.1" snowfall so far in March.
9" snow on the ground in the Twin Cities as of Friday evening.
30 F. high temperature Friday in the Twin Cities.
35 F. average high at MSP for March 4.
61 F. Record high for March 4, set most recently in 2000.
Breaking (Weather) News: we may just catch a break. It's not definite yet (it never is), but the latest computer runs keep the heaviest snow well south of home next week. We may still wind up with a "plowable" accumulation by Wednesday, but the potential for a major snowfall (defined as a foot or more) as diminished. That said, I'm still a bit nervous, with a major storm (laden with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico) spinning up just to our south. If future models nudge the track 100-200 miles farther north we would be right back in the heavy snow zone. But for now the risk of major travel hassles has dropped a few big notches.
Slushy Monday. A quiet weekend (temperatures about 5 degrees below average) gives way to light snow Sunday night and Monday, the first wave of low pressure rippling across the Upper Midwest. .17" liquid could translate into an inch or two of slushy snow by Monday evening.
Predicted Snow Totals Through Next Thursday. The latest GFS models cut back (dramatically) on snow amounts. The heaviest amounts (6-10") are forecast to fall from Nebraska into northern Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin, with some 4-7" amounts over far southern MN, closer to 3-5" in the metro (most of it coming next Wednesday). You can call these maps up for yourself on your PC or Mac with a modest monthly subscription (no, I don't get a cut) - check out F5data.com for more details. It's a very powerful program.
* I think the (current) GFS solution is closer to reality. Not sure about the storm predicted for March 14-16 (see below), but my gut is telling me total amounts of wet snow will be closer to 12" over the next 15 days - still enough wet, slushy snow to aggravate our mounting flood threat.
Storm Synopsis From The Chanhassen Office Of The National Weather Service:
NEXT WEEK...FOR MONDAY INTO THE DAY TUESDAY THE CONFIDENCE IN THE FORECAST REMAINS LOW WITH VARYING DEPICTIONS BETWEEN GUIDANCE AS THE PATTERN TRANSITIONS. WHILE HAVE MAINTAINED A CHANCE OF SNOW...IT IS POSSIBLE THIS PERIOD HAS VERY LITTLE IN ACCUMULATION. THE EMPHASIS REMAINS ON LATER TUESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY AS A COLORADO LOW SYSTEM EVOLVES AND TRANSITIONS NORTHEAST. THE GFS...EC...AND CANADIAN GEM MODELS HAVE ALL TRENDED SOUTH WITH THE EVOLUTION OF THIS...ESPECIALLY THE GEM. THE ENSEMBLES HAVE AS WELL...THOUGH THE SPREAD HAS ACTUALLY INCREASED. THIS LEADS TO THE HEAVIEST QPF FROM THE CENTRAL PLAINS INTO IA AND SOUTHERN MN...AS OPPOSED TO CENTRAL MN. THE QPF IS STILL APPRECIABLE IN SOUTHERN MN...WITH GFS COBB RATIOS SHOWING SIX TO TEN INCHES. WOBBLES ARE INEVITABLE IN THE MODELS THIS MANY DAYS OUT...SO IN GENERAL HAVE NOT SHIFTED MUCH IN THE FORECAST. A BIT CONCERNED BY LATE TUESDAY NIGHT INTO THE DAY WEDNESDAY THE AMOUNT OF CONVECTION THAT MAY BE OFF TO OUR SOUTHEAST HINDERING IDEAL MOISTURE TRANSPORT INTO THE SYSTEM...ESPECIALLY WHEN IT OCCLUDES. STILL MAGNITUDES ARE WELL ABOVE NORMAL. THE IMPACT IN THE FORECAST AREA APPEARS TO BE MORE LATER TUESDAY NIGHT AND WEDNESDAY...SO HAVE HIGH POPS OVER MUCH OF THE AREA DURING THAT TIME. HAVE NOT INCLUDED ANY MENTION OF RAIN AS THE CHANCES APPEAR TO BE LESS THAN 20 PERCENT GIVEN THE ENVELOPE OF SOLUTIONS RIGHT NOW...AND JUST AN INHERENT COOL ATMOSPHERE THIS SYSTEM WILL BE MOVING INTO. LOOKS LIKE A SMALL DIURNAL TEMPERATURE RANGE WITH PLENTY OF CLOUDS IN THAT TIME.
Daily Twin Cities Snowfall Records In March:
Rank Value Ending Date
1 14.7" 3/31/1985
2 13.7" 3/22/1952
3 12.6" 3/3/1985
4 12.5" 3/8/1999
5 11.6" 3/23/1966
Monthly Twin Cities Snowfall Records For March:
Rank Value Ending Date
1 40.0" 1951
2 37.1" 1965
3 36.8" 1985
4 29.9" 1917
5 25.6" 1940
St. Cloud Winter Snowy, Wet, and Not That Cold
I finished the 2010-2011 St. Cloud winter weather summary. In St. Cloud, the winter had frequent, but small snow events, which added up to the 4th highest snowfall and the 4th highest amount of liquid among St. Cloud meteorological winters (Dec. 1- Feb. 28), but a temperature only about a degree and a half colder than average. The one odd fact is that it was only the sixth winter with at least 10 inches of snow in each winter month. All five of those previous winters had yet another month with at least 10 inches of snow, which doesn't bode well for March."
"It looks like an Artex paint finish so beloved by suburban households in the 1970s. But this amazing images is actually a swirling star trail above Mount Everest in the Himalayas. Photographer Anton Jankovoy spent months camping at the foot of the world's highest peak patiently waiting for the right weather conditions. The 23-year-old was so determined not to leave until he had accomplished his mission that he even began meditating to overcome the freezing temperatures. After three years dedicated to the project, Mr Jankovoy finally caught a series of stunning star trails."
(photo courtesy of the New York Times)
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Blizzard of 1949. File photo from Nebraska.