Posted at 6:52 AM on February 25, 2013
by Bill Endersen
While we will be enjoying a rather mild day today, a severe blizzard is blasting the southern plains. Blizzard Warnings have been posted from eastern New Mexico across the Texas panhandle, much of Oklahoma and into Kansas. More than a foot of snow could pile up across that area and get blown around by winds gusting over 50 mph.
Many roads have been closed.
At the center of the whiteout is Amarillo, Texas, where heavy snow has been falling and the north wind has been gusting almost to 60 mph. The headline from the National Weather Service Office in Amarillo has issued the headline "Crippling, Historic Blizzard Expected Today."
It's looking troublesome for Kansas, also, where the NWS is referring to it as the "Blizzard of Oz."
In the warm air southeast of the snow, a severe weather and flooding event due to persistent heavy rain is underway from Louisiana to northern Florida and Georgia.
This winter storm will spread snow northeastward into Kansas City by this evening and then to Chicago tomorrow.
We will be off the northwestern fringe of this big weather-maker, with just a few light snow showers for the southeastern corner of Minnesota today.
And a sign that we are into late winter is that, although we will be on the colder, northwest side of the storm, our temperatures will remain fairly mild. Highs today in Minnesota will range from the upper 20s to the mid 30s. The Twin Cities should top out around 34.
If the clouds break, as forecast, look for a lovely full moon to rise this evening shortly after sunset. Some people call this the "Snow Moon."
Highs the rest of the week right through the weekend will be mainly the 20s and 30s.
Our next chance for a shovelable snow looks like it will come in the form of an Alberta Clipper next Monday, a week from today.
If you would like to look ahead to March, here are the temperature and precipitation outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center:
At this point it looks like a warmer than normal March is likely for much of the southeastern half of the country but cooler in the northwest. Minnesota is in the "equal chances" area that could go either way.
More precip than normal could be on tap for much of the Great Lakes and Midwest.
Bill Endersen(0 Comments)
The Weather Channel is at it again.
Another major winter storm pounds the Midwest, and we have another name. Last week it was "Q." Why not just "Bond?" This week it's "Rocky."
Does "named" snow shovel any differently than regular snow?
No matter what you call the latest version of "Weathertainment" on TWC, it's a major winter storm. This time ground zero is Kansas City, where a solid foot of snow will blanket parts of the city by Tuesday night.
We dodge the bullet on "Rocky" as it takes the southerly route and sweeps toward Chicago Tuesday. But the snow from Rocky may have an impact on Minnesota weather in the weeks to come.
In this edition of Updraft we look at Rocky's punch and how it may help lead to what is looking like a potentially chilly March in Minnesota.
-2.9F vs. average temps at MSP so far in February
8" snow depth at MSP Airport Monday AM
35.5" season snowfall to date at MSP Airport
40.5" average season snowfall to date
18.1" snowfall last winter by this date
70.3" season snowfall so far at International Falls
Twin Cities quick look forecast: Quiet & mild this week
Major winter storm "Rocky" takes aim:
The second major winter storm to pound the Central Plains is dumping heavy snow in from Oklahoma & Kansas through Missouri on the way to Chicago.
The Weather Channel has a nice depiction of the system below, and an overview here.
The southerly storm track means the storm will miss Minnesota. A swath of winter weather warnings runs from the Texas panhandle to Chicago.
Once again, Kansas City is near ground zero, and more than a foot of snow will fall with this wrapped up system. The Topeka NWS lays out the expected snowfall totals, which could go as high as 15" just south of Kansas City.
Our neighbor's down I-94 in Chicago are battening down the hatches for some snow Tuesday.
Deep Midwest snowpack may delay Minnesota spring warm up:
It's called a "feedback loop."
Snow cover to the south and over Minnesota is one reason we may see a more reluctant warm up this March.
A deep snowpack to the south of Minnesota cools potentially milder air masses that could blow in from the south. It takes energy to melt snow, and that means any air masses that do come north the next couple of weeks will have to blow over snow covered ground....or cooler wetter soils once the snow melts.
The upper air pattern also looks very different from our incredible record March of 2012.
Right now I just don't see a huge warm up in sight. There are some indications we could see snow the weekend of March 9th & 10th...followed by a mid-March cold snap.
My confidence level is not high on that yet however...need to see a few more days of model runs.
Sky Show: "Southern Lights" and comets dazzle
Check out this great animation of two comets and the Aurora Australias or "Southern Lights" from Alex Cherney via spaceweather.com.
TWO COMETS AND THE SOUTHERN LIGHTS:
Two comets are now visible in the skies of the southern hemisphere: "Comet Lemmon and Comet PanSTARRS got close enough together on the morning of Feb. 17th to fit into single image with a 35mm lens," reports Alex Cherney of Flinders, Victoria, Australia. "A brief but reasonably strong aurora was a welcome bonus." Click to set the scene in motion: