A few reports of snowfall from today's storm as of 4 pm Saturday:
Menomonie, WI: 18"
St. Paul: 15.2"
Minneapolis (MSP International): 14.6" (as of 3:29 pm). If the final snowfall tally is 16.8" or higher this will be the 5th biggest snowstorm for the Twin Cities since modern-day records were started in 1891.
Prior Lake: 14"
New Hope: 10"
Mankato: 7" (3 foot drifts reported)
Check out some of the (utterly amazing) snowfall reports for yourself by clicking here - data courtesy of the National Weather Service.
- Snow will be tapering off this evening. The latest NWS Doppler radar image (or loop) is here.
* Winds gusting to 36 mph in the Twin Ciies, visbility reported to be 1/4 mile at MSP - very close to blizzard criteria.
Marshall: sustained winds of 36, gusts to 45 (blizzard in progress).
Windom: sustained winds of 36, gusts to 41 (blizzard in progress)
* Winds may gust to 50 mph. over southwestern MN into early tonight, the result of a tight pressure gradient - air accelerating into the center of an intensifying storm over southern Wisconsin. The result: zero visibility with little chance of travel until Sunday morning.
** Most accumulating snow will be winding down by 7 or 8 pm. By then much of the metro will have 12-18", a few towns will be digging out from as much as 20", with 3-5 foot drifts.
* Reports that the New York Giants are stranded in Kansas City - unknown if they'll be able to get to the Dome in time for Sunday's game. Travel conditions at MSP International should improve Sunday morning as winds ease (under 25 mph), allowing crews to get the snow off most of the runways and taxiways - but I expect more delays and some cancellations again tomorrow. Call ahead before heading to the airport.
*** Waking up to -12 F. Sunday morning in the metro area with a wind chill of -30. Predicted low Monday morning: -15, -20 Tuesday morning.
(20" Oakdale, 15.2" St. Paul, 14.6" Minneapolis - another 1-2" expected before snow tapers by 8 pm). It would appear the long-rumored, much-debated, often-scorned Super-Storm has indeed materialized. I realize a lot of people were betting against me. For a time I was betting against me! 1 to 2 FEET? "Douglas has finally lost his mind." I don't blame you for being skeptical, but all along there was a convergence of variables that made this a unique scenario in my mind. You can look at computer models until you're blue in the face, but in the end we have to place a bet on the solution we think is most likely, weighing hundreds of factors. Supercomputers, Doppler, soundings, SKEW-T's, "BUFKIT" - all great tools, but in the end it always comes down to a seat-of-the-pants forecast, a dash of gut feel, however unscientific that sounds. In Minnesota it's either all or nothing - either we have a snow drought and the snow birds are booing my 7-Day, or we get slammed with one snowstorm right after another. This is turning into a long-lost "real winter", and at the rate we're going it'll probably be the first snowier-than-average winter for MSP since 2004, when 66" fell. The coveted Golden Snow Shovel Award goes to Oakdale, reporting 20" (still snowing). Many suburbs will be digging out from anywhere from 14-18" by the time the snow finally winds down after 8 pm this evening, a few suburbs near St. Paul will top 20" - I would wager a small bet that a few towns will report 2 feet before it's all said and done. The concern will shift from falling snow to blowing & drifting snow as winds gust from 25-45 mph, producing white-out conditions much of tonight (blizzard warnings remain posted for the south metro and all of southwestern MN). Travel tonight is not recommended, especially points south/west of MSP. Slow improvement on the highways is expected tomorrow, but the wind will make it feel like -20 to -40. Character-building indeed. In all probability you just survived/endured/enjoyed the biggest snowstorm for the Twin Cities since the Halloween Superstorm of 1991. Travelers are sulking, but kids (of all ages) are thrilled. Finally, a real storm....