Monday, February 27, 2012

Capricious Models Blamed for Changing Snow Forecast

As of late Monday night, nearly all weather outlets were minimizing snow forecasts. The primary exception was KSTP, which was still calling for 4-8 inches and the NWS, which was calling for 3-6 inches. Most other outlets had followed MPR's lead from earlier in the evening and were in the general 1-2 or 1-3 inch range, with most snow expected to fall on Wednesday. The latest comparative forecasts appear here.

The much-talked about major Tuesday/Wednesday snowstorm now seems to be in doubt for the Twin Cities as many forecasters began changing their forecasts late this morning. Most weather outlets predicted an increasing likelihood that mixed precipitation would bring snow accumulation down considerably. We're trying to keep track of the various and fast-changing forecasts here.

Given that so many snow forecasts have gone south (or north) this winter, TMF conducted its own investigation into why weather models are behaving so erratically. With a little digging, we found the cause. Using a well-placed spy camera we determined how the models were being guided and captured the picture below.


We'll continue to track the models, ehrrr forecasters, as the storm -- in whatever form it takes -- arrives in the Twin Cities.

135 comments:

  1. Another bad sign - the NWS Twin Cities website is down.

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    1. My apologies. I am able to access the site on my phone, but not through my work laptop. That is probably a sign from my employer to stop visiting the site.

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    2. Nope, portions of it are indeed down.

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  2. please continue to keep these forecasts updated, as you are my most reliable source for weather info to figure out just what to expect for Wednesday morning. My commute w/o snow is 20 min...with snow its closer to 1.5-2 hours (I-94 from St. Paul to Golden Valley). So I greatly appreciate your attention to this detail!

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  3. Keep up the good work!

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  4. @Anonymous and @Lorri Thank you!

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  5. ok first of all lets keep in mind that this whole forecast is really based at how warm the atmosphere is between 3000-5000 feet above the ground. The American models show that the 0°c line extends well north of the metro (GFS,Nam), and that temps in layer get as warm as +5(nam) GFS slightly cooler. Upon examining the forecast sounding for MSP every 6 hours for the Euro, the whole column is at 0° or cooler throughout the event. Looking at the 850mb(roughly 5000ft) Charts off the Eruo,JMA,UKMET and SHREF the zero temp line does not get any further than the mid metro. This is a very difficult forecast indeed. The division line I'm using is the 394/94 corridor

    South Metro 4-7" including the Lakeview, Farmington area, less south, more north.

    North metro including all of Anoka county 7-12, again less south more north.

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  6. oops!!! I forgot 5-6" MSP

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  7. I don't see what all the changes are about: (1224z,I think this was issued)

    .UPDATE...STILL LOOKING AT THE TRENDS ON THE UPCOMING STORM. NOT A
    SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN TRACK OF THE SYSTEM BUT A CHANGE IN THE
    AMOUNT AND DEPTH OF THE WARM LAYER WRAPPING INTO SOUTHERN
    MINNESOTA. WILL PROBABLY MAKE A FEW CHANGES IN SNOW AMOUNTS IN
    UPDATED FORECASTS THIS AFTERNOON FOR THE SOUTHERN PART OF OUR
    AREA.

    ADDED 18Z TAF DISCUSSION BELOW.

    &&

    .DISCUSSION...
    THIS MORNING...AN UPPER LOW OVER THE UPPER GREAT LAKES WILL
    CONTINUE TO MOVE EAST OVER THE NEW ENGLAND STATES BY MIDNIGHT
    TONIGHT. A SFC HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE WILL ADVANCE OVER THE WESTERN
    GREAT LAKES AND MIDWEST TODAY. SO A QUIET AND COOL DAY TODAY WITH
    AFTERNOON HIGH TEMPERATURES IN THE 20S. THE LATEST WATER VAPOR
    SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWED A DEEPENING UPPER LOW OVER THE WEST COAST
    WITH A STRONG UPPER LEVEL JET ROUNDING THE BASE OF THE UPPER LOW.
    THIS LOW WILL CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN OVER THE SOUTHERN ROCKIES
    TODAY...BEFORE LIFTING INTO THE CENTRAL PLAINS ON TUESDAY.

    TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY TIMEFRAME...MODELS ARE IN GENERAL AGREEMENT
    WITH THE POTENTIAL WINTER STORM. THE ONLY CHALLENGE IS DETERMINING
    PRECIPITATION TYPES TUESDAY NIGHT. STILL BELIEVE THE BULK OF THE
    PRECIPITATION WILL BE MAINLY SNOW FOR MUCH OF OUR AREA. THE LATEST
    GEM-NHEM MODEL HAS THE SURFACE LOW OVER SOUTHEAST MN...LITTLE
    FURTHER NORTH THAN THE NAM..GFS AND EC MODELS. THUS PREFERRED A
    BLEND OF THE EC/GFS/NAM FOR POSITION AND TRACK OF THE SURFACE
    LOW. THESE MODELS BRING THE SURFACE LOW ALONG THE IOWA/MINNESOTA
    BORDER. THIS WILL PLACE MUCH OF OUR FORECAST IN BULLS-EYE OR CLOSE
    IN RECEIVING 8+ INCHES OF SNOW...WITH PARTS OF WEST CENTRAL-
    CENTRAL MN AND WESTERN WISCONSIN POSSIBLY OVER A FOOT. MODELS
    CONTINUE TO SUPPORT LIQUID PRECIP TOTALS OF ONE TO TWO INCHES OVER
    CENTRAL MN. WITH MIXING RATIOS IN THE 3-4 G/KG RANGE AND SNOW
    ACCUMULATIONS VARYING 1.0-1.5 INCHES PER HOUR...SIX HOURLY
    ACCUMULATION TOTALS COULD EASILY EXCEED OVER 10 INCHES. DUE TO
    UNCERTAINTY ON THE TRACK AND PRECIPITATION TYPES DUE THE ENTIRE
    EVENT...WILL HOLD OFF FROM UPGRADING THE BLIZZARD WATCH AND WINTER
    STORM WATCH TO WARNINGS. DAY SHIFT SHOULD HAVE A FIRM GRASP ON THE
    TRACK OF THE STORM.

