Friday, December 2, 2011

One to Three Seems To Be the Consensus

Note: As of Saturday morning, some forecasters were revising expected snowfall amounts. The NWS now calls for 3-5 inches, WCCO now calls for 2-4 inches, while KARE, Strib and KSTP remain at 1-3 inches. MPR (6:30 a.m. update) says Twin Cities remain on the northern fringe of the snow band (indicated as 2-6 inches) with northern suburbs like Blaine expecting one inch. Accuweather still calling for "a bit of snow" totaling .8 inches.

Most Twin Cities weather prognosticators were singing the same tune on Friday evening, about 24 hours before the expected onset of what appears to be a relatively minor snow event. Here's a summary we put together from the mid-evening news segments.

WCCO: 1-3 (but used model showing no snow)
KSTP: 2
FOX: 1-3
KARE 1-3
NWS: 1-3
Strib: no update since last night
MPR: "For the Twin Cities metro, snow will be heaviest toward Lakeville, where three inches look to be a good bet for now."
Novak: 1-3
Weather Underground: 1-4
Accuweather: .9 inches
Weather.com: "Less than an inch" Saturday and another "less than an inch" Saturday night.

Check on us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

127 comments:

  1. Copying this from the other thread...

    Paul Douglas posted a quote a week ago and I think it fits here: "Don't predict rain when you're in a drought."

    We've been missed by everything for months. Based on our weather pattern, I expect to get the lesser end of the forecast for this storm, or any storm for that matter.

    Until we get dumped on, or until something too huge to ignore comes along, it is unwise to predict a dumping. I think that's why we're getting such modest forecasts...and I definitely think they'll miss to the high side, not the low side, even with those modest predictions.

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  2. Here is a good place to get the gist of what is going on...

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx/?n=webbriefing

    the video is awesome.

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  3. Looking at that narrow strip of watches from Colorado to Wisconsin is kinda cool I think. Shows just how accurate the forecast has to be.

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  4. Sorry I couldn't put this out earlier....I was away for awhile w/o internet access but after looking at things. For the metro split into 4 quadrants, using roughly I35 for the north south division and I 394 for the east west...NW=1-2, NE=1-3, SW=1-3, SE=3-5 with the higher amounts south of the Minnesota River.

    AT MSP 2.8

    For SE MN East of I35 a wide spread area of 4-6", with the heaviest amount between a line from Austin to Wabasha on the north side and from Leroy (just south of Austin on the IA border) two Winona where 6-9" is possible

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  5. @CWY2190-

    This puts things all into perspective:

    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/images/wwd/radnat/natrad.html

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  6. Here is the positioning of the storm now:


    http://www.wunderground.com/radar/mixedcomposite.asp?region=b3&size=2x&type=loop

    At this time, it is that seemingly feeble thing in Kansas. It is the beginning of the storm that will affect us Saturday.

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  7. In some regards I believe this storm is easy to forecast for the local mets cuz their all throwing the general 1-3 blanket out over the metro,most everyone agrees metro will see enough snow to add up to an inch,and their throwing the 3 inch amount out there to cover their asses just in case the storm wobbles further north or a heavier snow band sets up over the metro giving us more then that inch,the only fly in the oinment is if the heaviest of the snow moves over the metro which know one believes will happen,that is why I'm saying its easier,then let's say last years domebuster storm when snowfall numbers were getting out of control with each model run and the mets had to actually figure out what the outcome would be

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  8. All is quiet here in Red Wing, hoping it's a very different scene in 24 hours. I'll take a few measurements tomorrow afternoon and night and post them for what it's worth. Predicting (more like hoping) 6 inches when it's all said and done here. I'm on the southeast side of town, so that should help as well.

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  9. once the 0z come s out, I am off to bed.

    But first, every time I look at this page, I see the little blue edge get a little further towards the west (Look at snow amount Tonight through Saturday night.)

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  10. Sorry... forgot page...

    http://graphical.weather.gov/sectors/mpx.php#tabs

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  11. They nudged the system a little further west...

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  12. Good point @big daddy!

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  13. okay I'm a little baffled/confused over NWS discussion page this morning,they state that a dry slot will work into south central/southeast minnesota where totals will be held down abit,but the deformation zone will setup over the twin cities giving the metro higher totals but they never said what that total would be except for saying several inches,that smells to me like their trying to change things up abit,bust-- in the favor of more snow?what do you guys think,thoughts?

