Posted at 8:42 AM on January 20, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Here we go.
Round one of our 3 part weather drama opens today in southern Minnesota. The first wave of icy precip will feature a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow as it moves north out of Iowa into Minnesota.
Conditions are just perfect for an icy coating south of a line from Ortonville to Mankato to Owatonna today. A mixed bag of light freezing rain, sleet and snow may reach as far north as the metro by this evening. Ice storm warnings and freezing rain advisories are in effect today.
There could be a coating if ice and light snow in the metro into Thursday morning.
It appears we will get a break between the first wave and the main act. Friday looks quiet, and then we'll turn our attention to the main low pressure storm moving north for the weekend. This one looks quite interesting and a bit out of character for late January.
Round 2: Saturday rain?
It still appears there may be enough warm air surging north with this system to change precip over to all rain from the Twin Cities south on Saturday. Temperatures in the lowest 5,000 feet of the atmosphere will favor rain, and surface temperatures are forecast to be in the mid 30s Saturday afternoon.
Climatologically we are just emerging from the coldest week of the year. This system has the look of an early March storm given the amount of warm, moist Gulf of Mexico air surging north.
As a (mostly former) hockey player, I feel for the folks running the pond hockey tournament in Excelsior this weekend. Playing on "wet ice" when the puck sticks in puddles is no fun.
It may be cold enough at ground level for freezing rain in an arc from Sioux Falls, to St. Cloud and Duluth Saturday. The Red River Valley could be cold enough for mostly snow. The heaviest snow totals could fall in Fargo to Grand Forks.
Heavy rainfall possible
There could be enough moisture to produce precip totals over an inch with this system. Much of that may fall as rain from the Twin Cities south. It could be a soupy mess where significant rain falls over deep snow pack Saturday.
There may be enough upper level energy and lift to produce a few thunderstorms in Iowa Saturday.
Dry slot slides in
Some of the forecast models are hinting at a "dry slot" into southern Minnesota late Saturday and early Sunday. If this happens there could be a several hour break in precipitation before the wrap around moisture moves back in Sunday.
Round 3 could feature a transition to all snow for most areas as colder air wraps in behind the system later Sunday into Monday. There could be enough residual moisture for a few inches of snow in the metro and much of southern Minnesota by Monday evening.
Expect icy travel if you are headed south today, and stay tuned for changing forecasts and conditions as we head into the weekend.
Posted at 2:54 PM on January 20, 2010
by Paul Huttner
There's a great opportunity tonight to learn more about our water resources and climate change. The event is at Breck School this evening. Here's the scoop.
"Perspectives on Water in our Changing World"
January 20, 2010
Breck School Theatre, Minneapolis
Deb Swackhamer (10min) Policies for Sustainable Management of Water
Mark Seeley (10min) Water and Climate Change
Joan Nephew (10min) Water is Life Report and Art Contest
~ 6:45 Jeff Horwich asks first question
Open to Q&A with audience
The event is sponsored by WorldSavvy, the Water Resources Center at the U of M, the Freshwater Society, MPR, and Breck School.
This should be a great event, please feel free to show up and listen or join the discussion!
Posted at 4:33 PM on January 20, 2010
by Paul Huttner
A major ice storm is gripping the state of Iowa today. Up to an inch of ice is snapping tree limbs and downing power lines in the Hawkeye State. Widespread power outages are reported throughout the state. The hardest hit areas are in the western half of Iowa, where half an inch to 1 inch freezing rain reports are common.
Here are some of the extensive list of storm reports today from the Des Moines NWS.
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
341 PM CST WED JAN 20 2010
..TIME... ...EVENT... ...CITY LOCATION... ...LAT.LON...
..DATE... ....MAG.... ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....
0433 AM FREEZING RAIN ATLANTIC 41.40N 95.01W
01/20/2010 M0.30 INCH CASS IA BROADCAST MEDIA
MEASURED AND REPORTED BY KJAN RADIO. SPORADIC POWER
OUTAGES REPORTED IN TOWN AS WELL.
0514 AM ICE STORM ATLANTIC 41.40N 95.01W
01/20/2010 CASS IA EMERGENCY MNGR
ONE QUARTER INCH OF ICE ACCUMULATION. NUMEROUS POWER
LINES DOWN AROUND TOWN WITH POWER OUTAGES.
0516 AM ICE STORM ESE GRAY 41.84N 94.98W
01/20/2010 AUDUBON IA TRAINED SPOTTER
ONE QUARTER INCH ICE ACCUMULATION. FOUR INCH TREE LIMBS
DOWN...POWER LINES SAGGING ONTO HIGHWAYS WITH POWER
OUTAGES. POWERLINE SAGGING ONTO HIGHWAY 71.
0618 AM FREEZING RAIN ATLANTIC 41.40N 95.01W
01/20/2010 E0.40 INCH CASS IA BROADCAST MEDIA
NUMEROUS POWER OUTAGES BEING REPORTED. MEASURED AND
REPORTED BY KJAN RADIO.
0636 AM FREEZING RAIN MURRAY 41.04N 93.95W
01/20/2010 E0.30 INCH CLARKE IA TRAINED SPOTTER
SAGGING TREES. SOME LIGHTNING AND THUNDER REPORTED.
