That storm that crossed the Midwest the past 24 hours created some real headaches for forecasters. Not only were there thunderstorms with hail and heavy downpours, thundersnow produced snowfall rates of up to 2" and hour in parts of NC Iowa and SE Minnesota where more than a foot was measured. Take a look at these images from the region around Rochester, Minnesota. That's so awesome!
One of the most challenging aspects of the storm was determining where the heavy snow would fall. Due to a sharp thermal gradient it was common to see amounts go from a trace to 8 or more inches in the matter of a few short miles. Here's where some of the heaviest snow fell centered on SE Minnesota.
Below are some totals from Iowa as of early Friday evening. More has fallen in eastern Iowa since this was posted but amounts were generally around 1-2". Again, note the sharp cut-off between 8-12" around Webster City and nothing to the east.
I got nearly an inch in Cedar Rapids (Yipee) That's the most here since December 17th. Pathetic.
In Minneapolis a day or two before the storm forecasts were calling for 8-20" of snow. A last minute shift to the south caused the storm to bypass the city altogether. The NWS took big time heat from people who canceled plans in preparation for a shut-down storm. Some even demanded an apology. (Hey people it's weather, it changes. Give them a break, nobody wanted to be wrong I can assure you)!
The NWS sent this letter to the people of Minnesota and Wisconsin in response to the outcry.
Right or wrong the falling snow is gone by Saturday and the rest of the weekend will be quiet. Temperatures will start out very cold Saturday but should moderate Sunday. Here's what the GFS has for highs both days.
After a warmer start to next week the long range models indicate a northwest flow developing that would be conducive to clippers. It would also allow bursts of cold air to enter the pattern. I would expect to see some pretty good swings in temperatures the next 10-15 days. Here's the temperature departures shown by the GFS the next 15 days. In general, cold is expected to be more prevalent than warmth. Here's day 1-5.
Here's days 5-10.
Finally, days 10-15.
Depending on where individual clippers track, some respectable snows are possible north of their centers. Usually these are 1-3" or 2-4" type events. The last run of the GFS actually had a fair amount of snow over the northern half of the U.S. the next 16 days.
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