Saturday, November 13, 2010

9" Officially (6-12" reported across the metro area)

Snow totals compiled by the National Weather Service:

INCHES  LOCATION                 ST  COUNTY           TIME
 ------  -----------------------  --  --------------   -------
 11.00   EDEN PRAIRIE             MN  HENNEPIN         1030 AM
 11.00   1 SSW WYOMING            MN  CHISAGO          0400 PM
 10.10   NEW HOPE                 MN  HENNEPIN         0102 PM
 10.00   MONTGOMERY               MN  LE SUEUR         1130 AM
                 STILL SNOWING.
 10.00   3 N FOREST LAKE          MN  CHISAGO          0104 PM
                 SO FAR
 10.00   SW BURNSVILLE            MN  DAKOTA           0216 PM
  9.80   CHANHASSEN               MN  CARVER           0510 PM
  9.50   NEW MARKET               MN  SCOTT            0258 PM
  9.40   RUSH CITY                MN  CHISAGO          0445 PM
  9.40   RUSH CITY                MN  CHISAGO          0510 PM
  9.20   ST LOUIS PARK            MN  HENNEPIN         0605 PM
  9.00   3 NNW MINNEAPOLIS        MN  HENNEPIN         1243 PM
                 STORM TOTAL SO FAR
  9.00   CHISAGO CITY             MN  CHISAGO          0301 PM
  8.90   2 W PRIOR LAKE           MN  SCOTT            1239 PM
  8.60   MADELIA                  MN  WATONWAN         1025 AM
  8.50   1 SE CHASKA              MN  CARVER           0112 PM
  8.50   EDINA                    MN  HENNEPIN         0505 PM
  8.30   5 SE ELK RIVER           MN  ANOKA            0148 PM
  8.20   WACONIA                  MN  CARVER           0426 PM
                 TOTAL SO FAR
  8.00   WINNEBAGO                MN  FARIBAULT        1010 AM
                 STILL SNOWING LIGHTLY.
  7.50   2 ESE MINNETONKA         MN  HENNEPIN         1115 AM
                 GLEN LAKE AREA.
  7.30   BLOOMINGTON              MN  HENNEPIN         1248 PM
  7.00   GLENCOE                  MN  MCLEOD           0150 PM
  7.00   WOODBURY                 MN  WASHINGTON       0335 PM
  6.80   2 NNE RUSH CITY          MN  CHISAGO          1030 AM
  6.50   1 ENE INVER GROVE HEIGH  MN  DAKOTA           1115 AM
  6.50   2 SSW CAMBRIDGE          MN  ISANTI           1239 PM
  6.50   WOODBURY                 MN  WASHINGTON       0505 PM
  6.20   ST PAUL                  MN  RAMSEY           0505 PM
  6.00   JANESVILLE               MN  WASECA           1027 AM
  6.00   5 S FARMINGTON           MN  DAKOTA           0505 PM
  5.50   LEWISVILLE               MN  WATONWAN         1015 AM
                 STILL SNOWING.
  5.40   CHAMPLIN                 MN  HENNEPIN         0335 PM
  5.00   1 E CUMBERLAND           WI  BARRON           0205 PM
  4.70   5 NE FOREST LAKE         MN  CHISAGO          1245 PM
  4.50   2 N ELKO                 MN  SCOTT            0139 PM
                 IN PAST 6 HOURS...7.5 ON GROUND
  4.00   CLAYTON                  WI  POLK             1230 PM
  4.00   MORA                     MN  KANABEC          0211 PM
  3.80   11 NE WARMAN             MN  KANABEC          0150 PM
                 STILL SNOWING.
  3.00   1 ENE INVER GROVE HEIGH  MN  DAKOTA           1237 PM
                 SNOW DEPTH 8.5
  3.00   WNW FARIBAULT            MN  RICE             0112 PM
  1.70   7 S HILLMAN              MN  MORRISON         0313 PM
  1.00   7 S HILLMAN              MN  MORRISON         0130 PM

A Real Snowstorm! Residents of the Twin Cities were starting to wonder if we would ever see a "real storm" here - it's been a long time, snow has come in dribs and drabs in recent years, 2003-2004 the last "above average" winter with over 66" of snow. Well, Saturday we got a subtle (yet blunt) reminder that La Nina is kicking in, a cooling phase in the Pacific that tends to correlate with snowier winters across the Upper Midwest. Will this continue? No idea - no more big storms in sight between now and Thanksgiving. Today's storm (which took a perfect track - for snow - from Des Moines to Eau Claire) continues to wrap moisture around it's counterclockwise circulation, but the north-south bands of snow are weakening - little additional accumulation expected.

Storm Downgraded. The NWS has lifted the warnings - the metro now under an advisory (but heavy snow continues to fall from near Hinckley to Duluth). Temperatures will dip just below the freezing mark - some (untreated) secondary roads will become very icy by daybreak.

Mankato Dumping. 10" and counting. If you want to submit a photo to the Star Tribune click over to:

Snow Totals. Google has teamed up with NOAA to create a great interactive map that shows snow totals around the region (some of the data is old, but it's a good source for observations).

Getting Better. This Google traffic map (6:30 pm) shows improving travel conditions throughout the metro area, temperatures close enough to freezing to keep the interstates mostly-wet. Side streets are still slushy and sloppy. The good news: no arctic air is brewing behind this storm - temperatures fall only slightly by daybreak.

Biggest Pre-Thanksgiving Snowstorm Since 1991. We officially picked up 9" at MSP, meaning today's storm will go down into the record books as the biggest snowstorm (pre-Thanksgiving) in 19 years. Hey, we were due. I say that going into every winter, but today the law of averages finally caught up with us.
Winter Wonderland. This photo was taken in Excelsior, where the heavy, wet, almost cement-like snow brought down tree limbs. Email your snow photos to

Dreaded Dry Tongue. Every major storm eventually pulls dry (desert) air into its circulation, what meteorologists lovingly refer to as the "dry tongue" - a surge of dry air that pushes in from the south/southwest - thinning out the clouds and lightening up snowfall rates. The 10 am visible satellite shows dry air getting tangled up in the storm's circulation, cutting off the heavy precipitation across southeastern MN and southwestern WI. The "deformation zone", the axis of heaviest snow - is setting up right over the Twin Cities - before the day is through many suburbs will pick up that 10-12" that was predicted. Snow lovers are grinning from ear to ear - anyone who has to drive in this stuff is probably dreading the next few hours.

High Water Content Snow. Stating the obvious: there is an incredible amount of water tied up in this snow. The usual snow:liquid ratio is 10:1, but today it may be closer to 8:1, even 6:1. The closer the temperatures in the lowest mile of the atmosphere is to freezing, the larger the flakes (supercooled water droplets cause these huge flakes to stick together into mega-flakes. Bottom line: I just "shook" the shrubs on either side of our front door - trying to keep them from snapping off - you may want to brush some of the snow off of tree limbs or risk some damage in the hours ahead.

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