I’ve loved snowstorms ever since I was a little kid and heard the stories of the Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940 in which my grandfather froze to death. (I wasn’t born yet.)
I sure hope this storm, which is shaping to be similar to the the Halloween Blizzard of 1991, doesn’t disappoint. So far, so good, though west of the Cities looks like the prime target right now.
This 1:30 pm snowfall prediction map is from the Twin Cities NWS.
For you Twitterers, the hashtag to follow is #snowmageddon.
Got news? Got stories? Help keep your fellow Northfielders updated by attaching comments here.
So far, I’m finding that MPR’s Updraft blog to be best out there. I like Paul Douglas’ blog but he’s not updating it often enough right now.
For precipitation radar, I like this Weather Underground animated radar map of southern MN as well as this MyCast radar map.
What are your favorite sources for weather info?
For forecast information, I still like the NWS website, mostly because there aren’t any advertisements:
If you have an extra $8 / month sitting around, WeatherTap is a great source for radar, and they have excellent support for mobile devices (iPhones, etc.):
Apocalypse S’now or Apocalypsnow. Take your pick.
Already used in Griff’s post, Tony! I call foul!
My favorite source for weather info is weather.com. I like the radar maps, which are rarely more that 10 minutes old.
The worst blizzard I’ve experienced was in the winter of ’73/’74. I was on a business call in Sibley, IA, when the storm hit. It took me 2 1/2 hours to drive 22 miles home to Sheldon. We got something like 2 feet of snow and very high winds. The overpasses on Hwy. 35 were drifted to within a couple feet of the bridge decks. I remember a couple farmers missing pigs for a few days until they rooted their way out of a snowdrift. They had huddled together, and their body heat had formed an ice cave in this huge drift. The snow actually insulated them enough for them to live through the thing.
I’m going to weather this one out in Grand Forks with our son and his family. No coming home for us on Christmas day, for sure.
How much snow did we get last night? 5 inches?
Snowpocalypse Not Yet.
It had a good opening scene, but like so many other highly-promoted blockbusters, so far the rest of it hasn’t really lived up to the hype.
Maybe the second act will be better.
I get a kick out of these email alerts from the National Weather Service. They’re written in hard-to-read ALL UPPPER CASE. Why? And instead of complete sentences ending with a periods, they run phrase after phrase together with ellipses. They need to hire somone from POEM.
Here’s the latest from 6:55 am this morning:
Follow Paul Douglas on Twitter. His latest (7 am or so) Tweet:
I think the all upper case stuff is a leftover convention from when all of this information was distributed by teletype. In other words, it’s a media conspiracy.
I’d say we got a good 8″+, based on our driveway, counting what fell in the afternoon. We live on a circle so we get a lot of snow plowed to the curb, and the new snowplow heap is hip-high on me. It’s getting hard to throw the snow over the mountains at the side of the driveway. What it will be like by Saturday is exhausting to contemplate.
Penny, you’re a lot closer than me on the snowfall total last night. Paul Huttner says we got 7.5 inches:
Well, Griff, looks like you’re getting a Christmas wish. If this keeps up we will have to shovel a path out of our 2nd story window….Glad to hear that someone really is enjoying this–happy holidays!
Dang. No snow last night. In fact, yesterday was pretty much a disappointment, IMHO. And now Northfield’s been downgraded to a ‘winter weather advisory’ (complete 7:07 am NWS email below).
“Twin Cities snowstorms are a little like the Vikings. They get our hopes up so high, only to be disappointed in the end.” – Amy Carlson-Gustafson, St. Paul Pioneer Press, as quoted by Paul Douglas in this blog post.
Griff- Too bad you are not in Grand Forks if you want snow. There must be 8-10″ of new snow in the streets and it is still coming down, or I ahould say blowing past. Interstate 29 is closed down through Fargo, and no travel is advised on the farm to market roads. No wonder most of the vehicles you see up here are some type of FWD. A good JD 8650 tractor is probably the vehicle of choice for traveling today.
This failed snowstorm has to rank among the top ten all-time blown storms predictions. And now comes the ass-covering spin:
MPR’s Craig Edwards at 7 am:
Paul Douglas at 2 pm:
Huh? I could be wrong but I don’t remember anyone saying something to the effect that “there’s a 50-50 chance this storm won’t materialize because…”
Here are my predictions:
1: no meterologist will publicly explain how they screwed up
2: the Vikings will do to us what this storm did.
Um, well, actually, I got all the snow I needed for Christmas!! And more!! Sorry you missed your 2 feet plus, Griff, but I’m sick of shoveling!
If we get decent snow yet from the wrap-around as the system departs, Kathie, I’ll happily come over to help you shovel.
Weather people always oversell the worst-case scenario of a storm. Sure, a few people are upset if the snow isn’t as deep as promised. However, if you want to see a truly angry mob, tell everyone that travel will probably be fine, and leave them all stranded in a wayside motel somewhere.
