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Big snowstorm is possible

February 26, 2012

    We haven’t seen a major snowstorm in the Twin Cities this winter.  Our biggest “snowstorm” was the 4.4 inch snowfall way back on December 3 into the early morning hours of December 4.  At MSP airport (where official Twin Cities weather measurements are taken) our 2011-2012 snow season total is only 18.2 inches.  That’s about 22 inches below average for this point in our snow season.  By February 26 last winter, we had seen a whopping 76.5 inches of snow!

   Computer models are showing the potential for a big snowstorm this Tuesday into Wednesday.  Several inches of snow (even some double-digit amounts) could accumulate as the snowstorm churns its way through the upper midwest.  It is still a couple of days away, which means that the storm track could change.  Computer models also show the potential for a layer of warm air few thousand feet above the ground on Tuesday.  That could give us some rain or even freezing rain mixed with the snow on Tuesday, which would lower our snow totals.  Here is a peek at the latest NAM(North American Mesoscale) model from the National Weather Service.  It shows a low pressure system over southwestern Nebraska at noon on Tuesday, with precipitation already accumulating over much of Minnesota and parts of western Wisconsin:

    You can left-click on the image for a larger view.  Below is the image for 6am Wednesday.  The center of the low pressure system is just south of MSP, with snow falling over most of Minnesota and Wisconsin:  

   The projected track and strength of the low pressure system may very well change, which would affect our snowfall amounts.  You can check back with your favorite broadcast/Internet meteorologists or go to the National Weather Service website http://www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx/ for updates on the snowstorm over the next few days.

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