Paul Douglas on Weather Logo

Blog

Paul Douglas on Weather

Super-Sized January Thaw Continues - Few Slushy Inches Tuesday Night - Coldest Inhabited Town on Earth?

4th of 5th Longest January Thaw on Record for MSP

"March-uary"?

I seriously overslept. I went to bed in mid-January - woke up in late March, complete with pond-size puddles and a few dreary piles of dirty snow. March-like mud and mush in my sloppy yard.

Most years we enjoy a January Thaw, but this one has been super-sized. We may go 11 days in a row with highs above freezing; the 4th longest stretch since 1872, according to Dr. Mark Seeley.

To say it's been an odd winter would be an understatement: we flip-flop between subzero outbreaks and freakish, midwinter rains. Where's the snow?

The next system tracks from Denver to Milwaukee, brushing us with a few inches of slushy snow late Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Freeways may stay wet and slushy, but a little ice may return later in the week as temperatures finally drop into the 20s. No bitter blasts brewing until (maybe) the second week of February.

Our weather is a 2 on the Whine-O-Meter. Killer tornadoes hit the south over the weekend; a parade of massive storms pummeling California with flooding and mudslides. We have precious little to complain about.

It looks like Seattle outside my window. Yes, January has mellowed - but don't let your guard down just yet.


Super-Sized January Thaw. Here's more perspective on this current of temperatures above 32F, courtesy of Dr. Mark Seeley and Minnesota WeatherTalk: "...The proverbial "January Thaw" (two or more consecutive days with daily high temperatures greater than freezing) for the Twin Cities has historically about an 80 percent probability of occurrence (about a 91 percent probability since 1980 with a pronounced urban heat island effect). This January it is happening to us with an exclamation mark! We may have up to 10 consecutive days with daily high temperatures above freezing if the forecast through January 26th verifies. In this context it would be the 5th longest such streak in the Twin Cities climate records surpassed only by 18 days in January 1944, 15 days in January 1942, 13 days in January 1919, and 11 days in January 1880 and 1909. (thanks to NOAA's Michelle Margraf and DNR-SCO's Pete Boulay for pointing this out). Over 50 Minnesota climate stations have already reported daytime highs in the 40s F this week, including 48°F at both Grand Rapids and Forest Lake on the 18th..."


Rainy Nor'easter - More Storms for California. The 84-hour 12 KM NAM shows the southeast drying out, after a weekend of severe storms and large, April-like tornadoes. A powerful storm pushes up the east coast with a cold rain for major cities from Washington D.C. to New York and Boston; ice and heavy wet snow well inland. Meanwhile California sees more rain (not as heavy or violent as Sunday's storm) and a storm tracking from near Denver to Milwaukee will push a few inches of wet, slushy snow across the Midwest and Upper Mississippi Valley Tuesday into Wednesday. Loop: Tropicaltidbits.com.


84-Hour Snowfall Potential. It's a model, not reality, but looking at NOAA's NAM guidance from the 00z run you get a pretty good idea who may see plowable amounts of snow into Thursday morning: Poconos into much of interior New England - South Dakota into central and southern Minnesota and Wisconsin and the heavy snow continues to pile up across the Rockies. What a winter for skiers out west, about as good as it gets.


Twin Cities Snowfall: Potentially Plowable. Models print out 2-4" of snow from late Tuesday into Wednesday afternoon; most freeways will stay wet and slushy with temperatures at or just above 32F, but a few inches may accumulate on side streets and driveways by Wednesday morning. Screen shot: Aeris Weather Pulse app.


Above Average Into Early February. The 15-Day numbers from the ECMWF (European) show temperatures in the Twin Cities consistently above average into the first week of February. Source: WeatherBell.


Brief Cold Correction Middle of Next Week? NOAA models, specifically the GFS model ensembles, show single digit wake-up temperatures a week from Wednesday, followed by a fairly speedy recovery. With a higher sun angle in February it gets increasingly difficult for (sustained) subzero days and nights. Not impossible, but the negative numbers usually don't last as long as they do in January. Graphic: Aeris Enterprise.

Premature to Retire the Parkas. Long-range GFS guidance pulls another subzero lobe of air across the Upper Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes after February 6; maybe a few days of minor pain before a milder Pacific flow resumes. 


