Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Please Talk Amongst Yourselves....

The TMF office went south to take a break from the Minnesota climate. And really, can you blame us? This means TMF fans and other weather observers will have to use this space to document whatever forecasts they see and hear about it. Thanks!

56 comments:

  1. dont leave us Bill,kidding aside enjoy wherever your going(hope not San Franciso they are calling for snow there tommorrow night),anyhow whos going to keep the forecasters honest about snow this weekend,Dahl keeps throwing the carrot out about sunday late and monday,even KARE and NWS to some degree keep hinting at how close it is. Randyin champlin you have anything to add on that storm is it coming or will it stay south.

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  2. Bill, you never did update the "Report Card" after the last event.

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  3. Big Daddy

    The GFS and the Canadian Model have moved towards a more NW track with the Euro staying off to the SE.If that track holds it will have a bigger impact on the Winona and Lacrosse areas, and to a lesser extent the Rochester area. Confidence on the NW track however is low to moderate at this point due to model differences.

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  4. Randyinchamplin,
    In your opinion what is forcing the storm take a more southerly track than last weekends storm? I notice on the models there isn't a huge arctic high just north of mn this time. Also, a track from near wichita to chicago, although not a direct hit for msp, usually gives the twin cities at least some accumulating snowfall...
    thanks,
    Ralph in ND

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  5. The Forcast Discusion for the NWS midday today stated that the southeast forcast area (For the MSP portion) could be in for "A potential Snowstorm" I live in Red Wing and we're as far southeast as they forcast for so I'm anxious to see where this one is going...

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  6. Ralph:
    Although I'm a amateur I will try and do my best. As this system starts to strengthen in the lee of the Rockies there will be a ridge over the NE US that will pull off further to the NE. Allowing a little bit more of a eastward track to this system.

    At the same time there is a trough over the Hudson Bay area and another one approaching the area of Washington state and British Columbia. In between those two features is very narrow high pressure ridge that is trying to makes it's way towards our area. As it does so it is trying to flatten out the NW side of the system as it heads towards us (ie: dry air). That is why there is very little precipitation on the back side of this system.

    In a nut shell the trough over the Hudson bay has to lift a little north so that the trough approaching from the NW can try and push that narrow band of high pressure to the north..I hope that made sense.

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  7. I hope someone with a degree in meteorology would comment on that

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  8. SPC already focusing on Sunday's system for severe weather in mid-south.

    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/exper/day4-8/

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  9. Dave Dahl has the TC metro getting a possible 4 to 6 inches sunday night thru monday....and PD is blowing off any chance of measurable snow....hmmm ...I noticed PDs blog is contrary to his 15 day forecast...

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  10. Randyinchamplin or others who are looking at the models,storm for Sunday looking awfully close to the metro,Dahl hinted at 'maybe' 4 to 6 inches,NWS up their forecast to 40% chance from nothing 12hrs ago,PD has nothing but mentions in blog to close for comfort,samee thing he said last week and we got over a foot,so is snow coming sunday or not?

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  11. Storm track (K.C. to CHI) is favorable for accumulating snow from MSP south and east. Randy is correct in saying that the usual NW shield of precip that of accompanies a storm is basically non-existent with this storm due to a narrow ridge/axis of high pressure over the Dakotas and northern MN.

    The real culprit for lack of model depicted precip revolves around the Jet structure. Most computer models show a fairly strong Jet flowing west to east across the southern prairies of Canada and into the Dakotas. The nose of this Jet pokes into northern MN. The underside of the nose of the Jet would be an area of subsidence (high pressure/dry air). Unless this Jet configuration changes, it will be difficult to spread moisture north into central and northern MN due to this area of subsidence. In turn, there will be a sharp cut-off of precipitation as you head NW of the low track. Where will this sharp cut-off occur? It is anyones guess but I would say southeast MN at this juncture.

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  12. @NovakWeather on TwitterFebruary 25, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Sunday's storm simply has little, if any, upper level support. Each successive computer model run underlines this issue.

    I'm done trying to make something out of nothing.

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  13. Well said Novak. Your explination makes perfect sense. Good chunk of the energy will stay well south, and should set the stage for more severe storms in the Ozarks on Sunday. Quick glance at the 00z NAM that just came in continues to keep that system well south and east of Minnesota.

