Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Scanning the Skies Moving Into Mid-December ...

The TMF host will be out of town for the next week and vowing not to check the grid (or weather in Minnesota). Here's a space to discuss any interesting weather that may materialize over the coming week.

By the way, here's where I was. A big front came through and the last two days saw considerable beach erosion along the coast in Playa Del Carmen.

214 comments:

  1. Well Bill wherever your going I hope you enjoy yourself,and I hope our weather can get more active then a paltry 8 inches of snow so far.To contiue the comments from last post DD and Novak are the only ones hinting at a POSSIBLE storm mid/late next week and of course our friend PD makes another bold projection on his blog of basically no snow between now and christmas(perhaps an inch or two on 12/21,he says)I just hate his smugness on how confident he thinks he can be to say stuff like that,christmas is 17 days away and he sounds so sure of himself,I'm just wishing of a dumping to shut him up and if you recall both of the snows we got he under estimated the first one and the second one made several comments of no snow or significant snows before we got the 4.4 the other day(he was away and Todd Nelson made the forecasts for that storm),but 4.4 is not no snow and is somewhat significant,I just dont trust anything he says at this point and on another note DD must have been a snowlover in his past life it seems hes always talking snow no more how far away it is or how little chance there is,always the optimist when it comes to snow(it just comes out that way whenever i read his blogs)I love it and hate it at the same time,cuz he builds your hope up and you keep coming back to watch/read his forecasts and a few days later the storm is gone or doesnt materialize.

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  2. Well it depends which model flavor you prefer,if you like the euro then we have a shot at some active weather by midweek(rain/sleet going over to snow)or you prefer the gfs(which Paul Douglas goes to bed with)then snow is not in the cards,NWS has 30-40 percent chance of snow next Wednesday,at the very least theres something to watch for out over the horizon,I hope PD eats some serious crow over this one!

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  3. Mr. Hammer calling for "the possibility of a bigger system by Thursday of next week",let the discussions begin.

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  4. Both of the globals are hinting at something. GFS is down in the deep south and the Euro is up here. Besides the 2000 mile difference at day 7, at least they both agree on something developing.

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  5. The ECMWF has been hinting at this for a while now (next Thur)...GFS is often in LA LA land that far out. Bad physics. HPC folks like the ECMWF as well.

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  6. Of course with the Euro being by far the best model so far this season I think its a wise choice from the guys in Camp Springs.

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  7. Maybe AB could join in the snow party after all,since he was all worried about getting a brown christmas

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  8. Well, the 12z GFS has significantly shifted north with the storm...
    things may really get interesting a week from today.

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  9. I have a little snow on the ground right now; I may not by Tuesday. Crossing my fingers for this one; it might be my last shot!

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  10. As of midnight today, Paul Douglas was making the confident claim of little snow through Christmas Eve. It is only December 8th, right? I didn't lose a week somewhere? If I recall correctly, two weeks out, our 2-5 inch snowstorm of last weekend was nowhere in sight....

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  11. Looking at the 12z stuff, the Euro does show something very interesting, and as Hammer had said, it has been showing a system of some sort the past couple forecast runs. NWS pretty much threw out the GFS given the fact it can't make up its mind and is not consistant. Maybe someone like Novak or Hammer can answer this about the 12z Euro run. The track of it isn't one that usually provides snow to the eastern part of MN or western WI, yet as the system moves through, the 540 line is well off to the east. Is this just a fluke in the run, or can something like this happen where a system coming in from the south tracks near the metro, and still provides pretty much all snow for us.

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  12. I'm new here and don't actively monitor models etc. (but want to learn). What I do know is we had a horribly dry fall and that pattern sure doesn't look like its changed.

    So my question is... how much do you bet on the future based on the past and present? The Farmers Almanac had me all happy because it was supposed to be yet another snow filled winter. Now its looking like a white Christmas could be in doubt.

    Please don't tell me we're SOL for snow this year. If that happens I'm going to be grumpy all spring/summer.

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  13. Anon @335pm if you want to monitor models etc..see home,page down to older post and you should see a thread called share your weather links, there is a bunch of links to weather models. Normally there is a significant correlation between past patterns and future forecast, but many of the long term forecasters are having a problem finding a year like this one in the last 20-30 or 50 years. So that begs me to ask the question is climate change real??? who knows? I'm on the fence.

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  14. There is no doubt in my mind that a storm will impact us next Thursday or so. At this time it's to early to tell if it will be mostly rain or snow. Unlike the last storm I think this one will present itself for what it is (easier to forecast) 2 days in advance. At this time I don't see a lot of big players to our north like the last one. The key with this one will be how strong the SE US surface high will be. Stronger = rain, weaker = snow.

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  15. Guess what PD starting to do his reverse dance,apparently he decided to look at the euro model after declaring just yesterday little to no snow between now and christmas,now his headline on the blog reads "growing potential of snow event next thursday",that a boy Paul way to catch up to the rest of us.Randyinchamplin I was waiting for you to chime in and see what your perspective was it looks to me that it will be a icy mix going over to snow,which is the worst kind of storm(to have an layer of ice underneath the snow),hopefully the track is such to give us just all snow,time will tell but I'm with you we will be affected by some sort of storm.

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  16. So our best friends over at Inaccuweather have this to say for next weeks possible storm.....
    wednesday night(12/14)-sleet/freezing rain in the evening,followed by heavy snow,sleet,freezing rain late(.54" of ice/.4" of snow)
    thursday(12/15)-snow much of the time(2.6" of snow)......all I got to say is take what they say with a grain of salt,especially this far out,but needless to say its something to watch.

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  17. While there is absolutely no model agreement for this particular system, I am worried about the potential icing that it could bring. It is really impossible to say where the all snow area would be, since the GEM puts most of MN and western WI in an all snow scenario, and the GFS/Euro bringing in rain changing over to snow, however these tracks have probably 150 mile difference between them...perhaps more. Again, models will have an easier time trying to lock in on a solution once the main trough comes ashore, which isn't really forecast to until next Tuesday. My gut is telling me that eastern MN/western WI will end up seeing more of the mix and further west will see all snow, but that is just a gut feeling. @Big Daddy...if INaccuweather is actually, well, accurate with that forecast, that would be very bad news. A half inch of ice would not only close down many roads, but maybe even be enough to take down power lines if it was in the form of freezing rain. That's a heck of a forecast though by them, and like you said, really a stretch this far out. At any rate, stay tuned on this one.

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  18. DD had this to say on our storm next week on his radio spot on ks95....."boy looks like an old fashion snowstorm for parts of the state on Thursday,stay tuned!" Woo-hoo bring it,I hope it ends up being all snow.

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  19. There is one thing I like about accuweather and thats their forums. Lots of model data, NWS AFDs and opinions posted. Naturally because of population density you have a lot of people in the Chicagoland/Michigan/Illionis area, but Minnesota still gets its fair coverage.

    http://forums.accuweather.com/index.php?showtopic=27958

    Of course this place is the best but thats worth a look.

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  20. Calm down boys. It's a week away. No sense in tightening the undies just yet. As some one important once said. "A lot can happen between now and then"

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  21. GFS now basically perfect for the Twin Cities. Euro still a bit further west. However this is pretty good agreement for 6 days out.

    My interest is peaked.

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  22. A lot of models agree now that somthing will happen. Somebody is going to be hammered. Monday may prove to have some accumulations as well. I have been more focused on that on because it is nearer. I really have not taken a good look at the system at this moment, but it looks like a good chance of good accumulation...

    To anonymous@9:04AM...

    It should be noted that we get our panties in a bunch for even an outside shot of snow.

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  23. Wow latest AFD from the NWS as written by meteorologist JLT is very interesting. Check the last paragraph.

    http://forecast.weather.gov/product.php?site=MPX&issuedby=MPX&product=AFD&format=CI&version=1&glossary=1

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  24. LOL bemaki spoken like a weather lover lol

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  25. That is interesting, randyinchamplin. Very interesting.

    It is interesting to note that they like to use the word interesting...

