Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mild Monday. Single Digit Wind Chills Midweek

Snowy Start on Sunday
Many of us woke up to a slushy coating of snow on Sunday after a quick moving system rolled overnight Saturday/AM Sunday. It wasn't much, but it cause several accidents and spin outs as area roads became very slippery. Unfortunately for snow lovers, much of the snow will melt due to warm temperatures continuing on Sunday and Monday. In fact, temps on Monday will warm into the low/mid 40s across parts of southern MN.
 
Snowfall Totals 
Here's a look at snowfall tallies from across the region. There were several 1" to 3" tallies, but there was also a 4" report from near Inver Grove Heights. Thanks to above freezing temps during the day Sunday, much of that snow melted.

Radar Loop of Snow Ending AM Sunday
Here's the radar loop from early Sunday as the snow was ending across the Twin Cities. Heavier snow up to 1" to 3" fell across parts of the region, while just a light coating was found farther west.
 
________________________________________________________Big Snow on the Big Island
Hawaii's highest peak could get up to another foot of snow Sunday, on top of the 2 feet that have fallen since Thursday, the National Weather Service says. A winter storm warning is in effect for the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea through Saturday evening. “Then we’re expecting another round on Sunday and Sunday night,” said Matthew Foster, a staff meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Snow on the peaks is not uncommon in the colder months of the year, though deep snow is rare. “We’ll probably see three to five snow events a year during the cold season. Some years we might not get any, some years we might get more,” said Foster. The only other area of Hawaii that gets snow with any regularity is the Haleakalā volcano on Maui, which at about 10,000 feet gets snow once every five years or so, he said."
See more from USA Today HERE:
"In this image made from webcam video provided by Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the CFHT telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island is covered in snow on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a winter storm warning for the summits of Hawaii's Big Island as wind and snow engulf the high peaks. (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope via AP)"
Pacific Moisture Moves into the Pacific Northwest
Here's the Eastern Pacific precipitable water loop that shows heavier moisture from the Pacific moving into the West Coast in a few different waves. These rounds of heavier moisture have been responsible for heavier coastal rains and high elevation snow. Another one of these storms is moving through the Pacific Northwest now with heavier snow possible through early next week.

Another Surge of Heavier Pacific Moisture
Here's a look at the next storm system moving through the region through the early part of next week. Note that areas along the coast and in the lower elevations will likely see rain, while those in the higher elevations will see snow. Some spots could see 1ft to 2ft by early next week.
 
 Winter Weather Headlines
...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT THRU 11 AM MST MONDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MISSOULA HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WHICH IS IN
EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 11 AM MST MONDAY. THE WINTER STORM
WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* IMPACTS/TIMING: SNOW WILL CONTINUE FOR TONIGHT AND SNOW
  INTENSITIES WILL INCREASE DURING THE DAY SUNDAY. THE COMBINATION
  OF ACCUMULATING SNOW AND WIND, VISIBILITY COULD BE GREATLY
  REDUCED, ESPECIALLY OVER MARIAS PASS. A PERIOD OF MODERATE TO
  HEAVY SNOW AND GUSTY WINDS IS LIKELY SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING
  WITH THE COLD FRONT. ALL OF THESE IMPACTS WILL CREATE HAZARDOUS
  TRAVEL CONDITIONS SUNDAY THROUGH THE FIRST PART OF MONDAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY: 10 TO 14 INCHES WITH
  ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS IN THE MOUNTAINS AND MARIAS PASS.

* WINDS: GUSTY WEST NORTHWEST WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MILE PER HOUR
  POSSIBLE FOR MARIAS PASS.

Snow in the Northwest
Here's the snowfall potential through midday Midday, which shows fairly significant tallies across the Cascade range and across much of the northern Rockies. Some spots could see up to 1ft. to 2ft. through early next week.

National Snow Cover
According to NOAA's NOHRSC, 27.8% of the nation was covered up in snow as of December 4th. Last year at this time, 33.0% of the nation was covered up by snow!
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More Heavy Rain in the South/Southeast

Take a look at the heavy potential across the southern and southeastern US through the middle part of the week! Widespread heavy rainfall could lead to areas of flooding over the next few days, especially over eastern Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley. Not only will heavy rain be possible, but a few strong to severe storms may be possible into early next week as well.

 

Severe Threat Monday
...SUMMARY...
   A FEW STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS ARE POSSIBLE MONDAY AFTERNOON INTO
   MONDAY NIGHT OVER SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE GULF COAST STATES.
   DAMAGING WIND IS THE PRIMARY THREAT...ALTHOUGH SOME HAIL IS POSSIBLE
   WITH ACTIVITY NORTH OF THE WARM FRONT.

