-11 F. morning low Thursday.
9 F. high yesterday in the Twin Cities.
30 F. average high on February 19.
40 F. high on February 19, 2014.
1" snow on the ground at KMSP.
February 19, 1981: Due to the long spell of warm weather in the 60's, a farmer near Le Center is plowing some alfalfa ground.
The End Is Near
"Too cold to snow?" Although it can snow at any temperature below freezing there's some truth to this old husband's tale. Heaviest snows fall with an air temperature between 28-32F; when steering winds aloft are howling from Albuquerque, allowing Gulf moisture to bubble northward into Minnesota.
When it's this cold the storm track is depressed too far south for heavy snow close to home. Yes, Nashville and Louisville have seen far more snow this month than the Twin Cities.
February is running about 6F colder than average, to date. That compares with 12.3F colder in February, 2014, which was a 3-way tie for the 7th coldest February on record. Got that?
The sun is as high in the sky as it was on October 20. It's much harder to stay below zero or set record lows as we sail into March, and I still see a welcome thaw within 2 weeks as Pacific air pushes inland. In the meantime the mercury dips below zero 3-4 mornings next week, before a slow recovery in early March. Moderate cold, but nothing too outrageous for late February.
Today's clipper may drop a quick coating to an inch of fluff; just enough to trigger a messy, white-knuckle commute early. But I now see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Photo credit above: "As snow flurries begin to fall again, pedestrians walk through Boston City Hall Plaza in Boston, Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015. Nearly 8 feet of snowfall this winter has paralyzed greater Boston's transit system, infuriating commuters on and off the rails who may not see a return to normal for at least a month." (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
TODAY: Light snow and flurries. Coating to half an inch of accumulation. Slick early. Winds: S 15. High: 28
FRIDAY NIGHT: Flurries taper. Low: 18
SATURDAY: More clouds than sun, turning colder. High: 21
SUNDAY: Fresh air! Sunny and cold. Feels like -20F. Wake-up: -7. High: 4
MONDAY: Breezy and milder with patchy clouds. Wake-up: -8. High: 24
TUESDAY: Cloud cluttered. Falling temperatures. Wake-up: 25. High: 27 (quickly falling into the teens)
WEDNESDAY: Less wind. Clouds increase late. Wake-up: 2. High: 14
THURSDAY: No warm front yet. Blue sky. Wake-up: -1. High: 7
Image credit above: "30-cm (11.8-in)-deep moisture projection based on NASA's high carbon emission scenario in the year 2095." (Image: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center).
* BP's official statement is here. The Telegraph has more on BP's prediction that CO2 emissions will exceed levels which pose a threat unless coordinated action is taken.