Friday, February 8, 2019

Redux: Snowy Week in February

Rinse and repeat: is another snowy week in the offing? February snowfall may turn out to be one for the books. Or did we just jinx that possibility?

The snowy scene at MSP on Feb. 7

104 comments:

  1. Nice photo. Some models are printing out sweet snow totals for the Twin Cities metro. Can't wait to see the discussions and what develops. Thanks for the new thread! Keep dancing, PWL.

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  2. Woke up to the NAM going nuts with totals thru Tuesday. Accuwesther has it as a 70% chance of 8”+ Monday-Tuesday. What a crazy stretch after a sleepy early winter. Time for another video Bill? Novak nailed the last one, can he do it again?

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    1. For those who may not know the NAM is an 84hr model and updates 4 times a day. So with that being said it covers till about Tuesday evening and captures both the Sunday snowfall and Monday night/Tuesday snowfall with the last 2 days snowfall increasing in the metro with every new model run.
      The current 06Z NAM shows 3" for Sunday and 7" for Monday night/Tuesday.
      Just for fun the 06Z GFS shows 21" at MSP over the next 10 days(ending 2/18).
      Could be a February to Remember!

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  3. I told you guys not to sleep on Sunday's system, NWS has 2-4" thru the core for tomorrow and with reading their discussion they said it could be an overachiever with possibly more!

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  4. The Twin Cities snowfall record for the month of February is 26.5 inches set in 1962. Currently the Twin Cities is at 10.4 inches for the month. Are we going to make a run at that? Anything over 16.1 inches for this month is a top 10 total.

    https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/natural_resources/climate/twin_cities/monthsno.html

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  5. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 9, 2019 at 11:36 AM

    I mean.....I am getting into quite great shape as I continue to dance, dance, dance. These last two weeks have been amazing to watch unfold and this next week is going to be more than just icing on the cake!! I am really beside myself. Bring it!!

    On a side note to Bill and Novak--I would LOVE to see another video. Maybe the video could talk about Sunday's snow that seems to have become a stronger system, Monday night/Tuesday's system which is quite strong, and a maybe system for Thursday/Friday. How often has a video happened to talk about three snow events?? Seriously. I don't think I have seen it. Historic in that way as well. Bring it! Please?

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  6. Remember, it never snows in the Twin Cities anymore. Keep telling yourself that.

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  7. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 9, 2019 at 3:13 PM

    I just read the updated forecast discussion by the NWS. I love that they use the word "bonkers" when referring to the snow amounts being forecast by the GFS related to the possible storm on Thursday/Friday. I have been impressed the the NWS consistently tries to engage the "regular" people with on these discussions and on social media. Go Bonkers Baby! Bring It!

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  8. I feel like I am living in a slow-motion 3-week Halloween-esque memory of 1991 but just spread out for the fun of it. It's amazing what even noaa is stating on the current forecast for snow total possibilities before we get the latter-part-of-the-week white stuff. And then there is next week. PWL, your dancing has brought awesome results! :+)

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  9. Models are shifting away(east and south) of MSP for tomorrow and Tuesday, snowfall amounts are coming down. It will snow but not significant amounts as alluded to just this morning!

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    1. It would be a reprieve. Thanks for that info. I just heard my little noaa radio spit out 11 inches for Tuesday/Wednesday on top of the 3-4 inches today. Again, thanks for that info.

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  10. Sounds like the late week storm might miss Minnesota all together. At least if you go by the usually reliable euro

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    1. We have 2 storms ahead of us today and Tuesday why you looking so far away enowhats in front of you! Smh

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    2. Because I can look forward more than two storms. The brain is amazing like that. I also can recognize a troll when I see one. smmfh

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    3. You can’t enjoy these two? Just had two, but your concerned or upset or happy about Thursday’s forecast for right now. Why get wrapped up with will it hit or won’t hit when there’s plenty to go thru between now and then. Pump the brakes as Novak would say!

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  11. Who said I wasn't or cant? Your misconstrued assumptions are way way off. Who's wrapped up? Smmfh2

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  12. Since we’re on the subject of storms and their tracks, looks like today’s will produce the most for the core metro! Tuesday’s is trending south and east with the heaviest and Thursday could be a complete miss or cosmetic event. The big numbers everyone was clamoring about have gone away for the core.

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    1. The king (EURO), which caused the "clamor" still is sitting with double digits.

