Stubborn fog hangs tough; Denver blizzard; Chicago 1 year later

54 straight hours of fog reported at MSP Airport

Clouds hang tough this weekend

3 feet of snow west of Denver!

Blizzard conditions in and around Denver metro Friday

21.2″ one year ago in Chicago’s “Groundhog Day Blizzard”

0″ snow depth at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport today

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“Fog-uary”

That bright yellow thing you see in the sky this weekend is called “the sun.”

After 54 straight hours of fog in the metro, it may take a while for you to remember.

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A persistent temperature inversion about 2,000 feet above the ground trapped moisture from snow melt and brewed up our stubborn fog layer this week. Light winds were not enough to disperse the fog bank, and gray was the weather color of choice this week.

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The inversion also trapped polutants near the ground, and spiked particulate readings inthe metro the past few days into the “moderate” range. AQI readings surged this week.

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Fog is common during the “fog & low stratus season” in Minnesota, but this winter has been exceptionally sunny so far. The lack of snow cover means there is no additional moisture to melt into the atmosphere on mild days, and fog has been relatively rare overall.

Sunshine Alert!

Light northerly winds should finally be enough to break up the fog this weekend. Saturday may still dawn a little gray, but the sun should emerge as the day wears on. Sunday looks like the sunnier day this weekend.

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Temps respond:

As the sun comes out, temps should respond accordingly. Highs should once again crack 40 degrees in the metro and southern Minnesota. A few eager bank thermometers may flash as high as 45 this weekend in the metro!

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With just a trace of snowfall now at MSP Airport, what little snow cover remains in southern Minnesota should be history by late Sunday.

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Major Denver Blizzard: Up to 3 feet in the mountains!

Speaking of snow, they got whacked in Denver Friday.

Unlike the “Snowmageddons” and “Snowpocalypses” of last winter, Blizzards have been rare this winter. Tell that to the folks in Colorado who are digging out from as much as 3 FEET of snow this weekend.

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The storm has dumped about a foot in metro Denver, and as much as 3 feet in the mountains just west of Boulder!

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT…SUMMARY

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DENVER CO

219 PM MST FRI FEB 03 2012

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

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

..REMARKS..

0200 PM HEAVY SNOW 3 W CONIFER 39.51N 105.36W

02/03/2012 M31.0 INCH JEFFERSON CO TRAINED SPOTTER

0200 PM HEAVY SNOW 3 W JAMESTOWN 40.11N 105.44W

02/03/2012 M35.1 INCH BOULDER CO TRAINED SPOTTER

0200 PM SNOW STERLING 40.65N 103.20W

02/03/2012 M5.0 INCH LOGAN CO TRAINED SPOTTER

0143 PM HEAVY SNOW 3 SW AURORA 39.66N 104.77W

02/03/2012 E12.0 INCH ARAPAHOE CO TRAINED SPOTTER

0115 PM HEAVY SNOW 1 E IDAHO SPRINGS 39.74N 105.49W

02/03/2012 M10.5 INCH CLEAR CREEK CO TRAINED SPOTTER

0110 PM HEAVY SNOW 2 W WHEAT RIDGE 39.77N 105.14W

02/03/2012 M12.3 INCH JEFFERSON CO TRAINED SPOTTER

0100 PM HEAVY SNOW 4 N CASTLE ROCK 39.44N 104.85W

02/03/2012 M12.1 INCH DOUGLAS CO TRAINED SPOTTER

0100 PM HEAVY SNOW DENVER 39.77N 104.87W

02/03/2012 M11.0 INCH DENVER CO TRAINED SPOTTER

The winter storm is hammering Nebraska and parts of Iowa this weekend, but fading as it moves east. It will pass south of Minnesota and weaken considerably as it slides south Chicago.

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Last winter this same storm track would have dumped heavy snow from Denver through Des Moines, the Quad Cities into Chicago, & Indy for Super Bowl Sunday. Not this year. The lack of cold arctic air means the storm can’t spin up and maintain strength.

Several thousand fans getting to & from Super Bowl XLVI in Indy are happy about that!

Chicago: 1 year after

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A year ago on Feb. 2, 2011, hundreds of cars were stranded on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, Ill., seen at left. The same stretch is seen on Wednesday.

(Image credit: Kiichiro Sato/AP via MSNBC)

1 year ago, Chicago was digging out from the infamous “Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011.” The Chicago NWS has a great write up of the blizzard here.

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This year it looks like spring in the Windy City.

I have covered many storms along Chicago’s Lakefront during my WGN-TV days, but I’ve never seen anything like the snowpacolypse that slammed Chicago last winter.

The storm was the 3rd biggest snowfall on record at O’Hare Airport.

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Hundreds of motorists had no chance as nearly 2 feet of snow and 70 mph winds blasted city streets and “The Drive” with impassable, vehicle eating drifts.

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This winter big storms have been hard to find. That’s something may Chicagoans may be thankful for this weekend.

The “Unwinter” of 2011-’12:

MSNBC has the story.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Have a great weekend!

PH

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