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  26. @ bemaki in a la nina season TX is supposed to be warm and dry, however some of TX has gotten some good beneficial rains, and the last two weeks has been any thing but warm down there IMO. There is one well known long range forecaster that is calling for -4 temps in April for us, I strongly disagree. Here is a good site to look at the ENSO stuff. Go to the upper right click on plume graphs, than scroll down to see the individual model predictions, I think that if you take out the us models you will see many of the others trying to go to ENSO zero. Or maybe it will just pop up for you.

    http://iri.columbia.edu/climate/ENSO/currentinfo/SST_table.html#table

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  27. there are actually 3-4 models in AMJ that are moving to weak EL NINO signal..very interesting indeed

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  28. So an update from our friends at inaccuweather for Wednesday night 12/14.....they say major ice storm with a thick coat of ice(.59 inches)and Thursday just snow showers,I don't believe I ever seen them use those word

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  29. @Bigdaddy current bufkit GFS forecast soundings for the storm show less than .10 freezing rain. I have no idea what the Atlantic Coast Continual Update is smoking in their pipe, but it is making them delusional. Also GFS bufkit is showing .70" of precip with snow for MSP of about 1.2" At this time it does not look like this system will show a nicely stacked low pressure system (ie a open wave at 500mb instead of a closed 500mb low). With out it this storm will be mostly rain. At this time I am getting bored with this system, I will keep checking the models, but I am not impressed with today's run's, even the Euro is not that impressive for the metro, biggest impacts from the euro will be from ST Cloud to Duluth.

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  30. hope it changes in the next few days

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  31. Figures. Just a few days ago I was too far north and west to get snow and now I'm too far southeast. Hopefully the track will change for the snowier between now and then. What little snow I have will be well on its way to gone by next Wednesday.

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  32. I hope it changes too Randy,it most certainly will, just hope in the favor of snow is what I would prefer,I would hate to wait this long for an decent snowstorm and it turn out to be mostly rain,do you think santa claus would disappoint AB with a rainstorm and bring to reality a brown christmas he so desperately does not want.

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  33. BTW Randyinchamplin love that ACCU--Atlantic Coast Continual Update and yes I read the AFD by NWS,I really like that JLT he very detailed in his explanations and is always looking ahead,I really dont like the part when he said the upper midwest could be dry for the next few weeks.

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  34. Well, the 00z runs really did nothing except add to the confusion with this end of week system, but hey, that is usually typical this far out. At this point in time, I would throw out the 00z GFS Operational run for a couple reasons. One, it is not anywhere close to the European and Canadian models. Two, the model has flip flopped every which way, and lacks any consistency. Three, it is not anywhere near its ensemble run. The GFS Ensemble actually looks pretty close to the European and Canadian, and the ensemble runs of the Euro and Canadian match up with their own operational runs. Did I confuse anyone yet? lol I was absolutely sold on this system passing by to our west, and quite frankly it may still do that. Now...upon further review...the operational runs of the Canadian and European, as well as the ensembles take the low on a very similar path to the system a week or so ago. Still, nothing is anywhere close to being set in stone so I guess all we can do is continue to watch and wait. As for Sunday night/Monday time frame, the NWS has been saying more of a frz drizzle set up rather than snow, largely due to warm cloud temps and their inability to create enough ice crystals for snow. Keep an eye on this too...because we all know it doesn't take much glaze on roads to really mess up a morning commute. It could be enough to warrant some type of advisory.

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  35. @BEMAKI---as for monday looks to me a freezing drizzle/rain set-up,what are you seeing that you mention some snowfall,even NWS says freezing rain.

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  36. @AB--keep the faith brother,the 00z euro looked promising for us,yes there will be more changes to forecast/track be we all know so far the euro has out performed the gfs up till this point of the fall/winter,with the above freezing temps coming sunday/monday and liquid precip we need wednesday/thursday storm to be all snow or white christmas could be in jeopardy for all of us.

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  37. Here's a new one:(to describe snowfall)DD in his blog this morning calls for a "healthy dose of snow" on Thursday,never heard that wording in a forecast,something in might hear over at inaccuweather,speaking of Randyinchamplin's best friends(just kidding Randy)their new forecast for the 14/15th is just simply now mostly cloudy with a chance of a snow shower,man they are horrible,start big and go out quickly,they must be married to the GFS cuz they share the same trait:inconsistent!

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  38. In the meantime, PD continues to attach himself to only one model and is back to saying probably only a little rain/snow mix on Thursday. I think it's clear which model he's following...I also think it's clear that this system's potential is about as clear as mud.

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  39. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 10, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    How does PD do it? His heading is "No big snows between now and Christmas." But later he says too soon to tell and too early, etc. How do you make a bold statement like that in the HEADING?? And then mention all of these uncertainties in the main body? I love how thorough he is, but cmon. I think I learned in middle school that the heading should match/represent the body of what you present. I just don't get it.

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  40. I think PD is using the art of click ad revenue. Who wants to read a headline that says "I'm not really sure whats happening" if you can hit right at the heart of snow loving Minnesota with a statement about no snow.

    Its no longer about proper writing and accuracy its about generating Internet hits and conversation.

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  41. looking at the gfs ensembles from 18z I think tonight's run of the operational gfs will move north. If the current track of the Euro works out we may not know for sure if this event will be mostly rain or snow until the low approaches.

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  42. I'd like to reiterate that although we'd like a white Christmas, in a drought situation you need to take whatever precipitation you can get and hope that it's the beginning of a pattern change. Though it may not be what I want, if it takes a December 15 rain storm for us to get some real moisture, so be it.

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  43. come on AB who you kidding,like almost everyone here you want snow and lots of it,I'm not buying your last post your dreaming of a panhandle hooker that goes thru central wisconsin,isn't that on your christmas wish list

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  44. Does anyone know the ground temperatures across the area? If the ground is already frozen, which it very well could, then any of that rain would just run right off and into the street. While any moisture would be helpful now, I would think snowfall would be a better bet...enough so that it actually stays through the winter and is available next spring. I do agree lots of places need moisture. That rain/snow line and transition time from rain to snow is still very much in the air, but the GFS is back to bringing the system through, the Euro has a good slug of moisture, starting as rain and changing over to a pretty good band of snowfall. Too many questions yet to be answered...

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  45. NWS has gone with a warmer solution for wednesday/thursday storm,cuz of the lastest guidance,my question is why latch onto a certain solution when the models keep shifting around,if you looked at the gfs yesterrday we were more snow now more rain according to the NWS and why are they focusing on the GFS when euro has performed better this year,theres still time for change either way and anyones forecast at this point should be rain and/or snow.Novak what do you have to say thus far,been quiet here.

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  46. Frozen ground is a good debate. We had 4-5 cold days, but sandwiched by above freezing temperatures. If the rain does run into the streets, it still lends itself to being a good sign if it is the beginning of a pattern change.

    Yes, NWS has definitely gone with the warmer solution for the storm. They've also sped it up. Neither is necessarily a good sign for snow or a big storm. On that note, of course I'm hoping for snow; however, I also remember the drought of the late 80s. It got extremely desperate around here and I don't want to see a repeat of that.

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  47. From what I saw out and about today, most snow is gone, even in the immediate metro. Now we get a few days - and maybe evenings - near or above freezing, followed by what looks like some rain on Wednesday.

    I think the ground may be warm enough to absorb some of the rain, which would be the one positive to getting rain a before what is looking like a brown (or perhaps a little green) Christmas. Still hoping the rain turns to white stuff soon enough for accumulation, but it's looking less likely...and long-range forecasts put us back in the 30s next week anyway.

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  48. So what you are saying is PD has been right all along...

    This is turning out to be one of the worst Decembers. C'mon mother nature, get with the program.

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  49. If u read DD's blog last night it was mostly snow,but he is a snowlover so keep that in mind,NWS this morning did say there will be a window of accumalting snow Wednesday night depending on where the deformation sets up

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  50. The winter that ended before even starting!!
    What a disappointment!
    As a snow-lover I had this thought that last year's winter was soooooo good that we will have to pay it back for a long time with ridiculously snow-less winters to follow.
    I hope I am wrong!

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  51. @Anonymous 8.50am..
    it may be a bit early to declare the winter done.
    However, I noticed that the snowiest month in the past 3-4 winters was indeed December. So little December snow may indeed mean a significantly below average snow season.

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  52. If I were a betting man I would put money on the worst year for snow on record... only possible way around it would be late season snow storms that dont' really mean much to a snow lover because they just melt anyway.

    Worst is I can't even get in the Christmas spirit. This is not the Minnesota I grew up in where we used to be snowmobiling by Thanksgiving.

    Kinda seems like the whole global warming thing might have some truth to it when you see these strange weather happenings actually become common.

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  53. At least here you see more snow lovers than not. I'm so fed up with the people who love this kind of weather. I know its rude and unrealistic but I just want to say if you don't like the cold and snow, move south.

    Then again the way things are now they could just as well stay put. Maybe I need to move north.

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  54. I do have to admit driving around this morning with brown everywhere,car temp at 40,and wipers on for light rain really sucks,this needs to turn in a hurry,or this snow season will sink like the vikings

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  55. @Anonymous 9.13AM.

    The worst year for snow on record was 1930-31 when only 14.2 inches fell the whole winter.
    We are officially at 7.9, so in order for this to be the worst we would have to get less than 6.3 inches.
    Things are indeed going bad, but I think we will get more than that!!!!

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  56. Well, I LOVE this weather. I hate cold and snow and this year's been great.

    Naturally, the year I buy my first snowblower, we get no snow. But I can live with that :)

    The weather last week was pretty much the worst weather we get in Minnesota. Snow on the ground and temps between +5 and +25 are my least favourite. It's the most depressing weather. I can at least appreciate it when we get to -20F because I find that somewhat interesting. But last week was just blah dark winter.

    Today is great.

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  57. Do I recall just a couple short months ago a winter prediction of above normal snowfall and below normal temperatures? La Nina? More like El Nino....Uugghh

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  58. Hopefully those warm weather lovers will get a nice taste of cold and rainy this summer. What goes around seems to come around....

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  59. @disco80 Must b joking as its darker and more blah today than it was all last week. I think people that say they don't like snow don't actually look outside, they have just convinced themselves to be a Scrooge.

    It's not like it's 50+ and sunny.

    Anyway. Anyone have any good news?

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  60. Good discussion everyone. Sorry I haven't chimed-in, but I've been out of town.

    The weather pattern over the last few months (and quite frankly, for many years) is a bit disturbing especially for cold air lovers. The temperature anomalies over much of the U.S. is crazy. Usually by this time of the year, one would expect several deep intrusions of Arctic Air, but to no avail. Meanwhile, looking at the next 7 to 10 days, it appears that there will be little in the way of prolonged Arctic blasts for the U.S. including Minnesota. Of course, this would decrease the potential for any significant snowstorms.

    I find it very interesting how the southern Jet seems to be "cutting off" more than usual this year. This promotes more of a split upper air pattern and limits the ability for Canadian air to push south for an extended period of time. If this pattern continues, we will likely have one of the least snowiest winters in quite some time.

    The storm for Wednesday looks like a wet one as the Gulf opens-up ahead of a strong SW storm system that is spinning over so. CA right now. As this storm enters the Plains, it will tap the warmth and moisture and send it in our direction. I wouldn't be surprised to see some rainfall totals exceed 1.00" over southern MN by Thursday AM.

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  61. Sigh...I echo Anonymous' comment above..."Anyone have any good news?"

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  62. Beyond loathing winter, I'm just fine with there being no arctic blasts. We normally drive about 1200 miles total for Christmas; the last thing I need is bad winter weather.

    Let's drop the weather schadenfreude, please.

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  63. While most of us are used to having a snowpack by this time, lets keep in mind that it isn't officially winter yet. Ok, it is meteorlogical winter...but the actual winter season has yet to begin. A couple things I've noticed living in this area is that nature has a way of balancing herself out. Several years ago we were in a pretty bad drought, with even the slightest sprinkle being hard to come by. Later in the summer season, one storm came through and dropped nearly 6 inches of rain, and if I remember right we ended up pretty close to normal. So while we are below where we should be, it makes you wonder if nature will balance out with an active Jan, Feb, and March. The set up for snow and cold will eventually get here, but here is hoping it happens during the winter months, and not when we are looking for spring weather.

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  64. I don't have time now to explain it, but it looks like a clod snap could be in the cards somewhere around the 10th of Jan or so.

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  65. Winter weather is much of what ties this Minnesota born guy to the state. If we're going to see a future of non-white Christmas weather I think its time to pack up and move to the mountains. The weather outside today is some of the most depressing of the entire year.

    Looking back at the last Decembers I remember thunderstorms with lightning and 50s near Christmas on many occasion. Usually there is enough snow to last. I don't want to believe in climate change but the signs sure are there. WIsh it were going in the opposite direction... wouldn't global COOLING be awesome.

    @Disco80 - ironic considering you trolled in loving this dismal day.

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  66. Marquette, Michigan.
    That is the place to go for snow lovers.
    Already 35 inches for the season so far.

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  67. Today was dismal, regardless of what time if year it is!

    Our weather pattern seems very El Nino to me, and rumor is that some climatologists are changing their tune from the La Nina predictions of a few months ago.

    Let's note that not only is there no snow here, but there's no snow almost anywhere in the state. And we're not the only snow-less people! It's a phenomenon for a lot of places in the U.S. who are used to seeing the white stuff. Where is Chicago's doomsday winter that everybody had forecasted???

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  68. The warmth is odd. Pop up showers and dew points almost 70. Even sun burns being reported. Such is the winter escape in Mexico. :-)

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  69. Time for me to explain my previous post about the Jan 10th change in the pattern. It has to do with the polar vortex and the temps in the upper atmosphere over the north pole region. I learned this last year from Joe Bastardi one of the most respected long range forecaster's. So far this year it has been very cold over the north polar region in the upper levels of the atmosphere (stratosphere). That tends to lock in the polar vortex, thus locking in the cold air. When the air in the upper atmosphere starts to warm the vortex gets weaker and it allows cold arctic air to escape and drop south over the lower 48. However once the flip happens in the temps, it will generally take 10-21 days for the coldest air to settle in. This is a visual to help.

    http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/AO_NAO_files/image001.jpg

    Here is what the temps look like now.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_t10_nh_f00.gif

    and the 10mb pressure now.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_z10_nh_f00.gif

    Here is what the temps look like 10 days from now (today + 240 hrs)

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_t10_nh_f240.gif

    and the 10mb pressure 10 days from now.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_z10_nh_f240.gif

    Having said all of this there are two things to take into consideration.
    1) it is the GFS after all
    2) if this should verify, will it be to cold for snow or will snow precede it?

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  70. @ Bill tip a cold one (your choice) for all of us LOL

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  71. Having said that about the cold shot...it basically says the GFS is going from a + AO (arctic oscillation) to a -AO, evidently the Euro operational and ensembles don't agree...GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!

    http://raleighwx.americanwx.com/models/12zallao.gif

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  72. @AB I have doubted the US models all along on the strength of the La Nina, that's why in Mid Oct my forecast for NOV,Dec, and Jan was calling for near to slightly above normal temps although I way overdid the season snowfall totals of 71", my update on Nov 30th dropped that to 50"

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  73. @randy...so you still think we're going to get some storms, huh? Are you expecting us to get a string of 2-4 inch clippers or do you think we get some big snows to end the winter? Too bad I'm pretty much over the snow by New Years and counting down the days for spring!

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  74. Look on the bright side, if it gets cold in Jan, we will be passed the winter solstice. Days will start to get longer and nights shorter. As we cross into Feb sustained periods of cold become less and less because of our shorter nights and longer days. I like snowstorms, but I wont miss the cold.

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  75. @AB when I updated my snowfall forecast we had 4 snow months left. I went with about 8" being reasonable for each one and threw in a couple of 6-9" storms. I still think that will happen, I cant believe the storm track will stay south of us all winter, nor will we keep getting rain storms.

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  76. For all you white christmas lovers,you need not to worry we will have a white christmas,cuz a long time local met says so and if he says so then it is so,you know the one the one that said 12 inches will fall in November he's also the one as of Sunday was calling our rainstorm of tommorrow a snowstorm(with a "healthy dose of snowfall on Thursday"),well if you haven't guessed yet its our very own Dave Dahl from KSTP who said during his radio spot on KS95 at 7:30am,who said "we need not to worry about getting a white christmas,we have several bouts of snow by christmas,and he named Wednesday night and Monday of next week as examples,sure Dave I'm taking what you say and calling a bookie in Vegas.
    On the flip side PD is calling for a brown christmas on his blog last night,cuz his gut says so.............well I guess someone will be right and someone wrong,they both piss me off in different ways so I don't know who to believe anymore

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  77. Belinda Jensen noted two possible storm systems before Christmas: She cited Monday/Tuesday as the first, but mentioned it's going to be warm again as that one approaches. The second she mentioned was Thursday/Friday, but she also noted that they're both coming from the SW and thusfar those storms have only nicked us. It's rare that anybody at Kare 11 is willing to talk beyond day 6-7. With Christmas approaching, I think it was right to in this instance, but I'm pleased that she used extreme caution in doing so.