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  14. big daddy...this is future reflectivity model (future radar) that was initialized at 1am and valid at for 4pm...the lower dbz return near the MN and WI border and in central IA are the dry slots. That leads me to believe that the cold front dropping in from the nw has slowed...if that model is right.

    http://ruc.noaa.gov/rucnew/from_jet/ruc7t/t2/2011120307/cref_t2sfc_f16.png

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  15. here us the link, with all the fields in it including accumulated snowfall

    http://ruc.noaa.gov/rucnew/Welcome.cgi?dsKey=ruc7t&domain=t2&run_time=03+Dec+2011+-+07Z

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  16. @RANDYINCHAMPLIN,thank you,so what does that all mean to you,do you think more metro snows.

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  17. Not sure big daddy, but normally you see a dry slot in a stronger system, it kind makes the storm look like a comma head that would be placed to the ne of the dry slot, generally speaking the strongest snow's would be in the comma head ( I believe), I have no clue what this thing is going to do anymore

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  18. WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES ARE NOW POSTED!,*including the metro*,all watches in the CWA(county warning area)have been converted to advisories,a little surprising since I believe 6+ inches of snow will be meet in NWS forecast area,but reading their discussion those areas will be very narrow,but hey snowlovers good news they upped their metro totals to 2-4inches,lets see what other mets say this morning.

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  19. I got up for a couple of hours to look at the models I was just about to call it night when I saw the MPX discussion....now I need more sleep, let's see what happens

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  20. NWS discussion/home page for MPX area is very confusing this morning Bill,I dont know which total you can pull for grading purposes,on one hand you type in the zip for Minneapolis and you get the 7-day forecast(day/night,highs/lows,and weather),well reading that text they have total snowfall at 1-3 inches,then you go read the winter weather advisory headline and in there they say 2-4 for the twin cities,but wait it gets even better,scroll further down from there and it says "main impact...snow... 3-5 inches likely",so what gives?

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  21. You know what I find very amusing,I got to both accuweather.com and weather.com websites after I read what the NWS says about the coming storm,both websites display the NWS text with the winter weather advisory but they proceed to have a forecast on their website not even close to what the new thinking at nws,accuweather still has "abit of afternoon snow"(with .9 still their total)and weather.com has 50% chance of snow showers with now 0 snowfall,tell me that doesnt confuse the public.

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  22. In what case would the NWS select to issue a Winter Weather Advisory instead of a Winter Storm Warning (after first issuing a Winter Storm Watch), yet raise snowfall estimates by a few inches? Is the snow going to fall more gradually than expected, but for a greater length of time?

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  23. Perhaps some of those NWS questions could be asked on their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/US.NationalWeatherService.TwinCities.gov

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  24. I think what is causing the confusion is the fact that the NWS is going by yhe rapid update cycle at this time... it only goes out to nine hours, so it is little known by us geeks. It gives the metro a direct hit.

    To find it, go to the wunderground model page and click RUC on the list. (Where the GFS is, click the arrow to acess the list)

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  25. The NWS in Sioux Falls South Dakota just expanded thier advisories eastward. I hope that this trend continues here and there.

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  26. Now the NWS in Hastings Nebraska just expanded the Winter Storm Wornings there. And they appear to be taking a trend further to the north then where the watches were.

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  27. The NWS in North Platte just issued another advisory for thier area...

    And the trend is continuing...

    Like a freight train...

    Headed for us.

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  28. A winter storm watch is issued when they think there is the potential of 6+ inches 24 or more hours before a storm hits. As the storm approaches and they revise their totals, it's not uncommon for the NWS to change it to an advisory as forecasted totals come in at the 3-5 inch range. People need to remember that a watch/warning/advisory doesn't mean that much snow WILL fall. It means there's a reasonable chance that much snow COULD fall.

    In this case, I anticipate that they changed to an advisory south of here because they're now expecting some mixed precip at the start and dry slots, which will keep totals down. I am assuming the Twin Cities were added because more current models are pushing the snow a little further north.

    The storm is still in NE/IA, but it sure looks like the snow is setting up further NW than they anticipated yesterday, based on where it is now and the direction it's moving. Will I be changing my evening plans? Time will tell.

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  29. For what it's worth, NWS just reduced their forecasted amounts back down to closer to what they were last night.

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  30. What's the chance of them issueing a Winter Storm Warning for down here in Red Wing? They keep saying the 6+ possibility is on a line south of here, so they should be issueing one, correct?

