Saturday, December 21, 2013

Prospects for Snow Both Sunday and Xmas Eve/Xmas

While it appears that most of the heavy snow from the weekend will fall south and east of Minnesota, there is still potential for accumulating snow on Sunday. And for those who want fresh snow to decorate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day... well, ma nature may just be feeling cooperative. The details are discussed in our latest video with Tom Novak and special guest Daniel Dix.

Daniel Dix, formerly of the Weather Channel, offers thoughts on upcoming snow.



38 comments:

  1. Great video guys.....great to put a face to the name DDwx, welcome back to MN!

    Excited to see snow chances keep rolling in....no blockbusters like people like to follow and get but all these little snows add up since we had the cold the snow isnt getting lost to melting.
    PD's blog has 2-3 or 2-4 inches depending where you look in his blog for tommorrow.....also wunderground has 4 inches for now for Tuesday....we'll see what happens.
    I need as much snow as possible to cover the 20-inch spread I gave my brother in NJ in our annual snow contest we do.

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    1. @BigDaddy I'm guessing the spread between season normals is a bit greater than 20" or is that exactly with seasonal averages? Where in NJ does he live?

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    2. Thanks bigdaddy -- good to be home. Mother Nature and Old Man Winter have made sure that I be greeted appropriately since my return in mid-November. :) Slow and steady for building the MN snowpack while those East Coasters go all or nothing in their snow quest.

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  2. @BigDaddy, are you a fellow Mid-Atlantic-er like Bill and me (Delaware)?

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    1. @Schnee Meister(formerly known as Snow Miser).....I grew up on Long Island,NY....I guess that would be considered southern new england and my brother has since moved to Jersey but I am all to familiar with the mid-atlantic effect you talk about....days of cold weather and along comes a storm and we warm ip just enough to have slop or the dreaded forecast me and my brother always hated when we were growing up on Long Island....."snow changing to rain with a high of 40, with all snow NW of NYC".

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    2. @BigDaddy, you just took the words out of my mouth! lol I hated when the nor'easters came along and started as snow but changed to a wind driven cold rain. All the while the local mets would add insult to injury by saying,"If this was all snow, we would have two feet. Go to western Maryland if you want snow". I'm very glad to be in Minnesota!

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  3. @Bill, he lives in central Jersey.....Ocean county. We actually go back and forth on the spread, he always starts high and then I try to talk him down, he started at 24 and we settled at 20.....we dont go by averages, he just looks at how much I beat him year after year....I win most years but he has some victories especially the years when they get hit with the monster Nor'easters and receive 15-20 inches in one storm.

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    1. If you can keep him from getting a big play (i.e., a Nor'easter) you should win with a solid ground game that picks up one to two inches a crack.

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    2. Thats what I'm banking on Bill......keep the clipper train coming, shortwaves, distrubances whatever you want to call them. Yeah those Nor'easters are not my friend...but they give my brother a fighting chance.

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  4. Daniel welcome back to MN, I used to read your blog post every once in a while and realized how much you loved your trips back to your home land.
    Are you still working in the weather industry? Please don't be a stranger, and do you have a new blog site? The last one that I know of was the Baseball blog.

    @Bill, I believe with your introduction to the previous thread you asked if there were any topics that people wanted discussed in future videos. Well I have one and maybe Daniel could help, could you guys talk about some of the telleconections and how they are effecting our below normal temp pattern? Taking a quick look at the December climate page, the average temp is around 25°, but with temps being this cold most of the storms seem to be sliding south and east of here. What kind of changes should we be looking for to see a prolonged period (4-6 days) of average temps?

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    1. Thanks, @randyinchamplin. Good to be home. Yeah, I have been tardy on my blog posts with so much going in from Aug to now but do have a few things I hope to get on there sooner or later. I changed gears and working for the MPCA in St. Paul doing air dispersion modeling -- something totally different and a new exciting challenge and various cool opportunities.

      I will have to defer to Tom for teleconnections as its been awhile since I have dealt with the topic to accurately describe/explain; my head is overloaded as it is with learning the new position and all it entails. :) I will say until the large scale pattern with NAO/etc change, the cold/below normal temps and bouts of light snow look to continue through the end of the year.

      One thing I can confidently state (boy, a rarity in meteorology) is a 100% chance of a White Christmas in the Twin Cities. Definition is 1" of snow on the ground.

      Seasons Greetings!

      DD..

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  5. Yikes just copied this from AmericanWX.

