Winter Beauty
 
I had a chance to spend some time up north over the weekend and wow what a beauty it was after two separate storms dumped nearly a foot of fresh February snow! Here's an image from Larsmont Cottages along the Minnesota North Shore near Two Harbors, MN. I thought we'd be snowed in for sure after 8.5" snow fell Saturday night, but kudos to the staff who did an amazing job clearing all the sidewalks and parking lots so we could get out on Sunday!! What a fun weekend.
 
 
Oberserved Snowfall Last 7 Days
 
The observed snowfall over the last 7 days is quite impressive, especially in the Arrowhead, where nearly 2ft. of fresh February snow has fallen. There was also nearly 1ft. of fresh snow that fell across the Twin Cities from late last week into the weekend and Sunday turned out to be a fantastic day to go out and play in the wintry weather. 
 
 
February Snowfall
 
Here's a look at how much snow has fallen so far this February and note how many locations have seen double digit tallies, including the Twin Cities! Most locations have seen nearly 1ft. but Duluth has exceeded 2ft so far this February! Interestingly, the amount of snow that has fallen so far this February is nearly 9" to 13" above average from the Twin Cities to Duluth!
 
 
8th Snowiest January Through February on Record!
 
According to the MN State Climatology Office, the 36.3" of snow that the MSP Airport has seen from January to February is the 8th snowiest on record! This has also helped to push the Twin Cities up to a seasonal snowfall SURPLUS for the first time in a long time. While it's not much (+2.6"), it is still a surplus for the season.
 

 
Snow Depth As of Sunday, February 25th
 
As of Sunday, February 25th, there was officially 10" of snow on the ground the Twin Cities Airport, while nearly 2ft of snow was on the ground near Duluth and MN's North Shore. If you like snow, you better get out there and enjoy it soon because high temps in the mid/upper 30s will start that melting process quite rapidly over the next several days.
 
 
Observed Snowfall From Space
 
I thought this was a neat tweet from the @NWSTwinCities how widespread the recent snow was from space. You can see the difference in the snow on the ground vs no snow on the ground vs clouds. I could stare at satellite images for hours. Thanks @NWSTwinCities for the tweet!!
 
 
Upcoming Snow
 
More snow on the way? While it doesn't look much, parts of southern/southeastern Minnesota could add to their snow totals this week as they get clipped by another system midweek. Stay tuned for more... 
 
"Accumulating snow is possible across southeast Minnesota and west central Wisconsin late Wednesday night into Thursday. However, there is a lot of uncertainty with this system so please check back later this afternoon for an updated forecast."
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Weather Outlook Ahead
 
The weather outlook from midday Wednesday to Thursday night shows our next storm system moving through the Midwest with another round of rain and snow. At this point, it looks like snow will clip the southeastern corner of Minnesota, while areas of heavy rain and thunder will once again impact parts of the Ohio Valley.
 
 
GFS Snowfall Potential
 
According to the latest GFS (American model), a few inches of snow will be possible across the far southeastern tip of the state as the next midweek storm clips the state.
 
 
ECMWF Snowfall Potential
 
According to the ECMWF (European Model) snowfall tallies across the southern and southeastern part of the state could accumulate to shovelable levels, especially near I-90. However, Twin Cities might only see a light coating as the storm passes. 
 
 
Warmer Temp Outlook Into Early March
 
Here's the temperature outlook through the middle part of March, which shows milder temps in the 30s and 40s staying with us through the first weekend of March. However, it appears there may be a slight dip to slightly below average temperatures again into the first full week of the month, but the good news is that no sub-zero temps are forecast during this time.
 
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Snow Depth 2018
 
The snow depth map across the country for February 26th suggests that 41.0% of the country is covered in snow, mainly across the northern half of the nation. At this time last year, 35.7% of the nation was covered in snow. As of February 26th, the Twin Cities officially had 9" of snow on the ground at the MSP Airport, but at this time last year, there was NO snow on the ground. Note also that last year at this time, the Sierra Nevada Range in California had a significantly greater snow pack than what is there now.
 
 
Snow Depth 2017
 
At this time last year, 35.7% of the nation was covered in snow.
 
