Sunday, December 27, 2015

Monday Monday, What Will You Bring?

The possibility of significant snow was in Monday's cards as of Sunday night. Here's a video we did with Novak Weather that discusses the storm in detail. Here's some forecasts that we gathered at about 9:30 p.m. central time:

Channel 4: 6-10" (5:30 p.m. telecast)
Channel 5: 6-8" with isolated spots picking up 10" (KSTP weather blog)
Channel 9: No info online
Channel 11: 5-9"
MPR: 4-8" (25% chance of 2-6")
Paul Douglas/Star Tribune: 5-8"
NWS: 6 (minimum expected: 3"; maximum expected: 9")
Weather.com: 2-6"
Accuweather: 8-12"
Novak Weather: 8-10"

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156 comments:

  1. Thanks for the updates Bill and Novak. 92 video views at 10 pm.

    We finally were able to get out and skate on the pond the last three days. I'm off work next week so looking forward to some great snow.

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  2. NWS not buying into any updated NAM hype model or Euro. Still have watch in place with only 3-7" in point forecast for Hopkins. Relax folks its just abit of snow. Remember its Minnesota its suppose to snow in December.

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  3. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 27, 2015 at 11:20 PM

    The full meal deal is about to begin. Preparation similar to preparing for the large Christmas dinner: Pace myself, soak up all of the spirit leading into it, enjoy the emotion of it, and then sit back and enjoy every little morsel. I hear of some "wrap around" snow on Tuesday and/or some stalling, which only makes that dessert seem even more enticing! Love the new model runs! Bring it!!

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  4. I thought Laura Betker did something very responsible just now on Kare 11. There is often a lot of criticism over the broadcast media advertising multiple models, but Betker did so tonight, referring to the NAM model as being "out there on social media, so I feel that I should address it." She said with Kare 11's typical conservative tilt that she doesn't at all think we'll get that much, but I thought it was very responsible of her to recognize that it's being talked about, even if she doesn't believe it herself.

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    1. A similar comment was made as the last comment on the previous blog. Kudos to you for both making that assessment and for putting up with her voice (which is now the worst in the market after the departure of the WCCO woman who left last year).

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  5. 00z GFS is in= 5-6" for metro. Calm down good people half a foot in Dallas is a big deal in Minneapolis its a road bump.

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  6. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 27, 2015 at 11:40 PM

    I'm a big NAM guy!! Bring it, NAMit!

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  7. Its interesting. Both models (Euro and GFS) have been consistent. An interesting tool to add to the favorites list for the weather nerds is the WPC Model Diagnostic Discussion. They look in depth at each model runs for potential issues and select the model (or model blend) to use for the national precipitation forecast. The local NWS offices often use this as guidance. They're still discounting the GFS and favoring the heavier snow totals.

    http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/discussions/hpcdiscussions.php?disc=pmdhmd

    Lastly, while the NAM and Euro totals are eye popping, its worth noting that those are for 10 to 1 snow ratios. That is likely going to be low for this storm with the metro seeing 12-15 to 1 ratios. I still think there is a good chance that warning level snows happen in most of the Twin Cities.

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    1. Good info! I saw that Paul Huttner (MPR) called the NAM an outlier ... not sure if that's true?

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    2. I think its precip is an outlier but maybe not the track. The NAM has a habit of overdoing precipitation.

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  8. NWS is officially now at 6 - 10 for the metro. Winter storm warning issued at 4 AM and their updated forecast is identical to what Novak said last night on the video. They added a second round Tuesday. Their point forecast for Chanhassen is 6 - 13 giving them a huge spread.

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  9. Let's use the Paul Douglas' rule (caveat is that I don't see the euro,so if someone have predicted inches from euro can update the rule):
    Latest GFS (6z) has 3.6
    Latest NAM (6z) has 11.6
    You average it out and get 7.6.
    You discount by a further 50% BPI (Bust potential index) and you get 3.8.
    So I'd say around 4 inches at MSP.
    Will update once we have the 12z models.

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  10. Folks, I'm hoping for a big storm, but I'm wondering what you think may be the fly in the ointment here...just the usual that can go wrong? (storm track, dry slot, etc.)...or is there something else that might cause this storm to not live up to expectations?

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    1. That the general trend is for model and forecaster to overstimate snowfall potential.
      So totals will end up being lower than forecast, but because of the storm, but because of our less than perfect understanding of the atmosphere.
      Remember: Mother Nature always gets it right.
      It is forecasters that (almost) always get it wrong.

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  11. 12Z NAM is in at 8.5" for MSP. That's much more in line with other models.

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  12. Totals coming down for metro core, run of a mill storm, nothing epic/extreme/major!

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    1. MSP getting 8 inches is a once in two year event.

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  13. Sref plumes have 70% of 6 inches of snow.
    The E(x) or expected values would therefore be 4.2 inches.
    I think that's a reasonable forecast total.

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    1. Actually if you go this page: http://www.weather.gov/mpx/winter and scroll down, it does provide for probabilities across the whole spectrum. Does that give you more to work with?

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  14. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 28, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    C'mon, storm! Bring it!

    To the anonymous at 9:37 above: Your remember line about "mother nature always getting it right and forecasters (almost) always getting it wrong" is just plain old silly! Of course mother nature (I prefer God) always gets it right. Because whatever happens is right. You are being #captainobvious This is what makes forecasting fun and grabs our attention, makes this blog interesting, and causes us to write, respond, criticize, celebrate, etc. If we knew what was going to happen, that might be the most boring life that anyone could ever ask for. And, if we compare ourselves to mother nature (God), we are all wrong when we are comparing what happens to what did happens. Take football. All fantasy football people would know what is going to happen. Think about it.

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    1. being the Anonymous at 9.37 I think I should respond:
      I was simply answering the question posed by @Joel Fischer about what could go wrong. And I simply stated that what usually goes wrong is that there is a tendency to overforecast snowfall amounts.
      My point about Mother Nature being always right was to emphasize the point that sometimes you don't have to find scapegoats like the track was too far south, or north, or there was too much dry air, or whatever. Sometimes the storm performs as forecast, but the amounts are lower just because our models are not accurate enough.
      I concur with your point about why blogs like these exist, the fun about forecasting vs already knowing what is going to happen and so on, but is not the point I was making.
      I hope this clarifies it for you, because I think we are actually more on the same page than not.

