Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The inconvenience that is Wal-Mart

Ok, so I was hanging out with some friends a couple days before Christmas. They were going over to WalMart to get a couple gifts so i figured i would go along since i needed to get something for my brother anyway. I bought the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight" and when i went to pay for it, for some reason they gave me a $5 gift card. I didn't want it in the first place since i hate going to WalMart and only do so if my friends have to go, and i usually dont buy anything anyways so this gift card is just a waste. But i figure ok, cool, there will probably be some random time i will use this. So, i get home, throw the gift card where ever, and wrap the movie. Well, i turned out my brother had just bought The Dark Knight. Sooooo, I go back over to WalMart yesterday to return the movie. Now, i was already pissed that i had to spend more time in WalMart, but when i try to return the movie the girl asks "Do you have the gift card?". I'm thinking, WTF? Then i remember the stupid $5 gift card that I DIDNT EVEN WANT. Apparently you need to have it to return the movie. I go back home to try to find it, and of course i dont know where i put it because i didnt think it was going to be that big of a deal. Now my options are, either keep the movie (im not a big fan of Batman movies), tear apart the house to find the damn gift card, or try to give them a five dollar bill in place of the gift card. Looks like im going to be tearing thru the house, i WILL NOT pay WalMart an extra $5 for something i didnt want in the first place. Oh, and this isnt the end. I go back to WalMart after a quick search for the card at my house. I was going to see my brother last night anyways so i wanted to give him his belated present then instead of having to drive out to St Louis Park. So, i find another movie "Burn After Reading" and i go to the self check out to pay for it. I only the movie to pay for so i figured it would be quick. Nope, wrong. I scan the movie and some message pops up saying something about an employee having to log in. So, a girl comes over to put in the code or whatever. After she does that its supposed to go back to shopper mode so that i can pay. you think this happens? NOPE! the damn machine goes retarded and it takes a good 5 minutes for the girl to get it back to shopper mode. Have I found the gift card yet? NOPE. am i still out $20? YUP. THANKS WALMART!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Hope everyone is having a good day with the family or whatever. My aunt, uncle, and cousins are going to be here from Los Angeles so it should be interesting to watch them deal with the snow and cold (well, for us its warm compared to the last few days). I am really looking forward to see them since they dont get the chance to come out here much.

I just got my Christmas shopping done and all i can say is is that it's a frickin mad house out there, people driving like tards, people parking in 3 spots, I'm just glad I'm done now and can relax the rest of the day.

Looks like maybe a little snow tomorrow night but nothing big, a strong low pressure area may affect us Friday and Saturday with some snow and freezing rain, bringing severe weather to the central US.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


It seems like every season a different product of all the models goes on crack. Whether it is moisture, isntability, shear, whatever, at one point or another all the models are going to blow a product WAAAY out of proportion. This winter season, it looks like it is the precip product. We have had many snow events (i wouldnt call them storms) this year already and the models have overhyped the totals on pretty much every event. Yesterday was a perfect example. Models showed 4-5 inches for much of central and southern Minnesota, but looking at the reports for last night's snowfall most of the area saw 2-3 inches with a few isolated 3-3.5 inch reports but nothing over 4". This isnt the only time this season this has happened. Last weekend the models were showing up to 8" possible here in eastern Minnesota. How much did we actually get? ~4", just enough to have warranted a winter weather advisory, not the winter storm warning that was issued for the entire area. Further west they received even less but were still in the winter storm warning. Now this is not a knock on the NWS, there is no way to know if the models are going to pan out this time and be on crack the next. This is just my theory (and rant) about how the models like to lie. So, for the rest of the season, until i see something different, i am going to take whatever the models show for precip and cut it in half, that will roughly be what we will actually end up getting.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Downright cold

You know its cold when Minnesotans start b!tching about the cold. It wouldnt be THAT bad if we didnt have the wind, but subzero temps coupled with winds of 10-20 mph the windchills dip waaay below zero.

I measured 4" of new snow last night here in New Brighton, although we may have actually gotten more but it was hard to get a precise measurement due to the blowing and drifting. It was definately a pain in the ass to plow the sidewalks at work last night after that front passed, temps dropped 10+ degrees and winds really picked up.
More snow on store for us by Tuesday, although im not sure how much because the COD is having problems with their website after doing some work to it and the models are nonfunctional right now.

