Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Great Snow Weigh-In

The cover-up is well underway.
Note: If you're new to The Minnesota Forecaster, know that we assign forecaster grades after each snow event is over. For the current snowstorm, we anticipate assigning grades, along with a thoughtful discussion, late Monday. Check back to see how your favorite forecaster fared. Or, if you're afraid you'll forget to check on this all-important information (haha), follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook to make sure you receive your very own heads up.

Use the comments section of this post to report what's going on in your neck of the increasingly snow-covered woods -- or just to kvetch or delight in nature's special delivery today.

TMF has established a running total for the storm as it accumulates in St. Paul.

Curious to know our John Q. Public consumer philosophy on weather watching? Take a read.

127 comments:

  1. little mama in SW MplsFebruary 20, 2011 at 9:45 AM

    9:45 - looks like it's snowing on radar, but nothing out my living room window.
    Is it snowing anywhere in the metro yet?

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  2. 9:45- Red Wing has had snow falling for about a half hour now and dusting has accumulated. It's coming down fairly hard.

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  3. The first three flakes (we counted them) just observed at TMF's world headquarters in residential St. Paul.

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  4. Put another way: It's snowing to beat the ant.

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  5. Its 10am near downtown Mpls just spotted a couple of flakes. Maybe this isn't a hoax after all?

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  6. We're in SW Minnesota and we've had thunder, lightening, sleet, rain, and snow all morning long. Already have a few inches of a slushy mix on the ground.

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  7. First flakes here in golden valley 9:55am why don't we start a guessing game,who will get what in their city my prediction for golden valley is 18.5 inches

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  8. We are in Eagan and it is currently snowing here.

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  9. Very heavy snow here in Northfield at 10 am. Once again, we're lucky to be in the bullseye. See this Weather Underground radar image of southern MN.

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  10. Absolutely nothing in Bayport (Southern Stillwater).

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  11. I just don't see the 14 to 20. 10 to 12 tops IMO.

    Somewhat hope I'm wrong.

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  12. been snowing here in Clearwater since 0805. No accumulation. well.... a slight dusting..still sceptical...

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  13. little mama in SW MplsFebruary 20, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    hey Bill (or anyone else), I know this is not your area of expertise, but as long as we're just sitting around counting the flakes I thought you might want to tackle a travel question: my sister and her husband are stuck in Chicago (canceled flight) and have managed to procure the last available SUV to get back home to their small children. Do you think it's smarter for them to take the traditional route north on 90, or head west to Des Moines and up 35? They would rather drive in strait snow than mixed precipt, but if there's as much snow as what's predicted there may be road closures. Any advice? My poor sister is almost seven months pregnant too :-(

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  14. Without a doubt, they should take I90. There's an ice storm brewing in southern MN.

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  15. I just don't see it living up to the forecasts...certainly not 16"+.

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  16. just starting to snow here in White Bear @ 10:30am. Here's a link for TC metro cams.

    http://weathermanwatson.com/traffic

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  17. definetely straight up I 90.....and drive like a mad dog.

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  18. 1/4 mile VIS Red Wing, getting heavier

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  19. Paul Douglas just revised his forecast lower.

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  20. Looks like it is blocking slightly south so far - heard there are 4-5 inches already in Mankato, only a 1/4 inch here in EP/SW Metro.
    Weather Channel on cable has lowered their totals from a range of 9-13 as of the last "Local on the 8's". I hope it continues to block to the South - I'd be happy if we didn't get anything, but less is definitely better. Snow, especially this time of year, is just pointless - wish I were back in southern Iowa where I grew up - it is 60 degrees just 5 hours drive south in northern MO and KC area right now!, 43 in Des Moines, and all rain - that would be much more enjoyable than this endless winter.
    To the Jet Stream: move north already, we are sick of it.

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  21. Been snowing in Eagan since about 10am. Now coming down so hard I can hardly see across the street. Glad I did my errands yesterday.

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  22. I concur anonymous......all will get big ol EFFFFs.

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  23. Does anyone else see that there seems to be a lot of dry air in SW MN?

