Snow update: Heavy SW, Metro grazed

They say “all weather is local.”

Never has that been truer than with out latest Minnesnowta snow system.

A narrow band of heavy snow has laid down some impressive 4″ to 7+” snowfall totals just south & west of the Twin Cities. In the metro a few inches has fallen in the far SW, it’s been a dusting for most areas, with little or no snowfall in the northeast.

Let’s check the totals as of Thursday morning.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN

747 AM CST THU DEC 16 2010

…SNOWFALL TOTALS FROM THE DECEMBER 15-16 STORM…

SNOW REPORTS LISTED BY AMOUNT

INCHES LOCATION ST COUNTY TIME

—— ———————– — ————– ——-

7.60 MURDOCK MN SWIFT 0658 AM

6.50 LITCHFIELD MN MEEKER 0610 AM

5.50 BELGRADE MN STEARNS 0730 AM

5.00 MADISON MN LAC QUI PARLE 0746 AM

5.00 BROWNTON MN MCLEOD 0733 AM

5.00 RENVILLE MN RENVILLE 0610 AM

5.00 NORTH MANKATO MN NICOLLET 0610 AM

4.50 LESTER PRAIRIE MN MCLEOD 0655 AM

4.50 ELLENDALE MN STEELE 0637 AM

4.00 MANKATO MN BLUE EARTH 0727 AM

4.00 MORGAN MN REDWOOD 0724 AM

WATER EQUIVALENT 0.28 INCHES.

4.00 W OWATONNA MN STEELE 0640 AM

4.00 WINTHROP MN SIBLEY 0530 AM

4.00 KANDIYOHI MN KANDIYOHI 0346 AM

3.00 WINTHROP MN SIBLEY 0346 AM

3.00 LITCHFIELD MN MEEKER 0346 AM

3.00 GAYLORD MN SIBLEY 0346 AM

3.00 BENSON MN SWIFT 0320 AM

3.00 ST JAMES MN WATONWAN 0320 AM

3.00 SPRINGFIELD MN BROWN 0320 AM

3.00 REDWOOD FALLS MN REDWOOD 0320 AM

2.50 PRIOR LAKE MN SCOTT 0729 AM

0.1 OF AN INCH OF LIQUID.

2.50 1 SE NORTHFIELD MN RICE 0722 AM

COCORAHS OBSERVER.

2.50 CREDIT RIVER MN SCOTT 0658 AM

2.00 BROOTEN MN STEARNS 0320 AM

1.30 CHANHASSEN MN CARVER 0621 AM

NWS FORECAST OFFICE.

0.50 BLOOMINGTON MN HENNEPIN 0602 AM

0.50 KIMBALL MN STEARNS 0602 AM

If you live in Willmar, Glencoe, Mankato, Owatonna, Waconia or Prior Lake you’re saying…”pretty good forecast” today. If you live in the central metro, you know why weather forecasters can turn grey quickly, and how finicky life can be on the “edge of a clipper.”

We’ve picked up just .5″ in Deephaven and Bloomington overnight, with a respectable 1.3″ (and counting) in Chanhassen in the southwest metro, and a plowable 2.5″ in Prior Lake!

Update: Waconia is about 5 miles southwest of the weather lab. Talk about a big snowfall range in just a short disatance!

0805 AM SNOW WACONIA M5.5 INCH CARVER MN TRAINED SPOTTER

Dry air eats away:

Take a look at this replay from the Twin Cities doppler loop this morning. Notice the heavy snow bands (bright yellow) in Carver & Scott Counties in the SW metro…and how the radar returns just disappear as you move east into the heart of the Twin Cities.

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 wundy metro.gif

That’s dry arctic air “eating away” at the eastern edge of the clipper, and literally evaporating snowfall as it falls into drier air near the surface. The difference between modeate to heavy snow and flurries? About 4 miles.

Looking at the radar loop, you can see why the forecast modles had such a tough time pinpointing metro snowfall totals with this system.

Talk about a forecaster’s nightmare, but great news for most commuters this morning in the metro. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure as they say. I’ll take the hit on my metro forecast any day if it means good news and safer travel for drivers.

Expect snowfall to continue in the same areas before tapering off late morning into the afternoon. We could see some 4″ to 8″+ snowfall totals…including Carver, Scott and Dakota counties before the system pulls out later today.

Be prepared for a very wintery travel scenario if you are heading (even just a few miles) south and west of the metro today.

PH

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