I’m not going anywhere


It’s been an annoyingly bland, warm winter so far, but it looks like that’s about to change.

… WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT… * WHAT… SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW CAUSING LOW VISIBILITIES AND SLIPPERY ROADS MAKING TRAVEL DANGEROUS. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 4 INCHES ARE EXPECTED. * WHERE… PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA. * WHEN… FROM NOON TODAY TO MIDNIGHT CST TONIGHT. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS… WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 55 MPH WILL CAUSE AREAS OF BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR MINNESOTA CAN BE FOUND AT 511MN.ORG AND FOR WISCONSIN AT 511WI.GOV, OR BY CALLING 5 1 1 IN EITHER STATE.

… POWERFUL STORM TO BRING STRONG WIND AND SOME SNOW MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING… .SNOW ACCUMULATION FROM 2 TO 4 INCHES IS EXPECTED ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA ACCOMPANIED BY WINDS GUSTING TO 50 MPH MONDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING. THE COMBINATION OF FALLING SNOW AND A VERY STRONG NORTHWEST WIND WILL CREATE LOW VISIBILITIES WITH NEAR BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ACROSS WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA, WHERE A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON UNTIL MIDNIGHT MONDAY NIGHT. TO THE EAST, A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR MUCH OF CENTRAL MINNESOTA FROM 3 PM MONDAY UNTIL MIDNIGHT WHERE THE COMBINATION OF 1 TO 3 INCHES OF SNOW AND STRONG NORTHWEST WIND WILL CAUSE REDUCED VISIBILITY AND AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW. THE PRECIPITATION WILL FALL IN THE FORM OF RAIN INITIALLY, THEN CHANGE OVER TO SNOW AS TEMPERATURES FALL MONDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH MONDAY NIGHT AS A COLD FRONT MOVES FROM WEST TO EAST ACROSS THE STATE. NORTHWEST WINDS WILL BECOME STRONG IN THE WAKE OF THE FRONT. IF YOU TRAVEL, MAKE SURE TO LET SOMEONE KNOW YOUR TRAVEL PLANS AND HAVE A CHARGED PHONE WITH YOU.

Here are my travel plans: I’m staying home. I hope my students who commute are going to be sensible about all this — I know my classes are the highlight of your existence, but I’m not going to penalize anyone for staying home in this mess, even if you are going to miss another exciting lecture/discussion today.

Comments

  1. microraptor says

    Sometimes I wish I lived in a place where there was enough snow to justify owning a Bombardier Snowcat.

  2. says

    Finally snowed here, but not much. It’s 27F today, but windy. The temps for the next 10 days range from 27F to 41F. That’s a whole hell of a lot warmer than it should be this time of year. Maybe we’ll get a bit of your storm, we need the water.

  3. Ichthyic says

    meanwhile here on the opposite side of the world, it is pushing 30C already, and most places are experiencing severe drought conditions.

    this week marked the first week of summer, btw. these conditions don’t usually apply until the END of summer.

    gonna be a hot and dry summer here.

  4. jrkrideau says

    Rain > Snow & 90 km/hr wind?

    Great, ice and whiteouts. Driving unless in an emergency sounds nuts.

  5. says

    We typically don’t get a lot of snow here — what we get is snow + wind. Have you ever been in a whiteout? Seen 3 inches of powdery snow blown into 3 meter deep drifts over a road?

  6. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I shudder think of you described as the first snow storm of the season here in Chiwaukee. It would take a while to clear up the mess. I’m glad I can hole up for a day or two and allow things to clear, and people to get used to winter driving again.

  7. says

    I’m glad we haven’t had hard winter yet in the Rochester NY area. When the snow sets in, I have to settle for the Civic while my wife takes the Element for reasons of safety.

  8. The Mellow Monkey says

    Caine

    Interesting, the people who focus on inches, and ignore the 50mph winds. Yeah, let’s see you hang out in that.

    Yeah, I had the same thought. Wind alone is a huge problem, without even getting into the white outs:

    At 20 mph, trees will sway and leaves may strip off.

    At 30 mph, dead branches can fall. If you’re daring — or dumb — enough to walk outside, prepare to grab one of those swaying trees to keep upright. Lawn furniture will blow around unless it’s heavy or well-secured.

    But stuff doesn’t really start to fly until the wind blows even harder.

    At 40 mph, branches start to rip off trees, even “well-secured branches,” said James B. Elsner, a geography professor at Florida State University who studies hurricanes.

    Heading toward 50 mph, shingles can tear off roofs, Elsner said, and eaves can lift and blow away, “especially on weaker structures like sunrooms.”

    My mother lost part of her metal roof to 50 mph gusts last week. Hopefully they’ve got it properly secured now, since they’re in the path of this storm.

  9. woozy says

    Um… not the point, but if you are staying home, how can the students be missing a lecture if they choose to stay home? Shouldn’t the warning be “Don’t come just for me; I won’t be here if you do”? I’m slightly confused.

