40 F. average high on November 18.
36 F. high on November 18, 2013.
4" snow on the ground as of 7 pm yesterday.
November 18, 1981: Heavy snow with near blizzard conditions resulted in over a foot of wet snow, which caused the inflated fabric of the Metrodome to collapse and rip.
November 18, 1957: Snowstorm in Southeast Minnesota. A foot is dumped at Winona. Heavy crop losses.
I just returned from Washington D.C. - where a forecast low of 20F is "frigid" and flurries can send the local population into a grocery-store-emptying panic. When I talk about weather in my home state my D.C. relatives look at me funny, with a mixture of awe and pity. Like I'm some crazy superhero for living here.
Today is the 9th day in a row below freezing. We'll go 11-12 days below 32F, the longest stretch below freezing in November since 1996, possibly 1880. Go big or go home, right?
A morning burst of flurries capable of a quick coating of icy fun marks the leading edge of a reinforcing shot of numbing air. Behind this latest clipper highs hold in the teens tomorrow - giving way to a welcome thaw by the weekend. You'll be amazed (and a little embarrassed) how good 35-40F can feel after a lengthy spell of nanook air.
Thanksgiving travel paranoia is setting in, but right now I don't see any knock-down storms between now and late November. A big storm tracks from Dallas to Chicago, brushing us with a cold rain late Sunday; ending as a little snow Monday.
Light snow may brush far southern Minnesota Thanksgiving Day, followed by another cold swipe. But the GFS model insists we'll see more 30s by early December.
Ice Safety. With our extended spell below freezing lakes are freezing us rapidly; there's a temptation to get out and ice fish or skate sooner rather than later. But the Minnesota DNR reminds you that the guidelines above are minimums, assuming new, clear ice. Be careful out there.
An Early Meteorological Thanksgiving. Yes, turkey-day is next Thursday, but I'm mouthing a quiet prayer of thanksgiving for 30s this weekend, even a shot at 40 degrees, which is average for November 18, if anyone asks. We're due for a little average. Rain (and some icing) Sunday ends as a period of snow Monday. Right now it doesn't look like a major accumulation. We cool off and dry out a bit next Tuesday into Thanksgiving Day. Source: Weatherspark.
Temporary Shift in the Pattern. A persistent northwest wind flow aloft becomes more southerly over the Plains and Midwest by late week, allowing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to surge north. The atmosphere aloft should be just mild enough for a little rain by Sunday, possibly freezing on contact, especially outside the MSP metro. Enough cold air surges south by Monday for a changeover back to snow across Minnesota.
60-Hour Snowfall Potential. Buffalo, New York has already been hammered, and models print out another 36"+ snow by Friday as temperatures in single digits pass over relatively mild water in the Great Lakes, a nearly 40 degree temperature differential. Source: NOAA NAM model and HAMweather.
Image above courtesy of Rutgers University Global Snow Lab.
Jet stream (GFS) winds obtained using Climate Reanalyzer (http://cci-reanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, USA.
Quartz begs to differ, arguing that we're looking at the relationship between the web and apps all wrong.
TODAY: Icy coating of flurries, gusty. Winds: NW 15-25. Feels like +5. High: 22
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Windy and cold. Low: 4
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, feels like -5F. High: 16
FRIDAY: Breezy, not as harsh with intervals of sun. Wake-up: 6. High: near 30
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, welcome thaw. Wake-up: 28. High: 38
SUNDAY: Cold PM rain, icy patches possible. Wake-up: 34. High: 39
MONDAY: Changeover to snow. A little slush? Wake-up: 31. High: 34
TUESDAY: Peeks of sun, better travel day. Wake-up: 15. High: 27
Photo credit above: "Flooding in Saratoga, Wyoming." Photo by SFC McGuire/Wyoming National Guard.
Photo credit above: " ESA.