Warmup this week; melting snow, possibly 1-2 inches of rain

It was great to see the Sunday sunshine, even if you had some shoveling to do:

Snow forecast needed tweaking

My Saturday morning snow forecast called for a 5 to 9 inch range for weekend snow totals in the Twin Cities metro area. Due to a delay in the changeover from rain to a rain/snow mix (and to all snow), the forecast needed to be tweaked. Late Saturday afternoon it was adjusted to a 4 to 8 inch snowfall range in the metro.

Snow reports show that most of the 7-county metro area saw between 4 and  7 inches of snow:

Snow reports for March 9-10, via NWS/NOAA

The highest total that I saw in the metro area was 6.9 inches at the Chanhassen NWS office. Oak Grove, in Anoka county, had 6.8 inches. I measured 6.1 inches of new snow in St. Paul this morning. MSP airport came in at 4.7 inches.

As expected, western Minnesota had several double-digit snow totals this weekend:

Snow reports for March 9-10, via NWS/NOAA

15 inch reports came in from Herman and from a few miles west of Pelican Rapids. Rothsay had 14.1 inches of new snow, and Detroit Lakes reported 13 inches.

You can check snow accumulations as they are posted by the National Weather Service. Hover over any data point on the National Weather Service snow map site to see the snow total and the time of observation.  You can adjust the time range of your search near the upper left corner of their map.

There was also a county by county listing of snow totals.

Warmup this week

Monday highs will be in the 20s in many area, with lower 30s from the metro area into southeastern Minnesota:

Our average high is 39 degrees this time of year in the Twin Cities metro area.

Highs in the 30s to around 40 are expected Tuesday afternoon:

Metro area highs are projected to reach the low to mid 40s Wednesday, followed by lower 40s Thursday and lower 30s on Friday.

Rain and snow chances 

Minnesota and western Wisconsin could see some showers Tuesday afternoon and evening. Steadier rains are expected across much of Minnesota and western Wisconsin from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday, and the rain could change to snow in western and northern Minnesota as we go through Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential precipitation pattern Tuesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon:

NOAA GFS precipitation rate (mm/hour) Tuesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon, via tropicaltidbits

Forecast models show between 1 and 2 inches of precipitation (rain and the water content of snow) will be possible this week.

That could cause some localized flooding problems. The Twin Cities office of the NWS mentioned this in their afternoon forecast discussion:

Localized flooding in urban areas and area streams/lowland
flooding can be expected if the 1 to 2 inch QPF is realized
Wednesday/Wednesday night.

QPF stands for “quantitative precipitation forecast”.

As always, updated weather information can be heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network, and you’ll also see updated weather info on the MPR News live weather blog.

Finally, a snowy March 

As I mentioned last week, it’s been several years since we’ve seen a really snowy March in the Twin Cities metro area.
Our average March snowfall was 10.2 inches for the 30-year period from 1981 through 2010:

Minnesota State Climatology Office

Twin Cities snow data shows that the last time that we had double-digit snow total for the month of March was in 2013:

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport snow data, via Minnesota State Climatology Office

The chart above only goes through March 9, 2019.  They tallied 1.8 inches of snow at MSP airport shortly after midnight on Saturday, so the March 2019 total is now 10.3 inches.

Notice that there was no measurable snow during March of 2010 at MSP airport, and just a bit over one inch of snow in March of 2012 and 2009!

By the way, the trace snow amounts during June, July and August in some years is due to the way that hail is noted on the chart.

Think spring.