The much-anticipated snowstorm is ending. With all the twists and turns, how do you think forecasters did? And what other thoughts do you have about the storm?
It’s a weird feeling to be a former Minnesotan/snow lover closely watching a storm take place in such a familiar place that’s 1,574 miles away (as the southwestern jetstream flies) from where I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico (where the storm created winds gusting to 63 mph, visibility down to one mile in dust and snow squalls that just make for a pretty picture).
Here are some random thoughts and observations:
- Except for actually shoveling snow and constantly dabbing at a runny nose, it’s amazing how much you can experience a snowstorm virtually — thanks to news stories, pictures from friends, traffic cameras, etc.
- As one commenter suggested, it seems to make more sense to see this storm as two separate storms given the amount of time between. If one views it that way, it seems that there was a middling storm (4”) followed by clean-up, followed by a legitimately heavy, but not blockbuster, snow.
- Taken literally, the forecasts seemed generally quite accurate — except for the “heavy at times wording.” From my review of MSP observations, there was never an official report of “heavy snow.” However, I sensed that the net impact didn’t quite measure up to the message that was communicated by the NWS.
- Reports from rural areas notwithstanding, the storm didn’t seem to be as paralyzing as one might expect for the total accumulation (again why it seems more appropriate to see this as two storms) nor truly historical.
- As one who lived through the Halloween blizzard, I was secretly hoping that this didn’t end up as a record setter. (I want to keep the glory.)
- Patience is always a virtue, but especially so when waiting to see if a snowstorm fully flowers.
- Model data should be consumed with a pound of Morton salt.
But all in all, it was a good show!
Reposting this from the previous thread, given this post was #239!ReplyDelete
"Hi WeatherGeek, I was thinking about the rainstorms we had in January and February too. What an insult to have even one rainstorm during the heart of winter, and a La Nina winter at that! Temperatures were in the 30's for both rainstorms. We were so close to having snowstorms instead. They said on tv that if they had been snowstorms, we could have easily added another 20-25 inches of snow to our season total. That's a lot of missed opportunity. I am reading March and April might be cold and stormy. We'll see if that comes to fruition. I am loving the snow we got this week. Overnight it really cranked up and snow hard at times. As a devoted snow fan, I feel we can never have too much snow!!"
We have measured a solid 13-14 inches here in the northwest loop. Not as much as the southern burbs, but still a very respectable snowstorm!
Thanks for the new thread, Bill/Dave and for your comments, Schnee Meister. I just posted over on Novak's FB page that we miss him 'over here.' He was right on as 99.999999999% of the time he is in my humble opinion. I'd like to know/understand how all the computer models were so aligned for something higher than what we got (and trust me, I am delighted with what we got, not mad)...... What changed it when it was so solid for so long? So often the models spit something crazy out well in advance and I put no faith in it. This time, however, it seemed solid to be a bigger monster than it was. I know someone on the other thread questioned the thought that southern storms were pulling moisture from our storm, but I had also heard one of the meteorologists mention it. So if anyone can explain 'what happened to the doubling of the snow totals' I am all ears. But again, it's glorious to see the snow. I am grateful for this blog. I agree with Schnee Meister that it was still 'a very respectable snowstorm' and I hope PWL is spinning like a top, especially since the snow totals in Plymouth are in the 15+ inch range. Cheers!ReplyDelete
While on the lower end of predictions, it was in the range and we had over a FOOT of snow!! This is amazing!! Think about it. If I told you we were going to get a foot of snow, we would have been jumping and buying Depends.ReplyDelete
1. I think the two storms should have been treated and talked about separately. This was confusing for people.
2. I would love to hear why things didn’t pan out in terms of the upper amounts.
3. Novak rocks.
4. This blog rocks.
5. Bring it!!!
I just have to say, "Bravo, PWL!"Delete
It's frustrating to watch Novak get blasted in his FB comments for "overhyping" and being called a "weather terroritst".ReplyDelete
When there's multiple models in agreement calling for 24+ inches of snow for 4 straight days....there isn't a trained meteorologist out there that sees that and says "The models ALL say 24+", but we all know this will be a bust, so I'm going to call for 8"."
No, they are going to communicate what the models and their YEARS of training have taught them to give the public as much warning as possible.
But "Clint the Armchair Meteorologist" knew in his knees that this was going to be a bust, so therefore all meteorologists are terrorists. It's awfully sad.
Rant over.......this storm was FUN to track, probably the most fun I've had checking in on this site! Of course I was hoping for double the snow, because that's a great memory. But my back and shoulders are doing their dance today since I only had half the snow predicted.
Be well everyone.....until the next snowstorm!!!
