One Snowstorm Down, Frigid and Possibly Snowy End to the Week
by Cody Matz
January 17, 2012 7:38 PM
It is pretty incredible that our first January snowstorm didn’t make it to the area until the second half of the month, but regardless, widespread light snow was found across the area Monday and Monday night. Overall totals were not all that impressive, but in spots, the small amounts of snow doubled the winter total so far. The confirmed snowfall reports we received are listed below… keep in mind that your backyard totals will vary a bit.
In the future, if you take a measurement of the snow where you live, go ahead and send that number to email@example.com and not only will we relay your findings to the official source, which is the National Weather Service, but you just might see your total and your city on our list.
Now, this may have been the first snowfall of 2012 but it doesn’t look like it will be the last as some of us are poised to get more snow by the end of the week. Unfortunately though, we have to get through some bitterly cold temperatures first. Another arctic front will move through the area Wednesday afternoon, which will transport more very cold air into our area. Just look at how cold the temperatures are today in southern Canada.
This is where our air is coming from and is set to arrive Wednesday evening, and with fresh snow on the ground, that air is not going to get a whole lot warmer as it moves south so just prepare for a frigid couple of days. We as meteorologists have the opportunity to look at many different forecasting models to determine our weather. Several of those models calculate the temperatures we are expecting the next few days by using tens of thousands of data entries from previous such events. It then takes those calculations, compares them to the current weather pattern, and forecasts the high and low temperatures for the upcoming days. Now, these are not always correct, but they do generally give you the ballpark that your temperatures will be found in. Well, below are two such models, which show the morning lows and afternoon highs possible for Thursday.
You can see very well for yourself that temperatures could be phenomenally cold through the day Thursday. If these numbers ring true, this will be by far the coldest air of the season.
Once we get passed some of the dreadfully cold air, more snow may be falling across parts of the area. For the moment, it doesn’t look like a tremendous storm for our area; however, many spots east of I-29 could have their largest snowfall of the season. At the moment, it looks like a mid level front will move through the east starting Thursday evening. This will lead to areas of snow developing Thursday night mainly east of the James River with the most persistent snow in Minnesota. Right now, computer forecasting models are not agreeing on the exact location of this storm but at least one of them gives a large chunk of our area more then 3 inches of snow. Check out two different models below.
Notice that the first one has the primary snow band well to our east and covers much of southern Minnesota and Wisconsin with 4 to 8 inches. But the second one is much further west and gives the majority of our area more then an inch of snow, with parts of southwest Minnesota in the 6 inch range, so this storm is certainly going to need watching.
But for those of you who do not like snow, there is some good news. If history were to say anything about this storm, it would likely end up at the more easterly solution bringing parts of our east some light accumulations, but overall, nothing big. However, this winter has proven to be anything but ordinary so you may want to check back with us soon and we can fill you in on the latest details.