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Nippy winds. Cold for the foreseeable future

Fresh Snow in Grand Forks

Take a look at the wintry scene from the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, ND after recent heavy snowfall from earlier this week. Some spots from eastern ND to northwestern MN saw up to 8" to 15" with near whiteout conditions thanks to 40mph to 50mph wind gusts. Heavy snow and gusty winds will begin to taper through the second half of the week.

Snowfall Tallies

Here are some of the heavy snowfall reports that have come in from eastern North Dakota and parts of northwestern MN. Note that a few locations near Grand Forks have seen up to 12" of snow already!

Blizzard Conditions Fade

Thanks to Coby Hubble for this picture out of northwestern ND as fresh snow and strong winds created blizzard conditions for much of the day Tuesday. Breezy winds on Wednesday will still create areas of blowing snow where heavy snow has fallen.

North Dakota Road Conditions

This is a look at the North Dakota road conditions, which still showed many closed roads or no travel advised across much of the state as of PM Tuesday.

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"Standing Rock Sioux leader tells protesters to go home as blizzard hits"

The blizzard that impacted much of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota also impacted protesters that have gathered to block the construction of the oil pipeline. Here's an excerpt from IBTimes:

"A blizzard hit the North Dakota camp where thousands of protesters have gathered to block the construction of an oil pipeline. A blizzard has hit the North Dakota camp where thousands of veterans and environmentalists have gathered to block the construction of an oil pipeline. Heavy snow, whipped up by 40mph (64km/h) winds, blasted through the tipis and tents, causing white-out conditions. After a relatively warm autumn, this was the first serious storm of the winter, with temperatures dropping to minus nine degrees Celsius (15F)."

See more from IBTimes HERE:

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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Anchorage, Alaska

If you've been following the weather over the past couple of years in Alaska, it has been pretty warm. The colder weather moving into the Lower 48 has also been blowing across Alaska with some of the coldest air some locations have seen in a long time. Anchorage, Alaska recently dropped to 0F on Monday, ending it's 2nd longest streak between 0F days. at 383 days! The longest stretch between 0F days was 682 days, which ended on November  29th, 2001.

 
Fairbanks, Alaska

Another interesting stat came out of Fairbanks, Alaska where temperatures dipped to -35F on Sunday, which was the first time in 2 winters! Interestingly, Fairbanks average 12 days per year with a low temperature at -35F or colder! A.) it's crazy that they average that many days per year with a temperature that cold, but B.) it's crazy that Sunday's -35F low temp was the first time that it's happened in 2 winters! Good grief.

First -50F in North America!! Drum Roll Please...

The first -50F of the season goes to Chalkyitsik on the Upper Yukon Flats in Alaska! It was measured early Tuesday morning.

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Arctic Air Plunges into the Lower 48

Part of the same Arctic air mass that brought bitter cold to parts of Alaska is now plunging into the Lower 48. The image below shows the temperature anomaly from Tuesday, December 6th and note the bright purple from Alaska into the northwestern part of the US. This denotes MUCH cooler than average temperatures. This is the chunk of Arctic air that will continue to surge south into the Lower 48 through the rest of the week.

Arctic Air Surges South

Here's that blob of Arctic as it continues to spread through the eastern half of the country through the rest of the week. Many locations will dip to near 10F to 20F+ below average levels, which will likely be some of the coldest air of the season.

 
High Temperatures From Average on Wednesday through Friday
 
Here's a look at high temperatures from average across the nation Wednesday through Friday and note that many locations will be nearly 10F to 20F colder than average! Some spots along the Front Range of the Rockies could be nearly 30F below average then... BRR!
 
 
Much of the Nation Below Freezing Friday Morning
 
Friday morning appears to be the most widespread (cold) morning of the week with nearly 86% of the nation seeing low temperatures below freezing! The coldest air will be found in the High Plains where some spots across North Dakota could drop into the teens below zero! Wind chills there could be in the 20s below zero by Friday morning too!
 
 
8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook
 
If you like the colder, wintry weather, you're in luck! According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests that colder than average temperatures will be with much of us in the eastern half of the country. The coldest of which will be found across the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Region. With that said, look for several bouts of lake effect snow over the next couple weeks. 
 

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84-Hour Outlook

Here's the national weather outlook through the end of the week, which shows heavy snow across the Upper Midwest tapering a bit with Lake effect snow developing across the Great Lakes Region through the end of the week. The next surge of Pacific moisture begins to slide into the Western US with heavy rain along the coast and heavy snow in the high elevations. 

