* The bad news: the thaw envisioned for the last week of January has been pushed back (and weakened) by the latest GFS model run. I still expect a warming trend the last few days of January - but no rain (better news for snow lovers) and probably no extended period of 30s, at least not in January.
* Sort of a mixed bag of news. The good news: no major, Snowmageddon-like snowfalls anytime soon. The bad news: it only takes an inch of powder (at 5 degrees) to turn roads into ice skating rinks. A couple inches may fall late Thursday, especially north/east of the Twin Cities, another 2-3" possible late Friday and Friday night. If it snows an inch or two on Monday - as temperatures fall through single digits to below zero values over central, northern and western MN, that could be more problematic. Snow + 5 degrees + continuous traffic on the highways = glaze ice, the black ice we all dread. Not sure it will happen yet, but there's a chance next Monday as the core of the coldest air arrives. By Tuesday, under a blue sky, temperatures may not climb above zero, even in the metro area.
* The best chance of more subzero weather: next Tuesday, the 18th, Thursday the 20th, and Sunday the 23rd of January. We'll see, but each model run eases up (a little) on the severity of the cold, while pushing any warming trend later and later into the end of January. A mixed weather bag indeed.
Crippling Snowstorm. While we expect a series of plowable snowfalls late Thursday, Friday night, again Monday, much of New England will see a concentrated burst of heavy snow (and wind) over the next 12 hours. The latest NAM model (valid through 1 am Saturday morning) prints out close to 20" from Long Island to Hartford to the suburbs of Boston. This storm will temporarily shut down the northeastern USA, New York City will wind up with 8-12", only an inch or so for Washington D.C. The same model prints out a total of 3-5" for much of the Twin Cities metro area between now and Saturday morning, coming in two bursts.
...IOWA... RINGSTED 12.0 FORT DODGE 5 NNW 9.8 DES MOINES 5 WNW 9.1 MURRAY 8.1 CLIVE 1 E 7.7 NEWTON AIRPORT 3 WNW 6.4 HEATH MEMORIAL CO 3 NNE 6.0 KEOSAUQUA 1 N 5.0 WHAT CHEER 4 E 4.5 DUBUQUE REGIONAL ARPT 2.7 ...ILLINOIS... WAUKEGAN 6.7 HIGHWOOD 1 NE 6.0 MORRISONVILLE 6.0 PANA 5.5 OHARE AIRPORT 5.2 PEORIA 5.0 NOKOMIS 5 NW 4.8 PLAINVILLE 4.5 SPRINGFIELD 3.1 MOLINE QUAD-CITY ARPT 2.9
Candy-Coating Of Snow. The Twin Cities metro picked up 1.9" Tuesday, on top of the 1.5" that fell on Monday. Higher math: 3.4" since late Sunday night, bringing the snow total on the ground to 12". St. Cloud saw 1.5" Tuesday, highs in the 20s across most of the state, fairly close to average for the 11th day of January.
Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low: 3
By the way, pets (including horses) DO feel the wind chill. Lately my 15 year old spaniel, Max, has been doing his business in the basement, rather than risk doggy frostbite outside. Can't say I blame him.
While New York digs out from a foot of snow (closer to 2 feet for Boston) our storms will be pretty minor league into the weekend. The next clipper arrives late Thursday, a quick 1" or more, maybe another fresh, grime-covering coating of powder late Friday, again Monday, no more than 1-2" each time. Maybe enough snow to cover up Max's thoughtful presents lurking in our front yard.
The next 2 weeks may be the coldest of the winter season with 1-3 days below zero. Any thaw has been delayed until late January. We'll earn our spring in 2011.
Half Of World's Small Glaciers To Be Gone By 2100, But There's Good News For The Himalayas. From a recent article at treehugger.com: "A new study in Nature Geoscience examining glaciers melting due to climate change forecasts tough times for the world's small glaciers, but offers a more hopeful outlook for Himalayan glaciers.The research, the most comprehensive of its kind carried out so far, shows that about half of glaciers under 5 square kilometers in area will disappear entirely by 2100, in the process contributing during that time period the same amount of water to global sea level rise as the melting of ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland, about 12 centimeters. Glaciers of this size comprise about 40% of the world's total glaciers. "