14" 10 miles north/northwest of Badger, MN (Roseau County)
8" Middle River (Marshall County)
7" Roseau, Minnesota
4" Thief River Falls, Minnesota
3.5" Grand Forks, North Dakota
* Grand Forks photo above courtesy of Jeff Murphy. Source of snowfall totals here.
"...these snowfall amounts appear to be record amounts for this early in the season for many areas. The previous record snowfall for October 4 or earlier at the NWS in Grand Forks was 2" on October 2, 1950. The NWS at Grand Forks reported 3.5" of snow with this storm on October 4, 2012. While records from around the area indicate that the October 2, 1950 storm produced about 2-5" around the region with localized heavier amounts, with Leeds, ND receiving 7" on October 2, 1950, and Hallock 4.5"." Source: Grand Forks NWS.
* Photo above: Jeff Murphy.
"Uh oh. This early blast portends a tough winter. An I-can't-feel-my-fingers, Call-Out-The-National-Guard! ordeal, one notch above a summer internship in Antarctica." I'm hearing a lot of this. Let me put on my therapist hat and assure you that it's human nature to make knee-jerk forecasts based on what you see outside your window. Resist the urge.
45 percent of Minnesota is stuck in severe drought (including the north metro). 3 months ago there was no severe drought reported, statewide.
The first rule of weather: don't buck the trends. Our dry spell will probably linger into December, taking the edge off rain and snow amounts. Late winter? I'd bet my snowmobile we'll still see more snow than last winter.
It'll probably be colder than last winter, based on NOAA guidance. Why? The odds of a full-blown El Nino have dropped from 70 to 55 percent.
Winds gust to 30 mph today. A few stray flakes may delight Twin Cities residents Saturday, followed by the first hard freeze Sunday morning. No heat exhaustion for this year's (chilly) Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.
A few 60s return next week.
My advice: keep your winter expectations low. That way you'll never be disappointed.
Photo credit above: "An El Niño-powered storm pounds the pilings of ocean front homes on Pacific Coast Highway in 1997 in Malibu, Calif."
Photo credit above: "Drought-damaged corn plants stand in a field during harvest in Le Roy, Ill." (Daniel Acker / Bloomberg / September 11, 2012)