Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pattern Change, Are You Out There?

Local weather geeks and other weather-interested parties are growing restless at the continued lack of "interesting" weather in the Twin Cities. Some have suggested there are inklings of at least some sort of pattern change coming up late during the week following xmas. But, obviously, that remains to be seen.

Use this space to discuss the continued search for systems that may drop more than .2 inches of snow on the Twin Cities.

60 comments:

  1. Went for a run today with no hat and gloves... Christmas eve day... yuk. Normally I'm snowshoeing or mountain biking (fat winter tire bikes). This year blows. I really do hope a change happens soon or its going to be one long summer.

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  2. Did anyone search the local hospitals for old man winter?

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  3. I watched KSTP last night. They said they had made a "significant change" to thier forecast from the five o clock hour. Come New Years, they claimed that there would be "Several inches of snow" on the ground.

    Now, whatever they mean, I am not sure. Last year, "Several inches" meant a foot of snow. This year "Several inches" probably means three. They appear to have gone out on a limb though...

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  4. Too bad KSTP doesn't archive their last several days forecasts so we can look back on them. For that matter, the only station that does that -- allowing for the best Monday morning quarterbacking -- is WCCO.

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  5. Even so, their forcast reamains similar as the one they introduced last night.

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  6. Happy holidays to all the regulars(novak,duane,bemaki,ab,bill,randyinchamplin)and all others that visit minnesotaforecaster,I like the fact that snow is getting mentioned more later this week,but the NWS sames reserved at this time,but god facing a 50 tommorrow really sucks,I would cherish any snowfall right now

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  7. 365 days until Christmas 2012... if the world doesn't end first, lets hope next year brings a white one.

    I know there is a lot of winter left but I've about given up... nothing but warm and brown. I bet this summer will be dry and hot too. F#)$(*

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  8. Christmas is over, so I can take or leave the snow for the rest of the winter. Upper 40s tomorrow will make for excellent shopping weather.

    Odds favor a white Christmas next year. ;o)

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  9. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 25, 2011 at 9:38 PM

    Why so negative, people? Lots of winter left! And it is Christmas! Hang in there fellow snow lovers!

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  10. Lots of clippers showing up on the map, with one Friday night looking like it could potentially pack some punch. Keep an eye on that first week or so in January too...that pattern change may very well be showing up, but then again there is potential for a big trough to dig into the east and put us under a ridge and keep us warm. Earlier model runs even showed the potential for areas in the southeast US to be colder than us here.

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  11. I have a few questions:

    Is there a stat on "white new years"? Perhaps on what years had brown christmas and white new years? Or vise versa?

    Secondly:

    Will the stratospheric warming inhibit the development of multiple cutoff lows, or will that continue?

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  12. It's a beautiful 50 degrees in the Twin Cities! I took my daughter to our neighborhood park. we played on the swings and went for a walk. It was great!

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  13. What a strange day,car temperature is at 51 degrees and even took my christmas lights down in a t-shirt an shorts,this is what we call winter,sad indeed,I get that its nice,but nice is reserved for spring and summer,winter should be filled with words like:warning,drifts,snowstorms,ice,cold,advisories,watches,inches,

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  14. Today blows... as does anyone that likes this. Move to Ohio if you like dead grass or are too weak to enjoy a real winter.

    Bring on the snow. I feel it coming.

    ... and to all those that like 50s in December, may your summer months be cold and rainy. ;)

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  15. This winter is payback for the insanity of last winter.

    Thanks for informing us that we blow! Let's see if your comment gets removed as others have.

    Bill?

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  16. I for one agree, lets see some action for once. Whats the latest on this rut we're in?

    P.S. Blow doesn't seem worth crying about but thats just me. There are a lot of people suffering financially and otherwise due to the lack of snow. Its got a lot of people on edge waiting for old man winter to appear.

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  17. The NWS forecast for the latter half of this week is showing some life: several days/nights in a row with a chance of snow. That alone is news this year, I suppose...

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  18. Accuweather calling for 1-3 inches of snow on Thursday night.

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  19. Forecasters are pretty high on a big warm up for next Saturday. As of Monday night, forecast highs:

    WCCO: 39
    KSTP: missed forecast (website is lagging)
    FOX: 40 ("but that could be conservative")
    KARE: 36
    NWS: 39
    Strib: 41
    Accuweather: 34
    Weather Channel: 44

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  20. Update: KSTP weighs in at 37 for Saturday.