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  8. How come the meteogram generator has went down so much on the snow totals? http://www.meteor.iastate.edu/~ckarsten/bufkit/image_loader.phtml?site=mpx Everybody is still talking above 4" on here, why is that? What am I missing? Thanks!

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  9. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 27, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    I'm so confused. The NWS doesn't seem to be budging too much on its forecast. They may have adjusted downward a little bit, but not much. I am guessing that they are waiting for the latest and greatest data before they turn the watch into a warning.

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  10. They seem a little hesitant to issue the warnings. Most of the other offices have issued the warnings, even the ones to the east.

    Somthing must be up. Somthing the other offices dont see, and somthing we dont see either.

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  11. I have "lurked" here since the very early days. I am a closet weather geek who doesn't know much about the technical side of forecasting but I thoroughly enjoying learning. You guys have been awesome and it's been a fun place to learn. I hope it stays that way.
    Needless to say I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next 24-36 hours! Just like the rest of you. It would be great to have my kids have a snow day in one of our driest winters when the didn't during one of our snowiest (last year)!

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  12. From NWS-Twin Cities Facebook posting:

    Some people are having issues reaching our web page at this time. The issues are a result of some changes made to our web farm, to prepare for the increase in traffic we normally see when a winter storm approaches our area. We are hoping that any problems people are having reaching our web site are fixed in the next few hours. In the meantime, if you can not reach the NWS Twin Cities web page, please try this temporary address: http://origin-www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx

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  13. MPX just updated the forecasts to include totals, their weather story is pretty general, hard to find where you are on the map.

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  14. Metro is in a warning. 4-7" is the latest guess from the MSP office (as of 4:27 pm)

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  15. I cant stand it Bill. Every met is different. Tweeting everything from rain to 7 inches of snow. Arg

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  16. Considering the mess of forecasts, I am going with the HPC on this one ( 70%+ chance of 4in, 40%+ of of 8in, 10% of 12in, 10% of ice accumulation greater than .25in)

    LINK:
    http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/wwd/day2_composite.gif

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  17. Weather story from the NWS shows the southern edge of the 6-10" area just north of Hastings IMO

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  18. Yes, 6-10" lines seems to be from about Cottage Grove, west to Chaska, and then north. That puts the southern Twin Cities metro in the 4-6" range and the core in the 5-8" range. Based on the way forecasts have trended, I anticipate the storm could likely shift even further north and certainly won't shit south.

    I'm sticking with 3-5 inches in my area. This is taking into account the trends north, the dry tongue, and a prolonged period of sleet. I think any concern over freezing rain is presumptuous at this point...it's going to be too warm for too much of the storm for surfaces to glaze over, and there's a big question as to if the rain can even make it this far north.

    I won't question or challenge the winter storm warning simply due to the size of the system and the uncertainty, but I do anticipate somewhere in the warning area, people will wonder what all the fuss is about.

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    1. Ummm that's SHIFT south. Mea cupla, mea culpa...where's auto-correct when you need it?!

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    2. I would not be too sure of that (not shifting south), AB. This is Minnesota, and we all know what that means.

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  19. @bemaki...

    I'd love to be proven wrong, but the one thing the models have been consistent with this winter is their inconsistency. Once they start to shift a certain direction, they tend to go that way to the extreme right up to the event.

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  20. The NWS is down... the whole thing

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    1. This site right here???

      http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx/

      I've been checking it all day without problems and I'm at the website right now.

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  21. I am at the NWS right now.

    ...and WOW. Kare 11 is going WAY north with the system. They have the rain reaching possibly as far north as Lake Mille Lacs. Belinda is calling for only 1-4 inches in the metro, 4-8 for St. Cloud, and 9-12 from Morris to the north shore, including Brainerd. Yesterday I thought I needed to dig out my shovel; now I'm trying to figure out where I put my umbrella...

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  22. Man I miss a lot when I sleep during the day,all this back and forth from the other post with the storm going north and changing snowfall forecasts,too bashing on Novak again and losing Duane because I asked for his opinion.A few thoughts:
    I love that we are under a warning,which means we will get snow,but the final numbers are in question,even reading the NWS discussion page this evening they left a window of uncertainity that more sleet and rain can travel north bringing down the 6-10 they have for the metro now.
    Novak just like every met you try,you can't please everyone everytime,remember that and don't let the trolls get to you
    And Duane I'm not sorry I asked for your opinion,because your opinion matters to me,I love reading your 'essays' they are very informative,please don't leave us,like I said to Novak don't listen to trolls there's always going to be a few,we still have this storm and Friday and all of March to go that I want to hear what you have to say

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  23. I do not know why I can't acess it... I was able to earlier...

