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Clipper Brings 1-2" Of Snow - Colder (Again) By Tuesday

The Domebuster Snow: 7 Years Later

Sunday and Monday marks the fifth largest snowstorm in Twin Cities history, when 17.1" of snow fell at the Twin Cities airport in 2010. You may remember this system as the one that busted the Metrodome roof.

Here's a look at the snowfall map from that system. Over the two days, the largest snow total came from the Winona Dam, where 23" of snow fell. Again, 17.1" of snow fell at the MSP Airport (which was closed for four hours), with 16.3" of that falling on the 11th, marking a new record for the day. You can read more about the storm from the Minnesota State Climatology Department and the Twin Cities National Weather Service.

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Buffalo Snow Bowl

Lake effect snow made Sunday's football game between Indianapolis and Buffalo a literal snow bowl! Visibility was low and the teams (for the most part) relied on the running game.

There was even some thundersnow on the eastern end of Lake Erie with the lake effect snow, as shown by lightning strikes in the area.

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Temperatures At or Above Average This Week
By Paul Douglas

Pick your poison. I guess that applies to weather, too. Although Hawaii comes close, there is no such thing as "perfect weather", anywhere on the planet.

Exhibit A: 2017. A parade of hurricanes from Harvey to Maria may have cost the U.S. $250-400 billion in damage. The New York Times reports the real death toll from Maria in Puerto Rico is over 1,000.

And this is shaping up to be the worst fire season on record for California, where blazes are burning longer and larger. I can't think of anything more terrifying than being chased by a 100-foot wall of flames advancing at 40 mph. Climate change is a factor, but more Americans are living in dangerous places: in the woods or near the water, increasing the risk. Suddenly our cold fronts don't look quite so bad.

Today's Alberta Clipper drops an ill-timed inch or two of slushy snow; roads will be greasy. More clippers whip up flurries Wednesday, Saturday and next Monday, but no big, beefy storms are brewing from now into Christmas.

We'll see a few 30s this week, but next week looks colder again. Our no-drama-December limps on.

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Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: 1-2" snow, gusty winds. High 34. Low 14. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind NW 15-30 mph.
TUESDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. High 25. Low 19. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 5-10 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Weak clipper, few flakes? High 31. Low 20. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind NW 10-15 mph.
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy with a few flurries. High 28. Low 25. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.
FRIDAY: Stubborn smear of clouds, milder. High 34. Low 27. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SW 10-15 mph.
SATURDAY: Next clipper, dusting of flurries. High 33. Low 23. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind NW
10-15 mph.
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy, average for December. High 29. Low 26. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
December 11th

2010: A blizzard hits much of southern Minnesota. Minneapolis saw a December record 16.3 inches of snow in one calendar day and much of the metro area saw between 15 and 20 inches of snow.

1983: Nine cars fall through the ice at the same time on Buffalo Lake in central Minnesota. There was only 5 to 6 inches of ice on the lake.

1979: The temperature drops in Roseville from 48 degrees at 2 pm to zero by dawn of the following day.

1916: Montevideo has its fifty-second consecutive day with no precipitation.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
December 11th

Average High: 28F (Record: 56F set in 1913)
Average Low: 14F (Record: -14F set in 1972)
Average Precipitation: 0.04" (Record: 1.16" set in 2010)
Average Snow: 0.4" (Record: 16.3" set in 2010)

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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 11th

Sunrise: 7:41 AM
Sunset: 4:31 PM

*Length Of Day: 8 hours, 50 minutes and 9 seconds
*Daylight Lost Since Yesterday: ~0 minutes and 49 seconds

*Latest Sunrise: December 30th-January 5th (7:51 AM)
*Earliest Sunset: December 5th-13th (4:31 PM)

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Minnesota Weather Outlook

An Arctic front will move through the region Monday, but we should still see temperatures right around to just above freezing across southern Minnesota. Snow showers will be possible with the clipper moving though Sunday Night into early Monday.

Highs will be between about 5-10 degrees above average across the southern half of Minnesota Monday, with values a lot closer to average across northern parts of the state.

Winds will be strong throughout the second half of the day across southern Minnesota, especially after the cold front works through the state. We could see wind gusts over 30 mph from the northwest here in the Twin Cities during the afternoon hours.

With cold air sinking in, and some strong winds at times, we will see wind chills below zero across the northern two-thirds of Minnesota Monday night and to wake up Tuesday morning.

We’ll see considerably colder temperatures behind the Arctic front Tuesday, with highs barely making it into the 20s across parts of southern Minnesota. Many areas of northern Minnesota won't make it out of the teens, and will only be in the middle single digits for Grand Marais.

You can see that dip in the temperatures for Tuesday behind the front, but we do see them rebounding by Wednesday. We could see highs back in the 30s by the weekend and into early next week.

The clipper that moves through the state Sunday night into Monday will bring the potential of 1-2" for many areas, especially from around I-94 north and east.

No big snowfall events continue to be in the forecast over the next couple weeks in the Twin Cities. After our inch to two of snow to start Monday off, a few snow showers or flurries will be possible Wednesday through Friday, with not much accumulation expected. Long range shows another snow chance next weekend and toward the middle of next week - but again, they don't look to be massive snow producers. Will we have a white Christmas? We shall see.

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National Weather Stories

A clipper system will bring snow to parts of the upper Midwest and Great Lakes. Otherwise, most of the rest of the country is expected to be quiet as we head through Monday.

Many areas from the Mississippi River westward will see above average temperatures Monday (expect for the Intermountain West). The east coast will see below average temperatures.

The heaviest precipitation over the next five days will be along the eastern Great Lakes due to lake effect snow. A few clippers/light snow events will affect parts of the northern Plains into the Northeast, with rain closer to the coast. After fairly dry conditions recently in the Northwest, a system will move in toward the end of the week.

The heaviest snow through Tuesday evening will be around the Great Lakes, with the potential of 6-12"+ in spots. Heavy snow amounts of 4-7" will also be possible Tuesday across parts of New England.

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Snow So Far This Winter

Looks like winter skipped right over parts of the central of the county, with that stripe of snow that fell Thursday Night into Saturday from Texas across parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Birmingham, AL recorded 4" of snow from this system, more than areas like Chicago (0.7"), Minneapolis (3.1"), Detroit (2.1"), and Des Moines (Trace) have received so far this winter.

"Well-Behaved" Snow In Washington D.C.

A correct snow forecast... for many meteorologists, that is the hope every time it snows. Looks like they were right on target in the D.C. area Saturday. More from the Capital Weather Gang: "The Washington area and forecasters passed their first snow test of the winter.  Amounts were in line with what was predicted. Meanwhile, the snow mostly didn’t stick to roads – minimizing disruptions around the region.  It also helped the snow fell gently on a Saturday, while schools were out and most Federal workers off.  The region’s first measurable snow fell right on time. The average date of the D.C. area’s first accumulating snowfall is between Dec. 10 and 15. Even so, it was the first accumulating snowfall in D.C. during Dec. since 2013." (Image: Snow, Dec. 9. (Jarrett Hendrix via Flickr))

More Severe Droughts Coming In California?

More severe droughts are possible in California due to melting ice. More from Reuters: "Melting Arctic sea ice could render sun-soaked California vulnerable to a recurrence of the severe drought suffered in recent years as it is likely to cause high pressure systems that push away rain-bearing storms, a study released on Tuesday said. As temperatures rise, the Arctic Ocean is expected to become ice-free within two or three decades, resulting in more of the sun’s heat being stored in the Arctic Ocean, leading to atmospheric circulation changes and cloud formations in the tropical Pacific that move north." (Image: The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy, in the midst of their ICESCAPE mission, retrieves supplies in the Arctic Ocean in this July 12, 2011 NASA handout photo. Kathryn Hansen/NASA via REUTERS/File Photo)

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Thanks for checking in and have a great Monday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 - D.J. Kayser

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Clipper Sunday Night - Feeling an Urge to Ski Atlanta

Rare Southern Snowfall!
 
Here are just a few snow pictures that were floating around twitter after the rare snowfall across the Deep South earlier this week.
 
Rare Southern Snowfall
 
Here's a rare sight! Satellite images over parts of Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama from early Saturday morning showed snow on the ground! Yes, that's right... I said SNOW!
 
How Much Snow Fell?
 
Here's the observed snowfall from late last week, which showed a fairly narrow band of rare snow from the southern tip of Texas across the Gulf Coast States. Note that some locations from southeastern Louisiana to the western Carolinas actually had quite a bit! Certainly enough to shovel and plow! Interestingly, quite a few locations in the Southern US have now had more snow than the Twin Cities (3.1") has seen this season! Unreal...
 
 
Snow Depth 2017
 
WOW! That's a crazy snow depth map! Although there isn't a lot of snow cover across the nation (only 28.0%), it's interesting to see the snow coverage as far south as it is! It's not very often that you snow cover as far south Texas and the Gulf Coast States. 
 