 

10-Day Snowfall Outlook

Here's the 10 day snowfall potential, which initially shows heavier snow ongoing across the Upper Midwest and translating into heavier lake effect snow across the Great Lakes Region. The next surge of Pacific moisture will bring heavy snow to the high elevation. As this next surge of Pacific moisture moves inland, it appears that some across the Midwest may be in for some additional accumulating snow by the weekend. 

5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests heavy precipitation in the Western US, especially along the coast in the higher elevations. Some spots could see as much as 3" to 6"+ liquid through the end of the weekend. Also note the heavy moisture around the Great Lakes, which will fall in the form of heavy lake effect snow over the next several days!

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Nippy winds. Cold for the foreseeable future

And just like that, the other shoe dropped! We all knew it would at some point, right? At any rate, let's welcome back Old Man Winter from his extended summer vacation. There are a few hecklers in the back booing. Apparently they aren't fans of face numbing wind chills and white knuckle driving. However, there are many Minnesotans that embrace the winter chill; your sweet spot has finally arrived!

An Arctic front blasted through Tuesday morning with gusty winds and single digit wind chill values. Not even sure I was ready for it. Time to dig out the heavy winter artillery.

Nearly a foot of snow and blizzard conditions taper across most of North Dakota and northwestern MN today. Gusty winds, nippy wind chills and scattered light snow showers continue through Thursday.

We'll have a few days to settle into temperatures that will be nearly 10 to 15 degrees below average before our next snow event moves in late Saturday.

Extended models suggest shoveling duties by Saturday night. Maybe even snowblower worthy? Stay tuned
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Extended Weather Outlook

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, breezy and colder. Winds: W 15-30. Low: 16.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy with a few flakes. Breezy, single digit wind chills. Winds: W 15-30. High: 22.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Scattered light snow showers develop late. Winds: 15-30. Low: 14.

THURSDAY: Chilly breeze. Scattered light snow. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 22.

FRIDAY: Hazy sunshine. Less wind, still cold. Winds: WNW 5-10. Wake-up: 9. High: 19.

SATURDAY: Dry AM. Shovelable snow overnight? Winds: SE 5-15. Wake-up: 12. High: 24.

SUNDAY: AM snow, cold wind returns. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 19. High: 25.

MONDAY: Nippy wind chills. Few flakes. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 12. High: 16.

TUESDAY: Heavy coat worthy. Light snow possible. Winds: W 10-20. Wake-up: 8. High: 14.
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This Day in Weather History
December 7th:

1982: Due to unseasonably mild temperatures during the preceding weeks, a farmer near St. Bonifacius is able to bail his 4th crop of alfalfa hay on this day.

1927: A blizzard hits the Arrowhead region with heavy snows and 70 mph winds at Duluth.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
December 7th

Average High: 30F (Record: 54F set in 1939)
Average Low: 15F (Record: -20F set in 1972)

Record Snowfall: 6.3" set in 1927
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 7th

Sunrise: 7:37am
Sunset: 4:32pm

*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~1mins & 6sec
*Daylight Lost Since Summer Solstice: ~6hours and 40mins
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Moon Phase for December 6th at Midnight
0.1 Days Before First Quarter

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Weather Outlook Wednesday

High temperatures on Wednesday won't be any warmer than they were on Tuesday afternoon. In fact, wind chill values for much of the day will be in the single digits above and below zero! BRR!

 
High Temperatures From Average Wednesday
 
Here's a look at high temperatures from average on Wednesday, which shows WELL below average temps across much of the region in the wake of our Arctic cold front. Note that readings across the Dakotas will be nearly 30F below average in spots.
 

Weather Outlook Wednesday

Winds will be very strong across the state again on Wednesday with sustained winds at 10mph to 20mph and wind gusts up to 30mph+. This will help to keep brisk wind chills and blowing snow in play for much of the day.

Weather Outlook Wednesday

The weather outlook for Wednesday suggests scattered snow showers continuing across the northern half of the state. Note that steadier heavier snow will be found along the international border, while lighter snow showers and flurries will be found farther south.


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Simulated Radar
 
The simulated radar from Tuesday to Friday shows the storm system responsible for heavy snow and blizzard conditions across North Dakota and NW Minnesota starting to wind down by the end of the week. Gusty winds and scattered light snow showers will still be possible across much of the state through Thursday before fading a bit more on Friday.
 