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  24. I'm interested to find out how much of the metro is still in a Winter Storm Warning at this time tomorrow...

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    1. If you are looking for another opinion (not that you need one with this storm) I posted mine at www.chasetheplains.com. It looks like my forecast is pretty similar to randyinchamplin, it must be the first name.

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  25. What's everybody's opinion on when the snow will start falling tomorrow?

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    1. If we see any true snow , I predict it will be brief right around noon and then not snow again until Wednesday morning. I wouldn't be surprised if parts of the far southern metro don't see any REAL snow until Friday.

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  26. Weather.com has lowered forecasted totals an inch or two (down to 3-5 total) and as trends go, they'll probably lower that again by morning. The big change is that they've eliminated much chance for snow accumulation after Tuesday afternoon, expecting it to remain a wintry mix for most of the duration of the storm.

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  27. This sucks the ever shrinking snowtorm(sounds like a good movie title),can't we just get one good snowstorm,we live in Minnesota for christ sake. I have about 25 assembled snowblowers to unload,and a snowstorm that was advertized yesterday would have been perfect,you see if the snowblowers are assembled we own them and we need to sell them any boxed units get brought back by the vendor,please let it snow

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  28. Looks like the problem is with the Central Region Headquarter part of the site. The other three regions of the NWS are working fine.

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  29. Well for me, google says that weather.gov doesen't even EXIST. I just don't gat it.

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  30. @bemaki...maybe you have a virus.

    Between my gut, trends, forecast highs, and model runs, I am starting to wonder if we'll get much snow at all. It's looking more and more like a rain/slush event. It's possible tomorrow's lows won't even dip below freezing.

    I'll admit, I anticipated the initial predictions of 12+ would fizzle a bit, but I didn't think I'd be sitting here tonight saying "if it snows" instead of "how much it snows." Weather.com, which has been relatively accurate all winter, keeps pushing its forecast temps and precip warmer and warmer. Kare 11's evening newscasts may have nailed this thing with their pessimistic 1-4 inch snow estimates (to go along with 1+ inches of rain).

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  31. Tell me...

    Is the NWS still going with 6-10in?

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  32. A paragraph from KARE 11


    There's a big gradient expected for the metro with the far north suburbs in the 4-8" range. Those accumulations stack up quickly however, traveling up I-35. Measurements near a foot of snow are expected in central Minnesota from Fargo to Duluth. South metro could see more ice and rain than snow, with snow accumulations in the 1-4" range and some ice accumulations as well.

    I have a feeling that some of us will say this is a great storm(in the north metro, and others will say it is a washout...

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  33. I think it's going to be a washout everywhere (literally...find your umbrellas!).

    Novak just released his snow graphic and he has 1-3 inches as far north as St. Cloud. I think Kare 11 gets the award for being the earliest outlet to call for very little in the metro. I think Novak's map will prove accurate.

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  34. This is what really bugs me when they start hyping the weather a week or several days before "the big storm." It's usually never as big as they say it's going to be, or we're totally surprised and it's something completely different than what they're predicting. If they'd keep their foreasting only a day or two out, I'd be more inclined to believe them once in awhile. Over the past several years, I just quit listening. Now all I do is roll my eyes.

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  35. Paul Douglas is lowering his totals again, now hinting at no snow until Wednesday for the southern metro. I have given Paul a hard time in the past, but this time it was interesting to read as he struggled with the various models. His gut instinct yesterday turned out to be on the mark. Paul just tweeted new models out shortly and he will have an update. He also questioned the Winter Storm Warning for the metro.

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  36. Dave Dahl still going big. 10" for Elk River - 7-10" for the northern metro!

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  37. Forecast low here in Red Wing via NWS called for 22 degrees. All 3 of my thermometors stationed around the outside of my house are at 16, 16, and 17. if you continue to drop even a little more, does that mean the high for tomorrow won't be as high as they forecasted? Just interesting and hoping for the most snow possible. Thanks in advance for the answers.

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  38. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 27, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Wouldn't it be funny if accuweather was right this time? They bumped totals up to 8.5 in the Minneapolis. They were saying 2.8 yesterday. Interesting. The outlier. Funny!

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  39. @PWL...that would be the icing on the unpredictable cake of crap we've had this winter. Accuweather being accurate and calling for a snowstorm when everybody else hedged their bets on rain and sleet. We'd have to talk forecasters all over the metro off of ledges.

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    1. I laughed out loud at this! I am just wainting for Mother Nature to make up her mind on this storm/ winter...we will soon know...

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  40. Ha! Love the Ouija board picture! We have one...maybe I should get it out and see what it says about the potential storm... MM ;-)

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  41. Hey, the ouija board worked for the residents of Downton Abbey in accurately predicting their future... Perhaps our mets should give it a shot!

