January 3, 1981: Arctic air visits Minnesota. Embarrass, Wannaska, and Tower all hit 38 below zero.
January 3, 1977: 14.2 inches of snow falls in Mankato.
Parka Alert: Subzero Possibilities Next Week
"Pale January lay in its cradle day by day, dead or living, hard to say" wrote Alfred Austin in Primroses. January is the reason Minnesota doesn't have a population of 20 million, which is probably a good thing.
Long shadows, numbing nights, a wind chill capable of making a grown man cry; January is an acquired taste.
On the other hand road construction is in suspended animation, the mosquito count is down, and the weeds in my yard are hibernating.
Historical data shows the coldest weather of the entire year is 1-2 weeks away, on average. That won't be hard to believe next week, possibly the coldest of 2016.
The sun stays out much of today and Monday as temperatures cool down to average; expect a late-week thaw with a chance of some wet snow by Friday & Saturday. Nuisance amounts are possible - this doesn't look like The Big One.
A hunk of polar air breaks off and pinwheels across the Midwest next week. Daytime highs may hold in single digits with 2-4 nights below zero.
Unlike previous winters I don't see a prolonged push of polar pain, just a few days of nicely numb.
Plenty of Ice for the St. Paul Winter Carnival. I can't rule out a thaw by the third week of January, but temperatures should be sufficiently cold in 7-12 days for thicker ice to form on area lakes. The predicted temperature at 6 AM, January 11 in St. Paul is a nippy -8F. Something to look forward to. Source: Aeris Enterprise.
* The much advertised El Nino pattern, the strongest since 1998, will shift the storm track southward, putting California in its cross-hairs next week with a series of wet, Pacific storms sweeping inland.
* Waves of heavy rain arrive Sunday night and Monday, with additional heavy rain Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
* Northern California and the Bay Area will experience the heaviest rains (3-5" amounts) by the end of next week, but the Los Angeles metropolitan area will pick up some 1-3" amounts, capable of significant urban flooding and minor power outages.
* Winds gust to 50 mph with a heightened risk of mudslides as squalls of very heavy rain push inland. Expect snow above 4,500 feet.
* Facilities that normally experience flooding or power disruptions during heavy winter rainfall events will probably see problems next week, possibly as early as Monday.
NOAA in Los Angeles warns:
"A series of storm systems are expected to impact southwestern California Sunday night through Friday. The first storm is expected to move across the area Sunday night into Monday, bringing generally light rainfall with snow level around 5000 to 6000 feet. From Tuesday through Friday, additional storms are expected with periods of rain, mountain snow and gusty winds. There is the potential for significant rainfall of 2 to 4 inches for many areas with local accumulations up to 6 inches for south-facing slopes. Significant snowfall is also possible above 4500 to 5000 feet, with winter storm conditions due to heavy snow and gusty winds. The exact timing and intensity of each weather system is still in question, but the overall weather pattern appears to be a wet one for the coming week. In addition, communities in and around recent burn areas, especially the Colby, Madison, Powerhouse, Madre, Solimar and Springs burn areas, will need to be alert for the potential for heavy rainfall at times which could produce flash flooding with mud and debris flows. Drainage areas should be cleared of debris to help reduce the chance of urban flooding."
Southern California Soaking. Models print out anywhere from 2.3 to 3.3" of rain for Los Angeles by Friday of next week, thus the concern about flooding. Source: Aeris Enterprise.
Summary: From killer tornadoes in December in the Dallas area to some of the worst flooding on the Mississippi River since 1993, El Nino is already spiking winter weather from coast to coast. It's been relatively quiet across most of California, to date, but that's about to change. A series of storms push inland next week and I expect significant flooding and disruptions to transportation and infrastructure. The next 2-4 weeks may bring some of the most disruptive and dangerous weather to California as El Nino peaks. We'll keep you posted.
Paul Douglas, Senior Meteorologist. AerisWeather
Photo credit above: "Workers from the Missouri department of transportation attempt to pump water off I-55 near Arnold, Missouri on Thursday." Photograph: Sid Hastings/EPA.
January 2 snow cover map: NOAA.
Total Precipitable Water animation above courtesy of NOAA NESDIS.
Image credit above: "
Swell animation above: Surfline.com
EG: I think we were too slow to jump onto alternative energy, and, you know, we're a car-based culture. The overall macro trend for energy has been a transition to the grid, and it sounds weird because gas is $1.50 to $1.70 right now, and so we can all drive where we want for Christmas, just like the good old days. I, myself, am thinking about getting my 1968 Buick Skylark Custom from high school. It got 4 gallons to the mile. That's doable again now. But, if you look in terms of the macroeconomics around the world, look at the infrastructure investments that other countries are making. They're in [the] electrical grid..."
TODAY: Sunny, a bit cooler. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 28
SUNDAY NIGHT: Clear and chilly. Low: 14
MONDAY: Blue sky, light winds. High: 24
TUESDAY: Partly sunny, milder breeze. Wake-up: 10. high: 28
WEDNESDAY: Overcast, PM flurries. Wake-up: 26. High: 32
THURSDAY: Overcast, light icing possible. Wake-up: 30. High: 34
FRIDAY: Period of light snow, slippery. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 30. High: 33
SATURDAY: Light snow and flurries, then colder. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 27. High: 30 (falling)
Climate Change is Showing up in Blockbusters and Binge Watches. So What? Grist has the article; here's the intro: "At one point midway through the first episode, the camera pans past the skyline of New York. It’s both familiar and uncanny: There’s One World Trade Center, standing in a thicket of shinier, spindlier towers that announce we are now in The Future. And standing sentinel outside the city is the Statue of Liberty — except now she is ringed by a reinforced seawall, set in ten feet of angry surf. That’s it. That’s all the reference to climate change we get in the 45 minute-long pilot of The Expanse, SyFy’s new space drama. In fact, only a handful of those minutes are spent on Earth at all..."
- from the latest installment of an ongoing series at The Los Angeles Times.