 
Snowfall Potential
 
Here's the snowfall potential through Friday, which shows heavy pockets of snow across northern MN as the storm system continues to slowly spin through the region. Note that we don't expect much in the southern half of the state.
 
Somewhat Active Pattern With Colder Temps Ahead.

Here's the weather outlook through Sunday. Heavy snow and strong winds will fade through the end of the week and transition into heavy lake effect snow across parts of the Great Lakes Region as the cold air settles south. The next system rolls through the Upper Midwest this weekend with the potential of shovelable/plowable for some. Stay tuned!

 
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Extended Weather Outlook

The temperature outlook for Minneapolis shows colder temperatures continuing over the next several days with the potential of an even bigger cool down during the 2nd full week of December. We may even be looking at our first stint of sub-zero overnight lows!

6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests colder than average temperatures continuing through the 3rd weekend of December. 


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Wintry Mashup on Montreal Streets

Here's an interesting video from Montreal Canada that shows several cars & buses plowing into each other thanks to very slippery roads. It's almost painful to watch... 

See the full video from MetroNews.ca HERE:

(Image Credit: Willem Shepherd Via Facebook)

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"The 50th Anniversary of ATS-1"

Here's an interesting nugget... it was 50 years ago (December 6th) that our first Earth-observing satellite ever was placed in geostationary orbit and only 5 days later, the first ever full disk image of Earth was taken from geostationary orbit! Pretty neat huh? Now we take satellite images for granted...

See more from NOAA HERE:

"Fifty years ago, at 9:12 p.m. Eastern on December 6, 1966, a NASA Atlas rocket carried the Applications Technology Satellite (ATS-1) to space, becoming the first Earth-observing satellite ever placed in geostationary orbit."

(ATS-1 launched at 9:12 p.m. Eastern on December 6, 1966 aboard a NASA Atlas rocket. Credit: NASA)

(ATS-1, and its Spin-scan cloud-cover Camera, provided this image on December 11, 1966- the first full disk image of Earth ever taken from geostationary orbit. Credit: NASA)

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"Warming U.S. Could See Extreme Rains Increase Fivefold"

"When the skies open up and deluge an area, the results can be catastrophic, with roads washed out and homes destroyed by the resulting flash floods. Such extreme downpours are already occurring more often across the U.S., but a new study finds that as global temperatures rise, storms could dump considerably more rain and skyrocket in frequency. The study, detailed Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that storms that now occur about once a season now could happen five times a season by century’s end, a 400 percent increase. And when such storms do occur, they could produce up to 70 percent more rain. That means that an intense thunderstorm that would today drop about 2 inches of rain would drop 3.5 inches in the future. Such massive amounts of rain occurring more often could put significant strain on infrastructure that already struggles to deal with heavy rainfall, as seen across the country this year in places from Louisiana to West Virginia."

See more from Climate Central HERE:

(A car lies submerged in the Tall Timbers subdivision after flooding near Shreveport, La., on March 9, 2016, caused by torrential rains. Credit: REUTERS/Deputy Josh Cagle/Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office via Reuters)

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"Extreme Tornado Outbreaks Are Becoming More Extreme"

"Outbreaks of tornadoes — where multiple tornadoes form over an area in just a few hours or days — are responsible for most of the devastating destruction caused by severe weather, and a new analysis has reached a worrying conclusion about the worst of these outbreaks. Outbreaks with many tornadoes are becoming more extreme, particularly the very worst outbreaks, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. When researchers looked into what might be causing the trend — and whether it could be linked to expected changes in storm environments due to climate change — they found the opposite of what they expected, pointing to the need for more research on the matter."

See more from Climate Central HERE:

(The remnants of a home destroyed by one of the many tornadoes that raked across Alabama during the April 2011 Super Outbreak. Credit: FEMA Photo by George Armstrong)

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

Colder & Windy Today; Blizzard Continues in NW Minnesota

Winter Weather Headlines

 ...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CST TODAY... ...BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO 6 PM CST THIS EVENING... * TIMING...SNOW WILL CONTINUE AND DIMINISH THIS EVENING. BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WILL DEVELOP EARLY THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUE THROUGH THE DAY. * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...ADDITIONAL 3 TO 7 INCHES. STORM TOTAL 8 TO 15 INCHES  * WINDS...NORTHWEST 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH. * VISIBILITIES...NEAR ZERO TO WHITEOUT AT TIMES. 

Snowfall Potential Through PM Wednesday

Here's the snowfall potential through midday Thursday, which shows some fairly hefty tallies across the northern part of the state. Total snowfall tallies could approach 8" to 15" by the end of the day today, which minor accumulations will be possible across parts of central Minnesota. 

Windy Tuesday Ahead

The storm system currently over northern Minnesota will produce strong winds across the Dakotas and much of Minnesota today. Some spots could see 30mph to 40mph+ with isolated 50mph across far northwestern MN.


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First Cold Blast of the Season

The first cold blast of the season to impact much of the nation is on its way into the Lower 48 now. Take a look at the temperature anomaly loop below, which shows much cooler than average temperature pushing through the central and eastern US through the end of the week.

 
High Temperatures From Average on Thursday
 
Here's a look at high temperatures from average across the nation on Thursday and note that many locations will be nearly 15F to 25F colder than average! Some spots along the Front Range of the Rockies could be nearly 30F below average then... BRR!
 

84-Hour Outlook

The national weather outlook through Thursday shows 2 different systems moving through the eastern half of the country through midweek. The system in the Upper Midwest will be responsible for heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions. The southern system will continue to lift northeast with spotty strong to severe storms and locally heavy rain across parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic States. Meanwhile, another surge of heavier moisture will push into the West Coast later this week with heavy rain along the coast and heavy snow in the high elevations

10-Day Snowfall Outlook

It appears that winter weather has finally moved in across parts of the country. With colder than average temperatures across much of the nation this week and perhaps even into the middle part of the month, wintry precipitation will likely follow. Here's the 10-day snowfall potential, which shows heavy pockets of snow across the northern half of the nation.

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Pacific Moisture Moves into the Pacific Northwest

Here's the Eastern Pacific precipitable water loop that shows heavier moisture from the Pacific moving into the West Coast in a few different waves. The next big round is building north of Hawaii and will be heading into the Western US later this week with heavy rain along the coast and heavy snow in the high elevations.

Another Surge of Heavier Pacific Moisture Late Week

Here's a look at the next storm system moving into the Western US later this week. Note the continued surge of moisture over a several day time period. This should allow several inches of precipitation to add up, which will be in the form of heavy rain along the coast and heavy snow in the high elevation.

 

Snow in the Northwest

Here's the snowfall potential through Saturday, which shows fairly significant tallies across the Cascade range and across much of the central and northern Rockies. Some spots could see up to 1ft. to 2ft. by the weekend. Some locations in the Sierra Nevada Range will even see some snow!

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Heavy Rain in the South Past Few Days
 
Take a look at the webcam look from Alexandria, LA from AM Monday. Note the standing water! Many locations in these areas have seen 3" to 6"+ rainfall since the weekend!
 
 
Record Rainfall!
 
How about this record out of Lake Charles, LA that saw 6.60" of rain on Saturday, which tied the all-time wettest December on record also set on December 22nd, 1932.
 
More Heavy Rain in the South/Southeast
 
Take a look at the heavy potential across the southern and southeastern US through the middle part of the week! Widespread heavy rainfall could lead to areas of flooding over the next few days, especially over eastern Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley. Not only will heavy rain be possible, but a few strong to severe storms may be possible into early next week as well.
 
 
 
