Wednesday, January 1, 2014

How Cold Will She Go (Redux)

This was the Star Tribune weather recap for Jan. 19, 1985 (TMF files). Will Monday be similar?

While Monday is still four and a half days away, forecasters were talking about the cold next week in rather fearsome terms. One forecaster said it would be the coldest air to visit the Twin Cities in 18 years.

Forecast from the NWS on Wednesday evening
What are your thoughts on the cold? Will this all really come to pass? And, will an otherwise thriving metropolis survive?

126 comments:

  1. The last real cold snap I remember was the end of Jan 2004.

    Here were the Twin Cities observations-

    Day H L
    28 2 -16
    29 -8 -16
    30 -4 -24
    31 7 -15

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  2. Jan 13-16, 2009 is very similar, Dustball.

    Day H L
    13 -2 -18
    14 -3 -16
    15 -6 -21
    16 8 -22

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  3. I noticed that met.no (Norwegian Meterologisk Institutt -- Huttner calls it the "Euro" but they're completely different entities) predicts -30 for Monday morning. They've really overdone their forecasts for overnight lows lately. MSP has reached -30 only 18 times since 1891; last time was in 1996.

    On the other hand, other weather sources are predicting high temps below zero for Chicago next week. That's scary in that it does not bode well for us.

    As discussed here a few days ago, the presence of clouds can really confound these forecasts. Hopefully we get some clouds and maybe another blown forecast like last Saturday.

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  4. This is cold is ridiculous, I know we live in Minnesota and it happens but its been below average for over a month now(except for a few days here and there)......this cold is limiting our snowfall potential, AND now the NWS is talking about school cancellations for Monday, I love my kids but two weeks at home with them is plenty, dont want to add another day......because frankly with these negative numbers you cant really enjoy outside recreation with kids because they dont want to be outside for any length of time.....so yeah this brutal cold needs to go, I would be happy with 28(above zero) everyday with a chance of snow.


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  5. Full disclosure........I'm jealous watching coverage of the east coast storm(Hercules)......I would take that snow over this boring ass arctic weather pattern were in......I know people are talking of moderation by mid/late next week, but what about snow chances anything on the horizon for snowfall.

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  6. @Bill.....that day you show above(1/19/85).....had to be one crappy day, temperatures were actually falling all day thru the-10's and -20's......also of interesting note is -25 was reached on the same day two years in a row....1984 and 1985.

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    1. Yep, interesting indeed. But the next year jumped to a h/l of 35/32.

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  7. Can somebody explain the "480 line" that Jerrid Sebesta was talking about at 5:00? He basically said "I've never seen it this far south in my career, but it's too complicated to explain to viewers." Well, thanks for nothing, Jerrid. I'm not super familiar with technical meterological terminology, but I am curious.

    So is this like a "Day After Tomorrow" scenario where everything will instantaneously become encased in ice? ;o)

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  8. I believe Sebesta was showing the thickness lines. He probably should not have since it is a bit difficult for people to comprehend.

    The thickness lines show how "dense" the atmosphere is around the globe. The thicker/denser the air usually equals a cold core and/or colder air. A 480 thickness line is uncommon in the U.S. Usually, that stays well north of 45 degrees latitude.

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  9. I had answered Bill on Twitter regarding the "480 line" as I have seen it posted by several meteorologists in the metro area and others in the Twittersphere. Its a measure of the vertical distance in decameters (dm) between the 1000 millibar & 500 millibar constant pressure levels in the atmosphere. 1000mb is essentially near the earths surface while 500mb is on average around 18,000 ft but varies by a few thousand feet depending on the situation. A 540dm thickness is typically cold enough for snow. Lower values of 1000-500mb thickness levels indicate cold/denser air. A 480dm measure is rare & sign of very cold air.

    Its not a "Day After Tomorrow" scenario where the stratosphere was suddenly brought down to the earth's surface as that would be quite the problem, but definitely a significant Arctic air mass invasion that will rival the temperatures of the record cold outbreak in February of 1996. Recall that the state record of -60°F was set that day in Tower with nearby Embarrass at -57°F until the thermometer system broke, but others in the small town that mimicked the official one did hit -64°F. Will will achieve those kind of values in northern Minnesota -- it will be close but too many complicating factors to resolve before now and then -- -clouds, surface ridge orientation, Mother Natures mood, etc. In the metro area temperature forecasts of -25 to -30°F are typical across all the outlets. This air mass does have the potential given what is taking place northward in Canada.

    FYI, the NWS has issued Blizzard Watches across North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota in effect for Friday into Saturday for a mostly ground blizzard event as the powerful Arctic front will power through the area with all that cold air behind it. Expect more NWS watches/warnings/advisories to be issued in the next 12-24 hours across the Dakotas and Minnesota as this event unfolds. Overnight Friday into Saturday will be nasty around these here parts light snow, possible mixed precip types and then the wind and blowing snow, and finally those temperatures that will fall off the edge of the table.

    Should be interesting.

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    1. I'll take a shot at explaining it as well. While DDwx is more correct than I, nonetheless I will try and explain it the way I think about it. The 1000mb to 500mb thickness lines portray the depth of the atmosphere from near the surface up to the point where the atmosphere measures 500mb of pressure. Keep in mind that warm air raises and cold air sinks. One other thing that should be kept in mind is that when we talk about a thickness of say 540, we are actually dropping the last zero for convenience sake, in reality it is 5400 ( if my math is wrong please feel free to correct it)

      In the warm months a thickness line of 570 generally refers to that point where the atmosphere is getting into the tropical category, in other words the depth of the 1000-500mb is quite deep (warm air raises.) It is somewhat rare this far north to see a thickness line of 600.

      In the cold season a good indicator that snow may be possible is to look for the 540 line, (take into account you also have to look at the temps profiles as well., say from 850mb and lower.)

      Keeping in mind that cold air sinks, thickness line bellow 500 get my attention, and 492 or so makes me sit up and take notice, 480 makes want to ask mother nature what have we done to deserve this??

      When looking at the surface maps you will often see both surface pressure and the 1000-500mb charted on the same map. Keep in mind that the solid black line usually refers to the surface pressure. You will also see dashed lines and that is the measure of the depth of 1000-500mb layer. The 540 line is usually shown in solid blue and the 570 in solid red (but not always.) Hope that helps, I know that this explanation is somewhat shallow but it allows me to visualize it, and to Tom and Mr Nix, if there is anything that needs to be corrected please feel free.

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    2. and I would add that the thickness or depth between 2 pressure levels is proportional to the mean temperature of the layer, that is why thickness values are very good indicators of how strong fronts can be.

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  10. Rochester Public Schools have already closed for Monday - http://www.rochester.k12.mn.us - I have never seen a school closing announced 4 days ahead of a suspected weather event. Jumping the gun, or will more follow tomorrow?

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    1. Seems pretty early but I suppose it gives teachers a day to plan.....

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    2. As an educator, let me say that teachers and parents both GREATLY appreciate the advanced warning for planning purposes.

      The last time it was as cold as they're forecasting for Monday, the governor canceled school statewide after concerns that multiple districts were unlikely to close on their own. I would suspect most districts will wait until Sunday night to pull the plug, but I doubt many will wait until Monday morning.

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    3. Also, a temperature forecast is much more reliable than a snow forecast. I was on the phone with a bus company today to cancel travel on Sunday and the scheduler flat-out said it would be a risk for the buses to be out in those conditions.

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  11. A 42 hour Wind Chill Warning for MSP!..........when was the last time that happened?

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  12. This graphic:

    http://tribunecwcblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/featuregraphic010313.jpg

    Has an interesting map with the predicted zero-degree line for Monday morning. It pushes southeast past Louisville and as far south as extreme northern Arkansas.

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  13. Good stuff Randy & Daniel.

    In a nutshell, thickness lines show where cold & warm domes of air reside. Cold air contracts, is dense & sinks while warm air expands & rises. The lower the thickness value usually equates to colder surface temps. What I find interesting is that the "core" of the cold air is slated to drop into the Upper Midwest late Sunday into early Monday. This is indicated by the 00z GFS 480 thickness line as a enclosed circle in no. MN on Sunday. I can't recall seeing that kind of a solution before. We will see if it verifies. The 12z model runs don't appear to be quite as low with the thickness values, but still....

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  14. Governor Dayton has closed schools statewide for Monday. Latest forecasts are for wind chills statewide as low as -45 to -60.

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  15. The Weather Channel should name this cold air mass.

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  16. With the advance notice we're receiving about the cold temps- are there procedures in place to ensure that the weather stations up north can monitor the temps accurately without exceeding their operating range?

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  17. A "Winter Weather Advisory" doesn't do the current conditions justice here (SW metro). It is raining - hard at times - mixed with sleet, and everything is encased in a solid layer of ice after less than an hour. I know they've been talking about mixed precip for a couple days, but nobody made much of a deal about it, and now factoring in the temperature plummet tomorrow and the fact that salt won't work, this seems like a potential disaster...or am I overreacting?