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  78. I just bought a snowblower, I want to use it!!

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  79. Yesterday's GFS had a good looking storm (cold enough for snow given the position of the 0 degree 850mb line) however this morning's 12z run completely suppressed it to the south.
    Anyone knows what the ECMWF shows in that respect?

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  80. It looks like the ECMWF is a near miss to the south and east, but it looks like the 12z run bumped it to the west. I'm not holding my breath with this one either, but it would sure be nice to see that trend continue. The Euro does show a pretty good snow event for parts of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and far SE WI. Chicago would get hit pretty good with this look, but I guess snow lovers should hope for a shift west. Also, just a little side note, the 0 degree line at 850mb isn't always a good depiction of the rain/sleet/snow line. A forecast sounding is really your best bet, since that will give you a temp profile of the atmosphere. Below freezing at 850mb does help the snow cause though...as long as everything else is below freezing, and the clouds are cold enough to create ice crystals.

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  81. This might be a winter similar to 2007-2008 where the storm track stays to our south and east mainly...until about march and april then the state will get hit with snowsotrms.

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  82. Hang in there snow lovers, the latest 12z ECMWF depicts a stormy environment for MN over the next 10 days. Best of all, after tomorrow's system, it appears that the next couple of systems will be of Pacific NW origin rather than the warmer desert SW.

    I really like the look of Sunday/Monday storm & I'm cautiously optimistic that there will be just enough cold air available to create a significant snow over the Midwest incl. MN. GFS wants to keep more energy further south than the Euro and this makes sense given our weather pattern as of late, however I kind of like what the Euro is doing by bringing more energy out of the northern Rockies.

    Let's face it, the Euro models have been performing better than the American models as of late so.....

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  83. I just bought a telescope. Laws show that it must be cloudy now for the foreseeable future.

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  84. Let's be GLAD we're finally getting some significant moisture and let's be HOPEFUL that some white stuff will cover the ground in the time we have left until Christmas Eve.

    I know, hard to do when we would usually be looking at a "snow day" tomorrow, were it just a little colder outside!

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  85. Very interesting shift in the 18z GFS. It looks like it is getting colder, sooner with this upcoming system. I'm not gonna put too much thought into it at this point, because it's an 18z run and this is the first a look like this has shown up. However, now that the system is onshore, perhaps models starting to adjust the right way. It's worth watching.

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  86. You people who know how to run these models drive me crazy... I feel like I'm getting better up to date info here than anywhere else, but one day its snow and the next its a miss.

    I just want to wake up to 10+ inches of white on the ground that will let us all enjoy our winter - especially those who enjoy winter sports... kids sledding.. real Minnesota activities for real Minnesotans. (none of this I love warm weather and want sprint to come soon crap - you can all move to Florida ;-)

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  87. Do all of you own body shops and/or plowing businesses? I'm trying to figure out the hostility towards people who aren't gung-ho on 12 feet of snow by tomorrow morning.

    I thought this blog was for anyone enthusiastic about weather. It's getting a little one-sided in here. I consider myself a "real" Minnesotan since I've lived here over 15 years.

    Your comment was dangerously close to Sarah Palin's BS remark a few years about "real America."

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  88. @Duane..
    i noticed the 18z nam was also a tad colder..
    hopefully a trend...

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  89. @disco you don't have to make money off snow to love snow... I find it odd when people don't get that. Some of us grew up with feet of snow and have learned to appreciate it as another changing Minnesota season. If I want 40s and rain all winter I'd move to Ohio.

    Politics in here...yea that will help.

    Come July you can rave about 90s, humidity and bugs... Let some of us hope for real winter. To each his own.

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  90. Two can play at this game :)

    There was palpable disgust in Cathy Wurzer's voice this morning. As you may know, she loves snow more than life itself. Things are so bad here in the Twin Cities that she resorted to talking about some ice on a hill in Duluth (apparently the salt trucks are on the scene -- exciting!!). I thought, hey, there's probably snow at the north pole, why not give us the forecast for the north pole? You could work the S-word into that forecast somehow!

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  91. Some interesting 'brown christmases' facts.

    It is of course not surprising that on average brown Xmas winters ended up with below average snowfall (about 38 inches, using data since 1905).


    However there are good and bad news for snow lovers:

    1982 was a brown christmas (a trace of snow on the ground on Dec25 according to the MN climate office) and 1982-1983 ended up with 74.4 inches (11th snowiest of all time).

    The same happened in 1988, with 1988-1989 winter ending up with 70.1 (15th snowiest).

    Alas also the infamous less snowiest winter ever (1930-31-- 14.2 inches) was a brown Xmas.

    Last one (2006-2007) we ended up with 35.5, but it was saved (if some of you remember) by 2 big back-to-back snowstorms in March, otherwise it would have been a low snow winter as well.

    Of course it is not 100% we'll have a brown Xmas... and as a snow lover myself I am writing all this exactly hoping to be wrong :)

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  92. Hey Rigil,the back to back snow storms came in March of 2006. The March following the brown X-MAS of 2006 had one bigger storm at the begining of the month. Then that was about it

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  93. @ Hammer
    I think I should have been more accurate.
    I meant back-to-back storms, but the first one was 24/25/26 of February 2007 (around 9 inches) and the second one 1-2 March (around 11 inches).

    So technically they were still within a week but Feb-Mar instead of in March.
    Am I recalling it correctly?

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  94. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  95. I think we'll have a green xmas. My lawn is green right now. This rain is very helpful and much-needed after the dry autumn we had.

    Oh, also, the winter of 2004/2005 was nice. We didn't get our first inch until January 21st I believe. I was still riding my bike to work on New Year's Eve. Now THAT was a good winter.

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  96. The best news about this rain is that the ground is NOT Frozen. It will soak in and be there for spring. The second-best news about this rain is simply that we're getting a reasonable amount of precip for the first time in several months. Hopefully it's the start of a pattern change.

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  97. Did a little research on warm Decembers.

    We had daily minimums (overnight lows) of 32F or warmer at least once every December from 1997 thru 2006 (except 2000), but not in any year since 2006 until now.

    We've been at 32.0F or warmer since 9:00am on Sunday 12/11. As of 3pm today, that's 78 consecutive hours. The stretch in 2006 was 104 hours. It's not looking like we'll exceed that this time around.

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  98. The moisture is a good sign. We will get snow, I have a feeling all this extra warm will get evened out somewhere... if not in Jan/Feb/March this summer will be nice and cooool. Payback via mother nature is a B)#($*

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  99. All of you who claim that weather will "even out" (including Paul Douglas, the master of this phenomenon) -- do any of you have any data to support this claim?

    We saw massive, deadly tornado outbreaks in 2011 -- the severity of which this country had not seen in 60 years. All this DESPITE having more weather gadgets and software than we ever thought imaginable. Does your theory imply that there will be no deadly tornadoes for many years because of what we saw this year? Does that even out?

    I'm trying to get a handle on whether there's any real facts or whether this is classic cognitive bias. I'm leaning towards the latter.

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  100. You know @Disco80,be proud of your warmth and crappy rain on the 14th day of December,but really we dont want to hear it here,we are mostly snow lovers and like to track snowstorms and talk inches and wind chills we dont give a flying f__k about your temps over 32,if you like temps over 32 for days on end theres a place called hot springs that should suit you and your bike just fine.

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  101. These cut-off, meandering lows over the southern U.S. are in real pain in the ass.

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  102. I agree Novak. As someone who has followed weather closely, have you ever seen a pattern like we have been in where the lows get cut off in the SW and eventually swept east or northeast? Just reading some of the blogs from some of the pro long range forecasters out there, it does seem like any good pattern change is still weeks away...prob not until early to mid Jan. Trough in the west, ridge in the east, and we'll be set. This split flow is a pain, and usually isn't ever good for snow from what I've seen in the past.

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  103. Let us play worse case scenarios in the hope to jinx this pattern, and hopefully get a 20-inch blizzard :)

    Assuming we won't get any more measurable snow until the end of year, I did some research.

    Is it really true as it is often said that December sets the tone for the rest of the winter?

    Of the 127 winters we have snowfall data available, 33 had less than 8 inches by the end of December (26%). On average these winters had 33.1 inches of snow, so significantly below average.

    Only 4 out of those 33 ended up with above average snowfall. Most notable case is 1974-75 (64.2 inches). By the end of December 1974 total snowfall was only 7.3 (compared to today's 7.9) but then we got 27.4 inches in January 1975, 9 in February, and 18.3 in March.

    Despite this optimistic precedent, it is indeed true that less than 8 inches by the end of December will generate a significantly below average winter in terms of snowfall.

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  104. Duane, I've seen patterns similar to this, but I'm really surprised with the lack of Arctic air intrusions into the lower 48.

    Usually, we would experience at least some significant Arctic outbreaks by now, even with a split flow pattern. I can only recall one decent outbreak and that was a week ago and it only lasted a couple of days. Weird.

    Even today, a front is pushing thru the Midwest with strong NW winds, but the temps are not brutally cold behind this feature. This is strange given the time of the year. Hell, northern MN has experienced only a few mornings below zero and I don't see that stat changing for another week or two. This is absurd.

    When looking at the snow pack map for the lower 48 and southern Canada, there is little in the way of snow all across the typical snow prone areas, even the Great Lakes are suffering. You need snow pack for cold.

    Truthfully, I'm not that surprised because our Winters have been unusually mild for quite some time now. My bet is that these mild Winters in the middle latitudes will only increase in intensity as we continue on into the future.

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  105. @novakweather
    Very interesting analysis.
    The obvious question of course is: why?
    Is it really global warming/climate change?
    Is it linked to solar activity?
    Or is there anything else that we still do not fully understand about how the Earth's atmosphere works?

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  106. It could be climate change. The changing climate will produce all sorts of weird weather. Last winter we had, what, two storms that wound up in the top ten for snowfall? In one season! The November 2010 "cement snow" storm doesn't make the list, but it was the worst one in my opinion. I lost a ton of big tree branches.

    And then this year we get a top-five-warmest Thanksgiving. It was nearly 60 here! Driest autumn on record.

    Global weirding indeed.

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  107. You have to remember- Global Warming is a misnomer- There are several places in the oceans where cold upwellings have strenghend and resulted in cooler than normal conditions. I personally belive in the term "Global Climate Change"

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  108. I don't have data to back it up but it sure feels like the weather evens itself out... now one might say this year is making up for last years dumping and that would be a bummer but I guess we can't all have the wonderful winter of 2010. It just seems like one extreme brings another and maybe climate change is making the extremes greater, but for every warm spell it feels like there has been a cold one... a wet spring brought a dry fall.

    But I agree, when we have so many people wanting winter and snow it really takes an ass hat to come in here and spew how happy one is about it. Just keep that to yourself... seriously.

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  109. please peeps lets keep this site weather related while Bill is away, if he wants this site to turn into a climate debate he would let us know, so far there is no indication that he would welcome that. If Bill see's this post he can comment it.

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  110. @Novak and @ Duane:

    yes a very interesting pattern has formed, the northern jet and the southern jet seem to be setting up far enough from each other that phasing is very difficult to achieve. The closed lows in the SW US are a pain in the you know what. Most of our heavier snows come from a trough that travels over the Rockies and forms a low pressure system on the lee side. IMO the SE ridge that has set up is not strong enough on it's NW side to allow the storms to cut up into WI, I want to attribute that to lack of blocking over Greenland. Your thoughts???

    In addition to that the polar vertex has been extremely strong this year, it has locked the really cold air over the pole, thus when we get on the back side of surface low's there is a lack of cold Canadian high pressure to be pulled down.

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  111. Myself, I love this winter the way it has started off, I'm not and have never been a fan of outdoor winter activities. Yet on the other hand I know the importance of snow and how it impacts our economy, so it is very important indeed. My real love is predicting the weather, be it T-Storms or snow storms, and to be quite frank the pattern has been real BORING since mid August. I hope it changes soon!!!

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  112. If I could post a picture I would...but I suspect a big player so far this winter has been the very active MJO (Madden-Julian Oscillation) we have seen across the Indian Ocean into the western Pac. Last winter...the La Nina completely over ruled any MJO signal until March...but this year the MJO seems to be over ruling the La Nina...and I would suspect these alternating convective/non-convective bursts working out across the maritime continent (Indonesia etc.) is reeking havoc on the global circulation (that much deep convection getting that high in the atmo can't do so without ramifications!).

    In addition to this...the other big difference we have seen with the climate system this winter when compared to the previous two is with the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Arctic Oscillation (NAO/AO). The last two winters...both of these indices (they tend to be closely related to each other) had historically large negative values. When these go negative...we go cold and active. This winter on the other hand has seen a return to a large positive values of both indices. When they are positive...the cold air tends to stay locked up over the poles and you get a majority of the winter to be like the ones we saw here during most of the 90s and 00s!

    Model forecasts for the MJO show it taking a bit of a breather this week...but coming back strong as we head toward Christmas while both the AO/NAO are both to remain positive into the foreseeable future. So I guess the moral of the story is to expect more of the same weather wise for basically the rest of December! Could be one of those rare Decembers where the Cities see single digits for the monthly snow total...would be amazing after what we saw last winter!

    I've rambled enough...if you ever want more info on the MJO/NAO/AO/ENSO and the such...the CPC site (cpc.noaa.gov) is a great place to go!

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  113. MJO...not just for tropical weather anymore.

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  114. NWS forecasting 45 for Sunday. This. Is. Crazy.

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  115. @WeatherRunner..with a explanation like that, I hope you stick around here. I will start learning about MJO as time goes on...but I understand everything else you said!!! I hope the Stratospheric warming takes place, only if we get snowfall just before the cold gets here.

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  116. AB yeah the Euro last night and this morning was showing 45° here with 45-50 just to our sw and west...crazy...where do I live again??? however it will fall short of the high record for the day of 55° set in 1923

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  117. This Sunday's weather pattern doesn't look to dissimilar from what we saw last Sunday...when we were well on our way into the mid 40s in the Cities...before the stratus crashed the party! And of course like any good bank of December stratus...it went nowhere for the next 4 days!

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  118. Back from Mexico.... so I'm thinking that means winter will return with a vengeance, though that doesn't seem to be the case. Certainly weird to come back to bare ground.

    Good stuff, everyone. And yes, Randy, I think this blog should steer clear of global warming philosophies for the most part.

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  119. @Bill, welcome back hope you had a good time!

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  120. All of these are very good and true points. Pretty much everything in here that has been brought up is what our meteorologists told me today. Lack of blocking...the NAO/AO staying positive, and the northern jet being much further north than normal for this time of year. Snow pack can help with the storm track as well, as it can help to increase the temperature gradient which is what can help to intensify storms. Another thing they noted is the northern jet is moving quite fast, so any systems that may get scooped up just buzz right through instead of moving at a slower clip. This also has to do with the lack of blocking over Greenland, which is what Randy brought up earlier. If we can get that blocking to set up, that will be step one. That blocking doesn't appear to be setting up anytime soon, so as was said before, I wouldn't expect much in the way of snow through the end of the year. Heck, even the arctic air won't be as arctic because the sun, though at a lower angle, will have some effect on heating the ground since it won't have to burn energy trying to melt any snow cover. I'm still convinced Jan and Feb could get us into a more active pattern, but that will have to be a wait and see.

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  121. Whoops, almost forgot. Welcome back Bill! Mets will all get a good grade this year with nothing to forecast other than temps. haha just kidding...

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  122. Welcome back Bill,love the picture above looks like some serious storm clouds,been pretty boring around here weather wise,hopefully now that your back it will pick up,but by the sounds of it not till 2012,I guess I hate to admit it but PD was correct with his bold statements of no snow,but he did hint at possible xmas eve snow of 2-4" thats if our friend GFS is correct,but as the saying goes......when in a drought leave it out(of the forecast) PS- Did you read every single comment on this post,now that your back?

