Thursday, December 14, 2017

The View from Mid-December

Snow has been relatively scarce this winter season. As we move into mid-December, there were inklings of a storm late next week. If that doesn't develop, prepare for a metropolis to go frantic in search of a white Christmas.

125 comments:

  1. One thing seems for sure after all the talk about blizzards or freezing rain...it’s going to get cold.

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  2. GFS shows virtually nothing for the next 10 days.
    Maybe eek out a white Christmas if what's on the ground still remains in 10 days, which with above freezing daytime temps over the weekend and Monday it may knockout out what's left in terms of snow depths.

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  3. Hot off the ... video pixels, here's a chat with Tom regarding next week's weather. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M0T2JXyrJg

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  4. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 15, 2017 at 12:36 PM

    Just watched the video. I love that our man Tom pointed out all of the "flies in the ointment" to point out things that could go wrong. He gets it! And I say BRING IT!!!!

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    1. I didn't watch the video, because there are so many variables and possibilities nearly a week away that it's basically useless to care about the chance of a snowstorm.

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    2. The video notes that and even discusses red flags... so you might be interested from a weather enthusiast perspective to view it. Or not. :-)

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    3. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 15, 2017 at 5:14 PM

      Exactly, Bill. Which is what makes weather so interesting and so highly discussed. Love it!

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  5. Once upon a time when the metro didn't get hit with snowstorms we still at least got our fair share of clippers to hit, that's not the case it seems that everything is either way light or way north and east. Tonight is a good example! as has been the last few weeks.

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  6. NWS already hinting at a non event for the metro, AGAIN! Calling for a "cosmetic touch up"(how many of those have we had already). And then as Nature would have it nothing but real cold and real dry air to follow. Lame/quiet winter continues! Yes I'm whining because we have lost our winter mojo! I'm thinking Patrick Hammer made the best move by moving to the lake effect region of Buffalo.

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  7. @Sam, read again it looks like the NWS updated to a more snowier scenario. Let's just be patient and see what evolves, but whatever falls won't go anywhere....some serious arctic cold coming!

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  8. Who's a aficionado of snow?....The NWS discussion asked that this morning. Well I am and I know PWL is and I know there are others.PWL I won't steal your words....I will simply say SEND IT! A very cold and very white Christmas seems to be setting up.

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  9. I am an aficionado of snow too! I am born and raised in MN, and miss the snowstorms that were plentiful in the 80's and 90's. I've always been in the "If it's going to be cold, then I want snow" club. I am looking forward to these models aligning on Thursday's system, and crossing my fingers for MSP to be in the cross hairs!

    Thank you Novak and Bill for for A) giving us something to look forward to, and B) keeping it real and showing all the variables that could either weaken it or change it's path. Personally, I'd rather read/hear about a snowstorm and it's variables 7 days out instead of hearing about NO snowstorms! Keep it up!

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    1. Thanks, JAW. I think it's good when we do a video and it doesn't automatically translate to "big storm possible." I'm all about learning and education (and maybe a good snowstorm along the way).

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  10. Looks like our first storm of the year may happen late Thursday into Friday. Way too early to call, but GFS looks impressive and has held so far.

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  11. So we now have our first snowstorm on the table, and 84 hours to see how many ways it can fall apart and miss the metro or somehow disappoint all the snow lovers.

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  12. Good news is gfs and euro are both in agreement with where the heavy band of snow will be, only difference is on the totals. Hopefully MSP can get at least 4-6 inches of snow out of this.

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  13. NWS has already started trending this storm south a bit. I'm concerned the cold air is coming in too soon and will cut off the snow from MSP north. Fair guess???

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  14. Did the 0Z Euro split the energy up?

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  15. If MSP was in the bulls eye we all know 3-4 days later it would shift away. Seems to always work that way.

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    1. Couldn't agree more! It's weird, but being 3-4 days out, I think we have a better chance of getting a square hit in MSP if we are "close" to the bullseye and then have it shift here. When we are in the bullseye 3-4 days out, it's fun for discussion purposes, but you are right...we usually see it drift away by the time the event starts.

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    2. Agree. Being in the bullseye 3-4 days is out is NOT a good thing. I think 1-2 days is more (but not guaranteed) the sweet spot.

