24 F. average high on January 2.
4 F. high on January 2, 2014.
3" snow on the ground at MSP International Airport.
January 2, 1981: Arctic air visits Minnesota. Embarass, Wannaska, and Tower all hit 38 below zero.
January 2, 1977: 14.2 inches of snow falls in Mankato.
Cold Wave Coming
If we were living in Honolulu, Miami or L.A. a cold wave would be breaking news. Minnesota, in January? I'd be amazed if it didn't get cold! And if we ever get to the point where we see no snow or cold fronts the planet will have much bigger problems.
Some perspective is in order. Temperatures usually bottom out in mid-January, about 3-4 weeks after the Winter Solstice. Yes, there's a lag. January of 2014 brought 20 subzero nights and 3 subzero days as a misplaced chunk of polar air stalled near Hudson Bay, sending spokes of pain south of the border on a regular basis.
And yes, I got a dollar every time I mentioned "polar vortex" on TV.
Not this year. The pattern is more variable, alternating between polar and Pacific, and after the coldest outbreak of winter next week a Pacific flow pulls 20s and 30s back into town by mid-January.
Not to minimize next week's discomfort. Lows dip below zero every night next week; subzero "highs" Sunday & Wednesday as the wind chill dips to -40F, down into the danger zone.
Snow tracks across far northern Minnesota today but a plowable snow is possible here Monday night.
OK, January in Minnesota is an acquired taste. You may have time to cash in those frequent flier miles.
* Temperature anomaly prediction (NOAA GFS model) valid next Thursday morning, courtesy of Climate Reanalyzer.
- December precipitation totals were close to historical averages across large portions of Minnesota. In many locales, a significant fraction of the monthly precipitation came in the form of mid-December rain. However, northwest and north central counties missed out on the bulk of these rainfall events and monthly precipitation totals in those areas were about one-half inch short of historical averages.
- Snow depths are less than four inches in most Minnesota communities. Little or no snow cover is on the ground across large sections the state. Snow depths are well below median for the northern two-thirds of Minnesota.
- The U. S. Drought Monitor indicates that Abnormally Dry conditions exist over large sections of Minnesota, the result of a dry late summer and autumn.
- Average monthly temperatures for December in Minnesota were above historical averages, ranging from five to seven degrees above normal. Warm and very humid conditions in mid-December led to a number record-setting high overnight temperatures and high dew point temperature readings...."
Here is what we're tracking:
* Significant icing event from north Texas into southwest and central Oklahoma. As much as 1/4 to 1/2" of ice may accumulate on streets, trees and power lines in the Oklahoma City area over the next 24 hours; some power outages are likely.
* Slight severe thunderstorm risk for New Orleans and Mobile Saturday - a few isolated tornadoes can't be ruled out.
* Any wet snow quickly changes to rain for major east coast population centers Saturday and Sunday; 1-2" rains may spark urban flooding.
* Coldest air of the winter pushing south next week in two separate waves. Subzero temperatures likely Monday into Thursday from the Midwest to New England, even the Mid Atlantic region, as wind chills dip into the extreme danger zone from Minneapolis and Chicago to Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Boston, New York, even Washington D.C.
Summary: We're tracking severe icing pushing into Oklahoma City, the risk of a few stray tornadoes near New Orleans and Mobile Saturday afternoon and heavy weekend rains causing minor to moderate street flooding up and down the east coast this weekend. Next week the big story is subzero chill pushing south of the border - what will probably be the coldest week of winter is shaping up. We'll keep you posted.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
Image credit above: SpaceX.
TODAY: Last "mild" day. Coating of snow late. Winds: S, then NW 15-30 late. High: 30
SATURDAY NIGHT: Gusty and sharply colder. Low: -6
SUNDAY: Peeks of sun, olar pain. Feels like -30. Winds: NW 20+ High: -2
MONDAY: Bitter. Few inches snow at night from the next clipper. Wake-up: -14. High: 3
TUESDAY: Snow tapers. Icy travel. Wind chill: -30. Wake-up: 0. High: 10 (falling rapidly again).
WEDNESDAY: Sunny. Coldest day of the winter? Wind chill -45 early. Wake-up: -16. High: -4
THURSDAY: Clouds increase, not as harsh. Wake-up: -9. High: 18
FRIDAY: Blue sky. More fresh air. Wake-up: -2. High: 8
Photo credit above: "Malcolm Richards of Fox Guide Glaciers leads tourists on a hike up Fox Glacier on the West Coast of New Zealand, Oct. 4, 2014. Tourists once came to this remote town to hike across glaciers, but now helicopters are the only way to reach many of them - one of the many ways in which climate change is effecting the global tourism industry." (Guy Frederick/The New York Times).
Photo credit above: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes.