When the snowstorm shifted south last Friday, it allowed our February snowfall total at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to stay at three-tenths of an inch.

If we don’t see any additional snow at the airport by midnight on Tuesday, we’ll tie the Twin Cities record for the lowest February monthly snowfall total, set in 1894.

“Misery Index” unchanged

It’s time for an update on our Twin Cities Winter Misery Index (WMI), courtesy of the Minnesota State Climatology Office.

The definition of the WMI is:

The Winter Misery Index (WMI) is an attempt to weigh the relative severity of winter when compared with winters of the past. The WMI assigns single points for daily counts of maximum temperatures 10 degrees F or colder, and daily minimums of 0 degrees F or colder.

If the minimum temperature drops to -20 degrees or colder greater, eight points are attributed to that day. Snowfall totals of one inch or greater in a day receive one point. Four-inch snowfalls generate four points for the day, an eight-inch snowfall receives a whopping 16 points. The duration of a winter is quantified using the number of days the snow depth is 12 inches or greater.

Of course, the WMI would be scored differently by snow lovers, who wouldn’t add points to the WMI when it snows!

Our index hasn’t moved this February, since we haven’t dipped to zero degrees this month at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and we haven’t seen a snowfall of one inch or more.

According to the Climatology Office:

As of February 27, 2017 the WMI for the 2016-17 winter is at 48 points: 23 points for cold, 25 points for snow. This is enough for this winter to be in the “mild” category. Seven more points are needed for this winter to be categorized as “moderate.”

February 2017 is poised to have no Winter Misery Index points. The only other time there has been no WMI points in February was 1964.

If you’re curious about the ups and downs of the WMI through the years, take a look at this graph:

Minnesota State Climatology Office

I’d say that we have a much better chance of seeing snow again this winter in the Twin Cities than reaching zero degrees!

Rain and snow 

Southern Minnesota will see periods of rain and drizzle Monday night and Tuesday, with periods of snow expected over much of northern Minnesota:

NWS Twin Cities

Central Minnesota could see a wintry mix of snow, sleet, light rain and drizzle.  Parts of central and northeastern Minnesota could also see some areas of freezing drizzle late Monday night or early Tuesday.

The highest snow amounts are expected over northeastern Minnesota on Tuesday:

NWS Duluth

NOAA’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the precipitation pattern from Monday night through Tuesday evening:

NOAA NAM model simulated radar from Monday night through Tuesday evening, via tropicaltidbits

Green areas indicate rain, blue areas snow.

The color chart on the lower right of the loop refers to the strength of the radar signal returning to the radar, not inches of snow or rain!

Mild temps on Tuesday

We’re looking for highs in the 40s over much of southern Minnesota on Tuesday:

Our average high this time of year in the Twin Cities is only 34 degrees, so we’ll be about 10 degrees above normal on Tuesday.

Cooler highs are expected on Wednesday, with 30s in the south and 20s north:

The Twin Cities metro area will see highs in the 30s Thursday and Friday, but could touch 50 degrees this weekend.

If you live in the Twin Cities metro area, I don’t think you’ll need to gas up your snow blower anytime soon!

Heavy snow moved through southern Minnesota overnight, and some additional accumulations are expected today. Strong winds will combine with the snow to cause very low visibilities and difficult travel conditions in southern Minnesota today. A blizzard warning remains in effect for southwestern and south-central Minnesota until midnight, and until 6 a.m. Saturday for southeastern Minnesota: Some Read more

The winter storm that we’ve been talking about for several days is almost here. This morning’s run of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model still shows snow over southern Minnesota this evening, overnight and through Friday: The heaviest snow amounts, possibly 10-14 inches, are still expected across southern Minnesota and southwestern Wisconsin. Read more