24 F. average high on December 27.
28 F. high on December 27, 2014.
December 28, 2000: Central and southeast Minnesota receive 6 to 10 inches of snow. Some notable snow amounts include: Chanhassen NWS Forecast Office with 7.8 inches, St Cloud with 7.5 inches, and Hutchinson, Willmar, Albany, Red Wing, and Long Prairie with 7.0 inches.
December 28, 1979: Balmy weather enables the city park crew in Duluth to rake leaves.
December 28, 1927: A cold snap results in sharp temperature drops across Minnesota. The temperature would fall from 41 to -15 at Farmington.
Growing Threat (Opportunity) for 6-12" Snow Tonight into Tuesday
Even More for Southeastern Minnesota - White Out Conditions Expected Tonight
We all know the weather in these parts can turn on a dime. Snap your fingers and there's a brand new sky draped overhead. In the span of 4 days the Twin Cities will make up for a 1 foot snowfall deficit. 2-4 inches fell early Saturday; another 6-12 inches will fall from late afternoon into Tuesday.
No mix, no rain - cold enough for all snow this time, and it may come down at the rate of 1-2 inches an hour between 6 PM and 2 AM Tuesday.
Never tell a Minnesotan not to drive, but I'd suggest getting errands done this morning, maybe leave for home by 3 or 4 PM to get out in front of the snow bands. I'll write you a note.
Heavier snow bands set up south and east of MSP, some 12-18 inch totals possible from Mankato and Rochester to Northfield and Red Wing with treacherous travel for much of central and southern Minnesota into central Wisconsin. I would not want to be on the roads tonight. I don't care if you have AWD or an F-350. It will still be bad. But the storm is moving quickly; most of the accumulating snow will be over by Tuesday afternoon.
A nippy New Year's Eve is shaping up but I still don't see anything polar screaming south of the border. Seasonably cold; we've just lost track of "average".
It was the warmest autumn on record - but winter is about to make up for lost time.
- Try and get your errands done during the morning and midday. Snow will arrive by 4 PM and most roads will be snow-covered by 5 or 6 PM. I wouldn't hesitate leaving work a little early to get out in front of the snow.
- The heaviest snowfall rates come this evening and tonight; snow may fall at the rate of 1-2"/hour at times, with as much as 8-10" on the ground in and around the metro by Tuesday morning's rush hour. Which will be anything but, looking at the latest guidance.
- Heaviest snows fall tonight, but periods of light snow may drop another 1-3" Tuesday and Tuesday night, bringing overall totals into the 6-12" range.
- Expect moderate blowing and drifting tonight as winds gust to 25 mph. Near white-out conditions are possible at times, and despite best efforts MnDOT crews won't be able to keep roads clear, especially outside the metro area. I say this with all respect and humility: think twice before driving tonight.
* Expect moderate drifting tonight with sustained winds of 15-25 mph and a few gusts as high as 25-30, especially outside the metro area. I would not recommend travel tonight (anywhere within 200 miles of MSP). Winds ease up a little on Tuesday, giving MnDOT road crews a better chance to dig out.
Very Plowable. I hesitate to use the term, but this storm may border on crippling, especially from eastern Iowa into southeastern Minnesota and central Wisconsin. The combination of moderate snow and moderate drifting will create white-out conditions tonight and a portion of Tuesday, making travel very dangerous. NOAA NAM snowfall guidance courtesy of WeatherBell.
Significant Model Spread. I'd really like to see the models come into closer alignment and agreement; at the low end 3-4" (GFS solution). At the upper end: 12-16" (which I doubt, but I still can't rule this out since it's based on the latest 00z guidance). The local NWS office in Chanhassen is predicting about 8" from this system. Enough to shovel and plow, with a 1 in 3 chance of crippling amounts over southeastern Minnesota. Source: Iowa State University.
An Expansive Storm Threat. Here are the latest (NOAA) watches, warnings and advisories - the same storm that spawned blizzard conditions from New Mexico into the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandle and tornadoes near Dallas will surge north, spreading a shield of heavy snow across the Plains into the Upper Midwest and portions of the Great Lakes. Map: Aeris Enterprise.
Image source: Climate Reanalyzer.
Photo credit above: "Aerial view of York as flood waters cause misery for thousands "(Glen Minikin / SWNS)
TODAY: Winter Storm Watch. Dry morning as clouds thicken. PM snow develops, icy, snow-covered roads by late afternoon and evening. Winds: NE 10-20. High: 25
TONIGHT: Snow, heavy at times. Near white-out conditions are possible. Low: 22
TUESDAY: Snow begins to taper - storm totals of 6-12" possible, more over southeastern MN. Winds: N 8-13. High: 27
WEDNESDAY: Gray, few flurries in the air. Wake-up: 18. High: 23
NEW YEAR'S EVE: Mostly cloudy, feels like 5F. Wake-up: 10. High: 19
NEW YEAR'S DAY: Nippy New Year. Peeks of sun. Wake-up: 8. High: 25
SATURDAY: Partly sunny, closer to average. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 11. High: near 30
SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, still dry. Winds: N 7-12. Wake-up: 18. High: 28
Anyone Else Worried About a Snowless December? Not here in Minnesota, but much of the east coast has experienced a no-snow December with green lawns and flowers in bloom. How much of this is El Nino vs. planetary warming? Great question, but it's warming up, and the symptoms are becoming harder to deny. It all depends on your point of view, according to an interesting essay at The Good Men Project; here's an excerpt: "...The answer, I suspect, is that we’ve reached a point where even our own experiences can’t overcome our partisan biases. If you’re a global warming denier, an unprecedented series of natural disasters won’t make you budge, so it’s unlikely that uncharacteristically pleasant late December weather would have that effect. If you support the scientific evidence, you don’t need a snowless December to persuade you. As for the people who don’t know or care about this issue, the chances are that they’ll recognize the debate as so polarizing that they’ll just retain their studied indifference for the sake of convenience. The net effect is a social climate as dangerous as its meteorological counterpart. We live in the era of anti-proof, in which people can rationalize away facts that literally surround them because “proof” doesn’t count for much anymore..."
Photo credit above: "Former President W. George Bush, left, sits with his wife Laura Bush in the stands during an NCAA college basketball game between Sam Houston State and SMU Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in Dallas." (AP Photo/LM Otero)