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  14. @Big Daddy...the problem with that system from last week was that some of the non-american models did show that storm hitting here, and hitting here with quite the punch. A couple models kept it further north, but the majority brought it right through the metro. I'm not sure why P.D. didn't go with the majority of the models on that system. This one..a couple are really close, but a majority keep it south and east. Looks like a near miss, unless something drastic changes in the models over the next 24-36 hours.

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  15. Well, we have Sunday pretty much figured out. Easy. Now, to separate meteorologists from arm-chair weather enthusiasts -- what about Saturday afternoon/evening? No big sfc low or deep moisture feed or dual-jet structure on the charts. Hmmmmm. Vort maximas aloft with even a limited amount of moisture and cold air can do wonders to snow potential. When a 20+ unit vort max approaches you have to take a look. Soundings show deep cold air and plenty chilly (-8 to -15°C in prime snow-creation area -- aka dendritic growth region). Look for a few inches of snow around the Twin Cities and southward to Katoland in W to E band over state by Sat night.

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  16. DDwx sorry couldn't sleep, spoken like the senior met that I believe your are and anyone that refers to Mankato as Katoland must have ties there, and thank you for pointing that out, showing up nicely on RUC, HRRR and RR models

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  17. opps r= randyinchamplin

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  18. So whoever is in favor of breaking the all-time snow record(I am)say 'I',it would be nice after todays minor snowfall(1-3") to get 2 10+ dumpings and break the record(since were this close I say GO BIG OR GO HOME). So all the forecasters we have here,since we got today and tommorrow covered,what does Thursday/Friday look like,Chikage says worth watching(decent storm),NWS has mentioned chances and PD is his usual contradicting self(if you ever read his full blog,he may say one thing about the storm and if you scroll down he'll say something totally different about the same storm)but he is talking about an storm!

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  19. any one that wants to watch the Minnesota Storm chaser Convention go here

    http://chase.tornadovideos.net/pages/full_screen

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  20. End of week system looking interesting. Has that hybrid look to it, much like what was seen earlier in the winter season. GFS and GEM (Canadian) models are the strongest with the system, while others are weaker, but appear to be trending a bit stronger. Not gonna throw around any amount predictions yet, but as P.D. would say "enough potentially to shovel and plow".

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  21. Thursday is looking more and more interesting. Model runs have been consistent. May be enough to prompt a winter storm watch by mid-week.

    Anyone else tired of the snow?

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  22. with the record oh so close...go form it...I am vacationing in sunny Janesville Wi. this weekend..been snowing steady since friday night...with a couple of fluffy inches to show for it

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  23. I'm all for breaking the record. If it is that close, might as well. Quick peak at the 18z GFS still shows that potent end of week system.

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  24. Why would you want to break the record? Flooding will be bad enough as it is. What a sick and twisted thing to say!! Besides, this isn't a sport, it's people's lives and property. What's the difference if you can say you "broke the record" when you happen to have a snowy winter? Does it make you feel better by calling it a record? I've never understood the facination of breaking weather records. If it's 100 degrees or 102 degrees for a high, what difference does it really make. It's just damn hot!!

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  25. I agree with Anonymous in the last post - the flooding predictions are bad enough, we do not need any more snow or cold, just will make it worse. It looks like the 7-15 day temperature predictions are showing a bit milder air than last week's impressions, at least average, so a slow melt would be at least a little help.

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  26. Did anyone say I hope for record flooding? No..they didn't. I realize that yes, the two go together, but just because someone wants more snow doesn't mean they are hoping for the flooding too. Whether we want it or not, it is out of our hands...and although people may not like it, we still have a lot of winter left. La Nina is just beginning to weaken slightly, but her pattern is just now really showing up, and it will be seen probably over the next month or two. Hate to say it, but that record is in serious jeopardy of getting broken.

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  27. Anonymous one and two:

    Mother nature has thrown a lot of bad stuff at us the last twelve months, it appears to some of us that that will continue, and I agree with Duane that the record is in serious jeopardy of being broken. There is nothing wrong about discussing that, but by extrapolating that some one is wishing for a major flood is a serious leap of misguided judgment. Please keep away from putting words in someone else's mouth.

