Posted at 8:39 AM on December 24, 2009
by Julia Schrenkler
Be sure to send in your own images of the snow for display. We'll have some fun with this.
Meanwhile, let's take a look at the Weather Story graphics from the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office.
Not sure I personally appreciate where the image above indicates "blowing snow developing tonight." What is nice is that the Twin Cities has a small window of light (and even no) snow now, but the service notes:
Additional significant accumulation is expected along with major impacts to travel due to the intense nature of the snowfall. The snow will begin to ease late on Christmas and into early Saturday.
MPR's Elizabeth Dunbar provides the bigger picture:
Besides a few flurries, we're in a lull right now in the Twin Cities and much of the state. But heavy snowfall will resume after noon and continue into Thursday night.
Thursday evening is also when we could see blizzard conditions in Duluth and along the north shore of Lake Superior.
The latest National Weather Service predictions show the heaviest band of snow will fall right down the middle of the state from north to south. Snowfall could still reach 16-22 inches in places including the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Alexandria, Mankato and Duluth.
Mark Seeley, University of Minnesota climatologist and meteorologist, said it looks like the storm might hang around until Sunday morning. Seeley will be on MPR's Midday at 11 a.m. to talk about the storm.
The snow totals are trickling in from across the state. The highest totals so far are 8.5 inches in Prior Lake and 8 inches in Faribault. Duluth has gotten about 4 inches, but blowing and drifting could make the snow quite deep in places.
The storm will still have to dump quite a bit more snow to beat all-time records. But it's likely many cities will see records broken for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Wonder where the final measurement will fall. Meteorologists, know Bob Collins is watching and measuring your forecasts.
Posted at 11:24 AM on December 24, 2009
by Paul Huttner
Twin Cities NWS graphical forecast highlights widespread 4 inch snow totals in a 6 hour period overnight.
An impressive first wave has dumped snowfall totals of anywhere from 3 to 9 inches of snow in Minnesota. In case you were wondering if the morning lull means the storm is over, it's not. The "best" is yet to come.
This complex storm system is made up of three different upper lows, and they are set to merge tonight. This will intensify snowfall and winter storm conditions in the region tonight.
Here are some of the latest forecast trends:
-With anywhere from 3 to 9 inches of snowfall already on the ground, the forecast models are cranking out another 1.09" of liquid precipitation through early Saturday. This could produce another 10" of snow in many areas.
-As the upper lows "phase" later today and tonight snowfall coverage and intensity will increase. The heaviest snowfall rates should occur between 6pm tonight at 6pm Christmas night. During that time, we could see snowfall rates of up to an inch per hour in some areas.
-The system has enough cold air that it appears precip should be all snow from the metro west. Freezing rain will coninue to mix in east and southeast of the Twin Cities into western Wisconsin.
-The heaviest snow totals by Sunday remain from the Willmar to St. Cloud and toward Duluth. All of these areas, including Duluth and the North Shore have the potential to see 15" to 20+" storm total snowfalls with this storm.
-It still looks as if the best forecast for the Twin Cities is for snowfall amounts ranging between 12" and 18"+. If heavy snow bursts develop tonight, some areas could exceed 20".
Here are some snowfall totals from the storms first wave.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
1014 AM CST THU DEC 24 2009
THE TOTALS BELOW ARE SEPARATED INTO SNOW...AND ICE AND SLEET
CATEGORIES...THEN BY AMOUNT...AND ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE FINAL AMOUNT
FOR EACH LOCATION.
SNOW REPORTS LISTED BY AMOUNT
INCHES LOCATION ST COUNTY TIME
------ ----------------------- -- -------------- -------
9.40 2 NW CHASKA MN CARVER 0800 AM
8.50 PRIOR LAKE MN SCOTT 0745 AM
8.10 FARIBAULT MN RICE 0829 AM
8.00 WATERVILLE MN LE SUEUR 0936 AM
8.00 NEW MARKET MN SCOTT 0741 AM
7.60 1 SSW JORDAN MN SCOTT 0800 AM
7.50 5 S FARMINGTON MN DAKOTA 0853 AM
7.50 NORTHFIELD MN RICE 0840 AM
7.50 1 SSW LONSDALE MN RICE 0800 AM
7.50 HAMBURG MN CARVER 0800 AM
7.20 ST PAUL MN RAMSEY 0836 AM
7.00 LAKEVILLE MN DAKOTA 0823 AM
6.80 2 S LESTER PRAIRIE MN MCLEOD 0800 AM
6.80 LESTER PRAIRIE MN MCLEOD 0723 AM
6.60 MENOMONIE WI DUNN 0952 AM
6.50 1 WSW DEEPHAVEN MN HENNEPIN 0937 AM
6.50 CIRCLE PINES MN ANOKA 0900 AM
6.50 MANKATO MN BLUE EARTH 0800 AM
6.50 WACONIA MN CARVER 0800 AM
6.50 ST JAMES MN WATONWAN 0700 AM
6.30 4 WSW MINNEAPOLIS MN HENNEPIN 0815 AM
6.30 NEW HOPE MN HENNEPIN 0800 AM
6.30 NEW HOPE MN HENNEPIN 0700 AM
6.20 WOODBURY MN WASHINGTON 0918 AM
6.20 HASTINGS MN DAKOTA 0825 AM
6.20 5 NE FOREST LAKE MN CHISAGO 0800 AM
6.20 CHANHASSEN MN CARVER 0800 AM
6.10 RAMSEY MN ANOKA 0831 AM
6.10 ST PETER MN NICOLLET 0800 AM
6.10 BLOOMINGTON MN HENNEPIN 0704 AM
6.00 EDINA MN HENNEPIN 0918 AM
6.00 COLFAX WI DUNN 0824 AM
6.00 ST PETER MN NICOLLET 0815 AM
6.00 2 NE BUFFALO MN WRIGHT 0800 AM
6.00 1 N ANDOVER MN ANOKA 0800 AM
6.00 2 N CHASKA MN CARVER 0800 AM
6.00 ANDOVER MN ANOKA 0755 AM
6.00 MANKATO MN BLUE EARTH 0749 AM
5.70 GAYLORD MN SIBLEY 0800 AM
5.70 HEWITT MN TODD 0744 AM
5.70 ST PAUL MN RAMSEY 0736 AM
5.50 MEDINA MN HENNEPIN 0944 AM
5.50 5 NW MINNEAPOLIS MN HENNEPIN 0800 AM
5.50 ROBERTS WI ST. CROIX 0800 AM
5.50 WELCOME MN MARTIN 0639 AM
5.40 NORTH ST PAUL MN RAMSEY 0759 AM
5.40 MENOMONIE WI DUNN 0745 AM
5.20 1 E OWATONNA MN STEELE 0758 AM
5.10 2 SSW CAMBRIDGE MN ISANTI 0918 AM
5.00 2 N NORTH BRANCH MN CHISAGO 0905 AM
5.00 RUSH CITY MN CHISAGO 0856 AM
5.00 MORGAN MN REDWOOD 0800 AM
5.00 3 WSW PRINCETON MN SHERBURNE 0800 AM
5.00 HASTINGS L/D 2 MN DAKOTA 0800 AM
5.00 FAIRMONT MN MARTIN 0800 AM
5.00 1 NNW COLD SPRING MN STEARNS 0800 AM
5.00 ZUMBROTA MN GOODHUE 0800 AM
5.00 RED WING MN GOODHUE 0705 AM
5.00 6 NE ANOKA MN ANOKA 0626 AM
4.80 MORA MN KANABEC 0800 AM
4.80 CHASKA MN CARVER 0658 AM
4.60 1 W HUTCHINSON MN MCLEOD 0800 AM
4.50 COKATO MN WRIGHT 0851 AM
4.50 WINNEBAGO MN FARIBAULT 0800 AM
4.30 WILLMAR MN KANDIYOHI 0800 AM
4.20 REDWOOD FALLS MN REDWOOD 0800 AM
4.20 ST CLOUD SCSU MN STEARNS 0800 AM
4.00 ST JOSEPH MN STEARNS 0903 AM
4.00 1 S NORTH BRANCH MN CHISAGO 0831 AM
4.00 DURAND WI PEPIN 0827 AM
4.00 CUMBERLAND WI BARRON 0804
4.00 LITTLE FALLS MN MORRISON 0800 AM
4.00 STILLWATER MN WASHINGTON 0741 AM
Good luck, enjoy the snow and stay safe!
