Friday, February 17, 2017

Will Record Warmth Evolve Into Snowy Pattern?

As record or near record warmth pervaded all of the Upper Midwest, winter lovers searched for white at the end of the tunnel. Models suggest snow is a possibility looking way out -- toward the end of next week. Will there finally be something to talk about?

Editor's Note: The Minnesota Forecaster founder is growing tired of some of the Anonymous (and other) comments that amount to whining at best, personal attacks at worst. As loyal followers of the blog know, we value thoughts about the weather and weather patterns. This time around, I'm not going to hesitate to delete comments that don't conform to the civility and respect I expect on this blog. Now leaving the soapbox.

225 comments:

  1. GFS says mostly rain for metro now, oh well it was at least fun tracking it the last two days.

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  2. NWS already has 90% of snow by Friday, of next week, a full 7 days away , I guess the missteps of the last few months don't matter to them, maybe the fourth or fifth time might work out for them.

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    1. This is the type of post that the founder of this site is talking about above. You may want to read the forecast discussion from the NWS for the reasoning behind the the snow forecast. Other storms that the models have tried to develop this year have been dependent upon the phasing of the northern and southern jet streams and their forecast disco has stated as much. This storm however is not dependent on the phasing. If you want to know what the major player is go back to my last post on the previous tread....Hint omega block.

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    2. @Randy what benefit does a snow likely forecast have seven days out, when we get closer to the event (like 3-4 days) then OK, but why can't the forecast simply read "snow possible", why does it need to say "likely" or 90% this far out, especially due to the fact that it has burned them several times this winter, when it doesn't pan out several times then they lose some credibility/accountability with the public. Kinda of like the crying wolf scenario. So I think my earlier post is accurate.

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    3. Putting it the crying wolf column makes more sense than than purely saying they hadn't learned their lesson.

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    4. I agree Randy. Every situation's different.

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    5. Neither one of you didn't address my question of what is the benefit of a snow likely forecast with 90% attached to it this far out, even the most laid back weather enthusiast knows models and tracks change several dozen times in the next week so why do it? Is "snow possible" not a good enough heads up to the public 7 days in advance? Stating 90% or likely means it's the closet thing to a sure thing and on more then one occasion this winter it has back fired on them.

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    6. It's because at this point in time, the probability is 90%. Will it stay there? Unlikely, but that's what the models are showing *at this moment in time*. Please read up on probability forecasting.

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    7. Frankly who cares "at this moment in time", when we're talking about an event 7 days away, "snow possible" can easily illustrate that something is on the horizon. When likely is used or 90% is said there's a pretty certain degree of certainty there, and when we all know it can change it shouldn't be used until there is greater confidence in my opinion.

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  3. Frustrated snow fanFebruary 17, 2017 at 8:06 PM

    Latest models very depressing for metro snowlovers, GFS only drops 1-2" with heavy accumulations in northern MN, however they show a second storm coming out the Sunday/Monday timeframe after the Friday system and guess where that strip of heavy snows are shown?, all of Iowa into southern Wisconsin and Chicago. JUST NOT OUR WINTER!
    Also Canadian model shows Friday system hitting hard in North Dakota and No. Minnesota, and gives metro 1-3", so there is consensus as well. Sorry don't have EURO info. Long ways off but not looking good for anything significant at this time, nuisance.

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  4. 63 degrees today. What a beautiful day!! This is only the fourth time that MSP has reached 60 in February. Awesome!!

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  5. actually today was the fifth 60 in February, don't get use to it a blizzard is coming!!

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  6. Second storm in a row where the GFS is all over the place, now showing pretty much nothing for Fri/Sat. Earlier this Winter the GFS really seemed to be doing a nice job. Still a long way out there and I'm sure runs will bounce around for a while.

    Strange year, I saw weight limits on some roads just posted yesterday...in February.

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  7. So the GFS has dropped the storm, so are we in the clear? Nothing significant coming?

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  8. Just want to throw it out there to everybody that the system can be followed and tracked no matter what location ends up in the bullseye. It doesn't HAVE to be MSP in order for the storm to be interesting and worth following.

    At least that's why I'm into this stuff.

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    1. Of course it HAS to be MSP, I live here and want the blizzard here, it does nothing for me if let's say Bismarck gets 18" of snow, when your a snowlover you follow storms in hopes that it lands in your backyard not someone else's, if Bismarck gets the snow it doesn't make me happy as a snowlover that the snow occurred somewhere else, I don't know that's just me anybody else feel the same way?

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    2. I meant from a meteorological standpoint. Same reason I follow severe outbreaks and nor'easters. I like watching the models and forecasters and learning from them, not just hoping it hits home and bellowing when it doesn't.

      So that's why I said this system is worth following (to me) even if it dumps snow on the international border.

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  9. Jonathan Yuhas is putting Fridays heavy snow north of MSP(a Marshall to Wilmar to St. Cloud to Duluth line)

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  10. I have to chuckle a little bit, my weather app says 7-14" of snow overnight Thursday into Friday, pretty early to be throwing out numbers don't you think.

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  11. NWS using some big words and big numbers in their discussion to describe the snow potential on Friday. Words like colossal and blizzard and numbers like 12 and 24, man I'm hoping for a dumping in the metro....we are looooong overdue!

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    1. Very entertaining read. NWS person seems dazed by what is happening with the potential for severe weather. Monday and blizzard conditions Friday. Could be a fun week here.

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  12. Well, I'm going out to enjoy the very nice springtime weather!

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    1. Yep! I golfed today and have now golfed in 10 of the last 12 months. March 12th to November 12th 2016 and now February 18th... in Minnesota... :D

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  13. Shifting models:
    Canadian-1" if ur lucky
    GFS-0"
    All went south!

