The first cold blast of the season to impact much of the nation is on its way into the Lower 48 now. Take a look at the temperature anomaly loop below, which shows much cooler than average temperature pushing through the central and eastern US through the end of the week.
The national weather outlook through Thursday shows 2 different systems moving through the eastern half of the country through midweek. The system in the Upper Midwest will be responsible for heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions. The southern system will continue to lift northeast with spotty strong to severe storms and locally heavy rain across parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic States. Meanwhile, another surge of heavier moisture will push into the West Coast later this week with heavy rain along the coast and heavy snow in the high elevations
It appears that winter weather has finally moved in across parts of the country. With colder than average temperatures across much of the nation this week and perhaps even into the middle part of the month, wintry precipitation will likely follow. Here's the 10-day snowfall potential, which shows heavy pockets of snow across the northern half of the nation.
Pacific Moisture Moves into the Pacific Northwest
Here's the Eastern Pacific precipitable water loop that shows heavier moisture from the Pacific moving into the West Coast in a few different waves. The next big round is building north of Hawaii and will be heading into the Western US later this week with heavy rain along the coast and heavy snow in the high elevations.
Another Surge of Heavier Pacific Moisture Late Week
Here's a look at the next storm system moving into the Western US later this week. Note the continued surge of moisture over a several day time period. This should allow several inches of precipitation to add up, which will be in the form of heavy rain along the coast and heavy snow in the high elevation.
Here's the snowfall potential through Saturday, which shows fairly significant tallies across the Cascade range and across much of the central and northern Rockies. Some spots could see up to 1ft. to 2ft. by the weekend. Some locations in the Sierra Nevada Range will even see some snow!
...SUMMARY... AT LEAST A MARGINAL RISK FOR A FEW STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS WITH DAMAGING WIND AND POSSIBLY A TORNADO OR TWO WILL EXIST TUESDAY FROM NORTHERN FLORIDA THROUGH SOUTHERN GEORGIA AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA. ...NORTHERN FLORIDA...SOUTH GEORGIA AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA... DEAMPLIFYING SHORTWAVE TROUGH OVER THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS EARLY TUESDAY WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE MIDDLE ATLANTIC DURING THE DAY. OCCLUDED LEE CYCLONE OVER THE OH VALLEY WILL WEAKEN...WHILE SECONDARY CYCLOGENESIS COMMENCES OFF THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST IN RESPONSE TO THE DEAMPLIFYING WAVE. A WEAKLY UNSTABLE WARM SECTOR WILL HAVE MOVED INLAND THROUGH SOUTH GEORGIA AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA TO THE SOUTH OF A WARM FRONT. THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE IN PROGRESS EARLY TUESDAY ALONG PRE-FRONTAL WARM CONVEYOR BELT FROM THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE THROUGH A PORTION OF EASTERN ALABAMA INTO WESTERN GEORGIA. MOIST INFLOW TO THE UPDRAFTS WILL BE ROOTED NEAR THE SURFACE WITH UPPER 60S TO AROUND 70 F DEWPOINTS...AND STORMS WILL BE EMBEDDED WITHIN STRONG 0-6 KM SHEAR WITH INITIALLY LARGE 0-1 KM HODOGRAPHS PROMOTING A RISK FOR ORGANIZED STORM STRUCTURES. ACTIVITY WILL MOVE THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF NORTHERN FLORIDA...SOUTHERN GEORGIA...AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA WITH AN ATTENDANT THREAT FOR A FEW DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND A COUPLE OF TORNADOES. IT STILL APPEARS THAT WEAK LAPSE RATES...WIDESPREAD CLOUDS AND ONGOING AREAS OF RAIN WILL LIKELY RESULT IN WEAK INSTABILITY WHICH MAY SERVE AS AN OVERALL LIMITING FACTOR FOR A MORE ROBUST SEVERE EVENT. AS INITIAL OCCLUDED LOW MOVES THROUGH THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AND NEW CYCLOGENESIS COMMENCES OFF THE CAROLINA COASTS...TENDENCY WILL BE FOR THE LOW-LEVEL WINDS TO VEER TO SOUTHWESTERLY THROUGH MID MORNING WITH A GRADUAL DECREASE IN HODOGRAPH SIZE. THEREFORE...GREATEST SEVERE THREAT WILL LIKELY REMAIN CONFINED TO A RELATIVELY SMALL WINDOW BETWEEN 12-18Z.
Here's a look at the snow depth across the state as of Thursday, December 1st. Note that much of the heavy snow that fell across western and northern MN a couple of weeks ago has since melted due to the ongoing mild weather through the end of November.
Each Thursday during the cold season, the State Climatology Office produces maps depicting the snow depth across Minnesota. Additionally, maps are created that depict snow depth ranking for the date. The data are provided by volunteers working with DNR Forestry, the National Weather Service, the University of Minnesota, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and CoCoRaHS.
...WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO NOON CST TUESDAY... ...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 6 PM CST TUESDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND FORKS HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 6 PM CST TUESDAY. * TIMING...EXPECT SNOW TO DEVELOP AROUND 6 PM AND THEN DIMINISH AROUND 6 PM TUESDAY. BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WILL DEVELOP ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON. * PRECIPITATION RATES...THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL RATES WILL OCCUR BETWEEN 6 PM THIS EVENING AND 6AM TUESDAY. * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...10 TO 14 INCHES. * WINDS...WINDS WILL INCREASE TUESDAY AFTERNOON. NORTHWEST 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH. * VISIBILITIES...BELOW A HALF MILE IN SNOW TONIGHT...BELOW A QUARTER MILE IN SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW ON TUESDAY.