February? Flip a Coin. NOAA's long-range CFSv2 (Climate Forecast System) continues to flip-flop between warm and cold solutions, so confidence levels are exceedingly low, but the latest model runs hint at a warm/east and cold/west solution. 10-15F warmer than average for the Mid Atlantic next month? I have my doubts - we'll see. February temperature anomalies: WeatherBell.


Putting High Risk Severe Outbreaks Into Perspective. An average of 51 to 62 tornadoes? I learned something at ustornadoes.com; Ian Livingston takes a look at the average number of tornadoes during high-risk severe days since 2000, as defined by NOAA SPC: "Looking at the averages from these events, the numbers are fairly stark. Since any small sample that includes April 27, 2011 is going to be skewed more than normal, I’ll share the figures with and without it included (these are 15 and 14 event averages respectively):

  • With 4/27/2011: Average high risk has 62 tornadoes, 16 of which are strong (EF2+), and two are violent (EF4-5). Four killer tornadoes occur on average, causing 31 deaths. The deadliest averages 10 killed. The longest track tornado averages 58.0 miles.
  • Without 4/27/2011: Average high risk has 51 tornadoes, 13 of which are strong, and one is violent. Two killer tornadoes occur on average, causing 11 deaths. The deadliest averages six killed. The longest track tornado averages 52.7 miles..."

More April than January. The forecast of a major tornado outbreak for the southeast on Sunday verified. There was plenty of advance warning from NOAA, trusted sources on social media and both local and national media. Here's an excerpt of a corporate briefing we sent to our clients yesterday morning:


AerisWeather Briefing: Issued Sunday, January 22nd, 2017:

  • A significant tornado outbreak, with multiple strong, long-tracked tornadoes is likely across northern Florida and southern Georgia today.
  • A HIGH RISK of severe weather is in place for parts of Alabama, Georgia and Florida due to this threat. The cities at highest threat include Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Gainesville (FL) as well as Savannah and Albany (GA).
  • However, the threat for tornadoes, hail and wind extend from southern Alabama into the Carolinas and across the entire Florida panhandle into the evening hours.

Significant Severe Weather Event. For only the 19th time since 2010, and the first time since June of 2014, the Storm Prediction Center has issued a HIGH RISK of severe weather for today. The threat exists across portions of extreme southeast Alabama, southern Georgia and northern Florida. This is out mainly for the threat of numerous tornadoes as we head through the day today, some of which could be strong and long-tracked. The area where the highest risk of severe weather is expected today includes Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Gainesville (FL) as well as Savannah and Albany (GA). However, significant severe weather, including tornadoes, wind and hail are possible throughout the Florida panhandle and into the Carolinas into the evening hours as well.


Tornado Threat. It is not often that there is a 30% probability of tornadoes in a 25 mile radius of a point in the tornado threat map. This is indicative of an environment ripe for multiple tornadoes as we head through the day today, even with tornado warnings in place this morning across parts of the region. The black hatched marks indicate the greatest potential of strong (EF-2 strength or higher), long-tracked tornadoes as we go through the day today and even into the evening that could cause significant damage across the region.


Tornado Potential. Our Tornado Potential Index continues to show a heightened risk of tornadoes starting this morning across parts of the Gulf Coast, moving into southern Georgia and northern Florida into the afternoon. This threat continues into the Carolinas and across parts of the Florida peninsula into the evening. This shows that conditions will be more than favorable for rotating, tornado-producing storms.

Map credit: AerisWeather.


Timing The Storms. Besides ongoing strong to severe weather this morning across parts of Georgia, another round of storms has started up this morning across portions of Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. These storms will move across the severe weather threatened areas as we head through the day today. These storms will have the potential for strong, long-tracked tornadoes as well as damaging winds and hail. The threat for tornadoes will continue into the evening hours across the Carolinas, with the threat of overnight tornadoes. At the same time this evening/overnight, a line of storms will be moving across the Florida Peninsula, capable of damaging winds and a few tornadoes. Timeline: AerisWeather.

The other big weather story: More heavy rains pushing into California:


Flooding California Rains. The flood threat continues across California as we head through the day today and into the early week, as round three of precipitation hits the west coast. Another 1-4" of rain for areas like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego will result in urban flooding and potentially significant stream and river flooding over the next couple days.


Flash Flood Watches. Due to the heavy rain threat on top of already saturated soil, numerous flash flood watches are in effect into the early week across portions of the Southwest. Map: AerisWeather.

