Cold, but bearable; quiet much of the week

Monday brought the coldest temperatures of the season to much of the state. If you were standing at a bus stop that’s likely not breaking news to you. The mercury at the Twin Cities International Airport was on a slow decent toward zero when clouds moved in last night.

The temperature dipped to 2 degrees at MSP, which is the coldest temperature since a low of of 1 on February 11th.

As the daylight continues to grow shorter, combined with the low sun angle and snow cover, it becomes increasingly difficult to warm the surface of the northern landscape.

Maximum temperatures today will remain well below normal, but a moderation is in store for Wednesday and Thursday. For today:

20 F Monday’s maximum temperature in the Twin Cities

-20 F Monday’s minimum at Roseau, MN

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The far southwest corner of Minnesota and Sioux Falls, SD missed out on much needed moisture from the weekend snowfall. Snow also bypassed the drought area of northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. Grand Forks, ND and Sioux Falls, SD both reported a snow depth of only two inches on Monday morning.

7.76 inches Moisture deficit for 2012 at Fargo, ND

9.73 inches Moisture deficit for 2012 at Sioux Falls, SD

The National Weather Service in Chanhassen posted this map of the total snowfall for Saturday and Sunday:

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Source:NOAA/NWS Chanhassen, MN

Snowfalls of this magnitude and coverage are not rare, but based on the winters we’ve experienced of late, this was quite a snow dump, particularly in central Minnesota and into western Wisconsin. The type of snow depth that puts a smile on the face of skiers and those that enjoy a snowmobile ride.

Be cautious if you wish to take a snowmobile across a lake. Snow is insulating the formation of ice and there wasn’t much depth to the ice layer prior to the weekend snowfall.

Don’t look for much in the way of additional snowfall the remainder of the work week.

As a meteorologist, I’m frequently asked, “When’s the next chance for snow?” It comes with the territory. There is a tendency to over reach by believing long term computer models. The models did pretty well on the last system.

We’ll be keeping our eye on the computer runs for possible snow on Saturday and Sunday. The emphasis is on possible.

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GFS model valid at 6 p.m. CST Saturday.

Source; NOAA/COD

You’ll note on this model forecast for Saturday evening the relatively mild air extending into northern Illinois. Here’s an interesting weather highlight for 2012 out of Chicago, which set a record yesterday for the longest period without measurable snowfall:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO IL

401 AM CST TUE DEC 11 2012 /501 AM EST TUE DEC 11 2012/

…LACK OF SNOWFALL RECORD BROKEN AT CHICAGO…

MONDAY DECEMBER 10TH MARKED THE 281ST CONSECUTIVE DAY WITHOUT

MEASURABLE SNOWFALL AT CHICAGO…SURPASSING THE PREVIOUS

CONSECUTIVE DAY RECORD THAT HAD BEEN SET IN 1994. THIS IS NOW

THE LONGEST PERIOD OF TIME WITHOUT MEASURABLE SNOWFALL IN CHICAGO

ON RECORD. THE LAST DAY WITH OFFICIAL MEASURABLE SNOWFALL IN

CHICAGO WAS MARCH 4TH. ROCKFORD CURRENTLY STANDS AT THE SAME

AMOUNT OF DAYS…WHICH IS THE FOURTH LONGEST SUCH STRETCH IN ITS

PERIOD OF RECORD.

Here’s a visible satellite image captured late morning on Monday giving you a good idea of the snow cover — the forested area of northeast Minnesota may mask some of the snow depth:

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Visible satellite image, Monday morning.

Source: NOAA

Landscape outside the Eden Prairie weather lab late Sunday afternoon:

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Image: Craig Edwards

  • andy

    Hello from Chicago! Thanks for noting our record breaking snowless streak. It looks like we’ll be breaking the record each day for a while, with no chance of snow in the forecast. My snow-loving wife is rather jealous of your latest snow event.

    Happy holidays MN!

  • kelly

    Is the Iowa State U – “KMSP Accumulated Snowfall Forcast” available anywhere online? I find it to be one of the most useful and interesting(and accurate?!) graphics featured on UPDRAFT. Thanks for the blog. I find it very interesting.