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  31. Per their discussion, while they think totals will be near 6 inches in some areas, they feel the band of snow is too thin to issue warnings so widespread. I have seen this before from the NWS where they end up sticking with the advisory, but conditions are so bad that you would think they need a warning. I've also seen it the other way, where they have a warning but an advisory would have been fine. If any warnings do come down, I would imagine they would be pretty last minute, and heavily based on snow totals and the short term models such as the HRRR and RUC.

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  32. @AB,I seriously doubt that the NWS would issue advisory/watches/warnings cause as you put it theres a "chance snow could fall",the nws takes these type of headlines seriously and wouldn't put these type of headlines out if they didn't think it WILL snow(90% is a pretty sure thing)if there is A CHANCE SNOW COULD FALL then they use an hwo(hazardous weather outlook)to alert the public. Also I'm not seeing the reduction u speak of the winter weather advisory issued at 6:13am has no revisions or updates to it and still says 3-5 inches

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  33. @big daddy, "a chance snow could fall" is not what I said. I said, "a watch/warning/advisory doesn't mean that much snow WILL fall. It means there's a reasonable chance that much snow COULD fall." I wasn't talking about whether or not it would snow; I was talking about quantities. HUGE difference between I said and what you quoted me as saying.

    The information in the advisory hasn't changed. What's changed are the local forecasts the NWS puts out for communities all over the place. My area had a 1-3 inch prediction earlier today and now it's back down to "around an inch."

    @Duane, I agree with what you said...and it's kind of what I was trying to say before. They reduced it to an advisory because at this time it doesn't appear that 6+ inches is a very strong probability in general. At the same time, while it might not happen everywhere, there's a high enough chance of 3 inches around the metro to issue the advisory so people are aware of the possibility, even if they get less in their backyard.

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  34. a couple of thoughts

    First: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/md2368.html


    here is a link for watches,advisories, and warning criteria for our area.

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx/?n=wwadef#warnings

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  35. So it does not necessarily mean that it has to be snowing at all for a winter storm warning to issued. It might be issued for snowfall, but is could be also issued for approaching blizzard criteria, although not quite there.

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  36. I also should add:

    They expanded the Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories to the south of us again.

    The reason why I post these things is not to start an argument, but from my experiance, these trends tend to continue...

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  37. We all know that every storm behaves in crazy, unique ways. Unless it's a megastorm, like we got last December 10-12, it's almost impossible to guarantee any area a specific amount of snow or guarantee that the snow will reach certain warning criteria. If they waited until they knew that for sure, obviously, it would be too late (see: three weeks ago).

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  38. The nws has issued a short term forecast:

    http://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=MNZ060&warncounty=MNC053&firewxzone=MNZ060&local_place1=Minneapolis-St.+Paul+International+Airport+MN&product1=Short+Term+Forecast

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  39. I have no idea why any local/regional weather forecaster would flip-flop and change their initial forecast from the last few days. The models have been amazingly consistent for the last 24 - 36 hours. Sure, there may be a slight nudge here and there, but not enough to make an appreciable difference.

    Still going with what was said yesterday and the day before. No need to panic now.

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  40. Moderate Snow is underway now here in Faribault.

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  41. Still nothing in Red Wing.. Anytime now...

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  42. There is a rapidly growing secondary snowband going through Nebraska, ExtremeSoutheastern south Dakota, and now entering Minnesota. It is getting larger and stronger, and is in direct line with the metro:

    http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/uppermissvly_loop.php

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  43. Too much dry air. The snowline to the SW of the Twin Cities is virtually frozen in place, as everything north of New Ulm is sucked dry by arctic air. It's been that way for about 3 hours now, with snail's pace progress to the north, so the forecast of a sharp cutoff through the metro appears to be right on. Who knows how long it will take to push into the western suburbs???

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  44. @AB-

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/nowcast.php?site=mpx

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  45. Moderate snow in Farmington.

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  46. Flakes are starting to fly in Stillwater

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  47. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 3, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    Not snowing in Plymouth. These storms, lately, have been strange. Very strange.

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  48. Flakes in Rosemount (corner of Eagan/Apple Valley)

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  49. moderate snow in st louis park

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  50. Red Wing has about 2 inches on the ground, here on the southeast side, and it is coming down pretty steady. Can't see us getting anything under 5 inches.

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  51. Snowing pretty good in heart of metro,already covered everything AB,didn't take that long to bust the dry air with wants coming on radar it looks like higher totals 3+ will be meet

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  52. Lake City has about an inch of wet snow. Very rapid snowfall.

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  53. @anonymous...actually, the western metro (I494 and west) is still getting only light snow. I have maybe 1/4 inch on the ground here in Carver county after almost 2 hours. The heaviest bands are going through the heart of the Twin Cities, not here. Our "cap" of dry air finally broke about 3:00, but that was after 4 hours of snow that didn't move just south of us.

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  54. Doesn't look like the far se will be the winners,looking at where the heavy band is setting up I would say as close burnsville apple valey will have highest totals

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  55. this was posted on the MPX facebook page about 20 min. ago with the following message

    http://a8.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/386379_300248523341950_200752513291552_1003966_1515078496_n.jpg

    "A band of moderate to heavy snow will continue across portions of central and southern Minnesota this evening. This band is moving to the east with time. Accumulating snow will taper to flurries in Minnesota this evening and early tonight in western Wisconsin but not before several inches of snow fall across the area. The images above are of a high resolution model that is run at our office. This forecast images represent how the model thinks the radar will look like at various times this evening."

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  56. One inch of snow at TMF world headquarters in St. Paul.

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  57. Looking ahead...

    The ECMWF has placed an Alberta clipper in our path for next Friday. After that, it could get real cold.

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  58. A new smowband near Marshall has formed.

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  59. "NovakWeather said...
    I have no idea why any local/regional weather forecaster would flip-flop and change their initial forecast from the last few days. The models have been amazingly consistent for the last 24 - 36 hours. Sure, there may be a slight nudge here and there, but not enough to make an appreciable difference."

    What has been amazingly consistent for the last 24-36 hours, QPF, thermal fields, momentum transport, upper height fields? From what I've seen, the QPF seems pretty similar but the thermal fields are significantly different which would lead to different snow totals.

    --Kevin.

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  60. Golden Shovel Award thoughts...

    Lead runners have got to be Northfield, Faribault, Red Wing, Zumbrota, Owatanna, Rochester or Far south Metro Cities.

    Hightest amount could top 6 inches.

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  61. I think that Prescott will end up with the highest totals. There has been a heavy band there for a long time now.

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  62. It appears that a heavier band is trying to reform over the cities. More snow for our dear lovers.

    I am going to go measure the snow quick and tell my findings soon...

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  63. 2in in White Bear Lake

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  64. Winter Storm warnings have been issued in Iowa...

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  65. Carver county, bogged down with cold dry northern air all day, has 1/2 inch after 4 hours of snow. *YAWN*

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  66. It looks like the storm will linger a little longer than expected:

    http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=mpx&wwa=short term forecast

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  67. Check this out:

    http://radar.weather.gov/Conus/full_loop.php

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  68. AB sorry its been a yawn for u,nice band setting up over metro for next hour or so

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  69. The band is getting stronger and wider. It will probably dump an 1+ inches.

    Inccuweather probably has a busted forcast. No surprise there

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  70. @big daddy...hoping to get another quick 1/2 inch from the band about to move through. Last year, we kept measuring snowfalls out here by the foot. This year, it's by the 1/2 inch. So goes life in Minnesota.

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  71. @bemaki man u don't. Even let this storm wind down and you already looking out over the horizon for a clipper next,enjoy what's falling now and later will take care of itself,but I know its proablt the snow lover in you

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  72. Four inches here in White Bear Lake...

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  73. Say Bill, what is it like at the HQ?

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  74. I don't even know what four inches looks like anymore! I think we're at 2 inches for the entire season if you add up these little snowfalls we've gotten out here over the past 3 weeks. I am traditionally a snow lover, but I do have to admit that I like the low-hassle of the snow we've had so far. I keep thinking if we can get one storm like this a week it'll be perfect for Christmas and I don't have to do much digging, scraping, or shoveling.

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  75. serious band moving into metro form the southwest at least an inch an hour kind of band,this is far from over

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  76. I think more and more that his is a busted forecast

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  77. Exuse my spelling. This, not his.

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  78. Just hit three inches at TMF headquarters. The last inch has been very fluffy. My first little amateur video here (hey, I have the whole season to make it more professional): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFjJJprmHqk

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  79. Great video, Bill! Really enjoyed it! You ough to d that more!

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  80. Sorry, technical issusues are plaging the computer right now. All the letters are not transferring.

