Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Mix on the Way? (And What Was KARE11 Thinking?)

NWS forecast as of Sunday mid-afternoon.
We haven't done many forecast assessments in a while because, for one, there hasn't been much snow in the forecast. Indeed, there's been a string of measure-by-the-millimeter snowfalls lately.

For much of the day on Thursday, forecasters were expecting the possibility of an inch or snow that could affect the Friday morning commute. However, by mid evening, most outlets had backed off that forecast, with many forecasting either nothing or just a dusting. And even a casual observer of the radar had not to notice that most of the snow had seemed to slide past to the southeast and northeast.

Notably, however, Belinda Jensen on KARE11 warned during the early weather tease on the 10 p.m. news  that up to an inch of snow was possible that would likely affect the morning commute. This was at the same time when all other outlets saw the storm's handwriting on the wall.

We can only wonder what KARE11, typically among the most conservative Twin Cities stations when it comes to forecasting snow, was thinking. Was it a steadfast belief that snow would materialize into something more than 10 flakes? Was it laziness in not accessing the weather data used by other outlets to produce a "call off the wolves" forecast? Who knows... but KARE11 viewers were decidedly not well served by the 10 p.m. weather forecast on January 24.

Switching gears.... As of Sunday mid afternoon, the NWS issued a Winter Weather Advisory for 9 a.m. Sunday to Sunday at midnight. The NWS had earlier issued a Winter Storm Watch that seemed rather puzzling to our uneducated eyes.

Beyond that, virtually all forecasters were predicting a return of the arctic cold by Wednesday night.


74 comments:

  1. Hey Bill,just an fyi,you mentioned "as of Sunday afternoon"twice,when I think you meant Saturday for what the NWS is saying.Also anyway you can move my last post from the either thread since it speaks of the weather for tommorrow,thanks a bunch keep up the great work.

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  2. I know this is a short term thread, but for those of you who are interested in my February forecast it can be found in the link that follows this, it's post #10, at that site I am known as Minnesota Meso. Needless to say I expect that after Feb 15th or possibly Feb 20th to get very active some where from MN into the OH Valley. I hope it's here..LOL

    http://www.americanwx.com/bb/index.php/topic/39023-february-2013-general-discussion/#entry2047010



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  3. You can really see how much the polar vortex has collapsed by looking at the spagetti charts:

    http://mag.ncep.noaa.gov/Imageanis.php

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  4. It's interesting how the graphics from the La Crosse NWS says 2-4 inches for the metro area yet the Chanhassen NWS says less than an inch.

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

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  5. I wondered about that too. Unfortunately, the local NWS is pretty accurate when forecasting for the Twin Cities. If that holds true the TC will see very little snow. It's getting to the point where I wonder whether the TC will even match the seasonal snowfall total of last season's non-winter.

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  6. For those wondering about the Twin Cities inclusion in the watch, MPX explains it in their discussion from early Saturday morning: WITH SUCH UNCERTAINTY AND THE ADDITIONAL POSSIBILITY IN SUN EVE OF MOD/HVY SNOW AS COOLING PROCESSES DEVELOP...HAVE OPTED TO RAISE A WINTER STORM WATCH FOR MUCH OF SRN-ERN MN INTO WRN WI. THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY THAT SOME OF THIS AREA MAY GO TO AN ADVISORY WHILE SOME MAY GO TO A WARNING...AND EVEN THE COUNTIES INCLUDED IN THE WATCH MAY BE ADDED/REMOVED AS THE FORECAST DETAILS BECOME CLEARER. BUT HAVE OPTED TO ALSO INCLUDE THE TWIN CITIES METRO TO GIVE ADVANCED NOTICE WITH THE HIGHER TRAFFIC DENSITY. Now, that being said I am a little surprised they didn't really give more details on Sunday with previous discussions. It seemed like it was more just brushed over as a possibility of a mix Sun and Tues with temps dropping late next week. It could be due to the model disagreement, but for several days now at least the GFS and NAM have been showing the icing potential. I would advise against traveling on Sunday evening if possible, especially if temps don't get above the freezing mark. Be safe everyone.