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  13. Upper level forcing is why the snow will probably still stay over the metro for Tuesday's storm regardless of where the low actually is. Also what a surprise for today's storm!? Here in Woodbury so far I've picked around 5-6 inches of snow.

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  14. 2.1 inches taped at this time in Minnetonka at 7 and 101

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  15. It's so quiet here considering the exciting week we have on tap. Really want hear everyone's thoguhts adn keep learning. Today was awesome and I can't wati for more.

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  16. Planning to do a video with Tom at 8. Any questions you'd like us to discuss?

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  17. As of 7 p.m. MSP airport hit another record-setting snowfall of 5.9 inches! Chanhassen 'only' got 3 inches. As trained snowfall observers weigh in at this site, some numbers include 5.2 in Eden Prairie, 4.5 Mpls, 4.8 Maple Grove. More will probably put their totals in tomorrow. https://www.cocorahs.org/ViewData/ListDailyPrecipReports.aspx

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    1. Wasn't somebody on this site complaining about the airport making all the official observations, and how that sucked because reasons?

      Well there's your record snowfall. AT THE AIRPORT.

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    2. There are enough times when the airport gets very low totals and people in other metro locations get record-busters. I am satisfied with the airport total. Good grief. Sour grapes. It all evens out in the end, don't you think? Somebody has to have an official total. Sheesh.

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    3. Today the totals will come in from 'those who are trained and who measure' at CoCoRahs ,,,,, Richfield has a cool 5 inches from yesterday, too....https://www.cocorahs.org/ViewData/ListDailyPrecipReports.aspx

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  18. Now we move onto Tuesday. Next run of the models should be telling, NAM has continued with heavy snow for the metro. NWS point forecast for Eden Prairie is 5-11, Accuweather at 61% 4-8 and 35% > 8. Novak earlier had the metro in the heavy snow and he is on a roll.

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  19. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 10, 2019 at 7:34 PM

    Thanks for doing a video, Bill and Novak! Can't wait to see it!
    Question from me: Are the dynamics of the system for Monday night/Tuesday such where a continual shift to the southeast is more likely than a shift back to the northwest? And, will there be a tight cut-off gradient with this storm?

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  20. Yes please ask is there any connection with our weather and Seattle’s?....They are getting hit with snow at the same time as we are....I didn’t think there was a correlation but I could be wrong

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    1. Sorry Big Daddy. Didn't see this until now.

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  21. Hot off the press -- the latest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r3IIj8TfTA

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  22. Enjoyed the video as usual. Thank you Bill and Doc Novak.

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  23. Totally busted out laughing. It’s been nagging Bill since last week’s video. WHAT WAS IN THE OVEN? Lol. Great video.

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  24. Sucks! Wisconsin is getting our blockbuster storm on Tuesday. We just get the side effects. Oh well 4 moderate snow events in two weeks isn’t half bad, especially when on average February is usually a weak snowfall month!

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  25. Nice video guys! Thank you Bill and Tom! The topic of monthly record snowfall of 26.5” for February in MSP came up, I believe the exact words Tom used was it will be “obliterated”, I would say slow day and don’t count your chickens before they hatch. MSP sits at 16.3”, the forecast trends for tonight/Tuesday has come way down for MSP to a 4-6” range, Thursday is trending as a nuisance 1-2”, so by Thursday we will be close(possibly be off by a few inches from the record)with two weeks to go in the month. The NWS this morning says we will be going into a extended sunnier and drier pattern as the storm track slips way to our south, so not so sure about the obliterating that record.

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  26. FYI> Novak is cutting back on totals!
    A lot of hype and excitement on big totals just a few days ago for this week and sure looks like Sunday will take the cake for biggest performer.
    That’s why I said don’t sleep on Sunday’s system, everyone was overlooking Sunday because models were spitting out large numbers for Tuesday and Thursday, even Novak jumped the gun. He sent out an impact map for Tuesday before an accumulation map for Sunday and if I’m not mistaken he had no impact map for Sunday!

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    1. Correct @Sam , there was no impact map for Sunday!

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  27. These impressive systems almost always seem to disappoint. We get maybe half a dozen chances at them throughout the Winter, and we're lucky if one follows the guidance that was set 24 ahead of its arrival. Our biggest or most regular snow usually comes from the oddball systems or clippers, which seem to be few and far between in recent year.

    That is my take on the current state of the Twin Cities Winter climate.

