"Pyeongchang Weather: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know"
 
"The Winter Olympics 2018, which are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, are shaping up to be among the coldest in recent times. Pyeongchang is located about 110 miles east of Seoul, which is the South Korean capitol.  Pyeongchang is a skiing area located within South Korea that is situated in a mountainous area of the country. Alpensia and Yongpyong are two ski resorts that are hosting the Olympics. You can see Pyeongchang on a map here."
 
"1. Temperatures Warmed Slightly Before the Opening Ceremonies But It’s Expected to Be So Cold & Windy That Some Events Might Be Cancelled.  It’s gotten a little warmer in Pyeongchang with the Friday, February 8, 2018 opening ceremonies looming. However, it’s still expected to be extremely cold. According to The Weather Channel, “temperatures should be near freezing during the ceremony. Even with this period of warmer weather, this could be the coldest Games in decades." Exactly how cold is it supposed to get? According to NBC News, “The city has already seen lows of -9 degrees, but Friday’s forecast is expected to range from a high of 40 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of 30 degrees Fahrenheit.” 30 degrees Fahrenheit is -1.11 Celsius. However, the temperatures could drop even lower, to 11 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s -11.667 degrees Celsius."
 
 
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Weather Outlook Ahead
 
The weather outlook from midday Monday to midday Wednesday suggests quiet weather continuing across much of the Upper Midwest as we head into the 2nd week of February. While the weather might stay quiet, colder than average temperatures will continue.
 
 
Snowfall Potential
 
Here's the snowfall potential through the 2nd full week of February, which shows mostly quiet condition across much of the region. There may be a little snow here and there, but nothing looks headline-worthy.
 
 
Warmer 2nd Half of February
 
Here's the temperature outlook through the end of the month, which suggests that temperatures will FINALLY start warming a little more than what we've been dealing with more recently. Wednesday could be a very mild day with highs around 40F. The 2nd half of the month, highs could level off in the 30s, which will feel quite nice.
 
 
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Snow Depth 2018
 
The snow depth map across the country for February 11th suggests that 40.9% of the country is covered in snow, mainly across the northern half of the nation. At this time last year, 29.5% of the nation was covered in snow. As of February 11th, the Twin Cities officially had 5" of snow on the ground at the MSP Airport, but at this time last year, there was NO snow on the ground. Note also that last year at this time, the Sierra Nevada Range in California had a significantly greater snow pack than what is there now.
 
Snow Depth 2017
 
At this time last year, 29.5% of the nation was covered in snow.
 
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"Striking photos taken from space show the Sierra snowpack is barely there"
 
"A pair of NASA satellite photos compare 2017's massive pileup of snow in the Sierra Nevada with this winter's nearly nonexistent snowpack. In the left image above from Jan. 28, 2017, the average snow depth across the Sierra is 46 inches. In the image on the right, taken a year later on Feb. 8, 2018, when the average snow depth is only 3.4 inches. The barrage of atmospheric river–fueled storms that pounded the Sierra Nevada in the 2016–17 season added up to a massive snowpack. The northern Sierra saw the highest amount of precipitation in recorded history going back to 1920, and all of the snow helped put an end to California's five-year drought.This season, California and Nevada are seeing dramatically drier conditions with few weak storms moving into the region, and on Thursday the snowpack was 23 percent of average for this date."
 
 

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"Minnesota Sees Deadliest Winter In Years"
 
"Minnesota has already had five ice-related deaths this winter. The state typically averages three during the whole season. Minnesota is on track to have one of its deadliest winters in years. Five people have died this season after falling through ice. The state typically averages three ice-related deaths over the course of the entire winter. The 2015-2016 winter had zero ice-related deaths, while the 2016-2017 winter had two. The last time Minnesota saw ice-related deaths in the double digits was in the 2002-2003 winter, when the state had 10 fatalities. The most recent death this year happened in northern Minnesota where a women drowned after riding an ATV on Rice Lake. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Hannah Mishler has already responded to multiple ice rescue calls. "Ice, especially snow covered ice, is extremely deceptive. You can't see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow," Mishler said in a statement."
 
 
 
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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Temperature Anomaly on Sunday
 
The image below shows the temperature anomaly across North America from Sunday which showed well below average temperatures across much of Canada and the Central US. However, much of the Eastern and Southwestern US were well above average.
 
