1-3" snow possible Saturday PM hours, some roads will be slushy and slick after 4 or 5 pm.
Saturday's snowfall: probably the only accumulating snow in the MSP metro area for the month of November.
Thanksgiving preview: 50 degrees, partly sunny, looks dry right now.
Black Friday: light rain possible with highs ranging from 48-53 F.
"A significant portion of Minnesota reports autumn precipitation deficits of four or more inches. For a large section of the southern one-third of Minnesota, this fall has been among the driest on record." - Minnesota State Climate Office
November Snowfall In The Twin Cities:
2011: Trace of flurries (so far) I suspect we'll wind up with 1-3" for the month.
2009: Trace of flurries
2007: 4/10ths of an inch
2006: 2/10ths of an inch
2004: half an inch
* Data courtesy of the National Weather Service and Minnesota State Climate Office
"And while global warming deniers were busy trumpeting Arctic sea ice growth, the fact is that the average Arctic sea ice extent in October was 23.5 percent below average for the month, ranking as the second smallest October extent since satellite records began in 1979." - article below on 10th warmest October on record, worldwide.
Saturday Slush Event. The latest NAM model hints at something in the 1-3" range for the Twin Cities metro, maybe 2-3" for St. Cloud and Brainerd, with some 6"+ snowfall amounts for northern Wisconsin. Saturday's storm will move quickly, the best chance for accumulating snow during the late afternoon and evening. I suspect many roads (freeways and interstates) will remain mostly-wet into the mid afternoon hours with temperatures just above freezing.
November Supercells. Here is the rotating "supercell" thunderstorm that spawned several tornadoes and numerous reports of large hail and straight-line wind damage, all the way from the parishes north of New Orleans across Mississippi and Alabama into metro Atlanta. Unusual for mid November. Thanks to Brad Panovich and twitpic.com for passing this along.
November Squall Line. You can see the tops of the thunderstorms responsible for violent winds, hail and a handful of tornadoes Wednesday afternoon - just enough wind shear, instability and low-level moisture for a November tornado outbreak. Image courtesy of NOAA.
1 Dead, 16 Hurt As Severe Storms Blast Southeast. USA Today has an update on Wednesday's squall line: "BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – A strong storm system that produced several possible tornadoes hit the Southeast on Wednesday, damaging dozens of homes and buildings. One person was killed in north Georgia when a tree fell on a sport utility vehicle, according to Capt. Tim House of the Forsyth County sheriff's office. At least 16 other people were injured, though only a couple of people had to be taken to the hospital. Suspected tornadoes were reported in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Four homes were damaged in western Alabama, about 60 miles southwest of Tuscaloosa, in the worst bout of weather for that state since about 250 people were killed during a tornado outbreak in April."
Mid November Tornado Outbreak. SPC counted 16 tornadoes on Wednesday, at least one EF-2 strength tornado in Alabama, but violent tornadoes reported as far east as North Carolina. Details from SPC here.
THE FAIRBANKS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REACHED A LOW TEMPERATURE OF 35 BELOW ZERO AT 1114 PM ON TUESDAY. THIS SETS A NEW RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE FOR NOVEMBER 15, BREAKING THE PREVIOUS RECORD LOW OF 33 BELOW SET BACK IN 1969.
Departure From Normal. Parts of southern Minnesota are running a 9" rainfall deficit since late July, and at the rate we're going, with the storm track forecast to be south/east of Minnesota through much of the winter, our drought will almost certainly get worse. Map courtesy of the MN State Climate Office.
Photo credit above: "Workmen are shown at the site of a slow-moving landslide Tuesday Nov. 15, 2011 in Los Angeles. The bluff at Paseo del Mar in the San Pedro area of L.A. is slowly collapsing into the ocean, leaving 30-foot-deep fissures in the roadway. Nick Ut, AP Photo."
Feels Like Winter. Man are we spoiled. Wednesday's 39 degree high was only 2 degrees colder than average, but I got an earful. "When's it going to warm up Paul?" April. It's the latter half of November - it's supposed to get cold. Highs ranged from 25 at International Falls (2" snow on the ground) to 26 at Duluth (also 2" snow) to 32 at St. Cloud and 40 at Rochester.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Numbing start. Bright sun - patchy clouds late. Winds: SW 8-13. High: 38
THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low: 28
10th Warmest October On Record Worldwide. Here's a good overview of October from the Summit County Citizens Voice: "SUMMIT COUNTY — Planet Earth stayed warm in October, with combined average land and ocean-surface temperatures coming in at 1.04 degrees above the 20th century average, a reading that made it the 10th-warmest October on record, and the second-warmest for land surface temperatures alone, according to the global summary issued this week by the National Climatic Data Center. On the whole, October 2011 was much warmer than normal compared with previous Octobers. On average, land areas across the Northern Hemisphere — where the majority of the Earth’s land mass is located — were the warmest on record for the month, at 2.32 degrees above the 20th century average. Despite early snowfall in some parts of the Rockies and in the Northeast, northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during October was below average, ranking as the 15th smallest October snow cover extent in the 44-year period of record. The North America and Eurasian land areas both had below-average snow cover during the month."
Global Temps "Virtually Certain" To Rise: UN. Here's a summary from Bloomberg: "The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change whirrs into action this week with a significant assessment of extreme events and disasters. The final report is due on Nov. 18. A draft summary for policymakers obtained by Bloomberg shows the caution and rigor with which scientists approach attributing observed trends to man-made climate change. The panel says it's “virtually certain” that warm daily temperature extremes will increase in this century. It’s "likely" that human influences have led to a warming of extreme daily minimum and maximum temperatures across the globe, and that instances of heavy rainfall will increase. The report finds the average maximum wind speed of hurricanes is likely to increase, though storm frequency is likely to drop or remain the same. “Likely" or "virtually certain" imply precision in science that's generally absent from everyday speech. So when they say "virtually certain," they're using a definition of 99 to 100 percent probability. "Very likely" is 90 to 100 percent, and "likely" is 66 to 100 percent."
Absence Of Arctic Ice Affecting Weather, Global Warming. KSL-TV in Salt Lake City has the story: "SALT LAKE CITY — Recent dramatic changes in the Arctic will have a significant effect on our weather in Utah. That's the conclusion of a top scientist studying Arctic sea ice. Arctic sea ice is disappearing in summer much faster than scientists expected. That's not just evidence of climate change; the ice itself is changing the climate, and it may be affecting weather as far away as Utah. Scientists predicted summer sea ice would shrink, but they underestimated the trend. Now in late summer, much of the Arctic Ocean is open water; summer ice covers about half what it did 30 years ago. Less publicized is that it could affect us all. The disappearing ice itself is accelerating global warming. "Ice and snow reflect up to 90 percent of the sunlight," Eicken said. "The ocean without any ice absorbs about 90 percent of the sunlight."