CHRISTMAS DAY: Icy start. Gusty, heavier PM rain with thunder. Winds: SE 20-40. High: 43
CHRISTMAS DAY NIGHT: Rain and thunder ends early, then mostly cloudy and windy. Winds: ESE 20-40. Low: 29.
MONDAY: Gusty winds, flurries taper with falling temperatures. Winds: W 20-40+ High: 31
WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, milder. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 23. High: 40
THURSDAY: Scrappy clouds and flurries. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 25. High: 30
FRIDAY: Partly sunny skies, good travel. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 19. High: 32
1922: People are golfing on Christmas in the Twin Cities as temperatures reach the 50s.
Average High/Low for the Twin Cities
Average High: 25F (Record: 51F set in 1922)
Average Low: 10F (Record: -39F set in 1979)
Wettest Christmas Day: 1.35" set in 1982
Snowiest Christmas Day: 9.6" set in 1945
Sunrise Sunset Times for Minneapolis
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~18 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~45 seconds
Moon Phase for December 25th at Midnight
3.0 Days Before New Moon
After an extremely warm Christmas Day (near 40F) temps will take a bit of a tumble this week. Daytime highs on Tuesday will be closer to if not slightly below average with a couple mild days sprinkled in there through the end of the week. Note that there appears to be a bigger cool down as we head into the first week of 2017.
6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day (January 2nd - 6th) temperature outlook suggests colder than average temperatures returning as we head into early January. We've certainly had wild temp swings as of late... it appears that there will be more on the way.
Severe Wind Risk on Christmas Day...
According to NOAA SPC, there is a risk of severe weather in the Central US on Sunday, December 25th (Christmas Day). Note that the best chance for severe storms will be found across parts of Nebraska and Kansas. The SPC is highlighting a severe-wind risk as the main threat starting as early as mid/late morning and continuing into the afternoon hours. The severe threat will lessen as we head into the evening hours. Note that there is a general thunder risk as far north as the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, where thunderstorms in December are rare and Christmas Day thunderstorms are even more rare!
How Rare Are Tornadoes on Christmas Day?
Here's a neat image from the NWS, which shows how rare tornadoes are on Christmas Day. Note that since 1964, there have only been 64 tornadoes, most of which have occurred along the Gulf Coast, where tropical moisture is a little more accessible at this time of the year. However, note that there was one tornado reported as far north as West Virginia! A majority of the tornadoes at this time of the year tend to be 'weaker', but 25 of which have been rated EF-2 or EF-3.
Christmas Day Blizzard and Severe Storms. Quiet Midweek, Then More Active by New Years
Here's the national weather outlook from Sunday, December 25th (Christmas Day) to Sunday, January 1st (New Years Day). Note the very large storm system moving through the Central US on Christmas day with widespread impacts lingering into early next week. Weather conditions will calm down a little through much of the rest of the week, but another (weaker) storm system looks to develop across the Central US again by next weekend.
Warm Christmas Day in the Central US
WOW! How about this for a highs from average map! As our storm system moves into the Central US on Christmas Day, highs across the Central US will be near 20F to 25F above average, while folks in the Western US will be nearly 10F to 20F below average in the wake of the storm system. This clash in temperatures is part of the reason why the storm system will be so intense on Christmas Day.
Here's the view from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from early Christmas Eve morning. It was a chilly, but drier start to the day. Prior to that, it had been a very wet end of the week with LAX seeing 1.70" of rain since Wednesday. 0.96" of that fell on Friday, good enough for a daily rainfall record. Downtown Los Angeles recorded 2.18" of rain since Wednesday! According to the NWS in Los Angeles, there has been 4.08" of rain in downtown los Angeles making it the wettest December since 2010 when 10.23" fell.
Take a look at the radar from midday Saturday as heavier rain moved from southern California to western Arizona. Saturday into Sunday will be wet across these areas as the storm system moves east through the region.
Take a look at all the winter weather headlines that have been posted by the NWS. Areas of heavy snow will be found from the Southwest to the Midwest with the most significant impacts being felt across the Dakotas where Blizzard Warnings have been posted! 8" to 14" of snow and 50mph+ wind gusts can't be ruled out. Major roadways will likely be shut down as the storm unfolds over the area.
Here's a look at snowfall through early next week as the storm system moves northeast. Note that the most widespread and heaviest snowfall appears to fall from near the Black Hills of South Dakota through much of central and eastern North Dakota into far northwestern Minnesota.
Here's the snowfall potential through early next week, which shows a heavy band of of near 8" to 14"+ possible from near the Black Hills of South Dakota through much of central and eastern North Dakota into far northwestern MN.
Winds surrounding this intense storm system will be quite impressive! Note the widespread green, yellow and red colors that develops around the center of the storm system. Sustained winds in many locations will range from 20mph-40mph; wind gusts could be as high as 50mph-60mph in a few locations!
Here's the Weather Story from the NWS out of Bismarck, ND, which suggests very heavy snowfall and significant winds across much of the state. The NWS is warning of dangerous if not impossible travel conditions on Christmas Day into AM Monday. Here's an excerpt of the BLIZZARD WARNING that the NWS has issued for much of the state:
A POWERFUL WINTER STORM WILL HARSHLY IMPACT WESTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA...AND ADJACENT AREAS OF THE NORTHERN PLAINS AND CANADIAN PRAIRIE PROVINCES...WITH HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS. THE BLIZZARD WILL PRODUCE WIDESPREAD SNOW AMOUNTS OF 8 TO 12 INCHES... WITH SOME 15 INCH AMOUNTS. WIND GUSTS AS HIGH AS 55 MPH WILL RESULT IN VERY DANGEROUS IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TRAVEL. SOME ROADS COULD BECOME BLOCKED BY DRIFTING SNOW. IF YOU HAVE TRAVEL PLANS SUNDAY OR MONDAY...CONSIDER CHANGING THEM.
Super Typhoon Nock-Ten
In the western part of the Pacific Ocean, folks in the Philippines are bracing for a very strong typhoon. As of midday Saturday, sustained winds were forecast to be near 150mph with winds gusts up to 180mph! Nock-ten is forecast to pass directly over Manila as a category 1 or category 2 typhoon with rainfall tallies up to 10", which may cause widespread damage and flooding on Christmas Day.
Thanks for checking in and have a good Christmas and last week of 2016!
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