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  21. @bemaki...the cut off low question I'm not sure about, but here is my guess for what it's worth. If a full latitude trough can set up some where east of the Rockies I really don't think so, as I believe the jet's will phase, if not I do believe the northern jet will still be the stronger of the two, but than some energy could be left behind from the southern jet. If that should occur it will likely be left behind off the US SW coast. Sorry best I can do.

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  22. Thanks for posting those forecast's Bill. It is obvious some forecasters are siding with the GFS, where others are going with the European model. Judging by the 00z European run, Fox could be absolutely correct with being too conservative. Accuweather is too low, and right now I think KARE is a tad too low, but it is typical for a forecast 5 days out...best guess for now, and adjust through the week. Still no snow cover will probably be around for Saturday, although snow is in the forecast. That snow should melt off fairly quickly. Strong low moving by to the north giving us a good southerly breeze and no snow should help temps warm. Not sure what the records are for Saturday, but if they are in the low 40's, they will be in danger of being broken.

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  23. On a side note, the European model continues to show a pretty decent cold intrusion into the US the first week of January...and could bring us the coldest air we have seen in quite some time. Euro and GFS are in two different camps with this potential transition, so it remains a frustrating "wait and see". New Year = New Pattern? Just maybe... :) Just look at this trough on the European model...major digging into the east, major ridge out west. This will bring us colder temps if this solution comes through, but those looking for snow will still be out of luck. This particular look will spin up a big east coast storm, unless that trough digs in much further west. Long range in general is not reliable when it comes to precip, but can be a bit more reliable when it comes to pattern or temperature shifts. It is pretty crazy how different the long range models are in regards to the first week of Jan. though. Here's some images to show the differences.

    European: http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/duanewolter/ECMWF-1.gif

    GFS: http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/duanewolter/GFS-1.gif

    GEM (Canadian): http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m203/duanewolter/GEM.gif

    Look at the differences in the jet pattern. The ECMWF is roller coaster, where the others are building a ridge out west, but there is no reaction to the east...and that seems strange, I would think with a ridge building like that, that a trough should dig east of it. ECMWF also shows that big storm...unfortunately (for snow lovers) off the NE coast of the US.

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  24. @Bill,that accuweather forecast is now "chance of a snow shower" for Thursday with no snowfall projected,take what inaccuweather has to say with a huge grain of salt,btw since were talking about accuweather they are projecting the pattern change to occur around 1/8-1/9 with temps falling thru the 20's and a two-day snow event with 3.5 inches of snow expected(why do they even bother putting a total of snowfall for so far out)accuweather is like the GFS,good for speculation,I guess time will tell,almost everywhere I read from this blog to national and local mets all are saying pattern change coming in January,first it was in the first week now I'm hearing mid-month but thru it all the mild weather contiues,NWS has a high of 44 Saturday,I'm sure that will turn into a 50+ as well with records shattered,this just sucks,everyday that goes by is one day closer to spring,I knew I shouldnt have brought that new snowblower!!!!

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  25. Anybody suffering financially because of the lack of snow should have been smart enough to save their money after last year's 100-inch bonanza. That's how business works. No sympathy.

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  26. @randyinchamplin-

    Thanks for the answer.

    @the rest of you guys:

    NWS gives a nice picture of what is going on:

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

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  27. I think the Stratospheric warming is developing but I don't think arctic air over the lower 48 will really develop, however some cooler air could get down here, bringing temps down to near normal by around Jan. 10

    normal temps are here (ave is from 81-2010)
    http://climate.umn.edu/doc/twin_cities/climate_calendar/ccjanuary1981_20101.htm

    The arctic oscillation (AO) is forecast to go from strongly positive to near neutral, if it were to go negative than the ice box would be in play.

    Here is the AO forecast (courtesy of Allan Huffman at americanwx.)
    http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae84/arpetersonembaqcom/00zallao.gif

    Which area of the country it would impact is way up in the air, The CFSv2 is all over the place. Notice that the run from the 24th had cooler air to our west, but on the 25th it shifted to the east coast, now it has shifted back to the west with the 26th solution.

    24th....http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae84/arpetersonembaqcom/wk3wk4_20111224NAsfcT.gif

    25th...http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae84/arpetersonembaqcom/wk3wk4_20111225NAsfcT.gif

    26th...http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae84/arpetersonembaqcom/wk3wk4_20111226NAsfcT.gif

    This is one strange winter, seems like some long range forecaster are to the point where they are starting to throw darts at the weather maps LOL!!

