Not Exactly Snowmageddon: Quick Burst of Slush Overnight (1-2" north metro; 3-4" south metro)
November 5, 2013 — 4:16pm
Not Exactly Snowmageddon. Temperatures (air and ground) are simply too warm for a huge, snowy dumping. It's not going to happen. Here's 4 km NAM data with our own algorithms for conversion from rain to snow, showing a sharp north-south gradient in snowfall amounts across the area. I expect an inch or so from Willmar to Medina and Anoka, maybe 2" from Chaska and Minnetonka to Minneapolis and Shoreview, as much as 3" of slush for St. Paul and Mendota Heights, maybe 3-4" from Lakeville to Woodbury and Cottage Grove. A few spots in Scott and Dakota county could wind up with 5" of sloppy snow, but after melting and compaction of this (heavy/wet) snow it may wind up being closer to 3" actually on your lawn. I expect wake-up temperatures around 31-32F early Wednesday, so there may be some slushy/slick roads, but I expect MnDOT to keep the freeways mostly-wet overnight. Slow, yes, but hardly a worst-case scenario. Again, road conditions will get trickier as you head south of the Minnesota River later tonight and early Wednesday, but even there it will be borderline "plowable". Any snow in your yard should be gone by Thursday, Friday at the latest as temperatures rise into the mid-40s.
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Let. It. Snow. Old Man Winter will assist you in your attempt to get into the holiday spirit over the next 36 hours with a long-duration period of wet snow. Roads will be mainly wet today, but snow will start to stick on area highways by late afternoon; by tomorrow it will actually look like winter out there. About time.
Shocking: meteorologists actually have something to do, which may be an anomaly in this El Nino-warmed winter that's setting up. A surge of southern moisture will spark steady, slushy snow - resembling something we might experience in March vs. December. By the time the flakes stop flying late Tuesday much of the area will have 5-8", a few towns may boast up to 10" of heavy, wet snow. Hey, it's winter in Minnesota. It's supposed to snow!
Well this is unusual: a risk of an actual "storm"? I'm sorry, an inch of snow in late November doesn't qualify. But a slow-moving surge of moisture approaching from the south may drop enough snow to shovel and plow late Monday into midday Tuesday. It's still premature to lob around inch-amounts, but on our (patented) scale from nuisance to plowable to crippling this could definitely wind up in the plowable category. Stay tuned...
Well, we had our Thanksgiving excitement: 1.3" of slush at MSP International Airport; more south and east, less north and west. Just enough to remind us that the start of meteorological winter is a few days away. On paper. There still isn't much in the way of bitter air showing up within a few thousand miles of Minnesota; I see a mild bias continuing into mid-December, possibly longer. We'll see snow and cold fronts, just not the volume we're accustomed to.
Somewhere along the way an inch of snow became a "storm". BREAKING NEWS! When temperatures are near 32F as they will be today an inch of snow is a nuisance, most major roads stay wet with accumulation on lawns, fields, and slow-moving relatives. There probably will be some slippery roads by late afternoon and evening, especially south/east of MSP, where a couple inches may pile up. Since we've all forgotten how to drive on snow please be careful out there! Better yet, stay home, have an extra plate of food and ponder the many things we all have to be thankful for.