The calm after the storm(s)

An unusual pair of storms

We just experienced two significant winter storms in a three-day span. My neighborhood in Minneapolis picked up about a half foot of snow Thursday night and again on Saturday. Our backyard looks like it could host the Winter Olympics. Other nearby locations could have worked for the downhill skiing, at least until plows filled the bottom of this driveway with a packed, icy mix.

The result of our recent storms. Bill Endersen/MPR News

When we get two winter storms in such rapid succession, they usually are Alberta clippers that sail through quickly from the northwest with light snow. Accumulations are often just a couple inches.

These recent storms, in contrast, were from the southwest. They contained plenty of moisture and dropped an abundance of plowable snow. These storms, usually from eastern Colorado or the Oklahoma Panhandle, rarely track so closely together.

Melting days and freezing nights

Our weather will be very quiet for at least the next three days, through Wednesday.

Temperatures will be relatively mild. Afternoon highs should be mostly in the 30s to around 40 Monday through Wednesday. Those temperatures will kick off some snowmelt each afternoon, but especially on Monday when the sun will shine warmly.

Overnight low temperatures will be in the teens across most of the state the next three days, as well. Sub-freezing temperatures overnight will lead to refreeze of melted snow and icy sidewalks each morning, so beware.

In the Twin Cities area, the coldest morning is likely to be Monday as clear skies will lead to considerable heat loss. The Twin Cities should have a low around 15 Monday morning.

Farther north and west, the coldest morning might turn out to be Wednesday behind a weak cold front.

The quiet weather story for the Duluth area. Duluth National Weather Service

Snow Wednesday night-Thursday in the south?

Another winter storm from the southwest will pass mainly south of Minnesota beginning Wednesday night. Some heavy snow is possible along the north edge of the storm in southern Minnesota beginning Wednesday night and ending on Thursday. The track is uncertain at this time, of course, but it looks as though the southeastern corner of Minnesota might pick up significant snowfall.

No arctic outbreaks expected

Arctic air will remain in Canada for the foreseeable future. We should get well into March without an arctic chill.

Moon
If you have read this far you deserve an update on the moon. Its beauty often is underappreciated because we see it almost daily. People would congregate to see it like they do for a solar eclipse if it rose just once every ten years.

The moon will be quite bright under clearing, crisp February skies tonight (Sunday night). It will be lovely 76-percent waxing gibbous as it crosses the southern sky and will not set until 4:32 a.m. Monday for the Twin Cities. Enjoy.