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    3. Agreed. In fact, in the 10+ years I've been following weather and tracking winter storm systems, I remember almost no storms that ended up dumping the heaviest snow where it was forecasted to 3-4 (Or even 2-3) days earlier.

      Would love to hear a meteorologist's (or one of the smart guys around here) take on this. Considering so many people are in agreement with you, I almost feel it warrants a closer inspection or study to see if it can in any way be used to improve future forecasting.

      Then again, what do I know. I never took science or math classes back in the day.

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    4. You often hear meteorologists say 3-4 days in advance that the track WILL change... but they just don't know which way. But what do I know... I'm an armchair observer as well.

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  16. I'm just excited to see discussion/anticipation/etc on this board again! It's been a quiet season so far. "Bring it!"

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  17. GFS seems to be running away from the cities and becoming weaker. Hopefully we can reverse these trends; it has been far too long since we had a good snowfall here.

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  18. Latest GFS - SE MN - Central Wisconsin are the winners.
    http://www.pivotalweather.com/model.php?m=gfs&p=snku_acc&rh=2017121812&fh=120&r=us_mw&dpdt=

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  19. Sorry MSP we lose out again! Major snow trending away, like I said models had 84 hours to disappoint the snow lovers

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  20. Euro is still on board and has actually shifted the heavy snow right on top of MSP now. I'd believe Euro over GFS any day after seeing that huge bust last year!

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  21. Just to put it out there the GEFS is much better then the operational gfs you all look at. It shows more snow n of the operational Gfs cutoff. It's actually close to Euro

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  22. Hoping to do a video with the weather doctor around 8 p.m. Anyone have any questions they'd like us to consider?

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    1. What's it look like for wind? Expected Ratio of snow? Heavy snow, powdery?

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    2. Is he concerned about cold air cutting off the snow or pushing it south into Iowa? The highs for Wed/Thu have been trending colder...

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    3. Will the "core" metro get screwed with snow? Talk is it's two rounds of snow, one to the north of the core and one to the south of the core. Core being inside the 694/494 loop, thank you look forward to the video.

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    4. NWS in their point forecast for Eden Prairie has freezing rain mention, why? I thought this was a all snow event, temperatures seem cold enough and track is favorable.

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  23. Does the poor performance of the GFS last winter factor into how you use it this winter? Or are there too many variables that change year over year to hold a "grudge"?

    Thanks Tom and Bill!

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  24. Here's the video, chock full of your great questions! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdKvulSt7NM

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    1. Thank you for the video guys! Looking forward to hearing your take as we get into the belly of the beast on Thursday.

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  25. This is going to be a non-event.

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  26. Took the words right out of my mouth, non-event still implies snow, which according to the NWS this morning could be virtually nothing right up to the western metro. If the snow doesn't occur it will be a borderline white Christmas due to the fact we hit 40 yesterday and will be above freezing again today, our snowpack what little we had is taking a hit and driving around town yesterday I saw many patches of lawn developing.

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  27. As usual, lots of "noise", hoopla and 80% chances of snow days ahead of the event, only to dwindle to "Go home, there's nothing to see here, folks." Ho-hum...a big non-event.

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  28. For the core metro, Sven @ Kare is calling for no snow from wave 1 tomorrow and possibly a whole whopping inch from wave 2 on Thursday. Batten down the hatches. Protect the women and children. Move to the second floor so you will be able to see out the windows! We have received more snow from some of these weak clippers that have skirted by the past couple of weeks. The temps hit the 40s yesterday and are forecasted to be well in the 30's today. What seemed almost like a sure bet (as close as one can get to a sure bet anyway) less than 24 hours ago that the metro would have a white Christmas, has now morphed into a possible brown Christmas scenario for at least some of us.

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  29. Paul Huttner- coating-1" or so
    Dave Dahl- 2-4"
    WCCO radio 1-3"
    NWS 2-3"


    Lame weak winter of 17-18' limps on!

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  30. As usual a lot of hype about nothing.

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  31. If we can't get into January without any snow then maybe we can get some nice warm-ups!!!

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  32. Unfortunately it appears that the storm is over before it even gets started. There's always next time...maybe

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  33. My memory is bad. When was the last time we got 6 or more inches of snow from a single event?

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  34. December 16th-17th of last year. 6.1" officially at MSP if I remember correctly, and cannot remember anything that big after that.

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    1. Wow, love the encyclopedic memories of some on the blog!

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. An entire year without a 6" snowfall. Sad.

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  35. Brown Christmas and then painful cold without any snow. Bummer.

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  36. Just sad and pathetic what a lousy winter!

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  37. FROM LC Facebook Page -Good morning from NWS La Crosse. Travel impacts, including snow covered and slick roads, are still expected from light snow and possibly light icing Thursday into Friday. Latest indications are that this storm system is trending much weaker with lighter precipitation amounts. Expect to see lower snowfall totals for many areas as we refine the forecast. Will continue to work out the details today.
    ---
    was fun while it lasted

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  38. This is a great reason why one should NOT post snow totals until the storm comes ashore and/or 24 to 48 hours before a storm, not 3 to 5 days before.

    Keep in mind, the MSP Int'l usually only receives 1 or 2 6"+ snowfalls per season. So, the idea that we should be getting hammered once or twice a month is ridiculous.

    As for this system later this week is concerned, it is way too early to call it a bust. There is no doubt that it does NOT look like a classic Snowstorm. The jet structure dynamics simply don't support that since there appears to be no diffluence depicted in the model guidance. However, with such a potentially strong Jet Streak, anything can happen. The models often have a tough time with such strong Jet winds.

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  39. Also, if we are going to hang our hats on model guidance, especially the GFS, then look at the 12z run & the snow totals that the GFS is cranking-out by the end of the year; nearly 20" in the MSP metro. Do I buy this figure? Not at all, but with an impressive load of Arctic air in place, it certainly should snow a lot.

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  40. The 12Z GFS doesn't even drop a flake of snow in the MSP core.

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  41. The Weather Service just gave it up. Either no or less than an inch of snow now being forecast for the core metro, and in fact, most areas.

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    1. Yep, the snow party isn't even going to get off the ground. Most of us will be lucky to see a flake. The temperature forecast is also going up (likely due to the fact that most of us will have a brown Christmas). It's not such a bad thing for the temperatures to go up some, but this no-snow deal is a kick in the gut to many. I was hoping for a Christmas miracle for snow, but deep down I was very cautious and guarded. I had a bad feeling, which unfortunately came true. As a couple of posters said previously, when the metro is in the bullseye 3-4 days out, "for get about it", because it ain't gonna happen... White Christmas to Brown Christmas (for most) in a blink of the eye...

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  42. It reminds me of the Eddie Murphy skit many many years ago where the kid offers another kid some ice cream and then when the second kid goes to take it, the first kid pulls it away and says "psych"!

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  43. So no more videos then?

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    1. Why have a video? There's nothing to discuss other than the official disappearance of a figment of our collective, and the models', imagination.

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  44. Alright, here's a question/observation that I'm sure has come up on this blog before, but how much does social media contribute to the ups and downs, rises and falls, and overall bad forecasting (at least, perceived) that's out there today? Things just, by nature, appear more official when viewed on a computer screen - even in the era of fake news. No matter how hard meteorologists try to frame forecasts as possibilities, people don't view them that way. No solutions to this. The problem isn't going away. Just an observation. It's the same with other things too. I'm a teacher and I joke sometimes that people can put completely untrue statements on instagram, but when they put it in a pretty font with a wheat field or a mountain range for a background, people go ga-ga over it. It's hilarious. And sad.

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  45. If people don't understand that forecasting is more art than science (and most people don't get that), it's their own damn faults. I'd like to think the reverse is true, that it's more science than art, but it isn't. I don't know when it will be, if ever. There are so many variables. People don't get that either.

    Now, forecasters themselves take to social media early and often, ESPECIALLY when there's even a remote chance for snow. NWS Twin Cities and Paul Huttner, among others, start peeing their pants ten days out. So they feed the monster you speak of.

    But then you read some of the comments people post on Facebook to NWS and other weather pages -- holy god, it's a wonder they can feed themselves. "Will it snow at my house at 3pm???"

    Forecasters could maybe do a better job of conveying probabilities rather than snow amounts, but then, NWS does this. Maybe they don't publish those maps as widely as they should. Those maps are out there if you can find them!

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  46. Most of us are here because we love watching and learning about these storms. I completely agree that social media has accelerated the weather hype, but it has also done is for everything else.

    This potential storm was noteworthy due to travel concerns. The NWS graphic I was Monday said there was a potential of up to 8, but it was too early to call. In that case I didn’t have a beef with it due to the significant travel day.

