2/10ths of an inch of snow fell on Thursday.
11" snow on the ground at MSP International Airport.
3.51" liquid precipitation since December 1 in the cities. Normal value is 1.92" (one of many reasons why the spring flood threat is higher than usual. Details from the National Weather Service below).
A Couple of (Minor) Clippers. Tonight's clipper may brush the metro with a coating, maybe 1/2" or so (2-5" closer to Duluth and northern Wisconsin). Confidence level is still low, but a second clipper - deeper into the cold air - may produce a burst of an inch or two Sunday night.
Temperature Roller Coaster. The (somewhat unreliable) GFS model is hinting at a quick thaw the first weekend in February - followed by a cold stretch from Feb. 7 - 11. Not as cold as last week, but cold enough to get your attention.
New York City (Central Park): 19"
New York has seen 36" in January (3 times more than the Twin Cities).
The Big Apple has been buried under 49.4" (nearly 40" more than usual so far this winter).
5 of the Top 10 snowstorms for New York have struck in the last 5 years.
At the height of the storm Wednesday night snow was falling at the rate of 5"/hour on Islip (Long Island) with thunder and lightning.
Hartford, Connecticut: 48" (snowiest month on record).
Syracuse, New York: 113" so far this winter (48" more than normal, to date).
New York City Snowfall (Central Park)
Snowy Trends. From Jeff Masters and his Wunderblog has some insights into an apparent trend toward snowier winters for much of the northeast. He writes: "Remarkably, five of New York City's top-ten snowfalls of the past 142 years have occurred in the past decade (highlighted in the list.)" Weather data in Central Park dates back to 1869.
..SNOWIEST JANUARY ON RECORD
..CLIMATE SITE... ...OLD RECORD... ...JANUARY 2011 TOTAL*
CENTRAL PARK 27.4 INCHES (1925) 36.0 INCHES
NEWARK 31.6 INCHES (1996) 37.3 INCHES
LAGUARDIA 27.6 INCHES (1996) 32.4 INCHES
BRIDGEPORT 26.2 INCHES (1965) 41.8 INCHES
ISLIP 21.5 INCHES (2005) 34.2 INCHES
*MONTHLY SNOWFALL TOTALS AS OF 7 AM JANUARY 27 2011
Record Snow. Check out Ham's interactive site for details on the record-breaking snowstorm that just pummeled the northeast.
(I'm not a flood forecaster - hydrology is literally a science within a science, with thousands of variables to consider. But based on the sheer amount of snow on the ground, and the water tied up that snow pack [as much as 6" over western and southwestern MN] the risk for flooding in March and April is very significant. Probably not a rerun of 1997, but potentially worse than the last few years - due to the quantity of snow, coupled with the potential for a rapid thaw, coupled with heavy rain).
Why The Computer Models Have Been More Unreliable This Winter? Blame La Nina! The Capital Weather Gang in Washington D.C. interviewed Dr. Louis Uccellini, Director of NOAA's NCEP division - in charge of the supercomputers that simulate future weather around the planet. An excerpt of an interesting article at washingtonpost.com: "My sense is that last year's very strong El Nino, and very strong southern jet stream... that the way the waves [of low pressure] developed in the southern stream and remained essentially coherent along the southern states, lent itself to a more consistent forecast from run to run." Simply put, Uccellini said, the models don't have as much skill at dealing with storms that originate from within the northern branch of the jet stream versus southern stream systems. "I've not been surprised about the challenges in predictions of these storms versus last year," he said."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
FRIDAY NIGHT: Very light snow and flurries - coating to 1/2" possible (few inches closer to Duluth). Low: 20