Snow Place Like MN!

Let me be honest upfront and tell you that I am very biased when it comes to the subject in which I am going to speak.  I LOVE snow…

OK, let me rephrase that, I love playing in the snow and looking at the snow.  I still find myself muttering obscenities when I have to shovel my driveway (homeowner problems), and when I end up taking an hour or more driving less than 15 miles to work.

So now for the timeline of the first snow storm in 2 years…

Early into the week (Monday/Tuesday) we were warned that there could be a potential for some “plowable” snow.  This meant that more than likely there could be 4″+ of fresh powder, good news for winter lovers in MN.  We had not seen an inch or more in the same day since February 29, 2012; nine months without a decent snow in MN is an eternity.

Being a Minnesotan, you tend to always talk about weather, it is the default conversation.  I believe that we focus so much on the weather here because we have such a wide range, our state has seen -60 to 105+; we have tornadoes, blizzards, and everything outside of hurricanes.  So trying to take a peek into the future and know what tomorrow is going to be like is HUGE.  Our forecasts change on a daily basis, so us snow-lovers took the news of an oncoming winter storm with a grain of salt.  Anything more than 12 hours out is just a stab in the dark…

This was confirmed when Wednesday-Friday saw the storm start to track northward and storm totals in the Twin Cities metro area were closer to bust than blizzard.  I was starting to brace for a 2″ snowfall, which is good news for my commute, but not for my blizzard fix.

As I was about to surrender and show my white-flag brown-flag, representing a brown Christmas, I checked the weather with one last strand of hope on Saturday…

JACKPOT!!  The models once again put the bulls-eye directly over the Twin Cities!!!!  I was still cautious when I heard 8-10″, but I’d take at least 4″.  I was pumped, since the forecast was only 12 hours away from actually happening, it’d be hard to shift a storm so much in such a little time that it WOULDN’T provide at least a little snow.

I woke up on Sunday morning to a couple of inches on the ground at 9 am.  I was expecting greater, since it sounded like the snow would be early, and not late into the day.  It looked like 10″ was out of the question, but all wasn’t lost, we had snow on the ground with plenty more on the radar.

After my first shoveling, the heavy snow hit and didn’t stop until sun-down.  In the meantime, I decided to go out and enjoy my early Christmas gift.

So here it is, proof of the 10″+ of snow we got on December 9, 2012  (and no, the Dome didn’t collapse again.)…

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 6 snow5

In the map above, look at “Prior Lake” (south of the river), that’s where I live.  The 2″ report appears to be an error.  Here are the totals I could find via noaa.gov:

Snow Totals NOAA

So there it is, our first true snow storm of the 2012-13 season.  I should also tell you now that I wish that I would have stuck with my original intentions in college and get a degree in Meteorology.  Oh well, at least it’s still a passion and I can find ways to enjoy the weather.

My thanks go out to the weather gods, thanks for rewarding us with this near-foot of snow.  We had to wait through a very unspectacular 2011-12 winter, but we cannot complain now.  Thanks also go out to my favorite meteorologist, Paul Douglas.  Check him out on Twitter (@pdouglasweather) and his cool blog via the Star Tribune.

Please, stay safe out there, enjoy the snow responsibly!

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