27 F. average high on December 13.
17 F. high on December 13, 2013.
December 13, 1996: Snowfall exceeding one foot was reported from south central Minnesota through portions of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Some of the higher snow totals included 15 inches at Rockford, 14 inches at Cedar and North Branch, 13 inches at Stewart and 7 to 10 inches across the central and southern parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
December 13, 1933: Severe ice storm hits southeast and central Minnesota.
No, this is not halftime. If winter was a football game we'd be 5 minutes into the second quarter. But I'm grateful for a lack of atmospheric penalties. 50 degrees a week before the Winter Solstice is a welcome reprieve. Time to exhale.
A year ago tomorrow the high was 4F in the Twin Cities. We had already muddled through 5 subzero nights by December 14, 2013 - a preview of coming attractions.
So I won't complain about an inversion, fog, drizzle and bad air. An air pollution advisory is still in effect. I almost drove off the freeway after seeing the big digital sign overhead reminding me "not to idle". OK. Walk the dog, wash the car; soak up late March because a minor correction is coming.
Rain today and Monday ends as an inch of slush Monday night; the best chance of a coating of snow north and west of the MSP metro.
That may be the only real chance of snow between now and Christmas Day. It'll be cold enough for snow by Tuesday, but El Nino detours big storms south of Minnesota.
I see no evidence of a bitter blocking pattern similar to last winter setting up. Christmas 2014? A shot at 40F with rain showers. No snow? Not to worry. Remember, Santa has "rain-deer".
Nuisance - Almost Plowable Late Monday. Here's the early morning NAM solution for accumulated snow late Monday and Monday night as colder air changes the snow back to a wintry mix. Southern South Dakota picks up a plowable snowfall of as much as 5-8", with generally 1-3" amounts from southwest into central and northeastern Minnesota, maybe 4-5" near Crosby. Expect slippery travel late tomorrow. Source: NOAA and HAMweather.
Not Much Drama. I'm OK with that, by the way. As much as I want a white Christmas I'm also sympathetic to pre-Christmas travelers who don't want to be stuck at MSP International Airport. After a balmy Sunday temperatures drop tomorrow (that 52F is a bit misleading, occurring around midnight). Temperatures track pretty close to average from Tuesday into next weekend.
Steering Wind Outlook: December 19-23. A modified zonal pattern continues into at least Christmas as jet stream winds 18,000 feet above the ground blow from Seattle and Vancouver. At some point colder air will penetrate southward and wipe the smug self-satisfied smile off our faces, but expect reasonable temperatures through at least the middle of next week. Map: NOAA.
Tame Tornadoes: Quietest 3 Years For Twisters On Record. USA TODAY has the story - here's the introduction: "The U.S. experienced fewer tornadoes in the past three years than any similar span since accurate records began in the 1950s. Yet meteorologists aren't sure exactly why. As this year comes to a close, about 150 fewer damaging tornadoes than average have hit the U.S., according to data from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). Explanations for the decrease in twisters the past three years range from unusual cold to unusual heat, or just coincidence..." (Map credit above: NOAA SPC).
Maps: Tornadoes in California Aren't As Rare As You Might Think. Gawker does a good job of putting Friday's (tiny) tornado in south Los Angeles into perspective; here's an excerpt: "...Between 1950 and 2013, there were 403 confirmed tornadoes in California, coming out to an average of around 6 or 7 tornadoes per year. The vast majority of them occurred in the Central Valley, but you can see a tight cluster of tornadoes down around Los Angeles. Most of the twisters are weak, with 66% of those surveyed by meteorologists rating either F0 or EF0 (we switched from the Fujita Scale to the Enhanced Fujita Scale in 2007). A handful of tornadoes recorded in the state have been significant, with 23 clocking in at F/EF2 and two achieving F3 status..." (Map credit: Dennis Mersereau, The Vane).
Graphic credit above: "
The Cutest Panda You'll Ever See. Check out this clip at Huffington Post for an "ah-cute" moment.
TODAY: March-like. Rain and fog. Winds: South 5-10. High: 51
SUNDAY NIGHT: Periods of rain. Low: 38
MONDAY: Rain ends as slushy coating to 2" late. High: 40 (falling during the day).
TUESDAY: Slick start? Clouds linger, colder. Wake-up: 19. High: 27
WEDNESDAY: Rare ration of sunlight? Chilly. Wake-up: 14. High: 25
THURSDAY: Clouds increase, still dry. Wake-up: 19. High: 29
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, few flakes? Wake-up: 21. High: 31
SATURDAY: More clouds than sun, quiet. Wake-up: 20. High: 30
Weather Bombs, Polar Vortex: Global Warming's Influence on Extreme Weather. No, it's probably not your imagination. Here's an excerpt from Stanford and Science 2.0: "...The media are often focused on whether global warming caused a particular event," says Diffenbaugh, who is a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "The more useful question for real-world decisions is: 'Is the probability of a particular event statistically different now compared with a climate without human influence?'" His belief is based on three elements of varying rigor: climate observations, climate computer simulations which estimate variations in climate and statistics to reconcile the first two..."
Graphic credit above: "Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) for 2080-2099 with business-as-usual warming. By comparison, during the 1930s Dust Bowl, the PDSI in the Great Plains rarely exceeded -3 (see here)." Source: Cook et al. and Climate Progress.
Photo credit above: "ARTIFICIAL VOLCANO: Could mimicking a massive volcanic eruption, like that of Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, avoid global warming?" Courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey