10 FEET of Snow at Mammoth Mountain in 4 DAYS !!

Ever wondered what 10 FEET of snow looks like? Take a look at the image below from @MammothMountain which is located in the Sierra Nevada Range in California. Latest reports suggests that 79" to 117" of snow fell in just 4 days, which resulted in closures there. Unreal! Interestingly, part of the same storm that brought heavy snow to places in the Western US is also responsible for our snowy/icy weather here locally!


Round #1 of Snow

Here are a few of the snow reports from Tuesday's Round #1 of snow. River Falls, WI had the greatest with 10", while folks just south of the Twin Cities metro picked up nearly 6"+. The MSP Airport had an official tally of 4.1", which makes it the greatest 1 day snowfall of the 2018-2019 winter season thus far.


Round #2 of Snow/Ice Through Thursday

Here's the lastest information from the National Weather Service regarding Round #2 of snow/ice that will impact the region through Thursday.


A Blizzard Warning has been issued for portions of west central, southwest, and south central Minnesota, or generally south of a line from Montevideo, to Mankato from noon Thursday, through 12 AM Friday. A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for portions of east central Minnesota, as well as west central Wisconsin, or generally east of a line from Rush City, to Forest Lake, Cottage Grove and Cannon Falls Minnesota from this evening, through 12 AM Friday.

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect for the remainder of central and southern Minnesota from 6 PM this evening, through 12 AM Friday, which includes cities of Alexandria, St. Cloud, Owatonna and Albert Lea.

This winter storm will come in three parts. The first part will develop this evening with occasional light snow, possibly mixed with freezing drizzle in southern and east central Minnesota, as well as west central Wisconsin. Most areas will only receive up to 1 to 3 inches of snow overnight. The second part will come Thursday morning as the main storm moves out of the Plains, and into the Upper Midwest. This is where the bulk of the heavy snow will occur, especially in south central and east central Minnesota, as well as west central Wisconsin. The third part will come Thursday afternoon as strong northwest winds develop, and blizzard conditions will develop in parts of west central, southwest, and south central Minnesota.

Total snowfall accumulations of 2 to 5 inches are likely in the advisory area, with 6 to 8 inches likely in the Winter Storm Warning area by Thursday evening as the snowfall tapers off. However, blizzard conditions will continue in west central, southwest, and south central Minnesota through Thursday evening.


Weather Outlook Through Early AM Friday

This is what Round #2 of snow and ice looks like as it moves through the region through Thursday. Note that this event will be fairly prolonged, which will start late Wednesday and last through late Thursday. Winds will be fairly strong on the back side of the storm, so blowing snow will be an issue as well. In the wake of the storm, another round of very cold temps will funnel in with Friday being the coldest day and Saturday morning being the coldest low temp.


NWS NDFD Snowfall Forecast

Here's a look at the NWS NDFD data, which suggests around 3" to 6" of snow across the Twin Cities metro, while folks in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin pick up another 6" to 8" (or more).

Icing Potential
Here's the icing potential through the end of the week, which suggests up to a 0.10" of ice or more across the southeastern part of the state. It does appear that the Twin Cities could even see a little glaze ice as this next system moves through.


Active Weather Continues... Another Storm Next Week?

It is definitely WAY too early to about anything specific, but regardless, weather conditions into next week could remain active across the Upper Midwest with another snow chance possible. After a pretty lackluster December and January, maybe we'll make up for some lost time here in February?


Weather Outlook Thursday

Areas of snow will continue on Thursday with high temps ranging from the single digits below zero across the northwestern part of the state to the 10s and 20s across the southeastern part of the state. Note that across across far northern and western Minnesota will be nearly -20F to -25F below average.
Mild Weekend Ahead

There will be a fairly wide temperature swing across the state on Thursday, but by Friday, that colder air perched to the northwest will move into the rest of the state. There a chance that some won't even get above 0F, which may include the Twin Cities! Saturday morning will be very cold with low temps dipping into the -10s and -20s. The good news is that we shouldn't stay too cold for too long. Temperatures should rebound fairly quickly back into the +10s and +20s into next week.


Great Lakes Ice Coverage

According to NOAA's GLERL, as of February 5th, nearly 37% of the great lakes were covered in ice. Thanks to recent bouts of Arctic air, ice coverage is running a little higher here at the beginning of February.


"The science behind the polar vortex"

"The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the Earth's North and South poles. The term vortex refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air close to the poles (left globe). Often during winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the polar vortex will become less stable and expand, sending cold Arctic air southward over the United States with the jet stream (right globe). The polar vortex is nothing new  – in fact, it's thought that the term first appeared in an 1853 issue of E. Littell's Living Age. "

Temperature Anomalies

Here's a look at the temperature anomaly aross North America, which shows cooler than aveage readings across much of the western half of Canada and across the High Plains. This is the colder air that is expected to sag south into the Lower 48 as we head into the end of the week and weekend ahead.


