Friday Clipper; Sky shows; Optimistic spring flood outlook released

40 degrees Thursday at MSP Airport

+16 degrees vs. average

7th day at or above 40 degrees in the metro this January!

.1″ NAM model snowfall output Friday at MSP

3.5″ GFS model snowfall output Friday at MSP

Coating to 2″ weather Lab snowfall range forecast Friday for metro and much of southern Minnesota.

3 to 4 Hassle factor with Friday’s snowfall on a scale of 1-10

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Venus & moon dazzle in southwest evening sky

Possible aurora overnight in Minnesota

Colder weekend ahead

Below average flood risk this spring on Minnesota rivers

Minnesota: 7th mildest January on record?

Thursday’s 40 degree high was the 7th day this month of 40+ degree warmth at MSP. I can’t remember a January with that many 40 degree days.

Temps are running about 7 degrees above average for January. According to Mark Seeley, this will likely go down as the 7th warmest January on record in Minnesota.

This comes after the 2nd warmest October-December period in the metro.

The warm weather hits just keep on comin’ in the “Broken Winter” of 2011-’12.

Friday Clipper: Major model bust potential

“Two weather forecast models walk into a bar….”

I digress. But I’m hoping the joke isn’t on weather forecasters Friday. Two of our main forecast models, The NAM and GFS, are painting very different pictures for snowfall Friday.

The usually aggressive NAM minimizes any snow accumulation to well under an inch. The usually conservative GFS is hammering this system and cranking out 3.5″ of snowfall at MSP.

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Other models and ensemble products take the middle road, and I think they’re onto something.

I am leaning toward a coating to 2″ range for much of southern Minnesota Friday.

Snow should develop in western Minnesota by 6-7am Friday. The best window for snow in the metro appears to be between 9am and 3pm.

Lower “impact” snow?

This may end up being a lower impact snowfall that some of our previous systems this week.

-Midday timing means it will fall mostly between rush hours

-Temps near 30 to 32 degrees – some melting will occur leaving mostly wet roadways

-Snowfall rates may allow road chemicals to keep up

Bottom line? Expect some snowfall Friday, but it will hopefully be a manageable nuisance type snow.

Sky shows?

Check out the moon and Venus in the southwest evening sky as we head into the weekend.

Another solar burst may trigger more northern lights overnight. Best viewing is always away from city lights looking north. Timing of auroras is random.

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NWS Spring Flood Outlook: Below average

We all may be breathing a sigh of relief after two crazy spring flood seasons n Minnesota.

Last falls drought and light winter snowfall have lead NWS forecasters to go easy with predictions for below average flood potential on Minnesota’s river systems this spring.

PROBABILISTIC HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN

423 PM CST THU JAN 26 2012

…SPRING FLOOD AND WATER RESOURCES OUTLOOK…

…PRELIMINARY INDICATIONS AT THE END OF JANUARY

SHOW THAT THE CURRENT RISK FOR FLOODING DUE TO A SNOW

MELT IS NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL…

THIS OUTLOOK IS FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN

SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WESTERN WISCONSIN

-MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES FROM ST CLOUD TO RED WING

-MINNESOTA RIVER AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

-ST CROIX RIVER

-CHIPPEWA RIVER IN WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN

WITH RIVER LEVELS STEADILY FALLING OVER THE PAST FEW

MONTHS…MOST LOCATIONS HAVE NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL PROBABILITY

OF FLOODING INTO APRIL.

WHILE PRELIMINARY INDICATIONS…BASED ON THE CURRENT SNOW

PACK AND SOIL MOISTURE CONDITIONS…DO NOT PROJECT

THE LIKELIHOOD OF SIGNIFICANT WIDESPREAD FLOODING

THIS SPRING…MUCH OF THE SNOW SEASON STILL REMAINS.

HENCE SNOWPACK CONDITIONS WILL LIKELY CHANGE.

ALSO…AS WITH EVERY SPRING MELT SEASON…ICE JAM

FLOODING WILL BE A THREAT.

EVEN WITH THE NORMAL TO BELOW NORMAL FLOOD RISK AT THIS

TIME…RESIDENTS THAT ARE VULNERABLE TO FLOODING ARE URGED

TO MAINTAIN OR CONSIDER FLOOD INSURANCE. HEAVY RAINS

WHICH CAN LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING AND RIVER FLOODING ARE

ALWAYS A CONCERN…ESPECIALLY IN THE SPRING AND SUMMER

MONTHS. SINCE THERE IS A 30 DAY DELAY FOR A FLOOD

INSURANCE POLICY TO TAKE EFFECT…MAINTAINING FLOOD

INSURANCE JUST AS YOU WOULD HOME OWNERS INSURANCE IS

ALWAYS ENCOURAGED.

THE NEXT OUTLOOK WILL BE PROVIDED ON FEBRUARY 16 2012.

That’s the good side of a drought.

The bad side? This could be one of the worst spring grassfire seasons in recent memory.

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Let’s hope timely spring rains can abate the fire threat and give farmers, lawns, lakes and rivers a shot of much needed moisture this spring!

PH

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