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  15. Honestly, I have a really bad feeling about the bust potential for this storm for the metro core. The point forecast low end has already come down to 4 inches, which to me would be a bust, based on expectations, and it seems to me we typically end up closer to the low end than the high end.

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  16. NWS is saying that the snow won't arrive in the core metro until 7 p.m. I think they should take a look at the current radar. The snow appears to be moving a lot faster than that. Perhaps the NWS is thinking that the snow won't initially make it to the ground because it will evaporate in the cold dry air?

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  17. People, this storm busted yesterday at 8:27pm(last thread) when I said the dry cold air from the north will filter down and suppress the snow/track further south and limit the snowfall. Huge bust on many forecasts, thus the reason the NWS has slowed the snow coming into the metro and has cut the snowfall projections down

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    1. Ah sweet the Anonymous trolls who cry bust 18 hours before the first flakes fall have arrived.

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  18. I'm not worried in the SE metro.

    Still looking like 8-10"+ here.

    I get that everybody's weary of a bust because it feels like that's all we've gotten, year-round including severe, for the last couple years now, but I'm betting that this storm delivers, at least for half of the metro.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the latest SE wiggle, especially given early radar returns since that we've entered now-cast mode.

    Just another armchair met here, but I'm thinking 8-10"+ for S/SE metro (Rosemount, Apple Valley), 4-6" for N/NW metro (Maple Grove, Anoka), and 8" for MSP.

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    1. Moreover on why I'm not overly worried by the small SE movement, the 12Z GFS shifted a little bit NW. Not a whole lot, but enough to make maybe a couple inches of difference for some on the NW side of the metro.

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  19. Hey Neil, I'm not a damn troll! I believe what I say, just like you believe what you have written. I would appreciate a blog with less disrespect Neil.

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    1. Once again; no one knows which comments are yours if you keep posting Anonymously. Relax. Pick a name and post using the same one to help us understand who you are. Select reply as Name/URL and leave URL blank. Or sign all your posts if you want. Otherwise you just sound like a troll posting negative comments.

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    2. Agree, Jason. Many "Anonymous" comments seem negative, cocky and not particularly educated. I'll need to keep a close watch on attitude that doesn't feel right.

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  20. Didn't mean to offend, just trying to say that there's a big difference between posting personal predictions and flat out claiming bust the night before the event.

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    1. I don't see a difference, I felt it would bust last night and that was my prediction and I feel more confident now with the radar returns almost coming to a crawl and slowing the north movement. Bill I'm I allowed to say bust or is that negative. A bust is a prediction, because I am educated and I saw the cold air filtering down yesterday when nobody else did, just saying.

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    2. Maybe if you signed your posts, even a pseudonym, you wouldn't appear like a bust troll, who doesn't add to the conversation. If you signed your posts we could seperate you from the bust trolls.

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    3. Fair enough, it's just semantics I suppose.

      I am curious though on what your personal call would be for MSP Airport.

      We should start doing armchair met snowfall prediction contests.

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  21. You are missing the point. You can call anything you want a bust. I don't think anyone cares about that. Well, maybe since a flake hasn't or forecasted to fly yet and you're calling it a bust. The point is, trying to decipher every anonymous post, one after another is difficult. If you simply take Neil's suggestion and add a name to your post at least we all can tell you apart from the rest. its simple.

    I'm Ed from Woodbury - Its just as Anonymous as Anonymous. Do you all know me? No, So put a name to your post people.

    On to the storm - Here's to a nice dumping.

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  22. Good idea, Neil, and returns the focus to the weather. Anyone want to toss out guesses for the ultimate snow total for MSP after the storm? I'll start out and toss out 4.7".

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  23. Whats a bust in this case? I suspect a few people here would call 8" at MSP a bust because the models hinted at 10 to 12.

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  24. Lindsay from MinneapolisDecember 28, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    I'm an avid follower of this blog as it is usually fun to read what people think about the various forecasts & models. Thanks for keeping this going Bill even though you live far away now!
    That said I'm throwing my uneducated guess in of 5.2" at MSP. Although this storm may not be a whopper like some has hoped it's been interesting to track for me and I'm sure will cause serious problems for commutes (including mine) - stay safe on the roads everyone.

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  25. I'm in for 7½ inches at MSP. I am an uneducated weather watcher who has learned a bunch since following winter weather closely the last five years. I like to read a lot of different predictions and especially the why behind the forecast. That's why I enjoy the videos with Novak and this blog. I spent a good deal of my life in lake effect snow bands so I miss heavy snow and look forward to a couple good snowfalls each winter.

    CWY2190 is right that there is no definition for bust as its different from storm to storm and person to person. I think this storm will be a bust for me if snow is under 4 inches. I knew the track was likely to shift but I was excited when all of the metro was in the deep stuff; now we are looking at the gradient across the metro.

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  26. As a statistician and not a meteorologist I need to go with probability theory as stated earlier: 70% chance of 6 inches means an expected value of 4.2 inches.
    I'll go with that.

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    1. Rigil, I'm trying to understand the statistical thinking. Wouldn't 4.2 inches be the statistical probability only if the other 30% chance was for zero snow? This is where I wish the NWS would do things like, "10% chance 0-2"; 15% 2-4"; 30% 4-6"; 30% 6-8"; 15% 8"+. The Capital Weather Gang (Washington Post weather column) does that I think it's such a better way to depict overall possibilities.

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    2. Bill, they do typically have a nationwide probabalistic map like that. It's not easy to find on the site, but it's there...somewhere.

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    3. Yes Bill such data would be much more useful.Since I cannot see the raw output from the sref plumes, I assumed 70% is the cumulative probability (it makes sense for me to believe they run some sort of joint probability), but I may be wrong. If it is just a point forecast they you would be correct.

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  27. for me, Bill's prediction of 4.7" would be a huge bust given the vid last night. Looking at current radar I feel good throwing out 10.4"

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    1. I would consider 4.7 somewhat of a bust rather than a huge bust. Huge bust would be 2".

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    2. Winner gets an all-expenses paid trip to the bathroom across the hall.

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  28. As a fan of the blog since it's early days, thank you to Bill for continuing the blog and all the regulars for all you contribute.

    I'll guess 6.6 at MSP, but hoping for a little more down here in Red Wing. As of 2:55PM, the snow hasn't started yet here but the radar indicates that should change within the very near future.

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    1. Thanks, Marc. I sometimes wonder if this worth doing...

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    2. it's very much worth doing. Maybe you can tag team with someone local to assist. I assume it's quite an undertaking to keep this going. Please keep this up and running. I think you can see, there are many good people that enjoy this Blog

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  29. Filtered cold anonymousDecember 28, 2015 at 3:08 PM

    You guys not seeing the trends and how the northern edge of precip is getting eaten away, dry air filtering down, yet Jason says I'm not adding anything educational and I'm the only one to see it. Yet the NWS keeps pushing the start times back and everyone keeps reducing their totals. MSP=1.8! Huge bust considering the numbers on the top of this thread.

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    1. Start times for the metro have been stated as anything from "after 3:00pm" to as late ast 6:00 pm (Kare 11 last night). I don't seen any change in that forecast based on the NWS's current information.

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    2. I never said that.

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  30. I will put forth 5.0 at the MSP airport. Less to the nw and more to the SE. Thanks to Jason for the hint on how to post with out the anonymous.

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  31. @Filtered Cold, I have been watching that too. For the past hour and a half the echo returns have been pretty much sitting at the southern border of Dakota County. I hope the atmosphere saturates and we do get the snow that is being predicted. Having said that, my optimistic prediction for the MSP airport is 5.2 inches.

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    1. filtered cold anonymousDecember 28, 2015 at 3:57 PM

      Thanks for noticing Steve, but what do I know I'm just a dumb uneducated troll.

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  32. Bill, NWS Twin Cities is doing exactly that this year with the percentages.

    http://www.weather.gov/mpx/winter

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    1. Thanks, but that's still not exactly what I had in mind, mainly because they don't assign probabilities to the three outcomes, besides saying the one is the most likely.

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    2. This is what I have in mind: http://www.minnesotaforecaster.com/2012/02/friendly-challenge-to-local-forecasters.html

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    3. Scroll down they list probability by city by snow total group.

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  33. NWS latest forecast zoomed into the metro:

    https://twitter.com/NWSTwinCities/status/681596253705224197

    I haven't followed every NWS graphic, but it doesn't look like they've changed their forecast totals since yesterday.

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    1. That's why I'm confused with the comments that totals are getting cut back. It's been 6 to 8 at msp for over a day now.

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    2. Nevermind missed the graphic at 5AM, they have backed off a couple inches over Hennipen/Ramsey counties, Dakota and south basically the same just no more mention a possible foot.

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  34. filtered cold anonymousDecember 28, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    The only excitement left to this storm is when is our supposedly in-house weather experts like Randy in Champlain/Novak/Randy Hill going to come on and say the colder drier NE wind is cutting our snowfall down.
    This winter is either too warm or too cold for snow, how special!

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  35. I'm going with 6.1" at MSP by Tuesday PM, very close call on the cutoff though, 40 miles may mean a lot and I don't disagree with the observations about dry air possibly filtering in. Bill owes me some fresh San Francisco clam chowder if I win :)

    On the bust commentary/anonymous stuff. I agree the anonymous folks are hard to follow, I can never remember who is who regardless of the validity of the points.

    I also don't get into the bust idea that much since the fun with this forum is discussing the models and various predictions. It's been a learning experience for me and since I do predictive modeling work by day, I understand how difficult it is to nail these storms in advance. So I'd rather hear what someone else predicts and why instead of just telling me that the forecast will be a bust. Some folks have done a nice job explaining why the NWS or Novak are wrong.

    It better snow or Randy may go off the ledge...

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  36. KSTP (albeit Dave Dahl) is taking a few inches off the snowfall totals... https://www.facebook.com/KSTPTV/photos/a.384759236951.163883.313623491951/10153835222601952/?type=3&theater

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  37. Randy Hill is talking about the strong, cold high pressure pushing the storm south and east. However, he's still calling for a lot of snow in the southern and eastern metro. Hmmmmm...

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  38. It's currently 21F at MSP and 18F in Fargo. There is and never was going to be an arctic cold front passing thru that inhibits snowfall at MSP. Around 5pm in the metro has been said since last night. Give it a rest with the cold air suppression junk.

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    1. Watch Novak's video from an hour ago. The cold air suppression issue is not junk.

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  39. Dave Dahl is now calling for 1-2 inches in most of Hennepin County.

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  40. Snow storms don't bust because of cold air. They bust when the storm doesn't follow the foretasted track. This causes the deformation zone to shift, it causes the locations of the best lift from low level warm air advection and mid level vorticity advection to shift.

    The change of the track causes the colder air to move in, not the cold air causes the change of the track.

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    1. Perhaps this is a matter of semantics, but strong, cold high pressure systems push storm tracks away. It happens all the time when the high pressure is stronger than the storm.

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  41. Dave Dahl lowers amounts? What? What universe are we in? Now, I bet the storm gears up and we get a ton of snow :) Oh Dave, we love you.

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    1. What also made this great was the fact that he just swooped out of nowhere and threw down a super conservative forecast. No one heard from him for days and days. Then all of a sudden. BAM! 3 inches.

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    2. I know, right?! Truly, a classic. It might be the shining moment of this whole storm episode.

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  42. Read the NWS forecast discussion from this afternoon. They are really doing some back pedaling. They are discussing how to justify posting a warning for especially north and west of the metro. They also strongly imply that if the first wave of snow doesn't pan out with much (which so far it hasn't even arrived even in the southern metro) that the warnings will need to be re-evaluated.

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  43. I'm in northern Carver County and based on the future radar at weather.com, even here we may barely see the snow line tonight. I can't imagine Wright County or the NW 1/2 of Hennepin getting anything if that remains the case.

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  44. Check out the Milwaukee radar. Pretty crazy over there.

    Looks like there is a wall around Lakeville here. Keeps staying south of there. Time to read the NWS discussion.

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  45. A strange white substance is starting to fall in Apple Valley.

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  46. Light fluffy flakes starting to fall in Roseville (7:23 PM)

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  47. Kare 11's forecast after the game last night is turning out to be dead on. 3-25 inches of snow.

