33 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday, before the arctic front arrived.
24 F. average high on January 3.
29 F. high on January 3, 2014.
January 3, 1981: Air cold enough to freeze a mercury thermometer pours into Minnesota. Tower hits 45 below zero.
January 3, 1971: Snowstorm over upper midwest. Winona gets over 14 inches.
When Minnesotans ask if it's cold enough for me I tell them the truth: I prefer absolute zero, where all molecular activity ceases. Pluto-like cold is refreshing, but a polar punch in January is the next best thing. Which begs the metaphysical question: can you feel any colder than numb?
Welcome to what may just be the coldest week of winter, coming about 1 week ahead of schedule. Subzero air surges south in 3 separate waves: today, Tuesday, again Friday - before upper level winds swing around to the west and we thaw out early next week. That means 7 nights in a row below zero. Daytime highs today and Wednesday probably won't rise above zero with a wind chill dipping to 30 below at times.
If you're properly dressed (no exposed skin rule in place) and physically active the risk of cold weather ailments is low.
But a little paranoia is warranted. Seniors and infants are most susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, an insidious drop in body temperature than can be fatal. The arrival of the Arctic Express sets off a couple inches of snow this morning; a few more inches may fall Monday night.
One advantage of a subzero week? You'll never take freezing for granted again.
- 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...."
Photo credit above: "In this photo taken on Dec. 18, 2014, Terry and Dan Goodwin, from left to right, cross-country ski as a snow-making machine churns snow at the city's largest park in Anchorage, Alaska. A spate of weird weather lingers in Anchorage, which is almost 2 feet behind typical snowfall totals for December." (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen).
Image credit above: SpaceX.
TODAY: 1-3" snow early. Bitter winds. NW 20. Wind chill: -25. High: -3
SUNDAY NIGHT: Clear and frigid. Low: -13
MONDAY: Clouds increase, another 1-3" snow at night from the next clipper. High: 3
TUESDAY: Icy travel. Bitter winds. WC: -25. Wake-up: 2. High: 5, then falling below zero again.
WEDNESDAY: Coldest day of winter? Sunny, subzero all day. WC: -35. Wake-up: -15. High: -4
THURSDAY: Breezy, not as harsh. Wake-up: -9. High: 14
FRIDAY: Last cold puff this week. Wake-up: -3. High: 5
SATURDAY: Milder, chance of light snow. Wake-up: -2. High: 23
* a welcome thaw is possible Sunday and Monday of next week.
My great, great, grandchildren ask me in dreams
What did you do, while the planet was plundered?
What did you do, when the earth was unraveling?
Surely you did something when the seasons started failing as the mammals, reptiles and birds were all dying?
Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen?
What did you do once you knew?
1. Raising Awareness to the vast challenges we face
2. Coming to Our Senses
3. Creating a Sense of Urgency to galvanize people into positive activism..."
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).