Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Anatomy of an April Meltdown

You often hear about snow coming down at the rate of an inch per hour, but today it almost seemed like the snow melted at the rate of an inch an hour. This is a series of photos taken roughly every hour from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. By our estimate, the snow depth dropped from an average of about five inches to an average of about one inch. Needless to say, the sun's strength on April 23 is quite potent!












36 comments:

  1. Euro and GFS both hinting at a chance at 80 next Tuesday.

    Sadly they are both hinting at low to mid-40s for highs next Thursday/Friday.

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    1. I don't believe it will get that cool, but Accuweather and Weather.com both have highs in the low 50's those days, in fact, not to burst anyones bubble but Accuweather has rain/snow mixed for Thursday night May 2nd with half an inch snowfall.Who cares about Accuweather,right? Just throwing it out there!

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  2. @Bill awesome photos........thank you for sharing!

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  3. well...so 67.2 inches.
    19th snowiest ever.. more than 20 inches above average (the real 125 years average).

    125 average thanks to this winter goes from 45.7 to 45.9! Wow

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    1. 129 years actually...to be precise

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    2. Mr. Kent, your assuming the snow has stopped falling for this winter season.
      NWS DISCUSSION FROM THIS AFTERNOON:
      Forecast decreases notably into the middle of next week,both the GFS and ECMWF(EURO)forecast the development of a closed mid/upper low over the central US from next Thursday into the weekend.However they differ in placement of the said low by over 600 miles(GFS-Wisconsin,ECMWF-Northern Arkansas).This will be the feature to monitor in the extended....as it could result in a return to a very cool and wet pattern for the region.
      Paul Huttner at MPR has also stated "significantly cooler" weather after this 5 day spring weather and I noticed weather.com has dropped highs into the 40's and lows into the 30's for next Wednesday-Friday.
      I have a funny feeling winter type weather may not have left us yet since some models are showing the possibility of well below average temperatures again...this has been a crazy spring so I'm not discounting anything..time will tell!

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    3. Why does my weather channel app now have rain/snow mix for May 2nd and 3rd?......enlighten us Novak......is this a possibility?.....even a snowlover like myself has thrown the white towel and would like spring to "stick" going forward.

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    4. @ Big Daddy.. of course I am assuming that even if it may still technically snow, it is very hard to imagine snow to accumulate to a measurable amount in May.
      Everything can happen, but still.... how likely is it?
      especially after a few days in the 60+ and 70+?...

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  4. First off all, welcome to late spring, the warm up that was advertised 10 days ago by the models will happen, enjoy the warm temps. My attention than turns to Tues evening and beyond. As we get into Tuesday late afternoon a strong upper level jet streak will set up to our north west over far North Central ND and intensify by 7pm to 140 knots, it will be orientated sw to ne. That will place SE MN including the metro in the right rear quadrant of said jet streak, an area that is favorable for precip.

    Looking at the 500mb charts, that will usher in a strong trough to our northwest with a nice area of diffluence (sp) over SE MN, just ahead of the strong cold front. While severe weather may be a possibility over the metro in the form of strong winds as the cold front approaches, the best chance of severe weather will be in ARX's area of responsibility in SE MN as crossover winds (south se at 925 mb to west sw at 500mb set up.) They did mention in their 04/25 pm discussion a possibility of supercell Thunderstorms, and I agree, so Tuesday looks interesting at this point.

    Once that upper level trough drops through our area it will become separated from both the northern jet and southern jet causing a upper low to develop by late Tuesday night into Wednesday.

    That upper level low could meander for a few days anywhere west of the Rocky mountains, therefor take any forecast beyond Tuesday with the biggest pile of salt you can find. We may not have any confidence until Mondays models come in.

    By the way, the confidence of severe weather is only 50/50 at this time, as I wonder about the quality of low level moisture ie: dew points that may make it this far north.

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  5. Randy, I couldn't agree more with your assessment.

    Tuesday looks interesting over the SE 1/3 of MN as upper level dynamics are too hard to ignore. Plus, temps may surge well into the 70s to near 80 degrees over a good chunk of so. MN by mid-afternoon. I wouldn't be surprised if the SPC hoists our first 'slight risk' of the season in MN.