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  7. MPX discussion mentions up to .25 inch of ice from an Albert Lea to Red Wing line. Thats the border line for an ice storm. Throw in even just a couple inches of snow on top of that and you have problems.

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  8. NWS MPX has up to 2 inches of snow,while all along the NWS Lacrosse has upped the snow forecast graphic to 3-5 inches which includes the TC metro,usually these two offices has good collarabation,doesn't look like it this time,we will soon find out who will be correct.

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  9. Precip moving steadily north on radar,already thru Mankato area here,with moderate sleet,travel conditions will be increasing bad as the day progresses.

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  10. The NWS just extended thw winter weather advisories far northward.

    Will they do the same with the warnings?

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  11. Sleeting in Lakeville,that's a pretty good slug of moisture moving south to north,haven't seen a good moisture feed like this in awhile,hopefully this goes over to snow sooner rather then later or the roads will be a skating rink.

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  12. NWS updated their weather story, have 3-5 inces pretty close to metro, perhaps even the SE half could be in on it, along with .2-.3 of the dreaded freezing rain.

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  13. 12z nam pretty aggressive.
    12z gfs a tragedy.
    for snow lovers.
    we will see...

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  14. Sleet and freezing rain now falling in Golden Valley.

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  15. Winter storm warning now expanded into parts of metro,south and east side in warning area,more snow is forecasted as well,we'll see how it all pans out,but I knew this would be a moving target all day because of so much uncertainty yesterday and even this morning,kind of bold for NWS to say it will will transition to snow by 2pm,we'll see if they can pinpoint that so well.

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  16. all snow now in arden hills

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  17. @Sam G.,looks like the NWS is unto something,all snow now falling in Golden valley,good ol' big flakes already a coating.

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  18. At 1:48 p.m. the mix turned to moderate/heavy snow (large flakes) here in Rosemount before my very eyes. There are now snow covered icicles hanging from my deck. Everything has turned white very quickly! Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

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  19. 2:15 p.m. Minnetonka 1/8" on the ground. Fat snowflakes full grass and road coverage. At the rate that it is coming down now.....and if it keeps it up until 4:00, it looks like 2-3 " could be possible.

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  20. Don't everyone get to excited about the snow,back edge is already at the Minnesota River Valley and moving steadily east,this snow won't. Last long.

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  21. 3:05 p.m Minnetonka 1" on the roads.

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  22. 3:40 p.m. 2" on the roads. Plow time

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  23. I'm really confused, because I was certain that every storm we got from here on out was supposed to only be rain. I guess it can snow in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the winter, huh? ;)

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    1. @Duane I'm sure that Anonymous will say but we won't get 10+ inch storm still.
      @Duane and Randyinchamplain,question for you: with this snowcover will tommorrow nights/Tuesdays storm be snow rather mix/rain,also Randyinchamplain u said Tuesdays system had more potential then today,is that still true and I suppose the arctic air for mid/late week will be even colder with the snowcover.

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    2. @bigdaddy, the NWS discussion as of late this afternoon speaks of snow in the Alex/Morris area, but rain/freezing rain here for Monday night/Tuesday.

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    3. Good question on Tuesday's system. Right now it looks like it could be a two part system and somehow the metro being in the middle of the split. There are still a lot of questions surrounding that storm. The 18z GFS did something interesting with the second system, bringing it further west. Overall at this point in time I would say better chances of snow will exist west and east of the metro. Could end up being an eastern WI and western MN deal (western MN with the first and eastern WI with the second) Still though, shifts in the forecast are still possible. The big trough has made landfall so hopefully tonight and tomorrows forecast runs clear things up. Either way, things get cold again for a few days after the cold front passage on Tuesday evening, and another push of cold air for Thurs and Fri.

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  24. Just under 3" as of 4:30 in Golden Valley

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  25. 2.25+" in St. Paul. I'd say the NWS nailed the turnover to snow quite well. The mixed precip was over predicted... it came and went in less than two hours here.

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    1. totally agree with you Bill,sleet/freezing rain was around for just over an hour and was a non-issue and I was pretty impressed with NWS predicting the 2pm transition,though I think this system was pretty hard to forecast with all the uncertainity I read in their discussions the last 2 days,big winner I think is Randyinchamplain when the other day he said somewhere in southern MN will get 2-3" on Sunday.......btw,the snow seems to be filling in from the southwest.

