<![CDATA[2WheelWeather - MORC Weather Blog]]>Thu, 03 Mar 2016 16:26:12 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Spring Returns Next Week]]>Fri, 04 Mar 2016 00:07:14 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/spring-returns-next-weekCycleCast
March can be an interesting weather month. From blizzards to severe storms, March can produce just about anything. A storm that arrives on the west coast Sunday is poised to bring Minnesota a mild rain Monday-Tuesday. Maybe even our first rumbles of thunder for the season!
Through the extended forecast temperatures are likely to stay above freezing, even during the overnight. As a result rapid snow melt will continue. Safe to say the singletrack will remain closed throughout the remainder of the spring thaw. 
The Twin Cities and central Minnesota are virtually void of snow at the moment. A series of storms this past week freshened up the snowpack across southern Minnesota. Bet on most of this snow to be gone by next week as 50s and 60s return to the region. 
16-Day Temperature Outlook for Minneapolis. Source: NDFD and WeatherBELL
<![CDATA[March in Like a Lamb]]>Tue, 01 Mar 2016 00:35:55 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/march-in-like-a-lambMeteorological spring (March-May) has begun! The coldest 90 days of the year, on average, are now behind us. Thunderstorms and temperatures in the 50s to return next week.  
Strong signal for high-impact weather featuring a high probability of above normal precipitation March 8-10. This particular model (below) takes historical data and compares past events to the model forecast. Could be a while before we ride on dirt again.
The seasonal outlook from March through May indicates above normal temperatures for the Upper Midwest. In fact, this bias toward above normal temperatures may continue into summer 2016.
<![CDATA[Record Warm Saturday]]>Thu, 25 Feb 2016 22:37:03 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/record-warm-saturdayThe final Frozen Frolic race at Murphy Hanrehan Saturday - CANCELED, again, due to warm conditions. No wonder, Saturday could be one for the record books. In fact, records will likely be broken that have stood since the late 1800s! 
The spring fever will be fleeting, however. The cold comes crashing in again next week. A few days below freezing? A few chances at some singletrack action? Possibly. A persistent northwesterly flow may keep any potential snow storms south of Minnesota. We have El Nino to thank for that! 
Rain, snow, sleet mix possible Sunday-Monday. Northern parts of the state stand the best chance at any accumulation. Keeping an eye on potential snow Tuesday night and again on Thursday. At this point, extreme southern Minnesota has the greatest chance of any accumulation from those two storms. 
While the Twin Cities will receive a rain/snow mix Sunday, all snow will fall across northern MN with minor accumulations in the arrowhead.
<![CDATA[The Freeze/Thaw Cycle]]>Tue, 23 Feb 2016 01:36:08 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/the-freezethaw-cycleCycleCast
After the light rain and snow Tuesday, our weather remains very quiet for the rest of the week. Temperatures will rise above freezing during the day but arctic air will briefly return early next week...maybe even a little bit of snow next Monday. Either way, studs will be your best friend even when the temperature dips below freezing again. 

​Snow Grooming and Snowpack Evolution

Why do some parts of the world receive more snow while other places of similar latitude are bare? What happens to the snowpack when trails are groomed?

Grooming singletrack for fatbiking is just as much of an art as it is a science. 2WheelWeather has gathered the science behind snow grooming. Check out our new page about snow physics and the basic processes that go into snowpack evolution! 

