30 F. average high on December 7.
5 F. high on December 7, 2013.
December 7, 1982: A farmer near St. Bonifacius bailed his 4th crop of alfalfa hay on this day.
December 7, 1927: A blizzard hits the arrowhead with heavy snows and 70 mph winds at Duluth.
A Beige Christmas?
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Bing Crosby had the right idea. There's nothing like family, friends, gifts under the tree - and a fresh coating of white to help celebrate a birthday like no other.
NOAA records show that, since 1871, roughly 3 out of 4 December 25ths in the Twin Cities have an inch or more of snow on the ground - the definition of "white Christmas". Amazingly, this may not be one of those years.
Here's why this year may be brown or bright beige: we only have 1 inch of snow on the ground officially at MSP International. Another coating is possible later today as a clipper passes to our north. The pattern favors big storms on both coasts, but little "weather" close to home the next 2 weeks. A fire-hose of Pacific moisture passes well south of Minnesota - symptoms of a slowly developing El Nino.
Bitter air remains bottled up in Canada until further notice. ECMWF guidance shows 40s by the end of the week; a chance of 50s by Saturday. After a numbing November it's hard to believe most of the snow in our yards will be gone a week from today.
Will this milder westerly flow, a Pacific reprieve, dominate our pattern the rest of the winter? Possible, but unlikely.
Winter Weather Advisory. A mix of freezing rain and sleet may ice up roads over much of central and northern Minneosta during the morning and midday hours, changing over to snow showers by afternoon. Details from the Twin Cities National Weather Service:
...WINTRY MIX EXPECTED ACROSS WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA SUNDAY MORNING... A WINTRY MIX OF FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP OVER WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA SUNDAY MORNING. IT WILL SPREAD EAST INTO CENTRAL MINNESOTA BY MID MORNING. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE AREA LOCATED MAINLY NORTH OF AN OLIVIA... HUTCHINSON AND MORA LINE FROM 6 AM UNTIL NOON SUNDAY. UNTREATED ROADWAYS AND SIDEWALKS WILL BECOME SLICK. CAUTION IS ADVISED.
Nuisance Snowfall. I expect a coating of slush by tonight in the metro area, maybe an inch or two of snow for parts of central and northern Minnesota as a weak clipper tracks across the state. After this I don't see any accumulating snow looking out at least 10 days. Source: NOAA NAM and HAMweather.com.
Another Pacific Smack - Nor'easter Brewing By Tuesday. 60-hour NAM accumulated precipitation shows more heavy rain approaching the Pacific Northwest late Sunday and Monday, an area of low pressure intensifying along a stalled front along the eastern seaboard capable of heavy rain and coastal flooding Tuesday into Wednesday from New Jersey to Cape Cod with heavy snow over interior New England.
Steering Winds December 12-16. 500 mb winds are (very) zonal in mid-December, implying a few days in the 40s, maybe 50F by Saturday. As long as steering winds aloft howl from the west it will be difficult to pull in bitter air from the Arctic or Siberia. How long this relatively mild pattern lingers is a different question - I suspect it will hold on thru much of December; after that all bets are off.
Instant March. The ECMWF model is consistently pulling unseasonably mild air northward into Minnesota; even with a little leftover snow, clouds and fog temperatures should surge into the 40s, possibly reaching the 50s by Saturday, some 20-25F warmer than average. Map valid Saturday evening courtesy of WSI.
TODAY: Cloudy. Slushy PM mix. Up to 1 inch. Winds: South 15. High: 34
SUNDAY NIGHT: A little wet snow - slippery patches. Low: 31
MONDAY: Flurries taper, slow clearing. High: 32
TUESDAY: Sunny and cooler, light winds. Wake-up: 13. High: 27
WEDNESDAY: Plenty of sun, turning milder. Wake-up: 17. High: 31
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, removing extra layers. Wake-up: 28. High: 39
FRIDAY: Some sun, hints of March in the air. Wake-up: 33. High: 46
SATURDAY: Patchy clouds and fog. Mild breeze. Wake-up: 35. High: 52
Cutting Carbon Pollution Is The Key To Curbing Global Warming. Here's an excerpt of an article from John Abraham at St. Thomas, writing for The Guardian: "...Most of us already know this, but not all greenhouse gases are created equal. There are some greenhouse gases that, when emitted, only stay in the atmosphere for a short time. There are other greenhouse gases (like carbon dioxide) that stay aloft for decades to centuries. Finally, there are some that stay airborne for an intermediate duration. It has often been stated that we can “buy time” by focusing on short-lived greenhouse gases. Reducing things like black carbon or methane can give us some extra years to get our act together on carbon dioxide. But this suggestion is challenged in the PNAS paper..."
Photo credit above: "Glaciers seen during NASA’s Operation IceBridge research flight to West Antarctica on Oct. 29, 2014. A new analysis of the fastest-melting region of Antarctica has found that the melt rate of glaciers there has tripled during the last decade." Credit: NASA/Michael Studinger.