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    2. Yes the NWS nailed it but so did the NAM model.
      In the past few 'reliable' runs (00z and 12z) it was consistently predicting between 2" and 3" of snow. It was the only model that sort of 'closed' the circulation enough so that (at least on the charts I was able to see) the area would stay below freezing at 850mb. A few days ago the NWS discussion mentioned that but they also added that at the time it was to be considered an outlier.
      It turned out it may have been right.

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    3. I agree. The local NWS was on the money regarding the time of the turnover from rain/sleet to snow! However, let's give kudos to the LaCrosse NWS for predicting snow in the first place. The LaCrosse graphics/discussion stated 2-4 inches, and then later 3-5 inches, for the TC while the local NWS was talking about less than an inch, and then subsequently increased the snow prediction to up to possibly 2 inches for the TC.

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  26. Still snowing here 6 miles north of Hudson- almost four inches.

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  27. WWA extended till 6am now,large area of snow west of metro moving east,maybe another 1" in spots.

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  28. Ahhhh, it looks like winter this morning! Everything is covered in a fresh blanket of white. No more brown ground surrounded by anemic dirty snow piles. We picked up a nice 3 inches here in Rosemount. Gotta love those snow covered pine trees! We got lucky yesterday with the snow. That seems to be a theme this season, it only snows when we get lucky. Recall that the December storm shifted south at the last minute for us. Despite getting lucky yesterday, it isn't looking as promising for tonight/tomorrow. Let's keep our fingers crossed, and PWL do your snow dance!

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    1. @Snow Miser,I always thought that with each winter/snow system there is some luck,like the track will shift in our direction at the last minute or an area of snow will linger over us longer then forecasted to get more snow or when were talking about rain/snow line storms that the rain line never makes it us and the cold air wins out and yes I agree with you it looks beautiful out.
      And yes I'm totally aboard with the Lacrosse NWS,they nailed the snow forecast for our area,better then our local office,they kept playing catch up as the hours were unfolding yesterday,first they moved the WWA north and west,then moved the WSW further north and east at the same time upping the snow amounts,it never seem they were 'ahead of the storm' except with their bold switch over time of 2pm which was pretty spot on.
      Come on PWL keep on dancing!

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  29. I would not get that excited. Only 3 inches after all.
    10-15 years ago 3 inches would have not made news.
    To emphasize how things have changed.

    I still stand by my statements of no more 10+ inches snowstorms.
    As a matter of fact tonight/tomorrow another favorable track. And guess what? rain, freezing rain is going to be the main course.

    It is getting increasingly difficult to get decent snow in the area. It is a fact, and it is not just me saying just to be negative or so: Mark Seeley of the Climate Office has provided clear and detailed evidence of it (4X increase of ice/rain events since 2000) and Paul Douglas mentions it almost every day.
    To deny it, is denying evidence.

    And yes I am more than happy to bet anyone on my prediction.
    For every storm that has a potential to bring 10 inches (defined as having at least one local forecaster or NWS predicting it) I will pay 10 bucks for each inch above 10, and those of you that want to partake in the bet will pay 10 bucks for every inch below 10 inches.
    NWS official total at MSP is the gauge.

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    1. this is what I said in the last thread in regards about the bet:

      I'll be willing to bet you a snowblower and a snowshovel to go with it PLUS a mad bomber hat.

      But under these certain terms:

      The bet would last for TWO years (the climatiolical average for a snowstorm of over 10in at MSP)

      The bet would begin at the beginning of next year (January 1st,2014) and end on January 1st, 2016

      We must not see each other in the exchange, in order to avoid any conflicts that may arise. The exchange may occur at say, a public library, or somplace else. These details will be figured out once the end of the time duration has been reached.

      The official mesurment at MSP will be the basis of what will be determined. The measurement is for ONE snow event, which can be defined in two ways:

      If the snowfall stops and starts again, it MUST be snowfall from the SAME system

      OR

      If the snowfall is continuous, then it does NOT matter wheather the snow came from the same low pressure or not. But if in the middst of the event the snow stops when it is clear that the second low is causing the snow, then the event would be considered over.