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  24. yeah Joel....I do see that.....a fizzle for shizzle

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  25. Joel storm is still developing dry slot will fill. dry slot typically SE of main low pressure whic right now is in SE NB.

    http://weather.meteostar.com/satellite_image/latest?scroll_x=0&scroll_y=0&aoi=NCR&channel=WEATHER+DEPICTION

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  26. Yeah...unless this storm get better circulation and pivots over us, I don't think we can get the snow they forecasted.

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  27. Thanks, anonymous. I'm not a meteorologist, just an amateur weather geek...have seen too many of these storms fizzle over the years.

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  28. wow really coming down in Mlps. pretty much stopped here in clearwater

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  29. Exactly one inch of snow in the southwest section of St. Paul at 11:30 a.m.

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  30. I think it's all down here in Lake City...plowable snow already and it's only been at it for two hours.

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  31. Reports show they already have 8 inches in south-central MN. Doubting the 15-20 here, but they're still holding strong to predictions of about a foot. We'll see...until/unless that dry spot fills in, I'm going to anticipate a big lull this afternoon.

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  32. dead as a door nail 50 miles nw of mlps

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  33. nothing but dry air moving into se Mn...

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  34. Weather.com (I know, consider the source) is predicting a 3-hour lull (precip chances down to 30-40%) in the SW metro this afternoon, but then has it picking up again early evening. There are some signs of the southernmost dry area of MN filling in...

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  35. Be patient. The storm isn't even close yet. With projections of 1 inch water equivalent precip and current temperatures, 1 foot is a good bet. 13/4 inches on the ground in Saint Paul with moderate snow. Also it is not the heavy/wet snow being forecast as recently as early yesterday. Still, will be a pain to shovel.

    Tex Antoine's ghost

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  36. in wright county we are covered in green...but nothing is falling....what gives?

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  37. snowing in East Bethel but pretty light so far...

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  38. The dry socket in SW MN is now starting to fill in with heavy snow and ice. Don't know how dense it will get, but figures after an afternoon break, we will probably get walloped this evening.

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  39. Can someone explain to me where this storm is going to pull moisture from to squeeze out a foot of snow? Someone who maybe has a bit more of a meteorology background.

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  40. tons of snow falling in SD...is it all moving due east?

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  41. Just took a core sample of the 4 inches that fell. Melted to 0.5 inches of water. 8 to 1 ratio.

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  42. cwy2190, where are you at? Here in the SW metro, our snow is very, very powdery.

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  43. The moisture for this storm is coming from the warm, moist crotch of America, i.e., the Gulf coast. Plenty of moisture pulled north ahead of the low pressure system. Moisture content is not an issue with this storm.

    Ghost of Tex Antoine

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  44. the sky in clearwater no longer a solid light grey....still no snow...

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  45. Easily 2-3" here in the Nokomis area. Started at 10:00 or so and has been coming down hard and steady since. Steady winds as well....

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  46. Barely a dusting in Maple Grove, this storm is VERY disappointing so far

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  47. looks my prediction of less than 6 at the airport will hold true

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  48. Don't forget that all the snow over South Dakota is supposes to move over the Twin Cities area overnight.

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  49. I don't know John, I live in Eagan, and we have 5" since 10am.

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  50. I'll take the over on that. Moderate to heavy snow in Saint Paul. Wind gusts increasing. Blowing an drifting will be a problem overnight.

    Tex Antoine's ghost

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  51. Very intense snow now in Northfield... with a clap of thunder at 2:52.

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  52. PD is still predicting 20 for st cloud..we have barely seen a flake..is this possible?

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  53. Some good info can be found at the MPR weather site: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/updraft/ Good explanation of issues the north metro is having.

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  54. @NovakWeather on TWITTERFebruary 20, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    South metro will likely prove to be where the heaviest axis of snow falls. Already 4" to 6" from Bloomington on south. If we add another 6" to 10" during the next 24 hours, then we will have 10" to 16" of snow over much of the south metro when all is said and done. Keep in mind, we expected the 700mb (mid level) low to slowly move east across southern MN this evening and overnight. That is when we will receive the bulk of the accumulations.

