Snowy First Week of February

Our first full week of February featured some very wintry weather across the Upper Midweset. We first started with an icy commute Monday, followed by areas of snow on Tuesday and finally another round of snow/ice on Thursday. In total, the Twin Cities recieved 10.4" of snow from these 2 systems, which is more than what all of December (6.8") and January (6.7") saw! Now it appears that most quiet conditions will take us through the weekend, but there's a chance that more snow could fall as we head into Tuesday/Wednesday of next week. Stay tuned!

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Crazy Snow Drift on I-94 West of Fargo, ND
 
Take a look at this crazy picture that the ND DOT shared on Thursday along I-94 west of Fargo, ND. Now that's a snow drift - unreal! Strong winds on Thursday were repsonsible for blizzard conditions across the eastern Dakotas and western Minnesota. A number of roads closures were in place yesterday as well and for good reason! YIKES.
 
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Most Recent Snow Event: Round #2 on Thursday (NWS Chanhassen Coverage Area)

Here's a look at the snowfall reports from around the NWS Chanhassen coverage area. Note the heaviest tally listed was 9" in Clearwater, Pleasant Lake and Cedar Falls, WI. The NWS in Chanhassen picked up 8.5" and the MSP Airport had 6.3".

Most Recent Snow Event: Round #2 on Thursday (Statewide)

Here's a look at the snow reports from across the rest of the state and into Wisconsin. The heaviest report came from near Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin at 13.1" in Ashland, WI, while areas around Duluth, MN recieved nearly 10".

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Round #1 of Snow on Tuesday

Here are a few of the snow reports from Tuesday's Round #1 of snow. River Falls, WI had the greatest with 10", while folks just south of the Twin Cities metro picked up nearly 6"+. The MSP Airport had an official tally of 4.1", which makes it the greatest 1 day snowfall of the 2018-2019 winter season thus far.


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Snowfall Analysis For Both Events Tueseday & Thursday

Taking a look at the snow analysis from both events, much of Minnesota and Wisconsin picked up anywhere from 6" to 12"+ of snow through the first week of February! Snow lovers are happy, but commters haven't been. Cold temps through early Saturday will mean poor traveling across the region, but slow improvement should continue through the weekend as temps warm. 

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Current Snow Depth
 
The latest snow depth report from the MSP Airport suggested 9" of snow on the ground as of Friday morning. Interestingly, this is the most snow we've had on the ground in the Twin Cities since the April Blizzard of last year. On April 15th & 16th, 2018 there was nearly 10 to 11 inches of snow on the ground.
 
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Snowfall This Season
 
Here's a look at how much snow has fallen across the region this winter season (since July 1st, 2018). Interestingly, even after adding 10.4" of snow at the MSP Airport this week, the Twin Cities is still nearly 8" below average for the season!
 
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Light Snow Chance Sunday

Here's the weather outlook from AM Sunday to AM Monday, which shows another light snow chance across the region, especially across the southern part of Minnesota. 

 
Sunday Snow Chance
 
Here's the snow chance from AM Sunday to AM Monday, which suggests around an inch or two across the far southern part of the state. The Twin Cities could see a little light snow, but at this point, amounts look to be fairly minimal. Stay tuned...
 

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Active Weather Continues... Another Storm Next Week?

Weather models have been fairly consistent with what looks like another snow event by the early/middle part of next week. Here's the weather outlook from PM Monday to PM Wednesday, which shows areas of snow moving through the region once again. Tuesday could be the most inclement day with slow commutes possible as well. Stay tuned!

 
Snow Potential Next Week
 
Here's the latest thinking from the NWS Twin Cities regarding next weeks storm potential. There is still some uncertainly surrounding this event, but stay tuned as further details become available.
 
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Weather Outlook Saturday

High temps on Saturday will be warmer than Friday was, but we'll still be quite a bit cooler than average. Highs will range from around 0F in the northwestern part of the state to the lower 10s across the southern part of the state, which will be nearly -15F to -20F below average.
 
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Mild Weekend Ahead

After a VERY cold Friday, temps will rebound slowly over the weekend. By Monday of next week, we should be able to sneak back into the 20s, but could dip back into the 10s after our Tuesday snow chance. Then we bounce around the 10s and 20s as we head into the back half of February.

