Minnesota's busy winter weather pattern continues

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We’re barely a week into the month of February and it’s already our snowiest month so far this season… and it doesn’t look like it’s going to calm down anytime soon. The Twin Cities has now officially seen a little over 10 inches of snow for the month (at the official climate site, MSP Airport) which is several inches above what we received in both December and January. 

This is mostly due to the position the jet stream is in. The jet stream is a river of air at the top levels of the atmosphere that typically separates much colder air to the north of it from much warmer air to the south.  This is also the steering current in our atmosphere, pushing storms around the globe.  Well, the current orientation of our jet stream is in nearly perfect position to keep things active in Minnesota.

The jet dives south into the Desert Southwest, creating a trough in the west and allowing cold air to push south out of Canada. Then climbs northward toward Iowa drawing in moisture out of the Gulf of Mexico.  This creates some pretty optimal conditions for accumulating snow in the Upper Midwest when you have perfect sources for the two most important components: cold air and moisture.

Our next storm is already pushing out of Colorado and heading into the state on Sunday.  A larger and potentially much stronger storm is just off the Pacific Northwest and will likely arrive into the state Monday night and stick around through Tuesday.  After that, there is another storm waiting in the wings that could roll through during the end of the week.  All of these could add to our current February snow total, which could quickly add up to one of the top 10 snowiest February’s on record… IF all of these storms end up impacting the metro.  As always, time will tell.