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3-7 Day Hazard Forecast

1.) Heavy precipitation across portions of the Great Lakes and the Upper Mississippi Valley, Mon, Feb 19.
2.) Heavy rain across portions of the Central Plains, the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Central Appalachians, the Tennessee Valley, the Great Lakes, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Northeast, the Southern Plains, and the Ohio Valley, Mon-Tue, Feb 19-Feb 20.
3.) Heavy rain across portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Tennessee Valley, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Southern Appalachians, the Southeast, the Southern Plains, and the Ohio Valley, Wed-Thu, Feb 21-Feb 22.
4.) Flooding possible across portions of the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Central Appalachians, and the Ohio Valley.
5.) High winds across portions of the Central Plains, the Central Rockies, the Central Great Basin, the Southern Rockies, the Southern Plains, and the Southwest, Mon, Feb 19.
6.) Much below normal temperatures across portions of the Central Great Basin, the Northern Plains, the Northern Rockies, the Central Rockies, California, the Northern Great Basin, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest, Tue-Wed, Feb 20-Feb 21.
7.) Much below normal temperatures across portions of the Central Plains, the Upper Mississippi Valley, the Northern Plains, and the Northern Rockies, Mon-Fri, Feb 19-Feb 23.
8.) High winds across portions of mainland Alaska, Mon-Wed, Feb 19-Feb 21.
9.) Much above normal temperatures across portions of mainland Alaska, Mon-Wed, Feb 19-Feb 21.
Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Central Plains, the Central Great Basin, the Northern Plains, the Northern Rockies, the Central Rockies, the Middle Mississippi Valley, California, the Northern Great Basin, the Upper Mississippi Valley, the Alaska Panhandle, the Pacific Northwest, and the Southwest, Sat-Fri, Feb 24-Mar 2.
10.) Slight risk of much above normal temperatures for portions of mainland Alaska and the Aleutians, Sat-Mon, Feb 24-Feb 26.
11.) Moderate risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Central Great Basin, California, and the Southwest, Sat-Sun, Feb 24-Feb 25.
12.) Moderate risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Central Plains, the Northern Plains, the Northern Rockies, and the Northern Great Basin, Sat-Fri, Feb 24-Mar 2.
13.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Central Plains, the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Tennessee Valley, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Southern Appalachians, the Southeast, the Southern Plains, and the Ohio Valley, Sat-Mon, Feb 24-Feb 26.
14.) Severe Drought across the Central Plains, the Central Rockies, the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Central Great Basin, the Northern Plains, the Southern Rockies, the Middle Mississippi Valley, California, the Southern Plains, and the Southwest.

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2018 Tornadoes So Far...

According to NOAA's SPC, there have been 48 preliminary tornaoes so far this year (February 25th), which is more than what we had at this time in the last couple of years. Interestingly, there were 362 tornadoes at this time in 2008; that year ended with 2,194 tornadoes, which is nearly 800 more than the short-term 2005-2015 average. 

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Major River Flooding

There has been some major river flooding ongoing across the Ohio Valley thanks to extreme rainfall over the past 5 to 7 days. Thanks to @mett_nky for the flooding picture out of Covington, KY, where the Ohio River reached moderate flood stage last Thursday and may not fall below that mark until this Friday!

Major River Flooding

According to NOAA, there were nearly 285 river gauges in flood stage as of Monday morning, 15 of which where at Major flood statge!

February Rainfall

WOW! How about those numbers! A corridor of heavy precipitation this month helped push February precipitation numbers into Double digits for a number of locations! In fact, there was so much precipitation that Louisville, KY and Evansville, IN have seen their wettest February on record!!

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"Minnesota Sees Deadliest Winter In Years"

"Minnesota has already had five ice-related deaths this winter. The state typically averages three during the whole season. Minnesota is on track to have one of its deadliest winters in years. Five people have died this season after falling through ice. The state typically averages three ice-related deaths over the course of the entire winter. The 2015-2016 winter had zero ice-related deaths, while the 2016-2017 winter had two. The last time Minnesota saw ice-related deaths in the double digits was in the 2002-2003 winter, when the state had 10 fatalities. The most recent death this year happened in northern Minnesota where a women drowned after riding an ATV on Rice Lake. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Hannah Mishler has already responded to multiple ice rescue calls. "Ice, especially snow covered ice, is extremely deceptive. You can't see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow," Mishler said in a statement."
 
 
 
Ice Safety!!
 
Before you go testing the ice on area lakes and ponds, remember that "ICE IS NEVER 100% SAFE!" So when is ice safe? Here is an excerpt from the MN DNR regarding ice safety: 
 
"There really is no sure answer. You can't judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors -- plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions."
 

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An Above Average Week - Highs In The 30s & 40s With Lots of Melting Snow

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Too Early To Predict Spring River Flooding Risk