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  14. It did something similar last night. Just seems too early too call. This winter has turned into a bit of an end case for the models, strange dynamics that they haven't seen. I'm not surprised they are bouncing around this far out. I'm waiting for the NWS or Novak to talk about temps Friday. The ground has really warmed up, so it will take some cooling to get snow to pile up.

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    1. Well if the current models verify there will be no snow to pile up, so the ground won't be a concern. But with anything time wil tell!

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  15. Tonight's GFS run buries all of Iowa under 1-2 feet! Models are (obviously) all over the place. Should fun to watch!

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    1. Good for Iowa, sucks for MSP!

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  16. Frustrated snow fanFebruary 19, 2017 at 6:58 AM

    The overnight GEM model(Canadian) absolutely throttles the MSP area with nearly 2 feet! If only this would actually happen, but it's certainly good eye candy!

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  17. Surface QPF may be all over the place with model guidance runs, but Upper Air pattern isn't. Remember, it is foolish to look at surface features and QPF this far out. Trust the upper air pattern instead.

    With that being said, the 250mb & 500mb winds have CONSISTENTLY shown support for storm development over the central Plains on Thursday. Jet winds should track this storm NE into the Great Lakes by late FRI. This is a perfect track for a Winter Storm over southern MN & much of WI.

    As of now, I see no reason to deviate from this idea. I expect model QPF to jump around between now & WED, but the screaming message is that we need to be prepared for Winter here in so. MN/WI.

    Going from T'Storms & 65° to a Snowstorm in FEB is absolutely absurd in MN. However, nothing surprises me anymore. Welcome to Kansas City everyone.

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  18. A question, because I'm curious and honestly don't know. Do the weather models know that there is no snow pack in Southern Minnesota in February? Do they account for the now extremely warm, defrosted ground and convection from bare farm fields?

    I'm just finding a huge snowstorm scenario unlikely at this point...

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    1. Didn't stop the snow storm in May just a few years back.

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    2. Nor the Halloween Blizzard of '91

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  19. Cody Matz posted an article that I didn't think a meteorologist could post. "Relax folks; don't believe all the hype"

    http://www.fox9.com/news/236735951-story

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    1. That's a very good and interesting article. Thanks for posting! As a snow/winter fan, I am of course very disappointed as we have had two consecutive non-winters in the Twin Cities. I am also extremely cautiously optimistic about the storm at the end of the week. No way would I ever be foolish enough to bet on it snowing here, especially a big snowstorm (how sad of a statement is that for Minnesota?). We will just have to wait and see what happens in a few days.

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  20. Today was awesome. Went for a nice stroll at Centennial Lakes. Another record high of 59!

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  21. NWS, better luck next time on the temperature forecast. Highs around 60? Not with this rain and clouds! Should've known!

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  22. EURO kills Fridays snowstorm for metro, I guess we can look forward to spring now, and not have to wait for any snow to melt

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    1. I guess that's the reason it's been so quiet in here today, maybe March can deliver us a snowstorm!

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    2. Funny you only mention the EURO as the GFS and Canadian are on the north boat. Everything is bouncing around and sampling won't occur for like 60 more hours. All to play for!

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  23. All hail King EURO, when the EURO leads the rest will follow, another metro miss on the horizon? I don't think the snowlovers on this board can take another miss! Even ol' reliable Dave Dahl sounds wishy-washy on snow chances on Friday for metro.

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  24. Snow accumulations for Friday are popping up:
    weather channel 2-4"
    accuweather 4-8"
    wunderground 2-6"
    Far cry from the humongous 1-2' numbers coming out a few days back!

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  25. Anyone know what is the record high dew point for February for MSP?

    It's 51 now at 8pm. That's gotta be up there .

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  26. Oops, just found it! 52 is the record high Feb dew point, on two days, 2/21/1930, and 2/25/2000.

    So right now is the earliest 50+ dew point ever recorded in February. Wow!

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  27. Wow... Major shift north with GFS 0Z run. Could be the start of something! I'll wait to see what Euro has to say about this before believing this.

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  28. Euro is staying south of the GFS by around 100 miles for the 12Z. With 4 days to go, plenty of waffling left. NWS has a nice discussion on the models moving back and forth plus their thoughts on a tight snowfall gradient for this storm. I've enjoyed reading their write-ups on this one.

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  29. This is a really fun system to track! It would be very foolish to predict anything at this point, but the potential of this is incredible!

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  30. Newest models:
    Euro-south
    Gem-south
    Nam-south
    Gfs-northern outlier

    When will we learn folks, major snowstorms hitting MSP is the exception rather then the rule. GFS 18" MSP get real!
    Paul Douglas says at best "a few slushy inches", plowable stuff will be south and east of the metro, which seems right because most models point there and the trend this year is to miss MSP with heavy snow.

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    1. "major snowstorms hitting MSP is the exception rather then the rule."

      I'm pretty sure people are very well aware of this. The only ones around here acting like every system should hit MSP are the anons.

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  31. Well @south the NWS brings the heavy snow band into at least south metro in this mornings graphic. Time will tell if the entire metro will be in the heavy snow, gut feeling is another tight gradient of snow, from the have or have nots. Wouldn't it be nice to get just one storm without a gradiet thru the metro.

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  32. 12z GFS has the storm being warmer than initially expected. Rain, and then changing over to snow. I can see the amounts going down already.

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    1. Big shift north. Early rain is present, but outside of that, it's still a solid track for heavy snow totals in MSP. Buries the metro under a foot or more with almost two feet in the western exurbs.

      12z NAM also came in well north, dropping over a foot in the metro.

      GEM and Euro should be interesting.

      GFS might not be the outlier anymore...

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  33. Planning to do a video later this afternoon? Any particular questions you'd like addressed?