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    1. I had the same thought. The plows are going past my house as I write this, and we didn't get that much snow. I sincerely hope they can get the roads in OK shape before it gets too cold.

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    2. What were you guys looking for a freezing rain advisory or warning? I believe the winter weather advisory sufficed. We had precipitation, yes I said precipitation because it wasnt just freezing rain, some sleet and snow which accumulated about an half inch and lasted no more then two hours in any one location. NWS gets a bad rap often, but in this case they did just fine.

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  18. Paul Douglas says 30s over next weekend...what say you guys? I sure hope he's right.

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    1. I say it's about DAMN TIME! I plan to go skiing in Duluth. It would be nice to have fingers and toes at the end of the day.

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  19. Temperature has remained steady since 7 a.m. this morning, instead of dropping all day as forecast. I know temperature forecasts are usually more reliable than snow forecasts, but the NWS hasn't been too accurate on temperatures lately either. Are we looking at a potential bust?

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    1. Yes, busted pipes, busted pop cans...

      The cold seems to be moving in a little slower than they said, but it's been getting colder here in the SW metro for awhile now. It was 18 this morning, about 14 at 1:00 and 10 now. Kare 11 this morning said the drop through the day was going to be gradual, not sudden, though NWS did expect the temps to drop below zero by sunset.

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    2. Errr...make that 7 degrees now...dropping quickly, I guess.

      Also something to note...weather.com has my area's high today as 35 degrees at 3:30 this morning. That's a solid 10 degrees warmer than they thought it was going to get overnight and may explain why we're all about 10 degrees warmer right now than NWS forecasted.

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    3. Overall bust in the cold coming? Nope. The cold is moving this way but could be slightly delayed. Most short range models take the metro below zero between 8 and 9pm and continues dropping overnight. Buckle up folks. Old Man Winter is going to make things pretty damn cold. Can't wait till this stuff is out of here.

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    4. Or...you're right

      Minnesota Weather ‏@NovakWeather 47m
      Latest model data eases the bitter cold a bit over the next 48 hrs. & keeps us in the teens below zero rather than -20s

      Minnesota Weather ‏@NovakWeather 45m
      It appears that cloud cover may keep us from breaking overnight low records in so. MN.
      _________________________________________________

      The forecast has been for it to remain partly/mostly cloudy for awhile now. Why did it take the models so long to pick up on how that would affect the temperatures?

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    5. If it's not going lower than the negative teens, then how does this cold front differ from many others we have had this season?

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    6. @Anonymous above me, the wind is the difference. Often when it gets this cold it is in part because winds are calm. 15-20 mph winds at those temps create extremely dangerous wind chills.

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  20. How pathetic that Rainbow Foods is closing early on Monday. The world is NOT coming to an end.

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    1. Translation: there will be no customers; we'd lose money.

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  21. The cold is coming folks, the NAM moss and operational NAM is to warm. Here is what the 4km is showing for 7am tomorrow.

    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~fxg1/NAMSFC4NC_0z/temp13.gif

    The short term RUC, HRRR and RAP are in good agreement.

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  22. Ok weather freaks/enthusiasts how about a little friendly competition........its 10:30pm and MSP has just gone below zero, many forecasters say we will be there for several days, whats your guess when we will see positive numbers again?

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    1. I'm going to go out on a limb and say not until 10:00 am on Thursday. NWS and news outlets are mostly predicting colder than +5 for Wednesday right now, and the trend has been colder than initial forecasts. Three days ago they were forecasting +5 for tomorrow.

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    2. I feel the same @AB, I think we stay sub-zero into Thursday as well.....I'm going noon on Thursday, which would be about 109 hours......latest Euro model has Wednesday and Thursday highs in the low single digits.....we'll see what happens, sure I'm abit aggressive with my prediction but if its going to be this cold why not try for a 100 hours,nice round number :)......actually I hate this brutal cold just being a little funny........stay warm and safe everyone, hopefully sometime soon we can start talking numbers with inches behind them instead minus signs in front of them.

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  23. I think it will sneak up to 1 on Tuesday afternoon, so I'll say 63 hours.

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  24. Above 0 by 3pm on Tuesday and 40 degrees by 2pm next Sunday.

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  25. Well the overnight low was forecast to be -17, but we only got to -11 at the airport. Thermometer at my place in Roseville said -7.8 when I got up at about 8.00am. Is there hope for us? :)

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  26. The Weather Channel now forecasts a high of zero for Tuesday. Sub-zero streak may be in jeopardy one day sooner than planned.

