Minnesota is drunk. And it’s a mean drunk.


The snow from our brutal winter is mostly melted. The birds are singing. The spiders are beginning to stir. I’m eager with anticipation for my new adventure of doing actual field work, which has not been my usual thing, but novelty is welcome. I’m meeting with a team of students to sketch out our approach next week. So I’m weirdly all about working outdoors for a change.

Then I wake up to this evil nonsense from the weather service this morning.

…BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM WEDNESDAY TO 7 AM CDT FRIDAY… * WHAT…BLIZZARD CONDITIONS EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 12 TO 20 INCHES EXPECTED. WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 50 MPH. * WHERE…PORTIONS OF CENTRAL, SOUTHWEST AND WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA. * WHEN…FROM 7 PM WEDNESDAY TO 7 AM CDT FRIDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO IMPOSSIBLE. AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE. GUSTY WINDS COULD BRING DOWN TREE BRANCHES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS, MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED, STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE. 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. &&

More Information
…ANOTHER POTENTIALLY HISTORIC MID APRIL WINTER STORM WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT… .A BLIZZARD WARNING IS IN EFFECT NORTHWEST OF A LINE FROM REDWOOD FALLS TO SAINT CLOUD. A WINTER STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR MOST OF THE REST OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WESTERN WISCONSIN. A POTENTIALLY HISTORIC WINTER STORM IS EXPECTED STARTING WEDNESDAY EVENING LASTING INTO EARLY FRIDAY MORNING. CONFIDENCE IS HIGH THAT A BAND OF HEAVY SNOW WILL REACH CENTRAL AND WESTERN MINNESOTA WEDNESDAY EVENING AND CONTINUE THROUGH THURSDAY, TAPERING OFF IN INTENSITY GRADUALLY THURSDAY NIGHT. SNOWFALL RATES OF 1 TO 2 INCHES PER HOUR WILL BE POSSIBLE AT TIMES. PERIODS OF MIXED PRECIPITATION IN THE FORM OF RAIN, SNOW, AND SLEET ARE EXPECTED ALONG AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM NEW ULM, TO THE TWIN CITIES METRO, TO RICE LAKE, WISCONSIN. THERE IS STILL CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY WHERE THIS TRANSITION ZONE WILL SET UP. A TIGHTER GRADIENT IN SNOWFALL TOTALS THAN CURRENTLY FORECAST SHOULD BE EXPECTED ALONG THIS ZONE. WINDS WILL INCREASE WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH GUSTS OF 45 TO 55 MPH BY THURSDAY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WIDESPREAD BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW AND BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ACROSS WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA. TRAVEL COULD BECOME NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE IN THIS AREA BY THURSDAY.

It’s April, Minnesota. What do you think you’re doing?

Comments

  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    Yeah, we’re just going to get rained on down here in the Milwaukee area.

  2. mikehuben says

    I remember May snowstorms in upstate New York. Your problem is that you have hope. :-)

  3. says

    I live northeast of you, so we’re not going to get quite as much snow, it seems. My crocuses are just starting to bloom, too. And now they’re going to get covered in 6-10 inches of snow. :(

  4. doubter says

    We got 15 cm (~6 inches) overnight in Halifax. I’m happy to let you win this misery competition. :-)

  5. DaveH says

    Looking out my office window to a veritable blizzard. Meh, it’s Montreal, what do you expect.

  6. Joey Maloney says

    I mean…the year I lived in St. Paul the first snow of the season was on Hallowe’en and the last snow of the season was just before Memorial Day. So what are you complaining about?

  7. Artor says

    It’s Minnesota, PZ. What were you thinking? I remember visiting my grandmother in St. Paul, and getting snow in May.

  8. psanity says

    I’m in southwest Montana, and it’s coming here first. It’s supposed to start with rain, then freeze and big snow — a perfect recipe for disaster for both roadways and trees. The wind is starting to show up now, in bursts, with the rain starting late afternoon. It’s supposed to be a very slow-moving storm, which means extra danger of flooding, even if you escape the blizzard.

    I’ll go move our cars off the street, so people spinning out on ice don’t crash into them all night; that’s always such a downer. Then if our trees don’t fall on us, we’re probably OK. They’re calling this “another bomb cyclone”.

  9. DaveH says

    @drksky

    Yes. Aviation still uses similar formatting as well. Many of the messages are sent in “coded” format to be super precise and dense. Not an insignificant consideration on small screens and with automated processing. There are APIs for exchanging them. The free form section is what you will actually see posted since it is more natural language. But there is coding information (priority, time, sender, etc.) coded before that. And the whole thing is sent in old teletype style (since that’s where it started), including all caps.

  10. psanity says

    We are now getting lightning and thunder, which I suspect does not bode well when the ground temp is only 40F. Weather.com has a scary map with the red blizzard part stretching from Denver up through Morris and beyond.

    My favorite part of the standard all-caps warning is about travel being “extremely dangerous” and “impossible”. I wonder how many folks are going to shrug that off and end up stranded on the interstates, eating whatever bits of last summer’s fast food they can find under the seats. With taco sauce, of course.

  11. DanDare says

    According to one of our former PMs, Tony Abbot, “climate change is crap”. So there’s that.

  12. brucej says

    It was 95 yesterday here in the Terrible Sand Kingdom of Arizonastan. WAY too early for this crap.

  13. psanity says

    @14:
    Obviously, all the cold has been sucked north by the Great Whirlwind. Hm. I wonder what Oz is like this time of year?

  14. asclepias says

    Southeast Wyoming is expecting blizzard conditions tomorrow and Thursday. This comes just 3 weeks after a 12-inch blizzard (though the way the wind blew, the totals in any one spot varied from 0 inches to 3 feet).

  15. Crudely Wrott says

    So what’s the weather like in Lake Wobegon?
    I’d expect it’s not remarkable or unusual, probably not worth mentioning outside of the Side Tap Bar but weather warnings are weather warnings, eh?

  16. curbyrdogma says

    When the jet stream goes into a “rollercoaster” pattern, we get rollercoaster weather – which has been pretty much the case for the entire past year or two. Notice the continual pattern of seesawing temperatures, high wind and severe weather with a lot of precipitation. Steeper oscillations alternately bring warmer air and then cooler air into more direct conflict with each other, and that fuels the high winds and heavy precipitation. http://www.stormsurfing.com/cgi/display_alt.cgi?a=glob_250

  17. wzrd1 says

    I’m a stone’s throw from our state capitol. Nearly literally.
    So, when I wanted to cut my hair, a frigging winter storm blew in and left, zip.
    So, we’re muddling thew timing, barometric pressure change and now allowing my raydomes to freeze solid.

    Alas, in a region where, if one doesn’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes, it’ll change.

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