December 30-31 2006 Winter Weather Event

This storm presented many challenges for National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters, since this storm had a variety of winter weather precipitation types from heavy snow, to sleet and freezing rain, to just plain rain in the southern red river valley and west central Minnesota.  This storm was rare because winter storms in this part of the country during the end of December almost always fall as all snow.  This occurs because the atmospheric temperature profile from the surface to cloud level is below freezing, allowing for the production of only snow.  Once temperatures rise above freezing above the surface, mixed precipitation types can occur.  There was enough warm air aloft and plentiful moisture to cause the mixed precipitation and warmer temperatures for this time of the year.  Forecasting this precipitation type is one of the hardest things for meteorologists to forecast when dealing with snow and ice amounts.

Snow fell to the north and west of an Aberdeen, SD to Lisbon to Grand Forks to Hallock line, with mixed precipitation south and east of here.  Up to 10.5 inches of snow fell in Binford, North Dakota, with 6.7 inches at the NWS in Grand Forks to only 1 inch in Fargo.  The Baudette area received around 0.63 inches of freezing rain before they changed to snow, and they picked up around 1 inch of snow.  Below is a snowfall map outlining how much snow fell throughout the region.  This has been the biggest storm so far of this relatively benign winter season.  

The images below show what an all snow, sleet and freezing rain vertical temperature profile looks like in the atmosphere.  Each of these temperature profiles occurred during this complex winter storm. 

 
soundings

                                                                  Snowfall Map

SnowMap

...STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS FROM RECENT STORM...

THE FOLLOWING ARE STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL AMOUNTS RECEIVED AT THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE FROM THE DECEMBER 30-31 2006 STORM. THESE REPORTS ARE COMPILED FROM COOPERATIVE OBSERVERS...LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SPOTTERS.

FORMAN ND.............0.1 INCH
DALTON MN.............0.5 INCH
HAVANA ND.............0.5 INCH
ROTHSAY MN............0.5 INCH
FARGO ND..............1 INCH
WARROAD MN............1 INCH
11S HAWLEY MN.........1 INCH
RED LAKE FALLS MN.....1.5 INCHES
THIEF RIVER FALLS MN..1.5 INCHES
SABIN MN..............2.0 INCHES
HALSTAD MN............2.0 INCHES
VIKING MN.............2.5 INCHES
GREENBUSH MN..........2.8 INCHES
6SE MAYVILLE ND.......4 INCHES
ROSEAU MN.............5 INCHES
PEMBINA ND............5 INCHES
ARGYLE MN.............5.2 INCHES
EDMORE ND.............6 INCHES
HANSBORO ND...........6 INCHES
NWS GRAND FORKS.......6.7 INCHES
PETERSBURG ND.........7 INCHES
LANCASTER MN..........8 INCHES
CAVALIER ND...........8 INCHES
5NE SARLES ND.........8.5 INCHES
LANGDON ND............9 INCHES
COOPERSTOWN ND........9 INCHES
STARKWEATHER ND......10 INCHES
BINFORD ND...........10.5 INCHES

 

 

 

 

 

 


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