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  28. was there flooding in 1984 after the record snowfall?...not that i am aware...the 2 dont always go hand inhand...the flood predictions are the same as last year at this time...Anonymous 1 and 2... a little more snow will not make much difference...as you say the snow melt will be gradual

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  29. Duane,Randyinchamplin,John---thank you for all having my back.Anonymous 1 and 2 you must live near a flood plain and for that Im sorry,I never suggested terrible flooding and Im the first to volunteer on the sandbagging(been to fargo twice now)but it snows in minnesota and sometimes it floods and sometimes it doesnt,its like living in the Gulf and bitchin about hurricanes,either you deal with the ramifications or you move. 1.3 yesterday,were 9th now,getting closer,22 inches away,very doable!

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  30. my prediction is we will be 10 inches short....just a gut feeling.

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  31. Well...Let's say Thursday drops around 4 inches (Proably being a little nice, but it's reasonable) to bring us to 80 inches. Than, looking long range, a Sunday-Monday storm drops another 4 or 5 inches, bringing us up to 84 inches. Than next Wednesday, the GFS is looking to bring in a very sizeable storm capable of being "A big one" to possibly be a foot big and get us very close. After that another 5 inches or so would be very easy. I think we'll break the record.

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  32. What jolly will you get if we break the record? Will you be a different person?
    Makes no sense at all to me why that is something people are desiring?
    And no, I do not live near a flood plain - nor does anyone I know - I am just concerned about the impact.

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  33. @NovakWeather on TwitterFebruary 28, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    It is so nice when a storm appears to be a "lock".

    Thursday's system appears to have little doubt with it. Cold Arctic air in place, significant overrunning of this cold dome with warm mid-level air, nice support up top with the Jet...Nice! I'm already confident that a 3" to 6" snow event is on the way for much of MN.

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  34. The models aren't swaying from their solutions, and that includes the solution of the European model. That one isn't nearly as strong with the system, and really doesn't bring much, if any snow to Minnesota, and only light snow to western Wisconsin. It would be more ideal if this model would come around to the GFS and GEM, but it hasn't. Even the SREF Mean/Ensembles show temp profiles more supportive of drizzle/light rain than snow. If the GFS or GEM solutions verify, looks like a potential advisory event. If the others do...not so much.

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  35. 4 to 5 on both Thursday and Sunday are mighty big ifs....if PD is correct. Anon.... sometimes it is exciting to be part of something big..even if disasterous...I was part of the 1974 tornado super outbreak...nothing will ever top that.

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  36. WCCO at 10 p.m. just said they are watching a storm for early next week that could bring as much as 8 inches. Chris S. did say it is very early yet, however.

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  37. is this the tuesday storm bjahn? updraft is talking it up big....this one sliding north of the cities.. PD has increased the amounts for thursday to a few inches..up from 2

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  38. Seems the snow/precip machine keeps a goin' per many of you folks comments regarding Thursday. Seems about all models are keying in on srn/ern MN into wrn/swrn Wisc for a few inches of snow. Impressive lift is present as well as moisture. Precip type should be mostly snow in the Cities and a mix to snow southward near Mankato area. March is here so I guess we look in extended for state tournament snow storms. Brings back memories of driving in those to/from the Cities back in the 80s for state tourneys. ;-) I shake my head in amazement and sadness at the high potential for disastrous floods and fear when visiting MN in April I will be helping sandbag between Twins games. :-(

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  39. TMF just arrived back in town (there's heavy blowing and drifting of white stuff in Cancun in case anyone's curious). Will prepare a fresh post later on Tuesday to track possible upcoming storms.

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  40. Thoughts on Thursday's system. I really don't see much of a chance for the metro to get 2-4", the only model that has that solution is the NAM. I agree with DDwx that this looks mostly like a WI event. In regards to the the early week system (Sat,Sun), it appears as if it's a very similar set up to this last weekend where it will just pass to our south and put the SE US in jeopardy of another severe event. Having said that a 200 mile change in the path to the NW and it would have a significant impact on us.

    The system that was set to impact us by all three major models, the Canadian, the GFS and The European, around the 8th or 9th has now seemed to slip to our se as well, with the European and GFS just clipping southern MN and Canadian now well to our south. If this trend continues expect the heaviest snow's to be in WI extending into MI, with severe weather again breaking out from the Mid Ohio Valley extending into the SO and SE US.

    As things set now, I do not expect us to break the all time season total of 98.6" set during 1983-1984, at least as far as the metro goes.

    I will try and keep everyone posted as to what the models say....but listen to the pros and what they are saying when it comes to making travel plans etc, just trying to give the readers an idea of what they are looking at. Any change in the track of these 2 big systems would be very problematic indeed.

