The Big Picture
"All weather, like politics, is local". It's human nature to stare out the window and assume it's like this everywhere. TV meteorologists usually fixate on a single city or state; it's challenging to keep a global perspective. Climate scientists and NASA confirm that November 2013 was the warmest November, globally, since 1880, followed by 2010 and 2009. It's been cold in Minnesota, no debate, but much of the planet is still skewing (much) warmer than average. Details below.
Canada sneezes another brisk airmass south of the border today, but temperatures moderate this week. You'll be amazed, even a little appalled, how good 20s and low 30s feel after a spell of polar pain.
NOAA's 45-day CFS (Climate Forecast System) model shows 6 inches of snow on the ground Christmas Day; a mild bias in the days leading up to Christmas, and a mild start to January, too.
A family of Alberta Clippers whip up a few dribs & drabs of snow, but we'll need to see a major shift in the pattern to get a big snowstorm, one capable of pulling Gulf moisture into Minnesota.
MSP has picked up about 10 inches of snow this winter; 5 inches below average. Better than most recent Decembers, though.
* NAEFS forecast temperature probabilities for December 22-28 courtesy of NOAA.
Single Digit Sunday. In spite of intervals of sun highs remain in single digits today, dipping just below zero tonight. 20s are likely as early as Monday and Tuesday, even a shot at freezing by midweek. Temperature plot: Smart Energy.
Finally - Signs Of Moderation. The 2-meter temperature plot, courtesy of NOAA's 12km NAM model, shows temperatures dipping below zero tonight, again Sunday night, before an upward blip in the mercury by Monday and Tuesday. 84 hour temperature animation: Ham Weather.
An Arctic Reprieve. ECMWF model guidance shows temperatures above average by Tuesday and Wednesday, another surge of Canadian air Friday into the weekend giving way to more moderation in time for Christmas Eve. Graphic: Weatherspark.
A White Christmas. NOAA's 45-day CFS (Climate Forecast System) model shows about 4" of snow on the ground at MSP on Christmas Day, more significant snow arriving the first week of January, as much as 15" on the ground by late January. Potentially great news for Minnesota snow lovers, but I'm still a bit skeptical. We'll see, but in the spirit of full disclosure here you go.
Temperature Roller Coaster. I'm not bold or stupid enough to imply that the coldest weather of winter is behind us. Odds are we'll encounter more episodes of character-testing cold in January, but NOAA CFS guidance shows a few warming trends to go with the cold spells into late January. Graphic: Ham Weather.
Photo credit above: Dusan Vranic / AP. "The Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock are covered in snow in Jerusalem on Dec. 13, 2013. Early snow has surprised many Israelis and Palestinians as a blustery storm, dubbed Alexa, brought gusty winds, torrential rains and heavy snowfall to parts of the Middle East."
Photo credit above: " Creative Commons.
Photo credit above: "Tesla Motors Inc.'s Model X vehicle when it was unveiled at Tesla's design studio in Hawthorne in February 2012. Production is expected to begin next year. In early 2015, the company plans to introduce its next model, a high-volume car starting around $40,000." (Tim Rue / Bloomberg).
SUNDAY NIGHT: Light snow and flurries, slippery coating. Low: 1
MONDAY: Half inch of flakes early. Slick. High: 21
TUESDAY: Peeks of sun, getting better. Wake-up: 12. High: 27
WEDNESDAY: Intervals of sun, above average! Wake-up: 13. High: 32
THURSDAY: Period of snow, heaviest north. Wake-up: 19. High: 28
FRIDAY: Getting sunnier and colder. Wake-up: 8. High: 11
SATURDAY: Peeks of sun. Good travel weather. Wake-up: -4. High: 12
Climate Change Will Pose Rising Burden On U.S. Taxpayer. Here's an excerpt from Kitsap Sun: "Such losses, says Ceres, a U.S.-based non-profit organization which promotes environmentally sustainable business practices, are set to rise considerably in the years ahead as a result of climate change, imposing an ever bigger burden on the U.S. taxpayer. Federal and state disaster relief payouts last year alone are estimated to have cost every person in the U.S. more than $300. Yet according to a new report by Ceres, Inaction on climate change: the cost to taxpayers, the U.S. administration, its agencies and state bodies are still not facing up to the grave financial implications of a warming world..."
Photo credit: Shutterstock / Sergey Kamshylin.