      The following two conditions above would be overided if the NWS claims one event or two seperate events.

      THESE ARE MY TERMS. If you disagree, please alter them and return your response.

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    2. And the storm for tommorrow is by NO MEANS a favorable track. The brunt of that storm is expected to pass WELL to our north and west.

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    3. ANON @1:12 pm.

      First of all, the track of the 1st low pressure system tonight and early tomorrow is no where near a favorable track. The center of the low should be very near the Rochester area, that would favor heavy snows in NW MN. The next low that quickly follows that is forecast to move over the Milwaukee/Chicago area, that is normally way to far east to impact our area. Second of all with you and bemaki and the bets. This kind of talk is foolish IMO, bragging rights should be sufficient.

      By the way to the both of you, I am still liking the chances a 10" snowfall some were within 75 miles of MSP anywhere form Feb 20 through March 15th. If it hits MSP so be it, but if its anywhere close I would consider that a successful forecast.

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    4. Terms are acceptable to me.
      Deal.

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    5. Hue guys, not sure if you're serious about your gambling, but please do that offline from this blog. Exchange your email addresses and be done with it. Thanks.

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  30. @ big daddy

    Thanks for the call out on the 2-3", I never really back off on that.

    Concerning the two systems affecting the upper Midwest this weekend. Yes it still has my attention, maybe not so much for MSP as we seem to have gotten caught in no man's land with the track's of low pressure systems. However for a weather enthusiast like me this is fascinating as 60° dew points should set up as far north as southern IN and IL, and 55 dews as far north as Chicago. The regional severe threat that I mentioned was possible down south looks like it will come to fruition. Currently there is a moderate threat for severe weather for one of the first times in January that I am aware of. There is even some rumblings of high risk being possible. Strange indeed.

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    1. sorry I meant this week.

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  31. The early runs of the model suite is showing a slight jump to the nw, won't be surprised to see 2-4" in the Rochester area with the second wave.

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  32. Was wondering when the NWS was going to issue an Freezing Rain Advisory,pavement is very slick outside with this drizzle,just walking now outside is pretty slick,use extreme caution in the morning.I was thinking about this earlier that it would get icy tonight,temperatures have been hovering anywhere from 30-33 degrees all day and night now and yet the NWS was slow to respond AGAIN,what is going on over there.Did anyone read their late afternoon/evening discussion yesterday,the person who wrote the discussion seemed very frustated about going with a FRA for some NE counties last night just because he thought he had to follow the neighboring NWS office,he even said in the discussion "that he wasn't thrilled" with having to do that.....and now look the entire CWA is under a freezing rain advisory,I'm sure he's feeling abit stupid about that.

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    1. @big daddy, I couldn't agree more. I was wondering the same thing. Last night at 9:30 it was drizzling and icicles were forming on my deck. The temperature was 30 degrees. I checked the temperatures in the surrounding areas and saw that nobody was recording any temperatures above 31 degrees, and hadn't reported any temperature above 31 degrees since late yesterday afternoon. The radar was clearly showing moisture moving up from the south towards the TC. I then checked the NWS forecast for Rosemount and it was calling for a low of 34. What?? My wife asked me whether there was a freezing rain advisory posted. Incredulously, I had to tell her there wasn't. The 6 p.m. local television mets were all calling for a mix, and they were warning to watch out for ice; especially on sidewalks and side streets. I too read the forecast discussion and the "not thrilled" comment. Who is this nit wit? I think too often the forecasters throw common sense out the window. The end result is that they then come off looking like "geniuses" (add lots of unflattering sarcasm here).

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  33. Heavy snow to the north and west of the TC yesterday and last night. Walker checked in with 7 new inches of snow as of 30 minutes ago. Another good sized storm with 6-8 inches of snow is forecast for the south and east of the TC tonight and tomorrow. The TC can't catch a break. It was a surprise snow that we got on Sunday, a token 2-3 inches. It was fun to see, but while I was watching the flakes fall I told myself to enjoy it because there is no telling when I will see it again. It looks like I'm right. Other than possibly a couple of flurries there is no snow in the forecast for the next week. I hate this cycle that we're experiencing. It's an absolute waste of cold air. Whoever on here that coined the phrase "Mid-Atlantic Effect" knows what he/she is talking about. I lived in the D.C. area for several years. You have to make a deal with the devil to get the cold and moisture to hook up so you can get a snowstorm there. The same holds true for the TC. As with last season, snow has fallen this season in the TC just slightly more often than in Miami and Orlando. Pathetic!

