6 more weeks of winter
By Paul Douglas
I fear Punxetawney Phil is near-sighted, suffering from a touch of east coast liberal media bias. Gazing at my maps I'm fairly sure Minnesota will enjoy 6 more weeks of winter.
Much of America is experiencing a mild winter; subzero air brushing only the far northern tier of the USA in recent weeks. A thaw is possible Tuesday, again Saturday, with 30s a few days next week. Progress. Another icy surge comes charging south the third week of February, but with a rising sun angle it can't get as cold, for as long, as it did in January.
What happened to "it's too cold to snow Paul?" In truth it can snow at any temperature colder than 32 F. But when readings are in single digits it means the main storm track is pushed too far south for it to snow MUCH.
Don't underestimate Alberta Clippers, spaced about 24-36 hours apart. When it's this chilly snowflakes puff up, like feathers in a down comforter. That can mean a quick inch or two of fluff. Warm tires melt the snow, which instantly re-freezes into glaze ice. The colder the snow, the tougher it is on your commute.
Models are hinting at a heavier (wetter) snow next Sunday. Circle your calendar. I'm not holding my breath just yet.
Todd's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
MONDAY: Icy start, some midday clearing before next clipper arrives. High: 15.
MONDAY NIGHT: Light snow develops late. Low: 10
TUESDAY: Light snow continues early, another 1" possible. Some afternoon sun and warmer. High: 30
WEDNESDAY: Fading sun. Light snow late, mainly north. Wake-up: 15. High: 28
THURSDAY: Lingering clouds. Wake-up: 20. High: 28
FRIDAY: More sun, feeling better out there. Wake-up: 17. High: 30
Saturday: Wintry mix develops. Wake-up: 19. High: 32.
Sunday: Snow possible. Wake-up: 26. High: 32.
WOW! What a picture! Thanks to Steve Burns for the picture below out of Minneapolis, MN. That's a Halo, which is the reflection of the sun from millions/billions of tiny ice crystals suspended high in the atmosphere. The adage "Ring around the moon or sun, then rain or snow will surely come" held true in this instance as light snow has been falling with each passing clipper system since last Friday.
Wintry Weather Early Monday
A fast moving clipper system will roll through Minnesota PM Sunday - AM Monday with more light snow. The fluff will make for an interesting AM Monday commute.
Clipper #1 Thru Early AM Monday
The image below (Clipper #1) will actually be clipper #3 since last Friday. Snowfall amount with the said system are expected to be a little higher thru Monday from La Crosse, WI to Chicago, IL. Isolated 3" to 6" can't be ruled out there! This system will keep your AM Monday commute could be a little on the icy side!
Clipper #2 PM Monday Thru Tuesday
I feel like I'm living the movie "Groundhog Day" - it has snowed every day since Friday and I don't see it stopping (potentially) until Friday! Clipper #2 will move in late Monday and wrap up sometime Tuesday with another shot of light snow accumulations across central Minnesota. The potential total from both clippers is reflected in the image below. Don't put away the shovels or leaf blowers just yet!
(yes that's my leaf blower and yes I cleaned driveway with it Friday... probably the highlight of 2013!)
Extended Snow Potential
Here is the 5 day snow potential from the GFS. While it may not show the most accurate amounts, it shows where snow will be limited to. A persistent northwesterly (colder) flow will keep the snow threat around the Great Lakes through much of the week.
Bigger System Next Weekend
The storm system late next weekend is one that we'll have to watch. Not only for the potential of heavier snow accumulations across the Upper Midwest, but also for the potential of severe weather. The image below is the ECMWF (Euro) model for late next weekend/early nextt week.
Bambi Cam ?
I happened to stumble on this near realtime webcam out of Ely, MN on Sunday. I couldn't believe it when I saw 5 deer hanging out at the watercooler!
Thanks for checking in and have a great week ahead!
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