    Jim Cantore just tweeted that a town near Great Bend, KS received 15 inches of snow in 5 hours. Great Bend has reported 13.5".

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  6. Paul Douglas forecast for the next three days...."very white Christmas".......calling for 4-7 additional inches of snow and with current snow cover hes believing the snow depth will be 11 inches by Christmas morning at MSP. One word......NICE!

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  7. Not sure if everyone caught the KSTP forecast over the last two days on their website but a definite turn of events, on Friday night Ken Barlow forecasted flurries for both Sunday and Tuesday with no accumulations......then Saturday night Jonathan Yuhas has 2-3 inches on Sunday/Sunday night and 2-3 inches Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, in total 4-6 inches forecasted by him. I would say two totally different forecasts from the same station only 24 hours apart.

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  8. Whomever predicted and attached any number greater then 2 is way off base for todays snowfall(and you know who you are), this snow will not pile up that high and those 2-4 inch ranges is absolutely ridiculous.

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  9. Things may pick up again here, but at the very least the "snow all day" forecasts that I heard a few of were pretty far off base. Snow looks spotty around the area at best. Sun's out in Mpls right now! I'm guessing this will intensify again tonight?

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  10. Listening to Novak thru all these videos the last couple of days I definitely expected something more then this in the metro, Novak too aggressive again, the damn sun is out, definitely not travel impacting weather that he stated. Wheres the "take 2,3 or 4 inches of snow and throw in some wind and travel will be impacted".

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  11. Unfortunately I have to agree with the previous comments.
    Videos are well done, a lot of technical and nice to listen to information, but in the end you have to be accurate, otherwise you look ridicolous.
    My advice would be to maybe be less fancy and more accurate, and I definitely would appreciate a post-mortem video.

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    1. Speaking of "ridicolous" you lose a little credibility when you don't know how to spell the word properly.

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    2. sorry Professor..
      why don't you ask Bill if he can hire you to spell check every post in here, I am sure there's enough for a full time job.

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  12. How can NWS still call for an "additional accumulation of 1-2" tonight?, again too aggressive with this snow globe snow falling.

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  13. RGEM, GFS and the Nam are in at the time of this posting, and Xmas eve is looking interesting, temps will be cold and QPF's will be rather high for those kind of temps. Would expect from 3-6" of snow out of this system, if these models are correct somewhere near the metro. Looking at the surface isobars (at least I think that's the right term), they are tightly packed and I would expect winds in the 15-20 mph range if not higher.

    Based on what I'm seeing I would expect a Winter Weather Advisory for the metro and at least a winter storm warning near the metro in the outlaying areas, if not the dreaded B word. Keep abreast of these changing condition's and monitor your favorite local media outlets. Travel conditions could get dicey and I mean really dicey outside the metro.

    A new video may be warranted if these models are right.

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    1. Long and the short of it is that Santa may need Rudolf this year.

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  14. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 22, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Here is my take on how the weekend's system was predicted. First of all, let's not forget that the only local forecaster who was even saying there was a chance for snow was Novak. Early on and even close to the event, the NWS was saying language that equaled "high and dry." They only recognized the snow that was going to happen through Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois. There was no talk of the inverted trough that might develop and then when the discussion picked it up, it was an after thought. Novak was on this from the beginning. He may have been a little on the high end, especially as it came to the winds, but he recognized it!! Kudos to Novak. He said the light snow would swirl around and linger even into Monday morning. The NWS forecast now reflects that. I watched all four network forecasts as we got closer and closer and it wasn't until the event got pretty darn close that they picked up on this real possibility. Novak stuck to his guns, using many more factors than simply the model runs. I like how he looks at and explains other factors in his forecasting. I know that TV and radio people only have a short time, compared to the unlimited time that an internet video allows, but they should take all of this into account when they give their three minute forecast. They don't have to explain it indepth, but they need to come up with a forecast that reflects it. Nice job, Novak. Very nice job!!! #impressed

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  15. Love Novak's discussions, but the assertion that he was the only local forecaster to mention Sunday snow is just not true.

    On Friday evening PD said, "immediate Twin Cities may pick up 2-3 inches of powdery snow Sunday and Sunday night."

    On Friday afternoon MPR/PH said, "The system will bring a few hours of light accumulating snow (maybe a couple of inches) Sunday to the metro with enough to shovel again, but the bulk of the heavier accumulating snows will be in southeast Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin into northern Illinois."

    That's 2 days notice which is plenty.