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Great Lakes Ice Coverage

According to NOAA's GLERL, as of February 7th, nearly 42% of the great lakes were covered in ice. Thanks to recent bouts of Arctic air, ice coverage is running a little higher here at the beginning of February.


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"The science behind the polar vortex"

"The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the Earth's North and South poles. The term vortex refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air close to the poles (left globe). Often during winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the polar vortex will become less stable and expand, sending cold Arctic air southward over the United States with the jet stream (right globe). The polar vortex is nothing new  – in fact, it's thought that the term first appeared in an 1853 issue of E. Littell's Living Age. "
 
 
 
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Temperature Anomalies

Here's a look at the temperature anomaly aross North America on Friday, which showed cooler than aveage readings across much of the western half of Canada and across the High Plains. However, very warm and near record warmth was still in place across the eastern third of the nation.

 

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Temperature Outlook
 
Colder than average temps will continue to linger in the Western US, which at times will slide into the Upper Midwest over the coming days. However, note the large blob of warmer than average temps that looks to conitnue across the Southern and Southeastern part of the country. 
 

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Temperature Outlook
 
According to NOAA's CPC, the temperature outlook from February 15th - 21st suggests colder than average temperatures continuing across much of the northern and western half of the country. Meanwhile, folks in the southern and southeastern part of the country will continue warmer than average temps. 
 

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Spring Leaf Anomaly
 
Here's an interesting map for folks that may be sick of winter. It's the NPN Spring Leaf Anomaly map, which shows that spring has indeed sprung across the southern tier of the nation. The red colors indicate that spring leaves are actually emerging earlier than average in those areas.
 
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Ice Safety Reminder

Recent mild December weather has made for fairly unsafe ice condtions across parts of the state. The MN DNR has some basic guidelines on how thick the ice should be before you even think about stepping out onto the ice! Also remember that ice is NEVER 100% SAFE!

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Gradual Warming. Continued Snow Chances
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

And just like that, it's winter! I don't know about you, but I feel a little more buff after last week's shoveling workouts. If we keep this up, I might look like Fabio come April.

The official amount at the MSP Airport was 10.4 inches from the 2 systems and as of Friday, the official snow depth was 9 inches. That's the most snow we've had on the ground since the April blizzard last year.

My kids' toboggans have been sidelined for a while, but they'll be getting plenty of action this weekend. Commuters on the other hand are still calming their nerves after several harrowing and white-knuckle commutes. I don't blame you if take the weekend off and don't open the shades until Monday, you deserve it!

No biggie today. It'll be a cold start, but at least most of us get above 0 degrees again! Light snow could coat roadways across southern Minnesota on Sunday, while folks in Seattle, WA dig out from 6 inches of snow today. Interestingly, that same system could bring us another round of plowable snow Tuesday.

Watch out Fabio, here I come!
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Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Cold start, better by PM. Winds: ESE 5-10. High: 9.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Not as cold. Winds: ESE 5. Low: 3.

SUNDAY: Light snow, minor coating across southern Minnesota. Winds: ENE 7-12. High: 18.

MONDAY: Cloudy. Light snow develops late. Winds: ESE 10-15. Wake-up: 11. High: 26.

TUESDAY: Snow likely. Possible shovelable again. Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 22. High: 27.

WEDNESDAY: Colder. A few PM flakes possible. Winds: WNW 5-15. Wake-up: 8. High: 15.

THURSDAY: Another storm sails south of MN? Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: -4. High: 13.

FRIDAY: Clearing skies. Still nippy. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: -2. High: 16.
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This Day in Weather History
February 9th

1899: The mercury plummets to -59 at Leech Lake Dam.
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Average High/Low for Minneapolis
February 9th

Average High: 27F (Record: 52F set in 1966)
Average Low: 11F (Record: -33F set in 1899)

Record Rainfall: 0.92" set in 1965
Record Snowfall: 8.0" set in 1939
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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
February 9th

Sunrise: 7:22am
Sunset: 5:32pm

Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 10 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 47 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~1 hour and 24 minutes
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Moon Phase for February 9th at Midnight
2.6 Days Before First Quarter Moon


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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: 

"On February 9, 10 and 11, 2019, use the moon to find the red planet Mars, which still shines as brightly as a 1st-magnitude star, or one of the brightest stars in our sky. Then let Mars help you find a much fainter planet, distant Uranus. You’ll have no trouble seeing Mars, even in the glare of the waxing crescent moon. But chances are you won’t spot the planet Uranus with the eye alone; use your binoculars for this one, or a small telescope. Mars and Uranus are now quite close together on our sky’s dome. If you have binoculars, aim them at Mars to glimpse Uranus in the same binocular field. Just don’t mistake the star Omicron Piscium for Uranus. This star is brighter than Uranus. It makes a nice triangle with Mars and Uranus in a single binocular field."