    As Novak said, these are hard to nail down until they are on shore. I still love watching the models and following the discussion here. Yes this is a combination of art and science and that is what makes it so interesting.

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  47. This system was always a thread the needle forecast as the EURO kept the gulf closed as noted by the low level jet seen mostly at the 850 mb level,until the very last 6 hour period. Now it never opens up the gulf and the surface low being starved for moisture can't really develop until it's to late for us.

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  48. Ian Leonard gets a A+ grade. He didn’t buy the bullshit from the beginning. Nice job Ian. I’d pull my account if I was a paying client of some meteorologists.

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    1. What was Ian's prediction? Nothing? Did he say this for all of so. MN? If so, we may want to wait until after tomorrow to confirm that he was right since there is still potential for accumulating snow from the MSP metro on south tomorrow. If this occurs, then many 4casters will be somewhat correct.

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  49. ^^^ Isn't that the truth.

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  50. So "screwed #1" occurred this afternoon....coating/dusting here in the core west metro with the more appreciable inches of snow falling north of here.....now we wait on #2.
    There is some hope for #2 after reading the NWS discussion for this evening...the forecaster seemed torn on which models to go with...the global ones(not showing snow for the core) or the hi-res short term models(showing a narrow band of 1-4" into the metro)....we shall wait and see if screwed or not again!

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    1. So right you are, big daddy. Today's 3:11 PM NWS forecast discussion appeared a bit more optimistic about snow in the metro tomorrow than does the 5:46 PM updated aviation forecast. I'm afraid tomorrow is going to be a situation where the farther SOUTH one lives, the greater the chance for accumulating snow. Those of us in the northern and western burbs will probably be the proverbial kids on the outside looking in...or more appropriately, on the inside looking down south. I hope not, but...

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  51. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 20, 2017 at 9:41 PM

    Let's all remember the wisdom of our friend Mr. Novak as he came out very early to talk through the "flies in the ointment" possibilities through a very analytic process. I love that he did this. This way, no one can say on the backside that he didn't recognize all of the realistic possibilities. So often, you will hear mets say that it is so far off and a lot can happen..... Like what? I wish they would explain it a little more, but maybe most people don't care. Great job, Dr. And, great job by Bill to allow for all of us to ask questions and then each one of them was asked of Novak. It made the video feel very personalized. Love it. And.....Bring it to the next storm......

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    1. Thanks. That was the goal. Of course I don't add much....

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  52. Well, Big Daddy, the great snow drought continues. What's that saying? There's always next year...!

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  53. Enchanting beauty of Minnesota's nature during December. Minnesota Resort is the best site to book luxurious resort at an affordable price.

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  54. I love the fact that we FINALLY have solid Arctic air in place for the foreseeable future. This should help break the 4 year snow drought over much of MN/WI including the MSP metro.

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    1. Why should Arctic air help with the snow drought? To me all it's doing is driving the storm track further south of us and we just are high and dry, heck we can't even get decent clippers to hit the metro anymore. We don't need arctic air to get snow, we need some moisture and when the gulf isn't in business then we're not in the snow business. Look at the east coast they do just fine with snow with temps barely cold enough to support snow(25-32), it doesn't need to be bone chilling sub zero or single digits.

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    2. I confess I was thinking the same thing, Rick. Seems like the only (in theory) reliable snow set up, is a jet stream that comes up out of the southwest and drives just east of Minnesota.

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    3. I was thinking the same thing. And actually most of this season so far has been NW flow influenced. I remember seeing the CPC prediction for the winter and thinking: that looks like a recipe for some clippers, but I was surprised to see the prediction for above normal precip. And sure enough: we've been way below normal for precip so far. Now, obviously, just to our north has been a different story, so that has to be factored in. But still... if storms stay to our south the next couple of weeks during this arctic outbreak, it would support the notion that this setup encourages lower than normal precip. Time will tell...

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    4. Update: this afternoon's NWS discussion underlines my previous comments: "In terms of total QPF over the next week, it`s minimal. Other than a few snow showers or flurries, the best chance at
      snow in this type of pattern is if we can get a decent clipper
      system to move through, which does not appear likely at this time."

