...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGHNeed I say anymore? Here's the latest on the Winter Storm Watch from the National Weather Service:
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED
A WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE SUNDAY NIGHT
THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 4 TO 6 INCHES ARE
LIKELY ROUGHLY NORTH OF A LINE FROM GRANITE FALLS...LITCHFIELD...
The Winter Storm Watch extends southwestward into northern Nebraska.
Doesn't this seem a little too early? Take a look at this extensive October Snow History Data from the State Climatology Office:
October Snow History
How rare is measurable snow this early in the season? In recent years it has been uncommon to see measurable snow in October in the Twin Cities. The last time there was measurable snow in October in the Twin Cities was .2 (two tenths) of an inch on October 20 and .4 (four tenths) of an inch on October 21, 2002. The most snow for the month of October is (of course) the 1991 Halloween Blizzard with 8.2 inches, which all fell on October 31.
What is more unusual is having measurable snow fall in the first half of the month. This has happened only eight times in the last 60 years, with the most snow being 2.5 inches on October 10, 1977.
Dates of measurable snow in the Twin Cities from October 1-15 since 1948
Year Month Day Precip Tmax Tmin Tavg Snowfall SnowdepthThe earliest measurable snow on record for the Twin Cities is .4 inches on September 24, 1985 which fell during the afternoon and surprised many people.
1959 10 8 0.32 56 32 44 0.3 0
1959 10 12 0.20 37 31 34 2.0 0
1966 10 15 1.24 42 33 38 0.2 0
1969 10 12 0.69 42 33 38 2.0 0
1969 10 13 0.08 41 34 38 0.4 1
1977 10 10 0.48 49 32 41 2.5 0
1977 10 11 0.06 43 33 38 0.5 0
1992 10 15 0.21 44 31 38 0.3 0
Statewide, there's been Octobers in recent years with significant snow, mostly confined to the northern half of the state. As recently as October 26, 2008 there was windswept snow with 3.3 inches near Dalton in Otter Tail County. On October 12-13, 2006 there was measurable snow over northeast Minnesota. A larger storm also hit northeast Minnesota on October 27-28, 2003. The largest October snowstorm in recent years that hit farther south was on October 20-21, 2002. This storm dropped eight to nine inches in a narrow band over central Minnesota with the heaviest total being 9 inches at Little Falls.
This is what the weather map looks like for Monday at 1pm (6hr accumulated precipitation from 7am to 1pm):
BUFKIT Weather Model:
Take a look at the image above. There are two red circles, the one on the right in the middle of the screen shows light snow at this time and the red circle on the left shows the amount of precipitation accumulated through the time in red box in the lower right-hand part of the picture. (Nearly 0.80") Keep in mind that the ground is still fairly mild, so the first batch of snow that fall will likely melt on contact, but we are likely to see some accumulation with this system. It will also have a major impact on Monday travel - the dreaded Hassle Factor is likely to rise into the highest category "5" BE WARNED NOW. Take it easy on the roads Monday. Saturday morning was a mess with numerous accidents reported and we didn't even have that much snow. It just takes some time getting used to driving in the snow and ice once again... hang in there.
Todd's Outlook for the Twin Cities
Sunday: Sunny start, clouds increase during PM hours. High: 44
Sunday night: Another chance of snow, A light coating already by the Monday morning commute. Low: 30
Monday: Snow showers likely. Winter Storm Watch in effect. Accumulations likely early. High: 36
Tuesday: Cool sunshine much of the day. High: 42
Wednesday: Clouds increase, a cold rain late in the day. High: 46
Thursday: Rain tapers (possibly mixed with wet snow north of Brainerd). High: 47