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    1. met.no has moderated their forecast for Monday morning ever so slightly. They're now predicting a low of about -25 rather than the -29 they've been saying for a few days. Unfortunately, the same model is now predicting about the same brutalness for Tuesday morning, and doesn't see us getting to zero until noon Thursday.

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  27. @Bigdaddy, I say we get above zero 3pm Wednesday

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  28. I know most people including myself dont put much stock into what Accuweather forecasts or has to say, but I have seen it referenced on this blog more then a few times.......so if snow is what your yearning for(like me), looks like February COULD be our month.....Accuweather has nearly 16inches for us through 2/18.......but I'm not holding my breath!

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    1. I'm with you bigdaddy. Move the arctic air out, bring in highs in the teens/20's with SNOW!!!! I can't find any signs of snow for us, even with the warmer weather that is forecasted for the end of this week. Arctic air and no snow; milder air and no snow....two undesirable situations for anyone that prays for the white stuff. I'm going to have to move to Chicago. They are getting hit again today. My sister who lives there told me yesterday that she is tired of all of the snow and will gladly send it our way. Sounds great to me! By the way, we were at -14 this morning in Rosemount on multiple thermometers.

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    2. my snow prediction for the rest of winter:
      january 2.5"
      february 8"
      march 1.7 "
      and that's it.
      so 12.3" in total. Plus the 17.3 we have had so far will give us a total of 29.6.
      in a nutshell another wasted winter for snow lovers like me. we even managed to get freezing rain between 2 major arctic outbreaks! what a disaster.

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  29. We're already one degree warmer than the forecast high for today in Owatonna. (at 10AM!) Sun is shining brightly! We may have some real cold on the way, but I'm really not thinking it's going to be as record-setting as we've all been told it's going to be.

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    1. They've been consistently a few hours behind on the timing and a few degrees too cold with the temps. We'll see if it continues. The wind hasn't kicked in yet, though, and in the NW 1/4 of the state, they are in the teens below zero.

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  30. We have already "warmed" to -4........subzero streak can end before it even started?.......I thought we were suppose to be in the teens below zero all day today........this is cold,but tolerable......not historic in the least bit at the moment.

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    1. Exactly! The NWS said we were supposed to drop in temperatures all day, and we've been doing nothing but climbing. South St. Paul Airport has -1 for a temp at 1:12 p.m., and Red Wing and Faribault are already at zero. It has been fun to watch the NWS bump up the high temperature forecast for today several times already. Yesterday, the NWS said we'd be dropping to -10 by 1 p.m. today!

      We have to keep things real here. We know it's going to get very cold tonight and Monday, but the actual temps compared to the forecast temps for today and yesterday haven't been even close. Like bigdaddy said, I doubt this will be a historic freeze at all.

      Whomever guessed we'll get above zero on SUNDAY, please collect your award at the front desk.

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    2. Umm...we have not gotten above zero. KMSP still says -4. There's only about 2.5 more hours of sunlight left. I don't think we'll see zero today.

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  31. Our high so far today in Apple Valley is -6, which is the current temp

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  32. It looks like the official temp got to -23. NWS predicted -27, NMI predicted -24. Not only is this not as cold as 1996, this isn't even as cold as what we saw in 2004. Surprisingly, the temperature started warming before sunrise.

    It was -18.9 at my house when I woke up at 7am.

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    1. In 2004 there was hardly any wind.

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    2. @Disco, I know your searching for accuracy but your dealing with weather, its not an exact science nor can you expect precision right down to the exact number. A forecast low of -27 was forecasted and we got to -23, thats pretty close and still plenty cold, can you really tell the difference if you stood outside and because of four degrees does it make it less dangerous out there. In my opinion temperatures should be given a range of numbers like in snowfalls, if 3-6 inches of snow is forecasted and we get 5 inches everyone is happy and we have accurancy without a precise number. So same should go with temperatures if there was a forecast of -22 to -27 last night, would that suffice for you Disco?

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    3. @Disco @ Bigdaddy
      if you read the NWS discussion the other day they mentioned that they would consider satisfactory if the actual temp was 3 degrees either way of their predicted low, so i think we should consider this a pretty good forecast.

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    4. Well, actually, the NWS did NOT get within 3 degrees. They were 4 degrees off. Is that still "pretty good?"

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    5. considering that the F temperature scale is much more granular than the C scale (1 def F = 0.55 deg C) 4 deg F are 2.1 deg C and that is a very small difference. So yes, I would say it is still pretty good. You have much wider differences in temperature if you measure at different sites in the metro.

