2/10" snow fell on Sunday.
8" on the ground as of Sunday evening.
1/2" snow possible today.
2-4" expected Wednesday (the brunt of the storm passes 75-200 miles south/east of the Twin Cities).
6"+ potential for heavy, wet snow the weekend of March 19-20 (GFS model).
Living On The Edge. Did I miss something? I thought ice houses had to be off the lake by February 28? Maybe that doesn't apply to "DreamShaks". Yep, that's the brand name of that baby. Satellite dish optional.
Running The Numbers. The 00z NAM/WRF run prints out about .3" liquid on Wednesday; at a 10/1 snow ratio (which seems reasonable at a 31-34 F. air temperature) that should equate to about 2-4" slushy snow (the best chance of 3 or 4" southern and eastern suburbs). Hardly a snowy catastrophe.
Projected Storm Track. Wednesday's storm is taking a track that is (often) favorable for significant snow across Minnesota. In this case the models (fairly consistently) take the storm about 75-100 miles too far south/east for the heavy snow shield to reach the immediate Twin Cities metro - but it may be a close call, with Iowa, far southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin seeing the heaviest (6-10") amounts.
A Big Variation. The NAM already busted (3.2" had fallen on St. Cloud as of Sunday evening). Models are consistently printing out the greatest potential for significant snow south of the Minnesota River Valley, with some 6-8" amounts possible from Glencoe to Mankato and Albert Lea, another region of 6" snows possible east of St. Paul, near Menomonie and Eau Claire. In general, the farther south/east you travel, away from MSP, the heavier snowfall amounts should be. The vast majority of this snow is forecast to come on Wednesday.
Big Numbers. There's a reason why March had the dubious distinction as Minnesota's snowiest month of the year, up until just a few years ago. A higher sun angle is heating up North America, creating huge north-south temperature contrasts. Throw in a fetch of moisture direct from the Gulf of Mexico, and you have many of the ingredients necessary for sloppy southern storms to form, and push north toward the Midwest. I'm hoping these numbers are inflated - the big question mark (with no answer yet) is if the storm predicted for the weekend after next (March 19-20) is real. Too early to know.
Sunny Start - Snowy Finish. A fast-moving system thickened up the clouds over Minnesota, but the mercury still managed to reach 30 in the Twin Cities, only 23 at St. Cloud and 20 at Alexandria. By 7 pm Sunday evening 3.2" of snow had already fallen on St. Cloud.
Could Be Worse. Yes, it's going to snow this week - but it won't get quite this bad anytime soon.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota: