Saturday, April 14, 2018

Mid-April Blizzard: Historical or Hysterical?

OK, so clearly this storm, now officially a mid-April blizzard, is historical. But how mind-boggling is this? The baseball season is now two weeks old. And let's put to rest once and for all the ill-informed notion that big snowstorms never hit the Twin Cities.





The same storm affecting Minnesota looked like this as the low passed near New Mexico. Howling winds produced blowing and drifting -- just of dust, not snow.

104 comments:

  1. Getting sleet mixing in with snow in Faribault. Has a raining sound that really amplifies with the wind gusts.

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    1. I'm from Faribault too. Amazing how much the blowing snow completely stopped with a decent crust of sleet on top. 4" of snow here so far.

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  2. You realize that aside the impressive winds, etc. actual accumulated snow is really low? Maybe 2 inches, 3 at max? I think nobody is noticing that most of what is falling from the sky, impressive as it may seem, is actually not accumulating at all.
    There is no way the core metro will be reaching the 10+ inches forecast.

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    1. I'm not sure where you're measuring, but here in Plymouth we had 1.5 inches as of 6 AM. We have picked up several inches since then.

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    2. 2" at MSP airport in the last hour.

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    3. Put this comment in the hall of shame. Textbook case of Snow Amnesia and Derangement (SAD) syndrome.

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  3. 4" so far in Rosemount.

    Went for a drive around the neighborhood about an hour ago, visibility easily below 1/4 mile. Winds not crazy overall but the gusts were probably 30-40 mph.

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  4. 6+ inch snow bank in the part of the yard that collects snow from the garage roof. A little more than 3” accumulated elsewhere. SW Minneapolis.

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  5. So you are all confirming what I am saying 2,3,4 inches...
    we need 3 times as much ... not sure how that is going to happen, considering the NWS is saying the heavy snow rates are supposed to diminish from the evening on.
    We will see....

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    1. Say about 5 more hours of 1-2" per hour. 5 * 1.5 = 7.5 + 4 = 11.5 at about 7ish tonight. Then light snow overnight, I'll probably wind up with about 14". That's my guess, anyway.

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    2. Euro is showing another wave of snow tomorrow afternoon that could bring another 3-6 inches, so it could even be more.

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    3. The hourly HRRR 18z is coming, but its estimating 7-9" from the 1pm hour through 6pm hour, 10:1 and Kuchera methods respectively:
      http://www.pivotalweather.com/model.php?m=hrrr&p=snku_acc&rh=2018041418&fh=5&r=us_nc&dpdt=

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    4. Carver County had 2-3 overnight and it's been snowing 0.5-2 inches per hour steadily since 9 am.

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    5. Point forecast for my location from this afternoon-tomorrow evening is a range from 11-20 MORE inches. Even averaging that, you're looking at 15 inches more, on top of the 3-6 today so far and the 2-3 last night. That adds up to a lot, approximately.

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  6. To repost my question from the last thread, does anybody know the last time the entire 7-county metro was under the same blizzard warning? Or even just MSP proper? Someone tweeted a nap dating back to 2005, and they haven't had any since at least then. Gold star and confetti to anyone who knows!

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  7. Dang. Mpls traffic camera page isn't working right now. How's a guy in New Mexico supposed to track the storm?

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    1. I know, right? I can't believe they shut it all down!!!!!! It's how I can see how bad it's getting even while living there.

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    2. Glad it's not just my computer.

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    3. What’s the current temp there Bill?

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    4. Mid 50s. Very windy and much chiller the last few days. But NM is much cooler than Arizona because of higher elevation. Most people don't know that.

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    5. You want an updated traffic report? I just drove home from Bloomington to Mpls. Limited visibility, especially in Bloomington, very few cars on the road, average freeway speed is 37 mph. I not only had to gun it to make it up the exit ramp, I had to gun it to make it TO the exit ramp. Not plowed and getting deep. I can also give you an update on the MSP airport traffic--not hearing any planes at all... (That part I like... ;-) I know they had issued some sort of airport weather warning earlier. No freeway noise, no airport noise, just the occasional wind. Yup, kinda' nice. MM ;-) P.S. Mid 50's there? Where's the challenge in that? Mid 20's here...in mid April...

