F. average high on March 9.
F. high on March 9, 2013.
snow on the ground in the Twin Cities as of Sunday evening.
40s again today, 5-10F above average for March 10.
Slow Motion Spring
Why is 40F a chilly annoyance in October but a wondrous revelation in March? Weather Relativity. It's why the first flurries of fall generate a ripple of excitement. By April the mere mention o snow generates veiled threats & growling howls of protest. And that's from family members.
We have a right to be grumpy. By any objective measure it was the toughest winter since the late 70s. In a slowly warming world we get stuck with a Pioneer Winter. It doesn't seem fair.
MSP has picked up 58.4 inches so far this winter; 13 inches more than average - 16 inches on the ground - about 3-5 inches of liquid water trapped in the snow in your yard. According to NOAA the spring flood threat is at or below the historical average west of the Mississippi River. But heavier snow pack northeast of the Twin Cities means a higher risk of flooding in the St. Croix, Chippewa and Eau Claire basins. It all depends on how fast we warm, and whether heavy rain accelerates snow melt.
I suspect we'll limp into spring this year; 90-day trends show a nagging cool bias into May. A few hours of wet snow Tuesday may give way to a more impressive storm one week from tomorrow.
For now the Doppler is holding at Defcon 5.
* Another Significant snowstorm is brewing for midweek: Wednesday looks like the roughest day for travel and facility impacts from the Ohio Valley into New England.
* Evolution of model runs suggesting a plowable snowfall for Chicago (probably 4-6"), with the heaviest snow bands passing south/east of The Windy City. The heaviest amounts are likely from near Toledo and Cleveland into northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and much of New England Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Boston may wind up with 8-12" snow by Thursday.
* New York City will see rain at the height of the storm Wednesday PM hours, ending as a few inches of slushy snow late Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Travel will be impacted for the Thursday AM commute in the Tri-State Region.
* Detroit may be close to the northern edge of the heaviest snow band; latest models suggest 4-6" in the Motor City Wednesday.
Summary: It's still early, but enough ingredients are converging for a very significant snowfall from the Ohio Valley into portions of the Great Lakes and New England. A plowable snow is likely in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, South Bend, Toledo and Cleveland, with as much as 8-12" from east of Cleveland into Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester by the PM hours Wednesday, spreading rapidly into the rest of New England Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Latest models suggest 8-12" of snow for metro Boston, most of that falling Wednesday evening into midday Thursday, enough to shut down the city for 12-18 hours, if the models are on the right track (and I suspect they are).
Another update Monday as we receive more data and weigh the various model solutions. It's been the roughest winter since the late 70s and early 80s for many northern cities, and Old Man Winter isn't quite done with us yet. The pattern remains active and volatile. Stay tuned for more details as the specifics on this storm crystallize.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
TODAY: Peeks of sun, still mild. Winds: West 10. High: 46
MONDAY NIGHT: Clouds increase, wet snow late, mainly south of the Minnesota River. Low: 32
TUESDAY: Morning snow southern Minnesota. Little or no accumulation in the MSP metro. High: 38
WEDNESDAY: Blue sky, light winds. Wake-up: 16. High: 28
THURSDAY: Partly sunny,more hints of spring. Wake-up: 21. High: 42
FRIDAY: Mild start with scrappy clouds, turning cooler. Wake-up: 36. High: 40
SATURDAY: Intervals of sun, good travel day. Wake-up: 15. High: 35
SUNDAY: Chance of wet snow late PM hours. Wake-up: 13. High: 33
Photo credit above: "A new study finds that global warming will probably cause droughts to set in quicker and be more intense." Photograph: David Gray/REUTERS.
* more on the ongoing debate over extreme drought and climate change from Tamino.
Who Cares About Flowers Anyway? Here's a clip from an Op-Ed at The Boston Globe that got my attention: "...Flowers stink. They’re expensive and can’t hold a charge. And for the life of me, I can’t remember the last operating system update. No music. No video. No apps. No, technology is what we find beautiful today. Understated design, clean lines, and functionality have become our preferred aesthetic. Never mind that nature provided us this template to begin with. Being plugged in is what we value. We have no time for sentimentality. Perhaps that’s why we’ve so easily turned our backs on the spot-on warnings of scientists for decades now that our current use of energy, the juice that powers our beautiful products, means the climate will get too hot for plants to survive..." (Photo courtesy of Tricia Frostad).