First snow of the season accumulates on the weather lab deck!
Preicp is likely to stay all snow in most of the metro...except the far east where it could still mix with rain and sleet at times Saturday.
Road conditions will be slick Saturday! Expcect slick roads...remember a winter storm warning is in effect!
Best bet at snow totals by Sunday night:
Possible Metro totals:
6"-12" Waconia-Lake Minnetonka-Maple Grove-Rogers-Elk River-Anoka.
4"-8" Prior Lake-Bloomington-Minneapolis-St. Paul-White-Bear Lake-Hugo.
2" to 5" Hastings- Cottage Grove-Hudson-Stillwater.
Possible Minnesota & Wisconsin totals:
6"-12" Fairmont-Mankato-west metro-Hinckley-Duluth.
4"-8" Owatonna-St. Paul-Grantsburg.
2"-5" Rochester-Red Wing-Rice Lake.
We still need to keep an eye on the potential for warm air wrapping into the system that COULD change snow over to rain in the metro Saturday. IF that happnes..it could reduce amounts accordingly.
Update 12:00am Saturday:
-Rain snow mix moving into metro
-Radar "bright banding" indicates possible heavy snow band moving in
-MNDOT traffic cam confirms
-Late model runs support heavy snow event for metro
Check out the MNDOT traffic cam shot from I-35 and Co Rd. 60 south of the metro. Image shows heavier snow falling under doppler radar "bright band" moving into metro around midnight.
Twin Cities NEXRAD shows "bright bands" moving into metro and Rochester.
These brighter colors on doppler usually indicate higher reflectivity associated with big wet snowflakes.
Model runs support heavy snow:
The late night model runs support the idea of heavy snow (6" to 12" totals) in the metro by late Sunday. The rain snow line appears to be setting up in the far east metro Saturday.
Stay tuned for updates...and be safe and enjoy the snow!
-Winter storm warnings flying now on a Fairmont-Mankato-West Metro-Hinckley line.
-Rain and snow spreading north overnight.
-Latest computer runs cranking out 6" to 12" of heavy wet wind-whipped snow Saturday and Sunday in winter storm area.
-Rain snow line progged to set up in east metro Saturday...could reduce snow amounts in east metro.
-Big snowfall range across Twin Cites with this storm. 6" to 12" possible west metro...4" to 8" possible central... 2" to 6" possible east...all rain in much of Wisconsin.
The season's first major winter storm is winding up and moving into Minnesota. This is the time when we pull the trigger on making some snow call for winter storms. Like most Minnesota winter storms...this one still is not a slam dunk. The models have come into better agreement today....but a change in the rain snow line by 30 miles could mean the difference between mostly rain and a foot of heavy wet snow in the Twin Cities this weekend.
Here's the scenario.
The forecast track for the surface low is ideal for heavy snow for the western Twin Cities and central Minnesota.
The thermal profile for this storm sets up the "critical" 32-degree isothem in the lowest mile of the atmosphere right into the eastern metro for most of Saturday.
That should mean the infamous "rain/snow line" will wave over the east metro, and bring mixed and changeable precip. Expect rain/sleet/snow at times in the east metro Saturday...before enough cold air wraps in to change things over to all snow by Saturday night into Sunday morning.
There may be enough "upward vertical velocity" with the storm to produce thundersnow in or close to the metro late Saturday into Sunday morning. Snowbursts can occur...with brief snowfall rates of 1" to 2"+ per hour in thundersnow.
Expect rain/snow to move north into the metro between 9pm- midnight, and spread north overnight. Wind whipped snow should continue for much of the area Saturday...with all snow by Sunday.
As they say in hurricane statements.... all preparations should be rushed to completion tonight in Minnesota.
Get ready for a wintery blast this weekend!
Our first major winter storm of the season is winding up to the south tonight and moving north into Minnesota.
