* 12" of snow at Minneapolis as of 9:30 pm. We have now picked up 73" snow this winter, making this the second snowiest winter (to date) since 1891.
* 11" reported at West St. Paul, Maplewood and Carver (Scott county) as of 8:30 pm.
* Hundreds of flights cancelled at MSP International. Conditions should slowly improve during the day Monday.
We Are #1. MSP International tops the list for the most cancellations of any airport in the USA. See the latest from Flight Aware here. I expect delays and cancellations through at least the morning hours on Monday. If we pick up 10" from this storm (pretty likely) we'll have the unique distinction of living through the second snowiest winter (to date) since 1891. Only 1982 had more snow as of now (76"). Take a bow - this is turning into a truly historic winter for snow.
Excessive Delays. The snow removal crews at MSP are good (some of the best on the planet), but when snow is falling at the rate of 2"/hour and 30 mph winds are causing extreme blowing/drifting, it's awfully tough keeping runways open. MSP is reporting "excessive delays" - the lates from flightstats.com is here.
Snow Burst. It's here - the moderate to heavy snow capable of falling at the rate of 1-2"/hour, possibly even accompanied by thunder/lightning (thunder-snow!) That's how rapidly the air is rising overhead. That air is rising, cooling, water vapor condensing out into supercooled water droplets and ice crystals. Those crystals stick together, gravity pulls them to the ground when they get large enough - the result are those fat flakes you see out your window right now. Moderate snow is finally pressing farther north, into St. Cloud and Cambridge, where close to a foot of snow is still possible (dry air at low levels delayed the onset of the snow, but central MN will be making up for lost time overnight). Doppler radar image as of 7:45 pm.
Snow Reports. Much of the metro already has roughly a half foot, that will be close to 10" by 9 or 10 pm tonight. The latest reports are here. Again, Bloomington has already seen 9" of snow, and it's coming down at the rate of 1-2"/hour.
How Much? The latest NAM model prints out well over a foot for much of central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, as much as 15" in some locations as an east-west band of snow temporarily stalls out from Alexandria and St. Cloud and Willmar to the Twin Cities and Eau Claire much of Sunday night.
* About 1-3" should fall during the day Monday (mainly morning hours), bring the totals into the 12-15" range by Monday afternoon. Definitely plowable.
Travel Conditions Getting Worse. It's no shock that things are getting worse out there on the highways - considerable blowing and drifting, limited visibilities as a heavy snow band sets up right over the metro. The worst travel can be found over the southern and eastern suburbs (all those red lines indicate "parking lot" conditions). The latest from Google Maps is here.
Thunder-Snow? You know it's really coming down hard when snow is accompanied by thunder and lightning. If the air is rising violently enough, you can wind up with crackling thunder (and on occasion: snow falling at the rate of 2-4"/hour!) Map courtesy of SPC, the Storm Prediction Center. Nothing severe, but there is a chance of thunderstorms across the southern quarter of Minnesota into the early nighttime hours.
No, We Won't See This Much Snow. Mercifully this is a file photo, a blunt reminder that it could be a lot worse out there.