27 F. average high on February 8.
15 F. high on February 8, 2014.
Trace of snow on the ground at MSP International Airport.
February 8, 1899: The mercury plummets to -59 at Leech Lake Dam
50 Shades of Brown
I'm working on a screenplay about a man so paranoid about Minnesota weather treachery that he hides out in the Skyway System, afraid to show his face at street-level. Far-fetched? Yes, thank God.
If 3 months ago you had told me that we'd be staring out at brown lawns and fields in February - while Boston was buried under 2 or 3 WINTER'S worth of snow I would have accused you of standing too close to the Doppler. No way. Not possible. But that's how the pattern has stalled; temporarily locked on a track that strengthens Alberta Clippers off the coast of New England. One after another. We get peanuts in the back of the plane while New England gets a first-class snow buffet.
Boston's suburbs may pick up 15 to 20 inches by tomorrow morning; they're running out of places to stash snow.
Unreal. A quiet Monday gives way to a slow-moving clipper on Tuesday capable of 2 to 4 inches of accumulation. A plowable snow? Call out the National Guard!
I see a cold bias the next 2 weeks; a few nights below zero from Wednesday into next week. The pattern still isn't ripe for big, sloppy southern storms. Maybe we'll pick up a few jumbo clippers capable of white-washing my nasty-brown yard.
Another Fickle Clipper. Snow from clippers is even more unpredictable and manic than trying to pin down snow amounts from a southern system, approaching from Colorado or Missouri. A 20 mile north-south shift in the track can make the difference between flurries, and a half foot of flurries. The 00z NAM model shows the best chance of 3-4" from near Bemidji to Leech Lake and Hibbing, maybe an inch or 2 for the metro.
Another Northeastern Snow-Bomb. As much as 12-16" of snow is likely in Boston, on top of the nearly 4 feet of snow that has fallen since late January. Skiers may be snubbing Colorado and Utah in favor of New England. At the rate we're going avalanches may become a significant risk from Killington to Stowe and Lake Placid. 60-hour accumulated 4 KM snowfall product: NOAA and Aeris Weather.
Cooling Trend. Again, not exactly polar, but consistently colder than average from Thursday of this week into much of next week. A few more subzero nights are likely, especially over the weekend, but the volume of Canadian air pales in comparison with last winter.
Moderately Cold for Late February. Although the thrust of bitter air will be New England we'll see our fair share of cold frontal passages into late February; a more zonal, west to east flow pumping milder Pacific air inland. I wouldn't call this winter's last gasp, but the odds of subzero weather drop off dramatically in March with a rising sun angle. Source: GrADS:COLA/IGES.
The Groundhog Was Right. GFS data shows teens and 20s the latter half of February, maybe a few days near freezing, but nothing terribly springy just yet. February is the shortest month; before we know it it'll be March, tournament time, spring break time. Easter eggs and thoughts of summer to come.
* Long-duration snow event for New England still on track. Snow tapers Monday night with travel conditions slowly improving Tuesday.
* I don't expect blizzard criteria to met for an extended period, but land and air travel will be severely disrupted over the next 24-36 hours.
* Boston on track for at least a foot of snow, some suburbs may pick up 18" by Tuesday morning, on top of the 4 feet of snow that's fallen since late January. We are on track for one of the 3 snowiest winters on record for Boston.
* Governor Charlie Baker asks Massachusetts residents to stay off the road Monday.
* In a 5 p.m. Sunday press conference, Baker asks non-emergency state workers to stay home Monday, urges other employers to follow suit. Source: Boston Globe.
Summary: When in doubt this winter, just predict heavy snow for Boston and the rest of New England. Odds are you'll be close to the mark. The pattern has become temporarily locked on a track that intensifies Alberta Clippers into Nor'easters, tapping copious moisture from the Atlantic Ocean. 6 feet of snow in 2 weeks? That's unusual for major ski resorts like Tahoe, Snowbird and Big Sky - it's nearly unprecedented for a major urban area on the Atlantic coast, where warm Gulf Stream waters usually result in rain or a mix. Not this winter.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
Image credit above: "Seth Rogen, Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, Sony Pictures C.E.O. Michael Lynton, and James Franco."
Photo credit: Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File.
TODAY: More clouds than sun, quiet. Winds: NE 5. High: 30
MONDAY NIGHT: Clouds increase late. Low: 21
TUESDAY: Another clipper. 1-2" possible, more north of MSP. High: 31
WEDNESDAY: Windy, turning colder again. Wake-up: 16. High: 18, falling during the day.
THURSDAY: Blue sky. Still feels like winter. Wake-up: -1. High: 12
FRIDAY: Clouds, few flurries. Wake-up: 5. High: 22
SATURDAY: Reinforcing shot of cold air. Wake-up: -4. High: 9
SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, brisk. Wake-up: -2. High: 14