    After that, all bets are off. April & May are notorious months of the year for cut-off lows. These strong lows usually have support from the surface all the way to the top and will simply sit a spin in place for several days. Where will that occur later next week is anybody's guess. One thing appears certain, somebody in the the Upper Modwest and/or Plains states (MN?) is going to be cloudy and cool for several days. This will be hard to handle after experiencing such a beautiful weekend and start to next week. I hope it is not here.

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    1. Euro model thinks it will be here.....they have a high of only 39 for Saturday(May 4th)with a cold rain falling,in fact the Euro shows 4 very chilly/cloudy days from 5/1 thru 5/4.What a spring indeed.....cold/snow to several days in a row 70+ to down right cold again(for May standards)and this is just for a 10 day period.

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  6. NWS morning discussion calling for dramatically colder air with the cut-off low hovering over the western great lakes and Minnesota.....they are advertising well below normal temperatures from Wednesday thru at least Saturday of next week...old man winter not going down without a fight,even though it will warm up these next few days,I strongly suggest no planting outdoors just yet because I don't believe we have seen the last of the sub-freezing temperatures.

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  7. Randyinchamplin or Novak maybe you can help me out....I don't read/follow the weather models that closely but am I seeing correctly that the Euro model was depicting inches of snow for us around next Thursday/Friday(I was looking at it from the wunderground site).

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  8. Interesting to note that this warm up was poorly predicted by local mets compared to TWC and Accuweather. http://www.minnesotaforecaster.com/2013/04/looking-past-snow-eyes-on-weekend-warmup.html

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  9. I wonder (maybe Hammer can confirm) if the nationals like TWC are just spitting out straight model data, and the locals were using Hammer's theory of "don't forecast rain during a drought and don't forecast a warmup during a cold period".

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    1. The answer is both. I think most of our mets use Moss data, but what they don't realize is that moss data is somewhat poor when a strong cold front or warm front is approaching us. They need to use a ensemble forecast. This is what I forecast back on April 14th for this week, keep in mind that the Euro ensemble forecast goes out to 10 days. This warm up was well advertised.

      "From time to time over the last few weeks we have heard rumors of a warm up being around the corner, quite frankly I didn't believe them. This time I'm buying into it.

      For the first time this spring it looks like we have model agreement on flipping the PNA (Pacific North American Oscillation) strongly positive during the last week of the month. That means that a ridge should be somewhere out west. Upon looking, the ECMWF,GEM and GFS ensembles all show that at 240 hrs a decent ridge starts to build. The GEM and GFS ensembles go out further and they show the axis of the ridge riding up as far as the north as the northwestern Provinces of Canada.

      At the same time a trough will develop over the Gulf of Alaska and drop south just off the west coast, this will act to push the ridge further east. While the ridge moves towards us the AO (Arctic Oscillation) goes negative and a cold trough should drop over the eastern part of the US.

      All of this could possibly trigger a omega block bringing warm and dry conditions to our neck of the woods, as a matter of fact it could get humid as well.

      Hope I'm right."

      I gave a forecast to my fellow employees on Tuesday of this week that said Fridays temps would be about 66°, Saturday about 72 and Sunday about 74.... They laughed at me, saying I've heard 60's, the evidence was abundantly clear that 70's was the way to go.

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  10. @ Big Daddy

    Regarding the Euro. After Tues when the surface cold front comes in the model depicts a very strong upper level trough digging south with its axis just west of us. By Thursday evening it closes off and develops a upper level low from 500mb up to about 300mb over se SD, nw NE, and eastern IA. At the same time a 700mb low will form over the sw part of MN, with the 850mb low over MSP and Eau Claire. While rain will break out over the warmer sectors se of us it will act to throw moisture back over us into the cold sector. If taken verbatim, and this solution should verify those peeps that took vacation time to chase severe weather in Kansas will instead be chasing a snow storm. Having said all this, see my post above where I said we may not see any believable solutions until Mondays model runs.

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  11. There you have it someone not afraid to show what the Euro is depicting for us for next Thursday, Paul Huttner at MPR shows the latest Euro run dropping us to a cold 35 degrees with should I dare say it SNOW,and its not just flurries.......this will likely change but the bottom line is we will trend much colder......going from well below to well above to well below.....welcome to Minnesotas newest rollercoaster ride.

