Cold now; Snow trends north Saturday; 50 by Thanksgiving?

Updraft Headlines:

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Today’s World Sunlight Map shows daybreak in Minnesota.

(Click images to enlarge)

25 degrees in the metro this morning!

March 30th – last time it was this cold in Minnesota (Nearly 8 months ago)

19 degrees – forecast low in the metro Thursday morning!

70% chance – Weather Lab estimate for a “plowable” snow in Brainerd, Duluth & Iron Range by Saturday night

30% chance – Weather Lab estimate for season’s first 1″ snowfall at MSP Airport Saturday night

71% of peope first heard about storms in Tuscaloosa tornado outbreak on TV & radio

5% first heard of storm though “social media”


It’s finally here.

The coldest air mass in nearly 8 months has invaded Minnesota. This one feels different. Last night’s bracing, window rattling northwest wind made you hunch over and step lively to get into the car.

The temps plunged to 25 this morning at MSP, with a few teens up north. Wind chills made it feel like teens and single digits in Minnesota this morning.

Yes, it’s back!

Our wintery preview peaks tonight and early Thursday, as temps bottom out in the teens south with a few single digits north.

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Temps will begin to moderate Thursday and should reach the 40s again (with a shot at 50 in the south) by Friday afternoon.

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Saturday Snow: Trending north

The forecast models are fairly consistent with the track of our potential weekend winter storm. The latest runs seem to favor a surface low track near La Crosse by Saturday night.

If the GFS is right, the rain snow line looks to be setting up from near Redwood Falls to St. Cloud most of Saturday.

The temperatures profile for the storm appears to be warm enough for motly rain in the metro, changing to a little burst of wet snow as the storm slides by later Saturday night.

Moisture fields also show a rapid drop off in precip totals along the southern edge of the storm, with system precipitation totals as low as .25″ in the metro.

The track, temp and moisture fields still suggest the heaviest “plowable” snow band setting up along an Alexandria-Brainerd-Iron Range-North Shore line. These areas could be in line for potentially 6″ or more by early Sunday morning.

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GFS snowfall map shows Saturday snow potential.

Tracks can still change…stay tuned on this one!

Mild Thanksgiving Day?

The early look at Thanksgiving trends mild. Assuming bare ground and some sun (which seems likely at this point) southerly winds should help boost temps to near 50 again in southern Minnesota.

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“Old Media” still rules in severe weather outbreaks

Many people these days get a forecast or radar snapshot from their smart phone.

But in last year’s devastating tornado outbreaks in Tuscaloosa and other markets, TV and radio were still king.

Research from Raycom Media (yes, a TV company) shows that as many as 71% of all people first heard about the coming storms from TV, with radio the second choice.

Only 5% of people first heard about the storms through Internet or mobile devices. Of those who did sample the Internet, 50% went to TV or radio websites for information.

“Chances are you know someone who has been affected by the floods, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes or hurricanes this past year. You may have even been impacted yourself. In Alabama, on April 27, a series of tornadoes destroyed more than 13,000 homes and killed 246 people in a matter of a few hours. The storms hit very close to home — physically and emotionally — with our Montgomery, Birmingham and Huntsville stations directly affected.

It was impressive to see the stations spring into action with life-saving information for our communities as the storms approached and then with wall-to-wall coverage of the aftermath.

In an effort to fully understand our viewer’s needs in the wake of the storms, the senior management at Raycom Media commissioned me to do a survey in our three affected DMAs as well as Tuscaloosa, the area with the most damage.

We learned that 71% of adults living in these affected areas first learned about the approaching storms through TV. Schools and businesses were closed early in an effort to get people off the roads and 75% of residents were at home when the storms hit. Seventy-nine percent were tracking the storms on TV as they impacted their communities.

It is probably not surprising that viewers relied on their local stations more than any other medium for information on the storms. This was true for every age group, including 18-24 year-olds, and was particularly true in African-American households, which relied on television at a higher rate than the population in general.

We received many comments putting emotion behind these numbers. Many said that next time, they would “stay tuned to the weather reports” and “keep a close eye on the news” in order to stay safe. Some went so far to say they would “make sure I have a battery-powered TV.” I conducted a focus group recently and when the conversation turned to one local meteorologist, one of the participants said: “He saved my life.” No other endorsement is needed.

Power was an issue, especially in Huntsville. Many in that area reported they could not watch TV because of power outages. So they turned to radio, which ranked as the second-highest medium during the crisis. Because TV stations have partnered with radio stations during breaking weather and news events, radio listeners were actually able to get the same information as TV viewers were.

Although only a few (5%) of respondents reported going to the Internet for information tracking the storms, half of those were going to a station websites. Additionally, 5% were receiving information on mobile sites. Stations were active in distributing information via their own broadcasts, on the radio, on the Internet and even on mobile to keep their communities safe.”

It seems people may still depend on the “live and local” severe weather information they get from local media most during severe weather outbreaks.


  • Tyler

    I would LOVE to get emergency information on my smartphone, but it’s either too much or too little. If I sign up for weather alerts, I get pinged every 15 minutes about a flash flood watch or frost warnings (essentially useless), yet there’s no way to stream audio from a radio or television station.