Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rare December Snow Seen Headed for Twin Cities tonight

To varying degrees, Twin Cities forecasters are calling for snow to arrive in the Twin Cities late this evening. One to three inches appears to be the most common prediction. However, two notable outliers include MPR (coating to one inch) and The Weather Channel (around one inch). As of Thursday evening, here's what the fearless prognosticators see coming:

WCCO: Noncommital. Seemed to suggest that accumulations would be south and southwest of Twin Cities.

KSTP: 1-2

FOX: 1.5 to 2.5 per official snow meter

KARE: 1-3 by morning (but most areas two)

Strib: 1-3

NWS: 1-3

MPR: Coating to 1"+ of snow possible by Friday noon along the I-94 corridor including the metro

The Weather Channel: Snowfall around one inch.

Accuweather: 1-3

@NovakWeather: 2+ inches, potentially closer to 4 to the southeast

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  1. When in a drought,leave it out,how many times have we heard that over the last couple of months,main precip return on radar in eastern south dakota looks like its moving more southeast then east,which would translate that most of the white stuff will sail south of the metro,yeah another miss in a otherwise horrible winte season,we can't buy a decent snowpack

  2. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 29, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    I am shockedd that more people aren't commenting on this snow forecast. I know it is light and not a whopper, by any means, but it is the most excitement we have had all winter! When Novak said a possibility of 4+ inches and very fews people chime in, I am shocked. Let's hear more of your thoughts on this system and the potential system on Saturday and Saturday night. This may be the best we can do!!

  3. I will repost what I put in the previous discussion...

    "Not buying into that total for 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."

    The graphic I mentioned here was an old graphic the NWS had up...not the current one (as of 9:35pm)

  4. Snow... Ive given up. Would love it, but I bet I wake up to rain and ice again.

  5. I'm pulling for our man Novak, but I'm not sure it's all going to materialize. Then again, what the heck do I know.

  6. 00z GFS really looks interesting for Saturday night. At this point, anything can happen on Saturday and we need this storm to come ashore tomorrow AM so the models can measure it better. One thing is for certain, Saturday will change on a dime. Above avg. temps early, followed by wind and dropping temps later Saturday into Sunday. Meanwhile, I'm confident that somebody in the Upper Midwest will get an accumulating snow, just not sure where as of yet.

    As for the storm overnight, I believe that we will see the trough elongate right over southern MN as the mid-level low spin towards us. As the column cools, snow should accumulate from NW to SE across the state. As you head east and north of the MSP metro, snow will decrease in intensity. However, I still wouldn't be surprised if 2" - 4" of snow falls in a thin NW/SE band across southern MN. I'm crossing my fingers that this won't be a bust. Only time will tell.

  7. The Strib, home of the incredible "moving forecast target" is at it again. First 2-3"+ with 4" "just south"...then 1-3"...then coating to 1" or "a few slushy inches" depending on where in the post you read.

    Just issue enough different forecasts and one of them has to be close to correct...right?

    Give me a break. Is there any credibility or consistency left there? At what point does an ever shifting forecast become useless information?

  8. @Anonymous Can't say I disagree with your assessment of the Strib. Indeed, very confusing.

  9. Dry air winning out boys,snowline having trouble moving much past Mankato,who would of thunk their would have been a sharp cut-off with this snow system,no one mentioned it,so close yet again to putting down some snow,yet so far away,and the drought contiues........Novak you were abit off,but Im sure areas around Mankato and points east and south are happy if they wanted some snow.

  10. Call it a bubble or doughnut,some may say a snowglobe(without the snow)but whatever you like to call it that is what MSP is in,we cant even get an inch when they forecast an inch,this winter is down right pathetic and to make matters worst most outlets still calling for highs to crack 40 on saturday and again next thursday and the NWS now sees the potential for a storm on Sat/Sun but guess what they are going with RAIN LIKELY(may end as a "chance of snow"),if this winter is going to contiue to be this way it might as well be spring frustated!!!!!!!!

  11. I have to admit that I'm totally frustrated on my end as well. I'm beginning to believe that we simply will get skunked this season for snow. What is the all time least amount of snow in a season? 14.2"?

