Gotta Love Minnesota Weather: Wildfires One Day, Possible Blizzard the Next?
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012
Take a look at these images from Glacier National Park, MT… It’s a wintry scene out there in the high elevations of NW Montana! Thanks to a potent cold front, snowfall accumulations in these areas may top out around 10″ in some of the highest peaks through PM Wednesday.
As expected, there haven’t been too many snowfall reports in the sparsely populated areas of the northwestern reaches of the northern Rockies. However, I expected to see additional reports through the day with isolated 10″ amounts possible near the highest elevations.
Montana Snowfall Continues
The National Weather Service continues winter weather headlines across parts western Montana through PM Wednesday.
…WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON MDT TODAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREAT FALLS HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON MDT TODAY. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
* TIMING AND MAIN IMPACT: SNOW…HEAVY AT TIMES… WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE MORNING. SNOW WILL DIMINISH BY THIS AFTERNOON.
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: 6 TO 10 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE.
* WINDS AND VISIBILITY: NORTH WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH WILL CAUSE AREAS OF POOR VISIBILITIES.
* OTHER IMPACTS: TRAVEL THROUGH MOUNTAIN PASSES MAY BECOME DIFFICULT WITH SNOW OR SLUSH COVERED ROADS. OUTDOOR ENTHUSIASTS SHOULD ALSO BE PREPARED FOR WINTER CONDITIONS… ESPECIALLY AT HIGHER ELEVATIONS.
* LOCATIONS AFFECTED INCLUDE: BROWNING…MARIAS PASS…LOGAN PASS.
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM MDT THIS EVENING ABOVE 5000 FEET… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY ABOVE 5000 FEET REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM MDT THIS EVENING.
* IMPACTS/TIMING: A COLD FRONTAL SYSTEM WILL USHER COOLER TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION INTO THE AREA TODAY. SNOW LEVELS WILL LOWER TO ABOUT 4500 FEET THIS MORNING WITH ACCUMULATING SNOW OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN. SNOW MAY IMPACT TRAVEL OVER MCDONALD PASS.
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: 2 TO 4 INCHES ABOVE 5000 FEET.
Early Season Winter Storm
Take a look at the latest winter weather headlines that have posted across parts of North Dakota and Minnesota. Snowfall amounts won’t be quite as high through North Dakota as what they’ll be through northern Minnesota. In fact, some spots across northern/northwestern MN could see up to 6″ or more!
The information below comes from the NWS out of Bismarck, ND
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING…
A STRONG SURFACE LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM CENTERED OVER WESTERN NEBRASKA AND SOUTH DAKOTA THIS MORNING IS FORECAST TO INTENSIFY AND MOVE NORTHEASTWARD TOWARDS LAKE SUPERIOR ON THURSDAY. THIS SYSTEM IS FORECAST TO BRING RAIN AND SNOW TO MUCH OF THE NORTHERN PLAINS OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. IN WESTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA…RAIN WILL CONTINUE TO DEVELOP TODAY. RAIN SHOULD BEGIN MIXING WITH AND CHANGING OVER TO ALL SNOW LATE THIS AFTERNOON IN THE FAR WEST. A RAIN AND SNOW MIX THIS EVENING IN CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA SHOULD BECOME ALL SNOW BY MIDNIGHT AND CONTINUE INTO THURSDAY MORNING.
TOTAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS FOR MUCH OF WESTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON ARE EXPECTED TO RANGE FROM 1 TO 2 INCHES…WITH 2 TO 3 INCHES POSSIBLE FROM THE TURTLE MOUNTAINS TO THE JAMESTOWN AREA. SINCE THIS IS THE FIRST SNOWFALL EVENT WITH BRISK WINDS…ALONG WITH A BIG TEMPERATURE CHANGE FROM THE RELATIVELY MILD AUTUMN EXPERIENCED SO FAR…A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED. TRAVELERS SHOULD SLOW DOWN AND ALLOW EXTRA TIME TO REACH YOUR DESTINATION.
The information below comes from the NWS out of Grand Forks, ND
…WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND FORKS HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH LAT THURSDAY NIGHT.
* TIMING…RAIN IS EXPECTED TO CHANGE TO SNOW LATE TONIGHT AND CONTINUE THROUGH THURSDAY. THE SNOW MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES.
* WINDS…NORTH WINDS WILL INCREASE ON THURSDAY AND BECOME 20 TO 30 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS.
* VISIBILITIES…MAY BE NEAR ZERO ON THURSDAY WITHIN FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW.
* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS…6 OR MORE INCHES ARE POSSIBLE.
The latest RPM model suggests up to 10″+ snowfall across parts of NW MN through PM Thursday! Keep in mind that the ground is still very warm, so some/most may melt on contact before the snow intensities pick up. If it snows hard/fast enough, you will see snow accumulations occur more quickly.
Karlstad, MN Wildfire
It’s crazy to think that those in northwestern MN on fire Tuesday afternoon, could be digging out from 4″ to 8″+ of snow by PM Thursday! An explosive wildfire Tuesday consumed 7 structures in Karlstad, MN and prompted the evacuation of several hundred people… Read more below:
“(AP) Evacuees have returned to their homes in a small northwestern Minnesota town after fire crews contained a rapidly-spreading wildfire fueled by brisk winds. State fire marshal Bruce Roed said Wednesday the fire is 95 percent contained and has not grown since Tuesday night when about 400 people returned to their homes in the Kittson County town of Karlstad. The wildfire earlier burned about 12 square miles and destroyed six to eight homes in the Karlstad area. Authorities evacuated Karlstad’s nursing home, school, assisted living center and a group home as the fire blanketed the community in thick smoke. City Clerk Sue Dufault says people were evacuated to Hallock, about 20 miles to the northwest. Roed says the possibility of 6 inches of snow Wednesday night and Thursday morning is welcome news to firefighters.”
(Photo Courtesy: ValleyNewsLive.com)
Much Needed Moisture
The good thing about this system is that it appears to be bringing much needed moisture to these areas through the end of the week! Some spots could pick up 1″ to 2″ or more of liquid precipitation!
This was the last update from the US Drought Monitor from last week. Note that some of the EXTREME DROUGHT areas will likely be seeing some of the highest precipitation totals from this storm!
Unfortunately, this will not be a drought busting storm, but it will dent it some… The graphic below suggests the precipitation needed to get back to normal
Massive Cold Front!
The same cold front responsible for shovelable/plowable snow, will also be responsible for a massive cool-down! The image below shows the 24 hour temperature change, comparing temperatures earlier today to that 24 hours ago.
Cold Air Rumbles South
The images below suggest the forecast high temperatures across the nation over the coming days… note the significant cool-down by the weekend across much of the nation. These reading will be similar to that of early November!
Viewer Submitted Photos
Thanks to Brian Gustafson for this image out of Grove City, OH
Thanks to Rose Moore for this picture
Thanks for checking in on this Wednesday, have a great rest of your week.
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