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    1. Is there any reason to favor one of the camps over the other? (UKIE, GFS) vs (Euro, Canadian)

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  34. No doubt that the MPX NWS will issue Watches from the MSP metro on south for late THUR thru SAT am.

    Somebody in southern MN is going to get a boatload of SNOW.

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    1. Got more than .75 inches of rain here in Rochester yesterday. Looks like we may now get more. My lawn is turning green!

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  35. I have many questions. What is ment by GEFS 21 members? I'm familiar with GEFS but I'm not sure what 21 members is referring to. What is CIPS analog data and bufkit data? I could go on and on. This one may be a loaded question as I'm sure there are many factors that contribute. Why does it seem all of our "storm" systems are ejecting out of CO.? I understand this is a common storm track. Why can't we seem to get a pan hook or even better a west gulf low with a neg tilt? Troughs or jet not digging far enough south or? Thanks!

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    1. If it helps I believe CIPS is where the computer tries to match data to previous storms with the forecast data for the current storm to see what it might be like.

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  36. 12z GEM coming in well north as well.

    BUT this is the primetime 2-3 days out model wobble period, so will they trend back south? More north?

    Anybody have good access to the Euro?

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    1. Euro is now very close to the GFS so easy to see why the NWS issued the Watch this early. It's so hard to actually think 12" plus, but sure looks possible somewhere in the metro. Still 2 days out though.

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  37. The Euro looks like it stayed the same. Western Kansas to Western Michigan.

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  38. Euro showing pretty much the same as the 0Z run, 6 inches for MSP and up to 9 for the southern metro.

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  39. The Euro so far has been the most consistent and the other models are trying to come into agreement with them. So they jump way north. Will probably settle back south towards the Euro.

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  40. New video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzFEi0bJ3nw .

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  41. Winter storm watch for the metro.

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  42. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 21, 2017 at 5:16 PM

    I've been holding back, but I just can't anymore. Novak is all in, the NWS is all in, the models are pretty much all in. I know all of the nay sayers are not all in, but I am all in. From 60 degrees to a foot of snow in about 48-60 hours is crazy unreal. Before weather forecasting became so public and available, this storm would have surprised people as coming out of nowhere. But it is not coming out of nowhere. It is coming right at me! Bring it!!!!

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    1. This is a crazy one isn't it Plymouth? Will be a fun couple of days to watch. Everyone is all in.

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  43. I'm in for upper 30s next week.

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  44. 62 -- another record high. Great day. Had a great bike ride. Eff this snow, it'll be spring before we know it.

    Today I saw mammatus clouds -- in February! Beautiful sunset too.

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  45. KARE 11 putting the rain/snow line in the SE metro and heaviest snow to the NW.

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  46. Going to make a prediction here that some will think to be crazy and to early. But because of time constraints I am not allowed the luxury of waiting until tomorrow afternoon to put out a forecast for the metro. As some of you know I was beating the drum since the last thread about a major winter storm that would effect Minnesota. While I said it was to early to tell if the heavier snow would effect the metro, those that know me might have picked up a huge hint. Here is the quote " Because of the blocking pattern, this low pressure system is likely to cut up into the western Great Lakes and travel a favorable path for winter storm warnings for Minnesota."

    The clue here is that that low would cut up into the western great lakes, that generally means a path close to Lacrosse that moves towards the Green Bay area, a very favorable track for the metro. If I thought the low would pass through the Chicago area I would have defined it as traveling through the central great lakes area.

    So here it goes for the metro. 10 to 20" with 10 being likely in the se metro and 20 being likely in the northwest metro. South East would include the Apple Valley/Rosemount/Farmington area, Northwest would include the Albertville/St Michael/Elk River area.

    Because it's a bit early to put this out, my confidence level is only moderately confident at this point...a 7 in 10 chance.

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    1. This will be a crippling storm. It will likely be a younger generations version of the Halloween storm.

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    2. the block wasn't as strong as predicted?

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  47. How far north and west is this thing going to continue to shift over the next 36 hours? All the outlets seem to be trending that way, with NWS nudging totals NW a good 50+ miles since last night.

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  48. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 22, 2017 at 8:13 AM

    Interesting AB. I saw that as well with some outlets and then others are still holding to the bullseye being south of us--kind of between MSP and Rochester. I like when MSP is dancing in the middle as things usually end up there. Love seeing that there is an 80% chance of a foot or more right in the metro--tweet by NWS last night. A beautiful thing. And bring it!!

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  49. For us further south visitors - Last night's Euro run and today's latest FGS 6z show Rochester getting in on the heavier snows. NAM. Total opposite. So do we believe the powerhouse models? Novak? Also found a video on youtube where Novak was on KAAL back in the day. Never knew that!

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  50. Usually, these things wobble into to the metro two days out, then verify closer to the earlier projection, so this current wobble away from the core metro bodes well for the core metro.

    Right?

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  51. The NAM (12z) really wants to screw with the Metro on south.

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  52. Snow forecast models fading rapidly to the south... hmmmmm it's like this happens every time before a "big" storm or something. When will we learn?

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  53. 12Z GFS coming in.... same as earlier and last night's euro. Heaviest from central metro south. Too bullish? St. Cloud went from a foot a few runs ago to maybe 3 inches. Slight southern shift?

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    1. There has been a large southern shift over the past 3 runs, the models are correcting themselves back to their previous state! Right on schedule.

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    2. So towards what the Euro has had all along? NAM still has no clue.

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    3. It certainly seems like it. Overhyped again.

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  54. NAM never had a clue until the day of the storm... which is pointless in my opinion.

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  55. So MSP only getting what now 1-3", we can stop this ridiculous banter of a foot of snow in Minneapolis then?

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  56. Still 36 hours out from the onset of the storm and people are already crying overhyped because of fully expected model wobbles? Good god...