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  33. My comment should not be taken as complaining, because it was not. However, the NWS discussion yesterday indicated a "high level of confidence" for temperatures of -25 to -35. Once again the Europeans were more accurate with their forecast. (I believe part of the reason for this web site is to discuss forecast accuracy.)

    The larger issue to me is the media hysteria. None of the media, including the NWS, care to remind people that unless you are standing outside, facing into the wind, WIND CHILL IS MEANINGLESS. The whole wind chill thing has become nothing but a number used to invoke fear (and generate ratings and page views). That joke WCCO map last week is proof of this.

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    1. Yep, the blog is to discuss weather and to discuss accuracy, particularly in light of forecasts of historical cold/heat. (We keep 'em all honest!)

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    2. I agree with @Disco that the wind-chill is absolutely meaningless.
      As a matter of fact I never pay any attention to it.
      It is the air temperature that matters.Period.

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    3. Yes we want accuracy, but I agree with bigdaddy's comments above, ranges are the best way to go with snowfall and temperatures. Theres nothing wrong with saying 5-10inches or lows between 15-20 to incorporate differences in various models and then maybe use qualifying statements like "near record temperatures could be reached".

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    4. Last I checked, the news stations didn't develop the wind chill formula or establish its use. Wind chill is far from meaningless because it's an important number especially when considering a lower wind chill increases risk of frost bite on exposed skin. I'm one of those wonderful people who gets the luxury of working outside in this crap, while I believe a lot of others only need to walk to and from their office building and be in the cold for a whole 3 minutes. Not sure how much time some people have spent in the open non sheltered areas of the state, but whether you are facing the wind or have the wind to your back you are going to feel it. You can't always walk with your back to the wind. WCCO's map they posted was ridiculous. There is no question about that. But fact of the matter is, wind chill is very relevant. I think it is as relevant as a heat index. Many times, it's not what the actual temperature is, but what the body thinks the temperature is. Maybe I'm by myself with my line of thinking, but I'm certain any others who have to spend most of their workdays outside can agree. Overall I think things panned out the way they were supposed to. -18 forecast here, and I think we got to -16. Wind chills were in the -40 to -60 category. I'm curious to hear the full wrap up across the state to see what kind of records were broken across the area. Remember, just because a record wasn't broken in your exact neighborhood doesn't mean this event wasn't a big deal. Weather spans beyond your back yard.

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  34. The never-ending school break.....schools are closed again tommorrow!......the kids are ecstatic......like two weeks wasn't enough.

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    1. When are they going to start missing school due to a nice heavy snowstorm??!!!

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    2. I know right!.....just image if this cold blast was followed by a huge snowstorm on Wednesday, who knows when they would have opened.....but I think everything will be back to normal by Wednesday......I hope.

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    3. Most districts are using -40 as the threshold. That is the temperature where the frostbite potential is 10 minutes for exposed skin. They just can't guarantee that buses will run close enough to on-time to limit exposure to less than that. My district originally planned to open on delay tomorrow but sent a memo to parents excusing kids due to the temperature. They changed course when everybody else closed.

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  35. -12 at 2pm. No records set today. So sad for the alarmist media.

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    1. You guys are idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Records were missed within a few degrees and you call them alarmists?
      A cold snap is a big deal in any part of the country when it threatens records, jeez the Tampa area has wind chill advisories up as well because thats cold weather for that area, wake up people! Its just people trying to alert and save people, whats wrong with that.

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  36. Still don't think we needed to close schools tomorrow. Wind chills will probably only be about -25 by morning with calming winds. We've had colder days already this winter. I'd have rather gone to work. I know, better safe than sorry but...there is extra time involved in scrambling lesson plans to get back on track too.

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    1. Agree with you @AB.......current temp as I type is -11 with a -20 wind chill.....WCW has been dropped to an advisory......we have been colder then this this winter with school. I understood yesterday but no school today was abit much.
      On a side note, drove by a Rainbow last night about 9pm and saw a stream of pissed of customers driving slowly pass the front doors....it was a funny sight, pretty lame that they closed early.

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  37. [As seen on Todd Nelson's blog today as well as others in recent weeks:] Isn't the "colder than Mars" thing a bit sensationalistic? No one has a frame of reference for that. We hear it as people who have no idea how cold it's supposed to be on Mars so we think the cold is much colder than it really is. Reality is, we've had colder temps than this before and Mars isn't having some kind of "heat wave", so why make a mountain out of an ant hill here with these crazy blog titles? Drives me nuts.

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    1. Completely agree. It's... the media....