Summary. Significant severe weather - especially strong, long-tracked tornadoes - is expected today across portions of the Southeast, including Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Gainesville (FL) as well as Savannah and Albany (GA). This is where an uncommon HIGH RISK of severe weather is in place. Stay alert for potentially life-threatening conditions throughout the day today, and be ready to take action. Out west, heavy rain continues across California today, and another 1-4"+ of rain will continue to lead to flood issues into the early week.

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, AerisWeather



Even Alaskans Are Complaining About the Cold. Here's an excerpt from USA TODAY: "...It's just miserable," Erickson added. "I hate everybody who lives in a warm place." Fairbanks dropped to 50 below zero for the first time in five years Wednesday, Anchorage climatologist Brian Brettschnider said, triggering spooky ice fog across the city. Ice fog occurs when tiny ice particles are suspended in the air when temperatures fall lower than about 22 degrees below zero. It was so cold that schoolkids in Fairbanks this week were forced indoors for recess, he said. When the temperature is colder than 20 degrees below zero in Fairbanks, outdoor recess is canceled, according to the local school district..."


Oymyakon: Coldest Inhabited Town On Earth? I think Oymyakdon is Russian for "Oh my God..." Atlas Obscura has a post that will make you feel a little better about the winter you're experiencing; here's an excerpt: "...With a day that varies from 3 hours in the winter to 21 hours in the summer and permanently frozen ground due to the extreme subarctic climate, the roughly 500 residents of Oymyakon are mostly unable to grow crops, therefore their diet basically consists of reindeer and horse meat. While spoiled kids to the south get out of school for snow days, the children of Oymyakon are stuck in class unless the temperature falls below –52C. If you were to go outside naked on an average day, it would take approximately one minute for you to freeze to death. Besides the obvious issues of remoteness, the cold itself forces this village to be a simple place with few conveniences. Cars are hard to start with frozen axle grease and fuel tanks, unused pipes can freeze within 5 hours, batteries lose life at an alarming speed. Pen ink freezes, anything less than fur fails at keeping the chill off, and electronics are all but useless..."


GOES 16: True Color Makes a Comeback. Seeing Earth as it really appears? Sounds like a good idea to me - very much looking forward to the new data coming from GOES-R, now known as GOES 16. Here's an excerpt from SSEC at the University of Wisconsin-Madison: "...A familiar yet often overlooked channel, visible light, has made its comeback as part of GOES-16’s Earth-focused instrument, the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI). Visible light comprises the range of wavelengths that can be seen with the naked eye. A true color image of Earth, which uses that visible light, depicts features like blue oceans, white clouds, and green vegetation, similar to a film camera. “It’s great to see true color come back into the mix,” says Tim Schmit, NOAA satellite research scientist working with researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS). “Not only does it help round out the toolkit available on the ABI, but the true color images have long had an impact on how we see our Earth and its weather,” adds Schmit..."

Image credit: "A true color image of 2016 Hurricane Matthew making landfall over the U.S. eastern coast. True color imagers have historically been a part of many polar-orbiting satellites, unlike their geostationary cousins." Image credit: SSEC.


Click here for some of the first test imagery from GOES-16 today, courtesy of NOAA NESDIS.


Solar Employs More Workers Than Coal, Natural Gas and Oil Combined. Here's a clip from EcoWatch: "U.S. solar employs more workers than any other energy industry, including coal, oil and natural gas combined, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's second annual U.S. Energy and Employment Report. 6.4 million Americans now work in the traditional energy and the energy efficiency sector, which added more than 300,000 net new jobs in 2016, or 14 percent of the nation's job growth..."

Photo credit: Walmart, Flickr.


Airbus CEO Sees "Flying Car" Prototype By The End of Year. Reuters has the story: "Airbus Group plans to test a prototype for a self-piloted flying car as a way of avoiding gridlock on city roads by the end of the year, the aerospace group's chief executive said on Monday. Airbus last year formed a division called Urban Air Mobility that is exploring concepts such as a vehicle to transport individuals or a helicopter-style vehicle that can carry multiple riders. The aim would be for people to book the vehicle using an app, similar to car-sharing schemes.  "One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground," Airbus CEO Tom Enders told the DLD digital tech conference in Munich, adding he hoped the Airbus could fly a demonstration vehicle for single-person transport by the end of the year..."

Photo credit: Slate, which is skeptical about the whole flying car thing.


