Friday night's snowfall in the Red River Valley of the North was not particularly moisture laden. While snow accumulated up to seven inches in far northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota, the water content was on the order of a quarter inch or less. Grand Forks measured 1.8 inches of snow with only 0.05 inch of water equivalent.
They are still starved for moisture in northwest Minnesota. Much of the nation's midsection, extending into our neck of the woods, could use a nice midwinter snow storm.
Unfortunately the jet stream continues to travel west to east or from northwest to southeast; from Alberta, Canda to the Great Lakes. Such an upper level flow keeps the Gulf moisture confined well to our south.
The jet stream forecast from a GFS model valid at midnight Saturday indicates the source region of our cold air arriving over the weekend.
Both the NAM and the GFS models agree on a weak snow-producing system to streak from northwest to southeast on Wednesday. This Alberta Clipper, a swiftly moving kink in the jet stream, is likely to stir up some snow. Lacking a good source of moisture, Clippers typically deliver 1-3 inches of snow.
NAM precipitation for six-hour period ending at 6 p.m. CST. Source:NOAA/College of Dupage.
GFS model six-hour precipitation forecast valid at 6 p.m. CST presents a similar pattern of snowfall. Source:NOAA/College of Dupage
Forecaster confidence increases when models agree. This latest computer model run places the snow a little farther south than yesterday's model forecast. Stay tuned.
Chicago has so far dodged the winter of 2012-2013. You may be interested in learning more sbout the lack of snow in the Windy City.
From the NWS Chicago Office on Monday; Chicago has yet to have any meaningful cold or snow so far this winter, and it's beginning to approach the point where it's not just highly unusual, but actually record breaking.
Paul has been giving a head's up on the arctic invasion. We'll track this as the week progresses. But the medium range model is pretty aggressive on bringing frigid air down from Canada into the upper Midwest and the Great Lakes.
Let's see how this forecast for numbing cold pans out as we approach the weekend.
Please snow soon Father Winter!