Monday, December 5, 2016

Will Arctic Air Keep Snow Away For Christmas?

Although Christmas is still weeks away, it's never too early to sweat out whether Christmas will be white or brown. Given the current situation, and the the prospect that incoming arctic air may shove the storm track too far south, it might be another white (or brown) knuckler.

72 comments:

  1. If we can get a clipper system in next weekend we will most likely have a white Christmas. On another note temperatures next week as of right now look brutal but I do think GFS is overdoing the cold a bit though...

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  2. This for sure has the looks of a brown Christmas, getting real cold real quick does not bold well for big snows, if anything we may sneak out the white Christmas if we get lucky on a fickle clipper track or overachieving snow showers that may drop coatings or inch or two. But those of you who prefer your winters cold without the snow you will like this December and the ice fishing!

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  3. Model solutions for next weekend are getting interesting. Chances for a white Xmas are increasing, and I doubt this will be a clipper system. If this storm develops like some models are hinting, it will have some moisture pulled into the system from the south.

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  4. Got some systems in the sights the next 10 days here. Hang on to your hats folks, it is going to be one hell of a ride!

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  5. If its over 6 days out no reason to bring it up. We've been there before. Proof - a week ago.

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    1. A week ago was a very complex forecast with all models not having a good grasp on much of anything. These next ones have some model consensus. Instead of a stab in a dark, patterning is our friend right now.

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    2. Pattern is really not our friend right now, yes it's cold enough for snow but deep cold will drive the heaviest of the snows south and east of the Twin Cities. If this weekends system does not come to fruition or the track isn't favorable then next week will be a mini Siberia without the snow!

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    3. I can see where he is coming from. GFS is really liking the idea of 4+ right now and has been for a few runs here.

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  6. So do temperature forecast models include snow cover in their calculations? Im looking at next weeks potential single digit highs and wondering if that takes into account that we may not have any snow on the ground. If it is assuming that, I would assume highs would be below zero if we had a snowpack.

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  7. Well if Novak is correct we won't have to worry about a brown/white Christmas.....his travel impact map for this weekend is out and MSP is squarely in the center of it...for now!...we all know with 3+ days to go before said event that can change a lot!

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  8. NWS Forecast discussion starting to get more interesting! 2 days ago, the totals sounded like 1-3". Yesterday I saw 3-5". Seems like a strengthening trend has started.

    "This would suggest the heaviest snow across the
    southern third of MN/northern IA and adjoining areas of west
    central WI with amounts in the 4 to 8 inch range."

    (and for the nay-sayers out there, I fully understand the storm is still days away. If the weather pans out the way it is forecasted at the moment, I would be very happy. That is all!)

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  9. New video with Dr. Novak: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt3UUIsHuWk

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  10. Thanks for the video Bill and Dr. Novak! Good stuff but since everyone says Euro is king and favors that model snow doesn't look at all impressive in MSP, mostly all south and metro is left a candy coating near an 1". Sorry snow lovers enjoy the cold though!

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  11. Temp forecasts for Saturday are dropping and winds forecast stron four of the east. The Euro is definitely onto something. Looks like the cold may suppress the snow for those of us in MN, but we shall see...

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    1. Wow that's a lot of typos. I'll let you all fill in the blanks like a game. :)

      Another Facebook perk: easy editing.

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    2. The video's on the Facebook page... open comment space. :-)

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  12. In other words brown Christmas still on the table if Euro verifies. For all those that said this will be an active snowy winter thus far MSP sits below average snowfall and with the in coming arctic air several more cold dry days are ahead of us.

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  13. I really doubt Euro's solution will come to be. GFS and NAM have been extremely consistent with this storm and now Euro tracks south with just one run and some of you are buying in? I doubt the track will be that far south and I also doubt NAM's solution of 10 inches in MSP. Personally I think the heaviest band will setup from Mankato to Rochester with totals upwards of 5-9 inches.

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  14. Great to have the videos back. I'm all in on the GFS with this one, it has been pretty solid this winter and last winter. Snow totals could be a little higher depending on the temps (fluffier stuff). Bill I bought one of those spiffy cutting boards but my knife keeps falling off the board in Duluth :)

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  15. And just as I pound on my chest about the GFS the latest run moves south and lowers amounts. It's still early...

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  16. Chris Shafer on CCO had the metro basically in the bullseye and said "3-6" with possibly for higher totals in spots". His future radar looked like the GFS runs from earlier today.

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    1. He may be relying on the Nam forecast model, it really does have a northern basis this far out.

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  17. GFS usually about 3 days out starts to track further south for a day or so and then goes back to what was originally thought. Seen it too many times.

