Saturday Snow Recap

This is what all the fresh, new snow looked like on the North Shore of Lake Superior south of Two Harbors Sunday morning. Thanks to friend and colleague Todd Nelson for the photo!

Of course, we had a round of heavy snow across the state Saturday into early Sunday. Here were some of the totals reported:

  • 12.8" - Near Grand Marais
  • 10.7" Hovland
  • 10" - Near Arnold, West Duluth and Finland
  • 7.2" - NWS Duluth
  • 6.0" - MSP Airport and St. Cloud

Zooming into the Twin Cities, the heaviest snow (6-7") fell mainly across parts of the western and northern metro, with less snow as you head south and east.

The 6.0" of snow that fell in the Twin Cities Saturday set a new record for the day, beating the previous record of 4.8" back in 2007. The snow depth shown above was as of Saturday morning. This brings the month-to-date snow total to just shy of 16", and snow for the entire snow season up to 43.4".

This map shows just the snow that fell Saturday at long-term climate sites across the state. While the Twin Cities did see that record snow with 6" falling, both St. Cloud and Duluth also saw at least 6" of snow before midnight Sunday morning but did not set records.

This marks the end of a snowy few days across the Twin Cities. We also saw 5.6" of snow fall Thursday into Friday with a different system that moved through. Add that together with 0.8" of snow last Monday and 0.3" last Tuesday brings the Twin Cities a seven day snow total of 12.7" - the snowiest consecutive seven days so far this winter in the Twin Cities. The previous - 12.5" - fell between January 22-28, with 12.4" of that falling on the 22nd alone.

Here's a look at all the snow across the state over the past seven days - quite snowy, especially as you head north!

This snow we saw Saturday also brought the snow season to 43.4" and above average for the first time this snow season.

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An Above Average Week - Highs In The 30s & 40s
By D.J. Kayser, filling in for Paul Douglas

Congratulations - you just made it through the snowiest seven day period so far this winter! The Twin Cities airport received 6.0” of snow Saturday, setting a new daily snowfall record. That snow, in combination with additional snow we received last week, including 5.6" last Thursday-Friday, brings the seven day snow total to 12.7" at the Twin Cities airport. The previous snowiest week so far this winter was January 22-28, when 12.5” of snow fell.

Now that we have the snow, you might want to go out and enjoy it while you can as we’ll have plenty of opportunities to melt some of it away this week. Highs will be above average this week, climbing into the upper 30s to low 40s.

If you are looking for more precipitation, though, I do have at least a couple of chances of that this week. The first - Wednesday Night into Thursday – will start out as rain and change over to snow through the overnight hours. A second chance of rain/snow moves in toward the second half of next weekend.

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Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: Sunny and nice! High 39. Low 22. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind S 5-10 mph.
TUESDAY: Increasing clouds. High 40. Low 21. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind W 5-10 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Mainly cloudy. Late day rain/snow. High 40. Low 27. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NE 3-8 mph.
THURSDAY: Morning snow. Windy. High 39. Low 21. Chance of precipitation 50%. Wind N 10-15 mph.
FRIDAY: A few passing clouds. High 38. Low 20. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind N 5-10 mph.
SATURDAY: Winds pick up. Increasing PM clouds. High 40. Low 28. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 10-15 mph.
SUNDAY: Another rain/snow chance. High 39. Low 27. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
February 26th

1996: A bolt of lightning from a snowstorm causes an explosion at a fireworks storage site in Milaca. One employee was injured and several homes in the area were damaged. An eight foot crater was all that remained where the storage site had been.

1971: Extremely low pressure moves across Minnesota. The Twin Cities had a barometer reading of 28.77 inches and Duluth beat that with 28.75. Freezing rain and snow hit northern Minnesota, dumping up to 18 inches of snow in some areas. Areas around Virginia, MN were without power for 5 days.