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  123. BTW,our local met snowlover(DD)calls for todays sliver of flurries/light snow to add up to "a couple of inches of fluff" on his blog last night,I swear if the twin cities just followed his forecast and words for the past month and a half we would have seen greater then 2 feet of snow by now,the man is always calling for snow and overestimating everytime

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  124. @ Hammer Love your blog this morning this brought a chuckle to me.."There is a slight chance of snow as well on Christmas Eve, but that chance may go up in smoke from Santa's pipe."

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  125. @ big daddy
    at least DD is being consistent with his overall winter forecast, according to which we should have 34 inches by the end of December.

    I seriously doubt we are going to get 34 inches all winter!!!

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  126. This winter so far is looking very similar to our last brown Xmas of 2006-2007.
    If I remember correctly that was an El-Nino, and this year we were told it is technically a La Nina.
    But here's some numbers: (low and high)
    Dec 14, 2006 : 31-50
    16: 32-47
    19: 23-42
    24: 23-40
    27: 30-43
    30: 34-43
    31: 30-43
    and then again into January 2007
    3: 28-40
    4: 33-41...
    Now, we have not being so consistently above average but the absolute lack of arctic intrusions looks very similar to today's pattern.

    so... if anybody has access to some archived weather charts of that period it would be interesting to compare the large scale circulation..
    maybe El Nino vs La Nina have no big impact if something else is also at play.

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  127. @Anon 2:07 pm your are right 2006/2007 season was El Nino

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    This is a good place to view surface charts from previous years.

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~gadomski/NARR/2006.html

    and this was the snow depth at the same time last year, Dec 16th...look familiar??

    http://www.nohrsc.noaa.gov/interactive/html/map.html?mode=pan&extents=us&zoom=&loc=46.91+N%2C+98.23+W&ql=station&var=ssm_depth&dy=2006&dm=12&dd=16&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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  128. Very interesting randychamplin.

    COuld not help noticing (in connection to Rigil Kent's stat analysis of snow-less Decembers) that 1974-1975 was also a la Nina and the signal for SON at -0.7 is the same this year as it was in 1974. We then got 27 inches of snow in January 1975!!!

    So hopefully there is still hope for snow lovers.

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  129. OMG!!!!!!!!!!! Stop the presses,its snowing in Eden Prarire!Go look at the window folks,you might not see it again till the new year.

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  130. does anyone know why theres a hole in the radar on the southwest side of the metro,its snowing outside but the radar is hardly picking anything up the light snow is moving west to east but then hits this hole

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  131. I believe its official(and so excited to be the first to pass the news)but with the .2/.3 tenths of an inch of snowfall overnight we are now over 8 inches of snow for the season,WHOOO!,too bad that the candy coating your waking up to this morning will be gone before the days up and we can enjoy racking leaves on Sunday the 18th day of December(if you havent racked yet)with temps nearing 50,what a pathetic winter so far!!!(yeah and dont tell me winter starts this Thursday,as we all know its fair game for snow for these neck of the woods once Halloween gets here)

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  132. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  133. @Anonymous It is the cone of silence near the radar site, due to the angle of the radar beam. The beam doesn't point straight up in the air, so precip within a certain radius of the radar will not be picked up by the beam. While it may not look like it is snowing on radar, it probably is. Because snow is so much lighter than rain, the radar beam has a more difficult time picking up precip falling, so that certainly doesn't help the "cone" either. That also affects the range that the radar can pick up. Places further away from the radar may be seeing light returns, but the snow is actually heavy. Nothing anyone can do about that now, other than to switch between different radar sites and find one that works best. I hope that helps.

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  134. cross your fingers we get an inch plus on thursday,our only shot at snow between now and christmas,or else we be staring at a brown christmas,how miserable,I guess living in Minnesota we take it for granted now we know how Floridians feel.

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  135. Somewhat demoralizing-

    There is a high probabillity of a white christmas in the Texas panhandle- With 8-10 inches on the ground there.

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  136. I'm over the white Christmas mess. It is what it is, writing's on the wall, so I'm hitting the slopes tomorrow. As for the dusting we got last night, you can thank the deluxe car wash I purchased yesterday afternoon after I decided it wasn't going to snow. Oops and you're welcome.

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  137. I live for this time of year. Grew up in northern MN where snowmobiles were running by Thanksgiving. This is the time of year I take a few weeks off and just... do... nothing... but sit at my computer and watch the snow outside. Its calming, it re-energizes me for the next year. It gets me in the holiday spirit. Its what I look forward too all year long.

    Except that it never came... and likely won't.

    People make money off snow season, many recreate, many enjoy it only around the holidays... and yea, some hate it. Me? I live for it... I need it. This is terrible. How do I go a complete year without my winter calm and re-energizing.

    Mother nature you area b#)($*Uch!

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  138. i understand snow lovers' frustration, but again I think Twin Cities residents suffer from a big misconception.
    Given the climatology averages in terms of temperatures, the metro area is NOT relatively speaking, a snowy place.
    45 inches of snow per winter is not very high for a place with these kind of winter averages.
    And it is not that high at all. After an 86 inch winter, you could get a string of 3-4 winters in a row with 20-ish, it would be climatologically in the norm.
    Whether you like it or not, that is the fact.
    i think we got really spoiledlast winter, and it will take a while for reality to sink in.

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  139. It's not really the amount of snow we get that makes it winter here- it's how long the snow sticks around after it falls (usually).

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  140. Kind of like the Vikings...

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  141. This may turn out to be a low-snow winter with considerably higher than normal temperatures.... but I still don't see how I could classify it as anything besides "long!"

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  142. say it ain't so Joe!!! Good Grief Charlie Brown!!!

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ama/

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  143. @randyinchamplin

    I was just about to point that out...
    It should be noted that every hour and a half they up the snow totals.

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  144. The JMA just got my attention:

    http://grib2.com/animate/foreign_loops.php3?type=CONUS_JMA_1000-500_SLPTHKPRP&width=1280&height=1024&model=JMA

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  145. Re: Texas Graphic

    HA! How can you look at that and not laugh at the irony? Crazy!

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  146. If we don't drop below zero this December, it will have been the first time since 2002. It happened in consecutive years, 2001 and 2002. Before that, 1969, 1954, 1952. Pretty remarkable.

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  147. Novak's now calling for highs to reach the 50s this afternoon. I'm going skiing!

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  148. I have to admit, I'm surprised MSP did not reach 50 today. Temps soared to near 60 in southwest MN. Regardless, wow! Temps 20 to 30 degrees above avg. over much of MN.

    Still, this weather pattern totally blows. Granted, we are knocking a ton of days off of our potential for brutally cold temps, which is nice, but come on.

    I just don't see an obvious change anytime soon. However, the upper air pattern does look a little suspicious as we head into later next week. Jet appears to veer a bit more to the w/sw and we will have some moderate cold air in place. Models have not developed anything, but I wouldn't be surprised if something were to pop.

    On the other hand, until this cut-off pattern ends and the northern Jet finally moves south and phases, it will be boring.

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  149. I really don't think this stands more than a 15% chance of verifying but if it does RUN FOR THE HILLS!!! the country is upside down!!

    Better chance for a White Xmas in Houston than Mpls???

    http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/mmb/mmbpll/dgexops.conus/eta.acsnow162.gif

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  150. Totally possible Randy when considering how strong the cut-off lows have been AND how much the southern branch of the Jet is "digging" into the southern U.S.

    At some point in time, that southern Jet will dig deeply into the Gulf and develop a major storm that will turn Texas inside-out then head northeast towards the eastern U.S.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see a block-buster nor'easter develop sometime in the next 2 weeks.

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  151. You know what is really depressing,reading yesterday afternoon AFD from the NWS and then DD blogs over at kstp(usually he good for some kind of snow mention or event coming,but he was high and dry for this week and next week) this pattern really really really sucks,it's so boring and brown,my neighbor even mowed the lawn yesterday to pickup what leaves we're left(how goofy is that on 12/18)for us to get excited about a blizzard in Texas/OK is pretty sad,nice to see all the colors on the watches/warnings page but sad that it's not heading this way.

