Posted at 6:59 AM on December 29, 2009
by Craig Edwards
Ice accumulation from March storm 2009.
Here's an assessment from the State Climate Office on what they considered as one of the leading high impact weather events in the state for 2009.
A vigorous area of low pressure moved from western Nebraska on March 22 to Sioux Falls South Dakota by the morning of March 23. An area of moderate rain mixed at times with snow marched across Minnesota out ahead of this low pressure. Cold, dry air was entrenched over the Arrowhead associated with a very strong area of high pressure that was over southern Hudson Bay on March 23rd. The area of moderate rain reached Northeast Minnesota after midnight on March 23rd.
The surface air was warm enough in places like Ely and Hibbing to have only minor accumulations of ice. However, along the North Shore, the surface air temperatures remained below freezing during the day of March 23. Moderate rain continued through the day and tapered off by the early morning hours of March 24th.
Two day precipitation totals include .91 inches at Grand Marias and 1.94 inches at Duluth. The .91 inches at Grand Marias was all freezing rain.
As the ice began to build up on March 23, power outages began as tree branches snapped and downed power lines. Some of the places hardest hit were Two Harbors, Finland, and Grand Marias. 2,000 people were without power in Lake County. Spectacular wintry scenes greeted residents in towns along Highway 61 north of Duluth. The crashing sounds of tree branches could be heard in the woods at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center.
Courtesy of the working group at the Minnesota Stat Climate Office.
Posted at 10:21 AM on December 29, 2009
by Craig Edwards
A minor system with a push of milder air will stir up some snow flakes on Wednesday over mainly southern Minnesota.
An inch or two of snow may accumulate from the Minnesota River Valley to the Twin Cities and points southeast.
This will be low water content snow, so this fluff will be easier to sweep from driveways. Nonetheless, experience has proven that an inch of fluffy snow can cause havoc on the highways.
It was nippy this morning across the region. The heat island effect allowed the temperature to remain above zero in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The mercury bottomed out from five to ten below zero in some outlying areas.
A reenforcing shot of arctic air arrives for the New Year.
Posted at 3:17 PM on December 29, 2009
by Craig Edwards
Here is the National Weather Service hydrograph tracing the rise of the Red River
On March 26th I wrote the following in an Updraft blog regarding the crest of the Red River at Fargo....
"While I have been focusing on the Red River hydrographs from the North Central River Forecast Center for Fargo and Grand Forks tracing the river stage and forecast stage, I need to mention that the actual worded forecast was for a crest between 39 feet and 41 feet in Fargo. It now appears that the NWS strongly believes the river will reach at least 40 feet by late Friday in Fargo. The additonal moisture locked in snow and ice, melting a little on Saturday, may add to the crest level."
The Red crested at 40.82 feet, a record, on March 28th. This was a very well forecast event by the staff of hydrologists at the North Central River Forecast Center in Chanhassen.
Last week about a foot and a half of wet snow fell in the Red River basin. Forecasters at this time have little concern about anything close to a repeat of flooding on the Red River in 2010. Typically the crest on the Red River of the North, which flows north, occurs in early to mid April. But each year offers different outcomes.