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    1. I hope he Euro is wrong, I wont warm weather!!!

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    2. WOW!!!! Is the only word I can muster..everywhere I look the cold temperatures are making a comeback and not for just a day,looks like a week of below average temps starting Wednesday(considering average is mid-60's)and in some cases WELL below average by some 25 degrees as well as the s-word creeping back into the picture......both Paul Huttner and Paul Douglas show the Euro graphic with snow potential,Paul Douglas goes as far as saying in his forecast.....rain changing to wet snow,slush? For Thursday.
      Even the NWS now has snow wording in their forecast and their discussion and on the national front both accuweather and weather.com also show snow.
      In a nutshell IF this plays out it will be very interesting and to think Bill and Novak may do a video on snow in the month of May....incredible!!!!

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  12. Plymouth Weather LoverApril 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    What is the record snowfall for the month if May in MSP?

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    1. 3"....1892,1935,1946

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    2. Plymouth Weather LoverApril 27, 2013 at 11:23 PM

      Thanks big daddy. You rock!

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  13. No offense,but I don't want Dr. Novak talking snow anymore.This is bullshit,why can't it just stay warm like today!

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  14. NWS hinting at something significant for Wednesday-Friday....even mentioning could be ALL SNOW fo MN counties.......man oh man unbelieveable its May and this is what I'm hearing.....crazy stuff!

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  15. Plymouth Weather LoverApril 28, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    Is that for the entire month of May, big daddy? I think that might be for one single event--the 3 inches you mention.

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    1. Its both......3" is record for single snow event in May as well as 3" fell in a month in those 3 years I mentioned above.

      Paul Douglas is in full disclosure mode.......last night he should a GFS graphic dropping 6-10 inches of snow in the metro. Incredible that the models are showing that but something tells me its not going to happen....its May!

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    2. Yep, it is May....Snow "MAYbe not or MAYbe !
      MNPLOWCO

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  16. I just hope we don't end up with "Anatomy of a May melt-down" for a post header.
    Any thoughts out there as to how likely snow is later this week? I love learning form you all.

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  17. As of now...I'm not touching this storm. Way too much BUST potential. Going to wait until the storm comes ashore.

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    1. Oh come on Novak, at least just tell us what you think.
      Do you think it will snow?
      Euro and GFS has had some crazy snow numbers going back and forth from the metro to our southeast. What gives?

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  18. New thread!!!!!!!

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  19. @ Big Daddy - the PD "full disclosure" post is complete removed. What little respect I had for him (PD) is gone. Come on PD - OWN IT!

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  20. Who would have thought we'd be seeing this in a NWS forecast in May?

    TEMPERATURE PROFILES CONTINUE TO SUPPORT HEAVY SNOW LATE
    WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY MORNING. GIVEN THE RECENT
    WARM TEMPERATURES NOT EXPECTING HIGH SNOW RATIOS...BUT WITH SNOWFALL
    RATES OF 1-2 INCHES PER HOUR WE WILL EVENTUALLY BEGIN ACCUMULATING
    ONCE THE MAY...YES MAY...SUN SETS WEDNESDAY EVENING. FOR NOW ONLY
    HAVE HIGHEST RATIOS OF AROUND 6:1...BUT TOGETHER WITH THE QPF COULD
    EASILY SEE 2-5 INCHES OF SNOW SLUSHY SNOW CENTERED ALONG A LINE FROM
    ROCHESTER MN THROUGH RICE LAKE WI BY THURSDAY MORNING ADDING YET
    ANOTHER HISTORIC SNOWFALL EVENT TO RECORD BOOKS.

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  21. Since Paul Huttner has let the cat out of the bag, check this out from the ECMWF:

    http://www.yr.no/place/United_States/Minnesota/Minneapolis/long.html

    Not sure what I believe but I'm leaning more towards the heavier precip being north and west of RST, or over RST, not south and east of there, I think the trusted US models break down the blocking to our east just a bit to much from H5 all the way down to the surface. Lets wait to se what happens with tonight's runs

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  22. New thread (by popular demand): http://www.minnesotaforecaster.com/2013/04/mayday-mayday-could-there-be.html

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