Temperature Outlook
Colder tempeatures will spill into the middle part of the country as we head into the end of the week and weekend ahead, but it won't be quite as cold and it certainly won't last as long as the Arctic air mass last week.

Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook from February 13th - 19th suggests colder than average temperatures continuing across much of the western half of the country. Meanwhile, folks in the southeastern part of the country will continue warmer than average temps. 

 Snowfall From Average
Here's a look at the snowfall departure from average map across the region, which includes our recent snow from Round #1 on Tuesday earlier this week. Note that the Twin Cities saw an official 4.1", which brings our deficit down just shy of 14". We'll see how much snow we get from Round #2, but it looks like we'll still be dealing with a deficit.

Ice Safety Reminder

Recent mild December weather has made for fairly unsafe ice condtions across parts of the state. The MN DNR has some basic guidelines on how thick the ice should be before you even think about stepping out onto the ice! Also remember that ice is NEVER 100% SAFE!

Another Plowable Snowfall Likely Today
By Paul Douglas

When I arrived in 1983 locals assured me that "Minnesotans have perfected the art of snow removal." I heard that all the time. Snow is one thing - ice is something altogether different.

The February Ice Capades continue to wreak havoc, with people falling, cars crashing and the mere act of walking a harrowing adventure - after Monday's coating of glaze ice. Rain falling in mid winter is far worse than snow, for this very reason.

"I've been doing this for 40 years and I've never seen it this bad". You know it's bad when the snow plow can't get up your driveway. A Zamboni would have had better luck getting around.

Another 3-6 inches of snow is likely Thursday; temperatures about 10 degrees warmer than Tuesday's snowfall may lessen commuter's pain a bit.

Snow tapers by evening with a cold wind whipping up Friday - chill factors tomorrow reach 25 below at times. Double-digit negative numbers early Saturday give rise to 20s (above) early next week.

We're finally making up for lost time in the snowfall department. More snow, less ice, sounds nice!

Extended Forecast

THURSDAY: 3-6" snow. Icy. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 21.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Snow wraps up. Breezy and colder. Winds: WNW 15-25. Low: -8. Wind Chill: -25F

FRIDAY: Sunny peeks. Feels like -25F. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 2.

SATURDAY: Numbing start. Fading sunshine. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: -12. High: 8.

SUNDAY: Light snow or flurries possible. Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 2 High: 18.

MONDAY: More clouds than sun. Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 18. High: 22.

TUESDAY: Accumulating snow potential. Winds: NE 10-20. Wake-up: 20. High: 24.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy and chilly. Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 6. High: 17.

This Day in Weather History
February 7th

1857: A snowstorm dumps around 9 inches of snow at Fort Snelling.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
February 7th

Average High: 27F (Record: 53F set in 1987)
Average Low: 10F (Record: -29F set in 1875)

Record Rainfall: 0.94" set in 1928
Record Snowfall: 5.0" set in 2001

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
February 7th

Sunrise: 7:25am
Sunset: 5:29pm

Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 4 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 44 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~1 hour and 18 minutes

Moon Phase for February 7th at Midnight
3.4 Days Since New Moon


What's in the Night Sky?

According to EarthSky.org this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights: 

"These next several evenings – February 6, 7 and 8, 2019 – present a grand time to go young moon hunting. At new moon on February 4, 2019, the moon was lost in the sun’s glare all day long, so it was invisible in our sky at that time. But now that the moon has moved a touch east of the setting sun, as seen from Earth, the moon is out for a brief while in the western sky after sundown.

In the coming evenings – as the moon moves toward the east in its orbit – it’ll appear higher in the west after sunset each day. Watch for earthshine to softly illuminate the dark side of the lunar crescent, as beautifully displayed in the photo above."

National High Temps Thursday
High temps across the country on Thursday will range quite a bit with near record warmth across the southeastern part of the country to the sub-zero range across the High Plains. The tight temperature gradient across the central part of the country is where scattered showers and storms will be found, some of which could be strong to severe with locally heavy rain.
Weather Outlook
A large area of Pacific moisture will continue to move through the Central US on Thursday and wrap up north of the Great Lakes region on Friday. This storm will be responsible for areas of heavy snow and ice across the far north with strong to severe storms in the Central US, which could produce heavy rain and localized flooding.

7 Day Precipitation Potential

According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation potential shows heavy precipitation across the middle part of the country and into the Ohio Valley. Some spots could see as much as 2" to 5"+ into next week! Meanwhile, areas of heavy precipitation will be possible across parts of the Western US as well.

"Mars Opportunity Rover May Have Perished 'Honorably' During Dust Storm, Says NASA"
"After 15 years, NASA might finally say goodbye to Opportunity, the Mars rover that discovered definitive proof that water once flowed in the Red Planet. The End Of NASA's Opportunity Rover  Steven W. Squyres, the principal investigator behind the mission, warned in a recent interview that while efforts to recover the rover are ongoing, it might be the end of the line for Opportunity. "I haven't given up yet," Squyres told The New York Times. "This could be the end. Under the assumption that this is the end, it feels good. I mean that." The statement comes after months of trying to connect and communicate with the rover. The last that the team of engineers at NASA heard from Opportunity was in June 2018 before a planet-wide dust storm covered Mars in a red haze. NASA hoped that once the skies have cleared, the rover will be able to get enough sunlight and recharge its batteries. However, months after the storm had ended and the dust had settled, the rover continued to be unresponsive. The June 2018 dust storm is said to be the most intense that has been observed on Mars. It caught Opportunity by surprise, forcing it to go into survival mode. "That's an honorable death," added Squyres."