0700 AM FREEZING RAIN NNW AUDUBON AIRPORT 41.71N 94.92W
01/20/2010 E0.50 INCH AUDUBON IA CO-OP OBSERVER
0.5 INCHES OF ICE ACCUMULATION FROM FREEZING RAIN...UP TO
1.5 INCHES OF ICE ACCUMULATION ON TOP OF HOAR FROST
0929 AM ICE STORM BEACON 41.27N 92.68W
01/20/2010 MAHASKA IA LAW ENFORCEMENT
SEVERAL POWERLINES DOWN THROUGHOUT THE TOWN OF BEACON.
0930 AM FREEZING RAIN OTTUMWA 41.02N 92.42W
01/20/2010 M0.25 INCH WAPELLO IA DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
1/4 TO 1/2 INCHES OF SLEET ON TOP OF THE 1/4 INCH OF ICE
0938 AM ICE STORM KNOXVILLE 41.32N 93.10W
01/20/2010 MARION IA EMERGENCY MNGR
LARGE 3 TO 4 INCH DIAMETER TREE LIMBS DOWN. SPORADIC
SMALLER CABLES TAKEN DOWN IN KNOXVILLE. PONDING OF WATER
ON STREETS DUE TO CLOGGED STORM DRAINS IN PELLA AND
0938 AM FREEZING RAIN TAMA 41.96N 92.57W
01/20/2010 E0.25 INCH TAMA IA LAW ENFORCEMENT
TOWN OF LINCOLN WITHOUT POWER
1030 AM ICE STORM SAC CITY 42.42N 95.00W
01/20/2010 SAC IA LAW ENFORCEMENT
WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES THROUGHOUT SAC COUNTY DUE TO
DOWNED POWERLINES AND TREE LIMBS.
1036 AM ICE STORM CARROLL 42.07N 94.86W
01/20/2010 CARROLL IA LAW ENFORCEMENT
TONS OF POWERLINES AND TREE LIMBS DOWN WITH THE LARGEST
TREE LIMBS BLOCKING MULTIPLE ROADS THROUGHOUT THE TOWN OF
CARROLL...AND ACROSS THE COUNTY.
1100 AM FREEZING RAIN 6 WNW MANILLA 41.91N 95.34W
01/20/2010 M1.00 INCH CRAWFORD IA TRAINED SPOTTER
1152 AM FREEZING RAIN CORNING 40.99N 94.74W
01/20/2010 M0.62 INCH ADAMS IA DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
1/2 TO 5/8 INCHES OF ICE ACCRUAL
1155 AM FREEZING RAIN DES MOINES INT AIRPORT 41.53N 93.66W
01/20/2010 M0.30 INCH POLK IA OFFICIAL NWS OBS
1257 PM FREEZING RAIN 4 E AUDUBON AIRPORT 41.70N 94.84W
01/20/2010 M0.75 INCH AUDUBON IA TRAINED SPOTTER
1257 PM ICE STORM 4 E AUDUBON AIRPORT 41.70N 94.84W
01/20/2010 AUDUBON IA TRAINED SPOTTER
MULTIPLE HUGE TREE LIMBS DOWN...GENERALLY 5 TO 6 INCHES
IN DIAMETER. ESTIMATED ABOUT 2 INCHES OF ICE/HOAR FROST
ACCUMULATED ON POWERLINES. 6 TO 7 POWER POLES DOWN ALONG
THE T-BONE HIGHWAY.
0100 PM FREEZING RAIN 1 SW OTTUMWA 41.01N 92.43W
01/20/2010 E1.00 INCH WAPELLO IA TRAINED SPOTTER
0125 PM ICE STORM 2 NE JEFFERSON 42.04N 94.34W
01/20/2010 GREENE IA DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
SEVERAL 4 INCH DIAMETER TREE LIMBS DOWN WITH MULTIPLE
MATURE TREES SAGGING OVER ACROSS THE COUNTY. POWERLINES
0158 PM ICE STORM 1 NNE SAC CITY 42.44N 94.98W
01/20/2010 SAC IA DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
TONS OF 6 INCH DIAMETER TREE LIMBS DOWN ACROSS THE
COUNTY. WIDESPREAD POWER OUTAGES.
0245 PM HEAVY SLEET ELDORA 42.36N 93.10W
01/20/2010 E1.00 INCH HARDIN IA LAW ENFORCEMENT
0.75 TO 1.00 INCHES OF FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET MIX
0252 PM HEAVY SLEET 2 ESE IOWA FALLS 42.50N 93.23W
01/20/2010 E1.00 INCH HARDIN IA DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET MIX
0256 PM ICE STORM NNE WINDSOR HEIGHTS 41.60N 93.71W
01/20/2010 POLK IA NWS EMPLOYEE
0.30 INCHES OF ICE.
0259 PM FREEZING RAIN 1 WSW POCAHONTAS 42.73N 94.69W
01/20/2010 E0.38 INCH POCAHONTAS IA DEPT OF HIGHWAYS
0.25 TO 0.50 INCHES OF ICE ACCRUAL
The wave repsonsible for the freezing rain is weakening as it moves north into Minnesota tonight. There still may be some patchy freezing drizzle through Thursday morning from the Twin Cities south and east.