<![CDATA[Closed Trails]]>Fri, 19 Feb 2016 01:37:08 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/closed-trailsCycleCast
This weekend will be a great opportunity to check out the vast network of paved trails in the Twin Cities metro. The air is too warm and the snow too soft to ride off-road any time soon. There is hope, however, as the 16-day GFS temperature forecast hints at a deep chill to start March.  
March may come in like a lion this year. The long-range temperature outlook indicates a few sub-zero nights late this month. Certainly this would result in a quick freeze and a hardening of the trails. Don't rule out the winter riding season just yet! 
While a long ways out, the GFS 16-day temperature outlook hints at very cold air ushering in March. Don't know if I buy it just yet, but bears some watching.
<![CDATA[The Slow Thaw]]>Tue, 16 Feb 2016 04:06:02 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/the-slow-thawThe freeze/thaw cycle at its finest. After Wednesday, daytime temperatures look to stay well above freezing (32°) but drop into the mid-20s overnight. Slick ice has a chance to turn soft (if not slushy) during the day and refreeze overnight. If the trails stay open, best time to ride will be early morning.  
Model data of the 2-meter temperature indicates a clear freeze/thaw cycle through early March.
Very little precipitation will fall between now and early March. A light rain Friday, spits of rain/snow Sunday and, if we stay cold enough, maybe some snow next Wednesday. 
7-Day QPF (Quantitative Precipitation Forecast) shows plumes of moisture the in the Northwest and Northeast with very little precip over Minnesota.
Our snowpack peaks late winter into early spring. in general, snowpack in cumulative and does not significantly decrease until melting offsets replenishment by new snowfall. Daytime length increases most rapidly during late March - the point at which days become longer than nights. This is when daytime melting exceeds new snow accumulations. I fear our fatbike riding days in plush snow are numbered.
<![CDATA[Cold for Now, Warmer Next Week]]>Fri, 12 Feb 2016 02:44:01 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/cold-for-now-warmer-next-weekCycleCast
A polar high pressure originating south of the arctic will settle over Minnesota Saturday morning. Under a clear sky double digit below zero temperatures are anticipated this weekend. Ouch. Luckily the wind will be calm. Unlike the Northeast where a brisk wind drops to wind chill to -45 degrees. Could be worse! 
Pretty soon the daytime length will begin to rapidly increase. This usually starts in late March. By then the days become longer than nights and the snow melts more rapidly than it accumulates. For now, the sun is about as strong as it is in late October, still too weak to have any significant impact on warming. 
The analemma diagram shows the position of the sun in the sky in relation to a fixed point on Earth. From here we can compare the strength of the sun with other times in the calendar year.
A fresh 1"-3" of snow on Sunday is followed by a modest warm up next week. The extended 6-10 day temperature outlook indicated at least a 40% chance of above normal temperatures late next week. 
<![CDATA[Cold and Quiet]]>Tue, 09 Feb 2016 03:04:37 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/cold-and-quiet1CycleCast
Sure, Punxsutauney Phil did not see his shadow and predicted an early spring. No early spring for us just yet as arctic air sends temperatures below normal this week. Aside from the cold, the weather remains quiet. No big winter storms brewing anytime soon. As it has been observed during El Nino winters, above normal snowfall in February in Minnesota is not common.
After brief melting on Sunday, what's left of the snow is here to stay. Luckily, temperatures consistently stay below freezing this week to maintain the singletrack snow conditions. 

Next week, however, the great thaw will take place. In addition to above normal temperatures (normal ~ 29°), a storm looks to target the Upper Midwest with a sloppy rain/snow mix. Still a ways out, but bet on closed trails next week. 
<![CDATA[Colder Next Week]]>Fri, 05 Feb 2016 01:03:56 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/colder-next-weekPacking of the deep snow was badly needed after the big blizzard brought a cool foot of snow to our metro trails. A slight thaw this weekend could soften the snow, but expect another artic visit next week. Winter certainly isn't through with us yet.
Over a foot of snow fell from Colorado to the U.P. of Michigan. Many areas saw daily record snowfall, including Nebraska with 18 inches! 


Light sleet/snow mix Sunday signals the arrival of an arctic cold front. Next week will be spent below freezing...perfect conditions for solid snow on the singletrack. 
Below normal temperatures and a few sub-zero night Tuesday-Wednesday. Concerned about Sunday's temp above freezing but after that the singletrack snow should be set!
Eastern Minnesota has a chance of below normal temperature from February 9-13.
El Nino Winter No two El Ninos are alike, but recent observations show that above normal snowfall is not common during El Nino winters in the Upper Midwest. The southern half of the region is actually found to have better odds of above normal snowfall during an El Nino February. 
<![CDATA[Snow & Cold Return]]>Tue, 02 Feb 2016 01:44:41 GMThttp://www.2wheelweather.com/morc-weather-blog/snow-cold-returnCycleCast
February begins with a winter storms bringing heavy snow and high winds to southern Minnesota. A "packable" snow for the Twin Cities Tuesday followed by below freezing temperatures into the weekend. The new snow combined with extended cold will make for good riding conditions this weekend.
  • Winter storm Tuesday-Tuesday Night
  • Heaviest snow Tuesday afternoon/evening
  • Snowfall rates 1"/hour, winds over 30 mph = blizzard conditions southern Minnesota
  • Wide range of totals. Elm Creek 4"-6" ; Murphy-Hanrehan 7"-9"
  • Improving conditions, less wind for trail grooming Wednesday afternoon
A storm track from Cedar Rapids to Lake Michigan puts southern Minnesota in prime position for significant snow. Expecting as much as a foot of snow near Rochester with winds over 30 mph creating blizzard conditions Tuesday night along I-90. 
Track of the latest winter storm. Typically the heaviest snow occurs on the northwestern side of a strong surface low in winter.
Light flurries and snow showers Thursday-Friday will amount to an inch or less. Colder air makes a return to the Twin Cities next week. No snow melt along the singletrack anytime soon! 
16-Day High/Low Temperature Outlook. Source: NDFD & WeatherBELL