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  48. @ filtered cold anon. There is a dry slot from about 825mb up to 700mb per the observed sounding launched at 6pm, other wise the column looks to be fairly well saturated up to about 300mb and composite returns on the radar seem to be backing that up. I suspect the column will quickly saturate over most of the metro around 8pm or so.

    http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/15122900_OBS/MPX.gif


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  49. If its not too late to put my two cents in....5.5 for MSP

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  50. No snow yet in Maple Grove :(. Hoping things turn more positive towards snow overnight in this part of the metro and get at least a few inches.

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  51. Nothing in Coon Rapids yet. It's looking like we won't see much in the north metro ... but I don't know, I'm definitely NOT a weather expert. I just like to follow this blog for the interesting conversation and differing opinions. I get more information from the conversation here than I do from the news outlets.

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  52. filtered cold anonymousDecember 28, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    @Randyinchamplain still waiting on that saturation here in Elk River and it looks like folks in Maple Grove and Coon Rapids are waiting on it as well. Bill am I allowed to use the "b" word more freely yet?

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  53. It just started snowing lightly here in Coon Rapids.

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  54. NWS dropped the warning for Anoka and northwest, now an advisory. Warning remains for Hennepin and southeast. Very sharp cutoff as Novak talked about. Radar doesn't show much, but it is hanging around south metro.

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  55. Yay, finally some snow in Maple Grove!

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  56. The sharp cutoff will be right over the metro, so anybody on the bad side of it is gonna see this as a bust.

    Looking solid in my neck of the woods, though. 4" already (1.5" in the past hour) and it doesn't look like it'll slow for a couple hours, so 6-8" seems solid. If we that that 1-2" tomorrow we'll be right on point in the SE metro.

    NW metro... not so much.

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  57. Bill hasn't post it here, but he did a video with Novak about an hour ago. Confirms what is being discussed here including the dreaded dry air!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KLmmtuZcY

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    1. Thanks, Dave! Can't believe I forgot to post it.

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  58. Approaching 5" in south metro now in Burnsville/Rosemount area! Forecast looks pretty good out my window.

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  59. A little late to post this, but here's a video we did Monday evening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KLmmtuZcY

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  60. Just under 3 inches on my driveway this morning, looks like it is still snowing a bit.

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  61. Around 4.5 in South Mpls. North of the falls a bit. Much less than I was expecting. Especially after that 00Z NAM data (11/28) was being thrown around by so many less than 18 hours before the first flake flied. I don't know. Objectively, there didn't seem to be too many winners with this storm were there? If we take MSP as a point of reference for comparison? I feel like more than ever people weren't making predictions, just fluctuating with models every 6 hours. Then those who did take a stab at it 18-24+ hrs out went way too high. The NWS was particularly dizzying to follow. I swear they had a new graphic every hour yesterday, and the night/day before the storm.

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  62. filtered cold anonymousDecember 29, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    @Neil and Jason and others so now that things are dying down, I ask you did the filtered cold air that I saw being an issue from Sunday night play havoc with this storm and in the end the storm did not come close to expectations put forth on Sunday night when my original comment was made for MSP and the entire metro. Let's review some happenings that our in house mets missed or were incorrect on or waffled due to aggressive model watching:
    *Novak used the term blizzard initially to describe this incoming storm, NWS never did, a blizzard watch was never posted, and the criteria for blizzard conditions never occurred in our CWA.
    *Novak when asked by Bill in one of the videos will this storm have gradient issues around the metro like so many in the past, answer was no, and now we all now there was sharp gradient issues.
    *start times for snowfall, initially put forth by NWS and then followed by many was late afternoon(average was 3-5p), many claimed the rush hour would be problematic, Paul Douglas even said that employers should let employees leave early, first official flakes were not reported in the metro loop until 6:30-7pm when traffic rush is dying down, delay in snow was caused by ?(next point)
    *FILTERED COLD AIR draining down from the north from a very strong high pressure causing a stiff northeast wind eating away at the northern edge of the snow and slowing its northward movement, I said that Sunday evening, nobody else did, I mentioned again yesterday with evidence of radar returns coming to a crawl and I was ridiculed as an uneducated troll, this was and did become a factor in snowfall totals throughout the metro, not just MSP.
    *snowfall projections let's be honest here did not come to fruition in many areas within 50 miles east/north/west from MSP and as well had many high forecasts inside 24 hours of snowfall, let's not all forget Randy Hill's insistence of 8-12" for metro(to include MSP) all day yesterday and his blog entry on how confident he was or Paul Douglas model watching raising his numbers every few hours or the dreaded 00z run of the NAM that got everyone excited even causing Novak to raise his totals to only drop them again on Monday.
    In ending, maybe most forecasters got the final forecast right, but that is now casting when you waffle in the last hours or change graphics mid storm, the filtered cold air played havoc on this storm, admit it!
    Just like I will admit I was off abit as well, I thought the dry air would hold tight around the airport, thus my prediction of 1.8 there, I see now they are reporting 4.7, but the dry air held tight just north of there in my area, Elk River was under an 1"....so what was that like 35 miles I was off!

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    1. In all honesty, Novaks Modus operandi, and this is not being disrespectful, only an observation, Novak defenders, is to originally describe every Low pressure system on the globe as the most powerful storm to ever exist. Then start back tracking from there.

      Maybe this sell tickets to the show, I have no idea. But he's consistent. Every storm is the next big one. Just go back and watch those Bill and Novak videos.

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    2. Yes, the cold air mattered, I was never one to even mention that in anything. The only thing I commented on was your "know-it-all" demeanor in your posts and then asked for a personal MSP prediction. I never debated why you predicted what you did, only how you predicted it. You just sound like you're still butthurt because people called you out because you sound arrogant.

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  63. A solid 7 inches of snow here in Rosemount/Apple Valley. It's still snowing steadily but lightly. Snowfall forecasts for this area were always generally 6-10 inches from the start. Us snow fans down here are fortunate that the forecast did not bust or under perform like it did for many other areas of the metro. Let's look forward to the next storm!!

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  64. 3" in Golden Valley(thats not north metro, more like central metro,7 miles from downtown) I'm not going to describe this as a bust since any snow is good snow, but definitely an underachieving snowfall and many forecasts for lack of a better word....underperformed!
    On the plus side temperatures look to stay below 32° for the foreseeable future so whatever snow you do have you can enjoy it.

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  65. Forecasts from the top of this post. The winners for this one?

    NWS: 6 (minimum expected: 3"; maximum expected: 9")
    MPR: 4-8" (25% chance of 2-6")
    Weather.com: 2-6"

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  66. I have to agree with filtered cold there, and I am sure you'd appreciate some feedback Bill, but there is a tendency from Novak and other experts to ridicule or bash anybody who dares to criticize what appear to be wrong forecasts. It has happened in the past and I am sure it will happen again today, when, as it is starting to look obvious that the storm underachieved as far the inner core metro is concerned, some people will start argue that it was a bust.
    4.7 at the airport, possibly reaching 5 inches or so by the end of today. Not even warning criteria.

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  67. 7.7" in Lakeville now....still snowing.

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  68. Bust for the N/NW metro, underperformance for the core metro/MSP Airport, pretty much right on target for me personally in the S/SW metro.

    That'll happen in these tight gradient storms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Should say S/SE metro.

      Delete
    2. filtered cold anonymousDecember 29, 2015 at 1:08 PM

      Your missing the point again, this storm was forecasted with no sharp gradients through the metro area.

      Delete
  69. Winners:

    I forecasted 5.1 for the airport and 2.7 for Uptown.

    Just saying.

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  70. The storm was actually 4casted pretty well. The only problem was that it tracked approximately 30 to 50 miles further southeast than anticipated. In the grand scheme of things, to only miss by 30 to 50 miles is a pretty damn good 4cast 2 to 3 days out.

    Again, the problem is that this ever so slight shift in the storm track caused the snow gradient to set-up right over the MSP metro with a population of 3+ Million. If this storm were to have tracked a touch NW than previously anticipated, it would be a different story & we would all be geniuses.

    Remember, the southeastern 1/2 of the metro received a solid 3"-6"+ of snow. Meanwhile, 30 miles further south in Faribault, Owatonna, Red Wing, they are measuring 6"-10"+ of snow.

    With all that being said, I'm happy with how this Winter Storm was 4casted. To be off only 30 miles 2 to 3 days out is impressive. Quite frankly, I don't understand how some people can't see this the same way. Do they not understand the immense size of our atmosphere & the few data points that we have?

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    1. The main problem, I think, was the assurance and multiple mentions of not needing to worry about a gradient near the metro area.

      Gradients suck. LOL

      Delete
    2. For a while the gradient was looking to set up shop north and west of the metro, cutting through Aitkin/Crow Wing/Todd/Douglas counties, the final SE wobble/shift brought it over the metro.

      Some people bought the SE shift more than others, resulting in a bust for the NW metro.

      Delete
  71. Final NWS forecast graphic:

    https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/v/t1.0-9/1919454_1090299887670139_5163715029779452582_n.jpg?oh=3f983979da9dd510764e6e20dde443be&oe=56FCD198

    Storm totals:

    https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/v/t1.0-9/535128_1090804597619668_2456019814118301403_n.png?oh=2e4deac1d3fd7dc7cbec281910349b9b&oe=570576A4

    They actually were pretty accurate and were off by about 30 miles, which in my opinion is pretty damn solid. It's just that those 30 miles were across a metropolitan area of millions of people. If that 30 mile spread is in the boonies, nobody bats an eye.

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  72. Hold on people.
    I think in the midst of the storm 'post-mortem' everybody has been missing the most important development:
    Dave Dahl UNDEPREDICTED the snow at MSP!!!!
    He had 3-5, and the latest total per NWS at noon is 5.5!!!
    I repeat Dave Dahl UNDEPREDICTED snowfall!!!

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  73. filtered cold anonymousDecember 29, 2015 at 1:23 PM

    Bill, abit disappointed that you continue to allow personal shots. From uneducated to a troll to butthurt and arrogant and all along I have provided weather related facts and inputs without any personal shots. And to think this is suppose to be strictly a weather blog!
    Neil I keep hearing you say the forecast was spot on and solid without acknowledging all the missteps I outlined above. When forecasts and graphics change 4-6 hours before the snow flies that's now casting, go look at the graphics that the NWS and Novak put out Sunday night and Monday morning many errors.

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    Replies
    1. Once again, I never said these things about you. Neil and I started conversing with you when you were posting anonymously and yet you wanted us to follow along with your posts. I just pointed out that its easy to post under any name and then we could follow your input. The only time I used the term uneducated was in reference to myself. Bill was commenting on those posting anonymously in general. I am glad you have chosen to join the discussion in a way we can follow your thoughts.

      Delete
    2. Wow you are quite sensitive.

      Nobody said you were uneducated. Bill only said Anonymous (which you were posting as at the time) posts often are or come across as uneducated. I used the word troll because, for the same reasons, most Anonymous posts are troll posts or at the very least provide little to the discussion.

      You got all up in arms and took it personally when we were just saying "hey, Anonymous posts are typically dumb troll posts use a name if you want to be taken serious" and you since have, so there's that.

      I added the element of you sounding butthurt because you are still clearly in a combative stance. You keep bringing it up in random other posts like a kid trying to tattle: "Thanks for noticing Steve, but what do I know I'm just a dumb uneducated troll."

      As far as arrogance goes, I tried to explain this before but it didn't work. Stating the day before "I predict this storm will bust" is very different from saying "This storm is a bust." One statement is an opinion, the other reads as a fact - which is why I said you sounded like a know-it-all. I dropped it earlier because I didn't want to argue semantics and just focus on the storm, but here we are. :/

      Anyway, yes, graphics and forecasts change up to the last minute, even in now-casting mode. What should be the arbitrary cutoff? 24 hours ahead of the event? 12 hours? 6 ? First flakes? Either way I'd rather the NWS and other outlets issue final forecasts even if it is once the even has entered now-cast mode. Might as well use the most up-to-date data, right?

      Regardless, NWS said 3-9" with an average of 6" 24 hours prior, and MSP was just short of 5". So about 1" off from a forecast given 24 hours away? Yes, that's solid. They were dead on their forecast for my backyard. The only area they swung and missed on was the NW metro, like I said due to the late SE shift in the storm track.

