24 F. average high on January 3.
33 F. high on January 3, 2015.
January 4, 1981: Air cold enough to freeze a mercury thermometer pours into Minnesota. Tower hits 45 below zero.
January 4, 1971: A snowstorm moves through the Upper Midwest. Winona gets over 14 inches.
January Thaw This Week; Subzero Fling Next Week
Maybe I'll become a human barometer. You know, the aunt who can feel a storm coming in her bones; the eccentric uncle who's arthritis acts up when the weather is changing? Doppler's great but maybe my fractured right ankle will tip me off to a brewing tornado or biblical flood? Maybe not.
9 days ago I fell on the ice while walking my dog - or as a friend helpfully suggested: "kick-boxing with Don Shelby". I'm a bit hazy on the details.
Today will be seasonably cool (the average high now at MSP is 24F) but we warm into the 30s later this week. 12-24 hours above freezing the latter half of this week will keep ice thin, sketchy and unsafe on most lakes. A weak storm pushing across the Midwest will brush us with a little ice Wednesday, snow on Friday, but any accumulation will be light.
Historically our temperatures bottom out between January 10-17 and right on cue here comes a well-timed subzero slap for next week. We may not climb above 0F Monday, with a chill factor of -25F. Old fashioned cold.
In spite of El Nino January may live up to its bitter reputation again this year.
* Subzero air shows up as bright purple in this 10-day GFS 2-meter temperature prediction, courtesy of NOAA and AerisWeather.
Photo credit above: "Petersburg, Ill., Mayor John Stiltz climbs the nearly 2,000-foot long wall erected to protect the town's business district from the Sangamon River on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois also toured flood-ravaged areas Saturday as near-record crest predictions of the Mississippi River and levee breaks threatened more homes." (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP.
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.
Total Precipitable Water animation above courtesy of NOAA NESDIS.
TODAY: Mix of clouds and sun, seasonably cool. Winds: S 5-10. High: 26
MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 15
TUESDAY: Breezier, turning milder. High: near 30
WEDNESDAY: Flurries, a little ice possible. Wake-up: 25. High: 33
THURSDAY: Overcast, temperatures above average. Wake-up: 30. High: 35
FRIDAY: Period of wet snow possible. Winds: E 10-20. Wake-up: 31. High: 34
SATURDAY: Snow tapers to flurries, colder late. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 30. High: 33
SUNDAY: Temperatures fall through the teens. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 13. High: 15 (falling)
Strange Weather Points to the Potential Impact of Global Warming. The concern is amplifying and intensifying the weather that would have happened anyway - wetter storms, deeper, longer droughts, more intense heat spikes. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from The News and Observer: "Climate scientists stress that isolated weather events and short-term trends do not necessarily have a relation to the Earth’s overall climate. But even cautious scientists and people skeptical about climate change might feel a stab of worry about the weather of 2015. If the planet is getting warmer, as an overwhelming majority of scientists agree, then the year just past gave a stark preview of what may be in store if the nations of the world cannot halt or slow the trend. Some of the most vivid evidence of altered weather patterns came at year’s end. Storms with hurricane-force winds lashed and flooded Northern Europe. Tornadoes typical of spring came through the South’s tornado alley in early winter. The Mississippi River, usually low in winter, is so swollen from relentless rain that it is flooding parts of the Mississippi Valley..."
The finding: We could be entering an era of warming unseen in at least 1,000 years.
Why it made the list: The rate of global warming has increased with each passing decade. A couple of studies published this year show that the rate will not only continue to rise, but soon be one the earth hasn’t seen since the Vikings found their way to Greenland (and possibly longer than that). Warming will be fastest in the northern hemisphere, which just so happens to be where most humans live..."