Monday, December 7, 2015

The Curious Case of Dave Dahl

Avid weather enthusiasts know that Dave Dahl is not afraid to stand out from the crowd, even the crowd at his own station. And there's nothing necessarily wrong with that. But what should be concerning is how often his snow forecasts are notably too high. I've actually heard some in the business say that you can take half of Dave Dahl's snow forecast and that will give you KARE11's snow forecast.

At any rate, Dave is once again standing apart from the crowd. His blog from today (Dec. 7) expresses confident in a pattern change, one that almost assuredly will be good news for those who love snow and who want a white Christmas. As always, we shall see.


127 comments:

  1. It's that last line that kills me: "This should nearly guarantee a white Christmas for most of Minnesota." What??? Guarantee? MOST of Minnesota? When hardly anyone else is predicting this? And when temps looks to stay in the 30's through next week? Come on Dave.

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  2. Dave is sure sticking is neck out. Almost wonder if he consumed a little too much eggnog. He blew the last storm, maybe he is due.

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  3. Paul Huttner saying in his blog this morning that his odds of a white Xmas went north of 80%!
    Maybe Dave is really on to something this time...

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  4. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 8, 2015 at 12:59 PM

    And, the NWS discussion this morning dared to mention this about the upcoming potential weather maker for this weekend:

    ONE OF THE 00Z CIPS ANALOGS
    AT 120 HRS WAS INDICATING THE OCT 31 1991 HALLOWEEN
    BLIZZARD...WHICH HAPPENED TO BE AN EL NINO WINTER AS WELL.

    Hmmmmm....Maybe more than just Dave are onto something. C'mon, baby. Bring that all day and all night!!!!

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  5. There's definitely potential this weekend although most models do keep it to our southeast. It's a panhandle hooker, which do usually bring heavy snow to the Great Lakes region including MN/MSP. My gut tells me it will stay southeast of the metro, but it's definitely something to watch.

    I think the NWS usually does a great job, but comparing this to the Halloween blizzard? Come on, this looks nothing like that.

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  6. The current NWS discussion (1209 PM CST TUE DEC 8 2015) has an interesting comparison to the 1991 Halloween Blizzard.

    THE FOCUS THEN TURNS TO POTENTIAL STORM DEVELOPMENT FOR LATER IN
    THE WEEKEND. BOTH THE GFS AND ECMWF ARE NOW DIGGING THE WESTERN
    CONUS TROUGH ENERGY DEEP INTO THE SOUTHWEST AND EJECTING IT
    RAPIDLY AS ANOTHER SIGNIFICANT TROUGH MOVES ASHORE ON THE WEST
    COAST IN THE PROGRESSIVE PATTERN. THIS TROUGH DEVELOPS
    CYCLOGENESIS OVER THE TEXAS OKLAHOMA REGION SATURDAY AND LIFTS
    NORTHEAST AND DEEPENS THE SURFACE LOW AS IT MOVES OVER SOUTHEAST
    WISCONSIN BY MONDAY MORNING. THIS CONTINUES TO BE A FAVORABLE
    TRACK FOR HEAVY SNOW OVER AT LEAST THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE AREA
    AND WILL HAVE TO BE MONITORED CLOSELY. ONE OF THE 00Z CIPS ANALOGS
    AT 120 HRS WAS INDICATING THE OCT 31 1991 HALLOWEEN
    BLIZZARD...WHICH HAPPENED TO BE AN EL NINO WINTER AS WELL.
    THIS
    IS SEVERAL DAYS OUT...AND DETAILS COULD CHANGE. THE 18Z 12.7 CFS
    CONTROL WAS RENDERING A SPLIT FLOW TAKING THE ENERGY SOUTH AND
    EAST OF THE AREA. WILL CONTINUE THE CHANCE POPS FOR THIS SYSTEM AT
    THE MOMENT.


    This sounds like DD type hype from NWS.

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    1. Ah yes, there it is! It came a little late this year, but better late than never. I always look out for the first Halloween '91 blizzard comparison and it appears this year's prize goes to - surprisingly - the NWS! Congrats guys!

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  7. Looks like I was a few minutes late on my comment; should have refreshed the webpage before posting.

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  8. Jonathan Yuhas tweeted about this storm this morning also. NWS has a graphic up that shows the low over Alaska and they are currently favoring a more southern path which would miss us.

