Sun today? Next wintery “slop storm” Wed-Thu; Tornado warnings on video billboards in metro

Winter Endurance Test

How about some good weather news first off today. The sun may actually pop out today.

In other news, our next wintery slop storm is already on the maps for tomorrow and Thursday.

This “spring” in Minnesota has gone a little beyond “keeping out the riff-raff” don’t you think? (And BTW, just who are the riff-raff anyway?)

Our next bout of our extended winter hangover rolls in Wednesday. This one is looking somewhat similar to last week’s rain & snow event. Another wintery mix with periods of rain, perhaps some ice…and accumulating snow.

Model solutions vary widely again (why should this storm be any different) from a couple inches of slush int he metro to several “plowable” inches.

Ugh factor X 10 this month.

It’s already the snowiest April in 11 years in the metro. It looks like we may add to the 6.8″ that’s come down so far.

In the blog today we search for glimpses of sunshine, track the next incoming slop system, and talk about a new way you’ll see tornado warnings on metro roads this year.

Is it May yet?

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Minnesota Fishing Opener 2013?

(Thanks to Gary Botzek for a good sense of humor and for passing this along…I think)

Searching for sunshine:

If you see a bright object in the sky today please don’t panic.

Skies are brightening across parts of Minnesota today. The GOES 1km visible satellite shows a big clearing patch in southwest Minnesota…that will spread eastward today.

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Some sun today? What a concept.

Spring…in Kansas City:

Believe it or not….spring is happening not too far south of Minnesota. Thanks to MPR weather spy Bill Stein of Highland Park for passing along this tidbit and hopeful photo from his trip to Kansas City this week..


Feel free to use these pix to show readers that spring is in full glory down the road a piece in Kansas City. Amazing how things changed from full spring (lawns being mowed) in KC to greening in Des Moines to brown in northern Iowa/southern Minn to snow cover in Faribault. There is hope!!


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New severe weather awareness twist: Tornado Warnings will appear on metro video billboards this year

Believe it or not, it’s severe weather awareness week in Minnesota.

This year you’ll see a new twist on metro freeways….for the 1st time tornado warnings will be broadcast on those big video billboards in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties as they are issued.

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Hennepin and Ramsey County emergency managers are teaming up with Clear Channel to display the warnings to drivers this year. You may be rocking out to your favorite iPod or CD tunes, but if you pass a billboard you’ll be alerted visually.

Here are some details I received from Maria Baca with Hennepin County Public Affairs.

Hi Paul.

I represent Emergency Management in the Hennepin County Public Affairs office. I wanted to make sure you saw the media advisory we sent out about a weather-related event tomorrow.

We are partnering with Clear Channel Outdoor, which has offered to preempt commercial content on its digital billboards anytime the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Warning. The idea is that if a driver is listening to commercial radio, or his or her own music, talking to the kids or enjoying the hum of the road, he or she may not hear the sirens indicating dangerous conditions. At this event tomorrow, members of the media will see a test of three of those electronic billboards, from the roof of City Center downtown, and hear from some of the major players about why it’s important.

Starting this year, those warnings will be visible on billboards all over Hennepin and Ramsey Counties.


Maria Elena Baca

Hennepin County Public Affairs

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That’s a good thing…another link in the chain of multiple safety nets that will alert some drivers to the possibility of an approaching tornado. Remember the lessons from the deadly Joplin tornado in 2011, take action at the first indication of severe weather then seek additional confirmation and information.

Many people died in the Joplin tornado because they waited to take action after the 1st notice of the approaching, deadly EF5 tornado.

You may see a test of this feature around 10am today if you’re driving past one of the 3 big video billboards that will be tested in the metro today.

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More severe weather in 2013?

Last year was relatively quiet for severe weather in Minnesota. Droughts don’t produce thunderstorms, and once the drought switch was flipped last summer…severe weather events were few and far between. That’s one benefit of drought.

Looking at the active maps this spring, it doesn’t take a degree in meteorology to conclude that it’s much more likely we’ll have an uptick in severe weather outbreaks in 2013.

A lingering late season snow cover in Minnesota can produce bigger north to south temperature gradients this spring…and that may translate to some potentially potent severe weather set ups for the Upper Midwest in the next 1-2 months.

Here is some great information from the Twin Cities NWS during this severe weather awareness week in Minnesota.

Be ready.

Next Winter “Slop Storm” arrives tomorrow:

It’s like a broken record.

Yet another late season wintery storm is on the way.

This one appears to be coming in two distinct waves.

Wave #1 moves in with a wintery mix for the metro Wednesday. As milder air pushes north with the system precip should trend toward all rain from the metro south Wednesday.

North and west of the cities enough cold air means another batch of heavy wet cement like snow toward Morris, Alex, St. Cloud, Brainerd & Duluth.

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Second Wave: Thursday night snow?

The second wave favors southeast Minnesota and the metro according to most models. This system looks colder, and should favor mostly snow for the metro.

Again model solutions vary…but the Euro, Canadian and GFS are cranking out some significant snowfall totals for the metro Thursday night into Friday.

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The Euro also cranks out highs in the 50s by next Thursday.

Stay tuned…we may not be out of the woods for “plowable” snow yet this week. A repeat of last week’s snow event is not out of the question.

Don’t shoot me…I’m just the weather messenger.

Let’s see how today forecast model runs handle the latest details of the incoming system.


  • rdk

    riff-raff = texans!