 
Temperature Trend
 
Here's the 850mb temperature anomaly from Monday to Thursday, which suggests chilly temperatures in place across the central part of the country as we start the week. However, note the warmer weather building in across the eastern two-thirds of the nation by midweek. The 2nd half of the week looks to feature another surge of colder air across much of the Upper Midwest.
 
 
High Temps Monday

High temps across the country on Monday will be quite chilly again for much of the Nation with readings -10s to -20F below average. Some spots across Montana will be nearly -30F below average! The only spots that will be warmer than average will be in the southeast and in the Mid-Atlantic states.

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Weather Outlook Ahead
 
Weather conditions through Tuesday look fairly active across the Eastern and Southeastern US with areas of heavy rain continuing in the Southeast through the early week time frame. The good news is that there is moisture heading into the Southwestern part of the country as a slow moving storm system slides in there. Areas of rain and high elevation snow will take us through at least midweek.
 
 
5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 5-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy precipitation continuing in the Eastern thrid of the nation and especially in the Southeast. Some locations there could see several inches of liquid, which could lead to areas of flooding. The other area that could see decent moisture is in the Southwest. 

Snowfall Potential Ahead

The snowfall potential through Friday suggests areas of heavy snow falling across the high elevations in the Western US. The heaviest and most widespread looks to fall across the Colorado Rockies.
 
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Finally: A Light At The End of a Cold, Dark Tunnel
By Paul Douglas
 
My late mother liked to remind me that the glass is always half-full. Accentuate the positive. Like the lack of bugs out there right now. Allergy sufferers who dread ragweed are breathing easy. No flash floods or lightning concerns. Think of all that time you're saving on yard work!
 
According to the Minnesota DNR's Winter Misery Index, we've picked up 70 points, making this an average winter. Not convinced? The Misery Index is based on temperature, snowfall & snow cover. Last winter was unusually mild, with only 49 points, total. The "Polar Vortex" winter 4 years ago tallied up 207 points; the very definition of a severe winter. The last 3 winters have been relatively tame - that's why this average winter has more sting than usual.
 
Today's sun angle is as high in the sky as it was on October 30, and I'm relieved to see consistent 30s in the extended outlook into late February. Expect teens today and 20s tomorrow. 40F on Valentine's Day will feel like a cheap date. Another thaw is likely next weekend.
 
Commuters can relax - nothing resembling a "storm" is brewing on the horizon.
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Extended Forecast

MONDAY: Plenty of sun. Winds: NW 3-8. High: 12.

MONDAY NIGHT: A little light snow? Otherwise, mostly cloudy. Winds: S 5. Low: 6.

TUESDAY: Dim sun. Closer to average temps. Winds: S 10-15.  High: 27.

WEDNESDAY: Happy Valentines. Feels like March. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 20. High: 41. 

THURSDAY: Mild start, then turning colder. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 20. High: 30.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny and chilly. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 2. High: 20

SATURDAY: Some sun. Risk of a thaw. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 11. High: 33.

SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. No drama. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 23. High: 36.
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This Day in Weather History
February 12th

1988: For warm weather...head west! Duluth had a temperature of 31 below zero, while Rapid City was sitting at 59.

1872: A severe blizzard hits central Minnesota. The temperature at Litchfield was 34 degrees on the afternoon of the 12th, and fell to -20 by the morning of the 13th. At least 6 people died in Meeker County alone.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
February 12th

Average High: 28F (Record: 59F set in 1990)
Average Low: 12F (Record: -30F set in 1875)

Record Rainfall: 0.42" set in 1984
Record Snowfall: 3.2" set in 1965
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
February 12th

Sunrise: 7:18am
Sunset: 5:37pm

Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 19 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 52 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): 1 Hour 33 Minutes
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Moon Phase for February 12th at Midnight
2.6 Days Before New Moon

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 Temp Outlook For Monday

Temps on Monday will still be quite chilly with temps -5F to nearly -20F below average for some. Highs will only reach the single digits across the northern half of Minnesota. Feels like temps around midday will still be in the -10s to -20s across far northern MN. 
 
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8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

Here's the temperature outlook into the 3rd full week of February, which suggests that colder than average temperatures will continue across much of the Upper Midwest.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

As we head into the 3rd week of February, warmer than average temperatures will be in place across much of the Eastern US. However, colder than average temps will be in place across much of the Midwest and into the Northwest.