Snowfall Potential Through PM Wednesday
Here's the snowfall potential through midday Thursday, which shows some fairly hefty tallies across the northern part of the state. Note that there will be a fairly large swath of 6" to 12"+ from eastern North Dakota to northwestern Minnesota.
News flash! It's going to get colder... finally. Are you surprised? Honestly, I wasn't sure if it would ever happen at the rate we were going. Good grief. It was only a little more than 2 weeks ago that we had our first frost (officially) in the Twin Cities, ending the longest growing season on record of 220 days. We recently just had our 2nd warmest Nov. and the warmest Oct. through Nov. on record.
Get this, Fairbanks, Alaska dipped to -35 degrees on Sunday for the first time in 2 winters! Incredibly, they average a -35 degree or colder temperature 12 times PER YEAR! Also, the mercury in Anchorage, AK finally dipped to 0 degrees ending the 2nd longest streak between 0 degree readings there. Did you hear that the Arctic sea ice was at its 2nd lowest extent on record? Something strange is happening to our climate.
6 to 12+ inches of snow pile up in NW Minnesota Tuesday while single digit wind chills numb faces statewide Wednesday through Friday. I am happy to report that days start getting longer in about 2 weeks! Hello Winter!
Extended Weather Outlook
1939: Warm weather occurs over parts of Minnesota. The high temperature hits 62 at New London.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average Low: 16F (Record: -19F set in 1972)
*Daylight Lost Since Summer Solstice: ~6hours and 39mins
1.1 Days Before First Quarter
Do you remember Cassini? Cassini was a satellite launched by NASA nearly 20 years ago in an attempt to study Saturn better. In less then 1 year, Cassini will be ending its mission by plunging into Saturn's orbit. Until then, it will still be exploring. Here's an excerpt from NASA below:
See the full story from NASA HERE:
After almost 20 years in space, the Cassini mission will end on September 15, 2017 at 5:07 a.m. PDT (8:07 a.m. EDT). Here's how it will happen:
In late 2016, the Cassini spacecraft will begin a completely new type of mission at Saturn. During its final months, the intrepid spacecraft's orbit will carry it high above the planet's north pole and then send it plunging between the planet and the innermost edge of its dazzling rings.
Beginning on Nov. 30, 2016, Cassini will repeatedly climb high above Saturn's north pole, then plunge to a point just outside the narrow F ring (the edge of the main rings), completing 20 such orbits. Then, on April 22, 2017, Cassini will leap over the rings to begin its final series of daring dives between the planet and the inner edge of the rings. This is the Cassini "Grand Finale." After 22 of these orbits, each taking six days to complete, the spacecraft, will plunge into the upper atmosphere of the gas giant planet, where it will burn up like a meteor, ending the epic mission to the Saturn system.
As it plunges past Saturn during the Grand Finale, Cassini will collect some incredibly rich and valuable information that the mission’s original planners might never have imagined:
The spacecraft will make detailed maps of Saturn’s gravity and magnetic fields, revealing how the planet is arranged on the inside, and possibly helping to solve the irksome mystery of just how fast the interior is rotating.
It will vastly improve our knowledge of how much material is in the rings, bringing us closer to understanding their origins.
Cassini’s particle detectors will sample icy ring particles being funneled into the atmosphere by Saturn’s magnetic field.
Its cameras will take amazing, ultra-close images of Saturn’s rings and clouds.
(Artist's concept of Cassini's final orbits between the innermost rings and Saturn's cloud tops.)
"U.S. Oil Exports Skyrocket Despite Climate Pacts"
"Seven years ago, the U.S. exported its crude oil to just one country — Canada. This year, 22 countries received American crude oil, marking a more than 1,000 percent increase in U.S. oil exports since 2009, according to U.S. Department of Energy data released this week. Since Congress lifted restrictions on American oil exports a year ago, more and more U.S. crude oil has been streaming onto the global oil market to supply the world’s growing demand. It’s happening even as the U.S. and Canada have agreed to cut emissions from oil and gas operations and countries agree to cut their greenhouse gas pollution under the Paris Climate Agreement. The international pact aims to prevent global warming from exceeding 2°C (3.6°F)."
See more from Climate Central HERE:
(An oil well in Colorado. Credit: C.L. Baker/flickr)
"Small tornado hits Russia's Olympic city Sochi"
Sochi was home to many Olympic athletes during the 2014 Winter Olympics. Interestingly, a small tornado ran through the city as storms recently pushed through the region. See more from BBC below.
"A small tornado descended on Russia's Olympic city Sochi as stormy weather battered the coastline."
See more from BBC HERE:
"Space Farming: NASA Tests New Harvest Technique To Increase ISS Crop Yield"
Fresh salad in space? Sure! Here's an excerpt from IBTimes on how astronauts are growing plants on the International Space Station.
"NASA astronauts on board the International Space Station on Friday reaped the first harvest of red romaine lettuce leaves grown on the orbiting space lab last month. These vegetables were grown using the "Veggie" plant growth system on the ISS, and were harvested as part of a technique the space agency calls "cut-and-come-again." "Cut-and-come-again is a repetitive harvest technique in which a selection of leaves can be harvested for a bit of fresh lettuce and possibly science samples," NASA explained in a statement. "The remaining leaves and the core of the plant are left intact and will continue to grow and produce more leaves for subsequent harvests approximately every 10 days." The goal of this technique is to improve the yield of crops being grown in the micro-gravity environment of space, where plant roots grow every which way, making it excruciatingly difficult for them to absorb the nutrients and water they need to survive."
See more from IBTimes HERE:
(An artist's concept showing plants being grown in space. Photo: NASA)
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