Blizzard Conditions Sunday
"Whiteout conditions will develop Saturday night and Sunday as winds increase to 40 or even 50 mph leading to widespread blowing snow. Please stay off the roads. If you must travel, bring a charged cell phone, warm clothes, and tell someone where you are going and when you arrive."
Here's the latest information from the National Weather Service regarding Sunday's Winter Storm:
...DANGEROUS WINTER STORM EXPECTED THROUGH SUNDAY...
"A strong system is expected through Sunday when accumulating snow plus blowing snow will impact travel, including blizzard conditions for much of southern and western Minnesota. "
"A Blizzard Warning is in effect through Sunday afternoon for most locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin south of I-94. This includes southern portions of the Twin Cities metro, away from more suburban areas. Within the Blizzard Warning, snow accumulations will range from 1 to 3 inches in the west near the South Dakota border to 6 to 8 inches along Interstate 35 and east. The snow is expected from late Saturday afternoon through the early morning hours Sunday, followed by strong winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts to near 50 mph for most of the day Sunday. This could lead to whiteout conditions, making travel very difficult or impossible in the open areas of western, central, and southern Minnesota, and far western Wisconsin. "
"A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through Sunday afternoon for St Croix, Barron, Rusk, Chippewa, and Eau Claire counties. Within the Winter Storm Warning, snow accumulations of 6 to 9 inches can be expected with localized higher amounts possible. The snow is expected Saturday evening through Sunday morning, followed by strong winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts to 40 mph for most of the day Sunday. This may produce areas of blowing and drifting snow, making travel difficult for portions of far southeastern Minnesota into west central Wisconsin. "
Weather Outlook Sunday
Here's a look at our latest winter storm, which will wrap up across the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Region through early Monday morning. Keep in mind that the heaviest snow will fall south and east of the Twin Cities metro, but that heaviest snow band will be responsible for a narrow band of 6" to 12"+ totals across northeastern Iowa, southeastern MN and into central Wisconsin. Snow amounts will drop off dramatically on the northwestern side of the storm, so within a 2 to 3 county wide span, snowfall amounts could range from just a couple/few inches to as much as 12"+ !! The other component to this storm is going to be the winds! Note in the weather loop below how tightly packed the blacks lines are. Those lines are called isobars and the closer those are together, the stronger the wind blows. This is an extremely intense storm, so winds will be very strong surrounding the center of this storm.
Here's the snowfall potential through Sunday, which shows a very narrow band of heavy snow across southeastern MN and into central Wisconsin. There will likely be 6" to 12"+ amounts within this band with snowfall amounts dropping off dramatically on the northwest side. The Twin Cities metro will be right on this sharp gradient, so amounts could range from 1" on the northwest side of the metro to as much as 6"+ on the southeast side of the metro!
Wind Gusts Sunday
Take a look at wind gusts across the region as we head into Sunday. This will be a very intense storm that will likely produce frequent wind gusts in the 30 to 45mph (or higher) range, which will then lead to widespread blowing and drifting snow. Keep in mind that will as much snow as we have around the region, widespread whiteout conditions can't be ruled out, especially outside of the Twin Cities metro!
Wind Outlook For Minneapolis on Sunday
Here's a look at the hour by hour wind forecast for Minneapolis on Sunday. The "pink" colors indicate sustained winds, which look to be in the 20-30mph range much of the day with frequent wind gusts (blue colors) in the 30-45mph range! Keep in mind that with as much snow as we have on the ground now, there will be A LOT of blowing and drifting snow, which will create poor visibility and driving conditions for much of the day Sunday, especially outside of the core of the Twin Cities metro and in more rural across across the southern half of Minnesota and into Wisconsin.
Sunday Weather Outlook
Here's a look at our Sunday weather and temperature outlook across the state. Note that high temps will range from the single digits across the northwestern part of the stateh to the 10s and 20s across the eastern part of the state. Note that these readings will be nearly -10F to -20F below average.
Here is the temperature outlook as we head through the rest of the month and into the first full week of March. Note that after a 'milder' Saturday, temps will take a BIG hit early next week. Highs on Monday will only warm into the single digits with overnight lows dropping into the sub-zero range once again! Keep in mind that our average high in the Twin Cities is now at the freezing mark (+32F), so we are going to be well below average. We may get back to near +20F again next weekend, but there appears to be another cold blast as we head into the first full week of March. Stay tuned!
Winter Severity Index
Wondering if this has been a bad winter or not? Well, let's consult the MNDNR State Climatology Office who has a running tally on how "severe" the winter has been thus far. Here's how it is measured:
"The Twin Cities Snow and Cold Index (SCI) is an attempt to weigh the relative severity of winter when compared with winters of the past. The SCI assigns single points for daily counts of maximum temperatures 10 degrees F or colder, and daily minimums of 0 degrees F or colder. If the minimum temperature drops to -20 degrees or colder greater, eight points are attributed to that day. Snowfall totals of one inch or greater in a day receive one point. Four-inch snowfalls generate four points for the day, an eight-inch snowfall receives a whopping 16 points. To quantify the duration of winter, one point is tallied for every day with a snow depth of 12 inches or greater."