      You can pound your chest about the cold dry air and how the NWS pushed start times back (lol, so?) all you want, but you were 2.9" off at MSP while the NWS was only 1.3" off and nobody whose predictions are at the top of this post were off more than 2".

      Delete
    3. Sorry - except for Novak (3.3).

      (I don't count Accuweather)

      Delete
    4. Whoops again, wish I could edit, but MSP is at 5.5" now. I was going off 4.7", so Novak was only off 2.5".

      Delete
  74. The most interesting thing to me about this system was that the GFS had the correct track all along, but the ECMWF was still closer with snow totals across southern MN. My forecast was wrong and too high for MSP. But from Lakeville southward the 8-12" totals did verify, with a couple of higher amounts. The actual surface low moved ~90 miles farther east than what the ECWMF predicted, which is why the heaviest snows fell ~90 miles south and east of the metro. Looking back, I don't think I would have forecasted much differently.

    Depending on MSP's final measurement today, we'll be very close to the seasonal record low of 14.2" of snow even after an extremely warm Nov/Dec. Whether it was 'filtered cold' (sounds like them) or another anonymous who was adamant (as recently as a week or two ago) MSP would threaten record low snow this winter, I wonder if they will be as quick to own up to their own busted forecast with a more typical Jan/Feb on the way.

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    Replies
    1. Why don't you give us your total number for the season instead of being so arrogant and disrespectful of anyone you disagree with?
      Also those who actually make forecast can get them wrong.

      Delete
  75. After shoveling rinks and paths on the pond with the neighbors, I don't feel bad about my 2-3" in the NE metro. I wish we would have got the higher totals, but we had a white Christmas in the NE so I'll take that trade this time.

    I am happy with the forecasting that was done for this storm. Novak and others pointed out gradients would occur to the N/NW, but it was expected to be outside the metro so it wouldn't affect most of us. Both Novak and NWS had the 5" line across the edge of the NW metro; in reality that line moved to the SE metro and the snowfall to the north dropped off sharper than expected. If MSP airport gets to 6" and several forecast 8"; that ain't too bad.

    Today though NWS has 2-4" across the whole metro and I havn't seen a single flake. They probably should have moved that snow to the SE like yesterday.

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  76. On Monday afternoon, Bill asked for our armchair predictions for total snowfall at MSP airport. Here are the predictions as I found them above at the post time.

    Neil at 11:56 - 8"
    Bill at 1:47 - 4.7"
    Lindsay at 2:11 - 5.2"
    Jason at 2:48 - 7.5"
    Rigil at 2:52 - 4.2"
    MNmoxie at 2:53 - 10.4"
    Marc at 2:55 - 6.6"
    Filtered cold at 3:08 - 1.8"
    Joel at 3:13 - 5.1"
    Greg at 3:23 - 5.0"
    Steve at 3:25 - 5.2"
    Dave at 4:20 - 6.1"
    Bigdaddy at 7:49 - 5.5"

    Our 13 predictions ranged from 1.8" to 10.4" at MSP airport. Average prediction was 5.8" and mean was 5.2".

    I haven't seen a final number for MSP yet; at 5:59 there was a report of 4.7" but I saw reports that it snowed this morning there. Maybe Greg at 5.0" will end up being the closest. Filtered Cold was super low and MNmoxie was super high.

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    1. Neil reports MSP airport is at 5.5" which means bigdaddy swoops in at the end to match it. Lindsay and Steve were next closest at 5.2". I was high by 2". Maybe next time it should be closest without going over!?

      Delete
    2. Ooo Bigdaddy with the late entry winner.

      Somebody read the bylaws and find out of his entry is legit.

      Delete
    3. :) come on Neil .....I don't think there was even an 1" on the ground when I posted, plus it snowed till this morning.
      Wow! though I hit it spot on...I'll take a word from Neil....SOLID!!
      Bill, I am waiting for that all expense paided plane ticket to California so I can visit the bathroom across your hall...haha!

      Delete
    4. Any idea what the location nearest to 26th and Pleasant reported? I have no idea how to find this info. My forecast was for 2.7".

      Delete
  77. filtered cold anonymousDecember 29, 2015 at 4:21 PM

    @Randy Hill, I applaud you for coming on here and just saying you were wrong, don't hear that too often, definitely havent heard it from Novak(even though his graphics as late as Monday had St. Cloud and Hinckley receiving 5-8" and then 3-5", which never happened).
    As far as your comment about least snow, it wasn't me but I definitely believe we will fall far short of average. And your outlook for Jan/Feb, don't know what you call typical but January will be extremely quiet and boring unless we can get some over performing clippers(which we haven't had any yet), most storms will begin to sail way south of us and begin hammering the east coast.
    So in ending enjoy whatever snow you do have in your yard/town because a quiet/boring January is shaping up, case in point look at the first ten days of the new year not much there!
    @Neil/Jason I'm done, the proof lays in the comments above

    ReplyDelete
  78. 5.5 at MSP now. I missed by .6". Dumb luck, but I was going with the GFS and the storm tracking a little further south.

    Filtered cold anonymous - love the name.

    Hope everyone can chill and focus on the weather. Fun board and I enjoyed following this for the last three days. Novak did a nice job on his video last night. I agree that missing by 30 - 50 miles is pretty impressive over the 3 days.

    Bill thanks for keeping this going. I came so close to the free chowder.

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  79. The big busts were the northern counties. St. Cloud barely got anything. Everyone bombed that big time.

    ReplyDelete
  80. 1st of all my comments on the direction this thread was headed the last few days. In respect to filtered cold anonymous, I loved the way you so passionately believed that cold air, (however I would describe it better as drier air) would keep the system at bay. I think most of the posters were having a problem following you when you were posting as just anonymous. It may help to post a link to what you are seeing, you don't have to draw on it, but a written description should suffice. Also a good forecaster apologies when he is wrong and remains silent when he/she is right, unless someone compliments them, at which time a proper response would be something like.... I followed so and so model as I thought it depicted the dry air intrusion at whatever level correctly.

    Secondly, it was encouraging to see so many people expressing their thoughts on the storm while signing some sort of name. The passion for winter storms was well evident. I would hope all poster here would help direct traffic to this site, not only for winter but also for the severe season.