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  18. Love snow but hate where I liveDecember 7, 2016 at 11:37 PM

    so now the GFS and EURO are going south with this system, sounds like a trend to me! Lets face it snow will be hard to come by MSP this winter. Yes it will snow but MSP wont grab headlines or be in any bullseye or threaten a foot plus with any storm. We will consistently be too far north or south or too warm or too cold or on some kind of fringe!

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    1. Ridicules waste of type.

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    2. Love snow but hate where I liveDecember 8, 2016 at 8:49 AM

      Really that's why the NWS graphical update has the heaviest snows going south of MSP and on the fringes of their medium confidence also stating in their discussion that the EURO spins up a more significant snow event for later Sunday and guess for where they state it will effect, FAR southern Minnesota(not MSP). So my statement wasn't that far fetched or ridiculous and next time if your going to insult someone at least get the spelling right!

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  19. Actually he/she is right.
    That is exactly what the trend has been lately and the MSP Snow Misery Theorem (SMITHE) has been proven right many times:
    If it is cold enough, the storm will go south (especially if Novak/Bill post a video about it as they seem to act as a powerful high pressure)
    If it the track is correct, it will be too warm for snow.
    And this is in general.

    With this storm in particular one important factor that noone is mentioning (except the good guys at the NWS) is that no matter what the EURO and GFS say, the top CIPS analogs all show little or no accumulation.
    So there you have it.
    We will hear about east wind cutting the precip because of too much dry air etc etc.

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  20. Novak questioning the models= little if any MSP snow!

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  21. Its very interesting to see NAM moving the heavy band of snow north of MSP now yet GFS and Euro have it much further south... Eh..

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  22. Interesting to note, in the AFD, that the NWS has very little confidence in anything at this point. Saying 12 to 24 hours out may be required before we finally see some consensus and have an idea of what is going on.

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  23. Yay! The newest snow maps for MSP assur has that we are certain to get at least 0" inches of snow!
    Storm is rapidly becoming a non-issue for the metro (surprise, surprise). NWS has now 1 inch and less than an inch as compared to 2-4 and 2-4 earlier this morning.

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  24. National Weather Service seems to be lowering snow totals already on their point forecast for the Twin Cities south. This will be an interesting one to watch!

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  25. As of 245 today from NWS: This leaves a swath of snow in solid advisory range(3 to 5
    inches accumulation) from near Morris-Willmar-Southwest Metro_and
    southern Goodhue Co. with the higher amounts mainly over south
    central MN close to I90.

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  26. Seems the second wave is now on the radar of the NWS: Models are coming more in agreement with the
    secondary short wave affecting the region later Sunday into
    Monday. The GFS remains farther south with it snow
    development...with the other deterministic runs favoring a more
    northern track and more amplified wave, We will continue with
    chance pops for this feature at this time and continue to monitor
    model performance in later runs.

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  27. Umm are the models on crack? GFS now shows the snow band from Saturday reforming on Sunday which puts snow totals near 6 inches at MSP. I'm just gonna call the whole system a bust if this continues.

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  28. GFS is up to some weird doing, definitely...

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  29. The real story here is not the snow coming in, its the cold coming in behind it. All three trusted models, the GFS,Gem and Euro show a bitter cold arctic out break. Check the low and high temps from the GFS model for the Blaine airport. And some say the GFS has a warm bias.

    http://wxweb.meteostar.com/sample/sample.shtml?text=KANE

    That is a live link so it will change with each run of the model.

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    1. Indeed. I have been tracking this as it has been flying well under the radar. Anyone not deep into the weather might be in for quite the shock.

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    2. This cold snap, while unlikely to set record cold temps, I believe most parents 30 years old and younger have never a cold snap that could last this long. Time to make sure the children are dressed warm irregardless how uncool it may look.

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    3. How long are you thinking? Till Christmas with single digit highs and below zero lows?

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  30. Looks like the Euro has caved to the American Models. Now looking like 3 to 5 is probable with this winter storm. And that would further support the big time arctic cold outbreak.

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  31. Advisories posted for south central and south eastern MN.

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  32. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 9, 2016 at 12:23 PM

    I am just so confused (and excited) by this storm. The models seem to be all over the place, the cold air is suppose to be helpful to increase snow totals, Novak just mentioned that he is thinking about increasing snow totals, and the highest totals could be in excess of 6 inches. But yet, the "highest" warning issued is a Winter Weather Advisory AND it is for quite a bit south of the metro. And the amounts that are forecasted for the metro keep getting "adjusted" even by the NWS on their point forecast (I am looking at the Plymouth forecast). This is what makes forecasting fun. I am just surprised, with all of this uncertainty, that there has been nothing in terms of watches, advisories, etc for the metro. Since confidence is so low, the forecast has a high bust potential (and not just bust as it pertains to lower snow totals received vs predicted, but even the other way around). It seems like there should be some sort of heads-up kind of thing issued for places like the metro to prepare everyone for winter weather--which could include noticeable amounts of snow. Either way, BRING IT!!