Based on this information (thru February 12th), the Twin Cities has accumulated 103 points, which is considered to be a "moderate" winter. Keep in mind that these numbers haven't been updated since our record breaking February snow earlier this week, so the number will certainly be higher when the updated information comes out. By comparison:
"The SCI for the winter of 2013-14 in Twin Cities was 207 points, or in the high end of the "severe winter" category. This was the 9th most severe winter on record based on SCI points. The lowest SCI score was the winter of 2011-2012 with 16 points. The most severe winter is 1916-1917 with 305 SCI points."
Snowiest February on Record - AND Counting!
According to NOAA's GLERL, Lake Superior is nearly 80% covered in ice, which is greater than it was at this time last year and also in 2017. The last few weeks have really helped with significant ice growth over the Great Lakes region. Interestingly, the entire great lakes (as of February 22nd) was sitting at nearly 60% ice coverage, which is just slightly above the long-term average of 55%.
Here's a look at the temperature anomaly aross North America on Saturday, which showed cooler than average temps across much of the Western half of the country, while folks in the eastern half of the country were still enjoying warmer than average conditions.
"Phenology Report: February 12, 2019"
If you're interested in nature and how it relates to climate, you might like this. John Latimer is a Phenologist in central/northern Minnesota and has a weekly phenology report on KAXE. Here's what he has been observing.
"Phenology is the biological nature of events as they relate to climate. Every Tuesday morning, our resident Phenologist John Latimer gathers his phenological data and reports his findings in the weekly Phenology Report. In this week's report, return of gold finches,deep snow and an increase in sunlight resulting in changes in the colors of many trees including the speckled alder!"
Ice Safety Reminder
Blizzard Conditions Across Southern & Western MN
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas
UNCLE! OK, Mother Nature. I give up, you win! I said I'd be happy with a new February snowfall record and you delivered on that. This, on the other hand, is entirely too much!
Folks in Southeastern MN are waking up to another 6 to 10 inches (or more) of plowable snow this morning thanks to a powerful winter storm that will continue to intensify over the Great Lakes Region today. This impressive storm has a very large and intense wind field that stretches hundreds of miles from its core. Unfortunately for travelers, this is not good news.
Much of the state has a foot or more of fresh snow on the ground, some of which, will become airborne as wind gusts reach 40mph or higher through the day. Blizzard warnings are in effect until this evening for much of southern and western Minnesota, where travel is not advised!
Thankfully, winds won't be as strong tomorrow, but we'll have to face another Arctic slap with temps only warning into the single digits. Hey look, more snow Tuesday. Ugh!
DOUBLE UNCLE! MONKEY'S UNCLE. PLEASE, JUST STOP!
SUNDAY: Blizzard condition southern & western MN. Winds: WNW 25-45. High: 19 & falling.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Windy and cold with blowing snow. Winds: WNW 15-30. Low: -8. Wind Chill: -25F
MONDAY: Another Arctic slap. Less wind. Winds: NW 5-10. High: 5.
TUESDAY: Another snow chance, minor coating. Winds: ESE 5-10. Wake-up: -6. High: 13.
WEDNESDAY: AM flurries. More PM sun. Winds: WNW 7-12. Wake-up: 2. High: 14.
THURSDAY: Brighter skies. Snow develops at night. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: -2. High: 19.
FRIDAY: Meterological Spring begins! More snow. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 7. High: 22.
SATURDAY: Cold winds again. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 5. High: 15.
This Day in Weather History
1835: The temperature at Ft. Snelling falls 26 degrees in only three hours.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 32F (Record: 59F set in 1880)
Average Low: 16F (Record: -20F set in 1967)
Record Rainfall: 1.90" set in 1930
Record Snowfall: 4.8" set in 2007
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 54 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 2 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~2 hour and 8 minutes
Moon Phase for February 18th at Midnight
1.2 Days Before Last Quarter Moon
What's in the Night Sky?
According to EarthSky.org this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights:
"Tonight, at mid-northern latitudes, look for the brilliant star Arcturus to climb over your eastern horizon around 9 to 10 p.m. local time. That’s the approximate time on your clock, regardless of your longitude. South of the equator, this northerly star rises considerably later in the evening. Click here to know when Arcturus rises into your sky. Extend the natural arc of the Big Dipper handle to verify that you’ve found Arcturus. The Big Dipper can actually be seen from as far south as the tropical and subtropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere. However, the Big Dipper doesn’t reach its high point for the night in late February until an hour or two after the midnight hour."
7 Day Precipitation Potential
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation forecast shows heavy precipitation across the Tenessee Valley, which will cause more areas of flooding. There will also be areas of heavy precipitation that will develop in the Western US as another Pacific storm moves in.
"A recent analysis predicts that 40 percent of the world’s insect species could go extinct within the next few decades. The highest death tolls could be among butterflies, moths, bees and dung beetles. Conspicuously absent from that list are houseflies. Because they may actually do better in a hotter world. "Under a warming scenario you'd have a larger fly population which is able to hang around for a longer period of time." Amy Greer, an epidemiologist and mathematical modeler at the University of Guelph in Ontario. Plus, she says, flies are also more active when it's warm. Meaning more chances to land on your picnic dips."
"Earth may be 140 years away from reaching carbon levels not seen in 56 million years"
"Total human carbon dioxide emissions could match those of Earth's last major greenhouse warming event in fewer than five generations, new research finds. A new study finds humans are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate nine to 10 times higher than the greenhouse gas was emitted during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a global warming event that occurred roughly 56 million years ago."
Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX