26 F. average high for February 5.
27 F. high temperature a year ago, on February 5, 2011.
28: average number of subzero nights every winter in the Twin Cities.
3: number of nights below zero so far this winter. There is a 1 in 3 chance of dipping below zero again by Friday morning.
12 subzero nights last winter in the metro area, as of February 5, 2011.
5 days of fog/stratus for much of Minnesota, more typical of late September or early October. Average number of days with 1/4 mile visibility or less in February: 1.4.
10,000. Average number of severe storms reported across the USA during a typical year. Only 1 in 10 severe thunderstorms will ever go on to spin up a tornado.
Minnesota's Snow Drought Lingers. The GFS forecast through midday Friday shows a total lack of any accumulating snow close to home, a couple inches over the U.P. of Michigan (lake effect) and snow showers for the Colorado Rockies. Otherwise...more of the same.
Late Week Cooling Trend. Not sure I'd call this an "arctic blast", but it will feel more like February by Friday, with highs in the mid teens to near 20, a couple nights of single digit lows. We've seen 3 nights below zero so far this winter - not sure we'll see any more, although we may come very close Friday, again Saturday morning.
Worst Of Winter Is Over. I'm more confident than ever saying that. I said it about 2 weeks ago, and although I probably jumped the gun I'm feeling (a bit) more sure with each passing day. The GFS 500mb (18,000 foot) forecast for February 21 shows a west/northwest wind flow, a "modified Pacific flow", good for 30s, even a few 40s during the third week of February.
February 13-21: Trending Milder Than Average. No bitter air brewing for the 3rd week of February (in fact the coldest weather will probably come the end of this week, when temperatures fall a few degrees below average - still not sure we'll dip below zero though). And no, I still don't see any significant snow, ice or rain through the 21st day of February.
* you can see an online memorial to Andy's life and many accomplishments on Facebook.
Photo credit above: "National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Koeneke tracks weather conditions using radar Friday at the facility in Flowood. Free National Weather Service storm spotter courses will be offered Tuesday and March 22 in a partnership between the NWS and the Hinds County Emergency Operations Center. Photo: Melanie Thortis/Spcieal to the Clarion-Ledger."
The Foggy February Blues. For the 3rd day in a row the sun was unable to burn away the fog and stratus over much of central and southeastern Minnesota. Where the sun did come out the mercury reached 39 at Redwood Falls and Grand Marais, 40 at International Falls. Under a gray sky temperatures peaked at 30 at St. Cloud and the Twin Cities.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Early fog. Skies brighten. Mild. Winds: NW 10. High: 38
MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, flurries possible late. Low: 26
Photo credit above: "19th century forestry workers stand next to a felled kauri. Photo: Alexander Turnbull Library."
What Global Warming Looks Like. The story from Doug Craig at the Record Searchlight (redding.com): "I am not a genius. I am not really all that smart about most stuff. After 25 years in private practice as a clinical psychologist, I think I know what I am doing in my field. Outside of that, I make very few claims. After about 30 months of blogging, Electric Ed suggested I put the graph (above) into my blog. I did not know how to do that. Thanks to Bruce Ross and my friend Mauro, it looks like it is actually down there. I am amazed. I don't know how I did this. I am not sure I will be able to do it again. But for now, this is a picture of global warming, according to NASA, Randy's favorite source on all things related to climate science. See how the red line goes up from the left to the right? You will notice it was climbing from when they started measuring in the late 1800s and leveled off from 1940 to 1980 due to soot and particulates in our atmosphere."
Photo credit above: "Matthew Lachniet, an associate professor at UNLV, looks at rock formations in a cave in the Sierra Madre region of Mexico during a June 2011 trip. Lachniet says cave rock accurately records rainfall patterns through the centuries. His research might help explain the rise and fall of Mesoamerican civilizations."