   ...GULF STATES...

   LATEST SHORT-RANGE MODEL GUIDANCE CONTINUES TO SUGGEST A STRONG
   SOUTHERN-STREAM SHORT-WAVE TROUGH WILL EJECT ENEWD ACROSS NORTHERN
   MEXICO INTO THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BY 06/00Z.  500MB SPEED MAX
   WILL INCREASE TO NEAR 80KT AS THIS FEATURE LIFTS NEGATIVELY TILTED
   INTO THE TENNESSEE VALLEY BY SUNRISE TUESDAY MORNING.  IN RESPONSE
   TO THIS FEATURE...LOW-LEVEL TRAJECTORIES ACROSS THE GULF BASIN WILL
   AID IN THE NWD ADVANCEMENT OF A SURFACE WARM FRONT...BUT TRUE
   MARITIME AIR IS NOT EXPECTED TO MOVE APPRECIABLY INLAND.  04/12Z NAM
   SUGGESTS HIGHER THETA-E AIR SHOULD HOLD NEAR THE COAST AND FOR THIS
   REASON HAVE SUPPRESSED THE SLGT RISK A BIT CLOSER TO THE GULF WHERE
   BUOYANCY WILL BE SOMEWHAT HIGHER.

   LARGE-SCALE FORCING IN ASSOCIATION WITH EJECTING UPPER TROUGH WILL
   INDUCE ELEVATED CONVECTION NORTH OF THE BOUNDARY BEGINNING EARLY IN
   THE PERIOD.  APPRECIABLE HEIGHT FALLS SHOULD ONLY SKIRT THE LOWER
   MISSISSIPPI VALLEY AND LOW-LEVEL WARM ADVECTION MAY BE THE PRIMARY
   INSTIGATOR IN CONVECTIVE DEVELOPMENT ACROSS THE SEVERE RISK REGION
   MONDAY.  WHILE FORECAST SHEAR PROFILES FAVOR SUPERCELL DEVELOPMENT...
   IT APPEARS THE PRIMARY RISK FOR SEVERE TSTMS WILL BE NEAR/SOUTH OF
   THE WARM FRONT WHERE NEAR-SFC BASED INSTABILITY DEVELOPS.  DAMAGING
   WINDS AND HAIL ARE THE PRIMARY THREATS AND HAIL IS MORE LIKELY WITH
   ELEVATED CONVECTION.
 Severe Threat Tuesday
...SUMMARY...
   A MARGINAL RISK FOR A FEW STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS WITH DAMAGING WIND
   AND POSSIBLY A TORNADO WILL EXIST TUESDAY FROM NORTHERN FLORIDA
   THROUGH SOUTHERN GEORGIA AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA.

   ...NORTHERN FLORIDA...SOUTH GEORGIA AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA...

   DEAMPLIFYING SHORTWAVE TROUGH OVER THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS EARLY
   TUESDAY WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE MIDDLE ATLANTIC DURING THE DAY.
   OCCLUDED LEE CYCLONE OVER THE OH VALLEY WILL WEAKEN...WHILE SECONDARY
   CYCLOGENESIS COMMENCES OFF THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST IN RESPONSE TO
   THE DEAMPLIFYING WAVE. A WEAKLY UNSTABLE WARM SECTOR WILL HAVE MOVED
   INLAND THROUGH SOUTH GEORGIA AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA TO THE
   SOUTH OF A WARM FRONT. HOWEVER THE CIRCULATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE
   DEVELOPING CYCLONE OFF THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST SHOULD FORCE THIS
   BOUNDARY SOUTHEAST AND OFFSHORE LATER IN THE DAY. IT IS LIKELY THAT
   THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE ONGOING EARLY TUESDAY ALONG PRE-FRONTAL WARM
   CONVEYOR BELT FROM THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE THROUGH SOUTH GEORGIA.
   INFLOW TO THE UPDRAFTS WILL BE ROOTED NEAR THE SURFACE AND THE
   STORMS WILL BE EMBEDDED WITHIN STRONG 0-6 KM SHEAR WITH INITIALLY
   LARGE LOW-LEVEL HODOGRAPHS...PROMOTING A RISK FOR ORGANIZED STORM
   STRUCTURES. ACTIVITY WILL MOVE THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF NORTHERN
   FLORIDA...SOUTHERN GEORGIA...AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA WITH AN
   ATTENDANT THREAT FOR A FEW DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND POSSIBLY A
   TORNADO OR TWO. HOWEVER...WEAK LAPSE RATES...WIDESPREAD CLOUDS AND
   ONGOING AREAS OF RAIN WILL LIKELY RESULT IN VERY WEAK INSTABILITY
   WHICH WILL PROBABLY SERVE AS A LIMITING FACTOR FOR A MORE ROBUST
   SEVERE EVENT. 
Heavy Southern Rain

Here's a look at the heavy rain potential through midday Wednesday. Note that some spots across eastern Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley through the Mid-Atlantic States could see an additional 2" to 4" or more.