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    1. I concur 100%.
      It seems like overlooked storms are those which deliver the highest snows. Like yesterday's who ended up basically as impactful as last Thursday (5.9" vs 6.3" at MSP so basically the same).
      The legendary domebuster (17.3") was supposed to be a 3-5" storm 2=3 days in advance.
      On the other hand I also noticed an increased wobbliness in models run to run.
      3 days out it seems a big storm, then the day before it seems it goes south and totals are reduced but then the actual storm gets closer to the original forecast.
      This was clear in last Thursday and past Monday storm where the NWS went back and forth in increasing then reducing, then re-increasing again the totals.
      SO my question is whether this apparent inconsistency in model to model run is due to climate dynamics changes that are still not well understood and therefore difficult to predict, or simply that our models are just not good enough.
      I am talking especially of the much taunted GFS-FV3 that was supposed to do marvels and so far it has turned out to be much more inaccurate than the old GFS...

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  28. Expect the watches to be downgraded and shifted to advisories for our next storm. NWS dropping totals even further now into the 2-5” range. Remember when this storm was talked about as a “big deal”, but I’m sure Novak will still think the models are preforming admirably!

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  29. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 11, 2019 at 12:58 PM

    It is so interesting how the negativity increases so much on this site whenever a system shifts away from the away. Blame and shame. Too bad. And Novak is seen as the "bad guy"? Really? He has been the most accurate forecaster that I have seen and I pay attention at almost an obsessive level! We can do better on this site. Be constructive and point out facts.

    My point forecast for Plymouth still calls for 4-8. It very well could be lowered, but that doesn't change that the models are going to get this right with the majority of the energy being south and west of the metro and it being a huge snow producer probably resulting in a foot or more of snow for many.

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    1. Agree. I don't remember so much negativity 'in the olden days' of the blog. And I agree that Novak overall does an excellent job with forecasts as I have watched him over the years. The snow is beautiful, isn't it? Keep dancing, PWL, no matter what the naysayers throw out.

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    2. Where do you see naysayers? I see a lot valid points. Maybe constructive criticism in your world is negative but I see a lot of validity in people’s comments!

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    3. @PWL your point forecast must be slow to update, here’s the latest from the NWS afternoon update

      KMSP...Thinking light snow arrives around 06Z. Once it does,
      visibility should decrease overnight and carry through the morning
      commute with reduced visibility. Light snow looks to linger
      through the entire afternoon at this point.Still expecting snow
      amounts in the 3-5" range.
      Good day sir, I hope I wasn’t being too negative for you!

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    4. Joe, some people told PWL tongue in cheek perhaps to stop dancing on another one of the blogs. People just seem to throw more barbs at each other. There is more of a sense of negativity. There is a different feel from blogs long past. Maybe I need to go back and read them. Maybe it was always like that. I enjoy the comments that ask questions, that explain the weather, etc. I don't enjoy ones that say it 'never' snows in the metro or criticize which location is 'the official' one for the metro daily snow total. Or that criticize the ones who put out forecasts, create maps, etcetera. One can analyze a map and figure out how the weather pattern changed in the scientific way it does, but one does not have to poke fun at or criticize the forecaster. That is just my take on it.

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  30. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 11, 2019 at 12:59 PM

    Should say "away from the metro" not "away from the away".

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    1. Not exactly seeing what your seeing PWL on negativity, I do see a lot of facts in the last couple of posters. So how is it “the models are going to be right”? Do we wait to the last model run right before the snow starts to declare that the model of choice do we take yesterday’s run or Saturdays run? It’s a very vague argument you make when you say the “the models will be right”. They won’t because up until Saturday PM MSP was getting nearly a foot now their not , so the models got close to the General area but not accurate in my honest opinion. If we’re playing horse shoes and hand grenades then your point is valid

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  31. I try not to be negative. The weather will be what it will be. I was trying to point out the disappointing nature of the guidance for the metro area on a regular basis for the 'impressive' storms, the ones that take the classic track and have the classic form that we associate with big storms in the Upper Midwest.

    Last evening, 24 hours before the onset of the storm, the entire metro fell within the warning criteria for snowfall. It now appears that may not happen.

    I'm pretty certain that the models have forecasted well the magnitude of the storm. But tracking, a mere 24 hours before the start, will have been off by a pretty decent amount. And this happens quite regularly with the 'classic' storms, which results in a lot of frustration from snow lovers.

    The unheralded storms are regularly the better snow producers for us.

    I get that it's entirely possible that it's a matter of perception, and perhaps moving completely to probabilistic forecasting would be the better option. However, that would also require educating a lot of the population about math.