    Anyway, 12z models:

    GFS: Still paints the metro with a foot, but has shifted a bit south and notably backed off the ~20" totals it had in spots.
    GEM: Shifted back south, putting I-90 in the crosshairs.
    NAM: Staying pat, still favoring Central and Western MN with some bullish amounts.

    0z Euro: I don't have access to quality maps, but sounds like it is still holding its ground on the southern solution.

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    1. I was going to comment on this... Things like this are expected. Still a while to go, but things are sliding south a bit like they looked a few days back. Really interesting having such a spread 36 hours out.

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    2. Anyone know when the storm is fully sampled? Was it the 0z runs or today's 12z? (or neither)

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    3. I believe it was 12z. Not 100% positive though

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  57. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  58. The 12Z Euro is coming down the pike. Looks like a lot like the 0Z run. The low goes through Chicago. The heaviest snow like its earlier run shows over southern and southeastern mn.

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    1. Yup, at least it shows 6 inches of snow for MSP, with the southern suburbs picking up 6-10 inches.

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  59. Removed? It was just a comment on nasa's briefing today. Goodness, you have no sense of humor at all.

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    1. Sorry, I missed the reference. Repost as you wish.

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    2. It wasn't about Uranus was it?!

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  60. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 22, 2017 at 12:47 PM

    So I am dying to hear anything from Novak. Anything, Novak? I need something........

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    1. The latest as of now is that likely the southern cities and south towards I90 are going to get pummled. Further north into the metro the idea seems to be around 6 inches from what I can see, less the further north you go. The NAM is still in lala land and I am expecting it will shift back to reality in the next couple of runs. So, all in all it looks like a decent snow for the metro at the time with our usual south does better than north scenario. Obviously this is subject to change, but as of now that is what I see.

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    2. You can subscribe to his business if you want more frequent updates!

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  61. NWS is still forecasting 8-16" for the Metro (adding up the forecasts for Thurs night, Friday, and Fri night).

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    1. Likely just a case of update lag. I would be quite surprised if the immediate metro broke 10" (as of model trends now)

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    2. The 18Z Nam has the MSP in the bulls-eye still.. north of GFS / Euro

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    3. The fact that it is the only model forecasting that way severely impairs its credibility. Literally everything else has it south. We can hope, but I am not holding my breath.

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    4. Yes. Agreed. The NAM is playing catch-up it appears.

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  62. Blizzard Watch posted for south central and southwestern MN

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  63. Looks like Euro won over GFS once again.

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  64. The same spot that had 8-16" forecasted earlier this afternoon for the SW Metro now has 7-17". A good sign that there's still potential for a lot of snow, but still a lack of confidence.

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  65. nam is still showing pretty far north though...wondering why the nam isnt budging at all.

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  66. I tend to agree with the MPX NWS when it comes to these frustrating situations with model guidance. Since NO guidance is perfect & they ALL have their own biases, usually it is best to split the difference & find a nice middle ground.

    For instance, the short term guidances NAM/HRRR/RAP do a better job with low level scenarios such as forcing. Meanwhile, the medium range guidances GFS/ECMWF/GDPS usually have a better handle on upper air structure since they focus in on a larger area & data points.

    With this storm, I believe the Euro is NOT giving enough credit to the low level forcing that will develop with this monster. Hence, it doesn't surge the snow as far north as the NAM guidance. Hell, I'm worried the intense forcing will create a DRY SLOT that will cut-off the snow for a time being especially southeast of MSP over western WI & southeastern MN.

    My bet is that the northern extent of heavy snows will fall from a Brookings, SD to STC to DLH line. The southern extent from Mason City to Rochester to EAU. That would leave the southern MSP metro on the axis of heaviest snows. There is no reason why this storm should not produce 10"-12"+ of concrete in some areas.

    Meanwhile, a significant ICE storm will develop along the I-90 corridor from Albert Lea east into WI.

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  67. I was just looking at the Euro totals from the last run and the tight gradient the GFS is showing. Glad I'm not Novak or the NWS. This is where the art of predicting these storms mixes with the science.

    It will be fun to poke around the models and watch this come together. Looks like the biggest snow maker in a long time for SD and MN...somewhere....

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  68. 18Z runs for GFS. Basically the same. Cities on south. GEFS ensembles. Same. If I focus on my part of the state (southeast) the last 4 runs continue to show around a foot in KRST. Now if I look at the NAM. Latest shows the low moving slightly south of earlier [(25-50 miles). Now shows maybe 5 inches compared to 1-2 in previous 3. Candian (RDPS) same as GFS. Going to be very interesting to watch as the models hone in towards some agreement. FUN TIMES!

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  69. I strongly believe the NWS is not confident in their going forecast, which in turn high bust potential is on the table for the immediate core metro. Thus the reasoning for such wide ranges in their point forecast (my area in Crystal has a range of 7-15", that's large), also we are inside of 24 hours of the storm and no upgrade to warnings as of it, that should tell you something, even with the low end number we should be in a warning currently. Expect drastic changes to the going forecast by the time you wake up in the morning, just saying!

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    1. And you're basing this on...what, paranoia? The NWS gave a range; that's all they can do. This isn't an exact science, and it probably never will be.

      Let's face it. Half the audience here will consider it a bust if we get less than three feet. Am I right? If there aren't at least 500 cars in the ditch, major league bust.

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    2. NWS will issue warnings overnight from SW to NE. Based on their latest discussion it appears they were waiting for a little more data. Latest NAM 4K is really impressive for the metro.

      Just did a quick check of local media websites, KARE 6-10, KSTP 6-12, WCCO 10+, couldn't figure out FOX 9. Some of those 4casts were from 5 PM and I expect them to change. Everyone had more snow south metro than north.

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  70. From the 10:00 newscasts:
    3-6 WCCO
    3-8 KARE

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  71. Eh, im actually suprised Gfs is still going south... getting a little concerned.

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  72. From their AFD at 9:57. Confidence is much lower than 24 hours ago. Also says latest GFS shows metro only scrapes metro with measurable snow.

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  73. Unless this is the trademarked model wobble a day before the storm that usually happens, then the metro on north is going to struggle getting more than 3 inches. And lets be real, when was the last time us snow lovers actually got what we wanted? Can't remember? Me neither.

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  74. We've reached the part of snowmageddon when people start getting "concerned"

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  75. I feel for snowloversFebruary 23, 2017 at 1:04 AM

    I don't have a better word, you can call it concerned, but after all the hype the last few days, with this south trend continuing, bust is the best word! I'm sure it will irate a few of you and may cause Bill to delete, but lets be honest if MSP receives anything less then 3-5" after all this heavy snow banter what would you call it? I wouldn't fault any one forecaster because science isn't perfect, but the forecast would be a bust after everything that has been said and forecasted to this point.

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    1. "the forecast would be a bust after everything that has been said and forecasted to this point."

      No, it wouldn't

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  76. Sorry metro snowlovers not looking good, you had to know this was going to occur. The words major.snow.Minneapolis.don't go well together!

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    1. nam 12km, 4km, 3km, hopwrf 4km all say heavy snow in msp

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  77. Just woke up to a totally different forecast. Rochester goes from ice to a dumping, MSP totals way down. Looking back on the past 36 hours, it is crazy how different the NWS snow maps have looked. A difficult forecast to say the least.

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  78. @Anonymous @1:27am, the NAM and all the other buddies you mentioned are wrong, storm went south, heavy snow went south and MSP is left with another nuisance if that. Maybe next time which looks like early next week but again theres already an issue with that one, too warm rainy/snow mix at best. Someone said awhile back MSP winters are broken, definitely some truth in that!

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  79. Sorry PWL and all of my fellow TC snow lovers. But, did we REALLY think the core metro was going to get socked with a major snowstorm? We HOPED it would, but if we were forced to bet on it I am confident that at least 90% of us would not have taken that bet. Deep in our hearts we all knew that once the hype started for the core metro that that was the kiss of death. Granted the storm hasn't hit yet and things could change and the big snow could shift north, but that appears highly unlikely at this point in time. Like the Cubs said for more than a century, "There's always next year". I just hope we don't have to wait more than a century before we get a real winter in the TC again!

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  80. There is NO WAY you can call this a BUST if portions of the MSP metro receive 8"-10"+ of snow. From a 4casting standpoint, it is frustrating when people don't realize how difficult it is predict EXACTLY where sharp gradients set-up, especially when 20 to 30 miles one way or the other will make a world of difference.

    I don't believe there was any doubt that most 4casters knew there would be a sharp NW/SE gradient with this storm. Of course, some 4casters totally bought into the NAM & shoved that gradient well north of MSP. However, most 4casters voiced concern when the ECMWF continued to show a more southern solution to the snow band.

    In other words, up to this point, this Winter Storm has been 4casted relatively well.

    Now, if all of the MSP metro gets skunked, then I say Major League BUST.

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    1. I don't believe a forecast is "busted" unless a storm never actually materializes in the area. But at the same time, when a forecast for my area goes from 7-16 inches to 2-5 inches literally overnight, you can't argue against calling it a totally different forecast than what you saw before.

      Of course, I'm also not among the conspiracy theorists who thinks Mother Nature has a mindset of her own to miss an entire metropolitan area. I understand it is difficult for forecasters, but it's also difficult for individuals trying to make plans for work, errands, etc. when a forecast can vary so wildly over an 8-12 hour period. So, defend the forecasting, but also recognize that average people feel the consequences of a difficult forecast too, not just the forecasters.

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    2. Well you know how the "hopers" get disappointed. This is the reaction, but I agree, still a big storm.

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  81. Hahaha, people already calling bust, ahahahahaha. Models shift 24 hours out and rather than discuss the storm still at hand that is still very likely to dump a cool foot on the southern third of the state, people immediately turn the chat into BUST, OVERHYPED, MSP NEVER GETS ANYTHING, MAYBE NEXT TIME.

    So I'm done posting here, sorry :(. Not that I contributed a lot, just guessing it's probably a big reason we don't see a lot of past-season regulars anymore.

    Also Novak's post above is spot on.

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  82. Well good morning Twin Cities weather enthusiasts, let me refresh your memories last night at 8:24pm I said "expect drastic changes when you wake up", well here we are my 7-15" is now 2-4"(now thats drastic), but yet I was criticized for being paranoid and Bill agreed, its all good though.

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  83. Don't mess with the EMCWF! That's the moral of the story.

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  84. Sorry MSP. I feel your pain. Frustrating for a snow lover to see things change in a day's time. Down here in Rochester we might compete with our all-time snow event of 18.5 inches. According to our ABC affiliate the hi-res model puts out almost 19 inches. The long range models (euro-gfs) range from 12.3 to 19 inches, while the NAM comes in at 20.

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  85. I'm just having fun watching the forecasters that are watching the forecasters forecast giving their own forcast on those focasters making the forcasts! MNPLOWCO

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like a movie - Forcasting Inception

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  86. Northwest Metro will now see a dusting to an inch if lucky. Growing tired of this. We should have more models so we could have painted Canada too with a foot of snow. I get that it is pretty accurate overall 150 miles on a long range forecast but dont give out any totals at all. Just say heavy snow possible, we have no idea where though be prepared. When snow starts falling and you have radar returns then start throwing out how much and where.

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    1. Have you ever read the comments here and on other sites? Many people begging for an idea of totals.

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  87. With all the power & forcing associate with this massive storm, I still have a tough time believing that the significant snow will NOT surge much further north than the downtowns of MPLS/STP. Upper level support is available well north near DLH.