Flooding Concerns Continue
...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON...

.RAINFALL RATES AND INTENSITY WILL INCREASE LATER TONIGHT AND ON
MONDAY AS A SURFACE LOW...ALONG WITH A VIGOROUS UPPER LEVEL
DISTURBANCE...WILL MOVE ACROSS THE REGION. ANTECEDENT WET GROUND
CONDITIONS ARE CURRENTLY OVER A MAJORITY OF THE AREA FROM THE
RECENT RAINFALL. ADDITIONAL AREAWIDE RAINFALL TOTALS OF 1 TO 3
INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS...IS STILL POSSIBLE IN THE
WATCH AREA THROUGH MONDAY. THESE RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL HAVE THE
POTENTIAL TO CAUSE FLOODING. THE RAIN WILL END FROM WEST TO EAST
LATE MONDAY INTO MONDAY EVENING...ENDING THE FLASH FLOOD THREAT.
 

__________________________________________________________________
MN Snow Depth & Ranking
Here's a look at the snow depth across the state as of Thursday, December 1st. Note that much of the heavy snow that fell across western and northern MN a couple of weeks ago has since melted due to the ongoing mild weather through the end of November.
Each Thursday during the cold season, the State Climatology Office produces maps depicting the snow depth across Minnesota. Additionally, maps are created that depict snow depth ranking for the date. The data are provided by volunteers working with DNR Forestry, the National Weather Service, the University of Minnesota, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and CoCoRaHS.

 
_____________________________________________________________________________
Somewhat Active Pattern With Colder Temps Ahead.
Here's the weather outlook from Monday to Monday of next weekend. Note that we seem to have a few shots of light precipitation across the region with perhaps a better chance of snow next weekend. The big story will be the MUCH colder weather funneling into the region by the 2nd half of the week. This will be some of the coldest air of the season with highs dipping to well below normal temps for a several day period.

5 Day Precipitation Outlook

The 5 day precipitation outlook through the end of next week suggests fairly light precipitation amounts across the Upper Midwest. The heaviest moisture looks to be found along the international border and across the Middle Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley and parts of the Great Lakes Region. 

______________________________________________________________________________
Mild Monday. Single Digit Wind Chills Midweek
I feel like Mother Nature is a little groggy this year. She's certainly had tough time getting winter started. Sure, we've had a few bouts of snow here and there, but nothing has been sticking because it's been so warm!
The Twin Cities was officially 7 inches below normal snowfall for the month of November only tallying up 2.3 inches. We had nearly all of that with our weak storm system that moved through late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, but again most of it melted due to above freezing temps.
Temps warm to near 40 degrees across the southern half of the state on Monday ahead of our biggest cool down of the season that will settle in later this week. Single digit wind chills will have most of us reaching for extra layers Wednesday through Friday.
We sneak up close to average this weekend as another light snow chance moves through, but the long range temperature forecast keeps us below average through the middle part of the month.
No major snow storms brewing yet, but temps 'should' be cold enough to favor a white Xmas.
___________________________________________________
Extended Weather Outlook
SUNDAY NIGHT:  Mostly cloudy. Patchy freezing fog. Winds: SSW 5. Low: 28
MONDAY: Mild. Light mix later. Winds: SSW 10-15. High: 41.
MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, slight chance of light snow. Winds: W 10. Low: 25.
TUESDAY: AM flakes, turning breezy and cooler. Winds: W 10-20. High: 29
WEDNESDAY: Brisk wind, A few flurries. Winds: WNW 10-15. Wake-up: 14. High: 19
THURSDAY: Colder. Scattered light snow showers. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 13. High: 20.
FRIDAY: Less wind. More sun, still chilly. Winds: ESE 5-10. Wake-up:10. High: 19.
SATURDAY: Increasing clouds, chance of snow. Winds: SE 5. Wake-up: 11. High: 22.
SUNDAY: Lingering light snow, more PM sun. Winds: WNW 5. Wake-up: 16. High: 20.
_______________________________
This Day in Weather History
December 5th:
2001: An unseasonably warm December day occurs, with a high of 63 degrees at the Twin Cities. Summer-like thunderstorms developed and dropped quarter-sized hail at the Eyota Post Office in Olmsted County.
1979: Mild air moves in to Minnesota, with highs of 52 at St. Cloud and 54 at Browns Valley.
1928: Canby receives three inches of snow or greater for the third consecutive day.
________________________________
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
December 5th
Average High: 30F (Record: 63F set in 2001)
Average Low: 16F (Record: -14F set in 1873)
Record Snowfall: 7.0" set in 1909
_________________________________
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 5th
Sunrise: 7:35am
Sunset: 4:32pm
*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~1mins & 14sec
*Daylight Lost Since Summer Solstice: ~6hours and 38mins
______________________________________________________________________
Moon Phase for December 4th at Midnight
2.1 Days Before First Quarter
_______________________________________________________________________
Weather Outlook Monday
High temps on Monday will be quite warm ahead of a cold front that will bring us our coldest air of the season later this week. Note that some spots in southern MN will warm to near 40F!

High Temperatures From Average Monday

Here's a look at high temperatures from average on Monday, which shows many spots across the state seeing readings nearly 10F to 15F above average! Enjoy the warmth while you can, temperatures by the end of the week will be nearly 10F to 15F below average with wind chills in the single digits! 

Weather Outlook Monday
Winds will be a little stronger on Monday as our next system gets closer. Note that sustained winds will be nearly 10mph to 15mph with wind gusts across southern MN reaching 20mph+.
Weather Outlook Monday
Another system moves through the region on Monday with a light rain/snow mix across central MN. The best chance of snow will be found across the northern half of the state with some minor accumulations possible there through Tuesday. 

___________________________________________________________

Simulated Radar

Take a look at the simulated radar from AM Monday to AM Wednesday. Note the rain/snow mix potential on Monday as our next storm system moves into the region. Lingering snow chances across the northern part of the state will allow for some minor snow accumulations there. The bigger story will be the more significant cool down that this system will be responsible for. Temps will be 10F to near 15F below average by the end of the week.

 
Simulated Radar

The simulated radar from PM Sunday to Wednesday shows next chance of moisture rolling through Monday and Tuesday. It appears that we may start off as a little rain, but the colder air will pour in behind an Arctic front, which will turn any leftover moisture into snow through the rest of the week, especially across northern MN.


Snowfall Potential
Here's a look a the snowfall potential through midday Wednesday, which shows another chance of light snow across northern Minnesota as our cold air starts to move into the region. Some spots in extreme northwestern MN could see nearly 6" by midweek.
_______________________________________
Extended Weather Outlook
The temperature outlook for Minneapolis into next weekend shows some big changes coming through the weather pipeline. Note the warming taking place through Monday, but a fairly significant whack of colder air settles in by the middle and end of next week with highs dipping into the 10s and 20s. Overnight lows will also dip into the single digits and 10s across much of the state. 
6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the 6 to 10 day temperature outlook suggests colder than average temperatures settling into the region as we continue through the first half of December. Note that this will likely be some of the coldest air of the season for many spots across the Upper Midwest. 
6 to 10 Day Temp Outlook
Here's the national temperature outlook from December 10th - December 14th, which shows a big chunk for colder than average temperatures settling into much of the nation. This will be one of the first big colder outbreaks of the season.... Are you ready!
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National Weather Outlook
The weather looks to be fairly active across the southeastern US as we head through the early week time frame. A large blob of Gulf of Mexico moisture will continue moving northeast with heavy rainfall and scattered storms, some possibly strong to severe through Tuesday. Meanwhile, heavier moisture in the form of coastal rain and high elevation snow will move into the Pacific Northwest.

5 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests significant moisture across the southeastern US through the end of next week. Widespread 2" to 4"can't be ruled out. This may lead to areas of flooding near the Lower Mississippi Valley, but this additional heavy rain will be very beneficial for the drought conditions in the Southeast.
US Drought Monitor
Here's the updated drought monitor from Thursday, December 1st, which shows widespread extreme to exceptional drought conditions across much of the Southeast. While heavy rainfall last week helped some, we need more, so the upcoming heavy rainfall through the first full week of December (next week) is good news!
Rainfall Needed to End Drought
The product below suggests how much rainfall is needed to end the drought. Note that many spots need nearly a foot of rain or more to end the drought. These are the areas that are in an extreme to exceptional drought!
National Snowfall Outlook
Here's the potential snowfall through the the middle part of December, which shows the POTENTIAL of heavier snow developing across the northern tier of the nation over the next couple of weeks. This would be a big change from what we had during much of November as it was a generally quiet and warm month across the nation. 
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"U.S. Oil Exports Skyrocket Despite Climate Pacts"
"Seven years ago, the U.S. exported its crude oil to just one country — Canada. This year, 22 countries received American crude oil, marking a more than 1,000 percent increase in U.S. oil exports since 2009, according to U.S. Department of Energy data released this week. Since Congress lifted restrictions on American oil exports a year ago, more and more U.S. crude oil has been streaming onto the global oil market to supply the world’s growing demand. It’s happening even as the U.S. and Canada have agreed to cut emissions from oil and gas operations and countries agree to cut their greenhouse gas pollution under the Paris Climate Agreement. The international pact aims to prevent global warming from exceeding 2°C (3.6°F)."
See more from Climate Central HERE:
(An oil well in Colorado. Credit: C.L. Baker/flickr)
 