Posted at 12:39 PM on December 24, 2009
by Julia Schrenkler
Did you miss University of Minnesota Climatologist and Meteorologist Mark Seeley on the air? Seeley talked with Gary Eichten about this winter storm.
Meanwhile, weather watchers and climate conversationalists joined the Public Insight Virtual Forum to share first-hand reports and tips for weather safety online. Hosts Molly Bloom and Michael Caputo presented questions and kept the information flowing. You can replay the entire discussion here.
Your tips or weather reports are still welcome as the storm continues through the region. Please add your thoughts in the comments below or send us your weather stories & photos.
Posted at 4:35 PM on December 24, 2009
by Paul Huttner
GOES water vapor image shows tremendous extent of storm. Comma shaped feature in Texas is the main storm center.
The strongest part of the storm is yet to come! There are some interesting developments in the as we head into tonight.
-The rain/snow line has worked into the east metro. Warm air in the lowest mile of the atmosphere is changing precip to rain and freezing rain from the eastern metro south and east.
-The most powerful upper low (the main body) of the storm is still way down in Texas late this afternoon. It will surge northward tonight. As it does, it will generate a new wave of heavy snow.
-Expect snow intensities to increase dramatically between about 6pm and 9pm tonight. Snowfall rates of 1 inch or more per hour are possible overnight in many areas. The heavy snow may last through about 6pm Christmas Day, and then begin to taper off in the metro.
-As the low approaches. Winds will pick up dramatically by morning. Expect heavy snow and wind gusts from 20 to 40 mph. Winds may gusts to 50 mph along the North Shore tomorrow. This will create near blizzard conditions.
I expect and additional 10" of snow in the west metro by Saturday. The next wave will come with higher snow intensities and more wind late tonight and Christmas Day.
I am sticking with a range of 12" to 18" for the metro for storm total snowfall at this point. If the west metro remains all snow, there could be some totals over 20". I still think the mixed precip will reduce overall amounts in the east metro, but at least a foot is likely.
The warm air will have to be watched. There are some suggestions it may still work further west. If it does, even the west metro may change to sleet or freezing rain.
I still think the heaviest band of snow will run from near Redwood Falls to Willmar, St. Cloud, and Brainerd then up to Duluth and the North Shore. These areas could see 15" to 20" with some isolated 25" to 30" totals possible.
The first wave will merge or "phase" with the stronger wave coming north from Texas by tomorrow. Phasing systems can strengthen rapidly. This will likely happen overnight and Christmas Day.
Stay tuned to updates and forecast changes. What we've seen so far is just the appetizer. The worst of this storm is yet to come.
Posted at 8:30 PM on December 24, 2009
by Paul Huttner
Twin Cities NWS weather story highlights increasing storm intensity.
The 2009 Christmas Mega Storm has saved its best punch for Christmas Day.
As twin low pressure system merge and "phase" over Iowa and Minnesota, storm intensity is increasing. The heaviest bouts of snow, freezing rain, sleet and wind are expected through Christmas Day.
Here is what we can expect:
-Winds will continue to increase. Winds will gust from 20 to over 30 mph in much of Minnesota. The lightest winds will be near the storm center in southeast Minnesota. The strongest winds will be in western and northern Minnesota and along the North Shore. Winds gusting to 40 to 50 mph can be expected along the North Shore. Blizzard conditions can be expected.
-As the powerful low pressure center approaches, snow intensity will peak Christmas Day. Snowfall rates of 1" or more per hour are possible at times in heavy snow bands.
-Temperatures will drop to near 0 in western Minnesota. Wind chills will plummet below zero.
-I am sticking with a range of 12" to 18" for the metro for storm total snowfall at this point. If the west metro remains all snow, there could be some totals over 20". I still think the mixed precip will reduce overall amounts in the east metro, but at least a foot is likely.
-I still think the heaviest band of snow will run from near Redwood Falls to Willmar, St. Cloud, and Brainerd then up to Duluth and the North Shore. These areas could see 15" to 20" with some isolated 25" to 30" totals possible.
Regardless of eventual snowfall totals, this is still a dangerous storm. Hopefully you are able to sit back and enjoy the holiday weekend and the storm conditions from inside your favorite weather window.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good snowstorm!