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  81. Just under 5 on the ground here in Red Wing.

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  82. The snowbnd is still getting stronger... Would nt be surprised if we started takng 1/2 foot pretty quickly here.

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  83. That heavier snow band came within a mile or so of me, but alas, another near-miss. We continue to get a very light snow here. Additional accumulations will be minor, as the edge of the snow line is drifting eastward. It's near Hutch right now. We may have hit an inch!!!

    Has it been mutually agreed upon that the heaviest accumulations cut right through the heart of the Twin Cities (sure looks that way)?

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  84. I think so. This storm has given us a rather plesant surprise.

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  85. ...unless you live NW of 212 and 494, in which case it behaved exactly like it was forecasted!

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  86. This snowband appears to be rotating on an axis that centers right at the Metro. Hope it continues to dump.

    I suppose everybody has a bad fall with a good fall nearby. It happens. It also shows how sharp the cut off is.

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  87. @bemaki I was sensing a bust(towards more snow)back at 2:40am,golden valley sitting at 3.5,my 3.6 prediction at msp will fall short,which Im good with

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  88. @bemaki...absolutely! It happens the other way too. I just hope the snow gods even it out before Christmas!

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  89. I thought somthing was funny when I saw that secondary band before the snow started. I was dissapointed at first when that "Dry doughnut" came over us, but now I am fairly content.

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  90. Here is the new Graphical Nowcast in response to the snowbands:

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/nowcast.php?site=mpx

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  91. Snowband is starting to move... Hoping for another 1/2 inch here...

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  92. The NWS service changed thier forecast to 3-6in.

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  93. I think the band is starting to wind down...

    Hope you snow lovers got in on it.

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  94. so does this ensure a white christmas with the cold air coming next week,im thinking so

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  95. I am thinking so. We will see this cold air come through, and before it can get up there, it will be quickly reenforced, Alberta clipper on friday or not.

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  96. Looks like a final blast here. However, I going to go to bed once the 0z comes out.

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  97. New short term Graphical Nowcast has been issued.

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/nowcast.php?site=mpx

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  98. I'm going to guess cottage grove or somewhere nearby for golden shovel award,seems to me that area has been in moderate/heavy snow for awhile

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  99. RUC now thinks that the snow will linger till 8:00am tommorrow morning.

    NAM thinks till 9:00am tommorrow.

    GFS thinks till 8:00am tommorrow.

    SREF thinks till Noon tommorrow.

    Good Night to all of you weather geeks I am off to bed.

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  100. Not a white Christmas in the far west metro just yet! With 3 weeks until Christmas, temps in the 20s-low 30s in the forecast, and sun, the 1-2 inches we received today will surely melt away by then. However if the trend of small snow events continues on a weekly basis, we should join the rest of the metro in a blanket of white come the 24th and 25th.

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  101. Based on Kare 11's radar estimates, it looks like there are two bulls-eyes. One is Mankato to Owatonna and east. The other is up by Osceola, Taylor's Falls, etc. Both areas have currently received 4-6 inches. The Osceola area, like the central and east metro, is continuing to see moderate snowfall.

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  102. snow is just about over for the metro, now we wait for all the snow reports to come out to see how close our local mets came to nailing this very complicated system.

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  103. I'm surprised how long it seems to be taking to get some updated official readings....

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  104. @Bill: me as well I sent a report to MPX via e-spoter but it hasn't shown up yet...I think they are having problems

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  105. Anyone stay up and watch Fox9 Steve Frazier? The guy couldn't stop patting himself on the back, all the while pronouncing this to be a 1-3 inch snowstorm. He showed 1 to 3 inch amounts (including 3 at the station in Eden Prairie, which one would assume is lower than the eastern side of the metro) that he admitted were gathered when it was still snowing steadily. WTF? Step 1 of Fox9 weather manual seems to be: 1) Make everyone think you nailed the forecast... whether or not the ultimate facts will support you.

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  106. MPX: Bloomington [Hennepin Co, MN] asos reports SNOW of M4.2 INCH at 12:00 AM CST -- msp airport snowfall total

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  107. Just to throw out another total, through midnight I've got 4.4" of snow (0.23" liquid) in Inver Grove Heights, MN (Dakota County - SE Metro). Based on my total for my location a very good forecast by the NWS, and great lead time with the WW Advisory.

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  108. @MN Weather Fan..... none of the broadcast mets showed 3-5" for the metro...all 1-3 with the highest in the se metro...as of Fri I didn't see the NWS calling for that much snow either...