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National High Temps Saturday
 
High temps across the country on Saturday will be quite chilly across much of the nation with the exception of Florida. Note that even Houston, TX will be nearly -20F below average with a daytime high of only 45F.
 
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Snowless in Seattle? Oh No, They're Going to get Lots!
 
Last Monday, Seattle picked up a daily record snowfall of 1.7". More snow will fall across the area through Saturday with Seattle under a Winter Storm Warning! The latest thinking from the NWS in Seattle is nearly 6" to 8" there, which will cause some major issues.
 

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Weather Outlook
 
Here's the weather oulook across the naiton as we head through the weekend. Note that another blob of moisture will move through the mid-section of the nation with areas of snow and ice north with areas of rain to the south. Meanwhile, heavy Pacific moisture will continue in the Western US, which will lead to heavy moutain snow and heavier coastal rains. Interestingly, that batch of moisture will be our next weather maker across the Upper Midwest into next week. Stay tuned.
 

7 Day Precipitation Potential

According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation potential shows heavy precipitation continuing across the Western half of the country and especially in the Sierra Nevada Range where feet of snow will pile up! Meanwhile, another surge of heavier moisture will be found across parts of the Tennessee Valley.

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"Melting ice from Greenland and Antarctica could cause more extreme weather"
 
"If you think the weather has been crazy lately, just wait until global warming really kicks in. A scientific study released Wednesday suggests that melting ice from the world's coldest regions such as Greenland and Antarctica could bring more extreme weather and unpredictable temperature changes around the world. How will this happen? "According to our models, this melt water will cause significant disruptions to ocean currents and change levels of warming around the world,” said the study's lead author, Nick Golledge of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He said this increased temperature variability in both the atmosphere and the oceans could result in more frequent extreme weather events. The research predicts that in some parts of the world, hot and cold snaps will get longer and deeper, wet spells will get soggier and dry stretches will get longer, the Canadian Press reported."
 
 
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"Are weather and climate the same thing? No, here’s the difference"
 
"There’s a lot of confusion between the terms weather and climate, what they mean and if they’re the same thing. They’re not, but they are closely related. Weather, as in a weather forecast, refers to short-term conditions in the atmosphere in a particular location or region. Climate, on the other hand, describes the average daily weather for extended periods, such as if winters are cold and snowy or if summers are hot and humid, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Basically, climate is the average weather pattern in an area over a longer period of time, and weather patterns, according to NOAA, are caused by the flow in atmosphere. “Weather is the mix of events that happen each day in our atmosphere,” NOAA reported. Although there is just one atmosphere on Earth, the weather is different around the world and changes over minutes, hours, days and weeks. A given area may experience a warm winter, or maybe a wet month or even a rainy decade, but those variance are still weather-related."

See more from AJC HERE:
 

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"Met Office: global warming could exceed 1.5C within five years"
 
"Lowest Paris agreement target may temporarily be surpassed for first time between now and 2023. Global warming could temporarily hit 1.5C above pre-industrial levels for the first time between now and 2023, according to a long-term forecast by the Met Office. Meteorologists said there was a 10% chance of a year in which the average temperature rise exceeds 1.5C, which is the lowest of the two Paris agreement targets set for the end of the century. Until now, the hottest year on record was 2016, when the planet warmed 1.11C above pre-industrial levels, but the long-term trend is upward. Man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are adding 0.2C of warming each decade but the incline of temperature charts is jagged due to natural variation: hotter El Niño years zig above the average, while cooler La Ninã years zag below. In the five-year forecast released on Wednesday, the Met Office highlights the first possibility of a natural El Niño combining with global warming to exceed the 1.5C mark."
 
 

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