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    6. Great description! I feel like I'm there... almost. Regarding New Mexico weather, I just added a picture that shows the dust it blew up here on Thursday.

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    7. You can try the plow cams. https://hb.511mn.org/#plowsHome?layers=imagePlows%2ClocationPlows&timeFrame=CURRENT_ONLY

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    8. Cool! Thanks for sharing.

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  8. Plymouth Weather LoverApril 14, 2018 at 2:29 PM

    We have at least 6-8 in Plymouth. This is awesome!! Bring it!!

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  9. Lightening and thunder plus crazy snow here in central Bloomington.

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  10. Snow thunder here. Very cool - probably the closest we will get to a real thunderstorm. Airport is closed, flights diverted all over the place.

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    1. Tweet from MSP:
      "Due to a lack of visibility and the fast rate of snowfall, no flights are currently taking off or landing at MSP. We're hoping to resume flight operations by 7 p.m"

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  11. Just heard thunder in Woodbury, things are really starting to pick up now! WOW

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  12. Thundersnow in Woodbury...

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  13. 5" total snow/sleet accumulations as of 4 p.m. Looks like the 1st round of snow will be ending in about an hour.

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  14. Thunder snow in Golden Valley just now! Wish Jim Cantore was here!

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  15. Looks to me though that the snow will start to be choked off...dry slot coming up quick from the south shutting off the precipitation. Look at the radar!

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    1. Reinforcements coming up from Rochester.

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  16. Any snowfall reports coming in? Can’t find them.

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  17. Here you go
    https://www.weather.gov/source/crh/snowmap.html?sid=mpx

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    1. Those are off by a foot in spots. I suppose it's too miserable for people to go out and measure. My husband estimated 12-14 when he started the snowblower with another 1-2 falling while he worked.

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    2. That page displays all values over the past 24 hours, so many are from this morning. You can sort by date descending in the table. then zoom into your area.

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  18. Are we supposed to have a break or lull this evening and then it picks back up again?

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  19. An easy foot on the ground if not more in New Brighton/Moundsview

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  20. A1
    If future radar on the weather channel app has any truth to it then it will be pulling more moisture from the south tripling in size. As a snow lover I hope we haven’t even got half of what this systems got yet!

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  21. Snow starting to develop to the south of us now, the lull should be brief.

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  22. 11-12” reports coming in from all over town. 4-8” more coming through tomorrow.

    Airport now closed until 9 PM. Winnipeg Jets diverted to Duluth. Keep them there!

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    1. They gave up and went back home until tomorrow morning.

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  23. From a COCORAHS trained snowfall observer from 2 miles NE of Minneapolis, and the this is impressive.

    2 NE Minneapolis [Hennepin Co, MN] COCORAHS reports SNOW of 13.80 INCH at 6:00 PM CDT -- 1.7 INCHES FROM 7 AM TO NOON, 3.3 INCHES NOON TO 3 PM, 7.0 INCHES FROM 3 PM TO 6 PM.

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    1. We certainly have a foot to 14 inches here in the Plymouth area.

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    2. I was ready to report that the snow had stopped for the time being, but by the time I got my kid to bed, it had started back up. Not the 2 inches per hour we saw earlier, but still going to pile up rather quickly if it continues.

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  24. Easily 12" in Farmington. Snows not over by any means but it appears GFS wins again. Not sure why NAM was so aggressive with their totals. Anyone have thoughts on that?

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  25. 8pm measurement in Golden Valley......14"....still snowing but lighter intensity!

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  26. So it looks like blizzard criteria (.25 visibility, gusts to 35, and both occurring for three hours) was not met at the airport. A technicality perhaps, but for the record it appears to be an erroneous blizzard pronouncement. Thoughts?

