Thursday, April 10, 2008

Waiting Expectantly

I am sure that you are all awaiting expectantly to see what is going to happen. I am too. The blizzard is definitely coming that I know for sure. In fact right now as I speak the sky has gotten really dark and the wind has picked up tremendously. I want to go home right now and huddle under my covers and watch a good old black and white film while I hear the wistling of the wind outside. Alas, I am still at work. We are all just waiting for the first signs of its arrival. I hear that it is going to start out as rain, then freezing rain, then heavy snow. The rain is okay, the freezing rain is bad. I hope to get home before that hits. Well here is the latest watch for you all to read with me.
Good afternoon, here's an update on the upcoming storm:
I have had a number of people ask me, is this storm going to be as bad as advertised and why were the winter storm watches and warnings issued so far in advance? First off, the winter weather watches and warnings come directly from the National Weather Service. As television or radio broadcasters, we have no authority to issue those types of products. However, as a meteorologist and a forecaster, what one looks for is the "consistency" in the various weather models (up to 5 or more) and in each weather model run (as many as 2 to 4 times per day). With that said, it is very uncommon for a number of these different weather models to give the same solution or outcome time after time that far in advance, which has been the case! The consistency has been unbelievably good, which in turn makes one's confidence level in that forecast go up considerably. So, with the confidence level and the time of year — which is late in the season and with some kids off for spring break — the National Weather Service thought it was imperative to get the word out as soon as possible.
Here are the specifics:
Blizzard Warning begins at 7 p.m. for southern St. Louis (thats ME!), Carlton and Douglas counties.
Winter Storm Warning begins at 7 p.m. for the rest of the Northland, except Koochiching County.

Snow expected:
Near the shores of Lake Superior from Lutsen to the Twin Ports to the Bayfield Peninsula: 10-16 inches possible, with isolated higher amounts.
The rest of the Northland, from the Iron Range to the Arrowhead and northwest Wisconsin: 6-12 inches possible, with isolated higher amounts, especially in northwest Wisconsin.
The three things that make this storm so nasty:
1) The intensity of the snow. It will be coming down very hard, maybe 1-2 inches per hour, especially within the 12-hour period from 7 p.m. today to 7 a.m. Friday.
2) The weight of the snow. It will have a very high water content, making it wet and heavy, which will cause problems when cleaning up. This type of snow actually has the nickname "heart attack snow." Try not to overexert yourself when shoveling - take it easy, and take lots of breaks!
3) The extreme winds. The winds will be gusting to 30-50 mph - possibly as high as 60mph - in Canal Park! This will create near-zero visibility for several hours. Thus the Blizzard Warning. Again, if you have any travel plans, either get them done early Thursday or wait until this thing is over with early Saturday. Late Thursday night and Friday will be terrible, and maybe even impossible, for driving!
Here's your Twin Ports forecast:
Tonight: Blizzard Warning begins at 7pm, windy with heavy snow likely. 6" to 10" possible. LO: 28
Friday: Blizzard Warning continues, windy with periods of heavy snow likely. Additional 4" to 6" possible. HI: 32
Saturday: Blizzard Warning until 7am, windy with lingering AM snow, mainly through northwest Wisconsin. HI: 35; LO: 22
Sunday: Much quieter! Partly to mostly sunny, not as breezy. HI: 40; LO: 25
Don't forget to tune into Fox 21 News at 9pm for the latest winter weather updates and more on the upcoming winter storm.
For the latest on the watches and warnings from the Duluth National Weather Service, check here:


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