When I got to Minnesota in 1983 someone quickly set me straight. "The cold and snow serves a purpose, Paul. It keeps the riff-raff out."
Really? How did I get in?
That said, I realize if we had San Diego's weather year-round MSP would have a population of 10 million.
The national media will be chatting up today's snow burst; the heaviest snow coming this morning. Rush hour will be anything but. A snow ratio of 6:1 or 7:1 will probably mean 5-8 sloppy inches before snow starts tapers this afternoon.
Spring is on life support - but this too shall pass. The trends are encouraging: more big, wet storms pulling moisture northward from the Gulf of Mexico. The atmosphere should be warm enough aloft for rain Sunday, another rain event shaping up by the middle of next week. Call me a naive optimist (or worse), but I still believe the drought will ease by June.
Unusual chill and additional snow is delaying spring flood season, but rain next week may accelerate snow melt. Some drought counties may experience river flooding, especially along the Red River. Go figure.
Long-range models hint at 50s next weekend (April 20-21), maybe 60F after the 25th?
I know. I'll believe it when I see it.
Winter Storm Warning. NOAA has expanded the number of counties under a Winter Storm Warning; now as far north as Fergus Falls and Brainerd, extending into much of central and northern Wisconsin. Ice Storm Warnings are posted for southeastern Minnesota and southwest Wisconsin. Details from the Twin Cities NWS:
...LONG DURATION SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM TO BRING MORE HEAVY WINTRY PRECIPITATION THROUGH AT LEAST THURSDAY... .A POWERFUL STORM SYSTEM WILL BRING WINTRY PRECIPITATION THROUGH AT LEAST THURSDAY. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT PART OF THIS STORM IS EXPECTED THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY MORNING...WHEN SNOWFALL RATES WILL EXCEED AN INCH PER HOUR AT TIMES. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS CAN ALSO BE EXPECTED...WHICH WOULD LEAD TO EVEN GREATER SNOW RATES OF 2 INCHES OR MORE PER HOUR. PRECIPITATION WILL BE MAINLY SNOW NORTHWEST OF A FAIRMONT...TO THE SOUTHEASTERN TWIN CITIES METRO...TO RICE LAKE LINE. A MIX OF FREEZING RAIN...SLEET AND SOME SNOW IS EXPECTED SOUTHEAST OF THIS LINE...GRADUALLY TURNING TO ALL SNOW BY LATE THURSDAY MORNING. THIS WINTER STORM WILL HAVE SIGNIFICANT IMPACTS ON THE THURSDAY MORNING COMMUTE. SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS OF 8 TO 12 INCHES ARE EXPECTED IN A BAND CENTERED ALONG A LINE FROM REDWOOD FALLS...TO ST CLOUD AND THE TWIN CITIES METRO...TO RICE LAKE WISCONSIN. SOME LOCATIONS... ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT RECEIVE THUNDERSNOW...COULD SEE HIGHER TOTALS OF 12 TO 15 INCHES. SNOW TOTALS WILL DROP OFF TO THE NORTH AND SOUTH OF THIS HEAVY BAND TO 6 TO 8 INCHES NEAR ALEXANDRIA AND LITTLE FALLS...AND PERHAPS AS LITTLE AS 2 TO 5 INCHES NEAR ALBERT LEA AND EAU CLAIRE WHERE A MIX OF FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET IS EXPECTED TO PERSIST THE LONGEST. ICE ACCUMULATIONS THERE MAY ALSO REACH BETWEEN A TENTH AND A QUARTER OF AN INCH.
Snow Burst. The high-resolution RAP model from NOAA shows a surge of moisture and energy rotating in from the southeast this morning; the heaviest snow between 3 am and 11 am or so, when slush may pile up at the rate of 2"/hour (even some thunder and lightning). Snow tapers slightly this afternoon - by then many lawns and fields will be sporting a 5-8" blanket of white.
* Another 4-9" slushy snow may fall on the Twin Cities tonight thru Thursday afternoon; a plowable snow event. As much as 15-18" may fall on southwestern Minnesota.
* River flooding is increasing across the Midwest and Great Lakes; heavy rain falling on partially frozen ground complicating the flood outlook.
* Severe thunderstorms are likely later today from the Mississippi River Valley into the Ohio Valley, as far east as Philadelphia and metro New York City. The odds of tornadoes are low, but not zero.
Summary: Another surge of heavy wet snow and ice pushes across the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes into Friday morning. River flooding continues to increase over the Midwest, and will be a factor for the next couple of weeks as we continue in a very wet, unsettled pattern. Severe storms will fire up later today over the central USA, pushing to the east coast by Friday. We'll continue to monitor this unusually intense April storm and keep you in the loop.
* experimental long-range flood risk graphic courtesy of NOAA.
- About 4 out of 5 Americans live in counties that have been declared federal disaster areas in the past six years.
- In 2012, the U.S. recorded 11 weather disasters causing economic losses of $1 billion or more, including Hurricane Sandy.
- Sandy claimed 72 lives in the Northeast and caused over $70 billion in damages, making it the costliest hurricane ever to hit the East Coast and the costliest weather disaster since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
- 77 million Americans live in counties that experienced federally declared weather-related disasters in 2012 alone.
- 19 million Americans live in counties that have averaged one or more such weather-related disasters per year since 2007..."
Photo credit: "Felix Baumgartner, at the summit of Hoher Kasten, Switzerland, a few months after his record-setting free fall." Courtesy: Vanity Fair.
Photo credit above: "Spectrolab has achieved a record 37.8 percent efficiency with a new multi-junction solar cell (not pictured)." (Photo: Shutterstock).
Photo credit above: "The final standards are much more vague about the causes of climate change." Photograph: Kevin Schmidt/Corbis.