_________________________________________________________________________________ "Small tornado hits Russia's Olympic city Sochi"
"A small tornado descended on Russia's Olympic city Sochi as stormy weather battered the coastline."
See more from BBC HERE:
______________________________________________________________________________"Space Farming: NASA Tests New Harvest Technique To Increase ISS Crop Yield"
"NASA astronauts on board the International Space Station on Friday reaped the first harvest of red romaine lettuce leaves grown on the orbiting space lab last month. These vegetables were grown using the "Veggie" plant growth system on the ISS, and were harvested as part of a technique the space agency calls "cut-and-come-again." "Cut-and-come-again is a repetitive harvest technique in which a selection of leaves can be harvested for a bit of fresh lettuce and possibly science samples," NASA explained in a statement. "The remaining leaves and the core of the plant are left intact and will continue to grow and produce more leaves for subsequent harvests approximately every 10 days." The goal of this technique is to improve the yield of crops being grown in the micro-gravity environment of space, where plant roots grow every which way, making it excruciatingly difficult for them to absorb the nutrients and water they need to survive."
See more from IBTimes HERE:
(An artist's concept showing plants being grown in space. Photo: NASA)
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Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Slushy start for some on Sunday. Colder this week

Big Snow on the Big Island
Hawaii's highest peak could get up to another foot of snow Sunday, on top of the 2 feet that have fallen since Thursday, the National Weather Service says. A winter storm warning is in effect for the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea through Saturday evening. “Then we’re expecting another round on Sunday and Sunday night,” said Matthew Foster, a staff meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Snow on the peaks is not uncommon in the colder months of the year, though deep snow is rare. “We’ll probably see three to five snow events a year during the cold season. Some years we might not get any, some years we might get more,” said Foster. The only other area of Hawaii that gets snow with any regularity is the Haleakalā volcano on Maui, which at about 10,000 feet gets snow once every five years or so, he said."
See more from USA Today HERE:
"In this image made from webcam video provided by Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the CFHT telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island is covered in snow on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a winter storm warning for the summits of Hawaii's Big Island as wind and snow engulf the high peaks. (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope via AP)"
Pacific Moisture Moves into the Pacific Northwest
Here's the Eastern Pacific precipitable water loop that shows heavier moisture from the Pacific moving into the West Coast in a few different waves. These rounds of heavier moisture have been responsible for heavier coastal rains and high elevation snow. Another one of these storms is moving through the Pacific Northwest now with heavier snow possible through early next week.

Another Surge of Heavier Pacific Moisture
Here's a look at the next storm system moving through the region through the early part of next week. Note that areas along the coast and in the lower elevations will likely see rain, while those in the higher elevations will see snow. Some spots could see 1ft to 2ft by early next week.
 
Winter Weather Headlines
...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT THRU 11 AM MST MONDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MISSOULA HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WHICH IS IN
EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 11 AM MST MONDAY. THE WINTER STORM
WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

* IMPACTS/TIMING: SNOW WILL CONTINUE FOR TONIGHT AND SNOW
  INTENSITIES WILL INCREASE DURING THE DAY SUNDAY. THE COMBINATION
  OF ACCUMULATING SNOW AND WIND, VISIBILITY COULD BE GREATLY
  REDUCED, ESPECIALLY OVER MARIAS PASS. A PERIOD OF MODERATE TO
  HEAVY SNOW AND GUSTY WINDS IS LIKELY SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING
  WITH THE COLD FRONT. ALL OF THESE IMPACTS WILL CREATE HAZARDOUS
  TRAVEL CONDITIONS SUNDAY THROUGH THE FIRST PART OF MONDAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY: 10 TO 14 INCHES WITH
  ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS IN THE MOUNTAINS AND MARIAS PASS.

* WINDS: GUSTY WEST NORTHWEST WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MILE PER HOUR
  POSSIBLE FOR MARIAS PASS.

Snow in the Northwest
Here's the snowfall potential through midday Tuesday, which shows fairly significant tallies across the Cascade range and across much of the northern Rockies. Some spots could see up to 1ft. to 2ft. through early next week.