Actually, that might be a very good way to get rid of an angry mob.
Why didn’t any of these weather forecasters say something like
Now that would have been a helpful forecast.
[…] Christmas! By Griff Wigley, on December 25th, 2009 With my extreme disappointment over the predicted snowstorm that failed to materialize, I tried to find something to post before midnight on Xmas that would reflect the spirit of the […]
I’ve added the word ‘not’ to the blog post title. And here are two photos of our cardboard sledding extravaganza.
In fairness, we did get the 8-12 inches forecase, no?
Sun’s out. Take a quick look at it before the flurries the weathercasters predicted blot it out.
Meteorology, astrology, climatology all should be taken as seriously as the accuracy of their predictions; and no weather forecaster should be vilified or expected to apologies when they get it wrong.
There are sciences, arts and ologies and we are all experts in the latter disciplines.
Kathie, we got our 8 inches snow on the 23rd, a decent but plain vanilla snowfall. Thereafter, they kept predicting 1-2 more feet on Xmas eve and Xmas day. It never materialized. Note this line in an article about the stubborn ice on streets and sidewalks in today’s Strib:
I’m almost over it emotionally. Almost.
Better start booking those therapy sessions again. According to the Strib:
Just remember what the Vikings did to us, Patrick.
Bob Collins at MPR is trying to hold the meteorologists accountable:
I’m glad to see Bob’s keeping a tally. What’d really be fun would be to keep a record of the total amount of snow predicted by various news agencies over the season, compared to how much snow actually falls.
And Griff, what did the Vikings do to you that they haven’t done a dozen times before?
Just to settle a question posed above, some information on why NOAA uses all caps in their bulletins (from the Seattle WFO):
“This practice goes back many, many years and relates to international requirements for message dissemination. Some of our international partners still use low-tech dissemination technology which requires the continued use of ALL CAPS. Since the U.S. is an international member of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), we follow those guidelines that still exist for the benefit of all nations. That is why TAFs, AIREPs, Marine Forecasts, etc. are typed in ALL CAPS.”
Thanks, Phil. I’m now glad I didn’t text this to NOAA:
QUIT SHOUTING ALL THE TIME WITH YOUR ALL CAPS!
We got 10 inches, as much as anyone? All’s forgiven!
In case anyone is interested, here are the official storm totals reported to the Chanhassen WFO by their COOP and COCORAHS Observers:
…STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL REPORTS FROM FEBRUARY 7TH-9TH…
SNOW REPORTS LISTED BY AMOUNT.
INCHES LOCATION ST COUNTY TIME
—— ———————– — ————– ——-
11.50 9 SW STARBUCK MN POPE 0949 AM
11.00 GLENWOOD MN POPE 0515 PM
11.00 FARIBAULT MN RICE 0800 AM
10.00 ELLENDALE MN STEELE 0645 AM
10.00 NEW MARKET MN SCOTT 0728 PM
9.80 LAKEVILLE MN DAKOTA 0922 AM
9.80 LONG LAKE MN HENNEPIN 0800 AM
9.70 LITCHFIELD MN MEEKER 0800 AM
9.70 1 NNW COLD SPRING MN STEARNS 0800 AM
9.50 MURDOCK MN SWIFT 0812 AM
9.50 3 N KIMBALL MN STEARNS 0800 AM
9.50 3 SE ALBERT LEA MN FREEBORN 0800 AM
9.50 MINNETRISTA MN HENNEPIN 0800 AM
9.50 MEDINA MN HENNEPIN 0755 AM
9.30 2 W PRIOR LAKE MN SCOTT 0400 PM
9.30 BLOOMINGTON MN HENNEPIN 0808 AM
9.00 CARLOS MN DOUGLAS 0812 AM
9.00 3 SSW BURNSVILLE MN DAKOTA 0515 PM
9.10 1 E OWATONNA MN STEELE 0800 AM
8.80 HAMBURG MN CARVER 0800 AM
8.50 1 W HUTCHINSON MN MCLEOD 0800 AM
8.40 RAMSEY MN ANOKA 0922 AM
8.30 WACONIA MN CARVER 0800 AM
8.20 1 SSW JORDAN MN SCOTT 0800 AM
8.10 2 NE BUFFALO MN WRIGHT 0800 AM
8.00 MANKATO MN BLUE EARTH 0932 AM