Agree, JAW. I was actually trying to answer some of these folks yesterday at the STRIB site, and I gave up. Yes, it was quite an interesting storm.Delete
I caught WCCO’s Mike Augustyniak’s forecast a day or two before the storm and he was showing about 6-10 models side by side. They were in close agreement. I took one look at that and thought, “We are sooo getting hit by this one.” The lowest snow prediction was the EURO model, which predicted 18.something inches. I guessed that one and I think Augustyniak was leaning in that direction as well. Weather terrorists? Puhleeez, I would rather have forecasters be overly cautious so that we’re prepared than undersell it and catch us unprepared. MM ;-)Delete
Is there a total from MSP yet? The NWS website show 6.9" as of 1am this morning.ReplyDelete
At 12:11 pm. NWS Twin Cities posted on Twitter: "Storm total at MSP Airport was measured at 13.1" since Tuesday, placing 2022-23 as the 17th snowiest winter on record thus far." They said nothing about where this STORM is on the list of storms in general, so it must be 'way down the list.' But 13.1. Not shabby.Delete
That puts it close to a record for February.Delete
Feb 20-21, 2011 was 13.8", so it really wouldn't even be "historic" unless it still gets to 13.9".
Incidentally, that 2011 storm is #20 all time.
Should these two storms really be counted together, when we had almost 12 hours in between them? -- even more if you count the hours in between when we shoveled out from them? For me, I had 3.5 inches with the first, then 8-9 or so with the second. I'm not far from the airport. The drifts were much higher, and yes, it was still a respectable storm. But reading NWS super hyped update-after-update-after-update last week, the constant comparisons to '91, and seeing mets post so many crazy model outputs, even at the 11th hour, (and even if they didn't say they were forecasting it), this definitely feels *very* underperforming. The early January storm was much worse.ReplyDelete
Agree; there were reporters here from 'everywhere' waiting for 'the next big storm'..... so sorry we just had a 'regular' one, not that this is a baby by any means. And that big break was a bit unusual.... last night I almost felt like '91 because of the bands of heavy snow that kept on giving, but they just didn't last as long. But yes, there was sure a lot of hype and also model consensus that we would get more, which is why I am curious as to what kept the numbers lower.Delete
Not sure why people are attacking Novak. I think he was very accurate with his predictions. I just went back and checked his predictions. On February 20 (Monday) he posted a map predicting 4-7 inches in the metro for Tuesday/Tuesday night for Round 1. MSP international officially recorded 4.1, while several locations in the metro checked in with readings between 4-5 inches. On February 21 (Tuesday) he posted a map for TuesdayPM-Thursday, which predicted 12-18+ (storm total) for the metro. He was spot on! I don’t see that he overhyped anything. Great job, Novak!ReplyDelete
Yeah he's getting plenty of good feedback on his FB post.Delete
I forgot to say: NWS Twitter also has a page with snowfall totals. Let me see if I can give the link: https://twitter.com/NWSTwinCities/status/1628827883362824192/photo/1ReplyDelete
I'd say the forecast is a C- from the NWS. They were calling for 17-23 inches across the metro originally. While on average the viewing area saw between 12 to 14 inches. Only 65-70% of what was originally forecasted.ReplyDelete
From Minneapolis south there are plenty of 16"+ totals reported. Apple Valley is at 20" now. North of that at least 12" until you get to Anoka. Pretty solid forecasting considering how far out this storm was spotted. I think most people did not understand that there we actually 2 storms. Last night ended up right in the range the NWS predicted. No idea why people love jumping on this forum just to rip the forecasters, The fun here are the people trying to figure these storms out. Great discussion for a few days and regardless an impressive amount of snow.ReplyDelete
And I'll add Cambridge and Bethel at 17" now. All within the forecast rangeDelete
Hey all! How the hell are you? It has been awhile since I've posted here & I apologize for that. This BLOG will always have a soft place in my heart. Also, I truly appreciate the kind comments. Thanks for sending me here today Bill.ReplyDelete
As far as this recent storm is concerned, I'm not buying into the idea that "storms down south robbed us of moisture". Many areas received well over 12.0" of powder, so there was plenty of moisture. Meanwhile, we had a 2 to 4 hours snow burst this AM that dumped a solid 3" to 6"+ of snow across much of southern MN/WI. So, again, there was plenty of moisture.
The main reasons why we likely did NOT get the 20"+ that models hinted at is two fold:
1.) Many areas did NOT get the 6"-8"+ of snow during the first wave on Tuesday.
2.) The Jet Streak last night was so powerful that it moved this storm along faster than anticipated AND it brought in a little bit of dry air.
