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Tracking Winter Weather

8 Dec 2012, 1:20 pm

Round Two Begins

Snow fell across portions of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin yesterday as a fairly week system moved through the region.  Consider this the trial run.  A more significant storm is right on its heels will bring heavier snow, higher winds, and colder temperatures for the rest of the weekend.  Even though round one only produced 1 to 2 inches with a few areas getting over 3 inches (Highest we found: Romona, SD at 3.5″), it still packed quite a punch.

Snow hit the metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul just in time for the evening rush resulting a one fatality, countless fender benders, and traffic slowing to a crawl for hours.  Folks in these areas are not strangers to winter weather driving but the season so far has been mostly snow-less. So it takes a few storms like this get reacquainted with those winter driving habits.

Higher snow totals were reported in Montana, even setting a new record. Snow will wind down in Montana today but it will stay very cold.

That was round one. This next system will be a bit more substantial, but still manageable.  Fortunately for most, the timing is just right.  Arriving over the weekend, there won’t be concerns for dangerous commutes, school cancellations, etc.  Model forecast for 6:00 tomorrow morning:

Notice tightly packed isobars behind the low pressure sitting over western Minnesota.  That’s where the winds will be highest tomorrow morning and Blizzard Warnings are already in effect for those areas.

Models have been back and forth on projected snow totals.  Latest runs are now coming to a more general consensus that the highest totals will be in a line stretching from the north shore of Lake Superior to southern North Dakota. Projected snow totals:

Warnings and Advisories as of this morning:

Cold, windy, and blustery conditions will be invading the region behind this storm.  Wind chill forecast for mid Monday morning show below zero wind chill values from the Dakotas down to Nebraska.  Hats, mittens, and boots will all be a necessity for the little ones (and everyone) at the bus stop on Monday morning.

A quick overview of the rest of the nation: The east remains mild but soggy out ahead of the this Midwest system. Record rainfall was reported in Louisville with over 2″ of rain in the past 48 hours.  A few showers and snow showers will linger in the Northwest but the persistent and heavy rain will come to an end.

Tomorrow, the cold hair plunges into the central plains with the potential of severe thunderstorms from Memphis to Little Rock to Northeast Texas.

More updates to come!

Gretchen Mishek

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