 Severe Threat Tuesday
 ...SUMMARY... AT LEAST A MARGINAL RISK FOR A FEW STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS WITH DAMAGING WIND AND POSSIBLY A TORNADO OR TWO WILL EXIST TUESDAY FROM NORTHERN FLORIDA THROUGH SOUTHERN GEORGIA AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA. ...NORTHERN FLORIDA...SOUTH GEORGIA AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA... DEAMPLIFYING SHORTWAVE TROUGH OVER THE SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS EARLY TUESDAY WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE MIDDLE ATLANTIC DURING THE DAY. OCCLUDED LEE CYCLONE OVER THE OH VALLEY WILL WEAKEN...WHILE SECONDARY CYCLOGENESIS COMMENCES OFF THE NORTH CAROLINA COAST IN RESPONSE TO THE DEAMPLIFYING WAVE. A WEAKLY UNSTABLE WARM SECTOR WILL HAVE MOVED INLAND THROUGH SOUTH GEORGIA AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA TO THE SOUTH OF A WARM FRONT. THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE IN PROGRESS EARLY TUESDAY ALONG PRE-FRONTAL WARM CONVEYOR BELT FROM THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE THROUGH A PORTION OF EASTERN ALABAMA INTO WESTERN GEORGIA. MOIST INFLOW TO THE UPDRAFTS WILL BE ROOTED NEAR THE SURFACE WITH UPPER 60S TO AROUND 70 F DEWPOINTS...AND STORMS WILL BE EMBEDDED WITHIN STRONG 0-6 KM SHEAR WITH INITIALLY LARGE 0-1 KM HODOGRAPHS PROMOTING A RISK FOR ORGANIZED STORM STRUCTURES. ACTIVITY WILL MOVE THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF NORTHERN FLORIDA...SOUTHERN GEORGIA...AND SOUTHERN SOUTH CAROLINA WITH AN ATTENDANT THREAT FOR A FEW DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND A COUPLE OF TORNADOES. IT STILL APPEARS THAT WEAK LAPSE RATES...WIDESPREAD CLOUDS AND ONGOING AREAS OF RAIN WILL LIKELY RESULT IN WEAK INSTABILITY WHICH MAY SERVE AS AN OVERALL LIMITING FACTOR FOR A MORE ROBUST SEVERE EVENT. AS INITIAL OCCLUDED LOW MOVES THROUGH THE TENNESSEE VALLEY AND NEW CYCLOGENESIS COMMENCES OFF THE CAROLINA COASTS...TENDENCY WILL BE FOR THE LOW-LEVEL WINDS TO VEER TO SOUTHWESTERLY THROUGH MID MORNING WITH A GRADUAL DECREASE IN HODOGRAPH SIZE. THEREFORE...GREATEST SEVERE THREAT WILL LIKELY REMAIN CONFINED TO A RELATIVELY SMALL WINDOW BETWEEN 12-18Z. 

Heavy Southern Rain

 
Here's a look at the heavy rain potential through midday Wednesday. Note that some spots across eastern Texas and the Lower Mississippi Valley through the Mid-Atlantic States could see an additional 2" to 4" or more.
 
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MN Snow Depth & Ranking

Here's a look at the snow depth across the state as of Thursday, December 1st. Note that much of the heavy snow that fell across western and northern MN a couple of weeks ago has since melted due to the ongoing mild weather through the end of November.

Each Thursday during the cold season, the State Climatology Office produces maps depicting the snow depth across Minnesota. Additionally, maps are created that depict snow depth ranking for the date. The data are provided by volunteers working with DNR Forestry, the National Weather Service, the University of Minnesota, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and CoCoRaHS.

 
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Somewhat Active Pattern With Colder Temps Ahead.

Here's the weather outlook through Sunday. Note the ongoing snow potential across northern MN through the midweek time frame with another chance of snow by the weekend. The big story will be the MUCH colder weather funneling into the region by the 2nd half of the week. This will be some of the coldest air of the season with highs dipping to well below normal temps for a several day period.

 
6 Day Precipitation Outlook
 
The 6 day precipitation outlook through the weekend suggests heavier moisture along the international border, which will be in the form of heavier snowfall. After that, the next chance of snow will move in this weekend. Stay tuned.
 
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Coldest Air of the Season Surges South Rest of Week

News flash! It's going to get colder... finally. Are you surprised? Honestly, I wasn't sure if it would ever happen at the rate we were going. Good grief. It was only a little more than 2 weeks ago that we had our first frost (officially) in the Twin Cities, ending the longest growing season on record of 220 days. We recently just had our 2nd warmest Nov. and the warmest Oct. through Nov. on record.

Get this, Fairbanks, Alaska dipped to -35 degrees on Sunday for the first time in 2 winters! Incredibly, they average a -35 degree or colder temperature 12 times PER YEAR! Also, the mercury in Anchorage, AK finally dipped to 0 degrees ending the 2nd longest streak between 0 degree readings there. Did you hear that the Arctic sea ice was at its 2nd lowest extent on record? Something strange is happening to our climate.

6 to 12+ inches of snow pile up in NW Minnesota Tuesday while single digit wind chills numb faces statewide Wednesday through Friday. I am happy to report that days start getting longer in about 2 weeks! Hello Winter!
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Extended Weather Outlook

TUESDAY: Brisk wind, flakes north. Winds: W 15-25. High: 28.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, breezy and colder. Winds: W 15-25. Low: 15.