 
Snow Depth 2016
 
At this time last year 38.9% of the nation was covered in snow, some of which was actually as far south as Texas!
 
Probability of a White Christmas?
 
Ever wondered what the probability of a white Christmas was across parts of the country? Here's a map from NOAA, which suggests that folks in the high eleveations and those across the far northern tier of the nation have the best chance to see at least 1" of snow on the ground on December 25th.
 
 
Minnesota's Probability of a White Christmas
 
What about Minnesota? Well climatology suggests that 3 out of 4 Christmases have at least an 1" of snow on the ground in the Twin Cities. Thanks to the @NWSTwinCities and the MN Climatology page for the information below. The deepest snow cover on December 25th was 20" in 1983 and the last "brown" Christmas (less than 1" of snow on the ground) was just two years ago in 2015!
 
 
 

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Ice Safety!!
 
Before you go testing the ice on area lakes and ponds, remember that "ICE IS NEVER 100% SAFE!" So when is ice safe? Here is an excerpt from the MN DNR regarding ice safety: 
 
"There really is no sure answer. You can't judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors -- plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions."
 
 
 
General Ice Thickness Guidelines
 
Here are some general ice thickness guidelines from the MN DNR:
 
For new, clear ice ONLY:

Under 4" - STAY OFF
4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5" - 7" - Snowmobile or ATV
8" - 12" - Car or small pickup
12" - 15" - Medium truck

Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.
White ice or "snow ice" is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.

See more from the MN DNR HERE:

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Weather Outlook Ahead

Here's the weather outlook from Sunday to Monday, which shows another fast moving clipper racing across the region with more light snow. It doesn't look like much, but there could be another light coating for folks across northern MN and into WI.

 
Snowfall Potential
 
Here's the snowfall potential through Monday, which shows a light coating of snow possible across the northern portions of Minnesota as our next clipper scoots through the region. There could even be 1" or 2" across parts of the Metro, while some isolated 3" amounts across the northern half of the state.
 
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Temperature Anomaly on Saturday
 
The image below shows the temperature anomaly across North America from Saturday. Note the cooler blues across much of the eastern two-thirds of the Lower 48 and especially across the Deep South. These blues indicate cooler than average temperatures. However, intense oranges and reds are still showing up across the Western US,Canada and into Alaska. This is where warmer than average temperatures are located.
 
 
High Amplitude Weather Pattern
 
The image below describes why weather conditions are so different from one side of the nation to the other. This high amplitude weather pattern shows a massive ridge of high pressure in the Western US, which is bringing much above average temperatures to areas there, while a large trough of low pressure is present for much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation keeping temperatures cooler than average there.
 
 Cold Air Continues Acorss the Eastern Half of the Country
 
The 850mb temp anomaly loop below through the middle part of the week shows waves of cold air continuing to surge south into the eastern half of the country. Meanwhile, warmer than average temperatures will continue across the western half of the country with waves of milder air pushing in across the Plains.
 
 
High Temps Sunday

High temperatures on Sunday will still be VERY chilly across the third of the country with temperatures running nearly 10F to 15F below average. Meanwhile, warmer than average temperatures will continue in the Western half of the country and especially across the Plains where temps will be nearly 20F to 25F above average.

  
Weather Outlook Ahead
 
The storm system responsible for the rare snow in the Southern US will continue to lift northeast and bring areas of heavy snow to the New England States through early Sunday. Meanwhile, another clipper will dive into Midwest and Great Lakes with another light snow coating through the early week time frame. The Western US will continue to stay warm and dry over the next several days.
 
 
5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavier precipitation continuing across the Northeastern part of the country through the weekend. There will also be areas of heavier precipitation across the Great Lakes as another clipper rolls through, which will turn on the lake effect snow machine. Note how dry the Western US will be through the week ahead.

Snowfall Potential Ahead
 
The storm system that brought rare snow across the Deep South will continue to lift northeast and drop areas of heavy snow across the New England through the weekend. The next snow system will be a fast moving clipper that looks to drop another light coating of snow across part of the Midwest and into the Great Lakes. There will also be areas of heavy lake effect snow continuing around the Great Lakes through the week ahead.
 
