FROM: Bob Weisman, Earth Sciences - St. Cloud State University

DATE: 9 March 1999

SUBJECT: Record daily snow in St. Cloud
         Biggest March storm since 1985

       Yesterday's snowfall was the largest March snowfall in 14 years. The
total snowfall as of 6 AM this morning was 9 inches at the St. Cloud Airport
and 9.5 inches at St. Cloud State University. Another inch is possible as
the last gasp of this storm exits eastern Minnesota. 
       There hasn't been a storm producing this much snowfall in St. Cloud
during the past 26 months. The last major snowfall this large in central
Minnesota was January 4-5, 1997, which produced 11.6 inches in St. Cloud
with even higher totals to the west (for example: 27 inches in Wheaton, 
21 inches in Alexandria). The last time there was this much snow in March
was in 1985 when the storm of March 3-4 produced more than 17 inches of
snow in St. Cloud.
        This particular storm, which dumped snow from Nebraska to Indiana
and is doing it right now in the Mid-Atlantic states, was unusual in that
the track of the storm (eastern Colorado to southern Missouri) was a good
one for producing heavy snow in Iowa, but usually doesn't produce a lot
of snow further to the north. However, this system also contained an
inverted trough, a subject of currently funded National Science Foundation
research at St. Cloud State University. Weisman, three current and former
SCSU students, and colleagues from the regional National Weather Service offices
have been studying this forecast problem for the past two years. A workshop on
the findings was held last November in Sioux Falls, leading to improved
techniques in the forecasting of such systems. While this particular storm
did not quite fit the mold, the forecasts in the area were relatively close,
showing that these techniques are, at least, a partial success.

St. Cloud:
Most snowfall on March 8: 7.5 inches (old record: 2.8 inches in 1982)
Highest single day snowfall since January 4, 1997 (8.5 inches)
Largest storm total snowfall (9.5 inches as of 6 AM) since January 4-5, 1997
                                                           (11.6 inches)
Largest March single day snowfall and storm total snowfall since
        March 3-4, 1985 (8.7 inches on 3/3/85; 9.0 inches on 3/4/85)

Bob Weisman, Meteorology Professor	SUPERVISOR: Shirley (age 6 1/2)
Earth Sciences Department		PHONE: (320) 255-3247 (V)
MS 48                                          (800) 627-3529 (TTY via
Saint Cloud State University                        Minnesota Relay Service)
720 4th Avenue South			FAX:   (320) 255-4262
Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56301-4498  	EMAIL: scsweisman@tigger.


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Last modified: March 12, 1999