Snow totals update 11:15pm Sunday:
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
1002 PM CST SUN MAR 06 2011
...PRELIMINARY SNOWFALL AMOUNTS FROM SUNDAY...
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
------ ----------------------- -- -------------- -------
4.50 BRANDON MN DOUGLAS 0926 PM
4.00 SAUK RAPIDS MN BENTON 0833 PM
4.00 CARLOS MN DOUGLAS 0455 PM
3.40 LONG PRAIRIE MN TODD 0610 PM
3.20 ST CLOUD MN STEARNS 0600 PM
3.00 2 W FOLEY MN BENTON 0524 PM
2.50 LITCHFIELD MN MEEKER 0632 PM
2.00 GLENWOOD MN POPE 0759 PM
1.60 BLOOMINGTON MN HENNEPIN 0856 PM
1.50 WINTHROP MN SIBLEY 0825 PM
1.30 SHAKOPEE MN SCOTT 0845 PM
0.40 CHANHASSEN MN CARVER 0554 PM
0.20 MINNEAPOLIS AIRPORT MN HENNEPIN 0554 PM
Sunday PM & evening Update:
Through Sunday night:
Weak system is producing light snow in most areas as expected. Totals should range mostly between 1" and 2" through tonight, with some isolated higher totals (to 4"?) toward Alex & St.Cloud (& maybe far NW metro) where heavier snowfall bands are present. Remember even a little light snow can produce some slick spots so take it easy as you're out and about through tonight.
Bands of light snow will move through tonight.
Still on the edge of a storm Wednesday:
The forecast models are still showing considerable differences (big surprise!) in the track and intensity of Wednesday's storm system.
*The overall trend remains to steer the surface and upper lows further south than many models were suggesting last week.
That means the heavy snow band will likely set up (well?) southeast of the metro, and locations such as Mason City, Iowa, Rochester and La Crosse appear to have a much better chance of heavy snow (than the metro) Tuesday night and Wednesday.
Some models (including the NAM) track the surface low from south of Kansas City Tuesday at 6pm to south of the Quad Cities Wednesday morning at 6am, and then track the system to near Madison or Milwaukee by Wednesday evening. That is generally not a favorable storm track for heavy snow in the metro, and tends to lay out the storms "heavy snow band" in northern Iowa, far southeast Minnesota and central Wisconsin.
The European & very latest GFS model (Sunday PM) have the surface low as far south as Chicago by Wednesday evening. If that track pans out, it would drastically reduce snowfall totals near the metro. There is even a chance we could see very little snow in parts of the metro if the more southerly track verifies.
*The most reliable forecast at this point is to expect some potentially heavy snow Tuesday night & Wednesday in southeast Minnesota, northern Iowa and central Wisconsin.
*If the model trends pushing the system south continue, there is even a chance the storm could mostly miss the Twin Cities to the south.
*One thing that appears very likely? We're probably not going to get a foot of snow anywhere near the metro with this system. Now you know why we don't (publicly) forecast over a foot of snow a week in advance. As good as I'd like to think I am at forecasting snow...nobody is that good, especially with the error rate in the numerical weather forecast models a week out. Things could still change for the snowier, but at this point I'd say there is a better chance the system will miss the metro than there is for getting a foot of snow.
*I will post some model output with specific snowfall totals when I think it's more reliable, right now I don't think it's reliable enough to have much value. Hopefully things will come together with model runs tonight and Monday morning.
Bottom line: It's still too early to make a call on snowfall totals for the Twin Cities with the storm system passing to the south Tuesday night & Wednesday.
It looks like any snowfall that does hit the metro won't begin until late Tuesday night, and any effects would be during the Wednesday morning commute. We're still more than 48 hours away from this system in the metro.
Those of you in or planning travel to southern Minnesota (I-90 corridor from Worthington-Albert Lea-Rochester), northern Iowa (Spencer-Mason City-Decorah) and SW & central Wisconsin (La Crosse, Eau Claire & Tomah) should know there is a good chance of heavy snow Tuesday night & Wednesday with the latest forecast model trends.
Enjoy(?) the light snow through tonight & stay tuned!
As promised, here is my email address and a link to one of my five blogs. I haven't posted to my own weather blog in awhile, but you may want to save the link.
I enjoyed meeting you at the Weather and Phenology Gathering at Wolf Ridge. As I hosted the field trip to Sugarloaf Cove on Saturday, I related your Weather Extremes presentation to the historic 1905 shipping season, the worst ever on the Great Lakes. Two of the 29 wrecked or damaged vessels on November 27-29, 1905 were at Sugarloaf Cove. I haven't counted the 2010 occurances of gale force winds on the lake I recorded, but the timing was similar to 1905; April, May, August, October, November.
A huge thanks to this website. I read it regularly, and keep forwarding the site to others. It is the best resource for information that is a step above the other sources. Clearly the web site contributors love their work. Thank you!
Saints be praised that the models are moving the snow southward. I was sick of the white stuff way back in December.
My motorcycle is feeling extremely neglected, Paul. When is the decent weather expected to get here?