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

Mild Monday. Single Digit Wind Chills Midweek

Winter Weather Headlines

 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 6 PM CST TUESDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND FORKS HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 6 PM CST TUESDAY. * TIMING...EXPECT A WINTRY MIX TO DEVELOP AROUND 3 PM AND THEN DIMINISH AROUND 6 PM TUESDAY. * PRECIPITATION RATES...THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL RATES WILL OCCUR BETWEEN 6 PM THIS EVENING AND 6 AM TUESDAY. * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 6 TO 10 INCHES ARE EXPECTED. * WINDS / VISIBILITIES...WINDS GUSTING AS HIGH AS 40 MPH ON TUESDAY WILL CAUSE PATCHY BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW... ESPECIALLY IN OPEN AREAS. VISIBILITIES OF ONE HALF MILE OR LESS ARE POSSIBLE.

Snowfall Potential Through PM Wednesday

Here's the snowfall potential through 6pm Wednesday, which shows some fairly hefty tallies across the Red River Valley. Note that there will be a fairly large swath of 6" to 10"+ from eastern North Dakota to northwestern Minnesota. 


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Snowy Start on Sunday

Many of us woke up to a slushy coating of snow on Sunday after a quick moving system rolled overnight Saturday/AM Sunday. It wasn't much, but it cause several accidents and spin outs as area roads became very slippery. Unfortunately for snow lovers, much of the snow will melt due to warm temperatures continuing on Sunday and Monday. In fact, temps on Monday will warm into the low/mid 40s across parts of southern MN.

Snowfall Totals 

Here's a look at snowfall tallies from across the region. There were several 1" to 3" tallies, but there was also a 4" report from near Inver Grove Heights. Thanks to above freezing temps during the day Sunday, much of that snow melted.

Radar Loop of Snow Ending AM Sunday

Here's the radar loop from early Sunday as the snow was ending across the Twin Cities. Heavier snow up to 1" to 3" fell across parts of the region, while just a light coating was found farther west.

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Hawaii Weather Headlines

How many times have you seen Winter Storm Warnings for Hawaii? This was the watches/warnings map for Hawaii, which showed areas of heavy rain across much of Hawaii with heavy snow expected for the peaks on the Big Island through early Monday

Big Snow on the Big Island

Hawaii's highest peak could get up to another foot of snow Sunday, on top of the 2 feet that have fallen since Thursday, the National Weather Service says. A winter storm warning is in effect for the summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea through Saturday evening. “Then we’re expecting another round on Sunday and Sunday night,” said Matthew Foster, a staff meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Snow on the peaks is not uncommon in the colder months of the year, though deep snow is rare. “We’ll probably see three to five snow events a year during the cold season. Some years we might not get any, some years we might get more,” said Foster. The only other area of Hawaii that gets snow with any regularity is the Haleakalā volcano on Maui, which at about 10,000 feet gets snow once every five years or so, he said."

See more from USA Today HERE:

"In this image made from webcam video provided by Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the CFHT telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea on Hawaii's Big Island is covered in snow on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016. The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a winter storm warning for the summits of Hawaii's Big Island as wind and snow engulf the high peaks. (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope via AP)"

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. These rounds of heavier moisture have been responsible for heavier coastal rains and high elevation snow. Another one of these storms is moving through the Pacific Northwest now with heavier snow possible through early next week.

Another Surge of Heavier Pacific Moisture

Here's a look at the next storm system moving through the region through the early part of next week. Note that areas along the coast and in the lower elevations will likely see rain, while those in the higher elevations will see snow. Some spots could see 1ft to 2ft by early next week.

 
 Winter Weather Headlines
 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT THRU 11 AM MST MONDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MISSOULA HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 11 AM MST MONDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * IMPACTS/TIMING: SNOW WILL CONTINUE FOR TONIGHT AND SNOW INTENSITIES WILL INCREASE DURING THE DAY SUNDAY. THE COMBINATION OF ACCUMULATING SNOW AND WIND, VISIBILITY COULD BE GREATLY REDUCED, ESPECIALLY OVER MARIAS PASS. A PERIOD OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW AND GUSTY WINDS IS LIKELY SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING WITH THE COLD FRONT. ALL OF THESE IMPACTS WILL CREATE HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS SUNDAY THROUGH THE FIRST PART OF MONDAY. * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS SUNDAY THROUGH MONDAY: 10 TO 14 INCHES WITH ISOLATED HIGHER AMOUNTS IN THE MOUNTAINS AND MARIAS PASS. * WINDS: GUSTY WEST NORTHWEST WINDS OF 30 TO 40 MILE PER HOUR POSSIBLE FOR MARIAS PASS.