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  42. DD on a 7:50pm web forecast at kstp.com,lowered metro numbers to 4-5inches saying a couple on the front side and a couple on the back side,says snow should go over to rain/sleet after the noon hour he even siad ther would be a possiblity of a thunderstorm in the evening. UNBELIEVEABLE! last night I'm hearing of all these numbers around a foot or more for the metro and now thunderstorms!this weather is all messed up!

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  43. Small area of moderate snow is trying to develop in the sw portion of the state. The leading edge is weakening and drying up a bit as it tries to move northeast toward the metro. I'm sure this is shocking to everyone... Or not.

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  44. Is anyone calling for less snow than Chris Shaffer's 10:00 pm forecast for 1.5" of snow at MSP?
    Other estimates 5.5" @ St. Cloud, 17" @ Brainerd and 20" @ Duluth.

    Also, a not often used icing potential graph with 0.62" at St. Cloud and 0.13" at MSP.

    The video link if anyone is interested:
    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/video/6788645-10-p-m-weather-report/

    Still major issues accessing the weather.gov website (for me).

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  45. To take another boxing line(sorry SamG not trying to steal your thunder from your Rocky line): Howard Cosell playing the part of the weather models and all the mets trying to forecast this storm for days playing the part of Frazier," Down goes Frazier,down goes Frazier". Bill did you throw the towel yet,they need you Bill,throw it,throw it now,dont wait for another storm!

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  46. funny @Anonymous,guess your not a snowlover. PD late evening update says doesnt understand why NWS has gone with winter storm warnings for metro and points south,at best should be advisory and sees them changing that pretty soon,calls it over-kill.His prediction is now 1-3 inches for metro,even mentions thunderstorms Tuesday night just like DD,still say unbelieveable to that, a foot of snow Sunday night to thunderstorms Monday night,I just shake my head. I always am by the school of thought when snows are this close to where I live I still think anything is possible like a shift in track in the last minute,changeovers never occuring,more cold air vs. warm air,I sure hope something like that happens today,I want the snow.
    Plymouth weather lover I feel your pain,btw accu-weather is following everyone else now,prediction down to 4.1.
    @Novak what happened man,did the reliable euro let us down,the american models suck ass you say and now you cant trust the europeans,what are you going to do man?tough business!
    One side note after this storm is all set and done,why do PD and DD give such conflicting messages not once but twice,for Friday DD says several more inches and PD says storm goes east of us,for next week DD says keep the shovels handy going to be active again,PD says signs of early spring with highs soaring into the 50's,come on can a forecast be that totally lopsided with one saying snow and another saying 50's,no wonder us(the consumers)dont trust mets and their predictions that often.

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  47. I have seen several runs with temperatures going into the 50's middle of next week. Like it or not spring is coming and it may be here sooner than you think.

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  48. I know your all sleeping but I get the luxury of watching the doughnut on radar again,dry air just beating down the precip trying to move up from the southwest.Well believe it or not NWS update at 4am still remaining with WSW in metro,they say warning criteria snows still expected thru the central metro with 3-6 inches predicted,even saying 8-12 for anoka county,they even started the discussion saying very difficult forecast ahead,not sure how to take that,does that mean less or no snow or does that mean less mixing or changeover and more snow.Help!Duane/Novak/Randyinchamplain what are you seeing.

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  49. @big daddy I'll tell you what I'm seeing,I'm seeing the NWS grabbing for the top rope,wishing and praying there forecast doesnt bust and not have to go back on their warnings,stay down Frazier,stay on the canvas its the only way to end this miserable winter of forecasts and busts and coatings and dry tongues and lack of artic air,I could go on and on,instead we need to just embrace spring!

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  50. @big daddy - keep living the dream! I do believe, however, if anything changes, it will be to the warmer. Trends have been the one consistent thing this winter, and this storm has been no different.

    Any snow we get will be nothing more than a nuisance, so I'd prefer it just rains anyway. The 1+ inch of liquid precipitation could be a drought-buster, and that is a very good thing. Even if most of this rain does nothing more than run down the streets and into the drains, it's still a very good thing.

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  51. Funny thing is the models will probably nail the QPF totals that they've been showing for five days but it being five degrees warmer then they thought (which in itself isn't bad for a temp forecast) will lead to them being massive failures.

    Models with a five degree error...

    Forecast 82 and it hits 87... no big deal
    Forecast 15 and it hits 20... no big deal
    Forecast 30 with precip and it hits 35...big deal

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  52. Good ol' Dave Dahl still sticking with the NWS,calling for snow this morning,mix after noon and then snow after midnight and says 4-6 inches in the heart of the metro,old habits die hard,at least when Paul Douglas goes high first the takes it all the way down,says 1-3 and thunderstorms,are you kidding me!

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  53. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 28, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    Very interesting. Great point by CWU2190! They did nail the QPF totals, or so it seems they will. But the temperature is the perfect example of the criticism they will get. However, when you read the NWS discussion page, under the aviation paragraph, they still are not convinced how much warm air/rain will mix in. If this turns back over to snow early enough, we could still see quite a pile, especially in the northern metro. Tough to convince too many people of that with the power of this storm wrapping up so tight and pulling in such warm air. The irony is that all of the "down players" would be eating crow if this turns out to be nasty overnight. The NWS has not backed down on their stonger wording. Bring it.