WEDNESDAY: Colder with single digit wind chills. Winds: W 10-20. High: 21

THURSDAY: Colder. Scattered light snow showers. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 12. High: 19.

FRIDAY: Less wind. More sun, still chilly. Winds: SSW 5-10. Wake-up: 11. High: 18.

SATURDAY: Increasing clouds, chance of snow. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 12. High: 24.

SUNDAY: Lingering light snow early. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 19. High: 26.

MONDAY: A little warmer, few flakes. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 13. High: 28.
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This Day in Weather History
December 6th:

1950: A snowstorm hits Duluth with 23.2 inches of snow in 24 hours, and a storm total of 35.2 inches.

1939: Warm weather occurs over parts of Minnesota. The high temperature hits 62 at New London.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
December 6th

Average High: 30F (Record: 63F set in 1939)
Average Low: 16F (Record: -19F set in 1972)

Record Snowfall: 4.4" set in 1969
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 6th

Sunrise: 7:36am
Sunset: 4:32pm

*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~1mins & 10sec
*Daylight Lost Since Summer Solstice: ~6hours and 39mins
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Moon Phase for December 6th at Midnight
0.1 Days Before First Quarter

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Weather Outlook Tuesday

High temps on Tuesday will be quite a big colder than what we've been dealing with. In fact, feels like temperatures will drop into the single digits and teens across much of the state. Note the sub-zero wind chill values across the Dakotas! Dress appropriately!

 
High Temperatures From Average Tuesday
 
Here's a look at high temperatures from average on Tuesday, which shows colder air starting to surge into the region. Note that many locations across the Dakotas will be nearly 10F to 25F below average. 
 

Weather Outlook Tuesday

Winds will be very strong across the state on Tuesday with sustained winds of 10mph to 20mph. Wind gusts could be 30mph to 35mph across western MN and the Dakotas, which will help to keep blizzard-like conditions in place across much of North Dakota and northwestern MN during the day Tuesday.

Weather Outlook Tuesday

Heavy snow will begin to taper across northwestern MN with lingering light snow and flurries across the rest of the northern half of the state. This wrap around light snow and flurry activity could sink a little farther south Wednesday & Thursday.


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Simulated Radar
 
The simulated radar from AM Tuesday to Thursday shows the current storm system swirling through the region, which will continue to bring heavy snow to parts of northern Minnesota through Tuesday. Snow will begin tapering on Tuesday with lingering flurries in place Wednesday and Thursday.
 
 
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Extended Weather Outlook

The temperature outlook for Minneapolis shows MUCH cooler temps on the way for the rest of the week and through the middle part of the month.  Highs will dip into the 10s and 20s with overnight lows in the single digits and 10s across much of the state. 

6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the 6 to 10 day temperature outlook suggests colder than average temperatures settling into the region as we continue through the first half of December. Note that this will likely be some of the coldest air of the season for many spots across the Upper Midwest. 

6 to 10 Day Temp Outlook

Here's the national temperature outlook from December 11th - December 15th, which shows colder than average temperatures continuing across the northern tier of the nation. Folks across the southern tier of the nation will start to see temps warm back to above average levels as the strong upper level winds begin to lift a little farther north. 

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National Weather Outlook

The storm system responsible for locally heavy rain and spotty severe storms across the southern US will begin lifting north toward the Mid-Atlantic by the middle part of the week  A few strong to severe storms may still be possible in the Southeast on Tuesday, but the severe threat ends Wednesday. Meanwhile, heavy snowfall in the Upper Midwest from earlier this week will begin to taper through Wednesday. Another surge of Pacific moisture will move into the Western US later this week with heavy rain along the coast and heavy snow in the higher elevations. 

 
5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests that the heaviest rainfall that fell in the Southern US earlier this week will begin shifting east with some 1" to 2"+ amounts still possible from northern Florida to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Note the heavy moisture moving into the Western US with some 3" to near 6"+ liquid possible through Saturday.

US Drought Monitor

Here's the updated drought monitor from Thursday, December 1st, which shows widespread extreme to exceptional drought conditions across much of the Southeast. We'll see if drought conditions improve later this week after this more recent round of heavier precipitation. 

