Late week thaw; Super Bowl snow potential?

I love life in Minnesota the day after a big snowstorm.

A chorus of plows and snowblowers fill the air. Photogenically snowy Currier and Ives scenes grace the wintry landscape. In many cities today would qualify as a civil emergency. In Minnesota life goes on as usual.

Snow and icicles in Victoria.  Paul Huttner | MPR News

Perfect storm

Monday’s storm had all the right mechanics to dump heavy snow.

Strong upper level forcing and a tightly wrapped low. A deep moisture feed straight from the Gulf of Mexico. Just the right amount of subfreezing air in the lowest mile of the atmosphere for “dynamical cooling” to keep precip mostly snow.

This classic Panhandle Hook storm was a beauty to watch and forecast. This is how it should be.

Snow zone

The swath of snow with this system was impressive. The heavy snow axis brushed the southeast half of the Twin Cities.

Twin Cities NWS

Razor’s edge

Remember how many times we said there would be a “sharp cutoff” on the northwest edge of the snow zone? Take a look at this. I can’t remember seeing a more stark snow cutoff line with a storm in recent memory.

Image: Snow cover from NASA MODIS Terra 250-meter resolution visible image.

Thawing out

One interesting element of this week is the lack of Arctic air behind the storm. We warm up gradually this week. Roads and your driveway will have a chance to clear out Thursday and Friday as temperatures thaw.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Weather Bell

Super Bowl snow?

This is still too early to be credible, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System is looking interesting now for the past few runs with a snow chance for Super Bowl Sunday.

Stay tuned.