Snow Totals From Our Weekend Storm

As the umpteenth snowstorm this winter hit the region this weekend, the heaviest snow ended up hitting parts of western Minnesota. The highest total reported was 15" near Pelican Rapids and in Herman. A 13" total was also reported in Detroit Lakes.

Overall snow totals were decreased in the metro due to a period of rain Saturday afternoon, but a few 6"+ totals were reported in the north and west metro including 7" near Otsego, 6.9" at NWS Chanhassen, 6.8" in Oak Grove, and 6.5" in Rogers. The official total at MSP airport was 4.7" of snow. Up toward St. Cloud, officially 7.5" fell at the airport, but there was a 10" report east-southeast of St. Joseph and 9.4" south-southwest of Paynesville.

When we take a look at the snow that fell strickly Saturday, 2.9" fell at MSP (with a total of 0.57" of liquid precipitation combined between the rain and snow that fell). Meanwhile, 5.4" of snow fell in St. Cloud with 7" even in Brainerd. Record snow fell in Fargo, Aberdeen, and Bismarck, with at least 9" of snow in each of those three locations.

 
The 4.7" of snow this weekend at MSP airport brings the monthly total up to 10.3" of snow, 6.2" above average through the date. As my colleague Todd Nelson noted in yesterday's blog, March is typically the third snowiest month in the Twin Cites with an average of 10.3" of snow falling - therefore we are already at average for the month only a third of the way through the month. Snow totals for the month are already over a foot out in Aberdeen, and over 11" closer to home in St. Cloud.

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Warm Mid-Week System Expected

As another storm system moves into the central United States and Great Lakes during the middle of the week, we are anticipating another round of precipitation across the state. This one is coming with a warm surge of air, however, and it looks like most of the precipitation in the Twin Cities could be in the form of rain. The heaviest rain would be expected Wednesday into Wednesday Night across southern Minnesota. Meanwhile, some heavy snow will be possible with this system from Nebraska into the Dakotas, across the Red River Valley, into northwestern Minnesota.

 
Looking at potential rainfall totals, at least 1-2" of precipitation is possible in the mid-week time frame in the Twin Cities, with some of the heaviest falling Wednesday into Wednesday Night. Again enough warm air will be in place where this should mostly be in the form of rain, but some of the precipitation at the beginning and end of this storm could be in the form of a mix of rain and snow or just all snow. Maybe up to an inch or so of snow accumulation would be possible in the Twin Cities, mainly as precipitation ends Thursday Night into Friday.
 
One thing to note this week is the flood threat. Now is a good time to make sure any storm drains are cleared from snow and ice, otherwise with 1-2" of rain possible this week along with additional melting snow some street and urban flooding would be possible. Small streams are also likely to see rises this week.

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Big Melt Now In Sight: Flood Risk Rising
By Paul Douglas

Who knew you could mount a plow on the front of a Lamborghini? The guy who plows my driveway is having a good winter. Local body shops are breaking out the bubbly. Buy one dent, get one free? I'm happy for Minnesota snow lovers, who finally got to enjoy a no-apology winter.

The jumbo glacier in my yard doesn't looks quite permanent, but after a quiet Monday The Big Melt commences tomorrow and accelerates midweek, as rain falls on stubborn snow pack. Models print out nearly 1 inch of rain on the metro by Thursday; maybe 1.5 to 2 inches for southwest Minnesota.

Nighttime temperatures dip below freezing the next 2 weeks, which temporarily slows the snow melt. But I don't want to sugarcoat this: the risk of major flooding on our streams and rivers is very high, and increasing over time.

3-6 inches of liquid water in the snow, deep frost, and saturated soil provides ammunition for severe run-off. Street flooding may become an issue by midweek, but big rivers won't crest for another 4-6 weeks.

Probably not 1965-bad, but bad enough.

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Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: Sunny, less wind. High 30. Low 18. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind W 5-10 mph.
TUESDAY: Light rain and drizzle arrives. High 40. Low 37. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind S 10-15 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Rain may be heavy at times. High 46. Low 38. Chance of precipitation 100%. Wind E 15-25 mph.
THURSDAY: Rain mixes with wet snow late. High 32. Low 26. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, few passing flurries. High 31. Low 16. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NW 10-15 mph.
SATURDAY: Plenty of sunshine, quite pleasant. High 36. Low 19. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind W 8-13 mph.
SUNDAY: Blue sky, quiet weekend. High 40. Low 21. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind W 8-13 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
March 11th

2009: Cold conditions arrive, with a new record for the lowest maximum temperature in St. Cloud for this date. The high temperature in St. Cloud was only 4 degrees, which broke the previous record lowest maximum temperature of 5 degrees that was set in 1948.

