25 F. average high for December 24.
42 F. high on December 24, 2011.
1" snow on the ground in the Twin Cities (at least at MSP International, where all things official take place).
This storm will affect major population centers of the Northeast (including New York City) with very heavy rain and high winds Wednesday; the peak of the storm coming Wednesday evening, when winds gust to 50 mph and heavy rain creates minor flash flooding risks and sporadic power outages. I expect the storm to impact metro New York travel Wednesday PM, snarling commutes and leading to delays and possible cancellations at LGA, EWR and JFK.
Farther inland heavy snow is likely from Little Rock to Cleveland, with some 15-20" snowfall amounts possible from upstate Pennsylvania to Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany by Thursday. No accumulating snow is expected from D.C. to Philadelphia and New York.
Summary: We're tracking a potential Christmas Day tornado outbreak for the Deep South (Louisiana and Mississippi most impacted), but this storm will be pushing up the East Coast Wednesday with strong/severe T-storms, heavy rains and high winds. Expect maximum impact Wednesday PM hours, with conditions improving Thursday. Heavy snows may temporarily disrupt operations from Little Rock (10" snow) into the Ohio Valley, portions of Pennsylvania, upstate New York and interior New England.
#5 Non-Winter of 2011-12
Some of the predictions were dire. Possibly a winter more snowy than 2010-2011 was in the cards. It didn't happen. One of the most wimpy winters ever seen in the Twin Cities and Minnesota was the result with mild temperatures and scant snowfall. 2011-12 wound up the tenth least snowy winter on record for the Twin Cities and was the fourth warmest winter on record.
#4 Hot July 2012
2012 was the second warmest month ever for the Twin Cities back to 1872 with 80.2 degrees. Only July 1936 was warmer with 81.4 degrees. Duluth had its warmest July on record, although in 1936, the recording station for Duluth was closer to Lake Superior. To escape the heat, one had to go to International Falls where the average July temperature was 69 degrees making 2012 only the 12th warmest July on record there.
#3 Drought of 2011-2012
This could easily be #1 depending on where you live in Minnesota. The heavy rains of May and June, 2012 helped to blunt the drought a bit, but then it intensified by the late summer and continued into the fall. By late November 80% of the state was under a severe or extreme drought. By fall, soil moisture levels at the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca were some of the lowest on record.
#2 Northeast Minnesota Flood of June 19-20
The largest flash flood event in Minnesota for 2012 struck northeast Minnesota on June 19-20. The largest two day total was 10.10 inches just northeast of Duluth. There were so many roads flooded out in Carlton County that the county rain out of signs and more had to be trucked from the Twin Cities. One of the iconic photos of the storm was of Feisty the seal who escaped the Lake Superior Zoo and wound up on a neighborhood street. The St. Louis River engulfed and nearly destroyed the Jay Cooke State Park Swinging Bridge, but it will reopen in the summer of 2013. As for Feisty? She found refuge at Como Zoo and now has over 800 followers on Twitter.
#1 Outrageously Mild March 2012
Imagine if you will a March that was so warm it would break six record high temperature records in the Twin Cities, have four days with muggy dew point temperatures that reached 60 and wound up warmer than October! To top it off the Twin Cities had its earliest 80 degree temperature ever with 80 degrees on St. Patrick's Day, March 17. The old record was March 23 back in 1910. March 2012 will go down in history as one of the most bizarre months temperature-wise, finishing 15.5 degrees above normal. The only other month in the historical record for the Twin Cities that matches this feat was January 2006 that also finished 15.5 degrees above normal. As a consequence, spring phenology was exceedingly early with lilacs blooming the earliest on record in the Twin Cities, with many in full bloom by mid April.
Nippy Christmas Eve. Yes, it was brisk out there, a dusting of morning flakes giving way to some afternoon sunshine. Highs ranged from -1 at International Falls to 15 St. Cloud and 19 in the Twin Cities.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Image above: coolsydney.net.au.
- Senator Bob Kerry, quoted in an article at Ars Technica. Image: Wikipedia.