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  109. @MN Weather Fan and @Randy I think you're both right. Through last night, the NWS was like the majority of outlets in forecasting 1-3 inches. However, they took the lead today in forecasting more. And yes, their WW Advisory was proper and justified in my opinion.

    @Randy Your forecast did seem to suggest maybe a bit more than the majority, but your prediction for MSP of 2.8 appears to be close to 1.5 inches below the final tally.

    This is a tough business!

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  110. @Bill. Yeah I blew the MSP forecast, that one is on me. The 12/2 0z run of the Euro showed about 5.9 at the Lakeview airport, the 12z run 4.5" and so I called that 5". I don't know why I didn't do that for MSP, it showed 4.8 on the 0z run and 2.8 on the 12z run..if I had taken the middle ground at MSP I would have been close to right on. My bad for MSP.
    Lesson learned LOL

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  111. and I agree with the WWA...I never thought it would get to warning criteria for the MPX area

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  112. You guys should start a fantasy weather website. Its a million dollar idea!

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  113. Not that I'm more knowledgable then the randyinchamplins,or novaks who seem to know much about weather,I'm just a amatuer who looks at models and websites and reads discussions on storms and just made an guess of 3.6(close but still lower then what msp got)from your other post "is interesting weather on the way" 12/2 6:29am,but ill take it cuz I'm in a little friendly competition with some buddies in regards to snowfall/temps this winter,u earn points for closet total snowfall at msp,and my guess of 3.6 was the closet and naturally higher then everyone in our competition,so haven't looked at models yet this morning when's our next interesting weather,is bemakis clipper still on track

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  114. That is a funny idea for the fantasy weather website! I guess this is the closest thing, with no money involved. Love this site
    (for me during winter), to follow the discussions from pre to post storms in what is an educated group. The snow forecasts and how the media presents it is such a hot button topic and is obviously not going anywhere anytime soon. Just to claify my previous comment, I honestly just followed 2 forecasts leading up to this storm - the weather channel and the NWS from Chanhassen. Actually, I have a "3rd source". I get automated emails from The Weather Underground every time there is an updated forecast (I recommend this service). They are very close to the NWS forecasts and might be similiar/same to the "zone county forecast" issued on-line by NWS, but I would need to research what exactly is the source. Anyway, on Friday 12/4 at 1:44 pm I receieved the following forecast (truncated to hi-lite Sat and Sat night):

    Saturday - Mostly cloudy. A slight chance of snow in the morning...then snow likely in the afternoon. Snow accumulation up to 2 inches. Highs 30 to 35. West winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

    Saturday Night - Mostly cloudy. Snow likely in the evening... then a chance of snow after midnight. Snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. Lows 20 to 25. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70 percent.

    So to me (Dakota County) that is indicating 3-5" a full 24 hours before the start of the storm and obviously Dakota is considered part of the metro as a neigboring county to Hennepin. I'll forward this email to Bill for him to confirm this.

    The other reason I give the NWS credit for their forecast were the discussions leading up the storm mentioning the distinct NW to SE snow total cutoffs, and the watches that were issued fairly close to the metro - which always gets peoples attention that we are dealing with measurable snow. The weather channel under forecasted (in my area) only calling for 2 inches.

    Lastly, I was a little critical with the NWS for the first storm of the year, I figured I should also give them credit when they were accurate for my county.

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  115. I love how everybody is trying dissect this storm and we are getting way too detailed/specific about a certain location.

    You need to take snow totals with a grain of salt and generalize as much as reasonably possible. With that being said, the models and most of the forecasters did a fantastic job of predicting this snowstorm. Here are the facts:

    1.) In general, 3"-7" band of snow (100 miles wide) fell across the southeastern 1/3 of MN.
    2.) Sharp gradient of snow existed across the MSP metro. 1"-2" on the northwest side and 4"-5" on the southeast side.
    3.) The snow fell between the hours of noon and midnight.

    All of this was nearly spot on with most computer models and forecasters. The key word is "nearly". As usual, there were some exceptions. Most surprising may have been the amount of snow that fell in a band from Shakoppee northeast thru MSP International to St. Paul. This band developed about 25 miles or so further northwest than expected, but still, the storm evolved almost exactly as expected.

    Let's take this storm for what it is and give props to many Mets for hitting this one right on the nose. Mets often get beat-up for lack of accuracy, but this storm should be considered a huge forecasting success.