The latest model trends are coming together around a solution that puts heavy snow on a Fairmont-Mankato-Glencoe-Hutchinson-Annandale-Rogers line this weekend. On this track, the western metro (Waconia-Lake Minnetonka-Maple Grove-Elk River) may fall into the heavy snow band, which could produce 6" to 12" snowfall totals this weekend.
It looks like the thermal profile of this system will set up the rain snow line in the east metro, where precip may change phase between rain, sleet and snow. It could be all rain in most of western Wisconsin.
Stay tuned...more on the way!
The morning and midday models runs are in, and it looks like a major winter storm is on the way for much of central Minnesota, possibly including the Twin Cities metro.
The model differences from yesterday seem to have (mostly) worked themselves out...and it looks like more snow than rain for most of Minnesota Saturday.
Winter Storm Watches have been posted for much of Minnesota for the possibility of heavy snow Saturday into Sunday.
The models are cranking out as much as 2" of liquid precipitation, and if that falls as all snow, it's going to be a huge pile of wind whipped snowfall.
Stay tuned for updates on MPR news 91.1FM this weekend, and watch Updraft for more details on the storm later today.
Bottom line: Get set for heavy snow tonight and Saturday into Sunday.
Posted at 5:32 AM on November 13, 2010
by Craig Edwards
Filed under: Winter storms
Like anxious grandparents pacing in a hospital waiting room, meteorologists were greeted with the welcome news that the predicted snow storm has arrived. Here is the latest regional projection of snowfall potential in east central Minnesota. The heaviest snow, on the order of ten inches, is likely to fall from near Hutchinson through Princeton, Cromwell, Duluth and up to Grand Marais. To the west of that line snow accumulations will total four to six inches.
In the Twin Cities Metro area we expect a range of as much as eight inches towards Waconia and Rogers and about five inches in Woodbury. Rain may mix in with the snow along the Wisconsin and Minnesota border. Rochester to Eau Claire will endure a cold rain.
Moderate to occasionally heavy snow (visibility around a quarter mile) is expected through the day. Snow should taper this evening in the Metro, with another one to three inches possible from Anoka to Hayward. Heavy snow will extend from Duluth and along the North Shore through about midnight.
Early reports suggest that icy roadways have resulted in spin outs and accidents, particularly in the more rural areas of central Minnesota. Travel with caution. Get a feel for the road surface and be alert for rapidly changing conditions.
Posted at 6:40 AM on November 13, 2010
by Craig Edwards
Filed under: Winter storms
Since 5am snow has increased in intensity in east central Minnesota. I measured 2.5 inches of accumulation at 635am. Snow flakes were good quality. Heavy wet snow is likely to fall through the morning. Be prepared for slow travel and very slick conditions. Don't follow too close.
Rain was falling from Rochester to Red Wing to Eau Claire.
Posted at 6:52 AM on November 13, 2010
by Craig Edwards
The National Weather Service has just posted a report of five inches of snow as of 6am at Fairmont. With what I am seeing on radar and out my window, along with this projection from the high resolution model, it is clear that the Twin Cities may see ten plus inches of snowfall. Again the greatest amount should be west Metro and up to Duluth.
The center of the low pressure was near Des Moines at daybreak. As it tracks toward LaCrosse, WI we will endure about ten hours of heavy to moderate snowfall.
The red on this graphic is ten inches of total accumulation by 6pm.
Just returned from a trip two miles from home. It is extremely dangerous on the roadways. Snow is falling at the rate of more than an inch per hour in Eden Prairie. since 630am I received another four inches of snow, with 6.5 inches total on the deck.
Very heavy wet snow is making it difficult to plow and shovel.
Here is an image of the surface reports. Note as of 9am the circulation center was still in Iowa. The counter clockwise rotation around the low that is moving towards LaCrosse.
Snowfall totals will likely exceed ten inches in some locations.1 Comments)
After watching the radar and satellite imagery for two hours, it appears that the snow pivot point is over Chanhassen. There is a notch of drier air pushing towards the Twin Cities from the southeast, but it may come to a halt as it reaches Lakeville.
