It may seem counterintuitive, but 10 inches of snow at 32 degrees Fahrenheit is easier to deal with on the roads than an inch at 10 degrees. Monday’s “storm” was a blunt reminder that ultimate impacts depend on temperature, not only at the surface, but also in the lowest mile of the atmosphere. Wet, sloppy snows often melt on contact, keeping ultimate snowfall totals lower and roads wet.
“How many inches, Paul?” We’re fixated on snowfall totals, but that’s the wrong question. The colder the storm, the worse the travel conditions. Worth remembering.
Now that we’ve had our ration of snowy excitement, welcome to March! Watch for icy patches each morning, but Pacific air coupled with sunny breaks may translate into highs topping 40 from late this week into much of next week. Whatever slush remains in your yard will be mostly gone by the weekend.
Forget the calendar; “meteorological winter” kicked off Dec. 1. If anyone asks: The statistical odds of a white Christmas at MSP are about 75 percent. The pattern turns colder after Dec. 15; it’ll be close.