December 17, 1946: Heavy snow is reported along with strong wind across northern Minnesota. Duluth has winds up to 62 mph.
Danger Zone - Coldest Night of the Winter Tonight?
We're about to get our Minnesota Mojo back, our weather-swagger, our national-weather-boasting-rights. By Sunday morning at 7 am the air temperature in the MSP metro may slip to -20F; the coldest reading in nearly 3 years.
Sunday's record is -24F, set in 1983. We'll come close. Factor in a 5-10 mph breeze and it will feel like -30 to -40F. Serious, character-building cold; possibly the coldest of the entire winter. Wind Chill Warnings are posted for a chill factor of -35 to -45F by tonight. Exposed skin can become frostbitten within 10 minutes or less. Take the chill seriously - we don't get these levels of intense cold very often now.
Snow slowly tapers today as temperature slip below zero. The chill factor dips into the -20s this afternoon; by tomorrow morning you'll swear you've crash-landed on Pluto. But if you dress in multiple layers with no exposed skin (always a good idea at my age) you'll be fine, especially if you're moving.
"No such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing choices." Right.
10-Day Snowfall Potential. The animation above shows a time lapse of predicted snowfall totals, courtesy of NOAA's global GFS model. The best chance of a (very) white Christmas comes from the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes and New England. Much of the west will be bright white come Christmas morning; a few feet of additional snow from the Rockies westward to the Sierra and Cascades.
First White Christmas in 3 Years for the Twin Cities. Hard to believe (staring out the window now) but there was only a trace of snow on the ground last year, and 2014. The last white Christmas (defined as an inch of snow or more at MSP International on December 25) was back in 2013, when we woke up to 9". There should be more than that this year. Santa is pleased.
* Long-duration snow event from the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest into New England today into Sunday; band of 5-10" likely with locally higher amounts.
* Ice potential greatest across southern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
* Sporadic flooding and mudslides reported across California with latest frontal passage.
* Urban and small stream flood advisory posted for eastern Los Angeles County.
* Dangerously cold air temperatures and wind chills forecast for the Upper Midwest Saturday night into Sunday; coldest air in 3 years.
and Saturday. Map credit: NOAA.
Summary: the storm is very much on-track; snow, ice, wind and bitter cold - a premature taste of January. The worst of the snow and cold is coming on the weekend, which may help to mitigate some impacts (no schools to close across Minnesota and the Dakotas on a Sunday due to severe cold), but I envision significant delays to land and air travel from this afternoon into Sunday. Meteorological winter, marking the coldest 90 days of the year, really began back on December 1. Looking at the maps that's not too hard to believe.
Paul Douglas, Senior Meteorologist, AerisWeather
Large Regions of U.S. Damaged by Drought in 2016. Here's the intro to a story at The Wall Street Journal: "Droughts sparked deadly wildfires, killed tens of millions of trees and damaged crops and livestock in large regions of the U.S. in 2016. Major regional droughts hit the U.S. this year in the Southeast, California and New England—and all developed differently. But changes in the earth’s climate mean regional droughts and other “extreme events are going to be more common than in the past,” said Brian Fuchs, climatologist at the Nation Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln..."
Photo credit: " " Photo: Noah Berger/Associated Press.
Report Offers Roadmap for Overhaul of U.S. Electrical Grid. Midwest Energy News has the story: "A new report by a team of engineers, scientists and researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a roadmap for the redesign of one of history’s most critical inventions. The power grid – named the greatest engineering feat of the 20th century by the National Academy of Engineering – is in need of an upgrade, according to “Utility of the Future,” released Thursday. Designed for last century’s rigid, analog and centralized world, the grid must now be recalibrated for today’s flexible, digital and decentralized landscape..." (Map source: FEMA, Wikipedia).
Photo credit: "The Sidney Coal Co.'s Coal Preparation Plant in Sidney, Ky., in 2006." Brian Tietz/AP.
Graphic credit: "Disclosed capex for onshore wind and PV projects in 58 non-OECD countries." Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
SUNDAY: Wind Chill Warning. Possibly the coldest day of winter. Some sun; feels like -30 early. Winds: SW 5-10. High: -4
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, feels much better. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: -6. High: 26
TUESDAY: Milder with gusty winds, few flurries. Winds W 15-25. Wake-up: 21. High: 35
WEDNESDAY: Chance of light snow, slushy? Winds: W 10-15. Wake-up: 20. High: 32
THURSDAY: Peeks of sun, good travel weather. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 24. High: 31
FRIDAY: Clouds increase, milder breeze. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 20. High: 34
A new report, published Thursday as a special edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, provides some of the best evidence yet that climate change already has a hand in our worst weather. It points to a variety of extreme weather events in 2015 that were likely influenced by global warming, from heat waves in Australia to heavy rain in China to raging wildfires in Alaska. The report, examining research on two dozen weather events, was compiled and edited by scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as well as the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research..."
Photo credit: "
Climate Central has more perspective.