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    1. It's always the same argument, nobody lives at the airport, it's not a fair assessment to just pick one location and say they made a error, also you live in NM, driving from Woodbury to Coon Rapids was totally white knuckle and horrible visibility (3pm-5pm)

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    2. I don't doubt it was a white knuckle drive and that it felt like a blizzard. But the airport is pretty representative of the inner core... and you have to have a place to measure your forecasts and warnings against. Like i say, more a technicality than anything else.

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    3. I live 5 miles south of the SW corner of Hennepin County. I guarantee Minnetrista and St Boni met blizzard criteria because I know we did. I can't speak for Ramsey County, but regardless of the airport, there was a good chunk of the county that was in a blizzard.

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  27. Absolutely correct.
    Looking at the storm database by NOAA, no blizzards conditions have been ever recorded since 1/1/1950 for the inner core metro (Hennepin and Ramsey county). This does not mean there were not blizzard warnings (unable to verify that) but not actual blizzards.

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  28. A1
    I agree with James.
    Nothing wrong with overwarning, after all Mndot says 400plus crashes 700plus spinouts.

    If there’s any fingers to point (not necessarily saying there it) it’s at all the local Mets that were to gun shy to buy in and report how big this storm would be. None of them wanted to believe this would happen, not in April suns to strong blah blah.

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    1. First, I agree that the local mets underforecast, though in fairness the NWS did issue a winter storm warming.

      Regarding the "blizzard," I just think if people (some tweeters) are going to make a big deal about this being the first blizzard warning issues in 13 years, the storm ought to officially meet those criteria. And maybe this just points out that it's kind of silly to try to delineate between a very bad snowstorm and a "blizzard." It's all on a continuum.

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    2. yes. Timing was also good. Starting to snow overnight when solar radiation is absent created a layer of snow on the roads which made it easy for the daylight snow to accumulate on.
      Agreed on the mets. The 3-6 inches predicted Fri afternoon by Fox9-kmsp looks ridiculous if not borderline incompetent.

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    3. Bill this was a rare case that it actually felt like a blizzard in the metro. For a few hours it was as bad as I've seen it. I went out a little before 5:00 and could barely see in front of me while driving. Everything was white. I agree the Winter Storm to Blizzard Warning is strange. I just thought of it as heavy snow with high winds. Very strange day here and a true direct hit on the metro.

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    4. Wow. Needless to say, I'm jealous. (Just not jealous of being cold for six months.)

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  29. I admit I'm shocked. And if I had a do over, I still wouldn't predict 12"-18"+ of snow. This just didn't seem plausible.

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    1. Wasn't this one of those statistical end cases that very rarely occur and are hard to predict? The temp at 5 PM was 24 - 32 degrees below normal. Odds are none of us will see this again in our lives (this late in the season). One very powerful storm.

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    2. Another strong storm will move through the area on Wednesday and that looks to drop a decent amount of snow.

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    3. Will the moisture become organized enough for any further decent accumulations?

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    4. Looking at the radar and the HRRR model runs I would say over the next couple hours a light to moderate band of snow should develop over the metro.

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  30. The local weather segment here in Albuquerque begin by showing snow in Mankato and then Target Field. The announcer then said, "Can you imagine having a blizzard like that in the middle of April?" And you guys lived through it!

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    1. Yeah we did live through it! I hope my snowblower can get it done tomorrow morning. And I can't believe more snow is forecasted for Wednesday...NWS already has "likely" and no mention of a mix with rain even during the daylight hours.