    Mini-rant. I wish the forecasters would stop advertising this stuff until they have better data. I asked random people at work today about the potential storm and all of them said they were tired of the overhyped forecasts. Come Friday when the models start to tighten, fine. But the storm is so far away right now.

    End of rant.

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  9. Dave Dahl lessened the rhetoric today, sighting that the metro will be close to the rain/snow line so amounts are up in the air and next weeks storm is a "shot" at all snow. Sounds like a back pedaling with no certainties or guarantees like yesterday.

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  10. Snow fans, slow your roll. As expected, this morning there is a lot more talk from the "pros" about rain and/or mix for us from the next two systems, as opposed to all snow. Surprise, surprise...NOT! Suffice it to say, there was no more mentioning this morning of any comparisons to the '91 Halloween Blizzard. lol

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  11. Judging by the comments following the NWS simply stating that there was an analog match to 10/31/91 shows how little most of you Anonymous trolls really know (yet you talk like you'd be a better forecaster than everybody) and that you don't even understand something as simple as an analog match.

    They aren't drawing comparisons to say that the storm will be a multi-day event dropping 14-30 inches of snow. All they said was that the CIPS Analog brought in 10/31/91 as a loose match to the upcoming system, it happens all the time and when a huge system is mentioned in the analog list you should probably pay attention, like the NWS mentioned.

    They don't mention totals, don't mention any sort of doomsday type bullshit yet here all your Anonymous hacks are on here going "SEE HURR DURR LOOK AT DA HYPE LOL"

    Use your name or stop posting. It's clear none of you know anything about the weather yet you just post comment after comment ripping people who know far more than you ever will.

    I'll admit Dave Dahl isn't very good and for him to say what he did in his blog the other day was reckless, but ripping the NWS for "hyping" something they never once hyped at all shows how poor your reading comprehension skills are.

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    1. Like the post right above mine:

      > Snow fans, slow your roll. As expected, this morning there is a lot more talk from the "pros"

      I love the use of quotations. Yep, they're not really professionals, they're just hackjobs in suits that do their job wrong every day but never get fired!

      > Surprise, surprise...NOT! Suffice it to say, there was no more mentioning this morning of any comparisons to the '91 Halloween Blizzard. lol

      Yes, because model forecasts, and as a result meteorologist forecasts, CHANGE! What? No way! The models come in differently and thus the forecast changes? Amazing!

      Again, nobody was ever comparing this to 10/31/91 except the Saint Louis University's Cooperative Institute for Precipitation Systems.

      This is why common people who lack the ability to understand NWS AFDs just shouldn't read them. They are technical for a reason.

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  12. Whoever wrote the NWS discussion referring to the 1991 storm simply WANTS a 1991 storm. There is no other explanation for writing such a preposterous and meaningless thing.

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  13. The explanation is that if you're a forecaster, it is worth noting that 10/31/91 shows up in the analog guidance.

    http://www.eas.slu.edu/CIPS/ANALOG/DFHR.php?reg=GP&fhr=F120&rundt=2015120800

    Like I said, AFDs aren't meant to be digested by the general public, they are technical for a reason. So while to the common man it might be meaningless, it isn't for a forecaster.

    Again, it's not like they said it's an exact replica, or that we're going to get over a foot, or anything. Just that one of the biggest snowstorms in our history showed up on the analog guidance. That's all.

    Same goes for when 06/17/10 shows up in analog guidance in the summer. Does it mean we're going to have a record tornado outbreak? No, but it means the setup is worth close monitoring.

    It's people's own fault for reading something that's over their head and misinterpreting it, not the NWS's.

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    1. Yeah Neil all us dumb dumbs just can't read real good! Where's my shotgun ,golly gee!

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    2. Well when everybody focuses on the NWS mentioning CIPS Analog Guidance but then fails to acknowledge the very next sentence in the AFD in any way then yes I question people's reading comprehension skills.

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    3. Wow, I reckon that there somebody hit a right good nerve with ol Neil! As JAW said, Chill, for goodness' sake!

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    4. I'd say I'm sorry for going on a rant but I'm not. I've been a reader on this site for several years now and I've just grown tired of all the Anonymous idiots coming out of the woodwork every time even the smallest storms comes around.

      No you didn't hit a nerve, no I don't have thin skin, I am plenty chill. I just don't care for Anonymous posters that don't contribute to the discussion.

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  14. This place needs to just chill out and remember that weather forecasting is different for TV meteorologists, non-TV meteorologists, and armchair meteorologists.