8.00 WELLS MN FARIBAULT 0800 AM
8.00 FAIRMONT MN MARTIN 0800 AM
8.00 KIESTER MN FARIBAULT 0720 AM
7.80 3 ENE MONTGOMERY MN RICE 0800 AM
7.80 1 SSW LONSDALE MN RICE 0800 AM
7.80 1 SE HENDERSON MN LE SUEUR 0800 AM
7.50 RENVILLE MN RENVILLE 0828 AM
7.50 EDINA MN HENNEPIN 0934 AM
7.50 WINNEBAGO MN FARIBAULT 0800 AM
7.50 WATERTOWN MN CARVER 0743 AM
7.30 NEW HOPE MN HENNEPIN 0638 AM
7.00 DASSEL MN MEEKER 0800 AM
7.00 1 W CARVER MN CARVER 0800 AM
7.00 3 ENE SILVER CREEK MN WRIGHT 0414 PM
6.80 ALBANY MN STEARNS 0452 AM
6.70 WOODBURY MN WASHINGTON 1039 AM
6.70 5 NW MINNEAPOLIS MN HENNEPIN 0800 AM
6.60 ST PETER MN NICOLLET 0800 AM
6.50 SAUK RAPIDS MN BENTON 0713 AM
6.50 RAMSEY MN ANOKA 0607 PM
6.40 FRIDLEY MN ANOKA 0848 AM
6.40 MORRIS MN STEVENS 0800 AM
6.20 ST CLOUD SCSU MN STEARNS 0800 AM
6.20 NORTH ST PAUL MN RAMSEY 0842 AM
6.00 MORGAN MN REDWOOD 0800 AM
6.00 BLUE EARTH MN FARIBAULT 0800 AM
5.60 MINNEAPOLIS ST PAUL APT MN HENNEPIN 0600 AM
5.50 SLEEPY EYE MN BROWN 0849 AM
5.50 MELROSE MN STEARNS 0800 AM
5.50 5 W ST CLOUD MN STEARNS 0800 AM
5.50 RED WING MN GOODHUE 0743 AM
5.50 LITTLE FALLS MN MORRISON 0650 AM
5.40 RICHFIELD MN HENNEPIN 0745 AM
5.10 4 SE RED WING MN GOODHUE 0800 AM
5.00 HASTINGS MN DAKOTA 0742 AM
5.00 ST CLOUD MN STEARNS 0600 AM
4.50 ELK RIVER MN SHERBURNE 0800 AM
4.50 3 WSW PRINCETON MN SHERBURNE 0800 AM
4.50 2 SSW CAMBRIDGE MN ISANTI 0629 AM
4.20 REDWOOD FALLS MN REDWOOD 0800 AM
4.20 MILACA MN MILLE LACS 0800 AM
4.20 LONG PRAIRIE MN TODD 0800 AM
4.00 3 ESE LAKE ELMO MN WASHINGTON 0800 AM
4.00 1 N ANDOVER MN ANOKA 0800 AM
4.00 2 NNW COON RAPIDS MN ANOKA 0600 PM
3.80 1 NW COTTAGE GROVE MN WASHINGTON 0800 AM
3.50 1 ESE MILROY MN REDWOOD 0800 AM
3.00 DURAND WI PEPIN 0800 AM
2.80 7 NNW OGILVIE MN KANABEC 1111 AM
2.00 BALDWIN WI ST. CROIX 0800 AM
1.80 1 NE LAKELAND SHORES MN WASHINGTON 0800 AM
1.60 3 NE RUSH CITY MN CHISAGO 0800 AM
1.40 CHIPPEWA FALLS WI CHIPPEWA 0800 AM
1.40 AUGUSTA WI EAU CLAIRE 0800 AM
1.10 STANLEY WI CHIPPEWA 0800 AM
1.10 EAU CLAIRE WI EAU CLAIRE 0600 AM
1.00 CUMBERLAND WI BARRON 0800 AM
1.00 BLOOMER WI CHIPPEWA 0800 AM
Thanks, Phil. Is there a web site where those stats are regularly posted after a storm?
And is Northfield too small to have an observer?
Griff, storm totals generally come out as Public Information Statements and can be found here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/product.php?site=MPX&issuedby=MPX&product=PNS&format=CI&version=1&glossary=0 If you skip through a number of the statements you’ll notice totals tend to get updated throughout the storm, and then there will generally be some sort of recap or summary once the event has ended.
Regarding observing sites, most snow total reports come from volunteers, either from the NWS Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) or the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). The last request for COOP observers was posted on this website: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx/Coop/become.php I believe anyone can volunteer for CoCoRaHs, so no location should be considered “too small”. In fact, CoCoRaHS has training classes this month: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/images/mpx/CocorahsTraining.pdf People can apply to become CoCoRaHS observers on this website: http://www.cocorahs.org/Application.aspx As far as official aviation reporting sites (those taking METAR observations), the closest ones are at Stanton Field (KSYN) and Faribault (KFBL).
I’m sure this is probably more info than anyone really wanted!
Very helpful, Phil.
I wonder if Carleton’s weather database folks could be recruited into providing snowfall measurements. http://weather.carleton.edu/
How about it, Doug?
You must log in to post a comment.