December 13, 1995: A low pressure system moved across northern Minnesota, depositing a band of five to seven inch snowfall along a line from around Wheaton to north of St. Cloud and around Rush City. Alexandria received seven inches of snow. Meanwhile, in southern Minnesota, one to four inches of snow fell, along with one-quarter to one-half inch of freezing rain, which forced some school closures.=
December 13, 1821: An extended cold snap begins at Ft. Snelling. Highs were below zero for all but one day of a 19-day stretch.
Welcome to One of the 3 Coldest Weeks of Winter
I have a slightly different take on this week's cold wave. I just returned from Beijing, China, where the locals were friendly but the air was not. The smog was worse than anything I've experienced, in fact it made me sick. Imagine a week of smelling moldy, sweet and sour gym socks. Happy to be back in Minnesota, where the air is cold but fresh.
We should never ever take clean air for granted.
What I suspect will be one of the 3 coldest shots of the entire winter treats us to single-digit daytime highs and 4 subzero lows by Monday. Not record-setting. No need for Governor Dayton to close schools or call out the National Guard. This is Minnesota. We've been through this drill.
When it's this cold it doesn't take much moisture to squeeze out plowable amounts of powder, and models hint at snowy, icy roads Friday into early Saturday, followed by a harsh slap. ECMWF guidance predicts air temperatures near -18F at MSP Sunday morning. Ouch.
Expect 20s, even 30s next week, but there's little doubt we'll have a white Christmas and a real winter. We're due for one of those.
New Delhi's Air Pollution Rises Again. Pollution across parts of India rivals or even exceeds China. Details via The Wall Street Journal.
Cold Air Pollution. Canada is invading (again); GFS data from NOAA shows the core of the coldest air arriving later this week across the Upper Midwest - another shot Sunday morning when air temperatures may dip below -20F from the Dakotas into Minnesota and Wisconsin. Wicked cold. Expect moderation next week with 20s and 30s for the same areas. Source: Tropicaltidbits.com.
Shut Your Mouth! No, really, breathe through your nose, not your mouth, especially if you live in Minnesota, where surface temperatures may fall to -25 to -30F Sunday morning. That's not wind chill, that's the actual air temperature. Bug-killing, relative-alarming cold. ECMWF guidance for Sunday AM: WeatherBell.
What Is The Polar Vortex? NOAA has a very good explainer, separating fact from hype: "...The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. It ALWAYS exists near the poles, but weakens in summer and strengthens in winter. The term "vortex" refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air near the Poles. Many times during winter in the northern hemisphere, the polar vortex will expand, sending cold air southward with the jet stream (see graphic above). This occurs fairly regularly during wintertime and is often associated with large outbreaks of Arctic air in the United States. The one that occurred January 2014 is similar to many other cold outbreaks that have occurred in the past, including several notable colder outbreaks in 1977, 1982, 1985 and 1989. There are several things the polar vortex is NOT. Polar vortexes are not something new. The term “polar vortex” has only recently been popularized, bringing attention to a weather feature that has always been present..."
Photo credit: "
Map credit: "There are about 30,000 oil spills per year in US waters nationally. This map only shows the spills that have been reported since 2005."
- the safety and efficacy of vaccines,
- the causal relationship between HIV and AIDS,
- the effectiveness of fluoridated drinking water in reducing tooth decay,
- the fact that human-caused emission of greenhouse gases are causing the Earth to warm,
- or that someone’s sexual orientation is completely determined by their genetic makeup.
File photo credit: Alexandre Buisse via Wikimedia Commons
TODAY: Partly sunny, chilly. Winds: W 8-13. High: 9
TUESDAY NIGHT: Clear to partly cloudy. Low: -7
WEDNESDAY: Some sun, feels like -25F out there. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 5
THURSDAY: More sun, winds ease up. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: -9. High: 6
FRIDAY: Plowable snow, icy roads expected. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 0. High: 15
SATURDAY: Snow tapers, travel slowly improves. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 5. High: 8
SUNDAY: Subzero daylight. Frostbite risk. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: -18. High: -3
MONDAY: Partly sunny, warming up a bit. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: -10. High: 18
Graphic credit: NOAA.
Photo credit: " " Credit Rex Features, via Associated Press.
Once an Oil Executive, Now a Crusader Against Fossil Fuel Stocks. The New York Times has the story.
Local View: How Conservatives Could Address Climate Change. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at the Lincoln Journal-Star: "George Shultz, Secretary of State under Reagan, has offered President-elect Trump advice including an admonition to take climate change seriously. "People who say the climate isn't changing are in the process of getting mugged by reality," said Shultz, referring to Trump's campaign claim that global warming is a hoax, promoted by the Chinese. Shultz supports a revenue neutral carbon tax. Trump appears to have softened his campaign position on climate change, most recently promising to have an "open mind" about it..."