Snow Continues in the Northeast
 
A number of winter weather headlines continue from the Great Lakes to the Northeast and the Northern New England States through the weekend. Keep in mind that the large storm system moving up the East Coast should be done dropping heavier snow by midday Sunday across Northeast, but heavy lake effect snow will start to develop in the wake of the storm. In fact another 6" to 12"+ can't be ruled out in the Eastern Great Lakes region through PM Sunday! The Buffalo Bills vs Indianapolis Colts (in Buffalo) could be a fun game to watch. The forecast currently calls for 1" to 3" of snow during the day at New Era Stadium, but depending on where the heavy lake effect snow band(s) set up, there could be much more!
 
 
 
Days Since Last Winter Storm Warning
 
Here's an interesting graphic. It shows us how many days it's been since there was a winter weather advisory issued by a weather serivce office. Note that it had been nearly 4 years for some locations across parts of southern Texas since the last winter weather advisory had been issued! Interestingly, parts of the Deep South and Gulf Coast States have now had winter weather products issued before much of the Central US, where it's been nearly a year since they've been issued there.
 
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--Explosive California Wildfires Continue--
 
Thanks to Praedictix Meteorologist DJ Kayser for the information below regarding the wildfires in California.

Praedictix Briefing: Saturday, December 9th, 2017

  • Multiple major wildfires continue across parts of southern California Saturday morning, with almost 175,000 acres consumed since Monday.
  • Power outages continue in the areas affected by fires. Late last night, Southern California Edison reported approximately 4,300 customers without power due to the four fires north of Los Angeles, and San Diego Gas & Electric reported 5,000 without power due to the Lilac Fire.
  • Progress was made on many of the fires across the region Friday. Breaking down the major wildfires in the region:
  • Critical fire danger continues through the weekend across southern California.
  • In the Northeast, the same system that brought parts of the Southeast a half a foot of snow over the past 24 hours will impact the region today and tonight with a swath of 3-7” of snow.

Ongoing Wildfires. A half a dozen wildfires continue across southern California this morning, however conditions Friday allowed firefighers to make progress on these fires. Residents are advised to stay alert of the situation over the weekend, as conditions could quickly change. A detailed, interactive map can be found HERE.

Update From The Los Angeles National Weather Service Office. Moderate Santa Ana winds will continue through Sunday with gusts of 30 to 50 mph for the wind-prone areas of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. These Santa Ana winds combined with humidities in the teens and single digits, along with very dry fuels, will continue to bring the extended period of critical fire weather conditions to much of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. Extreme fire behavior with rapid fire spread and spotting is possible for ongoing fires as well as for any future fire ignitions. Caution is advised with potential ignition sources during this period of critical fire weather conditions. Continue to heed evacuation orders near active fires.

Strong Winds Continue. A Wind Advisory has been issued through 3 PM today for the Ventura County valleys/coast and the Santa Clarita Valley due to the potential of gusts up to 35 mph. Winds will increase tomorrow, likely needing more advisories across the region. To the south, High Wind Warnings are in effect for the San Diego County valleys/mountains through 4 PM Sunday. Winds today will gust up to 50 mph, with gusts to 60 mph possible tonight into Sunday morning.

Red Flag Warnings Continue. Due to the continued fire weather conditions - including strong Santa Ana winds and low humidity values - Red Flag Warnings continue across the region through Sunday evening. Here's a portion of the updated warning issued by the National Weather Service in Los Angeles yesterday (Friday): "An extended period of Santa Ana offshore winds will continue through at least Sunday focused over much of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. These winds will generally be in the 30 to 40 mph range through Saturday, then increase into Sunday with gusts in the 40 to 50 mph range. Meanwhile, minimum humidities of 5 to 10 percent will be common through at least the middle of next week, with widespread poor overnight recoveries mostly staying under 30 percent. As a result, critical Red Flag conditions will persist over most of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties through Sunday with a chance for locally critical at times especially in the mountains."

Meteorologist D.J. Kayser, Praedictix
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PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Map

It certainly has been a fairly active first half of 2017 with 1,511 preliminary tornado reports through December 8th. Note that this is the most tornadoes through that date since 2011, when there were 1,880 reports. The map below shows the distribution of the tornadoes so far this year.

PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Count

According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY 2017 tornado count is 1,511 (through December 8th). Note that is the most active year for tornadoes since 2011, when there were 1,880 tornadoes. Notice that the only other year with more tornadoes than this year was in 2008, which ended with a whopping 2,140 tornadoes nationwide.


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National Weather Hazards Ahead...

