32 F. average high on February 25.
6 F. high on February 25, 2014.
1" snow on the ground at KMSP.
February 25 in Minnesota Weather History. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service.
1996: A bolt of lightning from a snowstorm causes an explosion at a fireworks storage site in Milaca. One employee was injured and several homes in the area were damaged. An eight foot crater was all that remained where the storage site had been.
1971: Extremely low pressure moves across Minnesota. The Twin Cities had a barometer reading of 28.77 inches and Duluth beat that with 28.75. Freezing rain and snow hit northern Minnesota, dumping up to 18 inches in some areas. Areas around Virginia were without power for 5 days.
1896: A balmy high of 60 degrees was reported at Maple Plain. The warm weather hampered the annual ice cutting on Lake Independence to store for summer use.
Fluke or Trend?
At last report The Weather Channel was up to "Juno". At the rate we're going we may get to "Zeus" and then start at the beginning of the alphabet. Personally, I'm dreading Winter Storm "Bubba".
From Boston to Dallas; every day there's new video, a litany of records - breathless reporting. Are big winter storms really on the increase? Or has perception become reality, thanks to Twitter and a flood of media outlets?
A recent NOAA/UCAR paper (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Agency) concluded: "For severe snowstorms and ice storms the number of severe regional snowstorms that occurred since 1960 was more twice that of the preceding 60 years." This is a bigger factor for New England and the East Coast, where warmer water offshore enhances water vapor - meaning more fuel for storms that do spin up, leading to heavier snowfalls.
Light snow may brush Minnesota next Tuesday, otherwise the forecast calls for ditto, any big storms with names sliding south of Minnesota - a cold, dry northwest wind flow blowing overhead.
I don't see any extended thaws until mid-March, when it may be warm enough for rain. And to Pete, who I sold my 2 snowmobiles to: I'm sorry - I had no idea we'd see so little snow.
Next winter will be better, right?
* My friend and meteorologist at WDIV-TV in Detroit, Paul Gross, informs me that five of Detroit's top ten all-time snowiest winters (since 1870) have occurred in the past eleven years.
Temperature anomalies obtained using Climate Reanalyzer (http://cci-reanalyzer.org), Climate Change Institute, University of Maine, USA.
Image credit above: "Bare ski runs on Cypress Mountain are seen from CTV's Chopper 9 helicopter. Feb. 24, 2015."
* The research paper referenced above is here, courtesy of UCAR.
Map credit above: "The dark blue areas are the quietest, and the yellow to white are the loudest." (National Park Service, Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division).
TODAY: -20 wind chill early. Bright sun. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 8
THURSDAY NIGHT: Clear and plenty cold. Low: -6
FRIDAY: Blue sky, less wind. Still nippy. High: 18
SATURDAY: Breezy, coating of snow at night? Wake-up: 3. High: 23
SUNDAY: More clouds than sun, colder. Wake-up: 15. High: 27
MONDAY: Partly sunny, no travel headaches. Wake-up: 13. High: near 30
TUESDAY: Chance of light snow. No big deal. Wake-up: 18. High: 28
WEDNESDAY: Cloudy and cool. Still cooler than average. Wake-up: 16. High: 26
Lester Brown: "Vast Dust Bowls Threaten Tens of Millions With Hunger". The Guardian has details; here's a clip: "...Vast tracts of Africa and of China are turning into dust bowls on a scale that dwarfs the one that devastated the US in the 1930s, one of the world’s pre-eminent environmental thinkers has warned. Over 50 years, the writer Lester Brown has gained a reputation for anticipating global trends. Now as Brown, 80, enters retirement, he fears the world may be on the verge of a greater hunger than he has ever seen in his professional lifetime. For the first time, he said tens of millions of poor people in countries like Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Peru could afford to eat only five days a week..."