4 F. high on Thursday.
24 F. average high for January 19, up one degree since yesterday!
13 F. high temperature a year ago, January 19, 2011.
1-3" powdery snow possible today. Single digit temperatures + traffic may create a thin layer of treacherous black ice.
2.1" predicted for MSP today (Bufkit).
Mid/upper 30s possible by the end of next week in the Twin Cities metro; 40 is not out of the question close to home.
Coldest In The Lower 48. 5 different Minnesota towns came in at -26 Thursday morning, coldest in the lower 48 states.
2011: 10th warmest year worldwide. Warmest La Nina year on record. Capital Weather Gang has details below.
"Men can bear all things except good days." - Dutch Proverb
-53 F. Grand Marais
-41 F. Brainerd
* photo above courtesy of the AP.
Tougher Travel South of MSP. The farther south you drive on I-35 the worse travel conditions will be today. The National Weather Service has posted Winter Weather Advisories for southern Minnesota, Winter Storm Warnings just south of the Iowa border.
Snow Potential. Although no major storms are brewing (a west/northwest wind flow aloft will limit how much moisture can surge into Minnesota anytime soon) we could see 2" today, another inch or 2 Sunday, maybe a Tuesday coating. LIke forecasting weather in Wichita.
Plowable Far Southern Minnesota. The latest NAM model prints out some 3-6" amounts over far southern Minnesota, south of Mankato, from Albert Lea to La Crosse. Some 8" amounts are predicted for northeastern Iowa and southern Wisconsin - metro Chicago may pick up 3-6". O 'Hare and Midway will be a mess later today.
Photo credit above: "In this Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 photo, a family skates across Mendenhall Lake in Juneau, Alaska. Temperatures are forecast in the single digits all week. (AP Photo/The Juneau Empire, Michael Penn)."
RECORD EVENT REPORT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHANHASSEN MN 100 AM CST THU JAN 19 2012 ...THE RECORD LATEST BELOW ZERO READING TIED IN MINNEAPOLIS/ST PAUL... AT ONE MINUTE BEFORE MIDNIGHT...THE TEMPERATURE DROPPED BELOW ZERO AT THE TWIN CITIES MINNEAPOLIS/ST PAUL AIRPORT. THIS IS THE FIRST RECORDED BELOW ZERO READING THIS WINTER IN THE TWIN CITIES. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A WINTER WITHOUT A BELOW ZERO TEMPERATURE READING IN THE TWIN CITIES. THIS TIES THE RECORD LATEST BELOW ZERO READING... FIRST SET ON JANUARY 18 1889...AND TIED JANUARY 18 2002.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FAIRBANKS AK 343 AM AKST WED JAN 18 2012 ...THE 40 BELOW TEMPERATURES KEEP ON COMING AT FAIRBANKS... THE LOW TEMPERATURE SO FAR TODAY AT THE FAIRBANKS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HAS BEEN 43 BELOW. THIS IS THE 12TH DAY THIS MONTH WITH A LOW TEMPERATURE OF 40 BELOW OR LOWER AT THE FAIRBANKS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. THIS IS NOW THE GREATEST NUMBER OF 40 BELOW DAYS DURING THE MONTH OF JANUARY SINCE THE 1989 COLD SNAP WHEN THERE WERE 14. JANUARY 1971 STILL HOLDS THE RECORD FOR THE MOST 40 BELOW DAYS IN JANUARY WITH 21. TODAY IS THE 6TH DAY IN A ROW WITH A LOW TEMPERATURE OF 40 BELOW OR COLDER. IT IS LONGEST CONSECUTIVE STRETCH OF 40 BELOW DAYS SINCE THE COLD SNAP OF LATE DECEMBER 2008 INTO JANUARY 2009 THAT PRODUCED 15 DAYS IN A ROW OF 40 BELOW COLD.
Photo credit above: "Travis Barrett leans back as a chunk of tree springs upward after his cut with an electric chainsaw, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 in Seattle. An ice storm followed heavy snow in western Washington, bringing down trees that killed one person and knocked out power for about 100,000 homes while sending cars and trucks spinning out of control. (AP Photo/The Seattle Times, Steve Ringman)."
F-F-F February. After a relatively mild last week of January (highs consistently in the 30s) the GFS pulls much colder air into town the first few days of February, maybe a couple of days of single digit highs and 2-4 nights below zero. No, it's way too early to write off the Winter of 2012.
Two More Billion Dollar Disasters. NOAA is now reporting a total of 14 separate billion dollar weather disasters last year, shattering the old record of 9 set in 2008. The New York Times reports: "The count of billion-dollar weather disasters for 2011 has taken another jump. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, still adding up the costs of the extreme weather events that plagued the country last year, announced on Thursday that two more had surpassed the $1 billion mark, for a total of 14. And the agency is still counting. The latest additions were Tropical Storm Lee, in early September, and a severe weather outbreak in the Rockies and Midwest from July 10 to 14. Lee hit the Gulf Coast and caused wind and flood damage across a broad swath of the country, with some of the worst flooding in New York and Pennsylvania. The Rockies outbreak featured wind, hail and floods, notably in Colorado and Wyoming." Image of Tropical Storm Lee above courtesy of NASA.
* NOAA has a great summary (pdf) of 2011's extremes here.
* A NOAA pdf of all the cities that set new records for wettest/driest years on record is here.
You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up. A Swiss passenger on the Costa Concordia, who was eating dinner in the ship's restaurant, reports that at the exact momen when the cruise ship hit the rocks, the piped-in music playing onboard was Celine Dion, singing "My Heart Will Go On", the title song from the movie Titanic. Source: German Tagesschau.
"In order to keep a true perspective of one's importance, everyone should have a dog that will worship him and a cat that will ignore him." - Dereke Bruce.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Periods of light snow 1-3" possible. Best chance of 3" far southern suburbs (2-5" far southern Minnesota). Risk of black ice. Winds: SE 3-8. High: near 10
FRIDAY NIGHT: Light snow tapers to flurries - still slippery in spots. Low: -1