    TV = needs to report the weather using a different lens than non-TV. They need to get out ahead and make sure they are providing adequate warning to people with enough lead time to enable them to potentially alter plans. This is what 99% of the public relies on for weather information, so they can't be blind-sided the day before when models are "tight".

    Non-TV = They can report the weather without the added weight of public personas and appearances. So their forecasts can be more real, unfiltered, and include all the technical-speak they want.

    Armchair (like me) = I get to gather all inputs from both TV and non-TV and form my OWN opinion on whether or not to get hyped for a storm or not. I view it as a passion and a luxury since I don't have formal meteorology training. But I still love listening to what people say who do!

    Thank you for your continued inputs, and let's all just quit the ranting crap and understand we're all just here because we love the weather.

    Jake

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  15. Replies
    1. Had a death in the family, will be setting this one out. Next Tuesday is still in play

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  16. The CIPS analog tool is a fun tool to use, but that forecaster should have never brought up '91. This storm has always looked like a run of the mill panhandle hooker, varying on how much cold air would be available. These systems happen several times per winter.

    The '91 Halloween blizzard was an extremely rare setup, possibly a once in a lifetime type setup. You definitely don't see an Arctic airmass in place across the western US and across the eastern US, with a developing surface low located over the Gulf of Mexico east of Houston. This low only had one direction to move: north, bringing all of the gulf moisture with it and throwing it over an Arctic airmass.

    As of now Tuesday is our best shot to see accumulation snow in the metro.

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  17. Regardless of the analog issue, for amateurs like me, mentioning the '91 blizzard yesterday, then ONE DAY LATER saying on their Facebook page, "no significant accumulations expected at this time" is silly. Talk about extremes.

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  18. Neil is right about this. There are a lot of "armchair mets" on this space who frequently talk as if being actually employed as a professional certified meteorologist would be an easy job for them. I say try it. Go apply at any local news/weather outlet and see how long you can hold down a job like this. See how the public holds you accountable for any errors that are an accepted part of the forecasting process.

    The truth is the VAST majority of people understand and greatly appreciate what we do as professionals. We help people planning and executing their lives so it's much smoother and more safe. The last storm is a good example, The forecast effects of the storm were there with snow, bad roads, injuries and unfortunately death. But people whine and call "bust" because they got a few inches less than forecast.

    As for being anonymous, there are some who actually have a public profile and do this for a living. It's easier to comment more candidly that way, without sniping. You can get the candor, or nothing. We are all weather and snow lovers here, that's why we devote our lives and careers to forecasting weather and keeping the public informed. Thanks Bill for giving us a good place to talk!

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    1. We're not all snow lovers.

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    2. You make some good points, however Neil's rant went way overboard. He seems to be way too sensitive with very thin skin. I don't know if he is a professional met or not. I am glad that in my experience the professional mets that I know aren't like that. Being criticized comes with the territory, whether it's deserved or not. All mets should know that going into this field. It's no different from what others in the public eye experience, regardless of why they are in the public eye (e.g. politician, sports star, actor, etc.) And before you say anything, yes, I know what I'm talking about...first hand. Like a couple of others said earlier, everybody, just relax. Good grief!

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  19. NWS is now very bearish on snow prospects. The AFD tonight states that for at least eastern MN all of the systems for the next week are going to be too warm for snow.

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  20. I really like the set-up for TUE. Looks like we will finally have some Arctic air to play with & some overrunning should take place. I'm pretty confident that someone in MN/WI will receive a solid 6"+ of snow TUE into WED.

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  21. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 10, 2015 at 11:05 AM

    I thoroughly enjoy Novak and his last post here (7:44) gives a great example of why. Dave Dahl talks about a white Christmas and makes some dramatic statements, but oftentimes he will use words like "guarantee" and "substantial" and "significant" and "school closings" without being specific. Compare this to Novak. He uses maps, on his Facebook/Twitter pages, to give the impact potential for people and defines what those labels mean below the map. He will also, when appropriate, get specific with what he is thinking but still in a general way. Novak is critical of mets who give snow totals more than 48 hours away from the event. He does give specific details here regarding snowfall potential (6+) for Tuesday/Wednesday which is way longer than 48 hours out. BUT, he makes the location very general--"someone in MN/WI." I like how he approaches this. So what are your thoughts? Is this hypocritical given that a specific amount is noted but with a very large, general area? I say absolutely not, but what are some other thoughts?

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    1. Totally agree about DD's use of big, dramatic statements and predictions, but not explaining what they mean. Not helpful. I prefer the mets who start off conservative, then build as time goes on (assuming the forecasts call for it).

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  22. NWS remains very bearish on snow prospects for the metro area through next week. It looks like we will get mostly rain from the systems, and then it will turn dry and colder. Snow fans can't catch a break.

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  23. OK now that we have entered the timeframe of Dahl's blog from above let's look at how incorrect he was. Lows did not even come close to dipping into the upper20's and low 30's(in fact we set low minimum records) and there was no snow mixing with rain today. And I can already tell you his Friday,Saturday and Sunday comments are all well off base.

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  24. What an unreal "winter" so far. The storm expected for this weekend is taking a nearly perfect track for heavy snows over eastern Minnesota and western WI. However, the arctic air is still non existent, so while we are going to be in the cold sector of the storm, it just won't be cold enough for snow. Frustrating to say the least for snow lovers, but enjoyable for those who don't want the snow.

    Agree that the better snow prospects will be middle of next week, with another storm expected to develop and move up in this direction. Of course, those details will work themselves out over the next several days as well.

    In regards to the NWS's discussion that one day, people just took it way out of context. CIPS analog data is pretty much just looking at the overall set up and seeing what systems in the past have had similar set ups. Not surprising that a panhandle hook storm with a big block out east was one of the solutions. People reading into it as it was going to be another Halloween storm really shouldn't have been. It was just one of many many solutions given from those analogs.

    The weekend will be a soaker, so keep those umbrella's handy.

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  25. Can't remember the last upper 40s and fairly heavy rain in mid December. Very weird. Unlike Dave Dahl, Novak has me interested in next Tuesday. NWS seems to agree on the colder weather arriving. Perhaps a video Sunday?

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    1. Video for what? NWS has already said the system is not impressive! Winter is over before it even started, this is both pathetic and embrassment of a winter. Driving around town and seeing Christmas lights up and people walking in shorts and jogging and riding bikes and playing golf, I guess this is what San Diego in December must be or anywhere where there isn't much winter.

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  26. TUE/WED is definitely the best opportunity for significant snow in quite some time. Plus, I feel it is more of a lock than any other storm this season. It is so important to have Arctic air to tap. It makes me breathe easier as we go forward into the weekend.

    I'm so tired of dealing with rain/snow lines & marginal snow temps. We likely will not need to worry about that with this system. My only concern is moisture availability. However, this storm should prove to be quite efficient at ringing out the moisture that is there.

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  27. Our Halloween Blizzard is still on track for Sunday, NWS claims 1-3" of rain will fall with this weekends system that's pretty equalivent to how much snow fell in 1991. If only we were a bit colder. Those analogs weren't that far off were they, just don't have the cold

    Maybe next year when the el nino isn't present.

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  28. I suspect you will start to here rain changing to snow Sunday night into Monday with as much as 4-7" expected but not sure where. The 12/12 0z run of the Nam is close to the Euro 12/11 12z in amounts but differs in location. Lets see what the GFS and Gem show. The GFS is in and its about 8hrs slower bringing in the cold air, cutting down on the back side snow.

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    1. very difficult forecast with this. The Gem is closer to the Nam with cold air, maybe about 2-3hrs slower. All models seem to keep the surface temps rather warm, so first thought is that measurable snow will be shallower than the most aggressive models show with their raw snowfall outputs. However if the snowfall rate is heavier than what is expected the roads could get quite slushy.

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    2. I hope you're right. As of this morning the NWS definitely isn't entertaining that option. Their forecast right now is nothing but rain for Sunday/Monday.

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  29. Two days in a row of record high minimums set! BRING IT!

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  30. Those of you who still believe this winter is able to produce a significant snow event look like those in the 15th century that kept believing the Earth was flat despite clear evidence of the contrary.

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    1. If this was March, I would agree with you. But there's a heck of a lot of winter left.

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  31. Novak is saying that the latest data is hinting at 1-2 inches of slushy snow in the metro Monday morning as the rain quickly changes to snow. NWS is saying nothing but rain until late Monday afternoon when it might mix with some sleet. A head to head competition here. Go Team Novak!!

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    1. Even better competition....Paul Douglas has now tweeted twice today showing different models projecting some healthy snows in and around the metro on Monday...one has 3-6" and another 6-10"....he was showing the NAM and WRF models. Interesting that hes showing all that since he's such a conservative met, but he's not really forecasting, just showing models.

