Just the Messenger
May I be excused, please?
This might be a good time to drive south to a slightly warmer, more meteorologically hospitable spot, like Dubuque.
A friend of mine, Tim, reports local fast-ball softball teams are driving as far south as Illinois and Kansas City to find (thawed) ball fields to play on. Our stunted spring has many of us in a funk, and things are about to get even more "interesting".
A slow moving storm tracking across the Plains will spray a fire-hose of Gulf moisture northward - flooding rains for the Midwest & heavy wet snow from the Upper Mississippi Valley into the Dakotas, where some 20-30 inch amounts are predicted. Good grief. A cold rain today mixes with ice tonight and Wednesday, a plowable (4-8"+) pile of slush may reach the metro area from Wednesday into Thursday; heaviest amounts on lawns, fields and dazed robins.
Thursday may be the most challenging travel day.
Note to self: I shouldn't have taken off my snow tires - but at least I left my driveway stakes in.
It's baffling: the maps look like something out of early March. The most snow from an April storm? 13.6" on April 14, 1983. If we pick up 6.7" (possible) it would be the most April snow since 2002.
Rank Value Ending Date
1 13.6" 4/14/1983
2 8.9" 4/7/1923
3 8.8" 4/14/1949
4 8.5" 4/13/1928, 4/27/1907, 4/20/1893
7 7.2" 4/4/1957
8 7.1" 4/27/1908
9 6.6" 4/21/2002, 4/29/1984
...WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON... A WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY AFTERNOON. * TIMING: LIGHT RAIN WILL TRANSITION TO A WINTRY MIX OF PRECIPITATION ON TUESDAY EVENING AND CHANGE OVER TO SNOW LATE WEDNESDAY. * MAIN IMPACT: SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 INCHES OR GREATER... MAINLY BETWEEN WEDNESDAY EVENING AND MID DAY THURSDAY. * OTHER IMPACTS: SMALL ICE ACCUMULATIONS DUE TO SLEET AND LIGHT FREEZING RAIN ON TUESDAY EVENING AND WEDNESDAY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW...SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
One Of The Biggest Snowfalls of Winter - Coming in "Spring". No, the irony isn't lost on me. The 00z NAM shows a major storm spinning up over the Plains, moving slowly to the east-northeast, tapping moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, taking a track favorable for heavy wet snow from South Dakota into Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Storm Track. NOAA models show a track well south of Minnesota, ensuring a steady supply of cold air at the height of the storm, Wednesday into Thursday. The slow forward motion of the storm will help to contribute to excessive precipitation amounts: rain and heavy wet snow.
I'm sitting here, in a Monday funk, mourning the apparent death of spring, at least over the Plains and Upper Midwest. The calendar insists that its April 8, but as far as the atmosphere is concerned it's March 1, give or take. An unusually intense storm (for the second week of April) will impact the central USA with heavy wet snow, heavy rain capable of urban and river flooding, and deeper into the warm, humid air, a significant severe storm outbreak, with a potential for a few large, violent tornadoes: central Plains today and Tuesday, pushing into the Mississippi Valley and Mid South by Wednesday and Thursday.
* Near-blizzard conditions are possible in the Denver area Tuesday; where as much as 5-9" of snow will fall. Expect delays and cancellations at KDEN, especially tomorrow.
* Models print out some 20-30" amounts across South Dakota, with plowable snows pushing across Minnesota into Wisconsin Wednesday and Thursday.
* Chicago may pick up 3" of rain by Thursday, complicating stream and river flood forecasts - I expect some level of urban flooding as well.
* A few large, violent, long-track tornadoes are possible tomorrow from Austin and Dallas to Kansas City. By Wednesday the threat shifts to Shreveport, Little Rock, Memphis, St. Louis and Louisville. Details:
Summary: I've seen a lot of things in 40 years of meteorology, but I can't remember the last time I saw 20-30" snowfall amounts during the second week of April. Portions of the High Plains may be temporarily shut down, starting tomorrow, spilling over into Thursday. Disruptions to travel and the power grid may be considerable, especially from Denver into Nebraska and South Dakota. Ice changing to snow will create poor to treacherous travel conditions over Minnesota and Wisconsin. The worst conditions at KMSP (Twin Cities) and KMKE (Milwaukee) will probably come Thursday. The slow forward motion of the storm will prolong rainfall across the Midwest, accelerating run-off and stream/river flooding, especially southern Wisconsin into the Chicago and Indianapolis area by midweek.
Is there an easy place to get searchable records for actual snowfall totals by location and date? Looking to compare each month of the 2012-2013 Winter season in my neck of the woods (or stretch of the prairie - I'm on the edge)
I stumbled around NOAA for awhile and ended up chasing my tail.
I asked climate guru Pete Boulay at the Minnesota Climatology Working Group for his advice - here was his answer:
"You can find the closest snow data to your location by going here:
It appears as though the closest place with at least partial data is site 210643 (Bemidji Airport)."
* Here's an abstract of the research referenced in the article above, from Nature.
A favorable outcome for Aereo and the Hopper in court would push TV operators to dramatically reshape themselves. It could even force them to trade in their broadcast towers and become cable channels alongside networks such as Bravo, AMC and ESPN, says Garth Ancier, who has been the top TV programmer at Fox, NBC and the WB networks.Climate Stories...
“They won’t have a choice,” Ancier said. “When someone attacks your business, sometimes you do something radical...”
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