    Something tells me that most of the MSP metro will get hit with decent snows. I believe Wright county is the most likely area to escape the brunt of this system.

    No doubt, extremely sharp NW/SE snow gradient. It will be exciting to watch where that exact line sets-up overnight.

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    1. "Escape" huh, more like miss out.

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  88. With the local mets forecsstd, Novak and Randy Hill's predictions, the NWS, and the models ALL over the place, the is the perfect setup for what Bill's original vision was for this site. It will be fun to see "Who's crystal clear and who's all wet when it to comes to Minnesota weather forecasters?"

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    1. Indeed! The key words there are "original vision." That was before it became too time consuming and of questionable value. And before I moved to New Mexico. :-)

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  89. 12z GFS coming in further south, looks like the GFS and HiRes models overdid the strength of the trough. Am I right on that? It looks much weaker run-to-run and I think that's why the GFS caved to the Euro over the past couple runs and now has the southern solution. Weaker trough, so more southern track. (I think... somebody correct me if I'm wrong)

    Looks like the Euro won this battle.

    I definitely wouldn't use the B word for this storm but I'm sure some people on the NW side will feel that way.

    I'm just happy I won't have to shovel a foot of concrete.

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    1. I don't envy forecasters on this at all, tight gradient cutting right through the metro... again. NWS must be pulling their hair out.

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  90. Here's what I find amusing/frustrating: Storm tracks seem to regularly set up for a snowfall gradient over the metro area. If it is possible for that to always happen, then it is possible for the the metro to be in the bullseye more often, yet it rarely is.

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  91. it's a classic example of the Murphy's Law.
    If something can go wrong it will.
    If you are a snow lover, the snow will always set up everywhere except where you live.

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  92. On Joe Bastardi's twitter account he just posted the 12z GFS, which is now only showing 2 inches of snow for Dakota County! If this trend continues the metro might see no snow at all! Who is up for a road trip to Rochester?!

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    1. Hey, good idea! I'm up for a road trip to see snow! lol Here in Apple Valley right now we have a lot of blue sky and sunshine!

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  93. Blizzard warnings have replaced most of winter storm warnings in southern / se Minnesota.

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  94. When will the watches and warnings for Dakota County and north be dropped? I can't believe that the watch for Hennepin County and north has not already been discontinued.

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    1. I really doubt they will cancel Dakota county, and for the northern metro they wont cancel it until tonight. Looks like they are waiting to see the northern extent of the snow shield. Smart move if you think about it, go look at the groundhog storm last year.

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    2. Well I spoke too soon! They dropped the northern metro, central and south metro are in an advisory or warning now.

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  95. Wow usually when the mpx nws posts totals they seem to be close if not right on. South Hennepin county went from 8-16" to 2-4" in 26hrs. Davin I also remember the Feb 2nd snow last year all eyes were on south east mn but received some heavy bands almost training storm over south metro. My hat goes off to Ian Leonard. He didn't post snow totals yesterday. He just showed the spread in nam/gfs/euro and said it will all change. This should be intresting to watch unfold. A little bummed that it's looking less and less likely mpx receives "significant" snowfall. I was excited for a bit but thought way to good to be true... we shall see.

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  96. Just remember that if this thing ejects just 25-50 miles further north there are big implications for us because of the tight gradient. All teleconnections point that this thing should have gone NW of where it did... The weather is broken, very broken.

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    1. Considering we just had 6 days of consecutive record highs in February I think you are 100% spot on.
      The weather is indeed broken.
      We'll see where this thing ends up. Models are never 100% accurate anyway so...

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  97. Mmm... Interesting GFS 18Z has the snow reaching just a little further north.

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    1. Current radar kinda backs that up.

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  98. I absolutely LOVE the discussion on whether it is appropriate or not to post snow potential totals & when they should be posted.

    'ThinkingPow' just said that his "hat goes off" to KMSP for NOT posting totals last night. That means that TP feels it is fine to wait to the last 12 to 24 hours before the onset of a storm before needing to post totals. Does everybody else agree?

    I feel it is irresponsible to NOT post potential totals as soon as you can. People are attempting to make plans & they know they need to take the totals with a grain of salt. My theory is 24 to 48 hours before the onset of a snowstorm is when potential totals need to be posted.

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    1. I'm in the snow plowing business and really need to have some idea about snow totals so we can plan on ramping up more labor. I always take weather forecasts with a grain of salt. Still gonna keep my guard up on this till the Fat Lady is done singing. Sure hoping for just lighter side of snow that can trigger a plow but sure as hell don't want no 12 plus inches.

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  99. I've said many times that the way the Capital Weather Gang does it best. Two days out they might say: 25% of less than 4", 30% 4-8", 35% 8-12" and 10% 12"+. Tells you everything you need to know. I firmly believe showing probabilistic outcomes is the way to go. And of course such a presentation could be updated as the storm gets closer.

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    1. which is what the NWS has been experimentally doing for a while (with their probabilistic graphs) but I always wondered why TV stations do not.
      Jonathan Yuhas used to do it for while and I liked it a lot, but then no more (probably Dave Dahl..)
      I disagree with Novak that snow totals should be out as soon as possible.
      If they turn out to be incorrect or dramatically changed as is happening with this stor, they are totally useless for plan-making purposes.
      And, most importantly, you lose people confidence in you.

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    2. Maybe the TV stations don't do it because too many viewers wouldn't understand.

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  100. KSTP (of all networks) is officially calling it in...

