25 F. average high on December 24.
11 F. high on December 24, 2013.
-13 F. morning low on December 24, 2013.
Minnesota Weather History on December 24. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service:
1999: Strong winds resulted in a one hundred thirty foot radio tower to collapse in Milaca. No wind measurements were available in the city of Milaca. However, Princeton airport (Mille Lacs county), had a gust to 45 mph at 10:35 pm CST. St. Cloud airport (Stearns County), had a gust to 44 mph at 8:52 pm CST. Mora (Kanabec county) had a gust to 55 mph at 9:35 pm CST, and a gust to 47 mph at 10:35 pm CST.
1996: A strong low pressure system which deposited heavy snow over much of Minnesota on the 23rd, pulled extremely cold Canadian air southward over Minnesota. The cold remained entrenched through the 26th. Temperatures fell to 15 to 35 degrees below zero Christmas Day morning. The Twin Cities and St. Cloud set new record low temperatures both days. In addition, the high temperature on Christmas Day in the Twin Cities was only 9 degrees below zero. Combined with the record low temperature that morning of 22 below, the mean temperature for Christmas Day was 16 degrees below zero. This Christmas Day set a new record for being the coldest day on record for the Twin Cities metro area, going back to the year 1890 when modern day records began.
1922: People were golfing in the Twin Cities as temperatures reached the 50's.
Some Assembly Required
The 3 most terrifying words a parent can read Christmas morning. My day will be spent with a power drill, Phillips-head screwdriver and wobbly ladder, installing my new RadioShack Doppler up on the roof. Good luck with your post-Christmas assembly challenges.
I can usually gauge the severity of a winter by how much grit, sand and goop has accumulated in our garage, undershirt consumption and the urge to flick on the space heater each night. By those metrics it hasn't been that bad, overall and nothing like last winter, to date.
December 2013 was 7.3F colder than average with 8 subzero nights as of Christmas. December 2014: 6F warmer than average and only 1 subzero night.
This is what an El Nino winter looks like. JMA, Japan Meteorological Agency, has made it official; I expect NOAA to confirm it soon.
2014 was cooler than average east of the Mississippi but still on track to be the warmest year, worldwide, ever recorded. So much for the temperature pause.
Old Man Winter will pull his punch into early January; single digit highs New Year's Eve the exception, not the rule looking out 2 weeks.
A little snow is possible early Saturday, again Monday. A white New Year's Day?
Sun Sizzles in High-Energy X-Rays. NASA has a story about a new look at the sun; here's an excerpt: "...With NuSTAR's high-energy views, it has the potential to capture hypothesized nanoflares -- smaller versions of the sun's giant flares that erupt with charged particles and high-energy radiation. Nanoflares, should they exist, may explain why the sun's outer atmosphere, called the corona, is sizzling hot, a mystery called the "coronal heating problem." The corona is, on average, 1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit (1 million degrees Celsius), while the surface of the sun is relatively cooler at 10,800 Fahrenheit (6,000 degrees Celsius). It is like a flame coming out of an ice cube. Nanoflares, in combination with flares, may be sources of the intense heat..."
Image credit above: "X-rays stream off the sun in this image showing observations from by NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR, overlaid on a picture taken by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO)." Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC.
CHRISTMAS DAY: Cloudy, few flurries or sprinkles. Winds: S 8. High: 36
THURSDAY NIGHT: Lingering clouds, still above average. Low: 29
FRIDAY: Bright gray, cooling off a bit. High: 31
SATURDAY: Snowy coating early? Drying out. Wake-up: 24. High: 28
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy, seasonably chilly. Wake-up: 17. High: 23
MONDAY: Cloudy, a little light snow late? Wake-up: 15. High: 29
TUESDAY: Risk of sunshine, colder. Wind chill: -5. Wake-up: 8. High: 13
NEW YEAR's EVE: Numb New Year. Peeks of sun, dry. Wake-up: 0. High: 9
These U.S. Cities Have Already Passed a Climate Change "Tipping Point". Tipping point is defined as at least 30 days a year of "nuisance flooding" or worse. Here's an excerpt from Vice News: "...Wilmington, North Carolina; Annapolis, Maryland; and Washington, D.C. have already passed their tipping points. From 2006 through 2010, for example, Annapolis experienced an average of 34.4 nuisance days a year, compared to an average 2.8 such days from 1956 through 1960. Of the 23 other cities surveyed, 17 are expected to pass their tipping points by 2050...."
1.22: The deviation, in degrees Fahrenheit, of average global temperatures for the first 11 months of 2014 above the 20th century average, according to the NOAA.
142: Percentage by which atmospheric CO2 levels soared above the pre-Industrial Revolution average in 2013, the WMO announced in September, representing a record rate of growth..."
Photo credit above: "A photovoltaic array at Israel's National Solar Energy Center in the Negev desert." Credit: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.