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  31. Here in the north metro (Champlin) I was surprised the NWS issued a blizzard warning. However, visibility was terrible. It was hard to see the neighbors 100 yards away! My son was out to see Jessie Diggins and the drive back from Oakdale was horrible. People had trouble seeing the road let alone seeing 50 feet in front of them (his words). He and others got stuck on the ramps because they had to stop to wait to get into traffic. It seemed like the snowfall rates were near 2" per hour in the afternoon here, so I think that maybe played into the blizzard warning. In our area as of last night (~8:30 PM) we had between 9" to 13" (9" away from buildings to 13" or more closer to buildings (not in a drift)). The snow drifts on roofs and around objects on the ground are impressive! It didn't snow much overnight and I don't expect much more today even though NWS says 2"-4" today and 1"-2" tonight. Wirth Park is grooming 3K for nordic skiing today (Sunday) and for as long as they can this week! Three Rivers still shows all parks closed for season for cross country skiing. Today I must go snowshoeing and bring the camera! It has been a very memorable storm so far!

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  32. Anybody questioning the blizzard warning has a bad case of Snow Amnesia and Derangement (SAD) syndrome. It was absolutely a blizzard, and frankly, it should have been issued earlier in the day.

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    1. Totally agree...blizzard conditions easily met even if the airport didn't and yes waited way too long to issue the blizzard warning! If ever a blizzard warning was warranted for the core this storm was it.

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  33. MSP was at 13.2” storm total as of 1:00pm. Looks like we’ll have a new April snowstorm record soon.

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  34. So am I seeing the radar correctly and the storm is curling back over in us? How much more should we realistically expect? Trying to embrace it all but it's getting really old!

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  35. "There is no way the core metro will be reaching the 10+ inches forecast."

    Where are you, Anonymous?

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    1. As a snow lover I am always happy to be wrong that way, all the time.

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  36. Plowed 15" in Hopkins at 9am today, and it looks like we've got another couple inches on top of that since then. Memorable storm for sure!

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  37. Below are some very intriguing excerpts from the NWS discussion this afternoon. Could it, would it, happen here again?!?!? What an April to remember!

    The main time period of interest in the extended forecast is Tuesday night into Wednesday. This storm has high-end potential to produce a narrow band of a foot of snow on the northern side of the track.

    Models are in good agreement of at least an inch of QPF in the form of snow, and the timing is favorable across the southwest with most of it falling overnight. Meanwhile the snow will be falling during the day as it approaches I-35 and heads east. The north/south variability between the model is cause for concern. Do not have the confidence to even consider a winter storm watch since the narrow band of heavy snow could fall across northern Iowa, or it could fall across central Minnesota.

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    1. @Snow Meister yeah I read that, as a snowlover I hope it hits, but do you really think it can happen twice in April in a matter of days in the core? I think Mother Nature will spread the love around and nail someone else this time around.
      On a side note I was out all afternoon the roads were mainly wet while it was snowing at a good clip, but here in the last hour as the snow continues to fall the roads have become icy and snow covered again....I suspect many more accidents tonight and the morning rush.

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  38. Plymouth Weather LoverApril 15, 2018 at 6:46 PM

    It just can’t happen, can it? Could we get another significant storm in April? I just can’t take it!!! Bring it!!

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  39. Tweet by NWS for 7pm:

    The 14.9" at Minneapolis/St. Paul sets a new record for the largest April snowstorm on record #mnwx

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  40. Interesting tidbit from the NWS. 70.3" of snow since Jan 1st! New record!

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  41. Schools cancelled for tomorrow! I love that I got 18” but really cancelling suburban schools!?

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    1. Residential side streets have not been plowed curb-to-curb. School buses can't get down them and there was a fear of kids being hidden behind snowbanks getting hit. That's why the big three closed. Others closed or were delayed for the same reason. It was 100% warranted. Even with a late start here, some families couldn't make it to school today.

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  42. Close to 18" in Farmington. Officially 15" as of 1pm and we got close to 3 more since.

    Careful out there this morning. Just got back from dropping someone off at the airport. Side roads, in some places are glare ice. Highways are mostly wet but there are scattered slippery spots.

