Saturday, January 8, 2011

Prognisticators See Long-Duration, Light Snow for Monday into Tuesday

Looks like another yawner of a snow “happening” coming on Monday and spilling into Tuesday. Some weather outlets are being a little more specific than others. Of the ones that mention accumulations, none are predicting more than three inches.

Tonight, we salute KSTP for daring to present a new graphic for an accumulation forecast. It’s nothing fancy to be sure, but it does provide some nuance that we find is missing for many forecasts. In the manner of predicting levels of risk for severe weather, KSTP’s Chikage Windler depicted the chance of a 3+-inch snowfall with high, moderate and slight risk categories. The metro area was deemed a slight risk.
Accumulations by risk category. We like it!

And while we’re talking about “risk,” we at TMF wonder whatever was wrong with “chance.” Risk seems to have dangerous or perilous undertones. That, or it’s something that needs to be covered by an insurance company.

Without further rambling, here’s a rundown of forecasts, gathered as of 11 p.m. Saturday night, for a possible Monday snow. Remember to follow us on Twitter so that you can be bothered by weathercaster changes as they happen.

Long-duration event of a little bit of light snow. No mention of accumulations. "Monday afternoon rush hour may be a mess."

2-3 inches. “Slight risk” of >3 inches (see graphic).
Friday starting to look pretty interesting. Could pack a decent punch.

Snow will stick around through Tuesday. We'll see perhaps 1 to 3 inches in the metro.

“Light accumulations, but it will be more than of the events we had last week.” 1-2 inches, maybe a little more in some places.

50 percent chance of snow. No mention of accumulations.

No update since Friday.

Star Tribune
Light accumulations are possible through the first couple of days of the week with shovelable amounts along the Minnesota River Valley. The extended forecast is hinting at a slightly higher potential of accumulating snow near the Twin Cities Friday and Saturday.


  1. I'm going to be different here and say there will be 3-4 inches of snow in the metro. The models seem to be in agreement for higher amounts and I'm a little puzzled why no one is going higher than 3.

  2. I guess that's why they get paid the big bucks. :-)

  3. Seems NWS isn't forecasting any accumulation for the Metro - hope they are right -
    And dread - I REALLY hope the forecasts for record setting bitter cold next week are wrong. The Star Trib. 15 day model shows lows of -26 and highs of -10 for a couple of days and word of this arctic outbreak is starting to seep into forecasts - but then a possible shift to above average, maybe even a little January thaw after that stretch?
    What an exhausting winter this is - sigh...

  4. The NWS is calling for "accumulation up to one inch" for each of the Monday, Monday night and Tuesday periods. I'll have a summary update late tonight.

  5. To comment on what Chikage is using, her method is something similar to what the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center uses for highlighting areas where there is a slight, moderate, and high probability of 4, 8, and 12 inches of snow. I like the idea and prefer the term of probability or chance over risk.

  6. Thanks for shedding light on the scenario, Ryan! I have other ideas on how a forecast should "look" that I'll save for another day.