Posted at 8:28 AM on March 4, 2013
by Bill Endersen
A stretched-out Alberta clipper winter storm is tracking across our part of the world this morning. Overnight a few inches of snow fell in much of southwestern Minnesota and then tracked northeast across the metro area.
Today's first pulse of the storm will drop one to four inches in much of Minnesota and then go into a lull until tonight. Then a stronger pulse will move into the state and lay down a band of heavier snow, most likely 4 to 6 inches in eastern Minnesota into western Wisconsin.
Total snowfalls are likely to be 6 to 10 inches from Alexandria to the Iron Range and Duluth and south through the Twin Cities, Rochester, LaCrosse and Eau Claire with some local areas in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin possibly into the 10 to 12 inch mark. The actual total depends on how intense tonight's band is and exactly where it sets up.
Winter Storm Warnings are in effect for a very large region from much of North Dakota across most of Minnesota and also western and southern Wisconsin, northeastern Iowa and then northern Illinois including Chicago tomorrow.
Here is a summary of the expected event from the National Weather Service Office in Chanhassen:
Roads are slick and crashes have been reported. Click here to check road conditions from MNDOT.
Snowfall already is beginning to lighten up across the metro area, as shown by visibilities climbing above one mile at most airports. So the evening commute might not be too bad, but things should take another snowy turn overnight.
Bill Endersen(0 Comments)
Posted at 11:04 AM on March 4, 2013
by Bill Endersen
Winter Storm Warnings have been posted from Montana to northwestern Indiana including most of Minnesota as well as western and southern Wisconsin.
A band of snow now sliding northeast across the metro area should precede a lull in the storm - at least in the eastern part of the state. Snowfall this afternoon will be mainly in the northwestern quarter of Minnesota with some light snow and flurries popping up elsewhere.
From the NWS radar in Chanhassen:
The morning forecast models continue to insist that the snowfall will move southeast and intensify tonight. A band of moderate to occasionally heavy snow is likely to develop over east central and southeast Minnesota as well as western Wisconsin by around midnight and then continue into the morning. About 4 to 7 inches of snow is likely in that area overnight and then 2 to 4 more inches on Tuesday.
Here is where the morning NAM model is predicting significant precipitation in the six hours ending at 6AM tomorrow:
The Tuesday morning commute in the metro area will be tricky.
By the time the storm winds down, much of Minnesota will have picked up at least 6 to 10 inches of snow with some 10- to 12-inch amounts likely in eastern and southeastern Minnesota. The Arrowhead and the southwestern corner of the state will get the least with just a few more inches likely.
Eventually, the storm will slide off to the southeast toward Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago tomorrow. Madison and Chicago, in particular, could end up in the 5- to 10-inch range.
Bill Endersen(0 Comments)
1-2 Snow Punch:
One of the beautiful things about weather is that all storms are not created equal.
Some come in fast and hard. Some take their sweet time.
This one is coming in 2 distinct pieces.
The first wave of snow this morning was a bit underwhelming in the metro. A general 1" to 2" fell, with 1.4" "officially" at MSP Airport.
Do I know anyone that lives at the Airport?
A few bands of snow may brush the metro from the west late PM & evening, but our PM "snow lull" is well timed for an easier than expected PM rush.
The good news? MNDOT and local city crews should have enought time this afternoon to have things in good shape for at least the early part of PM rush hour.
The models insist the "main event" will move in later tonight between about 10pm & midnight, and snow well into Tuesday morning.
NOAA's High Resolution radar (HRR) depicts a heavy snow band over MSP by about 11pm tonight.
There is a small bust potential if the next wave of snow does not set up right over the metro overnight. But all major models insist it will. I am not yet totally convinced the overnight snow will be as heavy as the models suggest, but I do think we'll get a good shot of snow overnight.
The usually trusty "Euro" is cranking out .45" liquid overnight. That should translate into about 4" to 6" snowfall overnight if it verifies.
The main event overnight should bring the heaviest snow between midnight and 7am. We should see snowfall intensity of .5" per hour for several hours...with a couple hours near 1" per hour in some spots.
If part 2 of this system performs as expected, It should deliver a good 3" to 6"+ additional snowfall overnight & Tuesday AM.
With the 1" to 2" from this morning, that should mean most of the metro and eastern Minnesota will end up with overall storm totals between 4" and 8" by noon Tuesday.
We'll get another major model run tonight just before the 2nd wave moves in...so I'll let you know if I see any changes in current thinking.
Here is the latest web briefing on what the Twin Cities NWS is thinking.
What could possibly go wrong?