Trace of snow fell on Tuesday.
14" snow on the ground at KMSP.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clear to partly cloudy, still cold. Low: -3
Satellite Shows Winter Megastorm Painting U.S. White. A great photo from NASA, courtesy of wired.com: "A NASA photograph of the Midwest megastorm gives profound visual truth to what it means for a snowstorm to blanket the United States. The image was captured from space Jan. 31 by the GOES 13 satellite, which regularly photographs the Eastern half of the planet from a geosynchronous altitude of about 22,000 miles. Cold air from the north is diving southward and colliding with moist tropical air, covering one-third of the United States in clouds. The storm is expected to flow east and depart New England on Wednesday night. Forecasters expect the storm will break snowfall records in the Great Plains and central Midwest. In the East, it may deliver ice storms that could cause $1 billion in damage. It’s the latest in a string of storms fitting a pattern predicted by climate scientists. Rising temperatures allow air to hold more moisture, loading storm systems with precipitation that’s ultimately dumped back on Earth."
Peak Wind Gusts (up until 9 pm Tuesday). Data courtesy of EarthNetworks.
Weather "Bomb". In meteorological circles a "bomb" is an explosive storm, one that's intensifying rapidly. Tuesday's storm fit the definition: 8 foot drifts in Oklahoma, interstates closed across Missouri, 5" of snow in 90 minutes, hundreds of motorists stranded in their vehicles, 20"+ for parts of Oklahoma and Missouri, the first-ever "hard freeze warning" for the Dallas area, the first blizzard warning in recent memory for St. Cloud - here's a great overview of the storm from the Capital Weather Gang.
"A monster winter storm took aim at a third of the nation Monday, threatening to lay a potentially deadly path of heavy snow and ice from the Rockies to New England, followed by a wave of bitter, bone-rattling cold that could affect tens of millions of people. Cities including St. Louis, Kansas City and Milwaukee could be hardest hit, with expected midweek snowfalls of up to 2 feet and drifts piled 5 to 10 feet. Even hardy Chicago could be in for its third-worst blizzard since record-keeping began. "I wouldn't want to be on the road in open areas tomorrow night," said forecaster Tom Skilling of Chicago television station WGN. "I don't think I'd want to be driving in the city either. The fact is people die in these things. They skid off the road and go wandering around in whiteout conditions." Warmer areas were not safe, either. The system could spawn tornadoes in parts of the South. While record snowfalls have pounded the Northeast in one of that region's most brutal winters, the Midwest has been comparatively unscathed, until now."
...OKLAHOMA... MIAMI 20.0 OWASSO 1 W 19.0 AFTON 18.0 PAWHUSKA 2 S 17.0 TULSA 9 SE 15.0 VINITA 12.0 GLENPOOL 11.0
(Snowfall reports from NOAA's NCEP division. More snowfall totals here).
* Australians Flee, Jam Shelters Ahead Of "Catastrophic Cyclone." The latest from Reuters on what may be a devastating hurricane for Queensland: "We are facing a storm of catastrophic proportions," Queensland state premier Anna Bligh said after Cyclone Yasi was upgraded to a maximum-strength category five storm. It is expected to hit the coast on Wednesday evening, packing winds in excess of 280 km (175 miles) per hour. The weather bureau predicted it would be the strongest ever to hit Australia, Sky TV reported. "All aspects of this cyclone are going to be terrifying and potentially very very damaging," Bligh added, noting the greatest threat to life could come from storm surges along the coast with the system due to hit when the tide is high.Mines, rail lines and coal ports have all shut down, with officials warning the storm could drive inland for hundreds of kilometres, hitting rural and mining areas still struggling to recover after months of devastating floods."
"An updated cyclone warning from Queensland disaster officials said: "Severe tropical cyclone Yasi is a large and very powerful tropical cyclone that poses an extremely serious threat to life and property. This impact is likely to be more life threatening than any experienced during recent generations."
The Numbing Numbers. Hey, it could have been 2 feet of snow (with thunder and lightning). We wound up with .4" (shortly after midnight), half an inch at Rochester, highs ranged from 6 at International Falls (after a low of -29 F) to 9 at St. Cloud, 15 at MSP International, and 17 at Grand Marais (a slightly milder breeze off Lake Superior, where water temperatures are in the mid 30s).
Hawaii's "Big Wind" Project Stirs Up Friends, Foes. The state of Hawaii is taking aggressive steps to move toward renewable energy sources, including solar and wind. NPR reports that not everyone is happy with this trend: "In Hawaii, hearings begin Tuesday for the state's Big Wind project. The plan is for a massive wind farm of hundreds windmills to span several islands. It's the largest renewable energy project for a state racing to get off oil. Almost all of Hawaii's electricity now comes from a few massive generators, which burn oil imported on a never-ending line of tanker ships. Hawaii would rather get electricity from wind — like that produced by the new 42-story windmill at the Kahuku Wind Farm on Oahu's North Shore. "They're big but they're beautiful, they are," says Kekoa Kaluhiwa, who works for the company running this farm, First Wind. Hawaii is hoping to build up to 200 more of these windmills on the small and windy islands of Lanai and Molokai. The power produced on the islands would then be sent to heavily populated Oahu through undersea cables."