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  34. Hey Disco80,your home away from home will hit 65 degrees today,why aren't you moving to Chicago yet?
    Anonymous above Snow Miser coined the Mid-Atlantic phrase,and your absoulety correct the metgro got a token 3" Sunday but the main action went north yesterday and south today,and we here in the TC get screwed,and top it off we get more cold air to deal with.

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    1. Too many hot dog shacks. Not enough craft brews :)

      On the other hand, check out Missouri today. There are counties with tornado watches bordering counties with a winter weather advisory.

      Never seen that before.

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    2. this situation is not exactly mid-atlantic effect.
      We are being missed by the storms.
      Mid-atlantic effect is that you get storms but it warms to get rain to then go back to cold once it is dry.
      This is more of the same pattern we've seen in recent years.
      Most storms detouring south and east of the TC, which is by the way, the most popular sentence used by PD.

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    3. You are correct. A storm missing the TC entirely is not the same thing as the warm side of a storm bringing the TC precipitation other than snow(Mid-Atlantic Effect). It appears that the pending storm south/east of the TC tonight/tomorrow will miss the TC area entirely. Last night's storm was sort of a hybrid in that while the bulk of it missed the TC, rain, not snow, fell in the TC. Now the storm has moved away and tomorrow will be cold...and dry for us.

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    4. less elegantly put..
      we NEVER get decent snows anymore!!

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    5. What was that Genesis song again..., oh yeah, "Missed Again"! Technically, it's "I Missed Again", but I think you get my point.

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  35. Plymouth Weather LoverJanuary 29, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    Novak said it perfectly on his Twitter account. When you look at the Midwest (very close to home Midwest), we have gotten some good stuff happening lately. Here was his post, in case you didn't see it: "Next Winter Storm will be the 3rd in 3 days to bring 5"+ of snow to portions of Upper Midwest. A truly great run!" It is a great run--we just didn't get it each time, which we won't every time. But I think me saying "Bring It" is working. I just need to hone my skills!!

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  36. I say, "Bring it!", too. I want the worst that winter can throw at us. Just once.

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  37. Anon is completely right. We never get big storms anymore. Its been an entire two years since we got 80" of snow. We should get that every year...its Minnesota! And a big storm? Its been an entire seven weeks! We should be getting historic 11 inch snow falls every other week.

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  38. CWY2190...I understand your sarcasm, but can you honestly say that we experience anything remotely close to the harsh winters that were so common here 20+ years ago? 2010-2011 had a lot of snow, but I don't recall it being harsh. For instance, we didn't have any sub-zero high temps that winter. 2000-2001 was probably the last consistently cold and snowy winter. 1996 was perhaps the last harsh winter we had. We got extremely lucky with the snowstorm in December. It's looking more and more like that was an absolute fluke.

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  39. Why are the 70s and 80s archetype winters for Minnesota? Why not any other period of history? Why not today? I understand winter lovers' frustrations with recent years, but we're not owed anything here are we? Extremes need to be reached to derive averages. We can't expect to be "normal" every year. It's not normal to be normal so regularly. I've been in Minnesota for 35 years and have experienced all kinds of winters here. And THAT'S what's normal to me: all kinds of winters, not just one kind. I'm sure it will get super cold and snowy in years to come, probably very soon. A little patience is needed, that's all.

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  40. Choo choo! Here comes the clipper train. Plenty of little clippers are on the map over the next 7 days, and each should provide a little bit of accumulating snow. Granted a lot of these are somewhat moisture starved and normally pretty quick moving systems they probably won't be a major deal. Still though, we get 4 or 5 of them with maybe an inch or two from each then we should at least be able to surpass last years snow (if MSP hasn't already. I haven't checked). A couple of the later clippers could end up being better than the first ones, but we'll see. We'll be keeping an eye on February as it looks like it could finally get things more active than they have been. MSP only needs 30 inches of snow to get to that 50 inch prediction and I'm feeling confident it can get there.