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  38. Well we've reached zero at MSP. By my calculation, that's about 61 hours subzero, far less than the 88 they were predicting Saturday night.

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  39. Well I am the same anonymous posting on 1/5 at 6.40 am.
    I had said above zero by 3pm on Tuesday. I was being too generous to this semi-busted cold blast.
    Now for my next prediction. We will reach 40 degrees by 2pm next Sunday.
    #wastedwinterforsnowlovers

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  40. A long ways out and a lot can happen of course (usual disclaimers) but the Euro 240 hr forecast models are hinting at a Polar Express round 2 in 7-10+ days.

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  41. What is funny is that the coldest night of them all (i.e. - actual air temp) may prove to be this evening. Clear skies, calm winds & core of Arctic high overhead = intense radiational cooling. I will not be surprised if many people in so. MN drop to -22 to -27 by tomorrow AM. However, there is no way that they will cancel schools tomorrow, is there?

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  42. Approx 62 hours to be precise, per the NWS. 2 and a half days of sub zero temperatures is impressive. Where I am, we have yet to climb back above zero. We may just reach zero today at the next update, so our sub zero streak has yet to end here.

    People who were saying this cold snap was overhyped, look at this on a national level rather than in your back yard. -13 was our high here, easily the coldest high we've seen in many years. Places all across the nation had cold records broken by this cold wave. There really was nothing overhyped about this. Did we reach 80+ hours of sub zero weather? Some of us didn't, but there are places in northern Minnesota that have yet to get even close to zero. They could all get pretty close to that 80 hour mark. I read somewhere that AAA broke a record for the number of assist calls they had due to dead batteries. If some people consider this to be a bust, then fine, call it that. Honestly, I wouldn't be griping about it though. Warming faster in the winter is perfectly fine with me.

    Still nadda in the snowstorm department though, which is frustrating for snow lovers, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if we saw something similar to last year, where it took forever for spring to get here and the snowstorms end up coming in later than usual (into April and early May).

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    1. I certainly am not bemoaning a botched forecast. And I do agree with you that this was a national-scale cold wave. People in Chicago freak out when it gets below zero.

      But you have to admit, Duane, that the local media blows it way out of proportion. Have you seen all the ridiculous videos of reporters freezing cups of coffee? How about the guy in Ely, standing there on TV holding a thermometer? It wasn't enough to simply TELL us the temperature. No, he had to show us a thermometer, as if we wouldn't believe that it was -22 (which is NOT cold for Ely).

      Did you notice that an actual air temperature map was hard to come by this week, that everything was that god damn "feels like" temperature or wind chill?

      Ten years ago we got to -24 here in the Twin Cities. There wasn't nearly the hysteria. What is the media landscape going to look like ten years from now? Will one of our beloved TV weather babes take a plunge into Lake Calhoun to prove that yes, cold water does make your nipples hard?

      We discuss accuracy of weather forecasts here. I think addressing the overall media response, and how the media communicates weather information to the public, is appropriate too.

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    2. Being a member of the media in Wisconsin I guess I get a little more touchy when every bit of blame and harassment goes towards the media. Those examples of throwing hot water into the air, freezing cups of coffee, etc etc are fantastic visual examples of just how cold it actually is outside. I don't have any beef at all with that type of stuff. I do, however, have the same beef that everyone else has in regards to showing model data on air that is extremely inaccurate.

      We actually showed a good bit of both temperature and wind chill maps through this arctic burst because both are relevant. Wind chill is figured through air temperature after all. But, when it comes to how the body reacts to the air, the wind chill factor is the more important number. It's the number that the body thinks it is, rather than what it actually is. Skin reacts to wind chill temps rather than air temps.

      I do agree that things have changed from ten years ago, but when it comes to what viewers want everything comes down to the weather. It's something that effects everyone every single day of the week. The whole TV weather babes going into the cold water idea isn't the worst in the world by the way. :)

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    3. Weather babes in cold water would be fine, providing we don't have to hear the horrible voices of the woman on channel 4 and the third-string met on channel 11.

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  43. So, 1 day out of this forecasted 4 day (Sunday midnight - Wednesday midnight) Arctic Blast was close to correct for the Twin Cities, and that's not a bust for the Twin Cities?

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  44. Was public safety served by clear notice of a major cold invasion? Absolutely. From a sheer numbers standpoint, were forecasts accurate? Not exactly. Again, two different perspectives.

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  45. Novak is tweeting about mid to upper 40's for Sunday! WTH??!! Also, I'm wondering whether it will ever snow here again until spring, like last year. I hope that isn't the case.

