Dixon Lake Itasca
5.5 Sw Millerville Douglas
5.3 7 Nw Warren Marshall
5.2 8 S Bigfork Itasca
5.2 Mora Kanabec
5.2 Ottertail Otter Tail
5.0 3 E Orr St. Louis
5.0 6 N Roosevelt Roseau
5.0 Plymouth Hennepin
5.0 Thorhult Beltrami
4.8 2 Ene Plymouth Hennepin
4.8 4 Wsw Bruno Pine
4.8 Argyle Marshall
4.7 Sw Long Lake Hennepin
4.5 1 Nnw Crystal Hennepin
4.5 1 Nnw North St Paul Ramsey
4.5 7 Nw Two Harbors Lake
4.5 Greenbush Roseau
4.5 Long Lost Lake Clearwater
4.5 North St Paul Ramsey
4.2 Cotton St. Louis
4.1 International Falls Koochiching
4.1 Nashwauk Itasca
4.1 New Hope Hennepin
4.0 1 Ne Stillwater Washington
4.0 2 Nne Sturgeon Lake Pine
4.0 2 Wsw Hibbing St. Louis
4.0 Sebeka Wadena
4.0 Springfield Brown
4.0 St Louis Park Hennepin
4.0 Stillwater Washington
3.8 1 Ene Inver Grove Heigh Dakota
3.8 1 Wnw Richfield Hennepin
3.8 Halstad Norman
3.8 Inver Grove Heights Dakota
3.7 1 N Woodbury Washington
3.7 3 E Orr St. Louis
3.7 3 E Orr St. Louis
3.7 4 E Island Lake St. Louis
3.6 5 Nw Mora Kanabec
3.6 Duluth St. Louis
3.6 Moorhead Clay
3.5 10 E Holt Marshall
3.5 17 Nnw Saginaw St. Louis
3.5 3 Nnw Illgen City Lake
3.5 3 S Eveleth St. Louis
3.5 3 Se Lake Elmo Washington
3.5 5 Sw Kelliher Beltrami
3.5 7 W Grand Rapids Itasca
3.5 Chanhassen Carver
3.5 Larsmont Lake
3.5 Milaca Mille Lacs
3.5 Moorhead Clay
3.5 Rush City Chisago
3.5 Sabin Clay
3.5 Sandstone Pine
3.5 Two Harbors Lake
3.5 Wadena Wadena
3.4 Chaska Carver
3.3 4 S Sawyer Carlton
3.3 5 Nw Two Harbors Lake
3.3 Warroad Roseau
3.2 Murdock Swift
3.1 2 Sw Proctor St. Louis
3.1 5 Nw Duluth St. Louis
3.1 Long Prairie Todd
3.1 Onamia Mille Lacs
3.0 1 Ene St Michael Wright
3.0 1 Ese Chaska Carver
3.0 12 N Grand Rapids Itasca
3.0 2 Sw Eagan Dakota
3.0 2 W Hinckley Pine
3.0 3 N Cambridge Isanti
3.0 3 Wnw Rosemount Dakota
3.0 7 S Hillman Morrison
3.0 9 Nne Hermantown St. Louis
3.0 Alborn St. Louis
3.0 Askov Pine
3.0 Beaver Bay Lake
3.0 Benson Swift
3.0 Carlos Douglas
3.0 Chanhassen Carver
3.0 Cloquet Carlton
3.0 Finlayson Pine
3.0 Floodwood St. Louis
3.0 Moose Lake Carlton
3.0 Nnw Watertown Carver
3.0 Rothsay Wilkin
3.0 Silver Bay Lake
3.0 Waconia Carver
3.0 Wsw Little Canada Ramsey
3.0 Wsw Long Lake Hennepin
2.9 4 Nw Onamia Mille Lacs
2.9 7 N Rochert Becker
2.9 Carver Carver
2.9 Forest Lake Washington
2.8 1 Sw Edina Hennepin
2.8 1 W Woodland Hennepin
2.8 Annandale Wright
2.8 Cambridge Isanti
2.8 Cambridge Isanti
2.8 Cloquet Carlton
2.8 Forest Lake Washington
2.8 Red Wing Goodhue
2.8 S Cotton St. Louis
2.8 Sw Maple Grove Hennepin
2.8 Togo Itasca
2.7 1 Nne Maple Grove Hennepin
2.7 1 Sse Roseville Ramsey
2.7 Lakeville Dakota
2.7 Minneapolis Hennepin
2.6 Hastings Dakota
2.6 Se Lauderdale Hennepin
2.5 2 W Prior Lake Scott
2.5 2 W Prior Lake Scott
2.5 3 Ne Burnsville Dakota
2.5 3 Sse Ham Lake Anoka
2.5 4 Ese New Prague Rice
2.5 5 N Pillager Cass
2.5 Andover Anoka
2.5 Clara City Chippewa
2.5 Sauk Rapids Benton
2.5 St Cloud Stearns
2.5 Twin Valley Norman
2.4 3 Ne Duluth St. Louis
