Thursday, February 22, 2018

Snowiest Week of the Year?

Snow lovers in Minnesota can hardly contain themselves as two significant snowstorms, nearly back-to-back, appear headed for the Twin Cities. For some background on the possibilities, check out the video we did with Tom Novak. Happy storm watching!

103 comments:

  1. Well as Bill mentioned, watching this storm develop the radar returns south of us look weak and very disorganized, my hunch says we will see the low end(if that) of everyone's forecast. Max 1-2" for many in the core!

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    1. So because a storm looks disorganized 5 hours before the event is suppose to start its a bust? These storms can get their act together real quick.

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    2. Did I say bust? No I didn't, I said the low end of ranges. Please read carefully next time.

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    3. Kinda nasty last comment there, Ed. Please keep things cool on this blog.

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    4. Agreed Bill, but you can see words were put in my mouth/statement. Nowhere did I say bust, I hate it when people come on here and play the Bust card all the time, I'm not one of those people, I just feel the low end of things is all!

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    5. Thanks, Ed. I appreciate it. Yea, it can get hard to interpret words. If we get 1-2" and the forecast was for 2-4 or 3-6, is that a "bust?" Hard to say.

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    6. I'm going to agree with Ed on this, snow is coming in "showery", like in scattered nature like rain in spring. I read somewhere it was suppose to be a band of snow delivering our snowfall this looks scattered, 3-5" maybe realized by some but for the whole I see closer to 1-3"

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    7. I would also add that there is a lot of dry air to overcome.
      I agree as well. 2” likely not more than that.

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    8. Aviation Update says MSP metro should expect the heaviest snow...3/4" an hour between 10pm and 1am. So let it play out and see what happens.

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    9. But 3 hours at 3/4” an hour is about 2.2” so it looks like amounts are being revised down?

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    10. He said "heaviest", people having trouble reading tonight? It's snowing now and snow after the heaviest only needs to be inch, then you have your 3-5" forecasted by the NWS

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  2. NWS is sticking with the decent snow totals tonight AND they have now added the Winter Storm Watch with totals that will help us make up our snow deficit very nicely and then some. Hoping a click on the link takes you there...... http://f1.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=MNZ060&warncounty=MNC053&firewxzone=MNZ060&local_place1=2%20Miles%20SE%20Medicine%20Lake%20MN&product1=Winter+Storm+Watch&lat=44.979&lon=-93.4006#.Wo8zVhPwb6Y

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  3. or for those who like shorter links - http://bit.ly/2EOgVPn

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    1. Thank you! If I could go in and delete the big link, I would surely do it. Thanks again.

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  4. Toke the dog out for a walk...so calm and peaceful....snowing at a good clip here in Golden Valley....solid inch down already!

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  5. Beautiful in St. Louis Park, too. Just drove 'city streets' from Bloomington. If we get the high ends of all predictions, we could have 20" by the time both storms finish. 7+3+10=20!!!!! That's high ends, but what the heck, one can hope. I agree with bigdaddy: it is calm and peaceful tonight.

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  6. From seeing all the NWS twitter reports, 4-6" seems to be the norm. I'd say a solid 5" here in Farmington

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  7. Hi Ed, how much snow did your driveway get? Mine got a very performing 6 inches. Have a great day Ed.

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  8. A solid 5-6 inches here in Plymouth! Beautiful!

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  9. It's really beautiful. A solid 5" in Uptown. Great storm. Bring on the next one!

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  10. Checking the CoCoRaHS official measurements is kind of fun after snowfalls, too. Nice totals. Can't wait for tomorrow/Sunday's snows.......https://www.cocorahs.org/ViewData/ListDailyPrecipReports.aspx

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  11. Ed here, ok I'll eat my crow on this one. 5" in my Bloomington driveway. Good day you all, except the Anonymous being an wise***, all because I gave an opinion.

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  12. Ed - thumbs up to you for your candor and that you are not another "Anonymous". Happy shoveling evereyone! Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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  13. Is there a site that shows totals for the year?

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    1. For the airport you can check out the Daily Climate Report:
      http://w2.weather.gov/climate/index.php?wfo=mpx

      From that page, select the "Go" button in step 4. This will display the daily climate report, which is updated a couple times per day.

      It will list the snowfall and precipitation from Jul 1 and Dec 1 (Start of Meteorological winter)

      As of this post, the current one was from 4am this morning and did not include the snowfall after midnight. That should be included in the afternoon update today.

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  14. I would expect the Winter Storm Warnings to be posted in this afternoon's NWS forecast update?

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    1. They absolutely should...my point forecasted updated a little bit ago and is now 7-13" for Hopkins. #BringIt

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  15. And there it is!!

    ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM SATURDAY TO 6 AM CST
    SUNDAY...

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  16. You toke the words right out of my mouth!....but read the warning, it could be 6-9 or 5-8 or my point forecast of 6-12....which is it? Well anyway you slice it it's a warning level snowfall but so was last nights(many towns and cities from about MSP south got the 6")which is warning threshold but yet only an advisory. I guess we're only talking semitics here and can be a discussion for another day. Anyway bring the top end of this one, have a great weekend everyone!


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    1. With the point forecasts, they can be a bit confusing, but with phrasing you normally convert the actual point value to a range to be more conversational and accurate.

      People tend to look at exact values of snowfall suspiciously, such as 2.13". Additionally, with snow, less than a 0.1" of liquid precip easily be a 1-2" snowfall difference, thus providing a range helps cover this.

      Often ranges will be automated based on the point forecast amount. For example, an expected point forecast of:
      -- <= 1" becomes "up to 1 inch",
      -- rounds to 2" becomes 1 - 3 inches
      -- rounds to 6" becomes 4 - 6 inches

      In general, taking the mid value of each range will be close. In the above, 2 + 6 = 8"

      For verification of this, if you at the Minneapolis Forecast:
      http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=44.98478307088311&lon=-93.27038694250263#.WpCLCBMbPUK

      At the time of this post the values are 1-3 for Saturday, and 4-8 for Saturday night. If you look at the hourly charts for the same location:
      http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=44.9848&lon=-93.2704&unit=0&lg=english&FcstType=graphical

      At the time of this post they have 2.1" from 2pm-6pm.. 2.1 rounds to 2" thus giving the 1-3 range.
      Next they have 5.5" from 6pm - midnight and 0.3" from midnight to 6am, adding these two becomes 5.8", which rounds to 6" which in turn becomes the phrase 4-8"

      And the total point foreast total was 2.1 + 5.8 = 7.9 or approx 8" obtained from adding the mid ranges.

      Automated phrasing is nice but can be a bit confusing.

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    2. For this line:
      -- rounds to 6" becomes 4 - 6 inches

      I meant:
      -- rounds to 6" becomes 4 - 8 inches

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  17. I also got a kick out of reading the aviation update just now.....Bring the Wall! ....love to hear pending snowfalls like that!


    KMSP...The clearing had almost made it, and then the clouds
    started filling in again. Still expecting clearing this afternoon
    and mostly clear skies tonight. Fog will likely develop overnight,
    with visibilities less than a mile. Some improvement Saturday
    morning, before a wall of snow arrives mid afternoon. Conditions
    are expected to deteriorate rapidly by Saturday evening with 1 to
    2 inch per hour rates possible until 06Z Sunday.

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  18. Earlier today the NWS was talking about the speed of the storm potentially impacting totals. The swatch of the Winter Storm Watch seems too wide to me (a completely untrained weather watcher). For the southern metro I'm going with 5" from this. I expected an advisory. I must be reading the models wrong.

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    1. Weather Channel has been sticking to a forecast in the 2-6 inch range all day, despite the warning.

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    2. All updated and current models NAM/GFS/Canadian all bring 6-8" to the metro area. I believe a warning is warranted, especially if snowfall rates of 1-2" an hour is expected, those are some low visibilities and quick changing road conditions, this is by any means not a blockbuster storm but definitely a warning level storm.

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    3. I noticed this morning that the NWS keeps lowering the totals for the metro. Yesterday they said a solid 6-8 inches and possibly some 10 inch amounts. This morning the graphic shows 5-7 inches and the wording in the warning says 4-7 inches.

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    4. That's because the storm is moving very fast. It's almost like a supercharged clipper-type storm. It will move in and out too quickly to be a blockbuster, but it's supposed to snow hard and fast while it's here.

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    5. Enjoy however much you get, because it will start to melt rather quickly. If Accuweather's temperature forecast is correct, this will be the end of winter and the last real snow of the season. They are showing a trend for temperatures well into the 30's and then 40's and some low 50's over the next 3-4 weeks.