Medium, And The Reason You Can't Stand the News Anymore. Turns out the Internet has been anything but a unifying force, for our nation or those engaged in explaining the news of the day, and yet we all seem to live in our curated, "safe" information bubbles every day. Here's an excerpt of a thoughtful piece at Medium: "...Companies from Medium to The Washington Post to Mashable to Buzzfeed all eventually run into the same unthinkable truth: The methods used to fund modern journalism simultaneously undermine trust in the news outlets. Editors, writers, and executives at today’s news outlets are all in a no-win situation where they are forced to contribute to the causes of their own demise to survive. In any other business, companies would try, fail, and another would take its place. This is good and needed. But for news, the failures are happening at a glacial pace and bad actors are profiting as the trustworthiness of our news outlets are breaking down in slow motion. The result is the worst kind of feedback loop, where well-meaning people try to “fix” the news. But instead, those methods erode trust in all news outlets leading to a total breakdown in discourse..."


Journalism That Stands Apart. Here's a Report of the 2020 Group at The New York Times.


The Highest Places in America. Just in case you were wondering Atlas Obscura has details: "...Each of the 50 states, as well as D.C., has its own such geographic marker, sought out by a particular niche of explorers known as highpointers, which Atlas Obscura writer Thomas Harper described in his account of this elevated subculture.  Scaling each of the state high points means spanning the whole spectrum of the country’s diverse landscape. These markers can be found in deserts and dense forests, from the remote wilderness to urban areas and everything in between. Here are 51 places to get high in the United States..."


+ 1.5 F. Metro temperatures in January are running 1.5 F. above average, to date.

40 F. high in the Twin Cities Sunday, average for March 13.

24 F. average high on January 22.

25 F. high on January 22, 2016.

January 23, 1963: A record low of -31 is set at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.




TODAY: Clouds and fog, 9th consecutive day of the January Thaw. Winds: W 5-10. High: 37

MONDAY NIGHT: Damp and overcast. Low: 30

TUESDAY: Wet snow develops, possibly mixed with rain. Heavier snow Tuesday night. Winds: E 8-13. High: 37

WEDNESDAY: Total of 2-4" of slushy snow? Wet snow tapers to flurries. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 31. High: 34

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, cooler breeze. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 25. High: 30

FRIDAY: More clouds than sun, pretty quiet. Winds: W 10-15. Wake-up: 19. High: 29

SATURDAY: Peeks of sun, still above average. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 18. High: 31

SUNDAY: More sun, turning milder again. Winds: W 7-12. Wake-up: 19. High: 34


Climate Stories...

Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year. Just in case you missed Justin Gillis's report at the New York Times: "...In 2015 and 2016, the planetary warming was intensified by the weather pattern known as El Niño, in which the Pacific Ocean released a huge burst of energy and water vapor into the atmosphere. But the bigger factor in setting the records was the long-term trend of rising temperatures, which scientists say is being driven by increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. “A single warm year is something of a curiosity,” said Deke Arndt, chief of global climate monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It’s really the trend, and the fact that we’re punching at the ceiling every year now, that is the real indicator that we’re undergoing big changes...”

Photo credit: "Ice in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea region. “What’s going on in the Arctic is really very impressive; this year was ridiculously off the chart,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies." Credit: Esther Horvath.




Fearing White House Purse of Climate Science, Scientists Frantically Copying Data. Here's an excerpt from a story at Forbes: "...After the election in November, a bipartisan group of defense experts and former military leaders urged the President-Elect, through the Trump Transition Team, to consider climate change as a grave threat to our national security. In 2014, the Military Advisory Board came out with a report, called National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change, that discusses what the military sees as the threats of climate change and the actions to be taken to mitigate them: “The potential security ramifications of global climate change should be serving as catalysts for cooperation and change. Instead, climate change impacts are already accelerating instability in vulnerable areas of the world and are serving as catalysts for conflict...”

Photo credit: "A U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea. The U.S. military is worried that climate change is a significant threat multiplier for future conflicts. And the Navy may bear the brunt of these effects. Unfortunately, the new Administration is purging this type of thinking from all branches of government, including our military." Source: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David Mercil/Released.


Rare HIGH Severe Risk in the Southeast Today. Wet Snow For Us By Tuesday

RARE - HIGH Severe Risk in the Southeast Today With Strong & Long-Lived Tornadoes

According to NOAA's Storm Precipitation Center, there is a HIGH RISK of severe weather today across northern Florida and southern Georgia for the potential of scattered large hail events, scattered damaging wind and numerous tornadoes, several could be intense and long tracked. Note that HIGH RISK issuance is quite rare; this is only the19th high risk issued from SPC since 2010, and the first one since June of 2014. There were no high risk days in 2015 or 2016!! This is a VERY serious situation and should be taken seriously today.