    In other words, the north metro will NOT receive as much snow as the south metro. But, the storm is behaving close to as expected.

    My bet is 6" to 10" north metro and 10" to 16" south metro by 6pm Monday.

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  55. Barely a dusting in Blaine.... how dissapointing.

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  56. A good 6-8 inches in Red Wing. It is still coming down hard, despite what the radar shows. Winds are howling here as well.

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  57. thanks for the tip Bill...looks like the snow is finally pushing into Wright county...time to join the party.

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  58. we've got almost five inches in Uptown Minneapolis so far. It started snowing a few minutes before 10 this morning. I am guessing we will see at least a foot here before it's finished.

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  59. according to weather.com radar the dry pocket is shrinking....woo hoo

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  60. Snowmaggedon in Saint Paul now. Very heavy snow. Sustained high winds. Wow. Its enough to make an old Texan weep.

    Ghost of Tex Antoine

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  61. wow is the wind howling...straight out of the south...snow starting to fly

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  62. Visibility in Saint Paul down to one block. Confucious say: when heavy snow is inevitable, lay back and enjoy.

    Ghost of Tex Antoine

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  63. The snow is just starting in Coon Rapids - we only had a dusting up until now. Definitely not the major snow event we were expecting and I don't think we will be anywhere near the forecasted 10+".

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  64. Check out the radar and what's coming in from the south! Wow!

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  65. Total whiteout in Eden Prairie over the last 30 minutes, but just let up again. Haven't dared step out yet to see how much is on the drive, but I better start the first of the waves of shoveling now or I will not get out to work in the morning - our townhouse plower is horrible at getting it cleared in reasonable time so to be safe, I have to do it myself. Looks like it is really going to add up like they originally suggested - just coming late - I wonder how much has tallied south of the river, down towards Mankato, where they had the heavier snow this morning? Has anyone seen any revised forecasts or estimates based on how the storm is evolving now that it is upon us???

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  66. Aye caramba! This is at least as bad as the December storm. If it keeps up for six hours more we will be buried!

    "The snow is snowin and the wind is blowin"

    Ghost of Tex Antoine

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  67. "I better start the first of the waves of shoveling now or I will not get out to work in the morning - our townhouse plower is horrible at getting it cleared in reasonable time so to be safe, I have to do it myself." I'm just west of there and I have the same issue with our plows. I've shoveled my driveway and sidewalk twice already. Will make at least one more pass tonight. Probably 5-6 inches in Carver county so far.

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  68. Have fun grading this one. North metro will get 5 and the South metro 15.

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  69. The wind has started up here in Lake City, really howling out there. Snow is almost sleet-like, it's making a heckuva racket up against the windows.

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  70. CWY2190. To keep things simple, our grades are always based on what happens at the MSP airport, the official measuring station.

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  71. Yeah, I would have to give them a big "F" on this one (but I'm in the north metro). The rest of the metro has been more accurate.

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  72. It's coming down pretty thick here in the more barren parts of Falcon Heights, not to mention the wind. The blowing makes it difficult to find a good place to measure the new snow depth.

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  73. none of the forecast have changed..really intense herein wright county.. 1/4 mile visibility

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  74. After about an hour of no snow, it's back here in Red Wing

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  75. At 3:30 here in Eagan, I had 6" in my drive. Now have 10".

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  76. at this rate, the snowfall is very intense we will see much more than 5" in the north. if it keeps up until Monday. Plus the snow is much drier than expected...this will ratchet up the totals. Yes? PS. Dave Dahl just posted that 12 to 14 is probable...with another significant storm coming Sun or Mon next week

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  77. Drove from W. St.Paul to Isanti...took about 2.5 hours. Southern metro was a mess, 494 loop was whiteout conditions. Eased up on the north side, and maybe 2-3" of snow only up here. Starting to pick up lately, coming down hard and windy.

    Wunderground had dropped their totals to 8-12", now back to saying 12-14" for Bethel/Isanti

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  78. 10 inches in bloomington...a long way to go until it quits...epic

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  79. Caught out of the corner of my eye here in Falcon Heights a flash of lightning at about 6:50 PM. Looks like it's powdery snow too for the most part; I was expecting some very wet stuff.