1878: Lake Minnetonka becomes ice-free due to one of the warmest winters on record.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
March 11th

Average High: 39F (Record: 66F set in 2016)
Average Low: 22F (Record: -27F set in 1948)
Average Precipitation: 0.05" (Record: 1.30" set in 1990)
Average Snow: 0.4" (Record: 8.2" in 1962)

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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
March 11th

Sunrise: 7:33 AM
Sunset: 7:13 PM

*Length Of Day: 11 hours, 40 minutes and 23 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~3 minute and 8 seconds
*When Will We See 12 Hours Of Daylight? March 18th (12 hours, 2 minutes, and 27 seconds)
*Next Sunrise At/Before 7:30 AM: March 13th (7:29 AM)
*Next Sunset At/After 7:30 PM: March 24th (7:30 PM)

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Minnesota Weather Outlook

Sunny skies (and no snow!!) is expected across the state Monday, with highs in the 20s for most locations. A few 30s will be possible across southwestern Minnesota.

These highs on Monday will be 5-15F degrees below average across most of the state. The average high for March 11th in the Twin Cities is 39F.

Monday will be the coolest day of the work week in the Twin Cities, as highs will climb back into the 30s on Tuesday. A surge of warm air will pop temperatures into the 40s Wednesday and Thursday, with the warmest day expected to be Wednesday. Lows could even stay above freezing through this time period before cooling back down below freezing by Friday morning. Cooler temperatures with highs in the 20s and low 30s are expected next weekend.

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National Weather Forecast

On Monday, a stalled out front will create showers and storms along the Gulf Coast to the South Central region. An area of low pressure will also allow some rain across the Desert Southwest. A few lake-enhanced snow showers will be possible in the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, a new front approaching the Pacific Northwest will cause rain and snow across the region.

Through Tuesday evening, at least 1" of precipitation will be possible in parts of the Pacific Northwest, the Southwest, and in the southern Plains.

Here's a look at the expected seven-day precipitation across the lower 48 through next Sunday morning. A mid-week system will produce heavy rain from Texas into the upper Midwest as well as across parts of the Southeast, with the potential of at least 1.5-2" of rain expected.

The heaviest snow through 7 PM Tuesday will be in some of the western mountain ranges, where at least a foot of snow will be possible in parts of the Cascades and Rockies.

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California's 2018 Was the Worst Ever Recorded for Wildfires

More from Earther: "California’s 2018 is officially the worst year for wildfires in recorded state history, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday, citing the National Interagency Coordination Center’s year-end statistical analysis. The 1.8 million acres of California land that burned last year was more than any other state in 2018, and it far surpassed 2017's tally of 1.3 million acres in California. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean confirmed to the Times that the wildfires were unprecedented."

Drought-damaged hay causes cattle deaths

More from the Columbia Daily Tribune: "Hay and corn stunted by the harsh drought of 2018 are killing Missouri cattle.  A farmer in southwest Missouri laid out new forage for his herd of 70 cows and found 40 of them dead the next morning from nitrate poisoning, according to an MU Extension livestock specialist in Lawrence County.  University of Missouri scientists are aware of nearly 300 Missouri cows that have died from nitrate poisoning from drought-stunted forage this year. There haven’t been any cases in Cooper County that MU Extension livestock specialist Gene Schmitz is aware of, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened or that it won’t in the future."

'A lot at stake': indigenous and minorities sidelined on climate change fight

More from The Guardian: "Bernadette Demientieff, a representative for the indigenous Gwich’in nation, finds Washington DC anxiety-inducing, especially compared to the wide open spaces and tall mountains of Alaska.  She makes frequent trips to the US capital to fight oil drilling in what she considers sacred caribou calving grounds in the Arctic. But Demientieff is an outsider in the nation’s capital, where her concerns have fallen on deaf ears with the Trump administration. She’s also a bit of an outsider to the national environmental movement, too."

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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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From heavy snow to heavy rain in three days

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Flood Watch Issued For Street Flooding Threat This Week: 1"+ Rain May Fall