1/10th of an inch of snow fell on Thursday.
9" snow on the ground as of Thursday evening.
1999 last year the Twin Cities picked up a foot of snow or more in March (16" on March 8-9, 1999).
40% probability that flooding on the Minnesota River in Shakopee will reach the record flood stage of 721.8 feet, set in 1965
98.6" snowiest winter on record in the Twin Cities (1983-1984).
* If we just get "average" snowfall into April (nearly 14") this will be a "Top 3 Snowiest Winter" for the Twin Cities. We only need a little over 22" to set a new, all-time record for the snowiest winter in modern-day history.
Weather Highlights (lowlights?): The weather looks relatively quiet today, Saturday and much of Sunday, any major storms detouring south of Minnesota. Light snow may arrive late Sunday, with a potential for an inch or two Sunday night into Monday. The storm we've been talking about for the past few days seems to be on-track for the middle of next week (heaviest snow probably falls Tuesday night into Wednesday). Confidence level is still low - but rising steadily. The models have been surprisingly consistent in printing out over 1" of liquid precipitation the middle of next week. With temperatures close to freezing in the lowest mile of the atmosphere the snow/rain ratio may be 10/1, maybe 12/1 Wednesday PM as the column of air overhead begins to cool on the backside of the storm. If the storm tracks across southern Iowa into northern Illinois or southern Wisconsin heavy snow bands may set up directly over southern and central Minnesota and much of northern/western Wisconsin. There is a potential for a foot of heavy, wet snow from this storm. Nothing is guaranteed (except sunrise/sunset), but I have a hunch this may turn out to be the first 12"+ storm for much of Minnesota since 1999. Stay tuned for more updates (4 computer runs/day). Enjoy the relative peace and tranquility. We'll probably make up for it next week.
Big Numbers (continued). The latest GFS model prints out a total of 1.64" of liquid water between now and Wednesday evening. Roughly 1.55" of that is forecast to fall (as snow) from Sunday night into midday Wednesday. A brief changeover to rain or ice is possible (Tuesday), but models are still suggesting that MOST of the precipitation will fall as wet snow. Assuming a snow/rain ratio of 10/1, even 8/1 at the height of the storm Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, we could still wind up with 8-12" of snow (or more). A few towns may pick up closer to 12-15". Note to self: I'm just the messenger. I'm as anxious for spring as everyone else...
Cold Enough For Snow. Earlier runs brought a surge of warmer air aloft, with a few hours of freezing rain and sleet. The latest run keeps the temperature "sounding" below 32 F. throughout the lowest mile of the atmosphere, probably cold enough for all snow. We'll see - it's still early. Maybe the storm will take a detour to Nashville, or do a U-Turn and take aim at Dallas. Maybe I'm dreaming. Yes, we're going to see some heavy snow. 6"? 10"? 15"? Still too early to say, but it may rival the storm that struck in February, when nearly 14" caked the Twin Cities.
A Busy Tornado Season? America suffered through 41 tornadoes last month, compared with 1 tornado in February of 2010. La Nina events are often followed by unusually severe springs, with more tornadoes and hailstorms than usual. We'll go from heavy snow to mud/flooding to sirens within about 60 days. Something to look forward to.
Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota: