Life in a Snow Globe; Stellar dendrites; 2 more Clippers this week; 30s ahead

Updraft Preview:

Now we know what it feels like to live in a “snow globe.” The idyllic weekend snows have been some of the prettiest of winter. In this edition of Updraft we’ll tally the weekend snowfall totals and take a look at why those “stellar dendrites” piled up so quickly. We also preview 2 more Clippers this week, and track milder temps as 30s move in.

1″ to 2″ Sunday snowfall totals in the metro

3.7″ weekend snowfall total at MSP Airport

4″ snow depth at MSP Airport

7.5″ snow depth in Fridley in the north metro

24″ season snowfall so far at MSP Airport (-10.9″ vs. average)

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Productive Weekend “Clipper Parade”

Our series of 3 Alberta Clippers this weekend did a nice job laying down a fresh coating of fluff. They cam in like clockwork…right on schedule each one dumping 1″-2″+ around the metro.

Sunday’s system came in waves…and laid down 1″ at MSP Airport, Fridley and St. Louis Park. The Chan NWS office picked up 1.4″ and Credit River in Scott County in the southwest metro tallied 2.2″ of fresh “Champagne Powder.”

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Image: Twin Cities NWS

The weekend totals of 3.7″ at MSP was pretty common around the metro, as the 3 clippers spread out snowfall fairly evenly overall.

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“Stellar Dendrites” pile up quickly”

You can thank “stellar dendrites” for our light fluffy goose down snowfall.

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Temperatures aloft were just right for the big starry flakes to form this weekend.

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Light winds assisted as the flakes reached the ground intact…undamaged from the collisions that occur during windy systems.

Like feathers falling from the sky, these biggest of snowflakes pile up quickly, as they gently stack on top of each other with long arms keeping plenty of space in between.

This is great snow for downhill and cross country skiers, and snowmobilers. I’m hearing it’s the best of winter so far.

Coming up for air…then more snow tonight

We catch a break today from snowfall.

Like clockwork, the next “evening snow train” rolls in tonight as the Alberta Clipper #4 arrives.

Snow should begin in the metro around 9 to 10pm, and continue overnight.

Most of the metro appears to be in line for another 1″ to 2″ with tonight’s system, with 2″ to 4″ north of the metro and up I-35 toward Hinckley.

Snow could continue into Tuesday AM rush hour….and roads could be a challenge, especially early.

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The next in our series of 5 Clippers will roll in Wednesday. This one will be more of a “warm advection snow” as milder air pushes in from the south. The result will be the same…another shot of snow, probably in the 1″ to 3″ range.

That will put overall snowfall totals from 5 separate systems in the 4″ to 8″ range for most of the metro. Not bad for a week’s work!

It’s refreshing to see the picturesque renewal of our wintery landscape.

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Tracking a warm up: 30s ahead

Milder air will push north into Minnesota Tuesday and Wednesday.

Temps may actually rise overnight into Tuesday morning into the 20s…and 30+ looks likely by Wednesday evening.

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Temps may hang in the lower 30s from Wednesday into Saturday…so the magnitude of the “thaw” looks tame. I don’t think we’ll hemorrhage a ton of snow cover this week…but you’ll feel the warm up and get to enjoy some of the best outdoor conditions of winter with our fresh wintery landscape.



  • Chris B. Critter

    Yup, just like living in a snow globe, except for the unexplained catastrophic earthquakes. 🙂