    Not expecting much snow to fall in the Twin Cities Friday. It won't be a pleasant day but it will not be a snow day for schools. This upcoming storm is not working with a strong push of cold air which limits snow production and thunderstorms to the south in Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa tonight then Illinois, Indiana and Ohio tomorrow will rob the system of moisture. Winds will increase tonight and winds will be strong all day Friday which will cause some visibility issues south of the Metro Friday. Snow will develop later tonight after 10 p.m. in the south Metro then slowly move north overnight but may stay south of Interstate 94 most of the early morning Friday. Low temperatures will be around 30 degrees with North winds increasing to 15 to 25 mph. Periods of snow Friday mainly in the south Metro south of downtown Minneapolis and downtown St.Paul with Metro accumulations of a dusting Anoka and north to 1" to 2" most of the Metro and 3" to 4" south of the Minnesota River toward Lakeville and Hastings. Snow will end before 9 p.m. Friday. It will be cold Friday with temperatures in the low 30s at noon falling back into the mid 20s by 6 p.m. and strong Northwest winds at 15 to 30 mph will produce wind-chills in the teens during the afternoon hours. Jonathan Yuhas will have updates tonight on KSTP TV. http://kstp.com/weather/

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  101. I think what irritates some is the TV weather experts and their egos. They hype these storms so much for the ratings (weather terrorists) and compete among each other for the I was right award. All the while having over a million excuses lined up if their forecast was way off mark, dry slot, jet shift, etc. We get it, forecasting storm totals is not easy but then stop trying to act like it is something that can be done with accuracy in a 50 mile area 3 days out. Some of the TV mets are becoming more reserved to this however I think some need to just stick to forecasting the sunrise and sunset times rather than reading a computer model. That's why I come here, the "experts" here put more into their forecasts then just the GFS says this, Euro say that.

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  102. I agree that having totals earlier than later is a plus. I work for a rather large snow removal company in the mpx area. If we would have listened to the local weather stations and forecasters with the exception of a couple private firms we would be sitting on thousands of dollars in salt. Not to mention having a couple hundred of people on call. Having an early perecting is nice but can also be very VERY frustrating mentally and financially. Seems king euro wasn't a premature praise. We shall see. Didn't hey just dump a bunch of money into the gfs?

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  103. ThinkingPow: I would love to know what 4caster was telling NOT to worry about any accumulating snow yesterday. To me, that sounds absurd & irresponsible given what guidance was saying.

    Now, there is a difference between saying "it might or it might not" or "don't buy into the solution yet" compared to "it is NOT going to snow, don't worry".

    To me, hedging your bet or not committing is simply saying 50% chance; anybody can predict or say that.

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  104. A while back I was talking about the art in the science of weather. Unless something crazy happens, the art will win this time going away. Euro is now showing basically nothing for most of the Metro as the the NAM 4K. The low looks like it is tracking even south of Chicago, quite the shift from just a day or two ago.

    This is tough for the weather folks. I know people that pushed their flights up a day to get out of town before the Friday storm. Do I want the forecasters to stop predicting totals? No - when that information is correct it is invaluable.

    NWS started the week with an air of certainty and then flipped yesterday in their discussions. The key is we are talking around 100 miles of movement, that was all it took. Probably will end up a little more than that and the NWS with the wide initial watch is a bit of a head scratcher.

    Hopefully everyone here recognizes this is why Bill put this forum together. To discuss, debate, and have fun with weather forecasting. Yes Novak appears to have missed on this, but his input and videos are invaluable to this community and he typically gets it right.

    Been a fun week following this.

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    1. The low on radar and satellite looks to be north of where models have it. I don't know if that means anything or not.

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    2. What's interesting is the NWS actually has had 3-4 versions of their W/W map. Started with seven county on south, then they took it up to Mille Lacs county west to Stearns/Benton and east to Pine and surrounding areas. THEN most W/W were dropped north of the river the last couple hours.
      This has been fun to watch

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  105. No fun at all! When there is no snow! Excuse me Bill and others but I'm saying this for all snowlovers this SUCKS!

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  106. What I found amazing is that nobody seems to take into consideration established patterns when making forecasts. Everything event is looked at in isolation.
    Weather (especially in winter) is one of those phenomena where when a pattern gets establish early in a winter season, it is very difficult to dislodge.
    This year (almost every recent year to be honest) the pattern has been very clear from the beginning: winter storms miss the core MSP area to the south east, and so it is common sense to expect that to continue.
    So I would expect the experiences meterologist to tell me that although model X is showing 1000 inches of snow 2 days out, I expect the storm to miss to the south AS IT HAS BEEN THE TREND this winter.
    The only one that mentions it is Joe Bastardi (which is probably why he is mostly accurate). Mother Nature as every energy system wants to find balance, and that means the path of least resistance which means repeat the same established trend.
    So frustrating as it may for snow lovers, this was to be expected. The trend is south. And this winter storms will go south.
    Rely less on models, and more on experience and patterns.
    I am amazed that NWS barely mention this in their discussions.

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    1. If your assertion that weather patterns in winter are established "early and very difficult to dislodge" were true, MSP would be pushing 100" for the season. Are you forgetting the multiple 5+" storms for MSP in December? Are you forgetting the MANY storms that missed MSP to the northwest earlier in the season? North Dakota and NW MN had a VERY deep snowpack up until this past warm spell. To say "everything has trended south" is simply not true. Yes, this forecast was a complete bust for the metro area, but to chock it up to not relying on :experience and patterns" is laughable. Relying on "experience and patterns" is simply not possible in a day and age when we just experienced 17 MONTHS (and counting) of warmer than average temperatures. Who here has ever experienced 17 months of warmer than average temperatures? This is uncharted water. Expect more of the unexpected. Unpredictability will be the new norm.

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  107. With storms like this continually proving to be largely unpredictable surprisingly close to the actual storm itself, is there any hope that with the improvement of science and technology, the models themselves can be improved and become more reliable?

    As I understand it, the job of a meteorologist is much more than to just read a model and regurgitate it to the public. Aren't they also supposed to understand why what models are doing what they're doing and interpret that into a forecast that might not just simply reflect what the models spit out?