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  28. I really like our prospects for snow & cold as we head into the next 7 -10 days. Gut feeling is that one of these 'Clippers' will dump a stripe of snow across a good chunk of southern MN between now and the weekend. Then, I expect a much larger storm to wrap-up over the Great Lakes on Sunday into Monday.

    The models have caught on to a big old cold air dump for early next week, but they have yet to develop a healthy storm over the Midwest prior to the Arctic blast. I wouldn't be surprised if later model runs begin to develop a large Winter Storm somewhere over the Great Lakes/Midwest for late in the weekend. It will be interesting to watch the evolution.

    What is really impressive is how far south this Arctic air will make it into the deep south of the U.S. Temps will be a good 20 to 30 degrees below normal down there by early next week.

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  29. @Novak... why aren't other outlets jumping onto this potential arctic blast? The forecasts that go out 7-10 days have highs staying in the 30s. Also, do you agree with forecasters who are predicting near-record warmth again on Saturday?

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  30. Oops my mistake for even looking at,if you blinked you missed it the forecast I commented on 10 hours from accuweather,now its highs in the 30s with no mention of snow,I vow not to visit that website anymore I suggest you all do the same,which you proably already do.

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  31. AB: Not sure why. It could be that many forecasters are simply looking at the MOS guidance and not placing logic into the equation.

    I believe that the Arctic outbreak next week will be much, MUCH stronger than some may expect. Plus, I'm confident that there will be a fresh blanket of snow on the ground by then. In fact, I'm betting on a stripe of 'Clipper' snow to fall late Thursday into Friday AM across much of central/southern MN. This would keep temps much cooler than expected for Saturday.

    In other words, I'm not buying the near record high temperature talk for New Year's Eve.

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  32. Well put Novak. Warm temps on Saturday will be largely dependant on what these clippers do through the week and the overall strength of the low passing by in south central Canada. There is still really no good model agreement in the long term, but that colder weather the Euro is showing continues to show up on that models run.

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  33. I can't remember if this article has been posted or not, but it is a good article that explains the oscillations and how the affect our weather here, and on a global scale. It's a good read.

    http://www.corymottice.com/2011/12/26/how-the-ao-nao-and-pna-affect-winter-weather-patterns/

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  34. @Duane, thanks for sharing that.

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  35. Here is another site that talks about teleconections. (sp?)

    http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/climate/patterns/PNA.html

    from the Detroit NWS wfo...this was a case study from a previous winter, but the reason I posted this is that it talks about the effects of EPO Eastern Pacific Oscillation in the red italicized print

    http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx/winter_2002-03_outlook_review.php

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  36. Ok it looks like the GFS is starting to show the effects of the Stratospheric warming.

    500 mb....http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/GemPakTier/MagGemPakImages/gfs/20111228/12/gfs_namer_384_500_vort_ht.gif

    Notice the ridge over the eastern pacific, the strong anti cyclonic area over Alaska, with the strong cyclonic upper low over northern Canada, along with the trough over the Pacific NW. This looks like a cold pattern to me. How Cold?

    850 mb and surface pressure.....http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/GemPakTier/MagGemPakImages/gfs/20111228/12/gfs_namer_384_850_temp_mslp_precip.gif

    notice the 850 mb temps of -30° C getting set to drop in.

    and the 100-500mb chart...notice the 498,492 and 486 thickness lines. ....http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/GemPakTier/MagGemPakImages/gfs/20111228/12/gfs_namer_384_1000_500_thick.gif

    This is way far out for the GFS but I think the general idea is correct. I think the error in the model (it's regular bias), is that its to progressive moving things off the eastern sea board, therefore I believe that the surface high over the Atlantic will settle into the se US over the upcoming model runs. The effect would be a little warmer than what it is showing is possible with this run, and to shift the storm track west towards Chicago/Detroit.

    This may be fun to watch as it progresses

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  37. snow lovers sets your site's on this mornings run of the GEM.

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~gadomski/CMC_12z/cmcloop.html

    Will that verify??? I doubt it...but still...

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  38. I like the way the GEM is handling this weekend's storm system. It just seems logical to me that a significant storm will develop along the leading edge of this true Arctic blast. I believe that you are starting to see some of the other models hinting at this same solution.

    My confidence is high that someone near or around the MSP metro will have a nice blanket of snow on the ground by the end of the weekend. Keep in mind, we also have a relatively strong 'Clipper' to deal with late Thursday into Friday.