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  41. Welcome Home Bill!!!

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  42. Randyinchamplin,what a buzz kill,I read PD blog and Dahl's blog and they both seem to be riding the snow train,even wcco has started to talk,are you looking at the same models?PD blog came out 2-3hrs before your comments what gives,he's talking about at least 90 inches for the year. Even Bills man Novak calling for 3-6 Thursday. Welcome back Bill,hope you enjoyed your time away,we missed you,not much while you were gone but things are heating up in the weather dept.what's your take Bill do you want the snow record to fall?

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  43. @NovakWeather on TwitterMarch 1, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    I'm surprised that snow total predictions are so low for Thursday's snow event from most of the media outlets. Even the NWS is conservative.

    I believe it is dangerous to just look at computer model QPF when predicting snow totals. A forecaster must take into consideration all layers of the atmosphere when considering the potential strength of a storm. With Thursday's event, there is fantastic lift in the atmosphere over eastern MN and WI. A "coupled" jet structure and good low to mid level forcing points to a significant snow event. The only element that seems to be lacking is a discrete surface low. In other words, I'm confident that the NAM is ONTO something and not ON something.

    When a forecaster simply looks at model QPF for guidance, that is a sign of laziness.

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  44. All in all, Thursday's storm has all the makings of a 2"-4" or 3"-6" snow event. Not quite Warning criteria, but certainly Advisory criteria especially from MSP south and east.

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  45. Novak, nice post, I see in the AFD from the NWS service early this morning that they say .50 to 1" of snow for the metro, and give the technical reasons behind it. Paul Douglas has updated his blog to 1-2. For any one that is interested you can find that at the Star Trib, by going to their home page, click on news and than weather, the update is in the upper left.

    PS I hope your right MR Novak

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  46. I think P. Douglas has the right idea at this point. 1-2 inches of snow for the metro, with maybe 2-4 across parts of south east MN and into western Wisconsin. It does appear that initially the snow will have to overcome some dry air, but at this point this is just my thoughts. And Novak, it may not be laziness when people put their predictions out with just the QPF. It could be that they don't know all the technical aspects of the jet stream and locating that coupled jet. I do think that some people would be interested in learning more about it though. On a side note, GFS brought back that large system for early next week, but I expect this flip flopping to continue, as is usually the case in long range forecast maps. If it were to pan out, it would have the potential to get at least half way to that record snow total. Happy shoveling everyone!

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  47. Big Daddy

    I was using information that came out after Paul Douglas had posted his blog, the 0z runs of the European and the Canadian don't come until after midnight.

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  48. ok the latest model information. The GFS and European have brought the major snowstorm back to us, with the Canadian just to our south.

    I think I may have to go crow hunting, does anyone know if it taste better cooked medium well or well done? lol.

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  49. If the GFS and the European should verify it really could be a historic winter if the Airport would see 12" or more.

    From Paul Douglas blog dated Feb 24th: "We've seen two 12"+ snowstorms (first time since the Winter of 1991-92). Pete Boulay, at the MN State Climate Office, couldn't find a winter with 3 "one-footers" going back to 1891."

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  50. randyinchamplin: When is this storm going to go through?

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  51. @NovakWeather on TwitterMarch 1, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Don't discount Saturday's storm that will be tracking from OK to IL. Although it has similar characteristics to the latest storm that missed MN yesterday, the upper level dynamics of this storm are impressive and appear to intensify dangerously close to MN.

    Certainly deserves to be monitored.

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  52. agreed Mr. Novak, it is dangerously close. I noticed about a 150 mile nw movement in the last 2 day's from just east of lake MI to the Chicago area, any more NW movement would spell trouble.

    And Anonymous, way to earlier to tell at this juncture, any one that can tell you with certainty is smoking something.

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  53. My parents live in the prior lake/savage area and by my count they have had 4 double-digit snowfalls this season, which is very historic in my estimation.
    Ralph in ND

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  54. I don't care who you're talking about- I think nearly all the stations have at least mentioned that a big storm is on the way for early- mid next week. I think a pretty big monster is on the way.

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  55. The NWS office in LaCrosse says: It is too early to determine how much snow will fall at this time, due to uncertainty on the track of the storm system. A track farther north through Illinois would bring potential for more snow, possibly even significant, whereas a farther south track may not bring any snow.

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  56. Great input, all!! Back in the saddle again with a new post.

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