1.) Heavy snow across portions of the Great Lakes, Mon-Thu, Dec 11-Dec 14.
2.) Heavy snow across portions of the Northeast, Tue, Dec 12.
3.) High winds across portions of California, Mon-Tue, Dec 11-Dec 12.
4.) Much below normal temperatures across the Great Lakes, Mon-Fri, Dec 11-Dec 15.
5.) Much below normal temperatures across portions of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, Wed-Fri, Dec 13-Dec 15.
6.) Much below normal temperatures across portions of Florida and the Southeast, Mon, Dec 11.
7.) Heavy precipitation across portions of the Alaska Panhandle and mainland Alaska, Mon-Fri, Dec 11-Dec 15.
8.) High winds across portions of mainland Alaska, Mon, Dec 11.
9.) High winds across portions of mainland Alaska and the Aleutians, Fri, Dec 15.
10.) Much above normal temperatures across portions of mainland Alaska, Mon-Fri, Dec 11-Dec 15.
11.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Great Lakes and the Northern Plains, Fri, Dec 22.
12.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Southeast, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Great Lakes, Sat-Sun, Dec 16-Dec 17.
13.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Northeast, Sat-Fri, Dec 16-Dec 22.
14.) Moderate risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Northeast, Sat-Sun, Dec 16-Dec 17.
15.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for the central Gulf Coast, Sun-Mon, Dec 17-Dec 18.
16.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Alaska Panhandle and mainland Alaska, Sat-Wed, Dec 16-Dec 20.
17.) Severe Drought across the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Northern Plains, Hawaii, the Northern Rockies, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Southern Plains, and the Southwest.

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Clipper Sunday Night - Feeling an Urge to Ski Atlanta

Oh, the indignity of it all for Minnesota snow lovers. 3 inches of snow has decorated the Twin Cities since Labor Day. Looking at long term averages we should have picked up closer to 13 inches, to date.

While we handicap the odds of a white Christmas snowbirds in the northwest suburbs of Atlanta are digging out from a foot of snow; 7 inches of white wonder paralyzed Corpus Christi, Texas! Yes, it's a head-scratching weather map.

While the south and east digs out we enjoy occasional dribs and drabs of snow. An Alberta Clipper may drop a quick inch Sunday night and early Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday will feel like January, but temperatures mellow by late week; ECMWF guidance hinting at 30s and 40s a week from today. A colder surge returns the week before Christmas, and NOAA's GFS model predicts a rain-to-snow scenario Christmas weekend. Confidence levels this far out are (laughably) low, but if the planets align we may still get our white Christmas.

30-year climate data shows a 74 percent probability of at least an inch of snow on the ground on December 25. It'll be a close call.
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Extended Forecast

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 13. High: 32.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Quick inch possible. Winds: WSW 5. Low: 24.

MONDAY: Windblown flakes. Gusty winds. Winds: NW 15-30. High: 32.

TUESDAY: Intervals of sun. Hints of January. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 15. High: 30.

WEDNESDAY: Weak clipper. Flurry potential. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 13. High: 25.

THURSDAY: More clouds than sun. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 20. High: 29.

FRIDAY: Patchy clouds, risk of a thaw. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 25. High: 32.

SATURDAY: Letfover clouds, but trending milder. Winds: W 7-12. Wake-u
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This Day in Weather History
December 10th

1992: By this time there is partial ice cover in the Duluth harbor.

1979: A 'heat wave' develops across Minnesota. Highs of 54 at Twin Cities and 57 at Winona are recorded.

1978: Alexandria ends its fourteen day stretch of low temperatures at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit.

1889: A late season thunderstorm is observed at Maple Plain.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
December 10th

Average High: 29F (Record: 54F set in 1979)
Average Low: 14F (Record: -18F set in 1977)

Record Rainfall: 0.61" set in 1911
Record Snowfall: 1.8" set in 2013
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 10th

Sunrise: 7:40am
Sunset: 4:32pm

Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours 51 mins

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~53 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 20th): 6 hours & 46 minutes
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Moon Phase for December 10th at Midnight
1.0 Days After Last Quarter Moon

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Weather Outlook For Sunday

High temps on Sunday won't be quite as chilly as it has been as of late. In fact, a few locations in southwestern Minnesota could top out in the lower 40s! The Twin Cities could briefly warm to the freezing mark, but those in northern Minnesota will still be in the 20s. Note that many across the Plains will once again be WELL above average with highs nearly 20F to 25F above average.

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Minneapolis Temperature Outlook

Here's the temperature outlook from the GEFS & ECMWF modles through December 23rd/24th. Interestingly, both models are picking up on slightly warmer temperatures through Christmas now than what they were previously saying earlier this month. The GEFS keeps us in the 20s for much of the time with a few days close to or slightly above the freezing mark through the middle part of the month. However, the ECMWF is suggesting a little warmer weather with highs in the mid 30s by the 3rd week of December. Stay tuned...

