Air Quality Issues Thursday Morning
There were some noted air quality issues in the Twin Cities Thursday due to smoke that had drifted southeast from the fire at Northern Metals in Becker Wednesday Night. As of Thursday morning (when the map above was made), air quality values had reached the "moderate" range, with the main issue being particle pollution. These numbers improved into the afternoon hours. Schools were closed Thursday in Becker due to air quality concerns.
Snow Season Recap So Far
We've hit a little bit of a lull across much of the state with snow so far in February. Snowfall tallies so far this month are highest (and above average) across southern Minnesota, thanks to heavier snow on the 9th and 17th. In the Twin Cities, 7.5" has fallen through the 19th, +2.5" above average, with Rochester's 14.6" so far +8.8" above average. Go north of the metro, though, and February snowfall hasn't been as plentiful, with not even an inch falling so far in Brainerd.
Almost the entire state is still running above average for the snow season, the exception being International Falls where they are just barely below the average for the date. The 42.9" of snow in the Twin Cities so far is still the 23rd snowiest start to the snow season on record; meanwhile, Duluth sits in 9th place with 79.4" so far.
Is The Worst of Winter Behind Us Now? Yes.
By Paul Douglas
This may come back to bite me in the Doppler, but winter is over. Wait, back up. It will still snow, we will dodge more Canadian cold fronts. Colleagues will gripe about their morning commutes. But subzero discomfort, that sense of existential dread from peeking at the 7-Day Outlook? That's pretty much behind us now.
I see no more subzero readings for the metro area into mid-March. Could we see another April blizzard? It's possible, but the pattern is altogether different than the last few winters: more Pacific, less arctic.
Major snowstorms are most likely to spin up along the leading edge of polar invasions. Fewer Siberian smacks = less chance of crazy snow amounts.
Storms continue to detour south and east of Minnesota into next week. In spite of 9 inches of snow on the ground 40F is likely Saturday & Sunday, again the following weekend. If you like snow get out and play in it soon.
The Major Leagues of Winter are fading. Welcome to the Minor Leagues: dribs and drabs of snow - and neutered cold fronts.
Extended Twin Cities Forecast
FRIDAY: Sunny, breezy, milder. Wake up 17. High 38. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind SW 10-20 mph.
SATURDAY: Partly sunny, feels like March. Wake up 23. High 40. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind SW 8-13 mph.
SUNDAY: Plenty of sun, dust off the grill. Wake up 26. High 42. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.
MONDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Wake up 27. High 38. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NE 7-12 mph.
TUESDAY: Overcast. Snow should stay south of MN. Wake up 23. High 33. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NE 7-12 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy with a colder wind. Wake up 22. High 28. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind N 10-20 mph.
THURSDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, chilly. Wake up 10. High 24. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.
This Day in Weather History
1965: Strong winds occur, reaching speeds of up to 45 mph in the Twin Cities.
Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
Average High: 31F (Record: 62F set in 2017)
Average Low: 15F (Record: -21F set in 1873)
Average Precipitation: 0.03" (Record: 0.82" set in 1882)
Average Snowfall: 0.2" (Record: 5.5" set in 1962)
Record Snow Depth: 27" in 1967
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Sunrise: 7:05 AM
Sunset: 5:48 PM
*Length Of Day: 10 hours, 43 minutes and 52 seconds
*Daylight GAINED Since Yesterday: ~3 minutes and 0 seconds
*When Do We Climb To 11 Hours Of Daylight? February 27th (11 hours, 2 minutes, and 10 seconds)
*Next Sunrise At/Before 7 AM: February 24th (7:00 AM)
*Next Sunset At/After 6 PM: February 29th (6:00 PM)
Minnesota Weather Outlook
A mainly sunny day is expected across the state Friday, with highs climbing into the 30s in most locations. A few spots in southern Minnesota could even approach 40F!
These highs will be about 5-10F degrees above average as we head through your Friday. The average high in the Twin Cities for February 21st is 31F.
Southwesterly winds will strengthen across the state Friday, helping to usher in some of that warmer air. At times on Friday, wind gusts could exceed 30 mph across portions of southern Minnesota.
As we look closer at the Twin Cities, Friday will feature sunny skies. Temperatures will start off in the teens during the morning hours as kids head out to the bus stop, warming above freezing by Noon. With stronger winds in place, however, it could still feel like the 20s during the afternoon hours.
Highs will remain in the 30s to even low 40s as we head through the weekend and early next week in the Twin Cities - up to about 10F degrees above average for the last third of February. Skies will remain sunny through Sunday, but then early next week we could see the potential of a few snow showers (with rain mixing in on Monday).
National Weather Forecast
On Friday, we'll have a big area of high pressure in place keeping many areas dry throughout the day in the lower 48. The best chance of rain will be along the Atlantic coast of Florida down into the Keys with a cold front, in southern New Mexico, and by the evening hours across portions of Calfornia in-between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Some snow showers will be possible in the morning in eastern North Carolina, along Cape Cod, and downwind of Lake Ontario.
Climate was public enemy No. 2 — after Mike Bloomberg — at Nevada’s Democratic debate
More from The Grist: "Wednesday’s debate was different from the eight that came before it in one major way: It was the first debate in American history moderated by a climate journalist. Vanessa Huac, a climate correspondent for the American Spanish-language television network Telemundo, was one of five moderators grilling candidates. Huac heads up Telemundo’s environmental investigative unit and has been covering climate and environmental issues for more than 20 years. In an interview with NPR’s The World on Tuesday, she said MSNBC tapped her for the debate specifically because “climate change is going to be a key and a decisive issue for many voters.” Does that mean climate change was finally a key and decisive issue on the debate stage? You bet. And Huac wasn’t the only one asking tough climate questions."
Record Antarctic temperatures fuel sea level worry
More from Climate News Network: "Across the world, people now alive in coastal areas may face dangerously rising seas within their lifetimes, as record Antarctic temperatures and rapid melting of the continent’s ice drive global sea levels upwards. Temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula reached more than 20°C for the first time in history earlier this month, the Guardian reported: “The 20.75C logged by Brazilian scientists at Seymour Island on 9 February was almost a full degree higher than the previous record of 19.8C, taken on Signy Island in January 1982.”"
Solar And Wind Power Could Ignite A Hydrogen Energy Comeback
More from Scientific American: "Hydrogen is flowing in pipes under the streets in Cappelle-la-Grande, helping to energize 100 homes in this northern France village. On a short side road adjacent to the town center, a new electrolyzer machine inside a small metal shed zaps water with electricity from wind and solar farms to create “renewable” hydrogen that is fed into the natural gas stream already flowing in the pipes. By displacing some of that fossil fuel, the hydrogen trims carbon emissions from the community’s furnaces, hot-water heaters and stove tops by up to 7 percent."
- D.J. Kayser