Last thing, I gave my chase video a name, until i think of something more clever it will be Mother Nature Rage & Grace. It is still very much a work in progress but i have gotten a lot done since i last mentioned it. If you want a copy or trade let me know. I'll let you know right now the quality wont be great but it should atleast be decent.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The city has finally flooded a couple hockey rinks AND gotten the nets out which means i will actually be able to do something besides sit in front of the computer all day! This should also really help take away some of the SDS (although it hasnt been as bad lately with the snow we get every other day). Man, i've been waiting for this since the beginning of the month, and its been cold enough for them to have the rinks flooded since late November, so all i can say is, again, FFFFIIIIINNNNAAALLLLYYYYYYYY!!!!!

Like i mentioned before I am now in between semesters at Anoka Ramsey Community College so I have no classes from now til January 12th which kicks a$$! Had 3 finals on Monday which i had to do on 4 hours of sleep plus i worked for 6 1/2 hours the night before. As if the finals werent enough stress, the roads SUCKED Monday morning and the normally 20 minute drive turned in to a 45 minute drive and cut it pretty damn close to being late which would not have been good.

Lastly, winter storm to pound the midwest, yada yada yada. Significant ice expected in Des Moines and Chicago with 12+ inches for Milwaukee. Will post more on it later, but i need a brake, i'm afraid im going to get carpel tunnel syndrome because of all the typing i've been doing for the winter storms that we have gotten already ;)

Sunday, December 14, 2008


A major blizzard is continuing to wreck havoc across all of North Dakota, most of South Dakota, and western Minnesota. Most roads across North Dakota are closed due to near zero visibility. This includes I94 between Jamestown, ND and Fergus Falls, MN and all of I29 in North Dakota. Many state highways are also being closed in this region with many more closures expected as the storm progresses. There are too many areas affected to be able to go in to much detail so i will just say a blizzard continues for ALL of North Dakota, all of South Dakota except for southeast South Dakota, and western Minnesota. This storm has effectively shut down the entire state of North Dakota. The windchill at Grand Forks at 11:00 was -44F. Winds will continue to gust to as high as 50 mph, with the possibility of locally higher winds. Northern Minnesota is looking at anywhere from 10-18 inches of snow with some places already receiving almost 9" and more heavy snow to come. There is a decent chance for some places to pick up 2 feet of snow, especially in the arrowhead of Minnesota. Although blizzard warnings are not in effect for these areas (the Twin Ports area is under a bilzzard warning) there are times when these places could see near whiteout conditions. Central Minnesota could see up to a foot of snow including the cities of St Cloud, Willmar, Sauk Centre, and Hinckley. Anywhere south of this line will see lighter amounts with the Twin Cities picking up 3" at the most on the north side, 1-2" on the south side, a dusting to an inch south of the cities.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


A major winter storm will affect a large area of the upper midwest this weekend. Winter Weather Advisories, Winter Storm Warnings, and even Blizzard Warnings have all been posted for large portions of the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Areas of South Dakota, eastern North Dakota, and the northern half of Minnesota could see up to a foot or more of snow by the time the system pulls away with northeast SD, eastern ND, and western MN having the potential to see sustained winds of 35 mph resulting in blizzard conditions. The area that looks like it is going to take the hardest hit from this storm is the Arrowhead of Minnesota where there is the possibility to see a foot and a half of snow by Monday Morning along with possible blizzard conditions. For us here in the Twin Cities it looks like we could see anywhere from 1 inch in the south metro to 4 inches in the north, with snow totals increasing the farther north and west you go. In the Twin Cities we will start out with a cold rain in the morning with a transition to snow by noon as a powerful cold front plunges through the area dropping temps from above freezing in the morning to near or below zero by morning on Monday. Winds will be a problem throughout the region and as the temps dip closer to subzero, windchills will become an increasingly bigger problem. Will update as the system unfolds...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Update on Upper Midwest snowstorm

