Friday, February 18, 2011

Forecasters Vexed by Elusive Rain/Snow Line for Late Weekend Storm

Twin Cities forecasters are grappling with an enemy their brethren on the east coast know all too well: the dreaded rain/snow line. The ever-capricious weather models continue to make life a challenge for our collective local weather braintrust.

As of Thursday night, there's little agreement among the weather outlets except that it will likely precipitate -- and in considerable amounts -- in the latter part of the upcoming weekend. Approximately 48 to 60 hours before the expected arrival of the storm, here's how things stood:

WCCO: Looking more and more like snow. Models suggest 2 to 15 inches
KSTP: Mix to snow. Possibly 6 to 12 inches
FOX: 2 to 4 inches of snow.... mostly Monday morning into afternoon
KARE: Rain to snow to rain. No amounts mentioned
Strib: Potential for 2-4 inches
NWS: 60 percent chance of snow and freezing rain; no amounts mentioned

The rolling forecast over time by weather outlet can be viewed here. Cute, pithy updates will be provided via Twitter and Facebook.


  1. I must say we have every forecast possible (almost) for this upcoming storm, its south-its going to miss us,now its north- were in the warmer sector... and of course little snow, to a mix. Its a little frustrating!

  2. WCCO 2-15 inches. Now that's going out on a limb.

  3. Let me just add about the CCO forecast, Is Chris Shaffer really a Meteorologist? Is he one of those make believe broadcast Meteorologists who took a 9 mos correspondence coarse and call themselves a Meteorologist? That's fine if the model is calling for 2-15". Hey Chris, what do you think? Sorry for the negativity.

    By the way I took a Red Cross life saving class, please call me Dr. Anonymous.

  4. Shaffer is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist by the AMS which isn't easy to get. I'd assume he has a masters degree in meteorology.

  5. CWY,Certified Broadcast Meteorologist is not the same as a Certified Meteorologist. Big difference. Keyword being Broadcast. The AMS started handing out the lesser Certified status because of the 9 mos coarse you could take.

  6. Chris Shaffer can spell "coarse" correctly so I wouldn't worry about his education.

  7. before any more talk is bantered around About Cris Shaffer I decided to go to cco's web site. This is what I found....Chris Shaffer was raised in Stillwater, Minn. He left our great state for four years to attend the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where he earned degrees in Meteorology and Mass Communications.

    Chris is a proud member of the American Meteorological Society and has been awarded the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation. You may have seen him over the years doing the weather on television at KMSP FOX9 and WFTC/UPN 29. You may have also heard him on KOOL108, BOB100, 104.1 The Point, Cities 97, K102 or KTLK.

  8. Randy, ok I'm satisfied. But he should tighten up that snow range. 2-15" please.

  9. Anonymous said...

    CWY,Certified Broadcast Meteorologist is not the same as a Certified Meteorologist. Big difference. Keyword being Broadcast. The AMS started handing out the lesser Certified status because of the 9 mos coarse you could take.


    The American Meteorological Society doesn't hand out its CBM titles like candy. If you get one, you know your stuff.

    From the AMS website.

    "In order to acquire a CBM, new applicants must hold a degree in meteorology (or equivalent) from an accredited college/university, pass a written examination, and have their work reviewed to assess technical competence, informational value, explanatory value, and communication skills."

  10. From the Univ of Utah Website.

    There are two programs of study at the undergraduate level: (1) the professional meteorologist option, and (2) the atmospheric scientist option.

    Professional Meteorologist. Admission to this program requires students to maintain an overall G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher and receive a C- or higher in all courses required for the major. This program satisfies the requirements of the federal government for employment as a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Other government agencies and private firms expect graduates to have completed course work similar to that required by the professional meteorologist option. This option is intended to provide each graduate with a solid foundation in meteorology as well as allowing the student to become conversant in related fields such as hydrology, air pollution, oceanography, computer science, and communications. Students must consult with the adviser for approval of elective courses.

    Atmospheric Scientist. Admission to this program requires a combined GPA in all college courses of 3.0 or better and the consent of the adviser. This program is intended for the student who excels academically and who may wish to attend graduate school. It is intended to develop further background in math, physics, and computer science. Students who enroll in this program will meet all of the federal employment requirements for meteorologists.

    I think Belinda Jensen attended Univ of Wisconsin and she has BS in Atmospheric Science. The higher degree.

    I never knew there were two available. The Atmospheric Science is has more math and physics. Hats off to Belinda.

  11. Sven looks ridiculous in refusing to stand behind snow amounts. Prudence and caution are one thing, but he IS in the profession of forecasting.