    I can't find how to get NWS archives...but I think other outlets also mentioned Sunday snow. So we all love Novak's discussions....but let's be real that he was forecasting heavier snows...and be real about what others actually said.

    Novak leaned way too heavy on Sunday's snow...just own it. This board is great and I get pulling for the 'home team.' But you can't have a real discussion if we don't acknowledge what actually transpired. This site operates under the assumption of forecast accountability right? That has to apply to your 'in house' forecasters too.

    How much notice do you really need on an inch or 2 of snow?

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  16. 1"-2" sw MSP metro (1.1" MSP & 1.5" Chaska) & 2"-3" ne MSP metro (3" Forest Lake & much of Chisago County). Meanwhile, a good chunk of nw WI has received 3"-6" of snow. In other words, this storm unfolded about how we expected. I don't think anybody out there said that this would be a Major 6"+ snowstorm for the MSP metro. On the other hand, the word was out that much of WI would receive a heathy snow, and this did indeed verify.

    Truth is, I was hopeful for a little bit more snow, but I knew it was going to be an uphill climb, especially when you traveled west & south of the downtowns. Storms like this are very difficult to predict since it was a spinning upper-level low that was responsible for the snow. However, I do consider the result a forecasting success given the degree of difficulty.

    My biggest beef has to do with people saying nothing is going to happen. The weekend was considered one of the most heavily traveled weekend's of the year & it was important to, AT LEAST, give a head's up to those who would be on the road. If you were to ask people who are traveling in rural areas of east central MN & western WI, they would tell you that snow/blowing snow are causing issues.

    We have to remember that not everybody lives in the sheltered regions of the MSP metro. Conditions are often much, MUCH worse when you venture out into the rural countryside. Many "city slickers" have no idea the difference when traveling from metro to rural, but it is significant.

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  17. Sitting in Eau Claire with between 3 and 4 inches of fresh snow. This is more that what was initially predicted by many (some discussions even said the accumulating snow would stay away from the area). Driving back home yesterday evening on Highway 29 here in Wisconsin, visibility was certainly down and the roads were snow covered and slippery. That was after about only an inch of snow had fallen. 29 is a fairly wide open stretch of road, and the wind was making things difficult.

    Pretty sure there was a weather related crash on the interstate overnight southeast of where I am. Point of the matter is, travel was impacted, just as expected. NAM went overboard with its snow predictions and this really isn't a surprise to me. I know some like the NAM, but for me it's my least favorite model to use because it always seems like it is the last one to the game. Occasionally it does a nice job, but it seems to struggle a lot in the winter.

    Anyway now we wait for the next clipper system to come in and drop snow just in time for people going out for their Christmas Eve activities. Look for snow to probably start between the 2 and 4pm hours in the metro area, picking up in intensity as people are heading home from work. Probably will be a solid 4 to 5 hours of snow falling at a decent clip.

    Still looking at 1-3 inches of snow overall, with some 4 inch totals not out of the question. Winds will kick up as well, which could drift up some of the new snow and reduce visibilities in open areas. May be worth an advisory given the snow/wind issues, plus the fact that it is going to be a busy travel time.

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  18. Advisory is up for the entire for 2-4 inches with isolated 5 inch amounts.....be safe folks and have a very Merry Christmas!

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  19. Are we ever going to get out of this dusting-3" snowfall rut?, NWS has same thing into the New Year holiday. When are we going to see a healthy snowstorm come into town something in the order of 6-12+ inches?

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    1. I think some people either remember history a bit different than it happened, or grew up in the early 80's where we had a very snowy pattern for a group of years. Fact is that the twin cities averages 2.6 snowfalls of 4"+ per season, 1.1 6"+... 8"+ is more like an every other year thing. What we are getting is fairly normal. We just don't get that many "storms" here. We already had a 4" snow this year... averages would say we can expect 1 or 2 more. I know the big ones are fun, but snow lovers should be a little happier about what we have because it could just as easily be worse/dry rather than getting bigger snows.

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  20. does it get any more boring than this??????

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  21. Has anyone else read this afternoon's forecast discussion from the NWS? They are hinting at some extreme cold air.

    ".SFC TEMPS WED MORNING COULD
    APPROACH -40F IN THE TWIN CITIES...WITH OUTLYING AREAS OF THE STATE
    LIKELY WELL BELOW THIS READING."
    Can anyone shed any light on the likelihood of this happening? yikes.

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  22. This really is pretty boring, but ryan is correct. The only difference I see this year as opposed to other winters I remember is that I feel like we would always start off winter with a large snowstorm (6-8+ inch totals) and then get into the clipper pattern in January and early February before turning the corner a bit and heading into more southern storm systems in late Feb and through March. This year has really been nothing but clippers. Parts of MN have seen some decent snow totals from storms but a majority of those are lake enhanced. The fact of the matter is, is that we are in an overall northwest flow and those systems just aren't really known for large snow totals unless they dive in further to our west and phase up with a bubbling southern jet. Honestly I don't see the Twin Cities getting to -40 on Wednesday morning, but at the very least -20 is a pretty good likelihood. This will truly be the coldest air mass of the season. I still don't think the NWS is going cold enough with their highs and lows for early next week. I think we'll continue to see them drop, unless there is a shift in the models and the cold air ends up staying at bay or dropping in further east. One can only hope those low 30's showing up at the end of next week on the European model actually do show up. We'll deserve it after this next true arctic blast.

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  23. Head 120 miles north and Duluth has seen 40 inches of snow- 3rd snowiest December on record. Shows just how big of a disparity winter can bring regarding snow totals.

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  24. Well, the weekend event was some light snow especially in Wisc with greater amounts which was pretty well forecasted by all outlets at least within the 48 hour window of notice. The Christmas Eve snow definitely the bigger deal and was expected as energy and moisture was a better setup despite the bitter cold early that morning. Was actually kinda of fun to watch and experience the -10 to -20+ temps that morning with southerly winds rapidly moving in allowing temps to recover into the teens in most areas and light to moderate snows forming. Pretty much a post card Christmas Eve with snow falling and the Christmas morning with the fresh layer of snow 2-4" in general.

    Chicken, AK hit -58F this morning and that air mass is making the move south-southeastward to the CONUS with a grand entrance this coming weekend here in the Northern Plains. The bulk of the snow will stay across the Northland of Minnesota with fairly light amounts across the central and southern parts of the state. The wind will be a bigger deal for sure with the B word being brought up. [*BTW, my largest meteorological pet peeve is the term blizzard-li** (rhymes with bike) -- I cant even type it and definitely not say it. My colleagues at TWC would find a way to say it to drive me nuts. There is no such thing so keep it blizzard, if it meets criteria, or near-blizzard, when describing situ in any question or discussion for my sanity. :) ] Anyway, coldest air mass in several years is on the way. A decent but not big-time snow pack will help temps from moderating much. A lot of factors will come into place for the final morning lows on Tuesday of next week that will not be known until Sun or even Mon --- cloud cover, location of sfc ridge thus wind direction and speed, etc. Either way, its gonna be butt-cold as the old saying goes, or am I aging myself?

    Then lets cross our fingers a pattern break to at least let the ice and snow thaw off the cars, and folks can walk their dogs for more than a quick trip outside the door!

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  25. I'm surprised that more attention isn't being placed on the ground Blizzard-like (that was for you DD) conditions that will quickly develop over much of MN & Dakotas on Saturday. Granted, there will NOT be much new snow that falls, but the winds & cold will really pack a punch. I believe that many travelers will be caught off guard especially when they walk out the door to a beautiful Saturday AM. Once the Arctic front passes thru a local, it won't take more than an hour or two for the whole environment to change. Many of us will go from 35+ degrees at noon to windchills well below zero by midnight. Blowing snow will cause significantly reduced visibilities especially in rural areas of western MN & eastern ND. Dangerous.

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  26. NWS as we all likely know by now has issued the Winter Wx Advisory for ctrl/srn MN west of the metro for the impending Arctic frontal passage Sat evening for the very reasons stated above (ie. very light snow, strong winds and plummeting temperatures). It will be a real treat driving around on US Hwy 212 W of the Cities to Willmar or any other road in the region. With the warm temps today and tomorrow crusting up ("capping") the snow on the top layer, it will help reduce the amount of existing snow to be blown around, but there some light snow to fall with the front; however, it won't take very much to turn travel into an adventure. Near-blizzard conditions will be likely (visibilities 1/2 or greater and winds 20-30 mph and gusting higher), but if we begin to see some visibilities drop to 1/4 mile and winds to 35 mph for a few hours then ding, ding, ding we will have met blizzard criteria. Good ole days cold temperatures were the third factor, but that was dropped several years ago as a requirement.

    Be safe and smart out there --- if you leave the house in a light jacket I certainly hope the heavier gear is at least in the backseat to put on once the front powers through the area.

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  27. Great stuff, everyone. Just created a new thread to discuss the incoming cold siege.

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