Snow in the Northwest

Here's the snowfall potential through midday Midday, which shows fairly significant tallies across the Cascade range and across much of the northern Rockies. Some spots could see up to 1ft. to 2ft. through early next week.

National Snow Cover

According to NOAA's NOHRSC, 27.8% of the nation was covered up in snow as of December 4th. Last year at this time, 33.0% of the nation was covered up by snow!

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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 Monday
 ...SUMMARY... A FEW STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS WITH POTENTIAL FOR DAMAGING WINDS AND A COUPLE TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT OVER PARTS OF THE SOUTHEAST. ...SYNOPSIS... IN MID/UPPER LEVELS...A LONGWAVE TROUGH OVER WESTERN TO CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA WILL SUPPORT BROADLY CYCLONIC FLOW FROM THE PACIFIC COAST TO THE APPALACHIANS BY THE END OF THE PERIOD. AS THAT TROUGH DEEPENS... A SOUTHERN-STREAM 500-MB LOW -- NOW APPARENT IN MOISTURE-CHANNEL IMAGERY OVER MEXICO SOUTH OF THE TEXAS BIG BEND -- WILL EJECT NORTHEASTWARD. THE ASSOCIATED PERTURBATION...EVEN WITH SOME EXPECTED DEAMPLIFICATION...WILL REMAIN STRONG AS IT REACHES THE SABINE RIVER AREA BY 00Z...THEN THE APPALACHIANS OF EASTERN TENNESSEE AND NORTHERN GEORGIA BY 12Z. THE ASSOCIATED SURFACE LOW WAS ANALYZED AT 11Z OVER THE NORTHWESTERN GULF...OFFSHORE FROM THE MIDDLE TEXAS COAST. THIS LOW SHOULD MIGRATE TO SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA BY 00Z AND MIDDLE TENNESSEE NEAR 12Z. AN ACCOMPANYING COLD FRONT WILL PROGRESS EASTWARD TO SOUTHEASTWARD ACROSS THE NORTHWESTERN GULF AND LOWER DELTA REGION...REACHING ALABAMA AND PERHAPS THE WESTERNMOST FLORIDA PANHANDLE BY 12Z. A CONVECTIVELY REINFORCED WARM-FRONTAL ZONE WAS DRAWN AT 11Z FROM THE LOW EAST-NORTHEASTWARD OVER THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER MOUTH...OFFSHORE MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA TO THE WESTERN FLORIDA PANHANDLE AND SOUTHERN GEORGIA. THIS BOUNDARY SHOULD MOVE IRREGULARLY NORTHEASTWARD AT LEAST TO SOUTH-CENTRAL ALABAMA AND SOUTHERN/CENTRAL GEORGIA OVERNIGHT...AHEAD OF THE COLD FRONT. ...LOWER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY...CENTRAL GULF COAST TO GEORGIA... AT LEAST A COUPLE OF BANDS OF SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS SHOULD DEVELOP OVER THE GULF AND MOVE NORTHEASTWARD OVER THE REGION THROUGH THE PERIOD...OFFERING A RISK OF DAMAGING GUSTS. A SLIGHT RISK OF TORNADOES ALSO EXISTS...PRIMARILY ON THE CENTRAL COASTAL PLAIN WHERE THE GREATEST POTENTIAL EXISTS FOR DISCRETE OR EMBEDDED SUPERCELLS AND QLCS MESOVORTICES TO ACCESS SURFACE PARCELS...WHILE REMAINING IN A VERY MOISTURE-RICH...LOW-LCL AND HIGH-HELICITY ENVIRONMENT NEAR THE WARM FRONT. MLCAPE 500-800 J/KG IS EXPECTED OVER INLAND AREAS ALONG AND SOUTH OF THAT FRONT AND AHEAD OF THE PRE-COLD-FRONTAL CONVECTIVE BAND. WITH THE NORTHEASTWARD EJECTION OF THE MEXICAN MIDDLE/UPPER-LEVEL CYCLONE...DEEP SHEAR IS EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN THROUGH THE EVENING HOURS OVER THAT PORTION OF THE WARM SECTOR OCCUPYING THE NORTHERN GULF AND ADJACENT COAST...ALBEIT WITH A STRONG COMPONENT OF THE MEAN-WIND AND DEEP-SHEAR VECTORS PARALLEL TO BANDS OF LOW-LEVEL CONVECTIVE FORCING. LOW-LEVEL HODOGRAPHS AND VORTICITY WILL BE MAXIMIZED ALONG AND NORTH OF THE WARM-FRONTAL ZONE. THAT WILL LEAD TO A NARROW FRONTAL CORRIDOR OF MOST FAVORABLE SHEAR/BUOYANCY JUXTAPOSITION FOR MESOCYCLONE INTENSIFICATION...BUT ALIGNED SUBSTANTIALLY ORTHOGONAL TO THE CELL-MOTION VECTOR. CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY REMAINS REGARDING THE INLAND PENETRATION OF THAT FRONTAL ZONE...GIVEN THE POTENTIAL FOR EPISODIC AREAS OF BOTH CONVECTIVE AND STRATIFORM PRECIP TO DEVELOP TO ITS NORTH AND HINDER POLEWARD PROGRESS OF THE BOUNDARY. THE MOST AGGRESSIVE SCENARIOS WITH BOTH WARM ADVECTION COMBINED WITH LEAST AGGRESSIVE ON COLD-SECTOR PRECIP WOULD EXTEND WEAKLY TO NEUTRALLY UNSTABLE NEAR-SURFACE PARCELS NORTH OF THE BOUNDARY INTO SOUTH-CENTRAL ALABAMA...WHILE THE BULK OF THE GUIDANCE REMAINS CLOSER TO THE COAST. THIS IN TURN LEADS TO UNCERTAIN INLAND EXTENT/TIMING OF SURFACE-BASED EFFECTIVE-INFLOW PARCELS OF AT LEAST NEUTRAL TO WEAK 0-1-KM INSTABILITY...ACCOUNTING FOR THE BROAD-BRUSHED SHAPE AND NORTHWARD RAMP-DOWN OF SEVERE PROBABILITIES IN THIS OUTLOOK. THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE COMMON NORTH OF THE WARM FRONT IN AN ELEVATED WARM-ADVECTION AND MOISTURE-TRANSPORT CONVEYOR. HOWEVER...THE LACK OF MORE ROBUST LAPSE RATES AND BUOYANCY...ALONG WITH THE DENSE AND MESSY CONVECTIVE MODES LIKELY IN THAT REGIME...INDICATE AGAINST A SUBSTANTIAL HAIL THREAT. SEVERE WIND BECOMES LESS PROBABLE INLAND FROM THE WARM FRONT AS WELL...AS THE BOUNDARY LAYER DEEPENS AND BECOMES MORE STABLE WITH NORTHWARD EXTENT.