    Furthermore, are there meteorologists or scientists actively trying to improve the reliability of the models? It would seem that if you could study a specific storm and the model performance leading up to it, maybe you could start to get an idea of the behavior of them and understand why they shift like they do? I'm not the most scientifically brilliant mind, so I'd love for some of the people that actually know what they're talking about on here provide some insight if they have any. Because it would seem with technology and science improving so much in this day and age, more reliable weather models would accompany that improvement.

    Also just wanna say how fantastic it is to have so many intelligent minds giving their insight and knowledge to the rest of us on here. It really is awesome to learn from what all of you are saying and get a better understanding for the weather here in Minnesota. For that, this blog is a giant success. This winter has been especially bad with the Anonymous comments trying to get others going, but right or wrong, I really appreciate the effort of so many of you throwing out your predictions and the reasoning behind them quite a bit, and I know many others do too.

    Looking forward to seeing how this storm unfolds for my old stomping grounds down in Red Wing!

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  108. Snowing nicely in Rochester now.

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  109. HopWRF now says NO SNOW for the core MSP. You have to get into southern Dakota County before there's a single flake. I love the forecast, but will it verify?

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  110. This could be the largest bust in years. All models completely out to lunch.

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  111. um no EURO was still showing up to 6" as of yesterday for MSP. I know most HATE this word but a BUST IS A BUST not one single flake for Minneapolis when just a few hours ago 1-3" was forecasted. We went from 12-18" to 0 in 24 hours=the best example of bust you will ever find. PERIOD, and still when we say it we are laughed out and joked about(ex. Neil's comments this morning)

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I was wrong, it happens.

      But whatever, who cares, last year when you (I'm just going to assume it was you because ALL anons are one to me) was saying "THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL" for the Groundhog Day storm for days on end. No reasoning, none. Then when it walloped the metro with a foot, all the anons like you were NOWHERE to be found and it was just absolute crickets from the droves of anons saying that one would bust.

      So when you're right you pound your chest, but when you're wrong you back into the bushes like Homer Simpson.

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  112. How could so many models be so bad? I guess there's no good answer.

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  113. Here's some food for thought...I read somewhere a couple days ago that the storm actually slowed a bit. With the strong cold front moving through, is there any chance the cold front had a much stronger influence in the LOWs trajectory resulting in this system getting shoved further south? So quickly, the models had a hard time keeping up? Obviously, some models handled it better then others but all were still had "some" snow for the seven county metro (some more than others)

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  114. I'm sorry, but I must agree that this has got to go down as one of the most epic BUSTS for the TC in recent memory! Wow! Just speechless. I hope forecasters learn something from this. They have to start forecasting snow differently (e.g. like the Capital Weather Gang, etc.). The NWS led the charge starting early this week touting the huge snowstorm not just for Minneapolis but for the entire metro. As it stands now, far southern Dakota County might be the only part of the metro that gets more than an inch or two. Wow...Wow!

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  115. Yes, but the NWS will just gloss over their epic mistake instead of taking ownership of it. Just read this morning's forecast discussion. There is no hint of "oops, we really blew it" in the write up.

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  116. NWS has the probability product but keep it somewhat buried and call it "experimental". I just don't know if the public will want to filter through trying decern what the forecast is calling for. Most want to know, just as they are heading out the door, what's in store for the day

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  117. The problem is much simpler: Paul Douglas illustrates it very well in his blog this morning: it just does not snow anymore in the twin cities. Period.
    It just does not. Therefore all you need to do is forecast little or no accumulation and you will be the most accurate basically all the time.
    It does not matter what the models say.
    it just does not snow anymore in the cities. Climate change mechanisms are in place so that the TC location does not make it likely to receive any significant snow.
    And here's my dire prediction: the TC (officially recorded at the airport) will never see a 6+ inch snowstorm for at least 10 years if not longer.
    I am sure I will be ridiculed, but so was the case at the beginning of the winter when I predicted that this winter we would struggle to get any consistent snow cover, which turned out to be correct.
    So go ahead, and hopefully in 10 years time this blog will be even more successful and thriving than it already is today and we'll check back.
    How many 6+inch snowstorm would the airport have received between today and feb 2027? None I say.

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    1. The airport had a 7" snowfall in December.

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    2. and CA is in a never ending drought and reservoirs will never be full again.

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  118. "And here's my dire prediction: the TC (officially recorded at the airport) will never see a 6+ inch snowstorm for at least 10 years if not longer.
    I am sure I will be ridiculed, but so was the case at the beginning of the winter when I predicted that this winter we would struggle to get any consistent snow cover, which turned out to be correct.
    So go ahead, and hopefully in 10 years time this blog will be even more successful and thriving than it already is today and we'll check back.
    How many 6+inch snowstorm would the airport have received between today and feb 2027? None I say."

    Bill I wont be offended if you delete this but I have to say this may be the dumbest comment/prediction I ever heard.

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    1. That's Ok. Debate is for people that disagree.
      I stand by my "dumbest prediction you ever heard".
      Come and see me in 10 years and we'll see who was crystal clear and who was all wet to paraphrase Bill.
      Love challenges.

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    2. Dare I say it, maybe Tuesday it will snow. I know I know we have to hear all the same weather folks predict another storm, but hey as of right now the EURO looks the best. I just hope we get 6.1 to shut you up!

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    3. I hope so too. I am a snow lover after all.

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  119. This lack of snow discussion is silly. If the MSP average is 54" (per DNR) then we exceeded that in 2011, 2013, and 2014. MN DNR have total snowfall data back to 1885, graph the seasonal totals and it varies considerable but the trend is actually up. Over the last 50 years the trend might as well be flat. You can say its down the last decade but we also never had less than 20" in a season which occurs on average once a decade.

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