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  41. Plymouth Weather LoverJanuary 31, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    That-a-boy, Duane!! Bring It!!!

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  42. All abroad the BRING IT TRAIN(or should I say the clipper train),I'm all for it as well,several little systems can add up rather quickly.
    Hey Bill how about a little fun with a new post guessing the amount of snow that will fall at MSP over the next week.Currently the NWS has chances of snow in the grids for 5 separate clipper systems for Friday night,Sat/Sat. night,Sun. night,Mon. night, and Thursday.
    My guess is 7.5 inches....one will miss us entirely, 2 will give us an inch each,another will give us 2 inches and finally one will be a robust 3.5 inches...thats my prediction lets see what happens!

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    1. @big daddy
      Wunderground prediction:
      Tonight. 1"
      Saturday/night. 2"
      Sunday night. 3"
      Monday night. 1"
      Wednesday/Thursday. 1"

      Total: 8"

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  43. I like snow,so if its a clipper train coming so be it I'll take it however we can get it,my prediction(not in any particular order): 1,2,4,.5,1.5=9 inches!

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    1. You snowlovers are pathetic,you guys just latch on whenever you hear the word snow,Alberta clippers are notorious for being fickle on path,always moisture straved and they drop snow in only narrow bands,so with all those in mind and the fact that most of the systems this year has missed MSP,I say 4 out of 5 miss us,and that one maybe able to squeeze out an inch.Snowlovers it means keep on waiting!

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  44. I actually love the set-up for the next 5 days. It is nice NOT having to worry about liquid. I'm tired of rain and ice.

    I will not be surprised if some locations near or in the MSP metro receive a good 3"-6" worth of snow between now and Wednesday. No Major snowstorms, but at least no rain.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. We don't need rain until Spring. Let it snow for a change. It's snowing here in Rosemount with beautiful mid-sized flakes and now wind. We're at 1.5 inches and counting.

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    2. I meant "no wind", not "now wind"

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  45. Extremely poor road conditions according to my wife, a nurse, who got called into work. The usual yahoos driving too fast. Be careful out there.

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  46. A solid 2" in Golden Valley from this productive little clipper.....lets see what clipper #2 brings later today/tonight.

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  47. Absolutely LOVE the first paragraph of the NWS discussion this morning,its nice to see that they have a sense of humor.
    Also in that same discussion they mention with the 5 clipper systems coming thru through Thursday that someone in the CWA will be approaching double digit snow totals.....good start with the 2" last night,KEEP DANCING PLYMOUTH WEATHER LOVER because these little clipper appretizers may lead to a major storm system next weekend.....Euro showing a decent snow event with warning level snows possible and is supported by the GFS.Maybe,just maybe Snow Miser the Mid-Atlantic Effect is leaving us for awhile.

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    1. I sure hope you're right, big daddy! I will definitely keep my fingers crossed!! Let it snow!!

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  48. Happy Groundhog Day! Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil is predicting an early spring (didn’t see his shadow). Anyone here beg to differ? Personally, I stepped outside, saw my shadow (and all the snow), so I’m thinkin’ 6 more weeks… However, I’m thinking the rest of you probably have a much more scientific method…

    P.S. I had to travel last Sunday and couldn’t seem to get a "mutual" forecast from any of the usual sources, so I checked here and decided to go with Duane’s forecast. Good call, Duane!

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    1. Thanks M.M. It may not have been a major deal for everyone but it is better to be safe rather than sorry. Now we watch that system for next weekend. There is something interesting about that one that I'll be watching and that is the fact that it looks like it could end up taking a very similar path to the big storm we had in December. That one in December looked decent at first, and just got better and better as it got closer to the main event. It will be interesting to see how this one evolves over the next several days. Yes, it could go south and yes it could end up being too warm and being more of a mix. Or, just maybe we take a direct hit. It is just too early to say for certain. Until then, enjoy the clipper train.

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  49. Just set up a new thread for this train of clippers....

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