Rainfall Needed to End Drought

The product below suggests how much rainfall is needed to end the drought. Note that many spots need nearly a foot of rain or more to end the drought. These are the areas that are in an extreme to exceptional drought!

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Cassini: The Mission to Saturn and the Grand Finale

Do you remember Cassini? Cassini was a satellite launched by NASA nearly 20 years ago in an attempt to study Saturn better. In less then 1 year, Cassini will be ending its mission by plunging into Saturn's orbit. Until then, it will still be exploring. Here's an excerpt from NASA below:

See the full story from NASA HERE: 

After almost 20 years in space, the Cassini mission will end on September 15, 2017 at 5:07 a.m. PDT (8:07 a.m. EDT). Here's how it will happen:

In late 2016, the Cassini spacecraft will begin a completely new type of mission at Saturn. During its final months, the intrepid spacecraft's orbit will carry it high above the planet's north pole and then send it plunging between the planet and the innermost edge of its dazzling rings.

Beginning on Nov. 30, 2016, Cassini will repeatedly climb high above Saturn's north pole, then plunge to a point just outside the narrow F ring (the edge of the main rings), completing 20 such orbits. Then, on April 22, 2017, Cassini will leap over the rings to begin its final series of daring dives between the planet and the inner edge of the rings. This is the Cassini "Grand Finale." After 22 of these orbits, each taking six days to complete, the spacecraft, will plunge into the upper atmosphere of the gas giant planet, where it will burn up like a meteor, ending the epic mission to the Saturn system.

As it plunges past Saturn during the Grand Finale, Cassini will collect some incredibly rich and valuable information that the mission’s original planners might never have imagined:

The spacecraft will make detailed maps of Saturn’s gravity and magnetic fields, revealing how the planet is arranged on the inside, and possibly helping to solve the irksome mystery of just how fast the interior is rotating.
It will vastly improve our knowledge of how much material is in the rings, bringing us closer to understanding their origins.
Cassini’s particle detectors will sample icy ring particles being funneled into the atmosphere by Saturn’s magnetic field.
Its cameras will take amazing, ultra-close images of Saturn’s rings and clouds.

(Artist's concept of Cassini's final orbits between the innermost rings and Saturn's cloud tops.)


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"U.S. Oil Exports Skyrocket Despite Climate Pacts"

"Seven years ago, the U.S. exported its crude oil to just one country — Canada. This year, 22 countries received American crude oil, marking a more than 1,000 percent increase in U.S. oil exports since 2009, according to U.S. Department of Energy data released this week. Since Congress lifted restrictions on American oil exports a year ago, more and more U.S. crude oil has been streaming onto the global oil market to supply the world’s growing demand. It’s happening even as the U.S. and Canada have agreed to cut emissions from oil and gas operations and countries agree to cut their greenhouse gas pollution under the Paris Climate Agreement. The international pact aims to prevent global warming from exceeding 2°C (3.6°F)."

See more from Climate Central HERE:

(An oil well in Colorado. Credit: C.L. Baker/flickr)

 
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"Small tornado hits Russia's Olympic city Sochi"

Sochi was home to many Olympic athletes during the 2014 Winter Olympics. Interestingly, a small tornado ran through the city as storms recently pushed through the region. See more from BBC below.

"A small tornado descended on Russia's Olympic city Sochi as stormy weather battered the coastline."

See more from BBC HERE:

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"Space Farming: NASA Tests New Harvest Technique To Increase ISS Crop Yield"

Fresh salad in space? Sure! Here's an excerpt from IBTimes on how astronauts are growing plants on the International Space Station. 

"NASA astronauts on board the International Space Station on Friday reaped the first harvest of red romaine lettuce leaves grown on the orbiting space lab last month. These vegetables were grown using the "Veggie" plant growth system on the ISS, and were harvested as part of a technique the space agency calls "cut-and-come-again." "Cut-and-come-again is a repetitive harvest technique in which a selection of leaves can be harvested for a bit of fresh lettuce and possibly science samples," NASA explained in a statement. "The remaining leaves and the core of the plant are left intact and will continue to grow and produce more leaves for subsequent harvests approximately every 10 days." The goal of this technique is to improve the yield of crops being grown in the micro-gravity environment of space, where plant roots grow every which way, making it excruciatingly difficult for them to absorb the nutrients and water they need to survive."

See more from IBTimes HERE:

(An artist's concept showing plants being grown in space. Photo: NASA)

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