Here's an excerpt from NOAA's SPC regarding Sunday's severe weather threat:
"A severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreak is expected today across north Florida and south Georgia, with the significant severe threat also expected to extend southward into central Florida and northeastward into South Carolina this evening. A few long-track, strong tornadoes will be possible."

Tornado Threat

Here is the "Tornado Threat" today, which shows a 30% "hatched" area, where the HIGH RISK has been issued. According to NOAA's SPC it means that: 

There is a 30% probability of a tornado within 25 miles of a point and within the hatched area, there is a 10% or greater probability of EF2 - EF5 tornadoes within 25 miles of a point.

TOP Index (Tornado Potential)

Here's is the Tornado Potential Index (a product form AerisWeather), which shows HIGH to EXTREME tornado potential into the afternoon hours from eastern Alabama into Georgia. Note that by the evening. the lessens a little, but still looks to be in the MODERATE to HIGH across northern Florida, eastern Georgia and into the Carolinas.

Simulated Radar Sunday

Here's the simulated radar from Sunday to early AM Monday, which shows a very strong line of thunderstorms developing mid/late morning across parts of the Florida Pandhandle and Alabama and moving across Georia, Florida and even into the Carolinas throught the rest of the day. Today will be a very active day with widespread severe weather concerns and heavy rainfall potential.

Heavy Rain Continues...

Scattered showers and storms will continue across the Southeastern U.S. through the early next week, which will help to bring widespread 2" to 3"+ rainfall tallies to the region, including the threat of flooding.
 

_____________________________________________________________________________
 
Devastating Storms in the South

It has been a very active weekend thus far in the Deep South. Take a look at some of the tornado damage across parts of Mississippi. While there have been nearly 2 to 3 dozen tornadoes alredy, one in particular injured 4 in Toxey, AL.

 
Severe Storm Reports This Weekend

Here's a look at all the storm reports through AM Sunday, which suggested widespread hail, damaging wind and even tornado reports from near Houston, TX to Georgia and southern South Carolina. Note that since Friday, there have been nearly 3 dozen tornado reports!

2017 Tornado Count

According to NOAA's SPC, there have been 79 PRELIMINARY tornado reports so far this year (through January 21st). Note that this is more than the short-term (2005-2015) average of 34 through January 21st.


_________________________________________________________________________

Mild, Damp & Cloudy Weekend...

Did you know that January is typically our snowiest month of the year? Interestingly, the Twin Cities sees a little more than 1ft. of snow during the month, while December is our 2nd snowiest month which comes in just shy of 1ft.. With that said, the Twin Cities has seen 5.6" of snow, which is nearly 3" below average thus far. We are also running nearly 7" below average snowfall for the season. 

"January Thaw"

As we continue to head through the 2nd half of January, mild temperatures continue as well. MN State Climatologist Mark Seeley talks about how the probability of temperatures warming above the freezing mark in January.

"The proverbial "January Thaw" (two or more consecutive days with daily high temperatures greater than freezing) for the Twin Cities has historically about an 80 percent probability of occurrence (about a 91 percent probability since 1980 with a pronounced urban heat island effect). This January it is happening to us with an exclamation mark! We may have up to 10 consecutive days with daily high temperatures above freezing if the forecast through January 26th verifies. In this context it would be the 5th longest such streak in the Twin Cities climate records surpassed only by 18 days in January 1944, 15 days in January 1942, 13 days in January 1919, and 11 days in January 1880 and 1909. (thanks to NOAA's Michelle Margraf and DNR-SCO's Pete Boulay for pointing this out)."

See more from Mark Seeley's Weather Talk HERE:

Increasing Snow Chance Tuesday & Wednesday

A storm system looks to develop early next week with the potential of widespread wet snowfall accumulations. This one will be one to watch as some models suggest a plowable event with travel impacts likely Tuesday - Wednesday. At this point, the heaviest looks to fall across southern MN and near the MN/IA border. Stay tuned for more...

Precipitation Potential

Here's the precipitation potential through the end of the week, which shows a fairly impressive precipitation swath across southern MN as the Tuesday - Wednesday storm system moves through. With that said, it appears that the best potential for slushy snow accumulations will be in southern MN, especially closer to the MN/IA border.

______________________________________________________________________________

Damp weekend continues. Wet snow by Tuesday

We're stuck in a soggy rut and we can't seem to get out. Thanks to March-like temperatures, scattered rare January rain showers have helped to keep the snow melt on. The result is fog and low clouds mixed with drizzle... Ugh, I feel like a wet dog.

Speaking of wet, the West Coast continues to get slammed with Pacific Moisture. The third and final storm blasts through the region today and tapers tomorrow. Widespread heavy rain, flooding and mountain snow will create travel issues through the early week time frame. Interestingly, the snow water equivalent in the Sierra Nevada Range is already running 150 percent of average!

This next Pacific storm heads our way Tuesday with wet slushy snow accumulations lingering through Wednesday. Daytime highs will cool to below the freezing mark for the first time in more than a week.

According to MN State Climatologist, Mark Seeley, this will be the 5th longest streak with highs in the metro warming above the freezing mark in January. Unreal. I feel like I'm in a Twilight Zone episode.

___________________________________________________________________________

Extended Forecast:

SUNDAY: Cloudy with stray sprinkles. Winds: NW 5. High: 38.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Cloudy with patchy fog. Winds: WNW 5. Low: 31.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy and mild. Winds: W 5. High: 40.

TUESDAY: Rain/snow mix. All snow at night. Winds: NNE 5-15. Wake-up: 30. High: 37.

WEDNESDAY: Breezy. Light snow conitnues. Turning colder. Winds: NNW 10-20. Wake-up: 30. High: 34.

THURSDAY: Brisk wind with scattered flurries. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 25. High: 29.

FRIDAY: Stray flurry early. Peeks of sun late. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 20. High: 28.

SATURDAY:  Partly sunny. Still warm for January. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 19. High: 30
_______________________________________________________________________________

This Day in Weather History
January 22nd

1996: A brief cold air funnel touchdown results in roof damage in Washington County.

1936: Summer-like heat continues with 101 at Ada, Beardsley and Moorhead.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
January 22nd

Average High: 24F (Record: 51F set in 1942)
Average: Low: 7F (Record: -34F set in 1936)

*Record Snowfall: 17.2" set in 1982
_______________________________________________________________________________

Sunrise Sunset Times For Minneapolis
January 22nd

Sunrise: 7:42am
Sunset: 5:08pm

*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~2 minutes & 10 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~39 minutes

________________________________________________________________________________

Moon Phase for January 22nd at Midnight
3.4 Days After Last Quarter

________________________________________________________________________________

Weather Outlook For Sunday

Sunday will be another very mild day with highs warming into the upper 30s to near 40F. Note that this will still be nearly 15F to 20F years. 

Weather Outlook For Sunday

Winds will start to turn out of the northwest on Sunday, but temperatures will still be nearly the same. Winds don't appear to really pick up in intensity until midweek.

 
Weather Outlook For Sunday

Weather conditions on Sunday call for more widely scattered damp conditions. Areas of fog and drizzle will be possible throughout the day Sunday.

 
 
Extended Temperature Outlook for Minneapolis

Here's the temperature outlook through January 31st, which shows a VERY mild trend continuing through early next week with highs in the 30s and 40s! With several days above freezing, our snow pack will continue to take a big hit... fog concerns will also be an issue with melting snow and added moisture in the lower levels of the atmosphere. By the end of the end of next week and weekend ahead, temperatures get a little closer to average, but look to warm to above levels once again at the end of the month.


___________________________________________________________________________________

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests warmer than average temperatures continuing across much of the Upper Midwest from January 31st to February 4th. There may be a slight cool down late next week, but the overall trend remains warmer than average into early February


_________________________________________________________________________________

Temperature Outlook

Here's the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook, which takes us into early February. Note that much of the Central U.S. will once again be above average in the tempreature department with colder than average temps continuing in the Western U.S.

National Temp Outlook

Take a look at the temperature anomaly through Friday, January 27th. Note that the Eastern half of the country looks to stay warmer than average through much of that time period, but colder than average temps begin moving into the Western & Central U.S. by the middle/end of next week.  