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  54. Not looking forward to the drive to and from Webster, Wisconsin tonight. Still holding out hope that some high school basketball playoff games will be cancelled. Totally looking forward to the snow though. Here in the far north Metro near Isanti, NWS still saying 8-12" with some areas in the 13-16" range.

    It's been a weird week as an amatuer enthusiast, trying to keep up with the forecasts that change by the hour. Nobody knows really, whats going to happen at this point even it would seem. All depends on temps under 2000 feet, right? I don't expect rain this far north, but Thundersnow sure is cool...

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  55. I believe that everybody is nuts including myself. I believe that Mother Nature AND 'Crabby' are out to get us. I believe that karma is on 'Crabby's' side and we need to get it back. And, I believe that I am going to hit the liquor cabinet after this one and drown my sorrows until this pathetic winter season ends.

    BTW, there is no way in hell that anybody in the MSP metro gets more that 3" of snow. The NWS & some media outlets are throwing-up a 'Hail Mary' on this one. Hell, STC will likely BUST on this one. 12" in STC? Good luck with that one.

    One last thing, 'Crabby', you got me on this one. I bow to your pessimistic attitude and I wish I would've adopted it for this storm. I'm crushed.

    However, I still think it needs to be said, a forecaster makes their money on the 0-48 hr. forecast. We should take the forecasts from last night, set them in stone, then go back and see who appropriately scaled down and/or scaled up from the absurd model numbers from days ago.

    Cheers everyone! Have fun watching this monster unfold later today.

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    Replies
    1. I agree Novak, I'm thinking of heading out to the beer store myself this afternoon. The question is do I cry in my beer???

      That would be just like this winter, Mother Nature throws one last cruel dagger at us as we wake up on the morning of Leap Day with 1" of liquid precp. She owes us at least a normal year next year. I'm thinking of putting up a Map of Minnesota on my cork board and sticking a knife threw the heart of the Metro and labeling it Winter of 11/12.

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  56. As Randy Hill (met) said, this is one of the most difficult forecast he has ever put out.

    Based on the relative consistency of the ECMWF, JMA UKMET as to were to put the 0° 850 mb line, as well as the 06 operational GFS, NAM, and 6 of the 11 members of the GFS ensemble forecast's. There will be a VERY sharp snowfall gradient from the Junction of I94-694 in Brooklyn Center up to a Elk River to East Bethel line.

    so updated totals
    South Metro 1-3
    Central Metro 3-6
    North Metro 6-12

    May I add, I define the far south metro along a line from Lakevilee to Farmington and the far north along a line the defines Anoka and Isanti counties.

    The 0z Nam and GFS operational have backed off again, but I really do think their 06 runs were the right one's, call me a fool (along with DD and the NWS ) if you want but at this time that's the way I see it.

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  57. WOW Randyinchamplain I certainly did not expect that out of you,you are a brave man,however you should have conceded like Novak,you will crash and burn like DD and the NWS and Bill will not be there to save you he's used up all his white towels.God speed Randy...........

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    1. lol ANON yeah the tears may already rolling down my cheek's.

      My forecast now looks like it has 90% bust potential. AS well as DD, Mike Lynch and Kare's morning blog.

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  58. http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/md0163.html

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  59. Damn, my beloved Euro is still, STILL hangin' in there. If it verifies, several of inches of snow (plowable) for the MSP metro. What in the hell can a forecaster do?

    We need to improve these model solutions. Something weird is going on.

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    1. yeah I know, I'm going out on one thin branch right now. Every time I have gone against the Euro solution it comes back to bite me in the proverbial part of the anatomy. I'm just getting healed from the last one. Waiting to see what it shows when I can get more detailed info about 130pm. The way I see this the critical time will be between midnight and noon tomorrow.

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  60. I think the biggest difference the forecasts is where, if at all the rain is going to fall. Everyone agrees there will be sleet for a period. If it does rain, how are they temperatures at the surface, especially with night time with no sun? NOAA is calling for 3-5 and 2-4 for Maple Grove, and 6-10 and 2-4 for Big Lake, big gradient in snow fall over a short distance.

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  61. Anyone care to comment on the current radar return moving in (@1:10pm). Enought what might happen...it looks pretty impressive - NO DONUT!!!

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  62. Have gotten nary a flake in Carver County since 8 am. It's drying up, moving around us, you name it. NO worries though, RAIN looks to be sneaking its way into the area in the next 1-2 hours.

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  63. Here in Bloomington, just west of 35W we have started up again with snowflakes (not rain) as of 1:15pm. Praying it stays snow and not freezing rain or the like.

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  64. Moderate to Heavy snow in Edina (France/494) @1:36pm

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  65. I am holding with my forecast. Details will come later, going to store. Details will come later, along with updated snowfall predictions.

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    1. Will details come later?

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  66. It appears they even busted on the temperature forecast. I don't think we'll see any rain, at least not in the metro core. It's lightly snowing now, but the temp is only around 30/31.

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  67. Lots of MDs up on the SPC site.

    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/

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    1. Look at the 32-degree line in MD 165!

      http://www.spc.noaa.gov/products/md/mcd0165.gif

      At 3pm today, *nowhere* in Minnesota was the temp at or above 32. They predicted a high of 36 for MSP today, which might have given us rain.