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    1. You do you Joel! Good points your not negative at all and spot on. I believe others on here take constructive feedback as being negative!

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    2. Seems to me - a math teacher - that we already need to educate people about math. Meteorology as a science is based in probability and trends, no matter how they present it to people. The fact that folks don't understand the science behind a forecast is 100% the issue. And they clearly don't recognize how far forecasting has come in even the past 30 years.

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  32. Okay, some examples: Is this negative? "Well there's your record snowfall. AT THE AIRPORT." How about: "Not hard to read/follow a radar Novak! " IDK ... maybe I am misinterpreting via the written word.

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    1. I consider the "read/follow a radar Novak," to be nasty. Unless I want to sit and review each comment. though, there's not much I can do. I, too, wish for the old days of my own blog!

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  33. 18Z Nam shifts the band a little further north west and with that brings heavy snows dangerously close to MSP. I have a feeling we will see a pivoting heavy snow band on the extreme western edge of the snow band. I could see it being over MSP or extremely close so watch out and don't give up yet!

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    1. I always give up, but that's only so I can be surprised.

      :-)

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  34. so am i missing something that its already snowing in cannon falls and the nws said it wasnt suppose to start till 9-10 tonight?

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  35. Hey all, good stuff! Actually, it is quite entertaining. Truthfully, I don't mind some of the negativity because model guidance can be draining on the psyche sometimes.

    As far as tonight & tomorrow's storm, I agree, don't give up. I will mention the same thing today as I said last Wednesday night. Remember? Many people were screaming BUST due to lack of radar echoes that night. However, the dynamics then & now support a significant snowfall, even in the MSP metro. The mid & upper air winds are fantastic for storm development. It is dangerous to simply look at QPF & say bust. Remember, some of the short term guidance rely on radar data for their solutions. Thus, when radar echoes haven't developed yet, that can skew the guidance QPF too low. That happened last Thursday.

    I still believe that this will be a healthy snow for most of us. I'm thinking 4"-7" in the MSP metro with the higher totals on the southeast side. Regardless, this is going to cause big travel problems tomorrow across much of MN/WI.

    It will be fun to see what the 00z guidance reveals because the radar is finally starting to light up. Hell, I'm really confident that a good chunk of WI will receive a solid 10"-12"+ out of this storm.

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    1. I have a different take than many on Novak and this blog. I feel lucky to have a professional here who takes the time to explain things and do those great videos. He may not get it right all of the time, no one does.

      I talked to the real Paul Douglas a few years ago and he talked about models and trends similar to Novak. He was also privately humble about the challenges in predicting weather.

      It would be easy for Novak to pack up his toys and leave every time someone takes a shot at him. We seem to get more posts when a storm is potentially underperforming.

      The Mets I like are the ones who read into the model data and make their calls. Anyone can read the data, the talented ones can see into it. As a weather nut, I just like to learn about it. Will be fun to see how this develops and if it can screw up yet another morning commute.

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  36. NAM 0Z has continued to shift further north west! I told you not to give up yet!

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  37. 00Z GFS not much change, however the 2z HRRR and RAP are slighly higher...
    Close to 6” now for the core.
    This will be interesting...

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  38. Kare11/Belinda during 10pm newscast, has the metro area down to 3 inches.

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  39. Radar is really lighting fellas! Heavy snow about to move into the core as I type.

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  40. One Richfield observer has 3 inches as of 4 a.m.

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  41. New
    3.5 inches of snow taped at 345am Minnetonka 7 and 101

    3.4 inches of snow taped at 4:12 am
    Golden Valley 394 and Louisiana.

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  42. Those are good totals. Thanks for the info, MNPLOWCO.

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  43. 4 inches taped. Main Street Hopkins.

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    1. There is a power outage out there; my lights blinked/furnace went on 'electric interrupted' and I couldn't figure out if it was the furnace or ?? Saw on an outage map that there is an area without power in Hopkins not so far from my place. That is a another good snow total. I'm in St Louis Park near 169/36th, so in your vicinity where you are taking these measurements. Thank you again for the snow totals.

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  44. Mr. Barlow says another 2-4 on top of what we have???? Did I hear that correctly? Those will be nice snow totals. Sven says another 2-3, too.

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  45. 5” so far in Maple Grove!

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  46. 4.6 Eden prairie at 213 and prairie center Dr. At this tine

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  47. 4.2 St Louis Park at 6am

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  48. Trust dynamics. Don't trust model QPF. Case closed.

