25 F. average high on December 24.
36 F. high on December 24, 2014.
Trace of snow on the ground at 7 PM Christmas Eve in the Twin Cities.
December 25, 1999: Strong winds resulted in a one hundred thirty foot radio tower to collapse in Milaca. No wind measurements were available in the city of Milaca. However, Princeton airport (Mille Lacs county), had a gust to 45 mph at 10:35 pm CST. St. Cloud airport (Stearns County), had a gust to 44 mph at 8:52 pm CST. Mora (Kanabec county) had a gust to 55 mph at 9:35 pm CST, and a gust to 47 mph at 10:35 pm CST.
December 25, 1996: A strong low pressure system which deposited heavy snow over much of Minnesota on the 23rd, pulled extremely cold Canadian air southward over Minnesota. The cold remained entrenched through the 26th. Temperatures fell to 15 to 35 degrees below zero Christmas Day morning. The Twin Cities and St. Cloud set new record low temperatures both days. In addition, the high temperature on Christmas Day in the Twin Cities was only 9 degrees below zero. Combined with the record low temperature that morning of 22 below, the mean temperature for Christmas Day was 16 degrees below zero. This Christmas Day set a new record for being the coldest day on record for the Twin Cities metro area, going back to the year 1890 when modern day records began.
December 25, 1922: People are golfing on Christmas in the Twin Cities as temperatures reach the 50s.
Celebrating the Original Christmas Miracle
"Fall on your knees, O hear the angels' voices, O night divine, O night when Christ was born..."
Today Christians celebrate a birth and life like no other.
Last month my wife and I crept down a flight of steps into a grotto under Bethlehem's 1,700 year-old Church of the Nativity, where Jesus was born. It was surreal and deeply moving.
It was a reminder for me that science is essential - but incomplete. We stare out at the universe through a pinhole as God reveals himself to us, like peeling away the layers of an infinite onion. We don't know what we don't know.
Science has no answers for why we're here - or what comes next. My take: science is constantly shifting, recalibrating and fine-tuning as our tools improve and new theories are tested. We zig and zag our way toward relative, impermanent truth. But there are absolutes, and "the perfect present" delivered roughly 2 millenia ago is just as relevant today, maybe more so, here in a very imperfect present.
A brush with snow is likely tonight into Saturday, maybe a quick inch. Another system sideswipes us with snow Tuesday into Wednesday, when a couple inches may pile up. This time it might stick around for awhile. By late next week highs hold in the teens, with single digit lows. Still no subzero lows in the metro though, and long-range models suggest a thaw by the second week of January.
It wasn't a white Christmas but I hope it was merry, spent with dear friends and family.
How The World Looked When Jesus Was Born, According to Roman Geographers. Here's an excerpt of an interesting and timely article at Atlas Obscura: "Two thousand years ago, around the time that Jesus of Nazareth was born, the second Holy Temple was still standing in Jerusalem. The Great Pyramid at Giza was already 2,500 years old, but the Library of Alexandria was still around. In Rome, the Colosseum hadn’t been built yet. It’s a bit uncanny to think about the political geography of a time and place that’s also the setting for a timeless story–the birth of Jesus Christ. Because that story is so often told, its context feels familiar. And, in the part of the world that Jesus lived in, the best knowledge about the rest of the world was, in some ways, thorough and accurate..."
Map credit: "
Photo credit above: "Vehicles and debris are scattered in an area near Linden, Tenn., Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015. Several people were killed in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas as spring-like storms mixed with unseasonably warm weather spawned rare Christmastime tornadoes in the South." (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey).
Here is a partial list of some of the record highs set yesterday:
Image credit above: Climate Reanalyzer.
File Photo credit above: "The pilot's view of sunset as seen through the Heads-up Display after fling into Hurricane Ike. The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters fly nonstop, 24 hours a day collecting data in the storm that threatened the coastline of Texas in 2008." Source: U.S. Air Force photo by Major Chad E. Gibson).
Photo credit above: "Like George Bailey, investors and executives at solar companies were essentially teetering on the bridge outside of town." Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photo by VioNet/Shutterstock, via RKO Pictures.
Image credit: Giphy.
SATURDAY: An inch or two of snow and flurries - slick roads. Winds: NE 10-15. High: 31
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, colder wind. Good travel conditions. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 16. High: 19 (falling)
MONDAY: Fading sun, no travel headaches. Wake-up: 6. High: 23
TUESDAY: Chance of a little wet snow. Wake-up: 21. High: 31
WEDNESDAY: Colder, couple inches of fluff? Wake-up: 24. High: 27
THURSDAY: Few flakes - feels like 0F Wake-up: 10. High: 20
Photo credit above: "Aaron Wildenborg of Red Wing (center) poses with classmates earlier this month at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. They were part of a delegation from St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict." (Photo courtesy of Aaron Wildenborg).
Graph credit above: "Greenhouse Warming (in degrees C) As Estimated by IPCC Climate Models." (Source: Schurer et al (2013)).
* More perspective from Newsweek.