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  43. It’s officially a Dome buster storm. Even with the MetroDome gone; we still have a done busting storm. https://www.twincities.com/2018/04/15/vadnais-heights-dome-casualty-of-blizzard/

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  44. buckle up, another winter storm watch posted for tomorrow night for southern MN

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  45. Finally, the storm is over. 48 hours or more from start to finish. Truly astonishing. Paul Huttner has recapped the most significant data from the storm on his blog.

    I never thought I'd see a record-breaking snowstorm in Minneapolis. It's just so rare, obviously. So many people are complaining, and I just sit there and wonder how they aren't marveling at the awesomeness of it.

    That said, would whoever disturbed the mummified monkey at Dayton's please put it back? I need some green grass and flowers soon.

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  46. "So many people are complaining, and I just sit there and wonder how they aren't marveling at the awesomeness of it."

    You're kidding me right?

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    1. Why would I be kidding?

      What purpose is there in complaining? It's amazing, beautiful, awesome, record-breaking, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

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    2. I'm with you Joel! (Easy for me to say more than a thousand miles away, of course.)

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  47. I don’t care how amazing, beautiful, whatever it is. It’s the second half of April, freezing, I’m tromping through snow drifts, and we have weeks of puddles and mud to look forward to. I appreciated the power and beauty of our January blizzard - this one just sucks.

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    1. You can complain if you want. Maybe you could also afford me the right to enjoy it if I so desire.

      Thanks

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    2. I never said you couldn’t enjoy it. You don’t seem to understand why others don’t.

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    3. I think he just feels that there's nothing you can do about it. I would imagine he can understand the frustration so many feel at wondering if spring will ever arrive. And that's the extent of my diplomacy efforts. :-)

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    4. Some people witness the power of nature and are awed by it, sensing things that are much larger than themselves; others witness the power of nature and turn inward, thinking of how burdensome it is on them. Some are able to entertain both thoughts at the same time.

      C'est la vie.

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    5. Not all can be as centered and zen as Joel Fischer ;-)

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    6. I'm about as far from centered and zen as anyone you'll find...except when confronted with the power and beauty of nature. My apologies for waxing philosophical.

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    7. I am with Joel. I was here for the Halloween Blizzard and when these monster storms come, who cannot be in awe? I can see and feel climate changing, but then I have to ground myself in reality and search for records/stories of those storms, too, so that I don't 'just complain' or exaggerate and feel miserable but instead remind myself of what really transpired. I don't even remember the 1983 storm as many of you do, but I know I was here. I guess that's proof that we often do just fine no matter what Mother Nature throws at us. I think I'm a mix of what Joel writes above - yeah, it's hard to get through this stuff and shoveling this heart attack snow is difficult, so sometimes I complain. At the same time, it is beautiful and yes, as he says, awe-inspiring because of the sheer magnitude of it all. What control do we have over this? Not much! And P.S.: if our temps had not been 'so below normal' then this would have been a nice big rainstorm like Friday started out being, right? That makes it even MORE awe-inspiring.

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    8. I'm with you Joel, it is awe inspiring! I wasn't here for the Halloween Blizzard but witnessed many Nor'easters growing up on the east coast and this weekends storm reminded me of those times...my friends back home dubbed it a Mideastern!

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  48. Well done, Bill :-) I’m not trying to be snippy, but it’s hard today. And based on my interactions around town this morning, I’m not alone. If you suggest appreciating the beauty of the storm in a crowd of Twin Citians, you’d best duck before you get slapped :-)

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  49. Some might like this. Others, not. https://www.facebook.com/dale.hutson.7/videos/10206461234789494/

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  50. The GFS just took Wednesday's storm into Iowa, with very small accumulation amounts for Southern Minnesota. Lets hope this continues!

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  51. I feel spring coming. It's getting time to say 'goodbye' until fall comes and snowflakes appear again in our forecasts. It's been a great blog/snow/cold year, Bill. I'm glad you keep the blog going even from afar. May everyone enjoy the coming days/months. See you when Mother Nature/Old Man Winter decide to reappear.

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