Snow Fairy delivers again; Next Clipper Wednesday; Euro: Big snow Sunday?

Groundhog Days

I feel a little like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

The alarm goes off. I keep waking up at the same time (sans the Sonny & Cher) and talking to a guy named “Phil” on the radio. Every morning the “Snow Fairy” has come and dumped another inch of snow on my driveway. I get through the day, go to bed and wake up to more snow.


If there are “Dog Days” in summer, these must be the “Groundhog Days” of winter.

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Today in Updraft we track the next Clipper due in tomorrow, tally up the increasing snow cover across Minnesota and talk about a “big maybe” Sunday storm that could dump some big snow on Minnesota…and maybe the metro.

Is our number finally up?

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1″ snowfall overnight in St. Louis Park and Deephaven

6″ snow depth now at MSP Airport

23″ snow depth at International Falls

Clipper #5 due in tomorrow with another shot of light snow

Euro Bomb? European model continues to ramp up potential weekend snow storm

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Fresh snow crystals at the Weather Lab this week

Image: Paul Huttner – MPR News

Currier & Ives

It’s classic winter scenery in Minnesota these days.

Our Clipper Parade has brightened up the landscape. We’ve tallied 5″ of snow since Friday at the Weather Lab.

Snow depth in Minnesota is steadily increasing, and we have some pretty respectable snow on the ground now. There’s actually enough quality snow to play in.

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Snow dounts on a frozen lake

Image: Toey Lidstone

Rochester 5″

Twin Cities 6″

St. Cloud 6″

Duluth 11″

International Falls 23″

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Nationally 41.5% of the CONUS is snow covered as of today. That compares with 65.8% one month ago, and just 27.3% last year.

Here are the stats for snow cover in the Upper Midwest from NOHRSC.

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Clipper-Fest Continues: #5 due Wednesday

The next…and last in our Clipper series rolls through Wednesday. Like the previous 4 systems, this one looks to produce generally light snows on order of 1″ to 2″ in most areas.

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Image: Iowa State University

Euro Bomb? ECMWF painting big weekend snows

The overnight Euro runs ramped up the notion of big snow this weekend.

The latest runs spin up a potent low pressure center near Omaha and tracks it into Wisconsin Sunday night & Monday.

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Image: ECMWF via College of DuPage

That’s a “climatologically favored” track for heavy snow in central and southern Minnesota.

If it pans out…we could see our biggest snow since December 9th in these parts.

The Euro output for the Twin Cities is cranking out 22.7mm (.89″) liquid precip for the metro from Saturday night through Monday morning.

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Image: Norwegian Met Institute

That would be a good pile of “several inches” of snow if it verifies.

NOAA’s (operational) GFS is not buying into this system so far. But some of the “model ensembles” are picking up on a ghost of a system.

Let’s see if the GFS picks up on this in the next 48 hours…or if Euro backs off.

Stay tuned.

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Cold not done yet?

This is turning into a real winter in Minnesota. Rumors of winter’s demise over the past few weeks have not panned out.

December was balmy with temps +3.7 vs. average at MSP. January came in at a respectable…nearly average +1.3F.

So far in February we’re running a full -13.1F in the metro.

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This week’s milder air is a welcome respite to many of us. It’s nice to get out and enjoy the fresh snow cover without freezing your nose off.

There are signs that sub-zero cold may return with some force after February 15th. The AO & GFS point the way.

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GFS Model output via

We’ll see, the GFS is notorious for overdoing cold air intrusions in week 2. But something about this pattern has the right look to it.

Last week’s cold was the real thing, and brings back memories of the sustained cold from the late 70s.

Who knows? Maybe International Falls will actually regain some of its “cold weather testing capitol of the world” mojo this winter?

If you grew up in Minnesota, you may remember and love this commercial clip from the late 70s or early 80s.

Ahhh…those were the days!


  • Mark

    There were the Arctic ’70s, but also the Arctic mid ’90s, when we reached 39 below here in Duluth, and Tower broke the statewide record low at minus 60.