Next Time I'll Do It Myself.

O.K. I should have known (based on age) that my driveway wasn't going to be professionally shoveled out yesterday - but how could I say no? The neighbor kid looked so earnest, helpful and I swear she had a good work ethic! Photo courtesy of the Star Tribune - check out a ton of great photos at

http://snowstrib.posterous.com

 

One VERY Respectable Snowman in Independence! It looks like Maple Grove may get the coveted Golden Snow Shovel Award from yesterday's snowy dumping - 12" fell, according to professional weather observers, followed closely by Waconia and Eden Prairie. Meanwhile, Stillwater picked up only 3" of snow, with a lousy inch for St. Cloud. The band of snow with this thing was exceptionally narrow, compact - a tight little burst of snow that rippled northward out of Iowa and then made a bee-line for Duluth - the shield of snow wasn't nearly as wide as the models were hinting, meaning that much of central Minnesota missed out on signfificant accumulation. (Photo courtesy of the Star Tribune).

 

 

 INCHES LOCATION ST COUNTY TIME ------ ----------------------- -- -------------- ------- 12.00 3 WSW MAPLE GROVE MN HENNEPIN 1111 PM 11.20 WACONIA MN CARVER 0600 AM 11.00 EDEN PRAIRIE MN HENNEPIN 1030 AM 11.00 1 SSW WYOMING MN CHISAGO 0400 PM 10.40 CHANHASSEN MN CARVER 0600 AM 10.10 NEW HOPE MN HENNEPIN 0102 PM 10.00 3 N FOREST LAKE MN CHISAGO 0104 PM 10.00 SW BURNSVILLE MN DAKOTA 0216 PM 10.00 MANKATO MN BLUE EARTH 0951 AM 10.00 MONTGOMERY MN LE SUEUR 1130 AM 10.00 AMBOY MN BLUE EARTH 0930 AM 9.50 NEW MARKET MN SCOTT 0258 PM 9.50 VADNAIS HEIGHTS MN RAMSEY 0708 PM 9.40 RUSH CITY MN CHISAGO 0510 PM 9.20 ST LOUIS PARK MN HENNEPIN 0703 PM 9.20 NORTH BRANCH MN CHISAGO 0703 PM 9.00 3 NNW MINNEAPOLIS MN HENNEPIN 1243 PM 9.00 CHISAGO CITY MN CHISAGO 0301 PM 9.00 1 NE MINNESOTA LAKE MN BLUE EARTH 0953 PM 8.90 2 W PRIOR LAKE MN SCOTT 1239 PM 8.60 MADELIA MN WATONWAN 1025 AM 8.50 1 SE CHASKA MN CARVER 0112 PM 8.50 EDINA MN HENNEPIN 0505 PM 8.30 5 SE ELK RIVER MN ANOKA 0148 PM 8.20 INVER GROVE HEIGHTS MN DAKOTA 0715 PM 8.00 SHAKOPEE MN SCOTT 0703 PM 7.90 MINNEAPOLIS MN HENNEPIN 0600 AM MEASURED AT THE MINNEAPOLIS/ST PAUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. NEW DAILY RECORD EXTREME. PREVIOUS WAS 4.0 INCHES SET IN 1997. 7.30 BLOOMINGTON MN HENNEPIN 1248 PM 7.00 GLENCOE MN MCLEOD 0150 PM 7.00 WOODBURY MN WASHINGTON 0335 PM 6.70 LAKEVILLE MN DAKOTA 0703 PM 6.20 ST PAUL MN RAMSEY 0505 PM 6.00 5 S FARMINGTON MN DAKOTA 0505 PM 5.40 CHAMPLIN MN HENNEPIN 0335 PM 5.00 1 E CUMBERLAND WI BARRON 0205 PM 4.00 CLAYTON WI POLK 1230 PM 3.00 WNW FARIBAULT MN RICE 0112 PM 3.00 7 S HILLMAN MN MORRISON 1111 PM 0.90 ST CLOUD MN STEARNS 1159 PM 

 

 

 

Anatomy Of A Snowstorm. The University of Wisconsin CIMSS blog has a terrific satellite loop showing the evolution of yesterday's snowstorm. It took a perfect track for heavy snow, from Des Moines to Eau Claire - far enough east to prevent warm air from mixing in from the east and changing precipitation over to rain/sleet.

 

 

 

Sunday Surface Map. Don't panic - the red dots symbolize areas of "IFR" flight rules with low visibilities and low ceiling (cloud heights). The snow has already shifted north into Ontario and I don't expect any additional accumulation today.