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    1. I have been watching this as well, it's all a matter of timing and which model is right, the ECMWF or the GFS. Currently the GFS is faster in bringing a low pressure system just north of the border on a west to east trajectory allowing a cold front to slide through, the Euro being slower has been inching the temp up every run until it seems to have settled on a high of 39°. If its right I think we all remember the day we over achieved in the temp department and set a new daily high temp, although Sunday's record high of 48 seems safe.

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  46. I'm going to be keeping a bit closer eye on this system for Friday. Could end up dropping some accumulating snow to parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Still in the early stages of things but could be worth watching.

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  47. Jeez the media really likes to take an unknown weather term and go nuts with hit. Last year it was "derecho" this year its "polar vortex". What will be the next one?

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    1. you forgot the "Bermuda High' a few years back when the East Coast experienced an incredible heat wave.

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    2. Bermuda High is a much more common term. Used every year with relation to hurricane forecasting.

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  48. Paul Huttner is talking about a snow drought for the next two weeks!

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    1. How annoying that these people get on a limb with such ridiculous bold statements when in reality they even struggle to get tomorrow's weather correct.
      I have had enough of " the last 80s of summer" (to then witness 90 degrees a week after) " the coldest air of winter" (before these days outbreak)...
      we just have no clue beyond 3-4 days and we still mess us the day after temperature most of the time.
      COME ON !

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    2. Anon@11:38 AM, I absolutely agree with you! They should concentrate on getting the forecast correct for the next couple of days instead of trying to predict what the weather conditions will be like two weeks from today. Those headlines are mostly all about trying to capture people's attention for media ratings.

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    3. I couldn't agree more. I have a tough time reaching out much further than 5 days with my forecasts; esp. precip/clouds forecasts. However, when it comes to temperature, I feel more comfortable throwing out a blue print a good 7 to 10 days in advance.

      It bothers me when other Mets & broadcast media outlets try to hint 2 weeks+ in advance. Oh, & don't get me going on 'The Farmers Almanac' and Hurricane season forecasts.

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    4. Novak didn't you just blow a temperature forecast 18 hours out by 20 degrees about 10 posts back?

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    5. Yeah, thought parts of so. MN would reach -20+ but clouds helped hold temps up. Actually, the core metro reached -9 & I figured teens below were a lock for MSP. Just goes to show you what a little bit of cloud cover can do for you.

      Much of central & northern MN dropped to -20+.

      Thanks for noticing. ;)

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    6. It was clear the entire night. Good try though...

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    7. Hey Anonymous.....perhaps your name is Dick.....why don't you back off Novak, unless you got something positive to say.

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  49. NAM model gives TC metro decent snow Friday night......but it is the outlier....other models bring the accum. snows into SE MN only.....so Dr. Novak any chance the NAM verifies or is the other models have it correct for Friday.

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    1. I don't want to touch FRIDAY's system. This thing smells yet has the potential to surprise people. One thing is for sure, this will not be a major snow maker. It is simply moving too fast & doesn't appear to have great upper air structure. 00z model runs will shed some good light on this system & assoc. QPF. However, I would temper snow expectations in the MSP metro.

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  50. LOL @ Huttner flogging the 384-hr GFS again

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    1. Where did you see that???? I know on his blog a couple of post's ago that he talked about a snow drought for MSP. Quite frankly the telleconections would point to that solution. I think we will be on the western fringes of the next cold snap, we may stay in a zonal pattern for awhile if not a SW flow with a positive PNA and negative AO.

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    2. https://twitter.com/MPRweather/statuses/421349177440735232

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    3. That's interesting. I'm hearing from other sources that the polar vortex, at least to some extent, will return later this month. Also, in November the forecast was for a rather mild start to winter and a turn to much colder and stormier weather the second half of winter. Complete turnaround now? It just goes to show that there are a lot of variables in trying to predict the weather. As usual, time will always give us the final answer. I hope the GFS is wrong. I am keeping my fingers crossed for cold, not bitter, weather and much more snow!!!

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  51. Uuugghhh!! The NWS outlook is NOT looking promising for us snow fans anytime soon.

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  52. wow Hammer out at KSTP...one of the few accurate mets....

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  53. That's too bad. He is a great forecaster and a great guy. Hopefully we see him somewhere else very soon. For those looking for the next storm, for now great snow potential looks pretty bleak. A few minor (at the moment) systems out there but no whoppers in the near term.

