30 F. high in the Twin Cities Friday.
26 F. average high on February 6.
4 F. high on February 6, 2014, after waking up to - 11 F.
1" snow on the ground at MSP International Airport.
February 6, 1857: Snowstorm dumps around 9 inches of snow at Fort Snelling.
It took me 6 college calculus courses to remind me that I'm no math whiz. But the ocean of air overhead is a fluid, governed by the laws of physics. Using advanced partial differential equations we can simulate how this fluid SHOULD move in the future.
Weather models are less reliable in the winter, when jet stream winds blow faster. In 1976 there was one model (LFM). Today NOAA runs numerous models, like the high-res 3 km HRRR for the next 15 hours - and global GFS guidance looking out 16 days.
ECMWF stands for European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting. The Europeans have put all their time, money and research into one model. It's generally thought to be better than NOAA's models, especially making forecasts beyond 6 days.
In the wake of the ECMWF out-performing U.S. models during "Sandy" Congress authorized $45 million to upgrade 2 supercomputers. And the new, higher-res GFS just did better during New York's recent snowy near-miss than the "Euro". I wouldn't bet against NOAA over the long haul.
No weather drama close to home: a shot at 40F today, a brush with slush next Tuesday - no extended bouts of subzero air in sight.
We'll see more snow and wind chill, but the coldest days of winter are behind us now.
* 18z Monday, February 9 model simulation; GFS upper left, ECMWF upper right, courtesy of WSI.
Nowhere To Put The Snow. Residents of New England are watching the next clipper diving across the Great Lakes, destined to pull more Atlantic moisture into Hartford, Providence, Portland and Nashua. Boston may pick up another significant snowfall, a few inches then a changeover to rain. 100% chance of a mess. 60-hour 4km NAM accumulated snowfall product: NOAA and Aeris Weather.
Cold, But Still Not Polar. We'll see a few more subzero swipes in February, but the pattern still doesn't favor a holding pattern similar to last year. Winds aloft are generally stronger, with more of a zonal, Pacific influence than last winter. 500 mb jet stream winds Friday evening, February 20 are blowing from western Canada; a modified Pacific flow that shouldn't be too cold. Map: GrADS:COLA/IGES.
Image credit: "Header graphic created with photos by Milkbar Nick and Les Chatfield, and illustration by DooFi"
TODAY: Mostly cloudy and milder. Winds: SE 10. High: 38
SATURDAY NIGHT: Cloudy and mild for early February. Low: 26
SUNDAY: Clouds, flurries, a bit cooler. High: 33
MONDAY: Peeks of sun, still above average. Wake-up: 19. High: 31
TUESDAY: Chance of wet snow, heavier north. Wake-up: 22. High: 33
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy, cooler breeze. Wake-up: 18. High: 24
THURSDAY: Sunny and brisk. Wake-up: 4. High: 17
FRIDAY: Gray, but not as chilly. Wake-up: 13. High: 26
Image credit above: " .