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    2. There are 7.5 hours left before today is over and temps are supposed to remain steady or rise overnight. Temp where I'm at is up to freezing and we've been downgraded to a WWA.

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  68. NWS finally coming around to the rest of the pack, dropped snow totals for the metro and Barlow tweeted that they were dropping the WSW to a Winter Weather Advisory. Also finally gave in to the mix/rain in the forecast discussion.

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  69. I am so confused. It's below freezing yet everyone is still saying rain... what gives? Are the surface temps supposed to increase tonight?

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  70. http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=44.93197&lon=-93.15079&unit=0&lg=english&FcstType=digital

    Yes the temps are going to be up in the mid to upper 30's by midnight!

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  71. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  72. It must be snowing very hard in SW Minn right now:

    http://tinyurl.com/876apse

    Max reflectivity is 52 dbZ!

    Also: impressive system; there's now a tornado watch covering much of Nebraska and part of Kansas.

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  73. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Dave Dahl might be the last holdout. He is calling for 3-6 inches on the KSTP weather page. I love him....he is calling for light snow on Friday and then another system for next Tuesday and Wednesday. Three storms to have some potential snow for us. This can wear a guy out! Still hoping one system this year brings it!

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  74. NWS is bringing totals down while weather.com (aka the grand champ of forecasting this winter) is back UP to 2-7 inches for my area. Hmmm...

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  75. Ok details based on 6am Wednesday going forward

    #1. Will this system become vertically stacked creating its own cold air before the precip ends? the Euro say's yes

    #2 will the column cool because of precip falling through it? the Euro say's yes.

    #3. Will non severe convection break out over Eastern IA/Western IL cutting off the warm conveyor belt at 850mb? the Euro says yes.

    The 0° 850mb line will not go north of longitude 45° W (Golden Valley to Rosevile) and quickly drop from there. As a matter of fact the Euro now keeps it there or drops it south through the entire event.

    at 6am Wednesday there is a +50 vortex max over the AEL area with elevated K index values (think non severe thunder with rain for that area.) I expect convection there and that will spread major moisture north and west into the cold sector over the metro.

    I may have to crank up my snow fall totals for the metro even further.

    BTW the 18z 48hr snowfall off the Nam is now showing 6-8" for northern Henn. county.

    A special thanks goes out to Duane b/c of his long post on the previous thread, most of his points I was thinking about, it just reminded me to keep them in the forefront when looking at things. And most of what I'm saying the US models do not do well at.

    The Euro solution is supported well by the 12z Japanese Model (JMA) and the United Kingdom Model (UKMET). This system will be a major win for the foreign models.

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  76. http://wxcaster4.com/nam/CONUS1_MESO-ETA212_SFC_ACCUMSNOWFALL-KUCHERA_48HR.gif

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  77. all reporting stations in southwest minn reporting eithe frzg rain or just plain rain. no snow, temps in the 32-34 range.

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  78. What are you guys smoking and not sharing,here in New Hope its rain,just started coming down moderately no mix of sleet or snow,you guys are holding onto some serious false hope

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  79. It looked like it was going to switch over to snow here, but it switched over to rain instead. Rain/snow line is still very close. Temp: 32 degrees.

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  80. Temp holding steady at 31.1 at TMF world headquarters. Ice beginning to build up. Pic here: http://yfrog.com/h223smtj

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  81. Is this storm coming back!?

    We already have an inch on the ground here in Red Wing, that feel from around noon to 2PM. Than it was dry and kind of drizzled, nothing heavy at all. The temp hasn't gotton above 32, holding steady at 31 or 32.

    And I see the 18Z NAM is bringing it back a bit, with the 12Z Euro (I'm a little late on seeing it) giving us 6+ as far south as here. Just a hiccup? Or the truth?

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  82. I expected this tonight, the key is what will happen overnight.

    Earlier I posted the 18z Nam. Here is the 18z GFS.

    http://wxcaster4.com/nam/CONUS1_MESO-ETA212_SFC_ACCUMSNOWFALL-KUCHERA_48HR.gif

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    1. mistake this should work better

      http://wxcaster4.com/gfs/CONUS2_GFS0P5_SFC_ACCUM-SNOW_48HR.gif

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  83. NWS has taken all snow total predictions off of its Weather Story for MPX. Admitting defeat?

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  84. Definitely admitting uncertainty. Maybe they ran out of darts to throw???

    We have a moderate rain coming down. I can't tell if there are wet snowflakes mixing in because the drops are so big and sloppy. It is starting to freeze to surfaces. If it continues to rain like this for awhile and the temps don't rise another 2-4 degrees, we are in BIG trouble.

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  85. Nothing like a good old fashion rainstorm at the end of February,what a unusual winter it has been,tulips are about a month away. Randyinchamplain you are pulling at straws,admit defeat,put up the white flag for this storm and the rest of winter,baseball at Target Field is right around the corner

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  86. Mesoscale disscussion, d MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0165
    NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
    0240 PM CST TUE FEB 28 2012

    AREAS AFFECTED...E-CNTRL MN...W CNTRL WI

    CONCERNING...WINTER MIXED PRECIPITATION

    VALID 282040Z - 290045Z

    WINTER MIXED PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE ACROSS PORTIONS
    OF E-CNTRL MN AND W-CNTRL WI DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
    THIS INCLUDES AREAS OF FREEZING RAIN RATES OF 0.05 TO 0.10 IN/HR.