"Study: Much of the surface ocean will shift in color by end of 21st century"
"Climate-driven changes in phytoplankton communities will intensify the blue and green regions of the world’s oceans. Climate change is causing significant changes to phytoplankton in the world’s oceans, and a new MIT study finds that over the coming decades these changes will affect the ocean’s color, intensifying its blue regions and its green ones. Satellites should detect these changes in hue, providing early warning of wide-scale changes to marine ecosystems. Writing in Nature Communications, researchers report that they have developed a global model that simulates the growth and interaction of different species of phytoplankton, or algae, and how the mix of species in various locations will change as temperatures rise around the world. The researchers also simulated the way phytoplankton absorb and reflect light, and how the ocean’s color changes as global warming affects the makeup of phytoplankton communities. The researchers ran the model through the end of the 21st century and found that, by the year 2100, more than 50 percent of the world’s oceans will shift in color, due to climate change. The study suggests that blue regions, such as the subtropics, will become even more blue, reflecting even less phytoplankton — and life in general — in those waters, compared with today. Some regions that are greener today, such as near the poles, may turn even deeper green, as warmer temperatures brew up larger blooms of more diverse phytoplankton."

"When extreme weather wipes out wildlife, the fallout can last for years"

"The recent heatwaves have proved deadly to many Australian animals, from feral horses to flying foxes. And it's not just heatwaves that can cause mass die-offs. Last year, flooding rain wiped out entire Antarctic penguin colonies, while drought has previously caused mass mangrove diebacks around the Gulf of Carpentaria. These events generate headlines, but what about the aftermath? And are these catastrophic events part of a wider pattern? Our research describes how species have responded to extreme weather events over the past 70 years. These responses can tell us a great deal about how species are likely to cope with change in the frequency and intensity of extreme events in coming years. We reviewed 517 studies, dating back to 1941 and conducted throughout the world, that examined how birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates or plants have responded to droughts, cyclones, floods, heatwaves, and cold snaps. We found more than 100 cases of dramatic population declines. In a quarter of these cases, population numbers showed no sign of recovery long after the event. And in most cases, extreme events reduced populations of common species that play an important role in maintaining ecosystem integrity."

See more from Phys.org HERE:


"Scientists uncover mystery behind catastrophic 'freak waves'"

"Once dismissed as seafarers' myths, scientists now say they've figured out how rogue waves rise ten-stories high out of nowhere. In 1861, a wave crashed through the glass and flooded the tower of Eagle Island lighthouse off the coast of Ireland ... the tower was 85 feet high and sat atop a 130-foot cliff. In 1942, the massive RMS Queen Mary was broadsided by a 92-foot wave and listed momentarily at around 52 degrees, before slowly righting to normal. In 2001, the MS Bremen and Caledonian Star met up with some 98-foot waves that smashed the bridge windows of both ships. These are just a small sampling of the many, many encounters ships have had with freak (or rogue) waves – waves that seemingly come out of nowhere and are so catastrophic that they were once thought to be the figments of seafarers’ imaginations. According to Science Daily, more than 200 supertankers and container ships exceeding 650 feet in length have sunk in the last two decades, "rogue waves are believed to be the major cause in many such cases." These (terrifying, to be honest) ocean anomalies have been stumping the scientific community for a long time. Many theories have been speculated upon, including the seafloor, wind excitation and a phenomenon called Benjamin-Feir where "deviations from a periodic waveform are reinforced by nonlinearity."

See more from Tree Hugger HERE:


"Magnetic north just changed. Here's what that means."

"Magnetic north has never sat still. In the last hundred years or so, the direction in which our compasses steadfastly point has lumbered ever northward, driven by Earth's churning liquid outer core some 1,800 milesbeneath the surface. Yet in recent years, scientists noticed something unusual: Magnetic north's routine plod has shifted into high gear, sending it galloping across the Northern Hemisphere—and no one can entirely explain why. The changes have been so large that scientists began working on an emergency update for the World Magnetic Model, the mathematical system that lays the foundations for navigation, from cell phones and ships to commercial airlines. But then the U.S. government shut down, placing the model's official release on hold, as Nature News first reported earlier this year. Now, the wait for a new north is over. The World Magnetic Model update was officially released on Monday, and magnetic north can again be precisely located for people around the world. Questions still likely abound: Why is magnetic north changing so fast? What were the impacts of the update's delay? Was there really a geologic reason Google maps sent me off course? We've got you covered."

See more from NAT GEO HERE:


Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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