This would put a longer duration of moderate snow from about Waconia to Elk River. Expect upwards of a foot of snow in the west metro. Already nine inches has accumulated in Deephaven and Maple Grove and in Eden Prairie I'm thinking another two to three inches are likely from 1130am to 4pm. Lesser amounts near the Wisconsin border toward Hudson.
From the Chanhassen National Weather Service.
Listen for information from MNDOT and local officials regarding travel. I know from the reports I'm hearing, it is extremely treacherous in the west Metro. Stay put.(3 Comments)
The west metro is in the heavy snow "bull's eye" for this storm.
Snow totals are approaching 1 foot now in the west metro. Here are some totals.
Eden Prairie 11"
New Hope 10.1"
Forest Lake 10"
Minneapolis (NW side) 9"
Prior Lake 9"
St Paul (Highland Park) 7"
As expected the heaviest snow totals so far are in the west metro (6"-11"), with lower amounts in the far east metro (3"- 6").
Radar trends show "pivot point" east of metro:
Twin Cities radar loop this afternoon is showing the pivot point just east of the Twin Cities. This is the center of "spin" or axis around the low...and if it stays east of the metro snow will spin around the west side and keep snow going here. Snow bands will vary in intensity and spin through the metro and eastern Minnesota through tonight.
Snow intentisty will generally be lighter then the bursts of heavy wet flakes we saw this morning, but a few heavy snow bands may rotate through and drop visibility to around 1/4 to 1/2 mile at times.
Surface low tracks west:
At 1:30pm today the surface low pressure center is between Rochester and La Crosse. This is a little farther west than forecast. This may mix in a little rain in the far east and southest metro and along the St. Criox Valley...think Hudson, Afton, Hastings and Red Wing.
Temps above freezing:
I can tell you that roads in the west metro are VERY slick today. A mix of slush & compacted ice. Crews are out...but travel is very difficult. One thing working in our favor with this storm is that temperatures are just above freezing in most places.
Warm ground may have melted the first inch or two...but intense snowfall rates overnight overcame any surface melting in a hurry.
With lower snowfall rates and temps above freezing, most areas may see another 2" to 4" overnight.
Posted at 4:02 PM on November 13, 2010
by Craig Edwards
The National Weather Service has discontinued the Warning Storm Warning for much of the local Metro Twin Cities region. Snow will continue during the overnight hours, but additional heavy accumulation is no longer anticipated. By daybreak on Sunday an additional one to two inches of snow may fall.
Temperatures will hold near 30 degrees. Watch for slick overpasses and refreezing on side streets.
Posted at 6:30 PM on November 13, 2010
by Craig Edwards
Filed under: Winter storms
We may say on occasion there will be a quick inch or two of snow, but in this storm we picked up a quick six to eight inches. Snow fell as heavily as I've seen in some time; accumulating four inches between 630am and 930am. You know what I'm talking about if you were in the southwest metro.
There are a couple of positives or rarities about this abating storm. 1) There was no cold air instrusion ushered in on a blast of northwest winds. Temperatures late this afternoon were actually milder in northwest Minnesota. 2) The snow was so wet and heavy that twenty mile an hour winds produced no blowing or drifting. 3) As the snow tapered it settled fast with compression along with melting from the relatively warm soil temperatures. 4) If you got your paved driveway shoveled immediately after the heavy snow subsided you were left with a wet surface that you could actually walk and drive on.
Pockets of light snow continue in central Minnesota. Accumulations about the Twin Cities overnight should be an inch or less. Snow in northeast Minnesota could tally another three to four inches by midnight.
Overnight minimum temperatures will drop just below freezing. Sufficient to test your driving skills later tonight and early Sunday.
Nine inches of snow has already compacted to about five inches in my yard. In the microclimate world I can see grass appearing on the south perimeter of the spruce tree.
How'd you like to have this similar event present itself on a weekday morning commute. There really is a silver lining.