Piles of February Snow...
It certainly has been an active February thus far with piles of snow at the end of every driveway and parking lot in town. We had another burst of snow midday Friday and there's still more that could fall on Sunday.
Great Lakes Ice Coverage
According to NOAA's GLERL, Lake Superior is nearly 64% covered in ice, which is greater than it was at this time last year and also in 2017. The last couple of weeks have really helped with significant ice growth over the Great Lakes region. Interestingly, the entire great lakes (as of February 8th) was sitting at nearly 52% ice coverage, which is just slightly below the long-term average of 55%.
Here's a look at the temperature anomaly aross North America on Thursday, which showed warmer than average temps across most of the nation, especially in the central part of the country, where temps were nearly +20F to +25F above average. However, there was a blob of colder than average weather perched across central and western Canada, moved into the High Plains on Thursday.
Ice Safety Reminder
Below Average Temps. Sunday Snow Chance
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas
Not sure about you, but Thursday's midday snow burst kinda caught me off guard. It was another gut punch from Old Man Winter and I'm hoping the right hook isn't coming anytime soon.
There's no question that we've been on the ropes this month with more than 22 inches of snow falling at the MSP Airport through Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, my SweeTARTS are still buried, but at least the chocolate covered doggy landmines are finally covered up!
If you're wondering, 26.5 inches is the snowiest February on record for the Twin Cities, which was set in 1962. At this rate, we stand a pretty good chance getting close to that record as we still have nearly 2 weeks left of the month.
It'll be a lip-numbing start to our Friday with wind chills in the -20s and -30s across the state. Winds taper this weekend with another snow chance developing on Sunday. A minor coating of snow could fall across southern Minnesota, which would pad our impressive February snow stats.
Just think, the MN Twins Home Opener is less than 6 weeks away!
FRIDAY: Brigh, cold sunshine. Winds: NW 5-10. High: 10.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Cold and quiet. Winds: NW 5. Low: -1.
SATURDAY: Clouds increase. Flurries overnight? Winds: E 5-10. High: 20.
SUNDAY: Snow likely across southern MN. Winds: NNE 10-15. Wake-up: 13. High: 22.
MONDAY: A few peeks of sun. Winds: WNW 5-10. Wake-up: 8. High: 17.
TUESDAY: Still below average. Winds: WSW 5. Wake-up: 2. High: 15.
WEDNESDAY: Slight chance of snow. Winds: SE 5. Wake-up: 5. High: 22.
THURSDAY: A touch warmer. Nothing rough. Winds: W 7-12. Wake-up: 16. High: 25.
This Day in Weather History
1921: An early blast of spring weather invades Minnesota. Thunderstorms were reported across the southern portion of the state. Winona had a high of 67.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 29F (Record: 63F set in 1921)
Average Low: 13F (Record: -25F set in 1875)
Record Rainfall: 0.87" set in 1967
Record Snowfall: 8.5" set in 1967
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 27 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 55 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~1 hour and 41 minutes
Moon Phase for February 15th at Midnight
3.4 Days Until Full "Snow" Moon
"Feb. 19: Full Snow Moon 9:54 a.m. CST. Usually the heaviest snows fall in this month. Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence to some tribes this was known as the Full Hunger Moon.The moon will also arrive at perigee, the closest point to Earth in its orbit, less than 7 hours earlier at 4 a.m. EST at a distance of 221,681 miles (356,761 kilometers) from Earth. So this is the largest full moon of 2019. (A full moon that takes place during perigee is sometimes known as a supermoon.) Very high ocean tides can be expected during the next two or three days, thanks to the coincidence of perigee with the full 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:
"At present, the waxing gibbous moon is bright enough to erase many stars from the blackboard of night. But you’ll likely still see the two bright Gemini “twins” – the stars Castor and Pollux – in the moon’s glare. Another bright star is nearby; it’s Procyon, brightest star in the constellation Canis Minor the Lesser Dog, also known as the Little Dog Star. The dark side of a waxing moon always points in the direction of its travel around Earth – eastward – in front of the backdrop stars. As Earth spins under the sky, the stars, planets and moon all appear to shift westward throughout the night. Meanwhile, the moon’s orbital motion is carrying it eastward through the constellations of the zodiac … and through Geminion these two nights. Look for the moon and constellation Gemini to reach their high point for the night somewhere around 9 to 10 p.m. local time (that’s the time on your clock, no matter where you live around the globe)."
7 Day Precipitation Potential
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation potential shows heavy precipitation continuing across the Western half of the country and especially in the Sierra Nevada Range where feet of snow will pile up! Meanwhile, another surge of heavier moisture will be found across parts of the Tennessee Valley and Gulf Coast States with several inches of rain possible, which could lead to more flooding.
"Atlantic hurricanes showed “highly unusual” upward trends in rapid intensification during the period 1982 – 2009 that can only be explained by including human-caused climate change as a contributing cause, according to research published last week in Nature Communications. The study, led by NOAA/GFDL hurricane scientist Kieran Bhatia, was titled, Recent increases in tropical cyclone intensification rates. The paper used two different data sets to study historical tropical cyclone intensification rates: a relatively coarse-resolution satellite data set (HURSAT), and a higher-resolution “best track” data set (IBTrACS) that included all available data, including satellite and hurricane hunter data. Both data sets found that for the Atlantic, there was a significant increase in the proportion of 24-hour intensification rates greater than 30 knots (35 mph) between 1982 and 2009. The greatest change was seen for the strongest 5% of storms, whose intensification rates increased by 3 – 4 knots per decade. For tropical cyclones across the entire globe, the two data sets disagreed. The “best track” data set showed a significant increase in 24-hour intensification rates, while the satellite-only data set did not. The authors theorized that the satellite-only data set was faulty, likely because of well-documented problems judging tropical cyclone intensities during formation of the eye. Due to this discrepancy in the two data sets, the authors were unable to make conclusions on how tropical cyclone intensification rates might be changing globally."
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