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    2. Forgot to ask...do you think this is irresponsible of him to just show models and not be forecasting or better yet showing models that totally contradict the local NWS(who just is forecasting 1/2" at the tail end on Monday afternoon).
      My opinion is don't show the model if you don't believe it to be true or even close.

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    3. I absolutely agree with you, bigdaddy. Don't just throw some meaningless models around that have a snowball's chance in August of coming true.

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  32. Hmmmm, according to the NWS the metro area is now also going to get screwed with the midweek storm. Nothing but rain with possibly a little bit of snow Wednesday night once most of the precipitation moves away, then dry and cold for a couple of days. This scenario (over and over again) is quickly getting very old...

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    1. Yep, so many people on twitter and Novak and our very own Dave Dahl and other mets for days have been saying Tuesday/Wednesday was the day for good snows including the metro, even the NWS had said it would be a colder storm with more snow. Can't believe anyone anymore , especially this winter.

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  33. How's that mainly snow on Saturday going for everybody? are you ready for the significant snow tonight? and the much colder Sunday? So glad Dahl nailed this weather forecast, he even said if your a snowlover your going to love the next couple of weeks. What a joke he is!

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  34. We still have to see how all this pans out, but I'd be sweating if I were Dave Dahl right now - "guaranteeing" a white Christmas. Maybe. But it's a lot closer than he was thinking earlier this week, that's for sure.

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  35. Well as I said in 9.49am comment which Bill moxked as dumb and immature, there will be so significant snowstorms this winter and if you deny it you are denying evidence, like denying gravity.
    As all weather experts should know, Ian Leonard repeats it often in his tweets, winter pattern trends establish themselves pretty early and once settled they become extremely difficult to dislodge. So it is pretty obvious that this winter any moisture rich storm will also bring enough warm air to have rain as the predominant form of precipitation. This will be the prevailing pattern this winter and so I am not sure on which basis stating it should be called immature and dumb.

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  36. I still like the set-up for late TUE into WED. Quite frankly something smells & this storm track is going to change some. My gut feeling is that it shifts a bit further south. I'm anxious for this mid-week storm to come ashore Monday & get into the data rich network over the west coast.

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    1. Give it up Novak, it will snow just not in the metro, maybe some far off NW corner of Minnesota.

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  37. NWS has completely removed all mention of any type of wintry precipitation from the forecast until Tuesday night when they mention the possibility of a mix. They have now also jacked Wednesday's temperature up to near 40 degrees. This is just one more example as to why people shouldn't get too excited about snow forecasts several days in advance. As we get closer to each event it becomes an absolute BUST! A special shout out goes to Dave Dahl for being completely WRONG...AGAIN!! Late October/early November keeps rolling along in Groundhog Day fashion.

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    1. Yep, that's true. It's El Nino so any cold air will be fleeting and with each storm the odds will be stacked heavily in favor of rain. This reminds me of when I lived in D.C. If it was cold enough for snow, it would warm up most of the time and rain and THEN it would get cold enough for snow again. Looks like that is going to happen to us here too. By the time it gets cold the moisture will be gone. As for the cold, don't get used to it. It looks like the blast furnace blow torch heat will return in time for Christmas. Can't we mercifully please fast forward to May and put this nearing ending nightmare behind us?

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  38. Snowless in MinneapolisDecember 13, 2015 at 9:48 AM

    Its about time I take the snow driveway markers out of the ground and drain the fuel from the snowblower and get it stored for spring/summer. Anyone know if anyone is selling fertilizer for the lawns yet, don't need much its only abit brown.

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  39. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this will be the third brown Christmas in the past 5 years? True, it's not Christmas yet, but you have to admit that the odds of a white Christmas this year are teetering on the edge of slight to nil. December never showed up in 2011 or 2014, and of course here in 2015. Paul Douglas' blog back in December 2011 said that 2011 was the 8th brown Christmas since 1967. Now here we are facing our third brown Christmas in the past 5 years. I really hope this is just a hiccup and not a harbinger of things to come. Will December become more of an autumn-like month in the years ahead? Let's hope not!

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    1. of course it will. Gradually but it will.
      Winters are getting warmer in MN.

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  40. Question for everyone: I keep hearing people say, "If it had just been a few degrees colder we would have gotten two feet of snow!" But I thought I heard elsewhere that if we were much colder the storm track wouldn't have been the same, or the amount of moisture would have been lessened. So it's a bit of a apples to oranges type situation to compare the reality to the "what if". Which is it?