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  80. southern mn is drying up..I cant imagine this thing lasting until noon tomorrow

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  81. Lightning and thunder in NE Minneapolis around 35th/Polk and snowing hard.

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  82. White Bear Lake at 7pm 5.7" with lightning and thunder.

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  83. Up to 11" now in Eagan... and it's wicked out there. Can hardly see to the street.

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  84. Finished a third round of shoveling. 4 inches fell in 2.5 hours from 4-6:30 pm for a total of 9-10 in central Carver county. We had a short lull, but another swath is moving through now.

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  85. no way to measure snow depth in clearwater...heavy drifting

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  86. @NovakWeather on TWITTERFebruary 20, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    700mb low is still spinning well west of MSP over eastern SD. Until this low passes east of MSP, the threat will exist for snow redevelopment.

    This 700mb low is tricky. If it can tap some moisture as it passes over southern MN tomorrow, then we will easily pick-up several more inches of snow.

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  87. Never known a threat of snow to end suddenly when the low passes to the east. We still get the "wrap around" effect snow, so don't see how this really matters...just sayin'

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  88. According to MnDOT, they've closed Hwys 212 and 59 near Montevideo. Snow is dying down in the SW metro...looks doubtful that we'll get much more accumulation overnight unless the batch in SD slides SE.

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  89. highest total received at the nws is bloomington...15"

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  90. Dry air is starting to break apart the snow over western MN and SD. It's likely that once this current push moves through the south metro, further accumulation will be limited by dry air. The north metro has several hours of heavy snow to still contend with.

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  91. will the total water value be less than expected? will be interesting when the next flood forecast comes out on Thursday.

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  92. this thing is falling apart faster than the french army in WW2

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  93. Sven Sundgard just reported 13" of snow at the airport, with the snow still falling. He's saying the snow is tapering off now.

    I have 13" in Eagan now.

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  94. I've been seeing those Bloomington totals being reported by the NWS. If it is the same person, then those totals may be inflated. Bloomington reported totals at 4:45, 6:00 and 8:43 pm (check the public information section on the NWS website). That is too often. I know most everyone here should now the official guidlines, but it can't hurt to review, especially for some novices in the group.

    "Official" snow measurement guidelines dictate snow can be measured at any interval to get the "snow rate" but for total measurements, the totals should be meausred in 6 hour windows. That is why MSP, Chanhassen and St Cloud (and other official sites) report only 4 times a day. 6 am, Noon, 6 pm and midnight.
    Just something to consider.
    I've got about 10" in Inver Grove Heights through 9:15 pm.

    Links to official guidlines (from the Wakefield, VA NWS office):
    http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/akq/winter/Snow%20Measurement%20Guidelines.pdf

    FYI...the weather channel just showed a video of thundersnow this evening from St. Paul, MN.

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  95. The Bloomington report is not from the NWS. It's from a trained spotter, which means it is likely a member of the public who took a class to learn how to be a weather spotter. In that case, the person does not have the meteorological expertise to know the "best practices," so to speak, about snow measurement. If you use the NOAA website to check snow reports, you can see the type of person doing the reporting: NWS, co-op, law enforcement, trained spotter, etc.

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  96. ...to clarify, in saying the report is not from the NWS, that just means it's not one of their empmloyees. They will still use that data as the official snowfall amount if no other results are available.

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  97. This storm doesn't seem to have the strong circulation that the December storm had. If I recall correctly, that storm was consistently throwing precip over us first from the south and then from the east and north as the low wrapped up into a nice comma shape. This one seems to be pushing E/NE rather than spinning and keeping the moisture over the top of us.

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  98. IMO, this storm doesn't hold a candle to December 10/11. Though there's some wind, blizzard conditions never truly existed in the metro, and it was pretty easy to keep up with shoveling sidewalks and driveways. Driving conditions are also better than they were in the December storm. The roads are by no means safe, but there are very few closures out west and metro-wide the roads are listed as difficult, but passable, versus the hazardous rating they all had in December.

