Sky show tonight; AM Micro Clipper; Watching Friday & Monday snow

Snowy Dusting

Our next Clipper in the late winter surge of 2013 rolls in just in time for AM rush Thursday.

Not a big deal by Minnesota standards, but this seems to be the winter of… how little snow is “just enough” to gum up the rush hour works?

In this Updraft we’ll track and time 3 incoming weather systems, and talk about a sky show that should be worth watching the next few nights.

73F high temp at MSP Airport last year on March 14th

Sky Show: Comet PANSTAARS visible next few (clear) nights

Wednesday and Thursday evenings should be clear enough to see a rare sight in the western sky after sunset.

The Comet PANSTARRS will be visible to the naked eye (but better with binoculars) in the west just after sunset for the next couple of weeks.

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Some details from the Duluth NWS.

Stargazers – Heads’ Up For Comet PANSTARRS

Comet PANSTARRS (officially C/2011 LR (PANSTARRS)), will be visible in the northern hemisphere, including Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, for the next couple of weeks. Comet PANSTARRS is named for the telescope and project group of scientists who discovered the comet back in 2011 – the Panoramic Survey Telescope And Rapid Response System.

Comet PANSTARRS will be visible to the naked eye in the western skies shortly after sunset, and will be located just below the constellation Pisces and just to the left of the constellation Pegasus. It may be somewhat hard to see through the bright glow of the sunset afterglow, as the comet will be low to the horizon.

Of particular interest for photographers, tonight and tomorrow, March 12 and 13, comet PANSTARRS will be very near the evening crescent moon. The comet is expected to be about as bright as a magnitude 1 or 2 star – or about as bright as the stars in the Big Dipper. The comet will gradually become less bright this weekend and next week as it moves farther from the sun, but that decrease in brightness may be offset by the comet being visible later after sunset as it moves away from the sun, and thus visible in darker skies next week. Of course, the comet being visible is also highly dependent on having clear skies for viewing!

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Thursday AM snow shot:

What would rush hour be without a little snow?

Thursday morning’s Micro Clipper is small, but timing is everything as they say.

The system will spread snow into eastern Minnesota after midnight, and should wind down during AM rush. I’m expecting an inch or less in most areas, but with temps in the 20s that could be “just enough” to gum up the works for AM rush.

Plan accordingly.

The good news? The sun will come out again by Thursday afternoon, and our higher March sun angle and temps above freezing should mean whatever falls Thursday morning will be gone for PM drive time.

Thursday PM looks nice…and highs should reach the upper 30s at least. With light winds it will feel nice out there!

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Clipper #2 Friday:

Friday’s clipper looks a little stronger, especially for northern Minnesota where 2″ to 4″ could fall.

The metro will ride the ragged edge of freezing, which could mean some mixed precip trending toward a little slushy snow. As temps fall Friday night, things will ice up…so be ready for that.

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Monday, Monday:

This winter seems to have a cruel sense of humor… likes to snow on Mondays. I count 6 Monday snow events since February’s snow blitz began.

All major models are still brining a stronger weather system our way Sunday night and Monday.

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There are still details to be worked out with storms tracks, but looking at this it seems hard to find a scenario where we don’t get a “plowable” snow event.

Things can still change, but right now it seems it’s not a matter of if we’ll get snow…more like how many inches.

As we say in the weather biz…..stay tuned.


  • bobbydole

    Even in mid-march there are those still excited for snow!

  • Israel

    Very ironic that from the time period sunday through Tuesday, highs will be in the mid-20’s and lows near single digits while last year at that time, it was 80°F with lows in mid-60’s. We haven’t even officially reached or got above 42°F these past few months. Last time it was at/above 60° was Nov. 10, 2012. You should mention that in one of your blogs Paul.

  • bonjourmn

    We had 4″ of snow in Grant, MN (55028) this morning!!!

  • bonjourmn

    We had 4″ of snow this morning in Grant (55082) MN – just east of Willernie! Came as quite a surprise given the low snow forecasts everywhere!