 ________________________________________________________________________________
 
Febuary - March - April Outlook
 
NOAA's CPC released their February - March - April outlook, which shows that much of the Southern U.S. and parts of Alaska will be warmer than average, while the northern tier of the nation will be colder than average. The precipitation outlook suggests wetter than average conditions will be found across the northern tier of the nation, while drier than average weather will be found across parts of the Southern U.S..
 

_____________________________________________________________________________

Snow in the Sierra

Snowfall has been most impressive across parts of the Western U.S. with some spots seeing feet of snow over the last several weeks. Take a look at this picture from Yosemite National Park where nearly 2ft of snow has fallen in the past week. Here's an excerpt from Yosemite Conservancy, which says that the Central Sierra snow water equivalent is at 150% of normal for this time of year.

"The latest update from Yosemite's winter rangers! More than 2 feet of snow fell in the high country over the past week. As of yesterday, Central Sierra snow water equivalent is at 150% of normal for this time of year (for the latest snowpack info, check out the CA Data Exchange Center: cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/current/snow/)."

Tuolumne Meadows Ski Hut - January 12, 2017.

Radar Estimated Precipitation Past 30 Days

Take a look at how impressive the 30 day precipitation tallies are across the West Coast. Note the purple colors that indicate 12" of liquid! Some spots have quite a bit more than that and there's more precipitation on the way!

Improving California Drought

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the California drought continues to improve. Note that from last week to this week, there was more improvement in the Extreme and Severe drought. WIth the additional moisture late last week and through the next several days, we should continue to see even more improvement!

Atmospheric Rivers Continue...

The last several days have featured multiple rounds of heavy moisture across the Western U.S. thanks to rivers of moisture from the Pacific. The last river of moisture pushes through the region late weekend and into early next week with widespread heavy rainfall and heavy mountain snow. 

Last Wave of Pacific Moisture

Several rounds of heavy precipitation have blasted the West Coast and we're not quite done yet. Another surge of heavy precipitation will push through the region through the rest of the weekend and into early next week with significant rainfall, flooding and heavy mountain snow. 

 
Western Winter Weather Concerns

A number of winter weather headlines continue across the Western U.S. over the next few days with 1ft. to 2ft. possible in some of the most extreme cases. Also note that the mountains near Los Angeles and Arizona are under winter storm warnings, where up to 1ft of snowfall will be possible through the weekend.

Snowfall Potential

Here's the snowfall potential through early next week, which shows widespread heavy mountain snow. Another 1ft to 2ft.+ can't be ruled out across the Sierra Nevada Range, while heavy snow may also be possible in the mountains across southern California and into Arizona.

 
National Weather Outlook

Here's the national weather outlook through early next week, which shows scattered storms and locally heavy rainfall continuing and redeveloping across the Southeastern U.S.. Note that some of the storms late weekend could still be severe. The Western U.S. will also be inundated with widespread heavy precipitation through the early week time frame. Heavy rain, flooding and heavy mountain snow will be possible as the last round of Pacific moisture "Atmospheric River" moves through late weekend and early next week.

 
 
 
5 Day Precipitation Forecast

According to NOAA's PC, the 5 day precipitation forecast suggests widespread 2" to 4"+ rainfall amounts across the Eastern U.S.. Also note the heavy moisture continuing in the West U.S., especially along the coast of California and the Sierra Nevada Range. This will be great news for more drought denting, but in other cases, this moisture will cause more flood issues!


_________________________________________________________________________________

"All References to Climate Change Have Been Deleted From the White House Website"

"At 11:59 am eastern, the official White House website had a lengthy information page about the threat of climate change and the steps the federal government had taken to fight it. At noon, at the instant Donald Trump took office, the page was gone, as well as any mention of climate change or global warming. It’s customary for www.whitehouse.gov to flip over to the new administration exactly at noon, but the only mention of climate on President Trump’s new website is under his “America First Energy Plan” page, in which he vows to destroy President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which is a government-wide plan to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. To reiterate: It is normal that the site is completely new; it is notable that climate change is not mentioned on any one of Trump's new pages."

See more from Motherboard HERE:


_____________________________________________________________________________

"Climate change threatens Great Lakes forest health, researchers say"

"LANSING — Great Lakes forests will get warmer and suffer more frequent short-term droughts, scientists say. “We know climate change is going to really stress these systems in ways they haven’t been stressed in the last several thousand years,” said Stephen Handler, a Houghton-based climate change specialist with the U.S. Forest Service. How trees will respond to such different growing conditions is unknown. But experts say they can’t wait to find out. “You don’t wait until the car has already gone over the cliff,” Handler said. “You hit the brakes when you can. You steer and find a better way around the cliff.” Handler is among the researchers who are taking the wheel. They’re already figuring out what forest managers can do to mitigate potentially devastating impacts."

