December 24, 1982: Heavy rain falls over the state, along with slushy snow over southwest Minnesota. Twin Cities gets 2.61 inches of precipitation through Christmas. Some lightning and thunder occur with the heavy rain on Christmas Eve. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service.
Christmas Slush - Minor Correction Next Week
All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. And a cool foot of fresh snow would be nice.
If it were up to me (it's not) MSP would pick up 10 feet of snow every winter with temperatures in the 20s. Cold enough to preserve snow and thick lake ice, not so cold as to annoy the seniors.
Subzero is harder to rationalize.
We are sliding into a colder, snowier pattern (finally) but on Christmas Old Man Winter will come up short. Last night's coating of slush will make for a "white-ish" Christmas but won't fit the definition (an inch or more at MSP International Airport). We've picked up only 6 inches of snow in the metro, a foot below average, to date.
Expect a dry sky today and most of Christmas Day; the next system arrives Friday night and Saturday with an inch or two possible maybe enough to shovel and plow. It's still too early to pontificate about amounts but roads may be greasy on Saturday - Sunday still looks like the better travel day.
Expect a few days in the teens and low 20s next week, but models show milder, Pacific air returning during the first week of January.
* Thanks to Chris Terzich, who lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, for passing on the before/after photo.
Tracking Santa. It's an annual tradition, and NORAD is up to the challenge. Using drones, spy satellites and human intelligence on the ground (and the ice) NORAD will be providing the latest GPS coordinates of Santa as he defies time and space to make sure there's something under the Christmas tree tonight.
Image credit above: Climate Reanalyzer.
Map above: 2015 global temperature anomalies compared to a 1981-2010 baseline, WeatherBell.
Florida's Record Warm 2015 an Outlier in U.S. East. 2015 has been unusually toasty across the USA, the 11th warmest since 1895 in Minnesota, according to NOAA data. Here's an excerpt from Climate Central: "...The reasons for Florida’s out-of-sync warmth could be myriad and have likely varied with the seasons, experts said. Drought, incredibly warm ocean waters and natural climate cycles may all have contributed to the likely record. While no studies have been done to look for any role of global warming in the state’s warm year, one of the clearest trends of a warming world is for record highs to outpace record lows. That background warming due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the major reason for the record warm year the planet as a whole will see for 2015..."
Map credit above: "Year-to-date temperatures for each state in the contiguous U.S. through November 2015." Credit: NOAA
Obama Has Been More Friend Than Foe to Oil Industry. A headline from MSNBC? No, The Wall Street Journal. Here's an excerpt: "When President Barack Obama first took office in 2009, he was expected to be an adversary of oil and gas companies, seen as polluters of the environment. He hasn’t been. Last week, Mr. Obama gave the oil and gas industry its biggest priority of the past two years: lifting the 40-year-old ban on oil exports, which he signed into law as part of broader spending and tax legislation. The White House helped negotiate lifting the ban with Congress in exchange for temporary renewal of tax credits for wind and solar industries–energy industries that provide electricity and don’t directly compete with the oil industry, which provides transportation fuel..."
Photo credit above: "President Barack Obama signs the 2,000 page omnibus budget bill in the Oval Office of the White House Dec. 18. The bill also lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports." European Pressphoto Agency
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.
CHRISTMAS DAY: Early sun, clouds increase. Dry. Winds: S 7-12. High: 34
SATURDAY: Couple inches of snow possible. Slushy roads. Winds: E 10-20. High: 32
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, colder. Good travel. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 15. High: 22
MONDAY: Chilly start, clouds increase. Wake-up: 8. High: 24
TUESDAY: Icy mix possible, more slush potential. Wake-up: 22. High: 29
WEDNESDAY: Light snow and flurries. Icy roads. Wake-up: 20. High: 23
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.
A Stunning New Photo from the Moon: Earthrise. Phil Plait takes a look at what made this remarkable photo possible at Slate; here's an excerpt: "Holy sweet mother of Earth. This incredible photo was taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which has been mapping the Moon since it achieved orbit in 2009. Its cameras are usually pointed straight down (what’s called nadir viewing), but sometimes the whole spacecraft is rotated to point them toward the horizon, or even up into space, to measure the Moon’s incredibly thin atmosphere (called an exosphere, which, c’mon, is an extremely cool word) or to take calibration measurements..." (Photo credit: NASA).