    AN AREA OF MIXED PRECIP ACROSS SERN MN...SRN WI...AND NERN/N-CNTRL
    IA WILL CONTINUE TO PROGRESS NEWD OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS...WITH
    ADDITIONAL PRECIP DEVELOPING FARTHER SW INTO NEB/SD. AREA VWP DATA
    INDICATE 20 TO 30 KT S WINDS NEAR 3 KM AGL...WHICH WILL STRENGTHEN
    THE ELEVATED WARM NOISE VIA WAA. SEVERAL DETERMINISTIC MODEL RUNS --
    E.G. NAM/ETA-KF CONTROL MEMBER OF THE SREF/RUC -- AS WELL AS
    HIGH-RESOLUTION WRF MODEL OUTPUT ARE HAVING DIFFICULTLY RESOLVING
    THE COMPLEX SFC TEMPERATURE FIELD ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA...WITH
    MODEL OUTPUT SUGGESTING WARMER SFC TEMPERATURES THAN THOSE OBSERVED.
    AS A RESULT...MUCH OF THIS MODEL OUTPUT INDICATES RAIN WOULD OCCUR
    WHILE OBSERVATIONS SUGGEST MIXED PRECIP IS MORE LIKELY.
    FURTHERMORE...FRONTOGENESIS WILL INCREASE ACROSS THE AREA AS A SFC
    LOW MOVES NEWD THIS EVENING. THIS WILL LIKELY RESULT IN AN INCREASE
    OF PRECIP INTENSITY AND COVERAGE. FREEZING RAIN...SLEET...AND SNOW
    WILL ALL BE POSSIBLE...WITH THE THREAT FOR FREEZING RAIN BECOMING OF
    INCREASING CONCERN AFTER 23Z CONTINUING INTO THE EVENING. FREEZING
    RAIN RATES OF 0.05 TO 0.10 IN/HR POSSIBLE...HIGHEST NEAR EMBEDDED
    ELEVATED CONVECTIVE ELEMENTS /WITH ISOLATED LIGHTNING STRIKES
    POSSIBLE/.
    issmisses all the model runs...

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    1. Huh, my comment before appears to have been skewerd...
      Here is the comment I intended before the MD:

      Mesoscale discussion, dissmisses ALL model runs...

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  87. Randy,
    I truly appreciate your enthusiasm and enjoy your speculations. If your prediction comes to fruition tomorrow AM, it should be considered one of the all time great, out on a limb, forecasts ever.

    Unfortunately, if you are wrong, 'Crabby' is going to come crawling up your ***, so be ready.

    Best of luck my friend.

    ps. - I wonder if 'Crabby' had travel issues coming back from AEL? I know I wouldn't want to drive in this crap.

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  88. It seems to me that the storm tracks like to follow each other to an extent. If snow goes north in one system it goes north in the next. Like randyinchamplin mentioned, it seems that the mesoscale possibilities (tornado watches, etc.) down south could pull a lot of energy away from the system farther to the north. So then would that also limit the moisture content? We might get colder weather, but we also might get less precip as a result.

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    Replies
    1. the last storm that missed us north, set up this one, a pattern change may be ahead of us, and may bring a end to our drought. It normally takes a big event to end the dry period. Once that happens precip begets precip.

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  89. Here is my snowfall totals after all this rain cools the column. And I'm seriously watching the DES radar to see if convection will develop. IF it happens it will shut off the warm air at 850mb.

    far south metro 6-10, the rest of the metro 9-13....call me crazy but, But the US models are coming around.

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  90. @Novak....If this comes to pass and I'm correct, I wouldn't call it one of the greatest upset forecast ever, I would just call it like it is, which models do you believe??? The details that I pointed out, with the help of Duane, point to the weakness of the US models. The Euro has been consistent the past few days of bringing some heavy snows to the metro. The big change today is the increase of snow over the far south of the metro.

    Good Luck to you my friend as well.

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    1. You don't "believe" models. You understand why they forecast what they do, understand the current state of the atmosphere, understand the physics of how the atmosphere works, then make essentially a best guess.

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  91. NEXRAD is detecting a mesocyclone ("V4") right now near Chaska. Is that really a mesocyclone???

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  92. @randyinchamplain I love your line about having a great victory for the foreign models. that cracked me up. i really hope there are university professors in atmoshperic sciences out there looking at the past few years of model issues, especially in the winter season, and maybe can figure out how to tweak the equations that go into the models.

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  93. Wow Randyinchamplain 9-13 for the metro,this is what you are calling at this late stage with rain coming down,like Novak mentioned that is some out on a limb forecast but if it comes true I vote you weatherman of the year,hell if we get 4/5 inches I would still vote for you

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    1. this reminds me so much of Christmas 2009 or was it 2010? Heavy rains Xmas eve day, it rained almost the whole day Xmas eve, only to wake up to a pile of wet heavy snow on Xmas.

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    2. xmas 2009 brought 6-8" of snow xmas eve morning. followed by more snow that turned to rain. by xmas day it was 40 and raining, then temps plunged after the storm went by and everything froze up. much of north dakota received 1-2 feet from that storm.