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  152. While it may or may not be a blockbuster system, the European is showing a pretty decent storm headed for the northeast just in time for Christmas (Christmas day, to be exact). Our weather continues to look boring here, but given the fact that a majority of air traffic around the country can be delayed when the big northeast hubs are delayed, I figured I would mention it. Anyone traveling to the northeast this upcoming holiday weekend will want to watch it...since we have nothing else to watch around here. MN and WI will have a brown Christmas, while Kansas will be digging out from probably a foot or more of snow...*sighs*

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  153. From DD's afternoon weather blog on kstp.com:
    "...Unless the La Nina increases dramatically, which doesn't appear likely, my snow prediction for this winter is going to be too high"
    Really???

    Let's give credit to Dave for "elegantly" admitting he busted it.

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  154. This shows just how painfully close this storm is:

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

    And these are the cloulds that support it:

    http://www.goes.noaa.gov/GSSLOOPS/ecir.html

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  155. PD saying in his blog tonight that after Jan.4th,we will be below average temperatures with snowstorms having a better chance of coming our way,he warns though that too much cold air may drain south pushing the good snows south as well,as much as I have hated his bold statements this fall/winter they have been closer to accurate then others we know(ex. DD),so we'll se what happens,but can you all do me a favor and this christmas ask Santa to turn on the faucet to the snow guns and point that at MSP.Thanks!

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  156. I had a feeling that would happen... go from too warm for snow to a situation where we're too cold. I like cold better than warm (I'll take 20 degrees over 90s and humid anyday) but we NEED SNOW!

    This is the absolute worst winter I can remember. Saw some photos near Ely, MN today - maybe its time to move up there.

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  157. I don't see the issue.
    The storm track has been consistently to our south anyway, with or without cold air.

    I don't think the reason we had so little snow was because it was too warm (with the exception of that storm -- which after all only produced 0.32" of liquid -- so not much more than 4 inches), it is that we simply do not get any significant moisture.

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  158. Tough to get too excited about it now, given the dry and stubborn pattern we have been in, but the European model is looking interesting towards New Years. Nice trough coming into the west, with a storm system looking like it wants to develop near the TX panhandle...looks like the making of a panhandle hook storm. Knowing the rut we have been in, I don't imagine it sticking around on future model runs. Snow lovers can hope...

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  159. "This is the absolute worst winter I can remember. Saw some photos near Ely, MN today - maybe its time to move up there."

    You must be young then. We had some pretty crappy winters around the turn of the century, with very little snow. I am pretty sure that at least one in the past 10 years was less snowwy at this point than this year has been.

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  160. In regards to my post above...here's an image of it from the European model.

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

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  161. It was just 5 or 6 years ago that MSP didn't get their first inch of snow until January 10th or something wasn't it?

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  162. @CWY2190 It looks like the winter of '04-'05 is when you are referring to, looking back at snow totals. I put a link up showing the data from MSP for the year 2004 and 2005. You'll see the bar graph for snowfall doesn't get to 1 inch of snow through the months of Nov or Dec.

    2004: http://www.climatestations.com/images/stories/minneapolis/MSP2004.gif

    2005: http://www.climatestations.com/images/stories/minneapolis/MSP2005.gif

    Just click on the image, and it will zoom in.

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  163. @ Duane-

    My fingers lie crossed. My trust lies with the euro right now. It has far outpreformed all the other models, and it just seems likley that this trend would continue.

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  164. @ bigdaddy-

    I think PD is catching on to the Euro's accuracy...

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  165. I looked at some things this morning after seeing PD's blog about a possible big arctic cold snap coming into our area keeping the snow track to our south. After viewing some articles on password protected site's, than following up with my own research, I have come to the conclusion (based on current data) not analog years, that it is unlikely. The storm track is still questionable but a strong and prolonged cold snap I don't think is the cards for us. I will post what I saw in the next hour or two to back it up.

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  166. Ok follow up: Lets start with the stratospheric warming that is taking place. This is what the GFS shows out 10 day's from now at the 10mb level.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_t10_nh_f240.gif.

    I have no doubt that this is taking place, this show's the heights at 10mb, 10 days from now.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_z10_nh_f240.gif

    Now lets take a look at the 100mb temps 10 days from now, notice how the warming is stuck into Canada.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_t100_nh_f240.gif

    and now the 100mb heights 10 day from now..

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/gif_files/gfs_z100_nh_f240.gif

    so has the polar vortex been broken??? I don't think so.

    I do believe however that some cold air could come down to the lower 48, but I do think it will be primarily confined to the NW US.

    Here are the ensemble means of the Climate Forecast system Version 2 for the next four weeks, at 500mb .( I don't have great computer skills so bear with me, if you look at the right center of the graphic you will see the Gulf of Mexico, look north from there you will see the great lakes)

    Next two week's....http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/sweaver/cfs_fcst/images1/wk1.wk2_20111219.z500.gif

    and week three and four

    http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/sweaver/cfs_fcst/images1/wk3.wk4_20111219.z500.gif

    so most of the cold air should be locked into the NW.

    So now lets look at the Temps for the next two weeks.

    http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/sweaver/cfs_fcst/images1/wk1.wk2_20111219.NAsfcT.gif

    and weeks 3 and 4

    http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/sweaver/cfs_fcst/images1/wk3.wk4_20111219.NAsfcT.gif

    notice the cold in the west for week four, if that doesn't spread east we will never get a good cold snap, and with how strong the SE US ridge is I think that is unlikely.

    Remember that a lot of long range forecaster are calling for the warming in the Polar Stratosphere to dump cold air over us into the NE, I'm not buying it,I have seen the ECMWF weeklies and they look very similar to the CFS V2... which raises another question, has the US come up with something to challenge the ECMWF? The CFS Version 2 just became official as of this year I think.

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  167. well I hope I didn't loose everyone with that post, it was rather technical, I'm sorry I just can't help myself saying something might happen w/o posting the reason's why. As to the post from Duane at 2:37 showing the e-wall Euro...this pattern makes sense, all be it a lot earlier than I expected

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  168. I realize this is weak, but I'm desperate right now. I still believe that something will get squeezed out of the atmosphere late tomorrow into early Thursday. The upper-level dynamics actually look favorable for lift. Granted, not much is showing at the surface on the forecast models, but there will be a front over so. MN and with the left front quad of the jet over head, who knows.

    It should be interesting to see if this amounts to anything. I know, grasping for straws.

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  169. Some forecasts are saying flurries, but with highs in the mid-30s through Christmas, "something," or "anything," will go back to "nothing" in no time.

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  170. @AB keep the faith, I really do see pattern change coming.

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  171. @Randy... Unfortunately, I only really love snow through early January. Then, unless I'm skiing on it, I'd just as soon see it gone. I don't need pity...I really am over it! Tough skiing, but whatever.

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  172. Novak you may be onto something,NWS has gone from scattered flurries wording to 30/40% chance of snow,even likely wording south of the metro,they are calling for an 1" or so but nowhere the metro,they mentioned I-90 areas for any accumulation,we'll see what happens,last shot at a white christmas right here today,other then this high and dry till late next week maybe.

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  173. I agree Randy. The temp. anomalies are looking much colder on the ECMWF as we head into the 7 to 10 day period. Our source region for Arctic air (central & northern Canada) finally start to trend back to winter normals. As this air surges south, something interesting should develop.

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  174. SOI is still climbing. If El Nino is coming it looks to be taking its time.

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  175. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  176. Radar looking quite impressive to the northwest and dropping south towards metro,can see an hour or two snow burst capable of whitening everything this afternoon,who knows maybe it stalls right over the metro crazier things have happened

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  177. I really like the set-up for late next week (Thur/Fri). I've been waiting for a strong vort/max disturbance to come crashing into the NW U.S. coast and this appears to finally happen. For the last few months, these disturbances have been traversing the California coast before cutting-off in the desert SW.

    If this disturbance acts as forecasted by the models, it will have a much better opportunity to tap Arctic air and an intense thermal ribbon. Of course, this has been a huge issue up to this point. Should be interesting.

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  178. Its snowing in Rosemount. Pretty sad when I'm excited about the dust thats falling... what I wouldn't give for a nice bit 10"+ dumping of pure white gold.

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  179. Ok I have mentioned that I see a pattern change ahead, it has started to show up on the GFS, granted that it's 360 hours out or so but it is there.

    Look at the 850 mb temps and surface pressure at 360 hours.

    http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae84/arpetersonembaqcom/12zgfs850mbTSLPUS360.gif

    look at the cold air over Canada, plus the strong ridge that is showing up over the eastern US..

