Sloppy Friday & Stormy Monday?
(Updated 11:20pm Friday evening)
Big fat snow flakes at the Weather Lab Friday evening
The weather pattern remains active as we head into St. Patty’s Day weekend.
Friday morning’s ice came in on schedule and gave way to PM slop, with mainly wet streets as temps rose above freezing in the metro this afternoon.
Friday evening was sloppy and roads were very icy, with another wave of snow and some freezing rain. I played hockey Friday evening and the ice in the parking lot afterwards was almost as good as what we skated on indoors!
The 2nd wave precip was a mix of snow and freezing rain tonight, and I expected a 1″ to 3″ overall range by Saturday AM in the metro. It looks like that will be a good range for the north metro…but the system was not able to pull enough cold air in from the north and underdelieverd on my expectations for the central metro. The south metro saw little or no accumulation with this system, and that was pretty much as expected.
There were big differences in snowfall this week from our 2 micro clippers. Parts of the north metro saw 4-5 inches this week, while the south metro saw less than 1″. I measured 1.2″ total snowfall this week at the weather lab in the west metro…along with a good dose of freeezing rain.
Expect lingering icy travel conditions, and especilaly untreated parking lots and sidewalkes into Saturday AM.
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Monday, Monday: Storm track trending north?
Forecast models still show signs of trending toward a surface low track solution just north of the metro Monday, which could mean lower metro snow totals with heavier snows favoring central and northern Minnesota.
At this point the European Model shows a surface low near Fargo at 7am Monday.
The NAM is even further north, and takes the low into Canada by 7 am Monday.
The GFS tracks the low north of the Twin Cities close to Duluth by 1pm Monday.
The outlier is the ‘upgraded” Canadian GEM model, which has a slightly more southward track and “phases” the low with a stronger southern low near Chicago during the day Monday.
If this scenario pans out, that could lead to higher snowfall totals in southern Minnesota, including the metro.
Overall, the models have backed way of snowfall trends for the metro. Earlier this week, some forecast models were suggesting as much as a foot for the Twin Cities Monday. Right now I’d say that’s unlikely…unless there’s a major change in storm track or the “phasing” between the two lows occurs earlier.
The current model trends suggest a general 2″ to 5″ range is the most likely scenario for the metro with more up north…but it’s just too early to be sure. At this point, I’m just not seeing anything that would get me jacked up about the potential for heavy snow in the metro Monday.
My read on this is that the models are still in flux at this point with more than 48 hours until the storm moves in. Until we get more model “consensus” it’s just too early to credibly say what will happen regarding snowfall totals Monday.
Here is what I think we can credibly say at this point about Monday’s system:
1) The storm track and snowfall totals are still uncertain.
2) Monday AM rush hour will likely see snow and a slower commute (Oh joy)
3) High winds behind the low Monday PM will be an issue..and could gust to over 40 mph in open areas. No matter how much snow we get, blowing and drifting could be a problem Monday afternoon and evening.
Craig Edwards will have update Saturday and Sunday morning. I’ll jump back in Sunday afternoon as the storm moves closer.
What’s in a snowflake?
With more snowfalkes in the coming days, here’s at least a way to apprecite the beauty of how snowflakes form… from Byte Size Science.