    If we don't get snow today with this system, then all bets are off. This 'Clipper' was able to tap moisture and had lots of it to work with based off of the action over western MN, SD & IA. As noted, dry air is simply eating away at this moisture as it attempts to move into eastern MN. Our last hope for today is this elongated trough that is slowly moving towards the MSP metro. However, given our luck this winter season, I guess we can't be totally surprised if this storm BUSTS big time.

    Whether we get any snow or not, my greatest frustration is with the model data. How can the NAM go from generating 5"+ of snowfall in one run to nothing 6 hours later? I can understand this if the storm is still way off in the distance, but it was within 24 hours of occurring. What is a forecaster supposed to do?

    Lesson learned here is that you should error on the side of caution when we are in a weather pattern such as this.

    Now, as we look towards the storm tomorrow, what should we do? Most forecasters are going to be ultra conservative and this is understandable, especially after this latest experience. However, it will be just our luck to have this thing blow-up right overhead on Saturday night and dump several inches of snow when we predict next to nothing. I'm simply torn and frustrated at this point.

    In this crazy business of weather forecasting, I've always been told that when you get knocked off that horse, you've got to get right back up and hop back on. I'm dusted and dirty at this point, but I'm going to ride that sucker again damn it.

  12. I must have mistakenly viewed the forecast for Fairbanks, AK last night. I could have sworn it was supposed to snow a couple of inches. Well low and behold I peeked out the window a few minutes ago here in the southern burbs and what did I see but high and dry and a brown ground...just like it is every day. Are we in a Ground Hog Day movie? The Channel 9 even led its 9 p.m. newscast with a report that the morning rush was going to be tricky with the 1-2 inches of fresh snow. Well, no problem there. The forecast was an absolute BUST!!! I guess we shouldn't be surprised. The Atlanta-like "winter season" keeps rolling along. Dear God I pray for you to please just put us out of our misery and fast forward the calendar to May!

  13. Novak you get up on that high horse,at least you said what you believed would happen,weather is funny/tricky business,glad to see its not keeping you down. BTW,look at the radar the doughnut is almost complete around the metro(how beautiful,NOT)and is that some very heavy snow just south of here,like Lakeville area the radar is just blowing up,anyone living in that area can update us that would be great,but it looks stalled not moving much north at this time.

  14. There was a little wiggle room by the NWS as it was only a 90% chance of snow vs. 100% chance. Tough forecast, but props to Duane above.

  15. I also give props to Duane for calling the eventually missed forecast.

  16. I don't even know why I let myself believe I'd wake up to white on the ground... at this point I'm just hoping to salvage next years winter.

    Time to book a trip out west to see some snow.

  17. Props to Duane and Big Daddy for their comments last night about storm going south and missing metro,I thought for sure after watching and listening to everyone last night that I would be waking up to a blanket of white instead I got the same brown shit(literally).

  18. Are you guys catching this radar,freakin amazing snowing all around the metro but not in this doughnut,amazing!

  19. The doughnut is caused by the fact that most of the snow is elevated thus closer to the radar beam the snow higher up is not seen. Once the beam is high enough...its tilted at an angle...about 40 miles away from the tower, it begins to see the snow

  20. Thanks for the explanation Hammer,but will it snow,still looking at the radar seems to me its snowing everywhere but the loop

  21. This morning we got a very thin coating out here in Carver County, but that's it. Sun is trying to break out now. When I woke up this morning to brown ground, all I could do was laugh.

  22. We have been geeting snow here in The Midway for a while but it has been very light. Its snowing in St. Louis Park as well. Any accumualtions though where out of the metro. Notice the temp drop tomorrow....we go from +6c at 850mb at noon to -5c at 0z on the NAM

  23. Gotta love the National Weather Service's preciseness for wind measurements over the coming days:

    Saturday: A 40 percent chance of rain after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 42. Breezy, with a south southeast wind 10 to 13 mph becoming south between 18 and 21 mph. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph.

    Saturday Night: Rain and snow likely before 9pm, then a chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 25. Windy, with a west northwest wind 17 to 20 mph increasing to between 27 and 30 mph. Winds could gust as high as 44 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

    New Year's Day: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 28. Windy, with a northwest wind between 26 and 31 mph, with gusts as high as 44 mph.

    Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 10. Blustery, with a northwest wind between 20 and 24 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph.

    (btw, forecaster grades posted in new post)