A potent winter storm is still anticipated from tonight thru Wednesday covering areas from South Dakota and Iowa east through Michigan and Ohio. A large area could see storm total snowfall in excess of 6 inches extending from Minnesota and Iowa east in to Michigan. Winter Weather Advisories have been posted for much of the mentioned area and Winter Storm Warnings have been issued for southeast Minnesota, northeast Iowa, and much of southern Wisconsin. Along with the snow, some areas in Iowa and Illinois could see freezing rain with accumulations possibly exceeding 1/4". Although it is hard to see exactly where the freezing line will be, it looks like the southern half of Iowa and southern 2/3 of Illinois will see mostly rain with some snow mixing in late. The snow should be over for the western half of the area by Tuesday afternoon, and the rest of the area between Tuesday night and Wednesday. Will update more as the storm develops.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Possible significant snow Monday and Tuesday

Thanks to Beau G. for pointing this out. WRF and GFS have been showing a large winter storm slamming Iowa, southeast Minnesota, southern half of Wisconsin, northern Illinois, and Michigan with a half foot or more of snow possible. Latest runs by the WRF are pushing this area of precip farther north in to the southern half of Minnesota, most of Wisconsin, northern Iowa, and Michigan. Looks like from the Twin Cities north could pick up to 5" inches (although the NWS is only calling for 1") and areas south of the Twin Cities could see over 6" if the models pan out. The one thing i am kind of skeptical about is that the area of precip the WRF shows just explodes between 12z and 18z which i dont think is really going to happen, i think it is more of a glitch in this run. waiting for the GFS to update and will post more later...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Update on weekend Alberta Clippers

Still looks like east central Minnesota and western Wisconsin is going to get hit by an Alberta Clipper Friday night. The NWS is saying 2-4 inches are likely but the latest GFS and WRF are pulling the system farther west and bringing down the precip that the storm produces. Someitmes the afternoon runs tend to do this for whatever reason so we will check the morning runs for both the GFS and WRF and also check out the RUC. However, right now im going to go with what i said yesterday with storm total snowfall of 2" at most (although i will be hoping for more). Even if we dont get much snow tomorrow night, we will have another shot at some snow with another clipper sweeping through Sunday night and Monday morning. Again, the models have played down this system in the afternoon runs, earlier runs had this system pumping out up to 5" of snow by noon Monday. We'll just have to wait till tomorrow morning and see. I will post another update tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Snow in the forecast, then cold

Looks like we will have a chance for some light snow Friday night and Saturday although i dont see it being anything big. My thinking is that it is going to be 1/2 to maybe 1" of snow with a quick clipper system coming from NoDak and moving down in to Illinois. Doesnt look like it will be anything big, i would see at the very most
2" but i think it will be around an inch. Im suprised to see the NWS having a 60% chance of snow for this system since it isnt a big one and it is still a few days out. Then, the GFS is showing another bigger clipper heading in the same general direction moving thru Sunday night and Monday. Although this is still 5 days out, if things dont change too much we may see 3-5 inches of snow here in the Twin Cities. After this system moves out we will briefly warm up in to the 30's but the GFS shows a big polar push southward by the end of the 10 day period. We all know that when the GFS goes beyond 180 hours it goes crazy, but the trend for 6/7 day period also shows overnight temps getting gradually colder each night and this area of colder temps. moves farther south each night. so, IF the GFS holds up we could very well see subzero highs by the end of next week (starting around Dec 12th and going till who knows when) and this cold push could extend well in to the central plains and east in to the Ohio River area. Now, like i have said before, this is a long time out and things will change but the models are already trending towards a major cool down. Check back for updates...

Monday, December 1, 2008

First snowfall of season

We got our first snowfall that has actually stuck around for more than a day here in the Twin Cities. About 1/2 inch to maybe an inch fell Saturday night and Sunday morning. We got a really brief clip of the storm that dumped up to 12 inches southern Wisconsin, northern Illinoius, and the LP of Michigan. Doesnt look like much is going to happen any time soon, GFS showing a pretty quiet pattern for the first 10 days of December but that can always change. Maybe another inch or two Wednesday night if we are lucky, otherwise no big storms are brewing anywhere that i have seen.