    The cold air I think is in response to the Stratospheric warming. However I see two problems with what the model is showing. I believe that the cold air over the Dakota's is to far east, I think it will set up 300-400 miles further west. If that happens it will cause the High pressure in the east to build up further to the west. The 2nd problem is that the center of the east coast high is to far north, instead of setting up over the NE US, I think it will set up some where near the Carolina's.

    Now take a look at the low that has formed in the panhandle area.

    This next map is 12 hrs later.

    http://i960.photobucket.com/albums/ae84/arpetersonembaqcom/12zgfs850mbTSLPUS372.gif

    Notice that the low has started to break down the High pressure area taking the storm to the SE of us. That I believe is wrong, the models have a bias of breaking down the ridges or surface high pressure way to fast. If the GFS continues to show this pattern I think the low that forms to the sw of us will cut up between Lacrosse and Detroit.

    The pattern change is there IMO, the question is will the impacts be felt at MSP or Chicago or even more to the east with Detroit. Time will tell.. I think Jan could be very interesting indeed.

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  180. You know guys like Randyinchamplin,Novak,Duane I'm reading your comments and then take a look at what Paul Douglas is saying in his blog tonight and you guys are night and day what gives,he says no storms in sight and you guys are talking about next thursday/friday being intersting weather with snow possible and Paul says highs 38-43 all next week,even if a storm develops its all rain with those temps,he even says temps in the 40's first week of 2012,while Randy and Novak you guys speak of a pattern change with artic air coming down,doesnt everyone have access to the same info?,but yet two totally different outcomes are protrayed!

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  181. @weatherinMN,

    Don't come here looking for accurate info. One side "Apocalypse Now" from this site only. Dire extreme weather or bitching like little school girls. I am hooked though! It's awesome.

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  182. I resemble the little school girl remark. :-)

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  183. Not sure if this is because of an pattern change coming,and obviously we need to take it with a grain of salt,considering the source,but our friends over at inaccuweather have highs in the teens and lows at night below zero starting on the 3rd of January,listen I love snow as much as the next person,but I could do without the cold who needs subzero,all you need for snow is subfreezing I'm perfectly fine if our highs were 25-30 everyday during the winter with frequent snows,here hoping thats we get in January thru March,because what we had in November and December sucked,yes it hasnt gotten too cold but it really hasnt snowed much either

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  184. BTW,did anyone read PD blog this morning,he mentions in there that MSP hasnt seen an 4" snowfall yet this winter,wasnt the storm a few weeks back measured to be 4.4" at MSP?correct me if I'm wrong.

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  185. @big daddy - you are right, MSP got 4.4 from the second of our two mini storms.

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  186. I've never led others to believe that I am a pro when it comes to reading computer models and forecasting. I have some training from others, but it is minimal training. I simply just like to look at them and try to figure it out. PD of course has a ton more knowledge and training than really any of us in here, but it doesn't mean that we can't form our own opinion on things. Sorry if I led others to believe that I was something I am not.

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  187. I agree about sub zero to a point. What I don't like is when the temps bump above freezing and stuff melts and makes a mess. I'm good with snow in December then weather enough to keep it here until spring... none of this 40s and 50s. If I wanted snow then melting I'd move to Denver, where they are getting pounded right now but I'm sure it won't last.

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  188. weatherinMN, Good question. Yes, we all have the same model and data to look at, but it all comes down to how you interpret the data.

    For instance, some people may say that Dave Dahl and others are much more optimistic when it comes to storms and they tend to skew the data to indicate this. Meanwhile, the pessimist will always error on the side of caution and will place little trust in robust model outputs.

    What bothers me personally is when a weather forecaster neglects to put their own spin on a forecast and basically "rips-n-reads" from others. Placing myself in the public's shoes, I would rather have several sharply different forecasts to choose from rather than have the same status-quo forecast from everyone. That way, I can determine who I feel is more accurate & informative and continue to follow that individual for my needs. Unfortunately, entertaining the public is more important this day and age rather than going out on a limb with a good weather forecast while informing the public.

    On a side note, it really looks promising for snow later next week. It appears that a couple of strong 'Clippers' will roll through MN and one, if not both, of these are bound to give much of MN some snow.

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  189. Interesting...

    1-3 inches of snow for northern Mexico...

    With a potential for a white christmas there

    Hmmmmmm...

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  190. Boy, take a look at this:

    http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/NCOMAGWEB/appcontroller?prevPage=Model&MainPage=index&image=&page=Param&cycle=12%2F22%2F2011+18UTC&rname=UPPER+AIR+PARMS&pname=500_vort_ht&pdesc=&model=GFS&area=NAMER&cat=MODEL+GUIDANCE&fcast=Loop+All&areaDesc=North+America+-+US+Canada+and+northern+Mexico&prevArea=NAMER&currKey=model&returnToModel=&imageSize=M

    And this at the same time frame:

    http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/NCOMAGWEB/appcontroller?prevPage=Param&MainPage=index&image=&page=Param&cycle=12%2F22%2F2011+18UTC&rname=UPPER+AIR+PARMS&pname=500_rh_ht&pdesc=&model=GFS&area=NAMER&cat=MODEL+GUIDANCE&fcast=Loop+All&areaDesc=North+America+-+US+Canada+and+northern+Mexico&prevArea=NAMER&currKey=model&returnToModel=&imageSize=M

    Take a look at both of these around the 69-78 hour time frame. It draws my attention. Even so, the models think it won't amount to much. Also, take a look at this about 24 hours out:

    http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/NCOMAGWEB/appcontroller?prevPage=Param&MainPage=index&image=&page=Param&cycle=12%2F22%2F2011+18UTC&rname=PRECIP+PARMS&pname=precip_p03&pdesc=&model=GFS&area=NAMER&cat=MODEL+GUIDANCE&fcast=Loop+All&areaDesc=North+America+-+US+Canada+and+northern+Mexico&prevArea=NAMER&currKey=model&returnToModel=&imageSize=M

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  191. Be careful when cutting and pasting the first one. Make sure to highlight ALL above and below the dash, including it.

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  192. @weatherinMN

    First of all let me state that I'm nothing more than a amateur weather nut. And I agree with Novak when he says we all can look at the same data and come to different conclusions. I do admit to using a password protected site, it provides me with more info about the Euro model than what can be found for free over the net. I pay attention to local and national mets, (there is almost always a difference of opinions) than use the data that's available to either agree or not. For instance my temp forecast for Nov., Dec., and Jan. of near to above normal temps was exactly opposite of what most long term forecaster were saying along with those of our local mets who dared to put out a winter forecast. The one expectation I saw was Paul Huttner, Kudos to him.

    Now to the pattern change I'm seeing. I don't think it will really kick in until after Jan 10th or so, although I agree that the clipper train is at the station ready to depart. The change has to do with the Stratospheric warming that is forecast to take place and where the cooler air will set up. I believe it will be over the inter mountain west to the Pacific NW (I really don't know how arctic it will be). It will be warmer to our south and east, putting us in the battle ground. The pattern change can be seen in the following two links, you can see it taking place in week 4

    http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/sweaver/cfs_fcst/images1/wk1.wk2_20111221.NAsfcT.gif

    http://origin.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/people/sweaver/cfs_fcst/images1/wk3.wk4_20111221.NAsfcT.gif

    That set up is very similar to the Eruo.

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  193. @bemaki instead of cutting or copying and pasting have you ever tried highlighting it and than right click open link?

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  194. Bill,you must know the weather is really boring around here when this one post has almost hit 200 comments,usually you have a reason to start a new post thus never reaching such a high comment total,does this post take the cake for most comments ever?

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  195. Last ditch effort to save WHITE CHRISTMAS,burst of snow to move thru this morning could lay down 1/2 to 1" amounts,also another burst saturday night/sunday morning has a better shot to lay down another inch,hey were not talking huge amounts by any means and we are stuck in this rut still,but it could be enough to officially save a white christmas,just so it at least looks like christmas out there and not St.Louis

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  196. @randyinchamplin-

    Unfourtunatly, my computer will not let me do that, so it goes with cutting and pasting.

    Also, I think today's forecast is going to turn into a bust.

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  197. Love this band coming in, but it may miss the airport just to the north.

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  198. Looks as though anoka county getting a nice squall of snow moving in now,but as bemaki stated will miss heart of metro and airport

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