    What does catch my eye is the next arctic push next Thursday. The wind potential with that thing looks very impressive at the moment but it's far enough out that plenty will probably change with it. Looking at the soundings on this thing, it looks like there will be some pretty strong winds not too far off the ground, and good potential for mixing those winds down to the surface. Like I said, still plenty far out there but if we do get some accumulating snows over the next week and it mostly stays below freezing after Sunday, the wind prone areas of Minnesota will have to keep an eye on visibility issues. Again, long ways out but I figured I would bring it up now. Good news...next arctic shot doesn't look nearly as bad as our last one, and it doesn't look to last nearly as long either.

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  54. Yeah I agree, sucks to see Hammer leaving KSTP, does anyone know if he was let go or he left...hopeful another station picks him up if he is staying in MN....WCCO could use an upgrade, just saying!
    Hey Duane can you make it snow please, like 10 inches....this weather is downright boring!

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  55. He was let go in November but given a few months to find other opportunities.
    His last day was Friday.

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  56. Dr. Novak advertising a "impressive" clipper for Monday night, he says 2-5+ as of now.....nothing huge, but I take anything after all this quiet weather.

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    1. Unfortunately it isn't sounding like anything to write home about, according to the NWS this morning.

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    2. Traditionally clippers can be very unpredictable.....their tracks can shift ever so slightly, so one area that was thought to get accumulating snow may receive flurries or nothing at all also at times a small slither of heavier snowfall can develop in a very small width so as one city could get an inch and another 15 miles away could get four inches.

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    3. Newest NWS graphic brings heaviest snow down I-94 thru the metro.....2-3", hopefully we get it, we need a freshing up around town.
      On a side note NWS just warmed the high to 42 today, all week its been in the 30's.......but Novak has been advertising 40's for at least five days now....way to join the party late there NWS.

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  57. Funny, Mr. Novak has warning level snows in the north metro and the NWS doesn't even have one winter headline. I love back differences in forecasts, it gives me something to follow.....hope Novak is onto something.
    Bill I think a new thread is on the horizon.

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  58. NWS discussion calling for 2-4 inches for tommorrow night now. Also seriously considering blizzard conditions on Thursday with vigorous snow showers and 50 mph winds.

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  59. I would anticipate a Winter Weather Advisory across a good chunk of the MPX area starting Monday evening and lasting into Tuesday morning. It looks like a good swath of 3-5 inches of snow should make its way down I-94 through the metro and into Wisconsin. Winds pick up after the snow starts to taper so that may be an issue if the snow is light enough.

    Thursday's windy system still appears on track. At the very very least, a Winter Weather Advisory will be needed for that system due to the blowing snow issue. I think it will end up being Blizzard watches and warnings, but that all depends on how much of the snow will be able to be picked up and blown around. Two decent systems for the week. They won't be big back breaking storms in regards to snow, but they still could pack a bit of a punch.

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  60. "The forecast for snow tonight is a low confidence forecast. Why? The weather models are showing a lot of disagreement, and are flip flopping with every update. We will certainly be updating the forecast as this system evolves and as we get new information." -- NWS Facebook ...

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  61. This clipper is becoming annoying. What initially looked like it could be a nice swath of snow sliding down the I-94 corridor could very well be making a pretty large shift to the south. Short term models are now painting the far southern row of counties in Minnesota with seeing the higher amounts of snow. Bust potential for tonight is there in the metro. This winter has been a bear with the models I feel like. Usually, most of the time, when models agree, things mostly pan out. Oh well...still a while before things start moving in, so we'll keep on watching to see how this clipper develops. Future runs could start to develop things further north again.

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  62. Looking at radar trends, I think it is pretty obvious that it will miss the metro.
    As usual as soon the NWS issues some sort of warning or advisory, it jinxes the whole system.
    Maybe they do it on purpose :)

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  63. Is the Metro going to get hosed? Radar trends at this time appear to be favoring far southern MN. These %$#&* models aren't even accurate mere hours before the event anymore. What's going on with them?

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  64. There will be some deepening of the low tonight and a lot depends on when that happens. I'm as frustrated as anyone because this looked like it was pretty much a done deal. This has been the story of the winter though, right? Maybe we'll be surprised. This is exactly why forecasts are so difficult. Nature doesn't look at a computer and say, well that is what the computer says I should do so I'm going to do it. It's been really tough to get too excited about any system so far because the trend has been for them to come in much weaker than expected and take a dive around the area.

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  65. New thread with new video: http://www.minnesotaforecaster.com/2014/01/clipper-losing-steam.html

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  66. professional instrument to measure wind speed or delivering opinion about weather wind speed, direction measuring is very important, the measuring wind meter should be professional and effective for those it should be collected from a reputed weather stationery store.

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