Posted at 6:29 AM on February 18, 2013
by Bill Endersen
Early this Monday morning an Alberta Clipper spinning over northwestern Minnesota is spreading snow across the north. Several inches of snow is expected today with the highest amounts likely in the far northern counties.
The heaviest part of this storm will be in the northwest corner where conditions already are nasty. Winds from the north-northwest are gusting to nearly 50 mph in the Rosseau-Hallock-Grand Forks area and are causing enough blowing and drifting snow to reduce visibilities to a quarter of a mile or less. A Blizzard Warning is in effect for the Red River Valley area north of Fargo. Travel is not advised for that area including on I-29 in the Grand Forks and Grafton, North Dakota, areas.
Here is a summary of the situation from the National Weather Service Office in Grand Forks:
An Arctic cold front sweeping eastward across Minnesota today will affect all of us.
Winter Weather Advisories are in effect for much of Minnesota mainly west, northwest and southwest of the Twin Cities including Chaska, Mankato, Hutchinson, Litchfield, Monticello, St. Cloud and Morris. While little snow will fall in these areas, the wind will blow harder as the day goes on. Gusts of 30 to 40 mph are likely in open areas from the Twin Cities to points west this afternoon, and stronger gusts over 40 mph are likely up toward Alexandria. Blowing snow and limited visibilities will cause travel difficulties this afternoon and tonight, mainly in open areas.
MNDOT has a great website with current travel conditions statewide. Go to the site and select which version is best for you. And you can zoom in to specific parts of the state.
For the metro area, the Arctic front will blast through by lunchtime. Temperatures will peak in the low 30s this morning and then fall into the teens by early evening. Some occasional light snow is possible around the metro but any accumulation that occurs should be less than an inch.
Winds will continue tonight and metro temperatures will drop to around zero in the Twin Cities and sub-zero in the suburbs.
Temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday will run about 20 degrees below normal for this time of year. Highs on Tuesday will range from 5 below way up north to 10 above in the south.
The normal low and high temperatures for the Twin Cities for today are 14 and 30 degrees.
The next storm will head our way from the Central Plains and sneak into Minnesota from the southwest beginning early on Thursday. At this point, it looks as though the biggest snowfalls will be in Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa as it is forecast to weaken as it crosses Minnesota. This slow-moving storm will affect mainly southern Minnesota and then Wisconsin.
Here is the GFS model's forecast of the precipitation for the six hours ending at 6 p.m. on Thursday:
The long-range GFS model also is indicating the likelihood of yet another snowmaker. This one could come in from the southwest late Sunday and linger into Monday.
But let's take it one storm at a time.
Bill Endersen(0 Comments)
We may be able to see the finish line for the meteorological winter that ends on Feb. 28, but we are likely to experience some of the strongest punches of the winter of 2012-2013 in the next ten days.
Blizzard conditions raged in portions of the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota Monday afternoon as a strong cold front whipped winds up to 45 mph resulting in considerable blowing and drifting snow. Visibility at times was down to a quarter-mile. Meanwhile, wind chill readings plummeted below zero.
From the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minn:
340 PM CST MON FEB 18 2013
...BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST
...WIND CHILL ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO NOON
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN HAS ISSUED
A WIND CHILL ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT
TO NOON CST TUESDAY. A BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL
MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT.
* MAIN IMPACTS: THE COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS...BLOWING SNOW...
AND FALLING TEMPERATURES WILL LEAD TO DANGEROUS TRAVEL
CONDITIONS. WHITEOUT CONDITIONS ARE BEING REPORTED AND WILL
CONTINUE INTO THE EVENING. ROADWAYS SHOULD REMAIN SLICK AND SNOW
COVERED IN STRETCHES FOR MUCH OF THE NIGHT.
* OTHER IMPACTS: DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS OF 25 TO 35 BELOW ZERO ARE
EXPECTED TONIGHT AS THE TEMPERATURE CONTINUES TO FALL AND THE
WIND REMAINS STRONG.
Snowfall accumulation overnight will be minimal, but you'll notice the much colder temperatures, accompanied by biting northwest winds.
Tuesday is expected to feel every bit like mid-winter. February sunshine is not expected to offset single-digit temperatures.
The NAM paints this forecast of bitter temperatures on Wednesday morning.
In the stillness of Saturday morning, hoarfrost formed as a deposit of ice crystal attached to tree limbs. A beautiful portrait of the solitude of a winter morning was captured by photographer Fr. Paul Kammen.
Image:Fr. Paul Kammen
Eyes are turned to a potential snowfall of several inches in southern Minnesota Thursday into Friday morning.
Computer models have been advising of a developing low pressure to track in a favorable path that could dump several inches of snow in northern Iowa into southern Minnesota beginning Thursday morning.
While the system may not get wound up into a deep low pressure center, the track and the duration of the precipitation could result in plowable snow by Thursday evening.
NAM output of six-hourly liquid precipitation ending at 6 p.m. CST Thursday with surface pressure pattern. Note that the snow-to-water ratio may be on the order of 15 to 1 which could result upwards of six inches of snow in northern Iowa and southwest Minnesota during the day on Thursday.Source:NAM/College of Dupage
The snow area is forecast to expand north on Thursday night. Stay tuned for details on snow accumulation in your neck of the woods.
One of the things I have observed in the past couple of days is the formation of roof top icicles and possible ice dams. This could become a more serious problem if additional snow accumulation takes place on Thursday and Friday.
On a side note, the wind chill readings were in the 30s this morning in Ft. Myers, Fla. They recovered nicely to a high in the lower 70s this afternoon.(4 Comments)