Taking stock of the snow so far this season and looking ahead to the first few days of 2017

December 28, 2016 0 Comments

I’ve heard some chatter on social media and around town lately that this has been a mild winter so far, with “not enough snow.” Well, at least from a climatological perspective, that’s a wrong assessment. In fact, we’ve received about 3 inches of snow more than we normally would expect through December 27th in Rochester.

Rochester Snowfall Through 12/27/16

Rochester Snowfall Through 12/27/16

Now, there has been some melting in recent weeks, between above freezing temperatures and a rain event on Christmas Day, but there’s still a decent amount of snow on the ground. Most locations across southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa are covered with 3 to 6 inches of the white stuff.

Snow Depth as of 12/28/16

Snow Depth as of 12/28/16

As we wrap up 2016 and look ahead to 2017, there are a couple of chances of snow over the next week. First, we’ll see a slight chance of snow on Thursday. I say slight chance because two models (the GFS, the American model, and the RPM, our in-house model) have light snow for Rochester and two models (the ECMWF, or European model, and the NAM, the North American model) don’t have any snow. So we’ll split the difference and say there’s a small chance of snow flurries and showers for Thursday.

Model Comparison Snowfall 12/28/16-12/30/16

Model Comparison Snowfall 12/28/16-12/30/16

Our best chance of snow over the next seven days will come early next week. There’s some spread in the two long range models (the GFS and ECMWF), but both are indicating some snow on Monday and Tuesday as of the current model run. These model images are NOT A FORECAST.

GFS Model Snowfall 12/28/16-1/3/17

GFS Model Snowfall 12/28/16-1/3/17

ECMWF Model Snowfall 12/28/16-1/3/17

ECMWF Model Snowfall 12/28/16-1/3/17

Past seven days, we can not reliably predict opportunities for snow, but it does look like we’ll see a couple chances through the first few days of 2017 in southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa.

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@MattBenzWeather

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