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8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

Here's the temperature outlook through the 3rd week of December, which suggests that the MUCH colder that is in place over the eastern third of the nation now will start to retreat a bit just before Christmas. Meanwhile, warmer than average temps might start moving back in over much of the Central US.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

Here's the extended temperature outlook as we head through the 3rd week of December. Note that after a fairly significant surge of colder air across much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation earlier this month, we look to warm to well above average temps across much of the nation. The only cool spot will be the lingering colder air across the Northeast and Great Lakes.

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"Northern Alaska is warming so fast, it’s faking out computers"
 
"The loss of near-shore sea ice near Utqiaġvik (Barrow) has been so abrupt, it’stransformed the local climate. Open water in the Arctic causes a compounding warming effect and rapidly elevates temperatures — water is darker than ice and absorbs heat quicker. The effect is particularly strong between October and December, the time of the year that used to have sea ice, but often doesn’t anymore. Octobers in Utqiaġvik are now nearly 8 degrees warmer than Octobers in the 1980s and ’90s. Apparently, the computers tracking temperatures there have finally had enough. Deke Arndt, chief of NOAA’s Climate Monitoring Branch, explains: In an ironic exclamation point to swift regional climate change in and near the Arctic, the average temperature observed at the weather station at Utqiaġvik has now changed so rapidly that it triggered an algorithm designed to detect artificial changes in a station’s instrumentation or environment and disqualified itself from the NOAA Alaskan temperature analysis, leaving northern Alaska analyzed a little cooler than it really was."
 
 

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"Why Antarctica Is So Important in a Warming World"
 
"The Antarctic Treaty was signed 58 years ago, protecting the continent for peace and science. ver since the ancient Greeks speculated a continent must exist in the south polar regions to balance those in the north, Antarctica has been popularly described as remote and extreme. Over the past two centuries, these factors have combined to create, in the human psyche, an almost mythical land – an idea reinforced by tales of heroism and adventure from the Edwardian golden age of “heroic exploration” and pioneers such as Robert Falcon Scott, Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton. Recent research, however, is casting new light on the importance of the southernmost continent, overturning centuries of misunderstanding and highlighting the role of Antarctica in how our planet works and the role it may play in a future, warmer world."
 
 

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"California, 13 other states sue EPA over smog levels"
 
"California and 13 other states sued the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday for ignoring an Oct. 1 deadline to update the nation’s map of areas with unhealthy smog levels, saying the delay is endangering children and people who suffer from lung disease. “Lives can be saved if the EPA implements these standards,” said state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, whose office filed the suit in federal court in San Francisco. Environmental groups had filed a similar suit in the same court Monday. Becerra earlier sued the Trump administration on behalf of the state over the EPA’s loosened regulations of pesticides and emissions of planet-warming methane gas, and for delaying new motor vehicle fuel-economy standards. The EPA declined to comment on Thursday’s suit."
 
 

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"HEART-WRENCHING VIDEO SHOWS STARVING POLAR BEAR ON ICELESS LAND"
 
"When photographer Paul Nicklen and filmmakers from conservation group Sea Legacy arrived in the Baffin Islands in late summer, they came across a heartbreaking sight: a starving polar bear on its deathbed. Nicklen is no stranger to bears. From the time he was a child growing up in Canada's far north the biologist turned wildlife photographer has seen over 3,000 bears in the wild. But the emaciated polar bear, featured in videos Nicklen published to social media on December 5, was one of the most gut-wrenching sights he's ever seen. "We stood there crying—filming with tears rolling down our cheeks," he said."
 
 

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"Dry spell continues in Northern California: Are we heading back into drought territory?"
 
"A 10-day dry spell in Northern California is expected to continue for another two weeks as a high-pressure ridge remains hunkered down along the West Coast, blocking storms from the Pacific Ocean. Forecast models that can look 14 to 16 days ahead don't see any chance of rain through December 21. "But with these long range models, take them with a grain of salt, especially anything beyond day seven," says Scott Rowe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service's Bay Area office. All of the clear, sunny skies have some wondering whether we're headed into a dry winter and the beginnings of another drought. Rowe says it's too early to consider this season dry, as the region did receive some rain in October and November and a multiple-week stretch of no rain in December, January or February is typical of Northern California's Mediterranean climate. If we get a second or third dry stretch, then we may be looking at a drier winter."
 
 
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Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX