Here are the latest GFS and ECMWF model outputs for snowfall through AM Saturday. Both models show the heaviest band setting up northwest of the Twin Cities with some 12"+ tallies possible across Central MN. Note that these models also suggest that the Twin Cities will largely get missed by the heaviest stuff, especially the south metro. However, if the storm tracks just a bit farther south, this heavy snow band could shift a little farther south as well and put the metro in the bullseye!
Seems odd to talk about rain in December, but this storm will bring warm enough temps to keep much of the precipitation in the liquid for across much of southern Minnesota. Here's a look at total precipitatoin in the liquid form through the end of the week. Note that areas in southern Minnesota could see up to 1.5" of liquid (again mostly in the form of rain), while the Twin Cities will see nearly 1" to 1.5" of liquid from this storm which will fall in the form of rain and snow.
6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook from December 31st through January 4th suggests cooler than average temps working back into much of the Lower 48 with the exception of the Southeastern US.
"How To Tell If Your Symptoms Are The Flu Or Just A Cold"
"Here's how to get rid of a cold fast"
"It's the time of year when colds are commonplace. As the weather gets colder, and you're more inclined to spend more time indoors with others, the combination of confined spaces, weakened immune systems and recirculated air means that, at some point or another, you're likely to become victim to one of the 200 viruses that cause the common cold. It's likely then, that knowing how to get rid of a cold fast is a priority this winter - no-one wants to feel miserable, sickly and extra tired over the festive period. This year, let's put a halt to that streaming nose and feeling like the Walking Dead because actually, you don’t have to suffer and sniffle in silence. Simply bookmark this cold-busting guide, now."
Recent 'Warmer' Weather Making Ice Conditions Unsafe in Some Areas
Foot of Snow Central MN. "Snow Sandwich" for MSP
By Paul Douglas
So here we are, 6 days after the Winter Solstice, when the sun is lowest in the southern sky, staring out our windows at...rain? Swimming in an endless sea of statistics, one nugget stands out from Minnesota climate historian Mark Seeley. He told me the number of mid-winter rain and ice events in Minnesota has quadrupled since 2000.
Exhibit A: a late December snow sandwich for the Twin Cities. Starting and ending as a little snow, with a cold rain sandwiched in-between. Today's rain will melt much of the snow that fell overnight. A couple inches of snow at the tail-end of the storm Thursday night may decorate metro lawns, but the Golden Snow Shovel Award goes to west central and central Minnesota, where a ribbon of 6-12 inches may pile up. Much of northern Minnesota picks up a cool 4-8 inches. Snowmobilers, cross country skiers and kids of all ages should be happy.
A relatively quiet weekend gives way to a Monday burst of snow. By the middle of next we may wake up to subzero chill. Embrace the numb because a puff of Pacific air thaws us out by late next week.
THURSDAY: Mostly rain for the Metro with some icy patches. Winds: E 10-20. High: 36.
THURSDAY NIGHT: Rain/snow mix. Slushy coating possible. Winds: NNW 15-30. Low: 26.
FRIDAY: Snow tapers. Travel slowly improves. Winds: NW 15-25. High: 27.
SATURDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 8. High: 18.
SUNDAY: Light snow farther north. Breezy and milder. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 10. High: 33.
NEW YEARS EVE: Light snow or flurries. Couple of inches? Winds: N 10-15 Wake-up: 24. High: 29.
NEW YEARS DAY: Bright and brittle sunshine. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 4. High: 8.
WEDNESDAY: Cold start. Clouding up. Winds: S10-15. Wake-up: -2. High: 25.
This Day in Weather History
1982: A snowstorm starts across the state, and ultimately dumps 16 inches in the Twin Cities by the time it ends on the 28th.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 24F (Record: 46F set in 1959)
Average Low: 9F (Record: -24F set in 1886)
Record Rainfall: 0.70" set in 1959
Record Snowfall: 6.0" set in 1971
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours & 48 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 25 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~ 2 minutes
Moon Phase for December 27th at Midnight
1.1 Days Before Last Quarter Moon
What's in the Night Sky?
According to EarthSky.org this is what will be visible in the night sky over the next several nights:
"Tonight, look for the Northern Cross. It isn’t as famous as its counterpart – the Southern Cross – visible from the Southern Hemisphere or the northern tropics. But the Northern Cross also looks like a cross, and it’s pretty easy to spot. It’s a large, noticeable star pattern. The star Deneb marks the top of the Northern Cross, and the star Albireo marks the bottom. Tonight you can find the Northern Cross shining fairly high in the west at nightfall, as seen from mid-northern latitudes. It sinks downward during the evening hours, and stands proudly over the west-northwest horizon around mid-evening."
National Weather Outlook
A large storm system will continue to intensify as it moves into the Central US over the next could of days. Strong to severe storms along with heavy rain will be possible in the Southern US, while areas of heavy snow and freezing rain will be possible from the Plains to the Upper Midwest.
Severe Threat Thursday
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a SLIGHT risk of severe storms across parts of the Southern US. Keep up to date with latest forecasts here if you have travel plans then.
7 Day Precipitation Potential
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation potential suggests heavy precipitation continuing across the Western part of the country, but take a look at the heavy moisture moving into the Central and Southeastern part of the country as we head into the 2nd half of next week! Showers, storms and heavy snow will be possible later next week - stay tuned!
"From rooftop configurations to utility-scale facilities, solar panels are springing up like popcorn across the United States. Putting an exact figure on the nation’s total solar power output, however, is proving to be notoriously difficult. Thankfully, it’s a problem well suited to artificial intelligence, as new research from Stanford University shows. In some states, solar energy accounts for upwards of 10 percent of total electricity generation. It’s definitely a source of power that’s on the rise, whether it be to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels, nuclear power, or the energy grid, or simply to take advantage of the low costs. This form of energy, however, is highly decentralized, so it’s tough to know how much solar energy is being extracted, where, and by whom. “Currently, there is no scalable way to build a complete national map of the adoption of solar systems, particularly rooftop PV [photovoltaics], including precise locations and panel sizes,” said Ram Rajagopal, a civil engineering professor at Stanford and the co-author of a new studypublished today in the science journal Joule. “Such maps help utilities, system operators, policymakers and tech vendors understand the adoption patterns of solar systems. We wanted to develop a methodology that could be applied in most countries in the world and required limited human intervention.”
"Where, exactly, is the edge of space? It depends on who you ask."
"ASK SOMEONE WHERE outer space is, and they’ll probably point at the sky. It’s up, right? Simple. Except, no one really knows where “air space” ends and “outer space” begins. That might sound trivial, but defining that boundary could matter for a variety of reasons—including, but not limited to, which high-flying humans get to be designated as astronauts. Now, with Virgin Galactic seemingly on the cusp of launching paying passengers onto suborbital trajectories, many people are wondering whether those lucky space tourists will earn their astronaut wings. As of right now, they will, according to U.S. practices. Is that a problem? “No, I think it’s great!” says NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, who helped repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Here, we take a look at the ways space is currently defined, the confusion surrounding the demarcation, and what the future might bring."
"Scientists slam door on the alleged 'pause' in global warming"
"Today, climate change deniers will resurrect the tired old argument that Earth's global warming stalled sometime at the beginning of this century. The evidence for such a slowdown, however, doesn't exist. A diverse group of global researchers published two papers in the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters on Tuesday, affirming why such claims of a global warming hiatus are and always were misleading, at best. "We find there never was any statistical evidence for it," Stefan Rahmstorf, head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and coauthor of the research, said over email."