Snow Total ‘Caught Everybody Off Guard’ Says WCCO’s Chris Shaffer

The meteorologist, who lives in Woodbury, said most didn’t expect the system to extend as far south as it did.

As soon as he woke up Sunday morning, Woodbury resident and WCCO meteorologist Chris Shaffer told his wife: “We’re going to get a foot of snow.”

Which wasn’t what was initially projected for the Twin Cities.

Most forecasters and models said Sunday’s total for the area would be about seven inches, Shaffer said. He was projecting a foot of snow in areas north, but the system shifted south.

“This one caught everybody off guard,” said Shaffer, who recently won a local Emmy as best weather anchor.

Sunday’s snowstorm was the biggest for the Twin Cities since Feb. 20, 2011, when more than 11 inches fell, he said.

The biggest storm last winter (Dec. 3) was only 4.2 inches, Shaffer said.

       Related: Major Snowstorm Hits Woodbury: Share Your Photos

       Related: Calls and Crashes: Woodbury Digs Out from Serious Snowstorm

Despite the foot or so of snow that fell on Woodbury Sunday, he said he still expects totals this winter to be below average.

The snow will have an impact on temperatures, Shaffer said, as energy is spent melting snow instead of heating up the ground.

Shaffer and his family took in a performance of White Christmas at East Ridge High School on Sunday, and drivers were having plenty of trouble getting home afterward, he said.

“I was glad I had four-wheel drive,” he said.

Check tonight’s WCCO newscast for weather updates.


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Kris Janisch December 11, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I asked that, and he said a foot was safe. I did poke around the web but didn't see anything. Got a yardstick?
Kris Janisch December 11, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Dick, I just talked to the city's street supervisor, who said we got 14 inches.
------ December 11, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Kris, I am a participant in the state's backyard rain gage network. used to keep snowfall records and summer precip records both. gave up "officially" measuring snow at the end of 2011 (if you do it right it's a time consuming process: besides with a heart condition it's not a good idea to wade thru banks of snow getting to the gage). did do a quick "patio" measurement on the latest, got a value of about 13 inches. still keep records for the months, Apr thru Oct.
Kris Janisch December 11, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Got it, thanks Tom!
Dick Hanson December 13, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Good enough for me! Thank you Kris & Tom.


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