Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Rare May snow fall possible?

As flip the calendar towards May, you may be thinking that we are out of the woods for snow, right?  After all, the Twin Cities has seen nearly 18 inches of snow in April.  Well, I have some bad news for you.  Some snow is possible as a sharp cold front moves through Tuesday night, and ushers in cold Canadian air out of the northwest, where much of the country is still covered with snow.


We typically do not receive much snow in May.  The most snow the Twin Cities has ever seen during the month is three inches, which occurred three times.  Could this be a record setting year?  To be honest, it going to be a close call…too close.  It will all depend on where the snow band sets up, and placement of the rain/snow line.  The jet stream is setting up over northwest Minnesota by Wednesday night.


The Weather Prediction Center seems to believe that the likelihood of a couple inches of snow or more sets up across the southeastern Twin Cities metro into southwest Minnesota, including Rochester.


The two major American weather models tend to support this notion from the overnight runs on snow placement.  The NAM model overdoes amounts, but it represents where the heaviest snow will fall.  The GFS is a bit more in line realistically with amounts, and depicts snow amounts in the same general area.





The European model, which as of late tends to be the most accurate because of it’s ability to resolve data, shows the snow band from Duluth to the northwestern Twin Cities suburbs, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  At this point, I tend to believe the European is the outlier.


I think the Twin Cities will see a mixture of rain and snow Wednesday into early Thursday.  The question on accumulation is if we see a changeover to one precipitation type (p-type) during the event.  Still too early to pinpoint precise snow totals, but hopefully tonight will shed a bit more light.  Southeast Minnesota will definitely see snow accumulations.


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