Dwindling Snowpack

I stepped outside on Sunday and was struck by the lack of snow on the ground in my yard. There sure are a lot of bare spots out there, especially since it's still January! There was 1" of snow on the ground (officially) at the Minneapolis Airport on Sunday morning. At this time last year, there was 13" of snow on the ground! Interestingly, there was no snow on the ground (officially) on January 26th, 2013.

Hype-Worthy Storm
By Paul Douglas

Here's a poorly guarded secret. Meteorologists tend to hype storms. Why? Well, it makes us feel important - and it gives us something to point to on our colorful maps. And (most) people are more forgiving if there's less snow than predicted. God help you if you predict a dusting and the town wakes up to a foot of flurries. That's the original meteorological sin. Sadly, if you added up all the PREDICTED snow over the years we'd be tunneling out from under another ice age by now.

14 of the 15 warmest years on record have been observed since 2000. An estimated 93 percent of the extra warmth is going into the world's oceans. Gulf stream water east of New Jersey is 10-15F warmer than normal for late January, adding fuel to an historic blizzard winding up from New York to Boston. 1-3 feet of snow, 50 mph winds, 5 to 10 foot drifts, power outages and coastal flooding; this will be an epic storm.

While we stare out at brown lawns and dripping icicles: 40s into midweek, then 30 degrees colder Super Bowl Sunday. But mild, Pacific air dominates into early February.

The last time we saw 40s in January? 2012. That was the year flowers were blooming by late March. Will history repeat?

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SUNDAY NIGHT: Clouds thicken again, light snow chance late. Low: 21. Winds: Turning S 5-10.

MONDAY: Light wintry mix early. Mostly cloudy, mild again. High: 41. Winds: SSW 10-15.

MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Low: 27. Winds: NW 5-10.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny, feels like March. High: 42

WEDNESDAY: What January? Mild spike. Late day rain shower possible Wake-up: 29. High: 43

THURSDAY: Passing flurries, turning colder. Wake-up: 28. High: 33

FRIDAY: Fading sun, closer to average. Wake-up: 21. High: 28

SATURDAY: Arctic winds, sharply colder! Wake-up: 16. High: 18.

SUNDAY: Super blue sky. Deflated temps. Wake-up: -2. High: 9

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This Day in Weather History
January 26th

1916: Severe ice storm hits Mower County. Hundreds of birds killed.

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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
January 26th

Average High: 24F (Record: 47F set in 1934)
Average Low: 8F (Record: -23F set in 1950)

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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
January 26th

Sunrise: 7:39am
Sunset: 5:12pm

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Moon Phase for January 26th at Midnight
First Quarter

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Minneapolis Temperature Trend

Weather conditions close to home will stay on the mild side over the next several days. In fact, temperatures may sneak up into the 40s a couple of times this week! We're still getting indications of a bigger cool down by the end of the week/weekend...

Monday Weather Outlook

Temperatures on Monday will be a little warmer than Sunday. Readings will get back to near 40F in the Twin Cities with a few locations in southwest MN nearing 50F! A slight breeze will make it feel a little cooler (image on right).

Monday Weather Outlook

Another clipper system will slide through the region late Sunday through Monday. The best chance of snow accumulations will be across the Arrowhead of Minnesota and into northern Wisconsin.

Another Day Another Clipper

Another fast moving clipper is set to move through the region late Sunday/Monday with a light wintry mix and a light snow accumulation. The best chance for snow accumulations would be across the Arrowhead of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.

Clipper Snow Potential

Here's a look the snow potential through early next week... There may be some light shoveling duties across the Arrowhead and northern Wisconsin. The Twin Cities looks to miss out on anything substantial.

National Weather Outlook

The clipper system that missed us (Twin Cities) on Saturday night/early Sunday is set to become a major winter storm on the East Coast! Watch how the system transitions from a clipper to a full blown mature storm in the Northeast.

National Weather Outlook

Here's another animation of the storm system that will be rapidly intensifying near the Northern New England States.

Northeast Snowfall

The accumulating snow potential turns from a shovelable event to a crippling event as the storm curls northeast towards the Northern New England States. There's a fairly large swath of 1ft to nearly 2ft. from Long Island, NY to northern Maine!

Winter Weather Headlines

There are a number of winter weather headlines that have been issued from the Ohio Valley to the Northern New England States. Note the strip of red (blizzard warnings) that have been issued from eastern New Jersey to eastern Maine... The blizzard warning includes New York and Boston!

Blizzard Potential Index

Here's a look at the Blizzard Potential Index... It takes a look at the blizzard criteria (snow and winds of 35mph for at least 3 hours) and puts it into a color scheme. Anything that is orange/red is quite impressive. Note that these colors become more intense over Long Island to Boston to Maine... it could get pretty interesting!