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    5. That's too funny @Nathan I was just going to post what you put out on the NWS discussion because it fits perfectly in this topic. I believe Dr Novak is banking on the clipper train because in this pattern southern moisture(our biggest snowstorms) doesn't make it this far. It's a risky gamble to say what Novak said due to the fact that clippers are fickle on track and the area of snow is compact not widespread as well as by nature they are moisture starved, but he's entitled to his opinion....as you said time will tell!

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    6. Rick,Nathan and bigdaddy: I whole heartily agree with the arctic air comments, to much cold air suppresses the storm track further south. And yes we need an open gulf. There have many times that the upper air pattern looks favorable, and four to five days out the surface reflection (how does the surface reflect what is happening above)looks favorable. But upon further inspection it often times shows that the low level jet streak, very near the 850mb level, has winds originating from the SW instead of from the gulf. Don't be fooled by a strong jet streak southeast of the 850mb trough, it may look pretty, after all it is a jet streak, but look at the bottom of the L shaped wind barbs, that will tell you where the jet streak originates from. From the SW, the air is to dry and surface reflection should be weak.

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  55. PWL, I appreciate the kind comments.

    I've learned through the years that you need to look more @ the negatives or red flags than the positives when diagnosing a potential winter storm.

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  56. "Double screwed"!....Funny I asked that question to Dr. Novak the other day, and it seemed to me that was possible and unfortunately it happened. Snow to the north and snow to the south of the core.Such a bummer of a winter....I know people on here love it when it doesn't snow(blah blah blah about no traffic and the roads), I happen to think the opposite if you have kids winter is fun times IF we had snow!

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    1. At least New Jersey/New York is getting all the snow (yet) so your annual bet is still in play. I forget, how many inches of snow do you spot your brother? And is the official station you track LaGuardia?

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  57. What a waste of perfectly good cold air. Here in the metro we can't even get a lame clipper with a couple of inches of snow.

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  58. Further evidence that the Twin Cities are slowly but surely becoming Minnesota's no-snow land, similar to the west part.
    As climate change makes split-flow patterns more and more of the winter norm, expect the twin Cities to continue to miss more and more, to the north and to the south.
    And if a southern storm were able to make it close enough to here, it will also bring enough wamr air to cause precipitation issues as was the case most of the past 2 winters.
    In short, if you are a snow lover and live in the Twin Cities metro you are not going to be happy in the future.

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  59. The dry arctic air mass will keep any
    chances for accumulating snow to a minimum.

    There`s just not much to talk about in the extended since the
    forecast remains on track. No significant
    snowfalls are on the horizon at this time.

    Those are the depressing words from the NWS discussion just nothing to look forward to.

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  60. But @bigdaddy as you say this Dr. Novak is already taunting snowfalls later next week on Twitter and more then once!

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  61. When bitter cold air is in place, I turn much more optimistic for SNOW. I can't remember the last time we had such an endless supply of Arctic air. Our problem over the last 3 years has been too much warm air. That should NOT be a problem for at least the next couple of weeks.

    I really like the set-up later next week. Arctic air in place, trough approaching the Upper Midwest = overrunning likely. With a snow/liquid ratio of 20:1 or so, it will only take .25 in of liquid to fluff-up to 4"-6"+ of snow.

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  62. Doesn't sound like 4-6+ Dr. Novak. NWS going with 1-3" only.......no big deal, doesn't seem significant but the way this winter is going it's the best we can do.

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  63. Well, nobody real knows at this juncture. The point is that bitter COLD Arctic air is in place & it doesn't take much moisture to create a significant snowfall. I'm pretty confident that many locations across the region will be measuring amounts of 3"+ by Friday AM. Again, it only takes about .10 to .15 of liquid precipitation to equate to 3"+ of snow in this cold/dry environment.

    I would be the NWS is just like everyone else & are trigger shy to talk significant snow anymore. 1" to 3" sure sounds pessimistic.

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  64. Is there an indication as to when the snow will start, and how long it will last? When will the bulk of the snow fall? During the day on Thursday? Wondering how this will affect travel. Thanks.

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    1. Any snow at these temperatures will effect travel significantly....the melting agents used on the roads are less effective with temps in the single digits and teens (which is the going forecast late Wednesday and Thursday) I would plan on long delays and slow travel. It won't be the amount of snow but the timing of the snow that will be the issue.