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  116. A few quick points:
    1) Love the fantasy weather site idea. If only we could pin down forecasters to provide black and white totals for a specific location (airport always seems most natural)

    2) Agree with @Novak for most part. However, from a micro-climate perspective, the band that fell 25 miles more to the nw effected areas of higher population so the effect seems somehow magnified.

    3) Somehow, and it's a collective feeling I gather from listening to all the forecasters that I can't always express precisely, this storm just "felt" like a little more than expected. One has a mindset for what a 1-3" storm is like and another for a 3-5" storm. The net effect of the difference in those totals is not too significant but I can only tell you that for my money, this felt, as @pathammer tweeted, a bit more than expected.

    Wow, there goes half the recap post I was planning for later!

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  117. Whoops, two other notes.
    From what I understand, Weather Underground does take the feed directly from the NWS; however, there are timing issues and they don't always pick up on the changes right away.

    Also, the NWS did seem to nudge ahead of most other outlets with slightly higher forecast totals earlier in the day yesterday.

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  118. @Novak and @Bill- I agree with you Bill this storm felt and was more then forecasted/expected,Novak I agree with u on just don't focus on one location(like msp's 4.4) but if you consider the metro as whole and I'm talking the loop now where the population is the greatest this wasn't an 1-3 snowfall,especially everything they were saying around it and were saying it would be closer to one,the better call would have been 2-5,which only the NWS updated their totals around 3am Saturday morning to 3-5,they in my mind are the clear cut winners,everyone else just followed suit and went with the 1-3 blanket

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  119. Forgot to add,MPR's update Saturday morning was pretty solid as well. calling for 2-6inches which considering all the totals in around the loop was spot on,most everyone in loop saw 2 inches and I have seen 5 inch totals on the east side around maplewood.

    Novak,bemaki,randyinchamplin seeing anything on the horizon besides the cold

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  120. I think the local mets did a good job. No hype. I got what was expected her in Plymouth. KARE 11 did say 2-4.

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  121. @Anonymous Not sure when KARE11 said 2-4.

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  122. First, this sets things straight:

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=mpx&storyid=67052&source=0

    Second, I think the models had this storm pretty well nailed down from the start, the execption being the GFS. I would call it a huge sucess for them, especially the Euro.

    Third, I think the fantasy weather idea is awesome. For you weather geeks, you may want to spend about half an hour taking a look at this:

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ffc/?n=hotseat

    this could be used as an initial judgeing/ rating tool.

    Forth, the models appear to be experiancing extreme wobbleing difficulties pretaning to the Alberta Clipper, with a wide range of strength and direction. One model run it is immense and up in Canada, the next it is weak and down in Iowa.

    Fifth, It appears that the GFS wants to drop multiple weak systems at us. The Euro is the snow lover's enemy right now.

    Sixth, There are five inches on the ground here.

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  123. Sorry about all those spelling errors...

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  124. @Bill ... at 10:00 pm last night, they said 2-4" totals would be the norm for most of the metro, with isolated higher amounts, so they DID up their snow totals after the snow had been falling for 8 hours. I don't know if they changed the forecast during the day at all.

    There are *maybe* 2 inches on the ground here; we can still see tips of grass. The west metro is going to need several little clips of snow before we can proclaim a white Christmas; although, and let's be real, it's not a lock anywhere just yet. A couple days above freezing could put everybody at risk of seeing brown come the 24th/25th.

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  125. @AB Thanks for the info. My thinking is that forecasts should be "locked and loaded" and ready for assessment approximately 24 hours before storm onset. Once the snow is underway, it's less of a forecast and more of a nowcast, which I think many of us amateurs could do as well as the pros just by looking at the radar returns.

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  126. Big Daddy in answer to your question posted at 11:54 am. There are hints, all be it tiny ones that there may be some blocking trying to set over Greenland, at this time I wouldn't bet on it.

    The GFS tries to keep the PNA (Pacific North American Oscillation) negative towards the middle of the month, that would mean troughiness setting up over the west coast which could lead to a active pattern over the US and indeed the longer portion of the GFS shows that. On the other hand the Euro wants to take the PNA positive with ridging setting over the NW coast which at best could bring us a clipper (none are showing up in the 10 day outlook). At this time it is impossible to say
    whether it will be tranquil or busy for the middle of the month.

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  127. There was absolutely no snow here on December 2, 2011
    i don't know if it's good or bad

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