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  41. You know snows not coming when our in house armchair mets stop talking, not hearing any chirping from Duane or Novak or Randy Hill or Randyinchamplain, remember all of them in same way or fashion said we would pick up snow either with present event or midweek event either on here or social media. Maybe not so much Randyinchamplain but he did say we would start hearing rain changing to snow talk for Monday, I'm not hearing that talk from anyone.

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  42. Winter enthusiasts can write off December this year (Again!) as being a winter month. The best that winter fans can hope for is that winter will appear in January and February, which seems unlikely at this point. As for March, it's not really a winter month. With few exceptions, once we get past the first 10 days or so of March winter is over. Sure, there will be occasional cold days and some snow, but let's face it winter does not have staying power in March. Ice rinks close at the end of February. Ice houses must be off the lakes in southern Minnesota by the first of March. Heck, by the end of March the average high temperature is 50 degrees. March doesn't count in my book as a winter month. I am not being facetious when I say that I will not be surprised if ice rinks are never opened this season in the metro. The long range temperature outlooks I have seen for January are calling for more of the same...temperatures way too warm for a Minnesota winter. Welcome to Seattle, everyone. Does this mean that we all have to become Seahawks fans now?

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  43. I couldn't agree more with all the recent comments about our snow season to date. It is so challenging to 4cast in an environment that simply doesn't make sense and/or is typical for a certain time of year. The warmth associated with the last 30 days has been mind boggling. We knew it was going to be a mild late fall/early winter, but this is absurd. Quite frankly, I don't see this overall weather pattern changing anytime soon. Sure, there will be a few cold shots, but not the bitter Arctic stuff that we usually see in DEC.

    On a side note, I'm still optimistic that some snow will fall in the MSP metro on WED. Thicknesses crash during the AM hours & moisture should be available. Plus, I won't be shocked if this storm tracks further south than expected. Again, I'm anxious for this storm to come ashore tonight so that we can measure it better.

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  44. NWS is sticking with rain and highs in the 40's for that midweek snowstorm....smh

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    1. Not only has our Tuesday/Wednesday snowstorm turned into another rainstorm, but temps in the mid-30's are back in the forecast by next Sunday. Whew, that was close. For a minute there I was afraid that we were actually going to experience more than a couple of days of real December weather. Good to know that the furnace will be aimed at us again starting Christmas week. Maybe we can pull off a heavy Christmas Eve/Christmas Day rainstorm with highs in the low to mid 90's!(Sarcasm heavily added!)

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  45. Winter = dead. Life = over. Hope = crushed.

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    1. Well, life isn't over, but winter is on life support and hope for winter is crushed. Even Joe Bastardi is saying nothing but warm air (with the exception of a couple of days later this week) through at least the second or third week of January. Somebody posted earlier that they would not be surprised if ice rinks are never opened in the metro this winter. I tend to agree with that. Does anybody on here know whether there has ever been a winter when the ice rinks in the metro were never opened? Minnesota had "The Year Without Winter" in 1877-1878. It's really starting to look like this season will rival that, if predictions of Pacific Northwest-like temps come true for January.

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  46. Really not a great forecast today. What happened to the inch-plus of rain?

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    1. Was wondering that myself, I guess I'm glad that it wasn't a snowstorm coming, because it would have been one hell of a bust....even tonights rain looks like its curving into Wisconsin not moving much north then Rochester.

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  47. Geez man, I just re-read Dahl's blog at the top!
    Then I thought about our friend Hammer that was let go by them.
    To any business owners out there: wouldn't you fire someone who by what he wrote simply sound incompetent?
    I understand weather forecasting is not an exact science, but even when such blog was published there were really no signs if any significant snow coming.
    I mean this is beyond ridicolous: this is a dangerous misleading of the public.

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  48. Assuming we don't fall below 37 before midnight, we'll have set another record high minimum today, the fourth this month.

    Interesting things about this month:

    The coldest temp so far was 22, on two days (12/3 and 12/4)

    The coldest daily max was 34 (!), way back on 12/1 (!)

    That means no highs below freezing this month. That is incredible to me.

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  49. Wow, those are some impressive stats!