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  81. As far as model predictions for this storm. First of all I hate the NAM model, it has been woefully inaccurate on cold season storms since 2008 when I started to look at the models. The ECMWF used to be pretty darn good at this latitude, until it received a upgrade a couple of years ago. Since then I think its cold weather forecast has become questionable ( I have no evidence of this.) I now hate it when the Nam and the Euro agree with a cold season storm and all other guidance is different with 12-48/ hours. The question is can you trust the Nam that far out? if your answer is no, than out of necessity you shouldn't quote the Euro either.

    I also had a question regarding cold and drier air being injected into the storm, but that was just looking at the mass fields. Working 9 out of the last 10 days did not allow me to take a closer look, thus I was quiet about any forecast.

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  82. Thanks for these great details Randy. This is why I'm here.

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  83. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 29, 2015 at 11:08 PM

    So, I will take a stab at this and give my post-storm analysis.

    I think it is interesting how the word "bust" is used so differently by people. I just looked up the word on dictionary.com and it means, in this use, "a complete failure." That is the only definition that would come close to matching its use in this context. One could use this in several ways pertaining to a storm system. If one said that this "storm was a bust" that that would not be accurate in this case as the storm did happen and happened as expected in terms of its intensity and massive impacts on a large scale basis across the Midwest (and elsewhere). If one were to say that the "forecast was a bust" that would be a little better use of the word and would actually be something that could and should be discussed. I think this is more than semantics. The storm was not a bust. It was as intense as most models predicted. The forecasters ranged in their predictions as did the models. I would argue that the models were a bust, to some extent. They nailed the intensity of the storm but they missed by about 30-50 miles in what was expected on this side of the storm. That is still not a "complete failure" in my opinion.

    Another example: Green Bay was suppose to get an inch as late as the Sunday forecast. (I have a brother who lives there and I monitor his weather as well.) Within 12 hours, that forecast had changed to state 6-10 inches and ultimately switched, once the storm began, to 12-14 inches. (They ended up with around 12 inches.) There are not too many people there calling the forecast or the storm a bust. Why? Because it happened the other way. Not much forecasted, storm shifted, increased totals, kept snowing, increased totals more, and everyone was somewhat surprised versus incredibly disappointed/angry. This is an interesting phenomenon to me--the feeling attached to under predicting versus over predicting.

    Bottom line: This storm was not a bust. Some forecasts struggled with getting the right prediction, especially as the storm was showing signs of shifting. Were some forecasts a "complete failure"? I suppose some, but not the ones that we have come to follow the most: NWS and Novak being the main two we tend to follow on here. When you look back to the lead-in to this blog entry, most of the predictions from the various weather outlets did not meet the definition of a bust. In fact, most were pretty dang close if not spot on.

    My 2.5 cents.

    Now bring it to the next storm......

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    Replies
    1. Excellent comments, PWL. Bill, thanks again for providing this forum for us weather enthusiasts. I am impressed that you kept it going even after moving to the Left Coast, ummm, I mean California.

      I just reviewed the forecasts at the beginning of this blog. Everyone, except weather.com, nailed it for us here in the south/southeast burbs. We picked up 8 inches in Apple Valley/Rosemount. Obviously, the fly in the ointment was that the GFS was correct all along in predicting that the storm would shift east. Several forecasters, including the NWS, kept saying that the GFS was the outlier. Although, to be fair, the NWS did initially hesitate in posting Warnings, at least partially due to the GFS prediction. The shift east clearly substantially affected the northern metro and to a lesser extent the core metro. I agree that the forecasters were accurate regarding the intensity of the storm. However, it was the placement of the heaviest snow that caused some problems. On the other hand, last week the NWS predicted 3-5 inches for us down here, but we only picked up an inch. Mom Nature can be quite fickle at times.

      As for Green Bay, yes, that was a big surprise. My sister-in-law and her family left here Sunday morning to go back home to Sturgeon Bay (Door County). I was telling her about our pending storm. She was a little disappointed that she was going to return to brown ground and that there was little in the way of snow in her forecast. She called yesterday and said that they picked up a foot of snow and that friends of hers in Green Bay got 13.5 inches! For some reason that never seems to happen here in the metro. If anything it always seems to be just the opposite. lol On that note, it would undoubtedly be exciting for us to have predictions of little to no snow and instead receive a big snowfall. However, the other side of me, for planning and safety reasons, almost prefers a substantial over prediction versus a substantial under prediction. Of course, I much prefer an accurate prediction, but we are dealing with nature after all. Oh well, just a quick detour thought. At any rate, at least all of the metro now has at least some snow on the gorund. My little sister in Delaware is a snow junkie like me. The Delaware/Philly area has barely seen a flake this season. All of the rain and extremely warm temperatures are really bumming her. While some of us didn't get much snow from this storm, just keep in mind that things could be much worse!

      It's time to turn all eyes to the horizon in search of the next snowstorm. Unfortunately, it looks very quiet here for the next week. Happy New Year, everyone!

      Delete
  84. Good point PWL.
    You'd never hear of a bust when the prediction is less than actual.
    I believe people tend to believe that forecasters (especially in tv stations)generally 'hype' a storm and so are less flexible when you overforecast and miss.
    It is also to be noticed that according to my (incomplete) tracking there is evidence of a tendency to overforecast snowfall amounts by an average of 15%. I would like to know where that comes from: a bias in the models? forecasting approach (although we know it does not apply to KARE)?

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    1. The WPC probabilistic forecasts have been way too high this year for MN systems. I'm guessing since that is a pure model ensemble forecast (it takes over 100 model runs), it is over doing QPF. Getting 1" of precip in Minnesota in winter is really really hard to do.

      I was in Lake City for this storm. I noticed during the peak of the storm, the crystals were very very tiny. I'm thinking it wasn't just melted crystals from a warm nose as the snow was very dry. Maybe it was some dryer air or lack of lift in the dendritic growth zone. The number of flakes flying was large enough for some big totals, but they weren't big enough to pile up.