 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.
 
Flooding Concerns Continue
 ...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON... .RAINFALL RATES AND INTENSITY WILL INCREASE THROUGH TODAY AS A SURFACE LOW...ALONG WITH A VIGOROUS UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE...WILL MOVE ACROSS THE REGION. WET GROUNDS ARE CURRENTLY PREVALENT OVER A MAJORITY OF THE AREA FROM RECENT HEAVY RAINS...AND AN ADDITIONAL 1 TO 2 INCHES OF RAIN ARE POSSIBLE TODAY...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. THESE RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO CAUSE FLOODING. THE RAIN WILL END FROM WEST TO EAST LATE THIS AFTERNOON INTO EVENING...ENDING THE FLASH FLOOD THREAT.
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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 from Monday to Monday of next weekend. Note that we seem to have a few shots of light precipitation across the region with perhaps a better chance of snow next 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.

 
5 Day Precipitation Outlook
 
The 5 day precipitation outlook through the end of next week suggests fairly light precipitation amounts across the Upper Midwest. The heaviest moisture looks to be found along the international border and across the Ohio Valley and parts of the Great Lakes Region. 
 
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Mild Monday. Single Digit Wind Chills Midweek

I feel like Mother Nature is a little groggy this year. She's certainly had tough time getting winter started. Sure, we've had a few bouts of snow here and there, but nothing has been sticking because it's been so warm!

The Twin Cities was officially 7 inches below normal snowfall for the month of November only tallying up 2.3 inches. We had nearly all of that with our weak storm system that moved through late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, but again most of it melted due to above freezing temps.

Temps warm to near 40 degrees across the southern half of the state on Monday ahead of our biggest cool down of the season that will settle in later this week. Single digit wind chills will have most of us reaching for extra layers Wednesday through Friday.

We sneak up close to average this weekend as another light snow chance moves through, but the long range temperature forecast keeps us below average through the middle part of the month.

No major snow storms brewing yet, but temps 'should' be cold enough to favor a white Xmas.

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Extended Weather Outlook

MONDAY: Mild. Light mix later. Winds: SSW 10-15. High: 41.

MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, slight chance of light snow. Winds: W 10. Low: 25.

TUESDAY: AM flakes, turning breezy and cooler. Winds: W 10-20. High: 29

WEDNESDAY: Brisk wind, A few flurries. Winds: WNW 10-15. Wake-up: 14. High: 19

THURSDAY: Colder. Scattered light snow showers. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 13. High: 20.

FRIDAY: Less wind. More sun, still chilly. Winds: ESE 5-10. Wake-up:10. High: 19.

SATURDAY: Increasing clouds, chance of snow. Winds: SE 5. Wake-up: 11. High: 22.

SUNDAY: Lingering light snow, more PM sun. Winds: WNW 5. Wake-up: 16. High: 20.
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This Day in Weather History
December 5th:

2001: An unseasonably warm December day occurs, with a high of 63 degrees at the Twin Cities. Summer-like thunderstorms developed and dropped quarter-sized hail at the Eyota Post Office in Olmsted County.

1979: Mild air moves in to Minnesota, with highs of 52 at St. Cloud and 54 at Browns Valley.

1928: Canby receives three inches of snow or greater for the third consecutive day.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
December 5th

Average High: 30F (Record: 63F set in 2001)
Average Low: 16F (Record: -14F set in 1873)

Record Snowfall: 7.0" set in 1909
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 5th

Sunrise: 7:35am
Sunset: 4:32pm

*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~1mins & 14sec
*Daylight Lost Since Summer Solstice: ~6hours and 38mins
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Moon Phase for December 5th at Midnight
1.1 Days Before First Quarter

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Weather Outlook Monday

High temps on Monday will be quite warm ahead of a cold front that will bring us our coldest air of the season later this week. Note that some spots in southern MN will warm to near 40F!

 
High Temperatures From Average Monday
 
Here's a look at high temperatures from average on Monday, which shows many spots across the state seeing readings nearly 10F to 15F above average! Enjoy the warmth while you can, temperatures by the end of the week will be nearly 10F to 15F below average with wind chills in the single digits! 
 

Weather Outlook Monday

Winds will be a little stronger on Monday as our next system gets closer. Note that sustained winds will be nearly 10mph to 15mph with wind gusts across southern MN reaching 20mph+.

Weather Outlook Monday

Another system moves through the region on Monday with a light rain/snow mix across central MN. The best chance of snow will be found across the northern half of the state with some minor accumulations possible there through Tuesday. 


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Simulated Radar
 
Take a look at the simulated radar from AM Monday to AM Wednesday. Note the rain/snow mix potential on Monday as our next storm system moves into the region. Lingering snow chances across the northern part of the state will allow for some minor snow accumulations there. The bigger story will be the more significant cool down that this system will be responsible for. Temps will be 10F to near 15F below average by the end of the week.
 
Simulated Radar
 
The simulated radar from Monday to Wednesday shows next chance of moisture rolling through Monday and Tuesday. It appears that we may start off as a little rain, but the colder air will pour in behind an Arctic front, which will turn any leftover moisture into snow through the rest of the week, especially across northern MN.
 
 
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Extended Weather Outlook

The temperature outlook for Minneapolis into next weekend shows some big changes coming through the weather pipeline. Note the warming taking place through Monday, but a fairly significant whack of colder air settles in by the middle and end of next week with highs dipping into the 10s and 20s. Overnight lows will also dip into 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 10th - December 14th, which shows a big chunk for colder than average temperatures settling into much of the nation. This will be one of the first big colder outbreaks of the season.... Are you ready!

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National Weather Outlook

The weather looks to be fairly active across the southeastern US as we head through the early week time frame. A large blob of Gulf of Mexico moisture will continue moving northeast with heavy rainfall and scattered storms, some possibly strong to severe through Tuesday. Meanwhile, heavier moisture in the form of coastal rain and high elevation snow will move into the Pacific Northwest.

 
5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests significant moisture across the southeastern US through the end of next week. Widespread 2" to 4"can't be ruled out. This may lead to areas of flooding near the Lower Mississippi Valley, but this additional heavy rain will be very beneficial for the drought conditions in the Southeast.

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. While heavy rainfall last week helped some, we need more, so the upcoming heavy rainfall through the first full week of December (next week) is good news!

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!

National Snowfall Outlook

Here's the potential snowfall through the the middle part of December, which shows the POTENTIAL of heavier snow developing across the northern tier of the nation over the next couple of weeks. This would be a big change from what we had during much of November as it was a generally quiet and warm month across the nation. 

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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"

"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"

"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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