 

 

 

Flashback. Here was Saturday afternoon's surface map - showing a relatively narrow (north-south oriented) band of heavy snow setting up over eastern and portions of central Minnesota. Take a careful look - warm air had completely wrapped around the storm (it was raining over most of Lake Superior!) with just enough cold air in place over Minnesota for mostly-snow. A snowstorm is a fragile dance, a delicate balance of cold air and southern moisture. Too much of either ruins the recipe and either a). pushes the track too far south/east (in the case of too much cold air) or b) sparks a changeover to rain/ice - which kills final snowfall amounts (in the case of too much southern moisture/warmth). Yesterday - for a rare, fleeting, 18 hours - the balance was PERFECT over the Twin Cities.

 

Safest Way To Spend A Saturday? Emmet Rice (age 11) showed good form doing a little shredding at Pearl Park in South Minneapolis Saturday, enjoying a fresh 9-10" snowfall. Yesterday's storm sparked over 400 traffic accidents across Minnesota - power outages affected at least 150,000 people for a time Saturday, the result of heavy, wet snow piling up on tree limbs and powerlines. USA Today has more on yesterday's snow blitz here.

 

 

Snowpack Temperatures. If there's less snow in your yard now than there was 24 hours ago, blame (or thank) soil temperatures. Keep in mind we had 4 days/row above 60 early last week, close to 70 on Wednesday! Ground temperatures are still milder than average - some of yesterday's snow melted on contact, and that melting continued (from below) after the snow fell. The peril's of an early-season snowfall coming immediately after a prolonged spell of Indian Summer - harder to keep the snow on the ground! NOAA's National Snow Analyses is here.

 

 

Cold Turkey! Enjoy this relatively mild weather - because long-range computer guidance is hinting at a taste of January Thanksgiving week. Highs may be stuck in the 20s, lows dipping into the teens - the GFS  model is even suggesting a few inches of snow Friday - Saturday, November 26-27. We'll see, but I don't see any signs of Indian Summer brewing anytime soon.

 

 

Saturday Slush-Fest. 1" of liquid precipitation in the Twin Cities translated into 7.9" of snow (officially at the airport - a new 24 hour snowfall record for November 13, old record 4" in 1997), but some 10-12" amounts were reported from Burnsville and Eden Prairie to Lake Forest. Because of melting that 7.9" had already shrunken to 5" on the ground by evening. Highs were stuck in the mid 30s statewide.


Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

 

TODAY: Flurries taper, peeks of sun, cool and damp. Much better travel. Winds: W 15. High: 36

 

SUNDAY NIGHT: Flurries wind down, partial clearing late. Low: 25

 

MONDAY: Partly sunny and dry. High: 37

 

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy - melting snow by afternoon. High: near 40

 

WEDNESDAY: Clouds, few flurries possible. High: 37

 

THURSDAY: Cool sun, light winds - good travel conditions. High: 32

 

FRIDAY: Getting sunnier, cool wind. High: 35

 

SATURDAY: More clouds than sun, still quiet. High: 36

 

Digging Out

 

Dear diary: it actually "snowed" in the Twin Cities yesterday; a big, heaping pile of cold, cement-like slush, a cool 8-12" of white frosting, the biggest pre-Thanksgiving snow in 19 years. We got a little of our Minnesota Mojo back this weekend.

 

Fire up the snow-blowers, snowmobiles and sleds - today will be a great day to play in the snow; travel conditions slowly improving as temperatures thaw into the mid & upper 30s, roads in pretty good shape for Monday's commute. It was (for many) "The Perfect Storm", coming on a weekend, when most of us could snub the new & improved Crosstown Expressway and enjoy the winter wonderland emerging outside our windows. There's nearly 1.5" of liquid water tied up in that snow-pack, heavy enough to snap tree limbs - but snow lovers finally have something to celebrate.

 

"Americans are too preoccupied with inches, and technology doesn't allow us to get that precise," my favorite professor warned. He suggested the "nuisance/plowable/crippling" scale which I use to this day.<p>No more big storms are brewing, but long-range models hint at a cold smack in time for Thanksgiving week, highs stuck in the 20s to near 30. So much for Indian Summer.

 

 

Snow Extremes In The Twin Cities. If you like snow you may get a (small) kick out of this link from the MN State Climate Office - which delves into snowy extremes for MSP: maximum snow depth, most snow from a single storm, earliest & latest snowfalls, etc. You'll be a ton of fun at the next party.