You never want to be immediately under a strong jet streak if you want heavy snows because usually the jet streak = dry air (dry slot). I guess it could be argued that this jet streak cut-off some of the Gulf of Mexico moisture, especially earlier in the day yesterday.
Quite frankly, I thought this impressive Winter Storm behaved exactly as advertised & I couldn't be happier with my predictions. With that being said, it does upset me a bit when people criticize a well forecasted storm, especially when they don't provide supporting evidence. I can take criticism, just back it up.
Great to hear from you! Thanks for visiting 'over here.' It didn't help that some folks like Chris Nelson (meteorologist I think in northern IA) posted a photo on FB of a tree with markers for the Halloween Blizzard, the dome buster, etc etc etc asking where THIS storm would end up, plus the computer models being so attuned to each other for so long with the 'high ceiling' possibilities, and seeing national reporters camped out in DT Mpls... like they were all waiting for something monumentally historic to occur. That stuff made me hope for too much snow, ha ha. But yes, you rock, Novak. Thank you for explaining everything as you always do, and for your videos on FB, too.Delete
Great to hear from you Novak. I talked earlier how I miss those famous videos you used to do with Bill. I still watch your videos on FB or Youtube.Delete
Hi Novak! Great to see you on here again. It's been a while. For what it's worth I think you did a very good job forecasting this storm. Round 2 got off to a slow start yesterday, and several of us wondered whether the dry arctic air in northern MN and ND got pulled into the system. Glad the storm eventually got its act together. I will be honest and say I was a bit skeptical as to whether it would, and I don't recall any forecaster mentioning dry air might be drawn into the system. As to your forecasts, I really don't see that you over-hyped this storm at all. I laid out some facts in my 1:05PM post above. Keep up the good work...and don't be such a stranger to The Minnesota Forecaster! You have a lot of fans here!ReplyDelete
I 2nd that! Don’t be a stranger Novak, pop in once in awhile if you can…this winter isn’t over yet!Delete
Hey Novak! I echo Joe's and Bigdaddy's comments. Keep up the good work and we hope to see you here more often, like the old days!Delete
On no! Please don't tell me the metro is going to get another cold rain storm!! That would be the third one this season! This is from the NWS forecast discussion this afternoon regarding next Monday. I will add that their point forecast for next Monday is snow, mix and then snow, so it doesn't really match up with the following comments:ReplyDelete
"Guidance produces impressive QPF from this system with heaviest amounts ranging from 1.25-1.75". (The 90th percentile of the guidance even shows good support for QPF exceeding 2" within the heaviest axis.) While this system should be too warm to produce significant snow, plentiful rainfall is likely. The worst case scenario is if cooler surface temperatures prevail and freezing rain is more abundant. Hopefully, this detail becomes clearer and less likely in the coming days."
Just means we will create more glacier snow! But in general this is very odd to have a RAIN event in February on the extreme NW side of the storm.Delete
Do we need a new thread for the slop that is coming? I'm talking Sunday night onward, not the inch we may get tonight. Oh that it could all be snow.ReplyDelete
To be honest slop is not a topic I would like to discuss. Snow or bust for me.Delete
All right, then.Delete
If anyone is interested, here is NOAA's debrief of the storm/ link:ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing! (Bill)Delete
You are welcome. And wow, Paul Douglas says we've already had 71 inches of snow this season......and we are not done, yet!Delete
I’m calling BS with all of the rain this winter I love the snow, but the rain has to go! It rains even when the storm is south of MN?ReplyDelete
Sorry, for some reason the period after the word “winter” didn’t show up in my post above.Delete
I'd rather have snow too but I'm enjoying the ice-coated trees and shrubs (looking at them at least, I haven't had to go out yet).Delete
I agree the ice covered trees are pretty. The NWS stated several times yesterday that no icing was expected within the core metro loop. Well, I definitely live inside the core metro loop and we have had nothing but freezing rain all morning. My sidewalk and driveway are a skating rink. Just saying…ReplyDelete
Its noon and advisory expired. Still waiting for something to fall. For me in far NW it is a bust. I would think the same for core metro as I too heard the NWS and the local mets saying core was just rain.
Sorry to hear that people are having road troubles but it is Minnesota in winter. Take nothing for granted. Onward to Tuesday night. NWS appears to be undecided about extent of system. Time for new thread or just keep this one?