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"We already have planet-cooling technology. The problem is, it’s killing us."
 
"A trope of sci-fi movies these days, from Snowpiercer to Geostorm, is that our failure to tackle climate change will eventually force us to deploy an arsenal of unproven technologies to save the planet. Think sun-deflecting space mirrors or chemically altered clouds. And because these are sci-fi movies, it’s assumed that these grand experiments in geoengineering will go horribly wrong. The fiction, new evidence suggests, may be much closer to reality than we thought. When most people hear “climate change,” they think of greenhouse gases overheating the planet. But there’s another product of industry changing the climate that has received scant public attention: aerosols. They’re microscopic particles of pollution that, on balance, reflect sunlight back to space and help cool the planet down, providing a crucial counterweight to greenhouse-powered global warming."
 
 
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"'The Great Dying': World's worst-ever extinction event 'caused by UV radiation'"
 
"Destruction of planet's ozone layer by volcanic eruptions may have made trees infertile and caused collapse of ecosystems, according to new study. The planet’s largest ever extinction event may have been caused by UV radiation rendering Earth’s plant life infertile.

Around 250 million years ago, the End-Permian Extinction – known as “The Great Dying” – wiped out 95 per cent of marine life and 70 per cent of land animal life on Earth.

Eruptions from volcanoes in what is now Siberia have been cited as the primary cause of the event."

See more from Independent HERE:


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"How tall buildings may have ignited a thundersnow assault during the bomb cyclone"

"The so-called “bomb cyclone” in early January was a freak of nature that brought a lot of things — coastal flooding, damaging winds, and double digit snowfall. But there was one thing most people overlooked — the thundersnow. Thundersnow is a dramatic weather phenomenon which, as its name implies, is simply snow accompanied by thunder (and lightning). It only occurs when specific weather ingredients come together — usually in big and intense storms. The bomb cyclone strengthened as fast as about any East Coast winter storm on record and was a prolific thundersnow producer. But here’s the unexpected part: its thundersnow may well have been mostly artificial — not a direct product of the storm but due to manmade structures in the storm’s path. Academic research has proposed the idea that some thundersnow may be human-induced and here I present compelling evidence that it indeed was during the bomb cyclone."

See more from Washington Post HERE:

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"We Can Now Harvest Electricity From Earth's Heat Using Quantum Tunnelling"

"Researchers have come up with a way we could harvest energy from Earth by turning excess infrared radiation and waste heat into electricity we can use. The concept involves the strange physics of quantum tunnelling, and key to the idea is a specially designed antenna that can detect waste or infrared heat as high-frequency electromagnetic waves, transforming these quadrillionth-of-a-second wave signals into a direct charge. There's actually a lot of energy going to waste here on Earth – most sunlight that hits the planet gets sucked up by surfaces, the oceans, and our atmosphere. This warming leads to a constant leak of infrared radiation that some estimate to be as much as millions of gigawatts every second. Because the infrared wavelengths are so short, to harness them we need super-tiny antennas. According to the international team of researchers behind the new study, it's quantum tunnelling that could provide the breakthrough required."

See more from Science Alert HERE:


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"WINTER OLYMPICS 2018: CAN SKI WAX HELP WIN GOLD?"

"AT THE 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the 4 x 10 kilometer relay was supposed to be a battle of cross-country ski titans Norway and Sweden. Felix Breitschädel watched from the sidelines as the race unfolded under a warm Russian sun. But when the first skiers emerged from the woods onto the arena packed with spectators, Norway's first skier was nowhere to be seen. He dropped to ninth place, while the rest of the team rallied to finish fourth. For medal-hungry Norwegian ski racing fans back home, “it was a disaster,” remembers Breitschädel, equipment and technical director for the Norwegian Olympic Committee. “We were called traitors in the Norwegian media.”The culprit? Hydrocarbons gone amok. Technicians like Brietschädel had applied the wrong combination of chemical waxes to the base of the athlete's ski. These hydrocarbon and fluorocarbon compounds—which take the form of waxes, fluids, and powders—must accomplish two contradictory tasks for skiers to win gold: grip the snow on the uphill while also gliding on the downhill."

See more from Wired HERE:


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Fairly Quiet Stretch Of Weather - 30s And 40s For Valentine's Day (Wednesday)

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Turning a Corner - Couple of 40-degree Thaws Ahead