Midday Update: Big North-South Variation In Tuesday PM Snowfall
November 4, 2013 — 2:01pm
On Edge. Here is the 12z 4km NAM solution, showing potential snow amounts across central and southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Note the sharp gradient from north to south, maybe 1-2" for the northern suburbs, as much as 3-6" in the central core of the metro, with some 5-8" amounts not out of the question far southern suburbs, closer to 10" from Redwood Falls to Le Center and Northfield with up to a foot from north of Rochester to near Eau Claire. We'll see, but I want to stress a few variables that will keep amounts down slight: ground temperatures are still mild, after a few days of 40s and 50s. So snow will initially melt on contact during the late afternoon hours. Precipitation will start out as rain, and the strongest vertical velocities with this system may slide just south of MSP. Bottom line: probably plowable Tuesday PM (especially south metro), but hardly Snowmageddon! Map: NOAA and Ham Weather.
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It can always be worse. Yesterday was blustery and raw - classic fall weather, but on this date in 1820 pioneers at Fort Snelling we digging out from 11" of snow. That's what COULD be happening in mid-October. Winds ease up a bit today with cool sunshine, but another cold front is brewing for Thursday - setting the stage for a widespread frost/freeze Saturday morning. We've been blessed, it's been a nice, long, luxurious weather honeymoon. It's time.
Live long enough and you'll see (almost) everything, right? Even temperatures a few degrees shy of 100F on October 11. El Nino? Global warming? The heat blob in the Pacific? Good luck pinning down a direct cause, but there's little doubt that temperatures will trend milder than average this week, possibly into much of next week as well. And there's no question today will be a very bad hair day as winds gust over 40 mph - a taste of the October we all know and love.
You may have a brief out-of-body-experience today as temperatures top 80F; one more look at the calendar on your phone to make sure it really is October 11. Enjoy the odd, late-season hot front, because October returns tomorrow on 40 mph winds. No big storms, nothing controversial, not yet, but a minor reality check is on the way this week.
Friday was a supreme disappointment....clouds lingered, keeping temperatures cooler than predicted. But it didn't snow...or hail...pretty much a typical October day. The sun should stay out most of today with 70s likely; you'll swear it's August tomorrow with low to mid 80s - pretty remarkable considering the sun will be as high in the sky Sunday as it was back on March 1. Monday will feel like a cool, heavy-handed slap across the face as Canadian air returns. Not exactly a cold front, more of a minor reality check.
So this is what a "cool front" feels like! Soak up the fleeting taste of October this morning, because you'll be tempted to try on the shorts one more time this weekend, especially Sunday. 80s in mid-October? Why not. Gives us all something to chat about...