24 F. average high on January 21.
6 F. high on January 21, 2014, after waking up to -13 at KMSP.
2" snow on the ground at MSP International Airport.
January 21, 1982: The Twin Cities got 21.1 inches of snow, with a total of nearly 40 inches on the ground.
January 21, 1936: Perhaps the coldest windchill the Twin Cities has ever seen was -67 on this day with the new windchill formula (-87 with the old formula). The temperature was -34 with a wind speed of 20mph. All traffic in the Twin Cities was severely hampered and a number of fatalities were caused by the cold. (source: Twin Cities National Weather Service)
A Progressive Pattern
If the Earth was flat I'd be out of a job. Wait, a few friends nursing conspiracy theories are convinced NASA faked the "round Earth thing" but I tend to believe the scientists. A spherical planet means the tropics receive direct sunlight; the poles only get a glancing blow of warmth. This is the primary engine that drives the weather machine; eddies and swirls of cold air breaking off, making a mad dash toward the equator. Most of our "weather" occurs along this atmospheric battle zone.
Last winter polar air become perpetually stuck over North America, odd jet stream gyrations stalling a dome of subzero air overhead week after week, month after month. This winter I see no sign of a similar blocking pattern. It gets cold for a few days, then it warms as steering wind blow from the west, pumping temperate Pacific air back into Minnesota.
The sun peeks out today; temperatures still a few degrees above average. We should top 30F every day from Friday thru the middle of next week, before an inevitable temperature tumble.
February kicks off with single-digit highs, a few subzero lows, but not persistently polar for days on end. Sunday's clipper may be a bust, too.
Image credit above: "JPSS-1 is the second spacecraft within NOAA's next generation of polar-orbiting environmental satellites- scheduled to launch in early 2017." (Photo Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.)
Map: The Fracking Boom, State By State. Thank God there are no (economically feasible) reserves of natural gas lurking underneath Minnesota's constellation of clean lakes and rivers. Here's an excerpt of a story at InsideClimate News that caught my eye: "As debate intensifies over oil and gas drilling, most states with frackable reserves are already fracking—or making moves to do so in the near future. That translates to 22 states, from California to Texas, Michigan to West Virginia, currently employing this high-intensity form of energy extraction, and five others may soon follow..."
TODAY: Partly sunny. No problems. Winds: SW 10. High: 28
THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, milder than average for late January. Low: 23
FRIDAY: Milder with clouds, few flurries. High: 37
SATURDAY: Better travel day. Sun fades, late night snow. Wake-up: 27. High: 36
SUNDAY: Early coating to a couple inches possible with slick highways. Snow tapers. Wake-up: 29. High: 31
MONDAY: Peeks of sun, light winds. Wake-up: 23. High: near 30
TUESDAY: Next clipper. Quick shot of snow. Wake-up: 24. High: 32
WEDNESDAY: Sunny start, PM flurries possible. Wake-up: 21. High: 31
* Turning substantially colder by the end of next week: single-digit highs possible by Friday and Saturday.
** Photo credit: Donna Wick Paul.
Image credit: NASA, NOAA.