Posted at 12:16 PM on December 9, 2009
by Paul Huttner
Twin Cities NWS "Weather Story" highlights conditions today.
The major winter storm is pulling away from Minnesota. There will be some improvement this afternoon.
The storm has dumped as much as 16" of snow in parts of Iowa and Wisconsin, and there are numerous reports of 3 to 5 foot drifts in Iowa.
Blizzard conditions with wind gusts to 49 mph and visibilities under ¼ mile raged in southwest Minnesota this morning at Jackson along I-90. Winds are gusting to over 40 mph in many locations in southern Minnesota this afternoon.
In Minnesota snowfall ranges from as little as 1.7" in St. Cloud to 7" at Twin Cities Airport to as high as 15" in Winona.
Here are some snowfall reports from in and near the Twin Cities this morning:
-Twin Cities Airport 7"
-Eau Claire 11"
As Strong as the Edmund Fitzgerald Storm:
The central pressure of this storm over Milwaukee at 7am was 978 millibars. That's lower than the November 1975 Edmund Fitzgerald storm at its height which was 980 millibars.
La Crosse has reported 15.5" of snow through 6:30am. That is the 6th highest total on record for any storm in La Crosse so far. This is also a top 5 snowfall for the Twin Cities for early December.
Snowfall has tapered in the Twin Cities from west to east. Expect conditions to gradually improve by later this afternoon.
Got to thinking how much better prepared we are than folks in our part of the Midwest were on January 12, 1888, when the "Children's Blizzard" hit.
Just got through reading David Laskin's book. The history was riveting, and I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of his climate/storm info.
Only thing, he used the term "isocyclone" and I can't find a complimentary definition anywhere.
I'm impressed at how much advance warning we got about this storm, and how well predicted it was. The size, timing, the quantities of snow across the region, wind, everything... I remember as a kind growing up out East in the 60's that a storm like this was often a nasty surprise (or a happy surprise if we got to miss school!). I think people miss just how far meterology has come. Well done, Paul et al!
David: Thanks for the tip on the book. I'll look for it.
Joe: Thanks for the nice comments. It's awesome to be able to forecast these impressive storms. It's even better when we get it right!