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  50. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 13, 2015 at 10:30 PM

    I can't believe the sharp cutoff for this storm. Even when it is rain, there is a sharp cutoff with recent storms and that is without cold, dry air to the north eating away at the moisture. This would have been a total bust (and is anyway) if this was an all snow forecast as forecasters would have been talking about 18-24 inches of snow based on the numbers that were coming in from the models. And, somewhere (in Wisconsin, extreme SE MN) would have gotten that much. Here's hoping the Tuesday and Wednesday trend colder/south to bring that! Bring that!! C'mon!

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  51. Dr. Novak do you have any El Niño statistics that help explain this crazy weather? I know going in a warmer winter was expected, but this is crazy. I get that people are frustrated with the forecasts - I have to believe this winter is really confusing the models. This is a pattern that we rarely see, even Canada looks crazy.

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  52. This storm makes me sad. Look how beautiful it is on satellite and radar. Just look at it! It's the perfect, classic textbook low for heavy snowfall near the metro area. I lamented during our November heavy rain event that we'd be lucky to see one or two more storms that perfect for the rest of the winter. Well...here's number two...and it's all rain. Not a flake in sight.

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    1. I'm playing the world's smallest violin for you.

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    2. Do you have anything constructive to add to the conversation? This is a weather blog. Perhaps you'd be happier on an anonymous snark blog.

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    3. Yeah, this is a weather blog, and yet 50% of it is whining.

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    4. Expressing frustration with a rain storm in mid-December is not the same as whining. You haven't even mentioned the weather.

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    5. Joel, don't let the trolls get to you. Not everybody likes winter, and that's ok, but I'm sure people like that would be whining like nobody's business if it was 50 degrees and raining in July.

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    6. Maybe. I like interesting weather. Rain in December is interesting; snow is not. 50 and rain in July might be interesting.

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  54. Dave,
    Here is what I've observed from El Nino snow season's in MN. They tend to be much warmer than normal & fall usually lags into DEC while spring will start early in MAR. As far as precipitation is concerned, I have not been able to find any obvious correlation. However, one would expect that ICE/Rain events would be more prevalent with the warmer than normal temps.

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  55. The WED snow system is going to be a really close shave for MSP. I still have this funny feeling that the surface low will track a bit further south than expected. With thicknesses crashing WED am, this further southeast solution would make sense.

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  56. Keep in mind that today's intense low further south than expected. Hence, the main precipitation band skirted south of the MSP metro.

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    1. So is your forecast going to reflect the heavier snows into MSP or are you going to follow suit with everyone else and the models and forecast the heavy snow event to the far NW MN

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  57. If only someone were able to invent a method to tap into that nice -50 air there is at 20,000 feet and above and get some of it to the surface.
    We would have snow whenever we want it, we would solve climate warming once and for all, no more rain-snow line issues...

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  58. This has been a really interesting discussion topic - starting so clearly with one person's aggressive snow forecast from over a week ago - and now watching it fall flat on its face. Obviously to be fair to Dave Dahl, many people's forecasts didn't pan out. But Dave seems to have still taken the cake. Interesting to see that he was probably most aggressive last night with tonight and tomorrow's storm, predicting a solid two inches at MSP. We shall see.

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    1. Only if all this rain had been snow, massive amounts.

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    2. Colder air can't hold as much moisture.

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  59. You know it's going to be a tough winter for snow lovers when even the usually super-snowy Marquette, MI has only totalled 12.5" of snow so far. Last year by now they had 80"!

    Still sticking to my early-fall prediction: we are going to challenge the least snowiest winter on record for MSP this winter.

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    1. Uhm... 5.2 so far. Record is 14.2. So 9 inches to go.
      That would mean an average of 3 inches for Jan-Feb-March, assuming we are not getting any more snow in December.
      I'd say that's tough not to beat but I agree with you it is going to be close.
      Personally I believe we will be above 14.1 bu less than 20 inches which would still put us in the top 5 least snowy.

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  60. I say let's go big or go home. Given all of these wonderful &%#@! December rainstorms we have been, and will be, enduring here in the metro, let's just root for a big 'ol Christmas Eve and Christmas Day downpour!! Why not, it's not like the rain is going to wash away our snow...

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  61. Large clap of thunder and vivid lightning in Apple Valley! Suffice it to say, this morning's token dusting of snow is now a distant memory. Perpetually stuck in September/October.

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  62. It's now thundering and snowing in Apple Valley!

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  63. Thundering and rain in Arden Hills..

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  64. Loud thunder, intense lightning, and HAIL this morning in Roseville at about 9:15. I was waiting at the bus stop with the kids. It was a little scary.

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  65. Thunder-sleet. Great band name. Or not.

