23 F. average high on January 18.
19 F. high temperature a year ago, on January 18, 2011.
-34 F. this morning's record low at MSP (1970).
-25 F. wind chills this morning will dip into the -20 to -25 range in the metro, as cold as -40 over western Minnesota.
March 2, 2011: last time the mercury dipped below zero in the metro (-3 F.)
20s return by Sunday and Monday, highs close to 30 the latter half of next week. 40 F. is not out of the question by the last weekend of January, the 28th and 29th.
Coating - 1" snow possible Friday; maybe 2" far southern suburbs. Albert Lea, Winona and La Crosse may pick up as much as 2-4" of powdery snow. Travel conditions will worsen the farther south you drive, away from the metro, on Friday.
118 mph wind gust on the summit of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire Wednesday. Source: Weather Underground. Photo courtesy of the Mt. Washington Observatory.
46 states experienced weather-related catastrophes in 2011, according to The Red Cross.
Extreme Cold Warning Until Noon. Welcome to what will probably wind up being the coldest day of winter. Morning wind chills dip to -25 in the metro, as cold as -40 over central and western Minnesota. More details from the local office of the National Weather Service: "An Extreme Cold Warning has been issued for areas northwest of a line from near Redwood Falls to Elk River to Cambridge. The dangerous wind chills will persiste through Thursday morning as overnight low temperatures dip to the 10 to 15 below range."
Friday: Another Near-Miss. It's amazing the number of ways we've missed out on snow this winter, the vast majority of storms detouring south/east of MSP. The latest NAM model prints out some 2-4" amounts over far southern Minnesota on Friday, maybe an inch in the metro, possibly 2" over far southern suburbs like Northfield and Credit River. The north metro may see little or no snow on Friday.
Mild End To January. The models are consistent: we should end January in the 30s, a 40 degree high not out of the question the last weekend of the month. The GFS is hinting at a (brief) chill around February 2, maybe 1 or 2 nights dipping below zero, before temperatures recover.
Dribs And Drabs Of Snow. We just can't buy a storm. I keep waiting for the pattern to shift. We're going to have to wait awhile longer. Up to 1" may fall from a fast-moving clipper Friday, another (slushy) inch possible Sunday (considerably more east of the metro into Wisconsin), another coating next Wednesday. Pretty exciting stuff, huh? At this rate we may wind up with a 30" winter. For the sake of farmers and anyone with a lawn or garden - I hope I'm wrong.
THURSDAY NIGHT: Clouds increase, still numb. Low: 0
Coldest Of Winter?
Does Global Warming Mean More Winter Snow Storms. OBP News has a curious story: "While Northwest residents confront a winter snow blast, new research is pointing to climate change as a possible reason that harsh Arctic weather is pushing into some lower latitudes. The new study, published by Atmospheric and Environmental Research, is contradicting what current climate models tell us about winter weather patterns. It suggests warming trends in the spring, summer and fall are causing colder winters with more severe storms. The study’s lead author, Judah Cohen, says winter temperatures should be warming the most, according to climate models. But actual temperatures aren’t lining up with what those models have predicted."
Trumpeter Swans Rebound, With An Assist From Global Warming. A silver lining? Bring it on. Scientific American has the story: "ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Outside Alaska's largest city, where wildlife is more common than pigeons, locals bearing field glasses turn out every year to watch blazingly white trumpeter swans stop to feed on their way south for the winter. The swans, famed for their French horn call and immortalized by author E.B. White, were nearly hunted to extinction in much of the United States and Canada by the late 1800s for their meat, feathers, down and quills. Now, North America's largest wild fowl may be one of the few good-news stories of global warming - at least for the short term." Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In 2012 Let's Resolve To Fight Global Warming Together. The story from Huffington Post: "2011 was disastrous -- literally. Forty-six states in the U.S. alone experienced weather-related catastrophes, according to the American Red Cross. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently reported that 2011 set a record for the number of U.S. disasters costing more than $1 billion each. Last year the 12 most costly U.S. disasters totaled approximately $52 billion and resulted in the loss of nearly 650 lives. Data from Munich Re indicate that the world economy experienced a record-breaking $265 billion in economic losses from disasters in just the first six months of 2011. These are just the consequences we can numerically count. The resulting human suffering is not quantifiable."
Marcellus Boom Threatens Climate Change Action, Study Says. The Charleson Gazette reports: "CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The boom in drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale and other similar formations will likely suppress the development of alternative energies that are urgently needed to combat global warming, according to a new study by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. Researchers highlighted some positive aspects of the boom in drilling for "shale-gas" reserves, such as help in lowering gas prices and stimulating the economy. But they warned that a switch from coal to natural gas alone isn't nearly enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the levels scientists believe are needed to curb the worst impacts of global warming."
Photo credit above: "Eugenie Scott (Image by Euthman via Flickr)."