The core had freezing rain most of the morning. Still slick and slushy but cars are no longer having to retreat backwards down the hill in front of my house. Trees still coated with ice.Delete
Yeah, this ice/rain/slush/sleet/mush combo is not good. Not normal. We have had so much rain this month that could have been snow. I remember someone commenting that they didn't even want to talk about it on this blog unless it is snow. However...... it is still 'winter weather.' In the metro it is supposed to go into the 20's tonight. If we can't get some melting going on and drying of roads this p.m., it's not going to be a pretty picture. The accidents on the metro freeways this morning were 'amazing'....... multiple cars smashed into each other on one ramp; an SUV on its roof on another, and even the system that reports accidents was 'frozen' and couldn't report. I miss 'good old winter.' Stay safe everyone.ReplyDelete
Well here comes a winter weather advisory for the metro..... PWL must be dancing in the dark to surprise us all. 2-5" isn't shabby.... let's dance for the higher amounts as we move into March.ReplyDelete
Based on what I am reading (Novak, models, etc), I am surprised the NWS has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for the metro. In contrast, yesterday when freezing rain fell all morning in the core metro there was no WWA for the metro. Go figure…ReplyDelete
I agree. This morning the WWA was for 3-5 inches. Early this afternoon it was reduced to 1-3 inches, but the WWA remains in effect. HmmmDelete
Looking at the radar this afternoon and now evening, it looks like this line of snow is going to give the Metro the old “Ope, excuse me…just gonna skooch around you there”Delete
It is absolutely puking snow this morning,ReplyDelete
Almost 2” in a hour!!
Ok my fellow snowlovers it’s time to band together and come together to set an all time record! Unfortunately conditions did not come together for us to knock out the Halloween Blizzard from its throne on the last storm but we have a fairly decent opportunity in front of us to dethrone the top spot for seasonal snowfall if we can stay colder and snowier this March.1983-84 holds that distinction with a whopping 98.6”……we currently are sitting at 71.4”. 27”+ of snow sounds like a lot but we all know March can deliver some big wet snowfalls and so can April for that matter, so I don’t think it’s that far fetched that we can attain this record. I’m sure some of you have already seen the colder then average temperatures forecasted for the month of March so if we can get a couple of decent snowfalls with that and throw in one more “big” we can certainly break a record. In fact the weather models, both the GFS and the EURO, both show an snowy active week for next week starting up late Sunday/Mon with a moderate snowfall of 4-7” followed by a bigger event somewhere in the Thur-Sat timeframe, know obviously this can change and will but it looks promising as of now. Ok so you all got your marching orders, I’m sure PWL will do his dancing and whatever everyone else does as their snow ritual go ahead and start and let’s break a record!! Funny ritual I do is leave my shovels outside the house which means “snows are not done, more to come”ReplyDelete
Let’s Go!!! I am with you @Bigdaddy, let’s do this! I keep my favorite vodka in a deep snowbank in the yard as long as I can so bring on the record please.Delete
I'm on board! Let it SNOW!Delete
The Euro and GFS are being consistent with painting 5-8 inches for the metro Sunday/Monday. The NWS and all the TV mets, except surprisingly Kare 11, are calling for only a mix. Kare is calling for all snow. Let's see who's right! Let it snow! Let it snow!ReplyDelete
Oh that will be nice, like 'the good old days' when this blog's folks graded the forecasts/forecasters. Yes, let's see who's right.Delete
I am in favor of going back to grading the forecasters so we can all get a sense of who is typically most accurate. I get graded on my job performance. I see no reason why we can't informally grade the forecasters too.ReplyDelete
Sunday's system looks like another North Dakota/northern MN storm. Winter Storm Watches posted for the southern two-thirds of North Dakota.ReplyDelete
Looks like Paul Douglas is on board with KARE; his blog in the strib today talks about 2-4 inches Sunday/2-4 inches Monday and a 'massive storm' potentially stalling somewhere around here NEXT weekend (turn the clocks ahead/let it snow March 12)..... Let.It.SNOW!ReplyDelete
The battle between the high res and the longer term models is fascinating right now for the Sunday/Monday system. They are way off from each other with it only bring 36 hours away. Let’s see who wins.ReplyDelete
My hope is for the longer term models.
I was thinking the same thing, PWL. It’s amazing how a week or so ago the models were so consistent with each other the entire week leading up to the big end of February snowstorm. However, in this case as you indicated there is great uncertainty a day before the event. For several days I have been feeling the metro will get at least a few inches of wet snow Sunday/Monday. Fingers crossed!ReplyDelete
Novak going for the 4-6” right to the heart of the metro….says high bust potential but not wavering in his confidence.ReplyDelete
LETS GO! We have a record to break!!
Beautiful snowfall out there this evening. A good 2.5 - 3 inches so far around the 494/94 interchange. Everything has a fresh coat of white with this wet snow! The bees just came on and there is nothing but negativity being said about the snow. That’s so sad. It seems many Minnesotans have become winter wimps.ReplyDelete
My post should have said “news”, not “bees”ReplyDelete