Sunday, December 11, 2011

More Active Week Ahead

Todd's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota 

MONDAY: Cloudy with a chance of light freezing drizzle early (a light glaze and slippery conditions possible early) turning to light drizzle later. Winds: S 5-10mph. High: 33
MONDAY NIGHT:  Cloudy with lingering light drizzle or freezing drizzle possible. Winds: NNE 5mph. Low: 25.
TUESDAY: Still mild with some stubborn low clouds. Winds: E 5-10mph. High: 34
WEDNESDAY: Cloudy with wintry mix early, turning to a little light rain. Chance of snow later. Wind: Turning WNW 10-20mph. Low: 28. High: 36
THURSDAY: Windy and colder with lingering flurries. Low: 22. High: 27
FRIDAY: Partly cloudy and much colder. Low: 8. High: 20.

SATURDAY: More sun, but still cold. Low: 6. High: 22.

SUNDAY: Increasing clouds with a wintry mix developing late. Low: 12. High: 28

Moonset Over Lake Mille Lacs AM Sunday
This is a neat shot courtesy from the east side Lake Mille Lacs (looking west) early Sunday morning. You can see the near full moon shining and reflecting across an icy Mille Lacs Lake.

Cold Start to December
After the one of the top 10 warmest Novembers on record in the Twin Cities, December (up until yesterday) started off quite chilly. In fact, through December 9th, the average temperature in December in the Twin Cities was running a little over 2 degrees below average. The colder, sub-freezing, temperatures of late helped to produce a thin sheet of ice on many Minnesota lakes. Take a look at the image below from December 2nd to December 10th on Lake Mille Lacs (courtesy
Safe Enough For Ice Fishing?
There were some VERY brave folks out on the lake as seen by the webcam yesterday. You can see ice across the lake, free of any substantial snow and the two black dots in the distance. Those black dots are portable ice houses that don't weigh as much.

Before you go walking out on any ice this season... REMEMBER that no ice is ever 100% safe! Also, at least 4" of ice is necessary for walking.
Here are some other ice safety guidelines from the MN DNR:

** Many ice drownings involve children.When your child is near the ice, you should be near your child
.**Avoid alcoholic beverages when you’re on the ice. They can make you feel colderand slow down your reaction time in case of an ice emergency.
**Carry two large nails to use as ice picks to pull yourself out if you fall through thin ice.
**Never drive on the ice at night.
**Avoid pressure ridges, and areas with current if you do choose to drive on the ice.
**Drive with your windows down and doors partially open to avoid becoming trapped if your car breaks through.

Near Term Concerns
The National Weather Service has issued a Freezing Rain Advisory from Midnight to 9am Monday for light freezing drizzle that will likely lead to a light glazing across roads and highways. Things will likely become very slippery overnight and have some impacts on the Monday morning commute.

Weather Conditions Thru 1pm Monday
Weather maps looks little ugly through early Monday afternoon. A light freezing drizzle episode in the morning hours may turn into just plain old drizzle during the late afternoon hours.
There is still a chance of a little light freezing drizzle overnight Monday, but things should improve through early Tuesday before our next more significant event slides in late Tuesday into Wednesday.

'Bigger' Midweek Event
I'm still not overly enthused about this being a major winter storm. However, we could still some significant effects from this in terms of icing and snow. It appears that this storm will wrap in mild enough air to keep most of the moisture in the form of liquid as you head south of the Twin Cities. I could see a little light wintry mix to start, but it appears that the Twin Cities will also be warm enough for rain into Wednesday. Snow may accumulate across parts of central or northern Minnesota, there is also a chance for some snow Twin Cities as the system begins to exit on Wednesday Night - Thursday, but again, at this point it doesn't appear to be shovelable here.
The image below shows one model solution (NAM) for accumulating snow potential through 6pm Wednesday:

Total Precipitation From Midweek Event
The image below shows the total precipitation through 6pm Wednesday. Note that the latest indications are that we would see 'mostly' rain in the twin Cities with a little light snow at the tail end of the system as it moves out Wednesday night - Thursday.

If we were able to squeeze out 0.50" of precipitation, it would be the most single day precipitation event since October 12th when we had 0.54" of liquid.

Ever Changing Forecast
It's important to note that it's still early, so things are likely to change. The system will begin moving into the southwest corner of the nation on Monday, which then will allow more data to be put into the weather models, so a more accurate depiction of what could be expected will be portrayed then. Long story made even longer... stay tuned!

Turning Windy & Colder
The second half of the week will be characterized by much colder conditions. The colder air begins to pour into the region with wind on Thursday. It'll be cold through the early half of the weekend, but the winds will taper by Friday.

Least Snowiest Start to a Snow Season At Duluth in 49 Years
No doubt it has been a slow start to the snow season across much of the Upper Midwest. 

Some areas to the south have had more snow than we had and more than their typical winter season!
**Jonesboro, AR averages 4.8 inches of snow during the entire winter season; So far this season: 5 inches**

The information below is from the National Weather Service in Duluth, MN:
"This snow season has started slowly thus far at Duluth. Average snowfall for the season through December 11th would be 22.0 inches. Duluth has received a paltry 4.3 inches of snow, 17.7 inches below average. This ranks as the 11th least snowiest start to the snow season at Duluth. Snowfall records go back to 1884 in Duluth. The last time we had such a meager amount of snow accumulation to start the season was in 1963. 45.4 inches of snow fell for the remainder of the 1962-1963 snow season, so snow lovers should not give up hope!"

The image below was captured Sunday around 4pm from the Lake Superior Marine Museum webcam from downtown Duluth Canal Park - See HERE:

Thanks for checking in and have a great week! Don't forget to check me out on Twitter:
Meteorologist Todd Nelson

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