WEDNESDAY: Chilly start, but mild January sunshine returns. A chance to thaw out. High: 37. Winds: WNW 5-10mph
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and quiet. Not too cold. Low: 26. Winds: W 5-10mph
THURSDAY: Even warmer, feels like March again. High: 42. Winds: WSW 5-15mph
FRIDAY: Unseasonably mild ahead of an approaching clipper. More PM clouds, especially across far northern Minnesota. Breezy. Low: 30. High: 39. Winds: W 10-20mph
SATURDAY: Partly sunny and colder with a few passing flakes. Low: 23. High:30. Winds: WNW 5-15mph
SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, feels like January again. Low: 16. High: 29.
MONDAY: Warmer afternoon sunshine. Low: 20. High: 38.
TUESDAY: Another mild and fairly quiet day in the neighborhood. Low: 22. High: 35
Some folks may be wondering what happened to that harsh winter forecast, which was projected earlier in the season... The 'Arctic Oscillation' may be to blame. A shift in the 'positive' direction is keeping the U.S. much warmer as strong Pacific winds continue to batter the Northwest. The result is a lingering mild Pacific flow across the Upper Midwest, which also keeps the main storm track in Canada. One of the strongest 'negative' phases in recent years may also help to explain why it was so cold and snowy last winter season.
Regardless if you're a fan of the tame winter or not, one thing can't be neglected and that is the growing drought concerns. Nearly 25% of Minnesota is in a severe drought after recording only 2.35" of precipitation since September 1st, a deficit of over 7" and there are still no big storms in sight.