2.3 1 W Lutsen Cook
2.3 5 Nw Duluth St. Louis
2.3 Bloomington Hennepin
2.3 Detroit Lakes Becker
2.3 Hastings Dakota
2.3 Lakeville Dakota
2.3 Sacred Heart Renville
2.2 Inver Grove Heights Dakota
2.2 Nisswa Crow Wing
2.2 Pelican Rapids Otter Tail
2.2 St Cloud Stearns
2.2 St Paul Ramsey
2.1 8 Ne Bemidji Beltrami
2.1 Bemidji Beltrami
2.1 Theilman 1Ssw Wabasha
2.0 1 Se Northfield Rice
2.0 1 Ssw Lonsdale Rice
2.0 1 Sw Little Falls Morrison
2.0 2 S Battle Lake Otter Tail
2.0 3 Ene Montgomery Rice
2.0 3 N Brainerd Crow Wing
2.0 5 Nne Big Lake Sherburne
2.0 8 Ne Cook St. Louis
2.0 Dundas Rice
2.0 Embarrass St. Louis
2.0 Glenwood Pope
2.0 Kimball Stearns
2.0 Kimball Stearns
2.0 Little Falls Morrison
2.0 Long Lake Hennepin
2.0 Montevideo Chippewa
2.0 Morris Stevens
2.0 Plymouth Hennepin
2.0 Prior Lake Scott
2.0 Rice Benton
2.0 Ssw Montevideo Chippewa
2.0 St Cloud Stearns
2.0 Sw Ellendale Steele
2.0 Two Harbors Lake
2.0 Wabasha Wabasha
1.9 12 N Isle Aitkin
1.9 5 N Duluth St. Louis
1.9 Minneapolis Hennepin
1.9 Willmar Kandiyohi
1.8 1 S Hampton Dakota
1.8 Lakeville Dakota
1.8 Melrose Stearns
1.8 Wrenshall Carlton
1.7 Albert Lea Freeborn
1.7 Austin Mower
1.7 Chanhassen Carver
1.7 Grand Meadow Mower
1.7 Hastings Dakota
1.7 Rochester Olmsted
1.6 3 Sse Hoffman Grant
1.6 Byron 4N Olmsted
1.6 Byron 4N Olmsted
1.6 Jordan Scott
1.6 Preston Fillmore
1.5 1 Sw Tofte Cook
1.5 1 W Lutsen Cook
1.5 1 Wnw Green Isle Sibley
1.5 10 N Duluth St. Louis
1.5 5 Se Prior Lake Scott
1.5 9 Nne Bird Island Renville
1.5 Austin Kaal Tv Mower
1.5 Austin Kaal Tv Mower
1.5 Austin Kaal Tv Mower
1.5 Austin Kaal Tv Mower
1.5 Austin Kaal Tv Mower
1.5 Fergus Falls Otter Tail
1.5 Redwood Falls Redwood
1.5 Shakopee Scott
1.5 Sherburn Martin
1.5 Winthrop Sibley
1.4 1 Sse Sartell Stearns
1.4 5 Nne Willmar Kandiyohi
1.4 Holyoke Carlton
1.3 3 E Wright Carlton
1.3 Altura 5W Winona
1.3 E Owatonna Steele
1.3 Hastings Dakota
1.3 Lanesboro Fillmore
1.3 Reno 3Sw Houston
1.3 Reno 3Sw Houston
1.3 Rochester Olmsted
1.3 Rochester 2Ne Olmsted
1.3 Rochester 2Ne Olmsted
1.3 Rochester Ap 2Ne Olmsted
1.2 1 Sw Hinckley Pine
1.2 Elgin 2Ssw Olmsted
1.2 Elgin 2Ssw Wabasha
1.2 Ne Fairmont Martin
1.2 Ne Fairmont Martin
1.2 Peterson 1S Fillmore
1.2 Peterson 1S Fillmore
1.2 Spring Valley 3E Fillmore
1.2 Spring Valley 3E Fillmore
1.0 1 Nnw Cold Spring Stearns
1.0 3 Ne Burnsville Dakota
1.0 3 Ne Burnsville Dakota
1.0 5 N Pillager Cass
1.0 5 Sw Bruno Pine
1.0 Austin Mower
1.0 Byron 4S Olmsted
1.0 Duluth St. Louis
1.0 Hutchinson Mcleod
1.0 Lake City Wabasha
1.0 Mankato Blue Earth
1.0 Red Wing Goodhue
1.0 Winnebago Faribault
1.0 Zumbrota Goodhue
0.8 Shakopee Scott
0.7 15 N Grand Rapids Itasca
0.7 Caledonia Houston
0.7 Goodview Winona
0.7 Goodview Winona
0.5 Austin Kaal Tv Mower
0.5 La Crescent 1N Houston
0.5 Mantorville Dodge
0.5 Rochester Kttc Tv Olmsted
0.3 La Crescent Houston
0.3 La Crescent Dam 7 Winona
0.2 Minnesota City Winona
0.2 Minnesota City Dam 5 Winona