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  65. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 26, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    This is looking more and more like Novak nailed this almost a week prior to the event. I know it is still yet to be seen but even the NWS discussion is pointing that way as well as the point forecast. For Plymouth, it shows 1-3 and then 1-2. That would show the potential of up to 5. I did not hear one met even point to the possibility. Some said they would “need to keep an eye on it”, but didn’t say what that meant. I say Bring It and we will see what happens as it pertains to Novak.

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  66. Don't hold your breath.
    As we get closer (between tonight's and tomorrow morning's runs) the model will be almost dry.
    Not more than a dusting to a coating.

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    1. Is there a difference between a dusting and a coating?

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    2. This is based off nothing more than pessimism. All models have been consistent in showing this system and the GFS finally hopped on today. Call of 1-3"

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    3. To me a dusting is that you see snow on the ground but it does not amount to anything measurable. A coating is less than 0.5" of snow.
      I would say to Ano@3.19pm that it is skepticism more than pessimism which I believe it is granted given the past 2 winters and this one so far.
      I also would like to point out that this is a classic set-up where models have traditionally underestimated how long it would take to saturate the atmosphere. We will see, but I would not be surprised if we stare at cloudy milky sky for much longer than anticipated with nothing falling....

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    4. Anon @ 5:25 PM, I echo your comments. I would be shocked if the metro sees anything above an inch, if that. I hope I'm wrong, but I wouldn't bet on it. The NWS discussion this evening appears to be in line with that train of thought. They clearly are not expecting much snow at all. In their discussion they seemed more focused on how slick the roads will be due to the bitter cold, not due the (meager) snow amounts.

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  67. 63" Inches of Snow in Erie PA and Counting. One can only dream.

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    1. It takes us 2 plus winters to get that much!

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  68. Frustrated Snow LoverDecember 28, 2017 at 9:03 AM

    Well, it's 9 AM and by the looks of things the snow party is over in the metro. Time to go out and shovel that whopping half inch off my sidewalk. Will it ever REALLY SNOW here this season?!

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  69. No, it will not. And not just this season. It will get worse and worse with time.
    Pattern changes are clear enough. More and more moisture-starved clippers in NW flow (half inch at best) or too much warm air from Colorado-lows and similar type storms (ice or rain-snow mix).
    Snow lovers (including myself) will have to get used to it, or (as I have been) consider moving where it does snow snow for real.

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    1. I remember when a clipper typically meant 2-6 inches of snow. Now it means a coating to an inch, if we're lucky. Such a waste of cold air. I think the past two seasons when we had a mix from Colorado lows, that was due to the storms not having any cold air to tap, because it was so blast furnace hot (by winter standards).

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  70. About an inch in south minneapolis. Definitely underperforming. And the latest NWS discussion says pattern for the foreseeable future is NOT conducive to significant weather systems. Yawn.

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    1. Of course it's under performing (sarcasm added). That's what our clippers and all winter systems have been doing so far this season. It's like predicting summer weather in Florida (e.g. every day is hazy, hot and humid with a chance of thunderstorms). It's easy, a no brainer. Our forecast every few days is for a clipper to come through and drop one-half to as possibly as much as a whole inch (for the lucky ones amongst us). I don't know why some forecasters even pretend that more than an inch might fall. We all know it won't. At least the ice fishing people are happy, which is a step up from no winter enthusiasts being happy for the better part of the past 2 seasons.

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    2. Exactly right. I keep asking that myself.
      By now they should know that even if models were to show 600 inches 2 days before it still will turn into a half an inch to an inch at best...

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  71. MSP Int'l is already 15" BELOW normal in the snow department. How long can these underachieving winters last? I've gone through the books & there is rarely 4+ years in a row of well below average snows (under 40"). If we don't get rolling here, this will be the 4th year in a row.

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  72. NWS 12:05 PM airport update today for KMSP..."Confidence is increasing in the terminal receiving some light snow tomorrow afternoon, conditions at this time expected to primarily remain MVFR. Accumulations will be well under 1" ". LOL, what else is new? One is the loneliest number... This is simply getting ridiculous!

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    1. if we got a half an inch everyday we would still end up with 90" of snow for the season :)
      Maybe that is what we should hope for....

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  73. More than under-achieving winters I think the problem is that our benchmark (the 30-year 10 year rolling average that the NWS uses) is no longer representative of what's going on in our climate, considering that we are experiencing extreme situations almost every year. That indicates a discontinuity shift. If the top 6 warmest years have occurred in the past 10 years, we are obviously in uncharted territory. Past weather as indicated by means are clearly no longer a good benchmark.