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    6. Ha!, @Steve there's just one word that makes your statement not credible--Accuweather--that 90-day bs they call a forecast turns on a dime daily, often doing a 180 the next day! Do me a favor look at it again say Monday/Tuesday and tell me if it's near or the same as today.

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  19. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 24, 2018 at 1:52 PM

    I’m ready......... Bring it!!!!

    And don’t I see something in some models for later this week???? Gfs

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    1. Yes you do ;), hopefully Euro brings that storm further north because I want it! Could dump as much as both of these systems in one go.

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  20. Graupel mixed in with flakes in woodbury

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  21. Looks like a non-event in southeastern Minnesota...so far.

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    1. That was expected. They will only get backside.

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  22. Unless rates pick up soon this is going to be a non-event for most.
    NWS still confident in their afternoon discussion but the snow is very fine and grainy insteas of well defined flakes and so I am starting to be skeptical.
    I don’t see how most of the metro can possibly pick-up 6-8” given how fast the system is moving...
    I would issue a winter storm bust warning....:)

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  23. NWS now backing off on storm total amounts in the Point forecasts. Worst part of all this? The people saying "BUST BUST BUST" will be back on the forums in much greater amounts again! :-D

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  24. Don't give up yet, snow lovers. I, too, felt like I was in a 'dry slot' in St. Louis Park, but it's coming in waves. We've got time. It's still 'early' and there is a lot of precip on the radar!!!!

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  25. Raining here in Farmington. I didn't expect that. If it was all snow we probably have 3-4 inches by now.

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  26. Freezing Drizzle/Pellets in Woodbury.
    Total bust.
    Clearly looks like the system is movign further to the NW than expected pulling more warm air into the SE.

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    1. Yeah getting freezing rain and sleet in Woodbury too...

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  27. All snow...west side (Golden Valley)....2" down

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  28. All snow with very nice rates in the north metro. Definitely going to verify if radar trends hold.

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  29. Very heavy band moving in from the south and west on radar.

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  30. Some east coasters use this terminology a lot....it's puking snow currently here in Golden Valley...coming down fast and furious!

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    1. I'm an east coaster but I never heard that before!

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    2. I hear it a lot on Twitter now Bill, not when I was living there 20 years ago

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  31. Definitely a west metro event.
    Major bust from washington county east and south

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  32. 5+ inches in Maple Grove as of 30 minutes ago and still coming down hard. Beautiful snowfall!

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  33. Looks like my 5” call for the south metro is about right on. I got lucky!! If this thing moved slower it would have been something.

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  34. 2" final snow total in Faribault.

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  35. 6.0 inches at MSP airport, which appears to be a record for yesterday per NWS; 5.5 in Chanhassen which is no record. We have made up our deficits in snow/precip totals. That was a quick but nice chunk of snow. Let the shoveling begin.

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    1. For the first time in at least 2 years, if not longer, we are above average to the date for snowfall at MSP!!!!

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    2. Needs to snow 10 more inches so we get to 54" seasonal average!

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  36. Pulled from this mornings NWS discussion, we maybe warmer but the snow opportunities continue...2 more this week to keep an eye on!

    Two main chances for precipitation next week. The first chance is
    Wednesday night into Thursday. This has the potential to be a
    significant winter storm across the northern part of Iowa and
    southern part of Minnesota along the I-90 corridor. The second
    chance for precipitation is over the weekend. There is high
    uncertainty with both of these storms, and both will be warm enough
    that there could be rain/snow issues.

    Monday through Wednesday will be dry as upper level ridge off the
    west coast breaks across a longwave trough over the Rockies. The end
    result is subsidence and high pressure over the Upper Midwest, with
    a shortwave trough that is cut off at H500 that is located over the
    desert southwest Tuesday night. This trough will get caught up in
    the strong subtropical jet and propagate eastward, while the
    northern stream sends a shortwave across the high plains.

    The 25.00 GFS/GEM/ECMWF are in good agreement with these two PV
    anomalies through about 18Z Wednesday, but beyond that confidence in
    the forecast deteriorates quickly. The reason being eventually the
    two PV anomalies will phase and a strong cyclone will develop with
    over an inch of QPF in the form of snow on the cold side, and severe
    weather on the warm side. The GFS is quicker, and dumps this heavy
    snow across southwest Minnesota into western Wisconsin Wednesday
    night into Thursday. The ECMWF and GEM are a bit slower and develop
    most of the precipitation to the east of the forecast area with
    slightly warmer solutions meaning more rain/snow. Given the high
    variability of the ingredients that precede this cyclogenesis, did
    not have the confidence to latch on to any one particular solution.
    Odds are this will be a low-confidence, but potentially high-impact
    forecast for the next couple of days.

    Friday will be dry, but another strong upper level trough will set
    up over the Pacific Northwest and send shortwave energy across the
    Upper Midwest brining a chance of rain/snow. Needless to say the
    active weather pattern will continue into early March.

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  37. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 25, 2018 at 1:55 PM

    It was just simply awesome walking around outside in Plymouth this morning! Perfect winter scenes and really deep snow. A foot of snow in three days is just perfect! My dancing worked.

    I started to dance for this Wednesday night/Thursday, but I think I should stop as it looks like it might slide well to our south. Maybe I am wrong?? I hope I am wrong--Then we can Bring It again!!

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    1. Latest 12Z NAM showing snow for Wednesday, 1-4" so the continued dancing may help!

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    2. I’ve only seen both the gfs and euro both going further south with each run. Non event

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  38. Also noticed the 12Z GFS coming in much colder for the weekend system...

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  39. I hope it gets colder. I'm not ready for winter to end at the end of February. Enjoy the fresh snow while you can. The temperatures over the course of this next week are going to wreck havoc on our new snow cover.

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    1. Bring the 40s and 50s. Time for warmth! Winter has had its fair share of fun.

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    2. Ugh, I'm with you for most of the winter, but now I've had it with puddles and mud all day and ice all night. Let's get this frozen water out of here! On to spring!

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  40. @Tim, it will be colder next week(3/5-3/12)highs consistently at or below freezing and to kick off that cold spell the GFS continues to show a very impactful snowstorm of 12+" on Monday(3/5) for several runs now and it has support from the EURO!

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  41. From Dave Dahl on 2/27(2:00pm kstp blog update)

    The Outlook
    Another stronger system is taking aim at Minnesota for the end of the weekend. Right now it looks as though temperatures will stay in the upper 30s to low 40s over the weekend, but then drop off quickly on Monday. That fast drop in temperatures is going to come along with a pretty good wave in the jet stream. It appears as though we might start out with some rain Sunday afternoon, before changing to all snow by Sunday night. That’s expected to continue into Monday, with the possibility of significant accumulations again in parts of southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Is the shovel still handy?

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    1. NWS DISCUSSION 2/27 afternoon(gives some support to Dave Dahl's blog)...looks like the next potential stormy period late Sun-Tuesday.

      Once the upper ridge finally begins to break down over the Upper
      Midwest/Great Lakes region, does our weather begin to become more
      unsettled. There remains differences with both the EC/GFS by early
      next week on the strength of the storm system, but there is
      enough consistence that the milder air will be replace with much
      cooler conditions by Monday. The conflict between the mild air,
      and the cooler air mass, a strong storm system will likely form.
      It is too early to tell on how it will affect the Upper Midwest,
      but anytime there is a significant change in the air mass, a major
      storm is likely near the gradient. Please check back for further
      updates on the potential of a winter storm early next week.

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  42. Fun times ahead? Another significant snowstorm on the horizon? Models are getting into agreement for a rather large snowfall into and including the metro core on Monday:
    06Z NAM 6-10"
    06Z GFS 6-10"
    00Z Canadian 12-16"

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  43. Plymouth Weather LoverMarch 3, 2018 at 7:30 AM

    Ok......now I am excited. Just saw the models and read the NWS forecast discussion! I think we might get hammered! And we have a blocking pattern in place to allow amounts to get out of hand. Bring a video! And just plain ol bring it!!

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  44. I'm in Hudson and now under a winter storm watch.

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  45. Looking at the recent models I would imagine the afternoon NWS discussion will expand the watches to include the entire metro, at least 6" is looking like a good bet.

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  46. What PWL was alluding to, pulled from this mornings NWS discussion page:


    Though the Twin Cities is currently not in the watch and has more
    rain than snow in the forecast for Monday, there is guidance that
    shows mostly snow for the Twin Cities as well, and if that were to
    end up being the case, we could see significantly higher amounts
    than what is currently forecast for the Twin Cities, so this
    certainly bears watching closely for the Twin Cities metro area as well.

