December 16, 1972: Fairmont has its fifteenth consecutive day with lows at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
December 16, 1940: A snowstorm hits much of Minnesota. Water equivalent of the snow was 1.27 inches at Winona.
Wicked Cold - But First White Christmas in 3 Years
It's a Charles Dickens December; the best of times, the worst of times. Now before you diagnose my brain-freeze let me explain.
For snow lovers these are the best of times. A real winter! No more excuses why it won't snow. El Nino? El Schmeeno!! This will be the first white Christmas since 2013, when we woke up to 9 inches on December 25. This year we may easily have a foot for Santa's arrival. Odds now favor average snowfall the rest of the winter, maybe 50-60 inches by late March. Finally.
If you don't like snow take heart: Minnesota's coldest days tend to be sunny, which removes much of the psychological sting. And the sun is now setting LATER every evening. In roughly a month average temperatures creep up again. The trend is for spring to arrive earlier. This premature spasm of January will pass.
Winter Storm Warnings mean treacherous travel is imminent; I expect 5-10 inches of powder, maybe a foot south of the downtowns. All that snow will be compressed into ice, leading to hideous conditions on area highways.
20s and 30s next week should feel like a (bad) vacation!
Sunday morning predicted air temperature: NOAA NAM and Tropicaltidbits.com
An Expansive Storm. From heavy rain and blizzard conditions over California's Sierra Nevada range to a couple feet for Colorado ski resorts to nearly a foot from the Twin Cities to Milwaukee, to traffic-snarling snows over the Great Lakes and New England, the storm tracking across the USA will insure a white Christmas for roughly the northern half of the USA. 12 km NAM Future Radar: Tropicaltidbits.com.
* Long-duration snowstorm likely from the Rockies and South Dakota into Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Great Lakes from Friday into Saturday; potential for up to a foot of powdery snow.
* Heavy lake effect snows continue for Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse with 2-3 foot totals by the weekend.
* Band of icy precipitation likely from Missouri into the Ohio Valley this weekend.
* High Wind Warnings posted for New York and Boston; winds gust over 60 mph tonight and early Friday.
* Dangerously cold air temperatures and wind chills for the Upper Midwest by Sunday; coldest in 3 years with air temperatures near -20 and a chill factor of -30 to -40.
Summary: The coldest air in 3 years will push into the Upper Midwest by Sunday, preceded by a smear of heavy snow and ice, capable of disrupting travel and facility operations from the Dakotas and Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and New England. Up to a foot of snow will slow things down from the Twin Cities to Milwaukee; lake effect snows burying much of upstate New York under 2-3 feet of additional snow. And winds tonight will be howling across southern New England. The cruel winds of January are blowing prematurely this year, and it should result in more snow, ice and cold than the past 2 winters across much of the USA. We'll keep you posted.
Paul Douglas, Senior Meteorologist, AerisWeather
Winds Gust to 106 mph in California's Sierra Nevada. SFgate.com has the details.
Flooding and Mudslides in the Bay Area. Details from KGO-TV.
Oil and Gas Industry Back In Favor in Washington D.C. The Washington Post reports: "After eight years of being banished and sometimes vilified by the Obama administration, the fossil fuel industry is enjoying a remarkable resurgence as its executives and lobbyists shape President-elect Donald Trump’s policy agenda and staff his administration. The oil, gas and coal industries are amassing power throughout Washington — from Foggy Bottom, where ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson is Trump’s nominee to be secretary of state, to domestic regulatory agencies including the departments of Energy and Interior as well as the Environmental Protection Agency..."
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Graphic credit: "Disclosed capex for onshore wind and PV projects in 58 non-OECD countries." Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
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SATURDAY: 5-10" snowfall totals, maybe a foot southern suburbs. Snow tapers to flurries. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 5 (falling)
SUNDAY: Coldest air in 3 years. Feels like -40F early. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: -22. High: -2
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, not as nasty. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: -4. High: 23
TUESDAY: Clipper arrives with more flurries. Winds: W 15-25. Wake-up: 20. High: 33
WEDNESDAY: Peeks of sun, better travel. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 18. High: near 30
THURSDAY: Intervals of sun, grilling weather. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 21. High: 31
Climate Change Brewing More Extreme Weather, Shifting Breaking Points. Ars Technica has the article; here's an excerpt: "...As for what's ahead, the researchers wanted to use their model to understand the environment's “breaking point”—the temperature above which the precipitation rate stops increasing and starts to decline. The concept was not well understood before, but the researchers wanted to know whether global warming may shift this breaking point. According to their model—which assumes that future weather patterns look more or less like current and past weather patterns—extreme precipitation events in the future “are projected to significantly increase in almost all North American land regions,” the authors write in their paper. That’s because climate change creates warmer and moister environments, which in turn produce more extreme precipitation events—shifting the “breaking point...”