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  39. I am still struggling to see how these storms mix with our forecasted 45+ highs on Saturday. Are temps going to drop so rapidly that it's all snow? And why are all the outlets still ignoring any chance for precip Sat/Sun?

    They are - slowly - coming around to the cold air that Novak has been talking about for a couple days.

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  40. I'm with AB. The NWS discussion states that above normal temperatures are still anticipated through at least next Tuesday, and those temperatures might possibly be accompanied by some rain. I hope Novak is right though. I have noticed that a few media outlets now appear to be slowly shifting to colder weather forecasts for next week. Let's keep our fingers crossed! What a pathetic "winter season" so far. Feeling down and very brown in the southern burbs....

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  41. I'm very intrigued with what is going to happen this weekend. If you look at the latest 18z NAM, it is now shifting into Snow Storm mode for late Saturday into Sunday. Granted, it is the NAM and this model does not perform very well past 60 hours or so but...

    Regardless, what appears imminent is that a major storm will push through the Upper Midwest this weekend. This strong storm will no doubt bring very strong winds and crashing temperatures. Our temps in so. MN will likely go from near 40 on Saturday to near 0 by Sunday evening. The big question is whether snow will accompany this storm. I'm confident that accumulating snow will fall somewhere in MN with this storm but I'm yet to commit to where.

    The wildcards are the 2 'Clippers' that will roll through the Upper Midwest over the next 48 hours. Both systems will drop some accumulating snow over MN. When we get the expected winds late Saturday into Sunday, it will get ugly out on the MN highways by New Year's Eve.

    I hope the general public doesn't mistakenly believe that this weekend will be smooth sailing. I'm concerned that this will turn into quite a surprise for some travelers.

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  42. NWS has added a (slight) chance of snow to the Saturday night forecast.

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  43. NWS forecast for Thursday night:
    Thursday Night: Snow likely, mainly after midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 30. Light and variable wind. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

    Yet they still predict 44 on Saturday.....

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  44. Yesterday Yuhas said we'd have gotten to 40 on Monday, even if we'd had a snow pack, so if the air moving in is similar to Monday's, I could see it still hitting 40.

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  45. @ AB and Bill...I will do my best to answer the question of the 44 on Sat.

    First of all take a look at this...notice that there is no snow at all to the SW of us...also note the light green area in sw MN...that is the buffalo ridge area.

    http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/interactive/tmp/ssm_depth.2011122806.1.600.450.290.2971.1639.4770.dem.shading.eijlm.a.1.0.0.0.0.0.png

    most of the models show only 1-3 inches of snow for the clipper system through Friday. Because of the warm ground conditions I expect the 1st 1/2 to 1" snow will melt on contact, leaving a very weak snow pack if any at all.

    look at the GFS model on Saturday at noon, showing the 2 meter temps. Notice how we have a south westerly flow, the ground to the sw of us has no snow at all, therefore as the winds pass over this area they can not cool. In addition to that as they pass over buffalo ridge there is a down slopping affect which causes friction which acts to further increase the temps.

    http://climate.cod.edu/data/forecast/GFS/12/US/gfsUS_2_temp_78.gif

    the next map is the 2 meter temps at 6pm. Notice that the low over the international border has started to move to the east bringing in colder air. Our flow starts to turn around to the west north west, dropping our temps.

    http://climate.cod.edu/data/forecast/GFS/12/US/gfsUS_2_temp_84.gif

    The jest of it all means this, we should see our high temps top out between noon and 2pm on Sat, and than quickly drop to around 32-35° by 6pm or so.

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  46. I noticed my first link did not work...lets try this one... This is a real long URL but I think it will work

    http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/interactive/html/map.html?mode=pan&extents=us&zoom=&loc=47.91+N%2C+98.40+W&ql=station&var=ssm_swe&dy=2011&dm=12&dd=28&dh=6&snap=1&lbl=a&o5=1&o9=1&o12=1&o13=1&min_x=-98.408333333334&min_y=42.608333333334&max_x=-89.575000000001&max_y=49.233333333334&coord_x=-93.9916666666675&coord_y=45.920833333334&zbox_n=&zbox_s=&zbox_e=&zbox_w=&metric=0&bgvar=dem&shdvar=shading&width=600&height=450&nw=600&nh=450&h_o=0&font=0&js=1&uc=0

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  47. surprise.....http://forecast.weather.gov/wwamap/wwatxtget.php?cwa=mpx&wwa=winter%20weather%20advisory

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  48. look out for freezing rain, tonight

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  49. Novak there is no surprise,high of 47 is forecasted for Saurday,clipper no.1 is done with and it was all rain,clipper no.2 looks weak, at best a inch,and your snowstorm for the weekend will affect far northern mn and canada according to the euro,yes it will get windy and colder but those temps are average for January,so the general public shouldn't be surprised if they have lived in Minnesota for any bit of time,wind chills are common for January,warn me when a actual storm does occur this season,because up till now its been a yawner.