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    1. Good points. As one born here long ago, winters do not seem 'normal' at all anymore. Basically never.

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  74. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 29, 2017 at 2:35 PM

    I think we are all basing too much on a short time period—too short. We have had stretches of unusual weather as long as records have been kept. I bet back in the dust bowl era, people could not have imagined record-breaking rainfall. It hasn’t been that long since the polar vortex winter and some are trying to make this a trend. Climate does not equal short-term weather. I am not even talking about climate change. This is just an amateur’s observation.

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  75. A morsel of hope in a otherwise boring winter for this snowlover(provided by this evenings NWS discussion)

    The core of the coldest airmass aloft will move further to the
    east across the Great Lakes, and over the eastern one-thirds of
    the nation next week. Thus, it will remain cold for the Upper
    Midwest, but not as cold as it will be for this weekend. Even
    past late next week, the mean pattern favors near normal temperatures
    for January. In addition, do to the strong thermal gradient with
    the expected Arctic airmass across the Great Lakes, this could be
    a sign that a storm system could develop over the Northern Plains,
    or the Upper Midwest. This is of course dependent upon where the
    thermal gradient develops, and any weather disturbances riding
    southeast along this boundary.

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  76. Plymouth Weather LoverDecember 31, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Waste of cold air. Need snow. NEED!!! Bring something. Anything on the horizon—even distant horizon??????? Bring it!!

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  77. It's not looking promising, PWL. Keep the faith. That's all us snow lovers have left. Happy New Year everyone!

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  78. It looks promising almost anywhere else.
    Upcoming blizzard in the NE another evidence of the Twin Cities Snow Lover Misery Theorem:
    It always snows everywhere else excet where you are.

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    1. Ain't that the truth, my brother living in NJ is rubbing it in nice and smooth.....like a slow dagger!

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  79. LOL....NWS already planting the seed....

    Further into next week, the southern jet looks more impressive
    and supports a strong storm system moving across the Plains and
    Midwest.

    As with any model forecast, timing, and the added phasing will
    cause differences in each run. Based on the current trends, near
    normal temperatures will return, but chances of precipitation
    remain questionable. Once there is more consistency in the model
    forecast, does the confidence in precipitation chances next week
    increase. One idea that hasn`t play a part in recent forecast is
    the anticipated warmer temperatures spreading eastward, especially
    aloft, which means the chance of mix precipitation is developing.

    Models still show 850mb temperatures continuing to warm above 0C
    in southwest Minnesota late Saturday night/Sunday as a storm
    system moves along the Canadian border. Thus, if this system
    decides to build further to the south, a mixture of precipitation
    is become more likely. This mixture could be in the form of
    freezing rain/drizzle or sleet. This is highly dependent on the
    thermal profiles aloft in the coming days, but anytime there is a
    transition to a warmer regime, I wouldn`t be surprised to see this
    type of precipitation.

    It almost feels like a guarantee when/if we actually get a storm it will not be ALL snow, that it will be some combination of bullshit mixed precipitation in the metro, lame winter of 17/18 marches on!

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    1. No surprise here. As I mentioned in a previous comment

      http://www.minnesotaforecaster.com/2017/12/the-view-from-mid-december.html?showComment=1514476409702#c6297386207450906601

      Any system actually capable of bringing significant moisture here will also bring enough warm air to have precip type issues.

      Again, the fact that the Twin Cities enjpy "hard" winters and that "people earn their srping" is the biggest fraud in the history of meteorology.

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  80. Plymouth Weather LoverJanuary 4, 2018 at 9:16 PM

    So, I am confused. The NWS talked about a possible storm mid to late next week in this morning's discussion then has snow likely for the latter part of the 7-day in this evening's forecast without much mentior of an organized storm in the discussion. It is very rare to see them use the phrase "snow likely" 6-7 days out without there being some level of consistency in the models. Confused. Any insight? Is there something on the horizon that I simply NEED to know about?

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    1. There is a system worth track out in fantasy land for the models, yes. Why they are so confident in snow with model discrepencies this far out I am not quite sure. From my vantage point a chance of snow would be fair, but likely..?

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  81. If this storm can stay consistent in the modeling until Tuesday or so I think we can start thinking about the storm actually materializing.

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