Monday, March 25, 2013

Play Ball! Eyes on the Weather for Opening Day

Sunset on March 25
Thursday, March 28: Forecasts for the Twins opener are now tightly bunched between 33 and 35. Notably, KARE has dropped its forecast high by 15 degrees since Monday evening.

Tuesday, March 26: Virtually all weather outlets significantly reduced forecast high temps for Opening Day, with several even expressing that their already cold temps might be conservative. At this point, it appears that KSTP was the first to see a trend that the others are just now picking up on.

On Monday, April 1, the sounds of scraping shovels and slush-busting footsteps will give way to the more universal sounds of spring – the crack of the bat, the ump’s request  to “Play Ball” and screams of “circle me Bert.” In fact, we here at The Minnesota Forecaster anticipate Opening Day with the same eagerness of the season’s first Winter Storm Warning -- which is to say, a lot.

With a winter that’s sticking around like a mother-in-law that can’t find the door, many have been wondering weather some semblance of spring weather will return by the time Joe Mauer takes his first base on balls. As of this Monday night, a week before Opening Day, there were differences of opinion as to whether any "warmth" would find its way to Target Field for the Twins first game of the season.

KSTP forecasts the coldest temperature, envisioning a winter-like 38 degrees for Opening Day. In contrast, WCCO and KMSP pictured a somewhat spring-like high of 48. The Twins official forecaster, Craig Edward (MPR) was not quite ready to commit to a forecast. Differences of opinion: we like it.

Here’s a recap of the forecasts we retrieved on Monday evening. Blue font represents forecasts on Tuesday evening. Purple font represents forecasts on Thursday evening.

WCCO: Partly cloudy, 48 (6 p.m.)/Partly cloudy 36 (6 p.m.)/
KSTP: Partly cloudy, 38 (website)/ 38 says could be colder (6 p.m.)/33
KMSP: Partly cloudy, 44 (website)/34 says could be colder (5 p.m.)/33
KARE: Partly cloudy, 48, Partly cloudy, 42 (6 p.m.)/33
NWS: Mostly sunny, 40/Mostly sunny 32 (
Strib: 45 (no mention of sky conditions)/waiting for update
MPR: “It is still a bit far out to start posting details on the weather for opening day, but the GFS model from today favors an OK afternoon next Monday. You'll have to stay tuned.” (blog update at 3:49)/blustery, hard time reaching 40
TWC: Partly cloudy, 41 (website)/Partly cloudy, 37, winds NW at 16 mph/35
Accuweather: Partial sunshine, 50, winds north at 11 mph, gusting to 30 mph/Partly sunny, 40, winds WNW 6-21 mph/35
TMF: Tigers 6, Twins 1. Verlander with 9Ks/Tigers 3, Twins 1/Tiger 2, Twins 0

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sunday Night/Monday Snow

Yet another snow "event" was expected to hit the Twin Cities Sunday night into Monday. As of Saturday night, here were a few forecasts we gathered.

Here's a briefing we did with Tom Novak on Sunday morning. Please let us know if you specific questions that we can add to figure video sessions.

NWS graphic from Saturday evening
WCCO: "2-5 or 3-6 across metro"
KSTP: 3"
FOX: Weather presented by traffic reporter (so we didn't count)
KARE: 2-4"
NWS: 3-5"
Accuweather: 2-4"
TWC: 1-2"
Strib: 2-4"
Weatherbug: 4"

Friday, March 15, 2013

Major Sunday/Monday Storm Still on the Horizon

As Tom Novak from Novak Weather explains in this exclusive Minnesota Forecaster video, a buckling jet stream will create a large storm for the Upper Midwest on Sunday night and Monday.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NWS Eyes Several Snow Deposits in Our Future

This morning's weather graphic from the National Weather Service office in the Twin Cities identified several upcoming snow possibilities. What surprised us, however, was the mention of specific inch totals (possibilities) for a storm that's five days away.

And, in case you missed it, this was an interesting graphic reflecting how the Twin Cities narrowly two different snowstorms in the last several days.

Here's what the NWS posted at 7:29 p.m. on Wednesday evening.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Complicated Forecast Shaping Up for This Weekend

As of this Thursday morning, forecasters had great uncertainty about what might unfold in the Upper Midwest this weekend. All the usual suspects -- rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow -- appear to be in the picture. As a sage person once said, "time will tell."

The NWS acknowledges a challenging weekend forecast.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Major March Snowstorm Expected by All Forecasters

Yes, it's once again time to stare out the window at falling snow.
The off-again, on-again winter storm for the Twin Cities is most definitely on again according to virtually all local forecasters as of Sunday evening.. While there's remarkable consensus in the forecast, some forecasters were late to the party. For a look at anecdotal comments regarding the evolution of this  now-bullish forecast, visit our previous blog entry. It's worth noting that Novak Weather was the most steadfast in forecasting a major storm.

Six to ten inches of snow seems to be the magic phrase. The Star Tribune blog (Paul Douglas), last updated shortly before noon, details 5-8" of snow, a bit lower than the consensus. The KMSP (Fox) forecast was a hair above the consensus at 7 to 11 inches.

WCCO: 6-10 (5 p.m. news)
KSTP: 6-10 (5:30 p.m. news)
KMSP: 7-11 (5:30 p.m. news)
KARE: 6-10 (5 p.m. news)
NWS: 6-10 (
Strib/Paul Douglas: 5-8
MPR: (no original entry; cited NWS info)
Accuweather: 6-10
TWC: 6-10
Novak Weather: 8-10 (but warns conservative)
Chase the Plains: 8-9
Shakopee Weather: 6-9
Note: The NWS in La Crosse has MSP in the 9-13 inch range.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

NWS: MSP Could Be Under the Gun for Accumulating Snow Early Next Week

Seemingly out of nowhere, the National Weather Service has identified the possibility of significant snow for the Twin Cities early next week. While most forecasters had previously thought a little light snow was possible, this appears to be a significant change in their thinking. Let the speculation begin.

Caption courtesy of Novak Weather
From NWS morning discussion
Should Star Tribune column be updated?