      Delete
  85. A several years ago, forecasters were perplexed by how far off they were when forecasting daytime highs during the month of January (by 10 - 20 degrees). This particular year, January had little to no snow. What was happening was the computer models were basing their calculations on 12"+ inch snow depth. Once the "Mets" figured this out and plugged in the zero snow variable, forecasting temps became accurate again.

    I wonder if something like this is occurring and a code needs to be tweaked.

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  86. Just got back from a nice trip to sunny Southern California. It was warmer than I expected!

    I was following a bit on facebook (though not here) the snowstorm that came through. NWS was somewhat breathless with the 8-12 predictions for the core metro. Then they backed off, but just a little.

    I'm in Roseville. I came home to probably five inches in the driveway, and that includes whatever fell over the weekend. (Yes, I understand it gets compacted.) But hell, even the plow didn't make the driveway impassible!

    As a bonafide snow hater who just came from a run on the beach at Santa Monica, I'll take five inches over what we could've gotten!

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  87. Fun to read all the comments albeit some a little mean-spirited/angry regarding the winter event. Most of us thankfully enjoyed it, especially those in the southern metro including myself. :-) It's nice to experience the storms creating all the discussion rather than watching from afar in Atlanta as done in years past. Looking at all the forecasts from the various outlets noted in precious posts I can't say there was a total bust or abhorrent failure in any of them. The Twin Ciites is a lot like metro Atlanta where storm tracks have a real knack for splitting the metro into portions for snow (or precip type, etc) received and thus makes the task of forecasting a good challenge.

    I see a lot of references to the models and this and that to the nth degree yet rarely see some good discussion of the current situ at the surface and aloft as well as satellite (IR, water vapor) and radar (standard and DP products). These topics help a ton in diagnosing whether model x, y, or z are truly initializing and handling the wx correctly. Also, missing even from the newer meteorologists trained heavily on model dependence are the old but still very reliable forecast techniques left to sit on the dusty tool shelf. Cooks Method, Magic Chart, Garcia Method, 850/700/500 low tracks, pressure rise/fall couplets, orientations of such and several other techniques are never mentioned. These use current/observed and/or model prognostic data.

    Granted this season has been a good challenge due to some abnormal weather patterns and intensity of such and subsequent storms, but really hammering out the details of current weather analysis of the aforementioned factors can still help considerably. I admire those who are weather aficionados looking at the charts on the Internet and can make some nice interpretations; however, truth be told the trained meteorologists that know the model nuances and can really analyze current weather and base some experience with that and climatology, too, definitely have a step up as they should due to the additional training. I know a decent amount about gadgets and data but will never be offended if someone with years of training corrects or informs me of the truth about something --I expect him/her to do so. The same can and should be expected in weather forecasting.

    I will try I to re-engage a little more on this forum as I used to when living in Atlanta as winter storms are the reason I got into meteorology nearly 30 years ago when weather maps and models were only available in wx offices on divas dot matrix printers with the Batotropic then LFM then NGM and AVN models in black and white useful. You HAD to know your meteorology that is for sure with such limited information compared to today.

    So, let's have fun and learn from each other. Sign in with a real name or at least a cool handle and contribute. I think we have enough crappy websites out there where people rip each other to shreds. If I have that much anger and frustration I just take it out at the dojo on the heavy bags and my workout partners ... Well, not too bad, anyway. :-)

    By the way, I officially measured 7" here in southeast Rosemount -- it was awesome to see it falling and actually accumulating.

    Thanks Bill for keeping the website going.

    DDwx

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    1. Well said Dan. Thanks.

      Delete
    2. Dan, those were some great suggestions and comments. I look forward to your ideas and posts in the future. As a amateur weather nut I say the more mets on here in the future the better. The low tracks at 850/700/500mb's are huge. Especially when you track the winds upstream. Does the amount of humidity that the models show at each level make sense considering their origin? Once again thank you for stopping back.

      Delete
    3. Great note, Daniel. I, and I'm sure others, look forward to your input. I'm also endeavoring to do a better job keeping out the mean-spirited riff raff.

      Delete
  88. Happy New Year to all the weather(snow)enthusiasts on this board. Hope 2016 treats you well and delivers good health to you and your loved ones and of course delivers
    whatever weather your heart desires....for me of course is a lot more snow!
    Snow fantasy update:
    Golden Valley,MN.....13" (+12" spread)
    Jackson,NJ(central NJ).....0"
    25-0.....my brother is fuming because not even a hint of winter there but I keep telling him 13" for me is a pretty sub par year and one Noreaster for him and he's right back into the game...especially when it looks like the pattern to a stormy/colder east is setting up by mid-January.

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  89. At the end of the day, shouldn't we give DD the benefit of the doubt?
    He was really off by less than a day with his guarantee of a White Christmas...

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  90. DD was very close ... Just 1/2" off! The 0.5" on 12/23/15 at least made the landscape white but not quite enough for an official 1" on the ground per NWS. The 12/23 event was a definite underachiever which many thought would get MSP to official White Christmas status since cold enough temps afterward would keep the melting at a minimum. Maybe next year.
    DDwx (Daniel)

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  91. There has been some conversation regarding next Friday and Saturday in respect to a winter storm. The 01/02 12z models depicted 3 different results. The Euro would dump the heaviest snow over the metro, the GFS over SW MN and the Gem over the state of Missouri, into far southern Iowa.

    Looking at the 01/02 12z teleconections shows some consistency between the models, however I don't have the Euro idea for the AO (Arctic oscillation), but the Gem and and the GFS seem to point to a negative solution which would lead to colder air filtering in. All three models are in agreement in regards to a -EPO (Eastern Pacific Oscillation) prevailing during that time frame. These two teleconnections would strongly hint at the Gem solution being the correct one. As a matter of fact the 01/03 0z run of the GFS has moved the track of the surface low way south, more in line with the Gem.


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  92. filtered cold anonymousJanuary 3, 2016 at 8:58 AM

    Another case of disappointment for snowlovers on the horizon? Last night NWS had all snow chances from Wed thru Sat. now they have introduced rain as well with temperatures climbing above freezing. Rain in January means two things, we don't get more snow and two it takes anyway whatever snow that is on the ground.
    @randyinchamplain I love the mention of 'cold air filtering in'!

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  93. Novak mentioned something earlier today about the mix potential for end of the week. Bill how about a new thread for the end of the week?

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