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  47. I agree. Snow totals have the potential to get out of hand in a narrow 50 to 100 mile swath across eastern/northern MN & northwestern WI. No doubt in my mind that someone in this general area will be shoveling 8"-12"+ by TUE am. Snow at 1"+/per hour likely for an extended period.

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  48. 500mb, 700mb, 850mb & surface LOW all stay just south of the MSP metro on Monday. This is awesome news if you want heavy snow. I'm sure that model guidance will become even more robust for snow with later runs if this trend continues.

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    1. I'd love to see MSP get hit with one more snow storm to end the season, and with cold air to flow in from the NW for the next week the snow might just stick around.

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  49. Watches up for a good part of the metro

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  50. My NWS point forecast in the SW Metro just went from 2-6" now to 4-10". Still a big range, but I like the upward trend!

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  51. Main probabilistic forecast for the core metro is now 7”.
    if that were to verify, it would be a good ending for what turned out (unexpectedly) to be a satisfactory winter.
    I think i would be ready for spring after that (but i need at least 6 inches!!!).

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    1. I would like 11" to make average snowfall for the season.

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  52. The 00Z NAM is in and the totals are impressive, around 12" for the metro. Waiting for the 00Z GFS. Time for a video? This was bound to happen, I have a flight back to MSP Monday morning.

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  53. Winter Storm Watch expanded westward to now include the entire metro. 6-12" is looking very likely tomorrow in several towns and cities. Gas up the snowblowers!

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  54. Plymouth Weather LoverMarch 4, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Major storm coming and no comments. C’mon. Bring them!

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  55. Comments for PML: 1) I grow weary of the storms, as spring fever started to creep its way into my veins this week; 2) at least it isn't going to be like the President's Day mist that put over a tenth of an inch of hard ice a youngin' had to help me chop off after the car sat cold and outside all day at a gig, so I am grateful; 3) if we go to warning and school districts close, I 'can't wait' to go drive/take care of a toddler whose daycare won't be open and watch my little car get buried; but 4) BRING IT, Mother Nature, for PML's sake and all the other snow lovers amongst us. It's March after all. It's MinneSNOWtah, after all. And p.s I love this blog. I've been reading it for years. When I can remember my password, I am 'weathergeek'...... Cheers.

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  56. Love to PWL but I’m not sold on this storm. Wondering about when is changes to snow for the metro and model runs are slowly reducing totals. NWS still holding off on a warning. Could end up being a weather advisory only for the metro.

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    1. Every model has increased totals including the short range models and the Euro (which actually shifted the heaviest over the metro). Believe what you will, but at least try to look at the models.

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    2. I’ve watched every GFS and NAM run the last two days. Both started with around 12” for the metro. The GFS is now around 7 and NAM 3K at 5. Those are the 18Z runs. NWS did post warnings (I was wrong there) but they seem to be more around winds - their current total for southern MSP is 4-10. I could well be wrong - just do this for fun. Instead of criticizing others, make your own prediction. That is the fun of this forum.

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    3. and? most models tend to lower their amounts up to the storm, usually half as much 3-4 days prior to the storm. Are you new to this scene?

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    4. I think a fair guess (mine) would be around 6-7 for the metro after all the compacting and melting happens. No matter how much falls it is going to be very heavy, so be careful shoveling!

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    5. Yes Anony, I'm new only been hanging around 4+ years. Again, fell free to throw out your pick. If you look at the last storm thread I hit that one (blind squirrel...)

      Bill if you talk to Novak again I'm curious about his outlook for spring flooding. We will have had a decent amount of heavier snow late in the season, it's been a few years since we've seen it in the metro.

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    6. My hunch is that he would defer to hydrologists who study that very scientifically. But maybe he has an opinion.

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  57. Warnings are posted

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  58. Welp. Here we go folks. Snow lovers, hope this holds. NWS point forecast increased to 7-12 from 4-8 and WC app is all in at 8-12 Monday, 1-3 Monday Night. What are you all seeing in your locations?

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  59. New video with the doctor on Monday snow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0swB7V-hlI

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    1. Great video guys and looks like my 4” prediction for southern MSP will be dead wrong. But it was fun to try. Enjoy learning from Novak.

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  60. Schools are closing like there's no tomorow. Hoping this pans out or they will never proactivley close again.

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