Snow grazes metro: Heavier west & south

The latest clipper to sail through Minnesota is delivering a glancing blow to the Twin Cities, and a harder punch to areas just south & west of the metro.

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Surface map shows Clipper’s narrow band of snow.

Persistent snow fell much of Wednesday PM & night west of the metro. Late Wednesday evening, a few totals are trickling in to the weather lab.

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT…SUMMARY

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN

1041 PM CST WED DEC 15 2010

..TIME… …EVENT… …CITY LOCATION… …LAT.LON…

..DATE… ….MAG…. ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. …SOURCE….

..REMARKS..

0600 PM SNOW GLENWOOD 45.65N 95.38W

12/15/2010 M1.0 INCH POPE MN CO-OP OBSERVER

0609 PM SNOW 2 N WILLMAR 45.15N 95.05W

12/15/2010 M1.0 INCH KANDIYOHI MN CO-OP OBSERVER

0817 PM SNOW ELLENDALE 43.87N 93.30W

12/15/2010 M1.5 INCH STEELE MN TRAINED SPOTTER

0910 PM SNOW LITCHFIELD 45.12N 94.53W

12/15/2010 M2.0 INCH MEEKER MN TRAINED SPOTTER

1035 PM SNOW MANKATO 44.17N 93.99W

12/15/2010 M2.0 INCH BLUE EARTH MN BROADCAST MEDIA

Thursday AM rush:

It looks like there will be some slick travel with falling snow favoring the western & southern metro. With temperatures in the teens, it won’t take much snow for roads to slick up Thursday morning.

Winter weather advisories continue into Thursday morning. Plan for some extra travel time, especially in the southern & western metro.

Travel south & west of the Twin Cities will be slick, with higher snowfall accumulations in the 3″ to 6″ range. One consistent feature with this latest weather system is the predicted heavy snow axis, which still runs along an Alex-Willmar-Hutchinson-St. Peter-Northfield-Owatonna-Albert Lea line. Winter storm warnings remain in effect for these areas.

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This has been an interesting (and confounding) storm to forecast for the metro…while the rest of the forecast for Minnesota is holding up well. The sharp cutoff from snow on the system’s eastern edge literally means a 30 mile difference between no snow, and some 2-4 inch totals. That dividing line is right through the metro with this system.

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NAM model finally seems to have a handle on heavier snow band, and sharp cutoff over metro.

Drier arctic air near the surface is literally eating away as moisture attempts to advance eastward.

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Surface dewpoint analysis shows much drier arctic air to the east, bucking advancing moisture.

Bottom line for this system…expect slick roads for AM rush in the southern & western metro…with snow accumulations of a coating or less (east metro) to 2″ (southwest metro).

It looks like we may sneak in a few quiet days before we look for the next snowmaker which could move in on Monday.

Domebuster snowfall compressing on the ground.

Check out the photo of the small holiday light trees outside the weather lab. Notice the tree on the right? It was completely covered with snow after last weekend’s storm. Now, a crown of snow remains stuck to the star on top, while the rest of the snowpack has compressed a good 2 to 3 inches.

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This is a good example how a fresh fluffy powdery snow can compress after a few days. The crystals break down over time and compress. Who knew?

PH

  • Kelly

    I heard it said the air was too dry. Any chance this is the end of snow for while here in the metro ?

    No big warm ups coming, Just cold and dry for a while ?