BPI: Hour by Hour

Here's what the Blizzard Potential Index looks like hour by hour...

Boston: Calm Before the Storm...

This was the view from Boston Colleges' O'Neill Plaza from Sunday afternoon. This was after the 5.1" that fell (officially) in Boston on Saturday... Weather conditions will sour through the day on Monday with the worst of the upcoming winter storm heading in Monday Night/Tuesday.

Take a look at the latest LIVE webcam from Boston College HERE:

Boston Snow Potential

According to the National Weather Service out of Boston, this is the most likely snow scenario for the region. Note that many locations could see 1ft. to 3ft !

...A CRIPPLING AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC BLIZZARD TO IMPACT THE AREA MAINLY FROM LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY...LINGERING INTO EARLY WEDNESDAY...

...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM MONDAY TO 1 AM EST WEDNESDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM MONDAY TO 1 AM EST WEDNESDAY. THE BLIZZARD WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * LOCATIONS...EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN MASSACHUSETTS AS WELL AS ALL OF RHODE ISLAND. * HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW...STRONG WINDS AND BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. STRONG TO DAMAGING WINDS. * ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AROUND 20 TO 30 INCHES... WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. SNOWFALL RATES OF 2 TO 4 INCHES AN HOUR AT TIMES. * TIMING...WHILE THE STORM IS EXPECTED LATE MONDAY LINGERING INTO EARLY WEDNESDAY...THE WORST OF THE STORM WILL BE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON. * IMPACTS...HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS WILL RESULT IN WHITE-OUT / BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WITH NEAR ZERO VISIBILITY. TRAVEL WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE AND LIFE THREATENING ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION. ALSO SNOW MAY BE WET ENOUGH TO RESULT IN DOWNED TREE LIMBS AND POWER OUTAGES IN ADDITION TO THE WINDS. * WINDS...NORTH-NORTHEAST 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 65 TO 75 MPH. THE HEIGHT OF THE WINDS WILL BE LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE ACROSS THE COASTAL AREAS. * VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.

New York: Calm Before the Storm

Thanks to EarthCam.com for the picture/webcam below. Here's Lady Liberty on a late Sunday afternoon before the storm. Things could get a little wild early this week!

See the latest EarthCam webcam HERE:

NYC Snow Potential

2ft to 3ft?? According to the NWS out of New York, this is the 'most likely scenario' - YIKES!!

Here's the latest from the NWS New York:

...CRIPPLING AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC BLIZZARD TO IMPACT THE AREA FROM LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY...

...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW YORK HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT. THE BLIZZARD WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * LOCATIONS...NEW YORK CITY AND SURROUNDING IMMEDIATE SUBURBS...LONG ISLAND...AND MOST OF SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT. * HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WITH BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. * ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 20 TO 30 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. SNOWFALL RATES OF 2 TO 4 INCHES PER HOUR EXPECTED LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY MORNING. * WINDS...NORTH 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS 55 TO 65 MPH...STRONGEST ACROSS EASTERN LONG ISLAND. * VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES. * TEMPERATURES...IN THE LOWER 20S. * TIMING...LIGHT SNOW WILL BEGIN MONDAY MORNING...WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES POSSIBLE BY THE EVENING RUSH. SNOW WILL PICK UP IN INTENSITY MONDAY EVENING...WITH THE HEAVIEST SNOW AND STRONGEST WINDS FROM ABOUT MIDNIGHT MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY AFTERNOON. * IMPACTS...LIFE-THREATENING CONDITIONS AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TRAVEL DUE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG WINDS...WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS. SECONDARY AND TERTIARY ROADS MAY BECOME IMPASSABLE. STRONG WINDS MAY DOWN POWER LINES AND TREE LIMBS.

Blizzard Potential for the Northeast Remains High!

Here's a look at what folks along the Eastern Seaboard could be dealing with late Monday/early Tuesday... At this time, the center of the storm is expected to be offshore (just south of Cape Cod). This will help to keep temperatures colder inland and likely in the form of snow. Note the lines of equal air pressure (black lines) - due to a VERY tight pressure gradient, the winds are expected to be quite extreme with some wind gusts up to 60mph! Heavy snow and strong winds will create blizzard conditions for a large area!

Significant Winds

As the storm system intensifies offshore, wind speeds will begin to increase significantly. Note that by 10am Tuesday, winds along the coast could be gusting upwards of 40mph to 60mph! With heavy snow and strong winds, blizzard conditions will be a major concern!

Thanks for checking in, have a great week ahead! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TnelsonWX.

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Gentle January Continues

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More March than January - Freeze/Thaw Cycle Creating Problems