National Snow Cover
According to NOAA's NOHRSC, 25.8% of the nation was covered up in snow as of December 3rd. Last year at this time, 33.4% of the nation was covered up by snow!
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Upcoming Heavy Rain in the South

Take a look at the heavy potential across the southern US through the end of the weekend! Widespread heavy rainfall could lead to areas of flooding over the next few days, especially over eastern Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley. Not only will heavy rain be possible, but a few strong to severe storms may be possible into early next week as well.

 
Heavy Southern Rain

Here's a look at the heavy rain potential through PM Sunday. Note that some spots in the eastern part of Texas and into the Lower Mississippi Valley could see up to 3" to 6"+ rainfall.

Flooding Concerns in Texas
...FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING...

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING
  COUNTIES...JACKSON...AUSTIN...BRAZORIA...BRAZOS...BURLESON...
  CHAMBERS...COLORADO...FORT BEND...GALVESTON...GRIMES...
  HARRIS...HOUSTON...LIBERTY...MADISON...MATAGORDA...
  MONTGOMERY...POLK...SAN JACINTO...TRINITY...WALKER...WALLER...
  WASHINGTON AND WHARTON.

* THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING

* A SERIES OF UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES WILL PUSH THROUGH THE AREA
  TRIGGERING PERIODS OF RAIN WITH EMBEDDED STORMS. AS GROUNDS
  BECOME MORE SATURATED...THE THREAT OF FLASH FLOODING WILL
  PROGRESSIVELY INCREASE WHERE TRAINING HEAVIER CELLS MOVE OVER
  THE SAME AREA. EXCESSIVE RAINFALL HAS OCCURRED ALONG THE COAST
  ON SATURDAY...AND THAT WILL BE THE HIGHEST RISK LOCATION THROUGH
  SUNDAY MORNING. AN ADDITIONAL 2 TO 4 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY
  HIGHER AMOUNTS IN EXCESS OF 8 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH
  MONDAY. WHERE GROUND IS ALREADY SATURATED IT IS MOST IMPORTANT
  TO FOCUS ON SHORT TERM RAINFALL RATES RATHER THAN TOTALS
  THEMSELVES. EVEN SHORT BURSTS OF HEAVY RAINFALL WILL QUICKLY
  CAUSE FLASH FLOODING AT THOSE LOCATIONS. TO FURTHER COMPLICATE
  THINGS...ELEVATED WATER LEVELS IN THE BAYS AND NEARSHORE GULF WILL
  DELAY DRAINAGE OF WATER.

* STREET FLOODING AND FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS WILL BE THE MOST
  LIKELY IMPACT TONIGHT. AS OF SATURDAY EVENING...AREA
  RIVERS...STREAMS AND BAYOUS WERE WITHIN BANKS. WE WILL CONTINUE
  TO MONITOR TRENDS.

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Snow Depth Comparison 2016 vs 2015
Here's a look at the snow depth comparison from now to this time last year. Note that there is only a little snow left across parts of western and northern MN from the storm system a couple of weeks ago. Last year at this time, much of the state had a least a little bit of snow. The Twin Cites officially had 3" of snow on the ground as of December 2nd, 2015.

MN Snow Depth & Ranking
Here's a look at the snow depth across the state as of Thursday, December 1st. Note that much of the heavy snow that fell across western and northern MN a couple of weeks ago has since melted due to the ongoing mild weather through the end of November.
Each Thursday during the cold season, the State Climatology Office produces maps depicting the snow depth across Minnesota. Additionally, maps are created that depict snow depth ranking for the date. The data are provided by volunteers working with DNR Forestry, the National Weather Service, the University of Minnesota, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and CoCoRaHS.
 
Trail Conditions 

Here's another nice product from the MN State Climatology office, which shows updated groomed trail conditions across the state. Note that with very little snow conditions across the state, many trails are either closed or in poor condition. 


3rd Wettest January - November on Record for the Twin Cities
Year to date precipitation through December 1st saw 38.18" of precipitation in the Twin Cities, which is 8.69". According to the Twin Cities NWS, the first 11 months of 2016 have been the 3rd wettest in history! Interestingly, Waseca set a new annual state precip record with 54.13" and the year isn't over yet!
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Somewhat Active Pattern With Colder Temps Ahead.
Here's the weather outlook from Saturday to Saturday of next weekend. Note that we seem to have a few shots of light precipitation across the region with perhaps a better chance of snow next weekend. The big story will be the MUCH colder weather funneling into the region by the 2nd half of the week. This will be some of the coldest air of the season with highs dipping to well below normal temps for a several day period.

5 Day Precipitation Outlook

The 5 day precipitation outlook through the end of next week suggests fairly light precipitation amounts across the Upper Midwest. The heaviest moisture looks to be found along the international border and across the Middle Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley and parts of the Great Lakes Region. 

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Slushy start for some on Sunday. Colder this week
It's been a strange year. Globally, we are well on our way to having the warmest year on record, which will beat the previous record set last year.
Regionally, the desert SouthEAST has been dealing with extreme and exceptional drought conditions, which was recently marked by the deadly fires near Gatlinburg, TN. Thank goodness more heavy rain is on the way this week as some of those areas still need 12 to 18 inches of rain to end the drought there.
Locally, the Twin Cities has seen its 3rd wettest 11 month period on record, running nearly 8.5 inches above average in the precipitation category since January 1st. Get this, as of November 30th, Waseca, MN has seen 54.13 inches of liquid, which is a new state annual precipitation record! Good grief.
Some wake up to a slushy coating Sunday as a quick moving clipper slides east. Temps warm to near 40 degrees on Monday with a few light rain showers late. Cold air breaks loose later this week with single digit wind chills for most.
Weather maps finally look like DecemBRRR!
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Extended Weather Outlook
SATURDAY NIGHT: Snow develops, 1" to 2" of slush possible by daybreak. Winds: SSE 5. Low: 31.
SUNDAY: Light rain/snow mix early. Winds: WSW 5. High: 37.
SUNDAY NIGHT:  Mostly cloudy. Winds: WSW 5. Low: 28
MONDAY: Mild. Peeks of AM sun. Few PM showers. Winds: SSE 5-15. High: 42
TUESDAY: Breezy. A few wind-whipped flakes up north. Winds: W 10-20. Wake-up: 26. High: 30
WEDNESDAY: Brisk wind, scattered flurries. Winds: W 10-20. Wake-up: 13. High: 19
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy and colder. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 11. High: 19.
FRIDAY: Brighter skies. Less wind, still cold. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 8. High: 17.
SATURDAY: Increasing clouds, chance of snow. Winds: E-15. Wake-up: 8. High: 20.
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This Day in Weather History
December 4th
1886: Minneapolis hits a record-setting 15 degrees below zero..
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
December 4th
Average High: 31F (Record: 56F set in 1941)
Average Low: 16F (Record: -15F set in 1886)
Record Snowfall: 4.2" set in 1947
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 4th
Sunrise: 7:34am
Sunset: 4:32pm
*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~1mins & 18sec
*Daylight Lost Since Summer Solstice: ~6hours and 37mins
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Moon Phase for December 3rd at Midnight
3.1 Days Before First Quarter
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Weather Outlook Sunday
High temps on Sunday will still be running above average levels with many locations warming into the 30s. A few locations across the southern part of the state may be close to 40F.

High Temperatures From Average Sunday

Here's a look at high temperatures from average on Sunday. Note that many locations will be nearly 5F to 10F above average. Temps on Monday will be nearly 10F to 15F above average before the cold air plunges into the region for the 2nd half of the week when we'll be nearly 10F to 15F below average. 

Weather Outlook Sunday
Winds will pick up just a little on Sunday as our weak system rolls through the region. Note that winds will be sustained up to near 10mph with gusts approaching 15mph to near 20mph across western MN. 
Weather Outlook Sunday
As our weak system continues to move through the region on Sunday, a light/rain snow mix will begin to taper through the day.

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Simulated Radar

The simulated radar from Saturday to Tuesday shows our quick moving system moving through PM Saturday to Sunday with minor slushy snow accumulations. The next chance of moisture doesn't roll through until late Monday/AM Tuesday. It appears that we may start off as a little rain, but the colder air will pour in behind an Arctic front, which will turn any leftover moisture into snow through the rest of the week. 


Snowfall Potential
Here's a look a the snowfall potential through midday Tuesday, which shows VERY light snow chances across the region. It appears that most of us won't see any accumulations, but there could be up to 1" across MN's north shore and into central Wisconsin.
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Extended Weather Outlook
The temperature outlook for Minneapolis into next weekend shows some big changes coming through the weather pipeline. Note the warming taking place through Monday, but a fairly significant whack of colder air settles in by the middle and end of next week with highs dipping into the 10s and 20s. Overnight lows will also dip into the single digits and 10s across much of the state. 
6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the 6 to 10 day temperature outlook suggests colder than average temperatures settling into the region as we continue through the first part of December. Note that this will likely be some of the coldest air of the season for many spots across the Upper Midwest. 
6 to 10 Day Temp Outlook
Here's the national temperature outlook from December 9th - December 13th, which shows a big chunk for colder than average temperatures settling into much of the nation. This will be one of the first big colder outbreaks of the season.... Are you ready!
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National Weather Outlook
The weather looks to be fairly active across the southern US as we head through the weekend. A large blob of Gulf of Mexico moisture will begin settling into the South-central US with areas of heavy rainfall and scattered storms, some possibly strong to severe into early next week. Meanwhile, heavier moisture in the form of coastal rain and high elevation snow will move into the Pacific Northwest.

5 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests significant moisture across the southern US through the middle part of next week. Widespread 2" to 4" (isolated 3" to 6") can't be ruled out. This may lead to areas of flooding, but this additional heavy rain will be very beneficial for the drought conditions in the Southeast.
US Drought Monitor
Here's the updated drought monitor from Thursday, December 1st, which shows widespread extreme to exceptional drought conditions across much of the Southeast. While heavy rainfall last week helped some, we need more, so the upcoming heavy rainfall through the first full week of December (next week) is good news!
Rainfall Needed to End Drought
The product below suggests how much rainfall is needed to end the drought. Note that many spots need nearly a foot of rain or more to end the drought. These are the areas that are in an extreme to exceptional drought!
National Snowfall Outlook
Here's the potential snowfall through the the middle part of December, which shows the POTENTIAL of heavier snow developing across the northern tier of the nation over the next couple of weeks. This would be a big change from what we had during much of November as it was a generally quiet and warm month across the nation.
 
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Drought Update
According to the US Drought Monitor, 55% of the nation of considered to be abnormally dry, while 17% of the country is in a severe drought, 8% is in an extreme drought and nearly 3% is in an exceptional drought. This is a little worse than it was a week ago. The good news is that we've recently gotten into a more active pattern, so hopefully we'll see some improvement in drought conditions across parts of the nation.
 

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"An ‘Unprecedented’ 102 Million Trees Have Died In California’s Drought-Stricken Forests"

"In California’s drought-stricken forests, trees are dying at an “unprecedented” rate, according to officials. The U.S. Forest Service said last month that 102 million trees have died across the state since 2010, including 62 million dead trees in 2016 alone. And the die-off is showing no signs of slowing. “Millions of additional trees are weakened and expected to die in the coming months and years,” said the Forest Service. “The scale of die-off in California is unprecedented in our modern history,” Randy Moore, a forester with the agency, told the Los Angeles Times. Trees are dying “at a rate much quicker than we thought.”"


(US FOREST SERVICE In 2016 alone, 62 million trees died in California’s forests, said the U.S. Forest Service. This represents more than a 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state since 2015.)

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"Dozens of Earthquakes Rattle a Chilean Volcano, Raising Alerts"

"THE ONEMI (Oficina Nacional de Emergencias) and SERNGEOMIN (Chilean Geological Survey) in Chile raised the alert status for the area around Cerro Hudson in the southern Andes. Normally, raising the alert status like this is due to an acute change, when the behavior of the volcano shifts suddenly. However, this time, the elevation to Yellow alert status at Cerro Hudson is due to accumulated events over the past month. Dozens of small earthquakes have occurred since the start of November, none stronger than M3.2. But their location (in geographic space and depth) are similar to those before the last eruption of Hudson in 2011. The number of earthquakes hasn’t increased much above the baseline activity at an active volcano like Hudson, but energy released by the largest earthquakes has been increasing over the past few months. Combine that with the fact that the earthquakes have the character of those associated with magma movement, and the SERNAGEOMIN and ONEMI decided to treat Hudson with an abundance of caution, setting up a 3.5 kilometer exclusion zone around the volcano."


(Dead trees in the River Ibanez valley killed by ash from the Cerro Hudson eruption in 2011.JOHN WARBURTON-LEE/GETTY IMAGES)

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"Russian Cargo Spacecraft May Be Lost in Space"

"An uncrewed, robotic Progress spacecraft experienced problems en route to the International Space Station  Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, launched a new cargo ship to the International Space Station today (Dec. 1), but the fate of the robotic supply ship is unclear after issues cropped up during its trip into space. The unmanned Progress 65 spacecraft blasted off atop a Russian Soyuz-U rocket at 9:51 a.m. EST (1451 GMT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a mission to deliver more than 2.5 tons (2.3 metric tons) of food, equipment and other supplies to the space station. It was expected to arrive at the space station on Saturday (Dec. 3). [Watch: NASA Explains Status of Progress 65 Spacecraft] But while the initial moments of the flight went as planned, flight controllers at Russia's mission control center near Moscow detected "ratty telemetry" as the Soyuz booster's third stage was firing."


(After problems during launch a robotic Progress spacecraft, similar to this one photographed approaching the International Space Station in June, may be lost in space. Credit: NASA)

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