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  66. what happened to the artic air and this being a lock (more than any other storm this year) ?

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    1. Forecaster's incompetence.

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    2. You're right: "lock" was used by several mets wasn't it? Haha.

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    3. It was used by Novak. This is not arctic air, funny he's the one that always says don't expect snow until there's arctic air. There will be two days of arctic air, but guess what it will be dry.

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  67. I do not recall the model I saw, but it was showing the potential for a large storm over the upper midwest late next week (Wed-Fri). It also showed temps over Minnesota in the mid 40's. Insane if that is what the models are hinting at.

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    1. That's no surprise. That's par for the course this season. A surprise would be an outlook of cold and snow, you know, typical Minnesota December weather. How does it feel suddenly living in Portland, Oregon?

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    2. Well, lets try not to be dramatic. Any weather above 40 degrees and rainstorms for the next two months should still be a surprise, even if it is el nino. Even during el nino years, par for the course is still colder than what we've experienced. This winter has truly been an outlier this year. There is a bass tournament (with boats) scheduled on Prior Lake this weekend...wtf?

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  68. A lot of snow drama it appears...
    So let's see: how really unusual has this been?

    I looked at daily snow precipitation since records are reliable (I use 1/1/1900 as a start because even though records started in 1887 daily data are largely missing) up to Dec 15 of each winter.

    In 114 years previous (1900-2014) 37 winters had 5.9 (today's to date) or less up to Dec 15. So 37/114 is just a bit less than a third. So not common but not that unusual.

    What about the rest of the winter for those years?
    average snowfall has been 38.7 inches (below average but not by that much).
    Max has been 82-83 (also an El Nino year if I am not mistaken) at 74.4. Min was the least on record at 14.2 (1930-31).
    Last occurrence 2006-2007 (35.5 total) also an El-Nino year although not as strong.

    So I'd say do not despair snow lovers! There is hope.


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  69. I wonder if the difference in the years you pointed out with similar low snow totals was that they were just dryer years. It seems the unusual thing this year is the large amount of moisture but extremely persistent warm temps. I think if we had received 5 inches of snow in late November and it was still on the ground along with colder temps we would not think it as unusual.

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    1. You may have a point there.
      1930-31 was a dry year as most of the 30s were. 2006-2007 was certainly drier up to this point: I remember it very well because it was the first winter since I moved to MN and I was expecting a lot more snow :)

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  70. I think another important variable is snow depth. you could have 40" of snow but it's consistency melting, it gives the appearance we're not getting snow

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    1. which is what usually happens on the East Coast cities like Boston: they may get bigger storms but they usually (last year was an obvious exception) do not have consistent snow cover throughout the winter.
      I feel though this may be the trend we are headed to. More liquid precipitation events in the winter months, longer spell of above freezing temperature (although really on a sunny day you melt snow even with 25 degrees from mid January onwards), etc.. etc..

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  71. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 17, 2015 at 5:56 PM

    Rigil Kent--You Rock with your statistical analysis and presenting the numbers. Nice! Thanks for your work. Now BRING IT to a white Christmas!!!!!

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  72. Great information, Rigil! Always appreciated.

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  73. Wish we could have 24 hours of snow showers...this is beautiful right now...but it will pass quickly....quick dusting in about 15 minutes in Golden Valley.

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  74. Best winter ever so far. Keep it as green as possible for as long as possible! Lovin' in!

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  75. DD's veritable guarantee of a white Christmas is looking a bit shaky at the moment.

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    1. Sadly, I am as convinced of a brown Christmas (as is the NWS and practically everyone else) as DD was of a white Christmas. Does anyone care to wager which one of us is right!!??

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  76. Hey Bill....what you think about a new thread, we've bashed Dave Dahl enough....there's hints of a Christmas storm that may salvage DD's white Christmas guarantee or just another rain dagger into the hearts of us snow lovers. Anyhow happy holidays to you and all the weather geeks on here.

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  77. The 12z Euro this morning was a fun one. 13" of snow over the metro and 16 to 20" in SW Minnesota for next Friday/Saturday.

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    1. Good to see it over the metro right now, because we all know it will shift in time to miss us completely or gives us more December rain.

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    2. Unfortunately, Rick is very likely right.

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  78. I was finding these exact and reliable information in details. Thank you for that. By the way, snow falling cities should use gadgets by weather shop for weather updates. It's more wise if every individuals have their own. So that they won't need to wait for weather updates by others.

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