Thursday, February 4, 2016

After the Groundhog....

Buoyed by a high-achieving Groundhog Day snowstorm, Minnesota winter enthusiasts looked ahead to more possibilities for snow. Use this space to discuss....

65 comments:

  1. GFS is picking up on a couple systems for next week. GFS has done a pretty good job with long term guidance (with our recent storm and the DC storm...among others). I don't know if the link below will work or not but frequent poster Neil pointed me to the Pivotalweather.com site and I've been hooked ever since.

    http://pivotalweather.com/model.php?m=GFS&p=accsnow&rh=2016020412&fh=loop&r=mw&dpdt=

    I had to spend some time playing around but now I can navigate between all the models pretty efficient.

    I'd be lying if I said I was a snow lover. However, what I do love is weather, whether is severe in spring and summer or winter storms in the fall and winter. It's sites like this that make it that more enjoyable.

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    1. Forgot to mention...once in the site, just cycle through each "frame" by either clicking on play or the frame by frame feature located directly above the map. Enjoy!

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    2. 7 MORE inches on Sunday/Monday?! Man I hope that GFS pans out!

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  2. Weather service discussion possibilities of a ground blizzard on Sunday in southwest and south central Minnesota as a cold front whips through. Even if much snow doesn't fall over the next few days, any light powder that does fall will certainly help to make that possible. Again, mostly impacting those in the wind prone areas of Minnesota.

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  3. Blizzard conditions look imminent on Sunday night.... snow and wind. Think twice about traveling to Super Bowl parties.

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  4. To all those who forecast weather events or are metrologists....much respect...Happy National Weatherperson's Day!

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  5. Happy National Weatherperson's Day to all the folks on this site that feed my enthusiasm for weather!!!

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  6. Not a lot of snow with this on Sunday late(couple of inches), but blizzard conditions are likely even in the metro when snow is falling. Be careful traveling Sunday night!

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  7. Temps climb back above freezing around mid a month and don't look back, winter will come to a close early this year! Long range models agree!

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  8. What a joke! Winter weather advisories and warnings and blizzards for what? For 40° at 4:30pm.

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    1. Really? People's lives could be in danger on the roads in outstate Minnesota, and you come here and whine?

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    2. Possibly. But the WWA for the inner metro area was absolutely overkill.

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    3. Anon, you should have checked out MnDot's road conditions map around 9 pm last night. Over 2 dozen crashes within the loop while the Superbowl was going on. Road conditions: icy, wind-swept snow.

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    4. All green right now and the WWA is still on.
      Totally overkill.
      This is Minnesota, in February.

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    5. Was looking out the north facing windows of my house about 4PM on Sunday. Over the tops of the pine trees about 1/4 mile away came a boiling wall of snow coming at me at 20MPH. Hit the house like a ton of bricks. Like being in a snow globe for about 5 minutes.Snow slowed but wind gusting severely. Temp dropped 8 degrees in 30 minutes. Then another wall of snow like the first one. I would not have wanted to be out in either of them. Luckily, things settled down to just winds of 20 from NW with occasional gusts with litle snow. Do not want to doubt your overkill scenario but up in the far NW metro it was definitely warranted.
      Also good to see that Big Daddy is padding the lead on snow totals.
      Also, it is ironic that this year so many hats are being hung on the GFS where in previous years the mnemonic usually meant "good for______(add your favorite word)" Could it be the GFS is better at forecasting el nino patterns than normal or la nina patterns?

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    6. Though it may be hard to believe, the GFS overall hasn't really performed better than the Euro has. There are skill scores that are given based on the 500mb overall pattern. The parallel run of the European has performed the best. This version of the ECMWF is scheduled to replace the current version of it (I think). Higher resolution, better calculations, and overall more accurate. Ryan Maue tweets out this information from time to time. If you're on Twitter, I'd suggest giving him a follow. Smart forecaster, and the forecast models he designed on weatherbell are outstanding. Anyway, here's the info he tweeted out, based on 5 day forecasts for the month of January.

      ECMWF-par: 0.934
      ECMWF: 0.928
      UKMET: 0.914
      GFS-par: 0.911
      GFS: 0.909
      CMC: 0.905

      What exactly do these scores mean? Welp, I'm not sure. But it does show the European model suite cruising ahead of the American models. The Canadians had a rough January. Interesting info, none the less.

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    7. Those numbers are the 500mb Anomaly Correlations.
      It's the most common measure of model skills although a few people disagree as to whether it really means the forecast is better overall.
      This is the link to an interesting paper on the topic and suggested alternative for those interested, as I am, in statistics applied to meteorology.

      http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/1520-0493%282003%29131%3C1082%3AISFTAC%3E2.0.CO%3B2

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  9. Man....after reading the Paul's(Douglas and Huttner) blogs one would think spring starts on Monday with all the usage of the terms spring,rain and thaw!! Still need more snow for my competition....as far as Im concerned spring can start in April!!

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  10. Paul Douglas is all about warmth and global warming. I stopped reading his blog because that is all he focuses on. We could be in the midst of record setting cold and he will be talking about how the earth is warming and how Minnesota will be in a thaw...even if it's weeks away. Etc., etc., etc. It gets very annoying.

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  11. Correct. He uses his weather blog as a propaganda tool for his agenda which is why originally the StarTribune dropped him. I am still wondering how they took him back.

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  12. I agree. Certain mets (PD and Kare 11 included) around here act as though the world is coming to an end whenever we have a cold shot of air around here. Their reactions are as though it's been -50 for the past two weeks. Really?! Come on people, it's winter in Minnesota. Heck, with this recent cold shot we haven't even gone below zero yet. Perhaps we will slip a couple of degrees in negative territory tonight if the clouds don't again hold in the "warmth" like they did last night. smh

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  13. "We could be in the midst of record setting cold and he will be talking about how the earth is warming..."

    You do realize that both of those things (record cold in MN and a warming earth) can be true at the same time, right?

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    1. Yes, but the problem is that it hammers the very same point almost daily.
      The Earth is warming: got it, OK, fine. No need to emphasize it every single day.
      People looking at his blog wants to know what happens tomorrow or next week outlooks in terms of weather. They don't need a lecture on how the Earth is warming every single day.

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    2. Anon@10:32, well stated!

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    3. I think you have to take Paul Douglas's blog for what it is -- which is more than just the forecast. Not saying you have to like it, but it's more than just a weather blog.

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    4. Anon@10:32 - I don't read PD's blog for the forecast because his writing style bugs me. But I sure appreciate his collection of climate articles. Easy way to find weather/climate stories outside of MN. I check in at least weekly just to read the other stuff.

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  14. Looks like some momentum is building towards an active weather pattern starting with the cold bomb Friday night (-20's), followed by "plowable snow" Sunday (according to NWS), and another system brewing for Tuesday of next week.

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  15. 2 snow events and then the Big Thaw melting party commences. 40's will be the rule after mid month! Pitchers and catchers report and winter ends!

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  16. Will we hit 70s+ by St Patrick's Day like a few years ago (2012? if I am not mistaken) ?
    Place your bets...

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    1. What's your point? Two winters ago we had 3 feet of snow on the ground and March average temp was about 10 degrees. Sping sports could not play outdoors. Sounds like typical March.

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    2. I am not making any point, and I struggle to understand if you are making one yourself except stating an obvious fact about a past winter.

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  17. Is anyone else seeing the past couple runs of the GFS laying down some impressive snow totals Sun-Tues?

    http://pivotalweather.com/model.php?m=GFS&p=accsnow&rh=2016021200&fh=loop&r=mw&dpdt=

    Thank you to the poster who shared the link to this site prior to the Groundhog Day storm! It's fun to watch.

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  18. NWS has upped the ante this morning on our Valentines Day snow....with low end warning criteria accumalations for my point forecast in Golden Valley with 3-7". Ken Barlow this morning on KSTP went with 2-5" and as always conservative PD went with 1-2" and weather.com has 2-6".
    So at least we have something to track!!!

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    1. Did PD also include a warm front in his forecast with temperatures soaring into the 90's?

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  19. Chanhassen getting really aggressive for Sunday.

    I'll have to look at it a bit closer. I've been thinking 2-4" in the Metro.

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  20. I'm worried about the Sunday snow system. This modified Clipper has more of a Pacific Northwest feel to it rather than a Yukon feel. Hence, it will have more moisture to work with than usual.

    More importantly, it appears that the dendrite growth zone will be unusually thick AND the snow/liquid ratios will be in that 20:1/30:1 area. That means that .10 of liquid would fluff up to 2"-3" of snow!

    I'm confident that there will be a narrow band of 6"-10"+ of snow somewhere in central/southern MN, especially west of the MSP metro. Question is, will that mid-level band of snow set-up over the MSP metro? It is going to be close & certainly worth watching.

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  21. These modified (more southerly forming) Clippers can be notorious for surprising areas of the Northern Plains & Upper Midwest with narrow bands of intense snowfall.

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    1. The famous Dome-buster started as a modified clipper as well if I am not mistaken. I remember 3-4 days out most people were forecasting 2-3 inches with it, then it turned into a big thing 36 hours before.