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  49. Question for Tom Novak;
    Shouldn’t models take into account dynamics to predict QPF?
    Otherwise what’s the point?

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    1. Of course they do, but each guidance has their own unique mathematical variables/equations. Hence, each guidance has different QPF & other solutions. The bottom line is if it looks good from up top on down, then you need to feel confident. My 4casting method starts at 250mb then I drill down; I rarely start from the surface & go up.

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  50. 5.5 inches just south of Mankato

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  51. Just under 4 inches in South Mpls. Very light snow now.

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  52. Ian L just said MSP airport got 5.2 inches.... third record snow this month.

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    1. MSP final tally was 5.6” for this last storm. Puts us in 4th place for all time February snowfall at 21.6”. 5” still needed for the record, though looks dry for the next week or so.

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  53. Plymouth Weather LoverFebruary 12, 2019 at 5:42 PM

    Novak writes, "Trust dynamics. Don't trust model QPF. Case closed."

    I say, "Trust Novak. Case closed."

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  54. I would like to take a blog poll on this blog, hoping we get some good participation and comments.
    So if you watched the last Novak/Bill video the notion of MSP breaking the February monthly snow record was brought up, Tom said “MSP will obliterate that record”. My question to the blog is( and maybe Bill would like to start a new thread centered around this topic, up to you Bill)do you think we will bring the record? The record is 26.5” and MSP currently sits at 21.9”, a mere 4.7” from the record. Also note it is being strongly advertised from the NWS and many other local favorite TV and social media meteorologists that a extended dry period is upon us that could take us right thru the end of the month, so with that all said what is your vote.....

    1. We do not get to 26.5”, effectively not breaking the record
    2. We surpass 26.5” but just barely
    3. A la Novak the record is obliterated(we can argue it’s meaning so let’s say we break it by 6”, that seems fair)

    Ok please vote...comments are optional but appreciated!

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  55. I'm hoping for #2 but expecting #1

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  56. #2 for me but #1 wouldn't surprise me.

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  57. I'm going with 2 but will add the caveat that we will be within 1/2" of the record - up or down. But then again #1 wouldn't surprise me.

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  58. Considering that the NWS had said there was going to be a dry streak for the next couple weeks there is now snow in the forecast for 3+ days over the next week. We might just break the record after all.

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  59. At this point I don't feel that we are going to shatter the record, but I do think we are going to break it. I agree with @Ruth, in that the NWS a couple of days ago was saying the metro's weather would be colder and dry for at least the next week or so. Now, there is a chance of light snow today, and possibly a couple of inches on Sunday. I love winter,especially SNOW, so I am rooting for the snowstorm parade to kick back into high gear hopefully sometime soon!

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  60. Yes the GFS model has painted a advisory type snow Sunday night -Monday but that's a long ways away and like always something will change.

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  61. I can't imagine that we are NOT going to break the FEB record by several inches. We have:
    - Continued SW flow aloft for much of 2nd half of FEB.
    - Disturbances embedded in this flow.
    - Large trough moving little over the western half of the U.S.
    - Bitter Cold Arctic air in place.
    - Moisture occasionally surging north from the Gulf.

    So, although the QPF on some medium range models don't dictate it, this is the perfect set-up for more snow across MN/WI.

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  62. Dr. Novak, what are your thoughts on Sunday's system? The NWS this morning appears to be trending away from accumulating snow in the metro on Sunday. Thanks.

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    1. @Schnee Meister, nothing really to write home about here locally in the metro for Sunday.
      NAM has 0" Canadian has 1" and GFS has 2" (with their respective 06z 00z model runs)

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    2. Lots of forcing in upper levels should support a prolonged period of Lt. Snow. I can't imagine we won't pick-up a few inches or more in the MSP metro.

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    3. Can’t be too much of a big deal when said snow suppose to start after midnight on Saturday and not one word or mention of it from you on Twitter or Facebook.

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    4. Sunday looks like a yawn-fest still all 00z models paint .5-2" average for the core metro.

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  63. Unfortunately it looks like tomorrow's system is a non-event for the core. Folks south of Mankato look to receive several inches of snow.

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  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  65. Sorry Joe, you had an error with your above message. It should read, fortunately. :-)

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  66. I would slow your roll just a bit with that yawning and non-event stuff. 18Z NAM now has 3” at MSP, highest output on that model yet, for days it had been showing 0” till yesterday and has steadily gone up. Pay attention like Novak says to dynamics rather then model qpf!

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  67. New thread to monitor possible record-breaking February snowfall.

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