  10. Don F says

    WHY DO THEY DO WEATHER WARNINGS IN ALL CAPS? I KNOW THEY WANT TO SHOUT OUT THE WARNING, BUT IT MAKES THE TEXT SO MUCH HARDER TO READ!

  11. says

    Have you ever been in a whiteout? Seen 3 inches of powdery snow blown into 3 meter deep drifts over a road?

    YES. YES I HAVE.

    And this is very much one of the reasons I moved to a place with minimal – wet – snow and never powdery tempests.

  12. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    Seen 3 inches of powdery snow blown into 3 meter deep drifts over a road?

    Three inches is also plenty enough snow to make it nice and slick on the highway, especially before the salters come through.

    According to the National Weather Service, y’all are looking at a shot at a wetter than average winter this year. Whether that translates into rain or snow depends on whether your shot at a colder than average winter also sticks it… though I guess “average” is a relative term when it comes to Minnesota winters.

    Been about ten years since I’d last seen snow, and boy do I miss it. I’m hoping we’ll get something pretty when I visit family up north in a week or so. Nooot so much a blizzard, though. That’s a little excessive. Something a little more greeting-card-esque.

  13. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    @Don F:

    WHY DO THEY DO WEATHER WARNINGS IN ALL CAPS? I KNOW THEY WANT TO SHOUT OUT THE WARNING, BUT IT MAKES THE TEXT SO MUCH HARDER TO READ!

    It’s something to do with backwards compatibility with some legacy equipment used to broadcast weather alerts. From what I’ve heard, they’re planning on discontinuing it, though I’d have to look up when.

  14. Mak, acolyte to Farore says

    Lol oh. Apparently they already did it a year ago.

    http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/national-weather-service-will-stop-using-all-caps-in-its-forecasts

    Three forecast products will transition to mixed-case use on May 11, including area forecast discussions, public information statements and regional weather summaries. Severe weather warnings will transition this summer, with other forecasts and warnings transitioning to the new system through early next year.

    Upper case letters in forecasts will not become obsolete – forecasters will have the option to use all capital letters in weather warnings to emphasize threats during extremely dangerous situations. Certain forecast products with international implications, such as aviation and shipping, will continue to use upper case letters, per international agreements that standardize weather product formats across national borders.

  15. says

    TMM:

    My mother lost part of her metal roof to 50 mph gusts last week. Hopefully they’ve got it properly secured now, since they’re in the path of this storm.

    Yikes. I hope you all stay safe. The winds have been high here, and they keep getting worse. Wind worries me more than snow any day, and what it does with snow…:shudder: We’ve lost a lot of tree to winds the last several years, and that’s bad enough.

  16. says

    Oh, just went out to fill the feeding station. Winds here are only about 20mph, but cold? Yeeouch, my fingertips lost feeling within seconds. Definitely glove season.

  17. Owlmirror says

    Snow glows white in Minnesota tonight
    Not a footprint within reach
    A kingdom of isolation, and it looks like
    I’m the teach

    The wind is howling and there’s swirling snow outside
    I’m keeping in
    The weather overrides

    Don’t keep it in
    Do let them see
    Be the good teach you always have to be
    Reveal, don’t conceal
    Put on a show!
    But now there’s snow!

    Let them know!
    Let them know!
    I have tanks full of fish and fry!
    Let them know!
    Let them know!
    I’ll always know I try!
    Here I stand and here I stay
    While this storm is on
    The winds would blow me away

  18. Tethys says

    Meh, MN winters have been transformed into mostly wimpy interspersed with a few weeks of nasty storms, rather than five to six months of below freezing temps and snow. Its strange to get spring anywhere near the date indicated by the calendar. Over here on the east side of the state in the urban heat sink it is calm, 50 degrees, and raining. Guess I will go take care of a few yard chores before the weather changes tonight.

  19. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    I did my undergrad studies in Ft. Collins, CO. We could count on a few blizzards a year with 2 feet of snow or so. And we also got the occasional Chinook wind. The Chinook happens when wet air is forced up the western slope of the Rockies, drops its load on the Continental Divide and then gets accelerated by gravity to come roaring into down the Eastern slope at 60 or 70 miles per hour with occasional gusts over 100 mph. And because the dry air warms faster with decreasing altitude than wet air cooled as it ascended, the temperature can rise 30 degrees when a Chinook blows in.
    The radio used to issue warnings that people weighing less than 100 pounds should stay indoors. So, sometimes you get a deep snow followed by a Chinook that melted the snow and then another freeze that turned the slush to ice.

    Boulder gets the Chinooks even worse than Fort Collins. My cousins used to wind up with their neighbor’s roof in their back yard on a regular basis. And when they were building the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) up on the hogback above Boulder, they consulted the National Hurricane Center as to how to build it to last despite the winds. The NHC took one look at the wind stats and gust speeds and said, “Good luck!”.

  20. springa73 says

    Here in Massachusetts, we’ve had a very mild fall, with the first frost not even coming until early November. That’s been fine with me, though we are supposed to get our first snow and colder temperatures starting this weekend.