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    1. If you read the latest NWS discussion they actually mention that advisories may need to be pushed forward if the current model trend of 3-5 inches is consistent.

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  33. Fresh video with the doctor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yTLgwJ17eA

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  34. Great video guys.....thanks for doing them!
    I'll take 4-8", not a blockbuster but a solid snow to make it look like winter. And good to hear after the arctic outbreak there maybe more snow to look forward to.

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  35. Absolutely loved the video and the discussion about dendrites. They are a type of snowflake whose structure allows for very efficient snow totals. The dendritic growth zone (DGZ) is said to be in that area that lies between -12°and -17° degrees C. When the snow starts falling in the metro tomorrow night the DGZ is a outstanding 12000 feet deep, so one would think at the beginning of the storm we will see quick accumulations. However, these type of snow flakes are very fragile and winds can break them apart. The winds at the start of the storm are strong enough to damage the crystal as they start to form, but as precip falls trough the rest of the column they should reform. When the heaviest snows should be falling the DGZ will become very shallow say around 3200 ft or so, certainly not ideal. If the DGZ were to stay at a depth of 5-8000 feet we could be talking about 10-12" if the winds weren't real strong. The way it looks though we could easily see some 6 or maybe 7" inch snow totals in the central to southern TC metro.

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    1. As always, Good Stuff Randy. Right on the money.

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  36. NWS has hoisted an Winter Weather Advisory to include the entire metro core on south....with wording of 5-8" of snow in the advisory text, of interesting note though there is a very sharp cutoff with the advisory area which does not include the north metro....so hoping with such a sharp cutoff the bust potential does not rear its ugly head.
    Stay safe on the roads today and tomorrow folks!

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  37. Sure starting to look like a solid 5-7" for the south half of the metro. Nasty show for driving with temps cold. This will be greasy on the roads and the chemicals won't work as well due to the cold. Could be a rough 24 hours starting tonight for accidents. Stay safe everyone.

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  38. Light snow starting in SW Metro!

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  39. Replies
    1. Something tells me we should avoid clicking these links.

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  40. Snow started at 3 in Maple Grove!

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  41. Dangerous post by Dr Novak on Facebook today, he must feel confident in the GFS looking ahead!

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  42. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 10, 2016 at 7:39 PM

    Bring it, Novak. Bring it!

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  43. Love it that Arctic air is finally in place. It feels like we haven't this kind of a set-up in a couple of years. Lots of overrunning snows likely.

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  44. Just saw a 2" report in Shakopee at 10. Main moisture appears to be staying south of the metro. Not sure we will see 4-6 in the metro.

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  45. I might be getting ahead of myself but what about that potential powerful system Fri-Sat next week? Looks promising for high snow totals for MSP and Rochester.

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    1. I agree! I just noticed the Wx Underground forecast calls for 9" on Friday! Should be another fun one to track.

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  46. If you guys are inclined, post snow photos on the Minnesota Forecaster Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/The-Minnesota-Forecaster-172523749447937/

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  47. Model guidance performed well on this weekend's snow, especially with FRI/SAT runs. I've been more than satisfied with model guidance so far this snow season.

    The next snow storm scheduled to arrive Friday almost could be considered a lock.
    - 850mb & 700mb warm air advection is impressive
    - Arctic air in place & not going anywhere
    - Overrunning of this cold dome of air appears certain.
    - Nice trough carving out in central Plains

    It is not often that I'm this confident, 5 days out. However, it doesn't get much better than this.

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    1. Keep talking Dr. Novak, keep talking!.....love the weather porn!!

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    2. How would this bitter air mass not push any storm down to at least Iowa / Kansas / Missouri? Isn't that usually how it works?

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    3. You might get your wish, NWS discussion says storm if anything can push south due to stronger arctic air push!
      So storm not set in stone as some might think!

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    4. As soon as I hear the words "sure thing", especially five days out, I assume it will vanish into thin air.

      I hope you're right, Novak.

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  48. I think I called this storm a month ago. :-)


    AnonymousNovember 15, 2016 at 7:17 PM
    Novak and NWS has MSP on the outside looking in, AGAIN, so on to the next storm. Any thoughts on when that will be?around Thanksgiving?

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    Joel FischerNovember 15, 2016 at 11:24 PM
    Four weeks to the day after this one. It will be big.

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    TimmyNovember 16, 2016 at 6:24 AM
    Well Joel then I hope you don't get bored waiting those four weeks. This one is an non-issue for MSP.

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  49. New thread, new video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evGvYULt8Vk&feature=youtu.be

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