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  94. The differences aren't "the equations" between the models so much. The bigger differences are how do the separate models resolve the current state of the atmosphere. The EC folks end up using a lot more satellite data (though it should be noted >99% of the data going into NCEP models are also satellite).

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    1. @ P agreed, as the US cuts the NOAA budget how will that effect data over the next 5 years? I think the Euro runs 51 ensemble members to reach the mean forecast. How many do the US have?

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    2. in the mean time, forget it, its time to look at this strom.

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    3. The ECMWF is deterministic on it's own, it is not an ensemble mean. Same as the GFS - it has a deterministic version (one operational run) and an ensemble forecast (many runs of an older version of the GFS [lower resolution] with perturbations). The GEFS has 20 members while SREF has 21.

      As of now there really aren't any cut that are impacting satellite data (maybe replacement satellites down the road). Most nations share data anyways. There isn't a weather satellite race going on.

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    4. You can get a ton of actual info here:

      http://www.meted.ucar.edu/nwp/pcu2/ens_matrix/

      Delete
  95. The precipitation falling from the sky in Carver County can only be called one thing - SLUSH. It's falling in half-snow, half-rain mega-blobs and then freezing to smooth surfaces, but accumulating as slush on the ground, on pavement, and on people.

    Main highways are in decent shape but side streets are covered in slush, as are sidewalks and driveways. Tree limbs are bending a lot and people without garages will need a jackhammer to get into their cars in the morning.

    The temperature has risen a degree to 33 and that might be the difference between nuisance and disaster if this keeps up all night.

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  96. One other quick note...

    There is definitely a dry tongue and it is marching its way north. I anticipate we will only get another couple hours of precip in the SW metro before the faucet is turned way down. The storms in Nebraska and Kansas seem to be sucking up all the remaining moisture...or am I reading things wrong?

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  97. Just took my ride home(woodbury to edina),not a flake to be had,a couple pings of sleet on the windsheild but mostly a steady moderate rain,car temp stood at 33 the whole ride,some icy spots off the highway,but otherwise not bad. Randyinchamplain you need not to read so much between the lines,and just go with the flow at times,9-13 those are some outrageous numbers for even someone named Dave Dahl,but for you that's out of character.

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  98. Enjoying ALL the responses here tonight as we watch and wait to see if "randyinchamplin" is correct with his predictions. Currently in the St. Michael/Albertville area we've had several hours of freezing rain then sleet and now its raining SLUSH as AB in Carver County described. Our side streets are slick and even the OTR truckers have slowed down on I94. Wish I knew more about predicting weather as many of the posts are Greek to me....but I can't wait to see if Randy is right!!

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  99. Ice covering nearly everything in the south metro. Just drove to work (farmington to burnsville) and the roads were slick and some spots were pretty bad.

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  100. Just got to Eden Prairie,was a steady rain when I left Golden Valley,ice building up on untreated surfaces,roads mostly wet with some slush,but when I arrived at Eden Prairie the precip had switched to a moderate to occassional heavy sleet,signs of the column cooling Randyinchamplain?????,but as AB mentioned looks like dry slot coming up from the south,even if we go to snow I dont see where the acculumations will come from.

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  101. theres another round of precip racing up frm western iowa. it will get to the metro late overnight and into tomorrow morning.

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  102. Heavy snow in the STMA NW area now...maybe randy's column's have cooled...no idea. Just know we have over an inch here within 45 mns! Hello Winter!!

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  103. Rain, rain, rain, slush, slush, slush, ice, ice, ice.

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  104. @Bigdaddy &AB-

    The dry slot appears to be filling in...

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  105. I could see only one way for randyinchamplin's wild prediction to come true- If this next band of moisture stalls right over us- it could very well do that, for it is already stalling over the Dakotas, and perhaps it might just line up with the metro

    little chance, though

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  106. Heavy sleet again in Eden Prairie!

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  107. @Randyinchamplain start doing your trimming dance,like DD and PD have for two days now,lets see you had 9-13,go to 6-10 by midnight,then 3am throw up a 3-6,and then by sunrise go with a 1-3,then you will be spot on with Novak,though his prediction came way late that will be the final tally for MSP.

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  108. @bemaki,looks to me there will be a lull in the action here shortly for a couple of hours but a nice slug of moisture working up from the Iowa border will be here in the overnight hours,question is what form will it take on,if its the form we had most of this evening/night it will be rain,btw precip has gone back to mostly rain here in Eden Prairie,no longer sleet.

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  109. Interesting to see the snow line march right up to the doorstep of Duluth the last couple of hours, only to stall just south of the city. This could be a bust there as well.
    Looks like MSP has recorded 0.70" of liquid through midnight.

    Rain/Sleet over the last hour has turned to a drizzle in Inver Grove Heights/South St. Paul. In total, my best guess has been 0.2" snow, 0.2" sleet and 0.2" freezing rain.

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  110. @MN WeatherFan That sounds like a solid guess as to the composition of the precip. I'll buy it.

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  111. @MN WeatherFan I was just going to say that about Duluth,you beat me to the punch,I was going to say most forecasters have 16-20 for Duluth,but that line isnt budging any further,some dry air blowing off Lake Superior?

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