  21. numerobis says

    cormacolinde@3: “weak and feeble southerners”

    This sounds pretty much exactly like a blizzard in the Arctic: a dusting of snow with tropical-storm-force winds. We’ve shut down the city for that several times already this fall.

    Both of the first two storms, a young woman was found frozen to death outside. I haven’t heard that the more recent three storms killed anyone.

  22. hemidactylus says

    50 mph winds? Hah we get that in a spring squall line or summer storm cell. After Matthew and Irma that sounds mild.

    The driven snow part makes it more interesting. If an inch or so were to fall gently and remain in Florida we would have a crisis. No snow plows or salt trucks.

    At least the early October flooding finally subsided here. Irma in September set us up for more pain with some no name lows and onshore flow that would not let up. Neighborhood was flooded and roads impassible. I considered consulting Genesis for Ark plans.

  23. mikehuben says

    Here in Ecuador, we have snow all year around — on the volcanoes. But the temperature has hardly dropped below 70 in the 18 months I’ve been living on the Amazonian side. I did see a centimeter of snow while driving through a 4200 meter pass a few months ago…

  24. anchor says

    PZ @ #8: I know those conditions all too well. One caught me and the passengers in my car (my mom and a friend) whilst attempting to traverse an 80 mile trip back home…during what culminated into a 9-inch and blizzardly dump. There came a time en route when we realized it was difficult to determine where the road was. My friend hung his head out the open passenger door in order to cue me on whether I was maneuvering too far off the right shoulder on the rural highway. We crept along at a walking pace for miles. I in turn tried to perceive roadside cues like the occasional sign – otherwise the view I had before me out the front windshield seemed like we were driving cross country over any field without the slightest hint of a road other than a sign that emerged out of the bleak every long once and a while…until we lucked out when a snow plow with flashing lights ablazing appeared miraculously before us, turning in our direction from what we guessed was another road…but the poor guy had to move every bit as cautiously and slowly ahead as we did. That trip back turned into a total three-hour ordeal.

  25. Tethys says

    hemidactylus

    50 mph winds? Hah we get that in a spring squall line or summer storm cell. After Matthew and Irma that sounds mild.

    When the incoming storm air mass is a frigid 20 F you get the wind chill effect. 50 mph winds feel like -3 and exposed flesh is a bad idea. Add in snow and a flat, treeless landscape and you get blizzards. I realize thats still magnitudes of force less than a Hurricane, but it certainly isn’t mild. .

  26. anchor says

    @ hemidactylus #30 – you are comparing apples and oranges. Why? Just because these are both weather occurrences? The comparison isn’t relevant. PZ just mentioned his own weather and what was coming around on the season. But a blizzard that is regularly expected by a population attuned to such eventuality versus a horrific yet statistically rare onslaught by catastrophic hurricane winds on an island that already had infrastructure problems (whose chief overlord – the United phucking states of america – should have known better to alleviate) is quite another.

    There is absolutely no question that the people of Puerto Rico are still hurting in the aftermath of that monster. The bigger monster comes in the form of the pretense of help offered by the US.

  27. hemidactylus says

    31- Tethys-
    Yeah I wouldn’t want any part of *that* wind chill. Yipes.

    When it gets into 40s down here people start complaining.

  28. kestrel says

    No matter what the weather or how bad the conditions, this guy we know from MN will always say to us, “It’s worse in MN.” Looks like he’s right… that IS worse. Stay warm!

  29. asclepias says

    Here in southeastern Wyoming, we get wind in excess of 40 mph fairly regularly. Many times that wind is accompanied by 60-70 mph gusts. Last week we had a gust of 110 mph! However, truckers regularly ignore our high wind warning/no high profile vehicles/no light trailers signs, so we tend to get videos of the casualties on Facebook and YouTube. Last week 21 were knocked over in the 11-12 mile stretch of I-25 passing Cheyenne.

  30. kestrel says

    @anchor, #32: I can’t even talk about Puerto Rico without screaming, crying and wanting to hit stuff. That is a sickening situation.

  31. hemidactylus says

    32- anchor
    I was saying the sewage release in East Central Florida after historic rains was bad but paled in comparison to what happened in Puerto Rico. My own woes with lost power and especially the weeks later neighborhood flooding were frustrating, but nowhere near that of people in Puerto Rico.

  32. tbtabby says

    Here in Illinois, I’m only getting 23 MPH winds. My only problem is that I had to take out the trash tonight, and the wind keeps blowing the recycling bin over.

  33. hemidactylus says

    The raw sewage problem in the article I referenced points to aged sewage infrastructure in a Florida barrier island community. Couple that with the woes related to contaminated incoming water in Flint, Michigan and then wonder how free market fundamentalism will solve those and other looming crises. MAGA!

  34. hemidactylus says

    And from the theodicy angle (and being bluntly angry about that) when my neighborhood was flooded from excess rain people were burning to death in California for lack.

    I am still traumatized from scary ass Matthew and Irma. Triaging my belongings before evacuation is not fun. Tornado and wildfire victims lack that luxury. Yet wildfires and tornadoes are very relevant to me.

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