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  22. Weird snow last night. Had at least 1.5 inches in South Minneapolis, and it was still snowing lightly when I went to bed. Woke up, thinking I would go outside and shovel, but it was gone! - save a few patches of snow-dust here and there. Compacted, evaporated, blew away? Made me realize QPF is more impt than inch amounts sometimes. Six inches of light fluffy stuff is the same as one inch of heavy stuff. Eventually the six inches compacts or evaporates or whatever and turns into the one inch.

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  23. The NWS recorded 90:1 ratio with this snow.
    So almost frozen air instead of frozen water, which is why it was gone almost immediately.
    https://twitter.com/NWSTwinCities/status/698031223478861825

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  24. NWS is backtracking on snow amounts for the metro this weekend. Kare and PD are saying maybe up to 2 inches for most of the metro. System sliding west and south of metro? Does anybody have any thoughts about the likelihood of that trend continuing or possibly sliding back north and east?

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  25. I still think 2-4" is a solid bet in the metro. Like Novak said, we're talking about 20 to 1 snow ratios. There only needs to be a tenth of an inch of precip to get 2" of snow and I think there's a good chance of that.

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  26. Replies
    1. These things always miss the Metro.

      (Not too soon for this right?)

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  27. There appears no doubt that an intense yet relatively narrow band of snow will develop west of the MSP metro late tonight. It will be interesting to see if enough forcing is realized to shove this heavy band to near and/or in the MSP metro. Guidance shows the band of snow weakening & drying up as it heads east, but that is also what model data showed for our last big snow earlier this month.

    This is going to be a tricky Clipper to 4cast. We simply need to watch radar now & see where that mid-level band of snow develops after midnight. I won't be shocked if some areas of western MN, northeastern SD come out of this measuring 8"+ of fluffy snow.

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  28. Also, would it surprise anyone if a sharp SW/NE snow gradient were to develop over the MSP metro? It seems we are destined for this.

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  29. I was just watching the Weather Channel. They are calling for a grand total of one inch in the south metro tonight through tomorrow. The NWS is now calling for only 1-2 inches.

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  30. How about dry air making a grand total of 0"? Bet no one saw that coming...

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  31. Definitely a bust. And low grades for many who were calling for several inches just a day and a half ago.

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  32. Yeah, dry air appears to be winning out with this snow maker. Model guidance showed that happening several runs ago. What is surprising to me is that the heavier snow band never really materialized over western MN. Big BUST out there.

    I believe it is safe to say that the MSP metro will be lucky to reach 1" of snow accumulations today.

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  33. Total BUST!!! Not even a single flake here in Apple Valley!

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  34. What a weird Clipper. This thing is like a summer shower now where precipitation just pops-up and/or redevelops unexpectedly. Model guidance simply has no idea right now.

    Looking at radar, it appears that the southeast corner of MN is going to measure 4"+ of heavy snow within a 4 hour period. No way I would've dreamed of that happening. That should've occurred in western MN.

    I still believe that this Clipper will continue to surprise us. What does that mean? I'm not sure myself because model guidance is all over the place & has been of little help locally.

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  35. These Clippers kill me. A mere .04 of liquid equivalent precip. = 0.7" of snow @ MSP Int'l. Meanwhile, .07 fluffed up to 1.2" in RST. When the snow/water ratio is 20:1+, it can be quite challenging to 4cast snow totals.

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    1. I am not sure I follow the logic.
      According to the numbers you are providing both those snow ratios are below 20:1 and pretty similar to each other (17.5:1 and 17.1:1) so it seems in the end RST got more snow than MSP because qpf was higher.
      So what was the issue? Did model overpredict QPF (as the usually tend to do) or were snow ratios too high or too low?

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  36. Winter is over!! Sure maybe a storm in March that melts in a couple of days. It will be interesting to watch how early the severe weather season gets going in the plains.

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    1. I was thinking about that, too.

      The end of the 97-98 El Nino was a violent Spring in Minnesota.

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  37. Does anyone know if there is a site that keeps historical and ongoing weather data for Lakeville; specifically the Airlake Airport? Thanks!

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  38. There you go:
    http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KLVN/2016/2/16/MonthlyHistory.html?req_city=Airlake&req_state=MN&reqdb.zip=55044&reqdb.magic=3&reqdb.wmo=99999

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  39. Winter definitely over. Significant snow most likely over as well. Maybe we can squeeze another storm early March but not very likely.
    At the airport we stand at 30.4 officially. The last El-Nino of 2006-07 we ended up at 35.5 (but remember we had 15 inches of snow in back to back storm end of Feb early March that year) so pretty much in line with what you would expect on a normal el-nino year, especially if we are really able to produce another non-negligible snowstorm.

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  41. Evidently our winters have warmed more than any other state. Can't say I'm surprised, though I am pretty satisfied!

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