1896: A balmy high of 60 degrees is reported at Maple Plain. The warm weather hampered the annual ice cutting on Lake Independence to store for summer use.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
February 26th

Average High: 33F (Record: 64F set in 1896)
Average Low: 17F (Record: -21F set in 1897)
Average Precipitation: 0.04" (Record: 0.83" set in 1873)
Average Snow: 0.3" (Record: 7.0" set in 1936)

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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
February 26th

Sunrise: 6:55 AM
Sunset: 5:56 PM

*Length Of Day: 11 hours, 0 minutes and 35 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~3 minutes and 4 seconds

*Sunrises After 7 AM Begin Again March 11th (7:32 AM) Due To Daylight Saving Time
*Next Sunset at/after 6 PM: March 1st (6:00 PM)

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Minnesota Weather Outlook

Nice weather is expected across the state Monday with a mix of clouds and sun. Highs will be in the 30s across the state, approaching the low 40s in spots.

These highs Monday will be above average by a good 5-15 degrees.

Above average temperatures will continue this week into at least early next week, with highs in the upper 30s to low 40s.

We don't have many snow chances in the forecast. Wednesday Night into Thursday will bring a chance of rain and snow to the region. Another rain/snow chance is in the forecast for late next weekend.

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National Weather Forecast

A slow-moving front will bring showers and storms from the Mid-Atlantic to the Gulf Coast Monday. Rain and snow will continue to impact parts of the western U.S., including Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Ohio Valley will see high pressure and a chance to dry out from recent heavy rain.

Above average highs are expected across the eastern two-thirds of the country Monday, with below average highs across the west.

More heavy rain is expected in parts of the Southern United States in the next five days, especially as we head toward midweek. We will have to see how this impacts any ongoing flooding across the region. Heavy precipitation is also expected to continue out west as we head through the next five days.

The heaviest snow through Tuesday evening will be across portions of the west, where up to two feet of snow could fall at higher elevations.

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Central United States Heavy Rain Event

Very heavy rain has fallen across parts of the central United States over the past week. Numerous totals of 6"+ have been reported, and this estimated precipitation graphic (via AerisWeather and NOAA data) shows over a foot of rain in parts of Arkansas. Here is the highest total reported in each state that had at least one report of 10"+ according to the Weather Prediction Center:

  • 12.55" near Caddo Gap (AR)
  • 11.65" near Haworth (OK)
  • 10.11" in Toco (TX).

First Tornado Fatalities Since May

Until Saturday, we had went 283 days without a tornado-related death - the longest in recorded history. Unfortunately, that streak has likely come to an end as multiple fatalities are being blamed on severe weather Saturday. More from The Weather Channel: "Two deaths have been blamed on reported tornadoes Saturday in Arkansas and Kentucky, possibly ending a record-long streak with no twister-related deaths in the United States.  National Weather Service surveys will determine whether tornadoes are responsible for damage and separate deaths near Dot, Kentucky, and Knobel, Arkansas. If confirmed, these would be the first tornado fatalities in the U.S. since May 16, 2017."

GOES-S To Launch This Week

Why are meteorologists excited about this satellite? More from Earther: "Our benign version of Skynet is about to be one step closer to completion. A new weather satellite is set to launch next Thursday courtesy of NASA and a Atlas V rocket. It will provide some of the most detailed imagery of the western U.S. as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific region ever captured from space. The satellite, dubbed GOES-S, will be the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) latest next generation weather satellite to keep an eye on the atmosphere. For meteorologists, it’s a huge asset to improve forecasting and a real opportunity to save lives. For the average person, it’s a chance to marvel at the beauty of our planet from 22,000 miles above the surface." (Image: Technicians and engineers move GOES-S into a clean room for further processing. Photo: NASA/Leif Heimbold)

A Dry February In California

It could be one of the driest February's in California history this year - which has fears of drought quickly creeping in once again. More from the Los Angeles Times: "California is headed to a dry finish to February, historically one of the state's wettest months.The state has been getting cold storms in recent days, which have been responsible for plunging temperatures, but the systems have been dry because they've been coming inland, from Canada, instead of over the Pacific Ocean, where they can soak up moisture."The West Coast is under what we call the Arctic Express — and so it's cold, but it's dry," climatologist Bill Patzert said. "Whether it's warm or cold, the rain story is the same, and here in Southern California, there's been scattered showers, but downtown L.A. hasn't seen more than a trace."

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Thanks for checking in and have a great Monday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 - D.J. Kayser

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