See more from MSU.edu HERE:

(Image courtesty: NOAA)


__________________________________________________________________________________

"It's not in your head: The weather is weirder, and climate change is the reason why"

"Extreme flooding events are becoming more common in the United States. If it seems like you’re reading about devastating floods, droughts, and storms way more often than you used to, it’s because these extreme events are actually happening more frequently. But this should come as no surprise. Climate scientists predicted that this would happen as more greenhouse gases accumulated in Earth’s atmosphere. Certain extreme weather events have long been anticipated, just like the pronounced warming in the Arctic."

See more from MSN HERE:

(Image Credit: NOAA)

"NPS May Send Pack Of Wolves To Isle Royale"

:Down to just two wolves in the past five years, a new plan hopes to revitalize the presence of alpha carnivores in the dynamic island habitat off the northern coast of Minnesota.A National Park Service plan hopes to introduce up to 30 wolves to Isle Royale in Lake Superior. The topic is open for public comment until March 15."

See more from Gear Junkie HERE:

(Image Credit: GearJunkie via Flikr/Barnaby_S)

"NOAA and the new administration: Will Trump make America’s weather model great again?"

America’s primary computer model for predicting the weather is not as accurate as the Europeans’. Many meteorologists and lawmakers lament that the United States has fallen behind Europe in global weather modeling. Could the incoming Trump administration, which has placed a real emphasis on U.S. competitiveness, try to put the United States back on top in the world of weather modeling? What might be some of President-elect Donald Trump’s other key priorities within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?

See more from Capital Weather Gang HERE:

{GFS model simulation of Superstorm Sandy in 2012. (WeatherBell.com)}

_____________________________________________________________________
 
"Climate Change May Reduce Some U.S. Grain Harvests by Half"
 
*Scientists developed computer model to show effect on crops
*Corn, soybean yields may lose 40%-50% by end of the century

Some of the most important U.S. crops, from wheat to soybeans, are at risk of substantial damage from climate change. Higher temperatures may cut the wheat harvest by 20 percent by the end of the century without efficient carbon reductions, according to a study by researchers including the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the University of Chicago. Yield reduction could reach 40 percent for soybeans and almost 50 percent for corn, relative to non-elevated temperatures, the group said in a report released Thursday. "The effects go far beyond the U.S., one of the largest crop exporters," the researchers said. "World market crop prices might increase, which is an issue for food security in poor countries."

See more from Bloomberg HERE:

(Image credit: Bloomberg)

___________________________________________________________________________________

"Avalanches are becoming more common, thanks to climate change, researchers say"

"An avalanche buried an Italian resort on Wednesday, leaving at least 30 people trapped inside and scores likely dead. Officials link the immediate cause to earthquakes in central Italy. But scientists say there's another reason that snow slides are becoming more common: climate change. Avalanches are caused by a combination of geological factors (like the incline of a mountain or natural events like earthquakes), weather and the structure of the snow. Warmer weather can weaken a mountain's snow pack and make it more difficult for the layers of snow to stick together. Mix in another element, like particularly gusty wind or trembling earth, and you've got a mountain primed for avalanche."

See more from WashingtonPost HERE:

{A hotel in central Italy was hit by an avalanche, leaving 30 people likely buried under the snow. (Reuters)}

_______________________________________________________________________________

"The huge crack in this Antarctic ice shelf just grew by another 6 miles"

"A crack more than 100 miles long in one of Antarctica’s largest ice shelves grew another 6 miles in a little more than two weeks this month, British scientists reported Thursday. That’s on top of an 11-mile growth that occurred in the second two weeks of December — representing a 17-mile total advance in not much more than a month. The extension of the rift in the Larsen C ice shelf ran roughly parallel to the ocean-terminating front of the floating ice shelf, and so, did not bring it any closer to breaking off a large piece — 12 miles of ice still connect the emerging ice island to the larger shelf. But the parallel growth may ensure that the iceberg, when it does break off, will be somewhat larger."

See more from WashingtonPost HERE:

{A Nov. 10 photo made available by NASA shows a view of a massive rift in the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf, Antarctica. (John Sonntag/NASA via European Pressphoto Agency)}

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