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  50. Novak dont get me wrong,I am loving what your saying,I hope it occurs,I just dont see it with the weather(or lack thereof up till now)and the near 50 degree warmth that the NWS is forecasting,I hope their wrong as well and your spot on.

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  51. @big daddy,Novak may be on to something PD in his blog says a couple of inches of slush possible saturday night and accuweather has chimed in with 2.5 inches for saturday night as well,as they say in the biz...........stay tuned

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  52. @NovakWeather on TwitterDecember 29, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    Certainly much to be told yet and the chapter is nowhere near finished. I agree that it looks unseasonably warm for Saturday & we should not be surprised if we come close to record setting levels especially when you consider how warm the last several months have been. However, I'm betting on some snow that should fall overnight tonight & into Friday AM. If this happens (a big IF), then our temps on Saturday will be kept in check. We will likely still make 40 in the metro, but we would not add that extra 10 degrees that some are expecting. Snow pack is always a wildcard and we will know a lot more after this next 'Clipper' rolls through.

    As for the weekend storm? I have no confidence at this juncture what the models are portraying and I have little confidence in my forecast or any other forecast out there. My gut feeling is that cold air has to win over at some time; hell, we are approaching the middle of winter for God's sake! On the other hand, I've never seen such a long stretch of warm weather in the heart of winter like this season. Who says that trend can't continue?

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  53. NWS just bumped the highs on Saturday another 5 degrees - now to 49 in Owatonna to 51 in Mankato...

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  54. NovakWeather on FACEBOOKDecember 29, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    Latest 12z NAM drops a 5"+ blanket of snow from the MSP metro southeast through RST and into southern Wisconsin. This will be interesting if it verifies.

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  55. Anyone want to confirm/deny the NWS report coming out of 2-3" in the Metro by tomorrow morning?!

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  56. The NWS has that in their Weather story ... right underneath the picture showing 2-3", they have this:

    ===
    Another area of low pressure will move across the area tonight and will drop one to three inches of snow across a wide area of central Minnesota into western Wisconsin. A brief period of light freezing rain may occur over west central Minnesota this evening, and that may develop southeast along and just north of the Minnesota River overnight. Most of the area will see just snow overnight however. Two to three inch accumulations are possible over east central Minnesota with a general 1 to 2 inches likely over the remainder of central Minnesota and west central Wisconsin. Little accumulation will occur across much of south central Minnesota where mainly rain will occur with the system.
    ===

    So which is it? KSTP seems to agree now with the NWS, but nobody else seems onboard yet.

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  57. PD is also saying 2-3 possible tonight (in the headline, not in the blog itself) and Novak's latest graphic has as much as 4+ from MSP through La Crosse.

    If this verifies, I give Novak major kudos for catching this several days ago when everybody else was calling for maybe flurries at best.

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  58. Easy up everyone the 18z run of NAM now has virtually no snow for MSP due to the track going farther south into IOWA,I agree NOvak should get all the credit in the world if we pick up even 2 or more inches,cuz the highest I heard leading up to today was an inch,but as I always say with systems this close you never know how it will shake out so stay tuned.......btw anyone catch NWS has now a high of 39 for Saturday,another item that Novak was trying to get across to us was the extreme warmth won't be realized for Saturday,time will tell

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  59. Not buying into that total for tonight...at least for MSP. Models refuse to come to an agreement on what will happen, even 12 hours out. Our best bet will probably be to hope for something concrete with the 00z runs and go with that. That better swath will probably end up being much further south and west than what the graphic shows. Really the only decent system of interest this week will be the one this weekend that will bring us warm temps Sat, followed by the cold shot. While there could be some snow for some places, the main story will be the wind. MPX and ARX discussions have both mentioned probable wind headlines needed for that storm moving through Canada, but affecting us here.

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  60. New post detailing latest forecasts: http://www.minnesotaforecaster.com/2011/12/rare-december-snow-seen-headed-for-twin.html

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