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  99. jay kolhs measured 15 in bloomington...still coming down.... still snowing to beat the band in clearwater

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  100. Hard to say at this point how bad it stacks up to December, out in Stillwater. We'll see in the morning. If we don't get much more snow (and it's not snowing now) I'd say it's not as bad. Definitely Blizzard conditions out here throughout the day, however. Though perhaps also not as bad as December.

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  101. It appears the 13" reported by Sven Sungard was not officially from MSP airport. MSP reported 11.8" for Feb 20th (from start to Midnight), which is a record for the date. Since it was still snowing at MSP through at least 1:00 am, they will probably go over 12" for the storm total.

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  102. MA Rosco on channel 9 just counted three snowblowers on one block in Minneapolis. Does she have a journalism degree?!

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  103. 11.8" White Bear Lake. Water content .91.

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  104. It's snowing worse today in Maple Grove than it did yesterday afternoon - so much for the 1" or so the meteorologists said we'd get today. Good thing I worked from home today instead of driving to work in Richfield.

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  105. Radar loops showing impressive returns over the metro the past couple of hours. Moving very slowly.

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  106. It's still coming down fairly heavy here in WBL

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  107. Likewise here in Northfield. Very heavy snow at 3:40 pm. Gorgeous!

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  108. 850-700mb low still in the area....that's why the heavier than forecast snow today....since 820am I have picked up 3.5 in champlin

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  109. Blowing snow here in Lake City...doesn't seem that heavy, but it's hard to tell when it's swirling and in your face.

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  110. Is the low parked right over the Cities? It sure looks that way just from the Upper Midwest radar loop.

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  111. Too bad the TV forecasters couldn't see that 850-70mb low for themselves.

    Did Jimmy the Greek get to update his NFL predictions during the halftime show? I for one hope the Twins make the playoffs next October and then Fizzle in the playoffs!!

    Got to easlily be 20 inches total that have fallen in the SW Blooington area. Perhaps more. Is there a thing called River Effect Snow? Seems like the SW metro has been getting the brunt of the snow totals all winter.

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  112. Dennis: 500 mb low over south central MN N IA

    700 mb low we are right in the middle
    850 mb low se MN ne IA
    850-700mb low se MN ne IA
    700-500 mb low se MN ne IA

    so in a nut shell yes

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  113. We were skeptical last night - by dusk last night we only had about 2-3" even though we DID get the thunder & lightning! By 10pm, those 3" had multiplied to closer to 10" and we started to think the forecasts might be close after all.

    Sitting here the next evening, at 5pm with it STILL coming down and DH & the kids getting ready to shovel for the third time this storm I'm wondering if the forecasts were LOW! We didn't set anything up for official measurements, but we're definitely over a foot... and that's where the wind isn't blowing even taller drifts!

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  114. homeschoolmama where are at?

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  115. Oops sorry, should've mentioned that, huh? We're in Arden Hills.

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  116. ok that makes sense

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  117. the number 9 only requires journalism degrees aquired from gumball machines...they hired Robin Robertson after all

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  118. Dave dahl has spoken of significant snow on Sunday.... any insight on this event?...

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  119. Yeah, John. Here's the insight: He ALWAYS says there's a significant event about a week away. Once in a blue moon it comes true. The rest of the time he just keeps moving it back. In a way it's kind of like a broken clock which is right twice a day!!! I just heard PD say it looks like next Sunday's snow event has "Fizzled".

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  120. Still working on the the forecaster grades.... in the meantime, check out the new poll question we've posted at the top right of the site.

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  121. PD also said we may get a few inches out of this weekends snownormous storm.... PD is predicting a significant snow 2 weeks from now..at least DD hasnt bought into the global warming nonsense

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  122. Jon:

    DD, if you look at his web site he said it would impact southern MN....that is the way it looks, and only the far se part of MN..Most of the snow should stay to the south and east of us say Mid IA or southern WI. But a change in the track of 300 miles to the north and west then look out

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  123. 300 miles is a huge chunk of real estate...fact is the storm just past was on...then called off..then on....they only got it right in the last 24 hours or so

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  124. Sorry, John from the info I had it was there from 3 days consistently, some models waffled a bit, but European was pretty darn consistant

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