25 F. average high on January 28. That's up one degree; average temperatures finally creeping upward.
0 F. high on January 28, 2014 after waking to -16 F.
Trace of snow on the ground in the Twin Cities.
January 28, 1977: Due to the extreme cold, the St. Paul Winter Carnival was held indoors for the first time.
A year ago meteorologists were hyping the Polar Vortex; jet stream winds buckling and stalling, allowing arctic air to overstay its welcome. This year: more of a Pacific influence, fewer subzero flings, January temperatures about 3F milder than average.
David Young wrote me a note, describing a harrowing plunge into Lake of The Isles Sunday. Unstable ice in late January? Always an issue for spring-fed lakes and river currents, but falling through the ice in January, in Minnesota, requires a fair amount of effort. Jason Torgerson sent a photo of caterpillars in Shoreview.
Chirping robins, canceled pond hockey games, where does it end?
I'm here to (gently) remind you that Canada won't run out of cold air anytime soon. I'm predicting a minor reality readjustment, with teens early next week, an even colder front the end of next week with a few single digit days - maybe a couple nights below zero. But still not as cold as the first 10 days of January.
Call me crazy but I suspect the coldest days are behind us.
I see scrawny clippers into mid-February. At some point we'll see a legitimate storm. But as farmers like to say "When in a drought don't forecast rain."
Or snow for that matter.
Photo credit above: "Bruce Raymond shovels snow from the roof of his Chaplin, Conn. home on Jan. 28, 2015, after yesterday's storm that brought more than 20-inches to parts of the state. More snow and freezing temperatures are forecast for most of next week." (Mark Mirko/Hartford Courant/TNS).
Photo credit: Bill Koch, North Dakota State Highway Department. Credit: Collection of Fr. Herbert Kroehl, NGDC.
"Snowstorms Then And Now". McSweeney's Internet Tendency has a look at how adults have ruined snowstorms. It's a worthy (and funny) read.
Central American Fires May Intensify U.S. Tornadoes. Really? Science News has an overview on how smoke can amplify conditions necessary for tornadoes, which I found to be non-obvious; here's a clip: "...Smoke wafting across the Gulf of Mexico from Central America can help spawn intense twisters in and around North America’s Tornado Alley, new research suggests. Reconstructing the extreme April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak, which sired 122 twisters across the Southeastern United States, researchers found that smoke particles in the atmosphere further enhanced conditions already favorable for intense tornado formation..."
More of an observation…I was out for a noon-time walk on Tuesday, Jan 27, near Rice Creek Parkway in Shoreview, when I spotted this little fellow walking alongside me. Air temp was about 35 F, and he was definitely moving (albeit very slowly).
I don’t recall ever seeing a live caterpillar in the middle of winter before.
- Jason Torgerson
TODAY: Cloudy, windy, cooler. Winds: NW 15-25. High: 31
THURSDAY NIGHT: Gusty and colder. Low: 12
FRIDAY: Chilled sunshine, less wind. High: 27
SATURDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, dry. Wake-up: 16. High: 28
SUNDAY: Some sun, deflated temperatures. Wake-up: 8. High: 16
MONDAY: Sunny start, clouds increase. Wake-up: 3. High: 19
TUESDAY: Early coating, then clearing. Wake-up: 15. High: 29
WEDNESDAY: Sunny peeks, a colder swipe arrives. Wake-up: 14. High: 17
Photo credit: "A snow-entombed car in Cambridge, Mass., Jan 27, 2015. The first major storm of the winter blasted across eastern New England on Tuesday, unleashing whiteout conditions driven by gale-force winds." (Katherine Taylor/The New York Times).