Minnesota Historical Chances At A White Christmas

Christmas is almost here! So what are the odds of a white Christmas (which is classified as an inch or more of snow on the ground)? According to the Minnesota Climatological Office/MN DNR, the odds of that occurring from 1899 to 2017 is about 72%. More from their article on the chances of a while Christmas: "From 1899 to 2017 there have been 34 years with either a "zero" or a "trace." The last time the Twin Cities has seen a brown Christmas was 2015. 2014 was also a "brown Christmas." The deepest snow cover on December 25th was in 1983 with a hefty 20 inches. It was also a very cold Christmas in 1983, with the high temperature of one (1) degree F. It was not the coldest Christmas Day in the Twin Cities. That dubious award goes to 1996 with a "high" temperature of 9 below zero F. The warmest Christmas Day in the Twin Cities was 51 degrees in 1922. There was not a white Christmas that year. In fact, the Minneapolis Weather Bureau log book for that day states that the day felt "spring-like.""

The warmest Christmas in Twin Cities history was 51F back in 1922, but it's been as cold as -39F to start off the day in 1879. The heaviest snow that has fallen on Christmas Day was 9.6" in 1945. Meanwhile, the most snow on the ground on Christmas Day was 20" back in in 1983.

Since 2018, we've been as warm as 42F for a high on Christmas (2011) and had a high as cold as 4F (2017). Meanwhile, three of the past eight Christmas Days have technically been classified as a brown Christmas.


Potential Post-Christmas Snowstorm

We are continuing to track the potential of a post-Christmas snowstorm across the upper Midwest that could impact us here in Minnesota from Wednesday Night into Friday. While there may be a number of snowfall maps flying around on social media, it is important to note where the energy for this system is right now: still out in the Pacific. There's still plenty of time before this system reaches us, so things are certainly not set in stone just yet.

However, the models have still been fairly consistent on a larger system impacting the region during the second half of the week with the potential of an area of heavy snow falling on the cold side of that system. Where that heavy snow swath ends up will depend on that overall track, but it appears that parts of Minnesota would be in line for it at the moment. We'll continue to update this forecast over the next few days, as this could certainly impact many post-Christmas travel plans across the region.


Major Snowstorm Possibilities Later This Week
By Paul Douglas

Santa may ditch the sleigh for a cherry-red SUV tonight, but try not to fixate too much on a brown December 25th. My Christmas gift to snow lovers from Nimrod and Little Canada to Good Thunder: the gift of cold, crystalline hope.

Quoting Dumb and Dumber: "So you're telling me I have a chance?" Yes butterfly. It may snow a lot here within 48-72 hours.

A long-duration snow event is likely from late Wednesday into Friday night. A slow-moving storm tracks from Oklahoma to Iowa and Wisconsin, fortified with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. A warm air aloft may switch snow to a mix south/east of the Twin Cities, but some 6-12 inch snow totals are possible for southwest & central Minnesota; maybe northern/western suburbs of the Twin Cities.

Trying to pin down specific inch-amounts for specific towns this far out is an act of utter madness, but suffice to say this could be very plowable; one of the biggest storms of the winter season. Imagine that, a real snowstorm.

The mercury dips next weekend but I see a thaw for the first week of 2019. A Merry Christmas to one and all!


Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: More clouds than sun. High 29. Low 22. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.

TUESDAY: Dusting of flurries possible. High 32. Low 21. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NE 5-10 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Dry daylight. Snow arrives at night. High 31. Low 29. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind E 8-13 mph.

THURSDAY: Wet snow may be heavy at times. High 33. Low 20. Chance of precipitation 100%. Wind NE 10-20 mph.

FRIDAY: More snow, risk of blowing/drifting. High 24. Low 7. Chance of precipitation 90%. Wind N 15-25 mph.

SATURDAY: Flurries taper. Go play in the snow. High 15. Low 2. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny, better travel weather. High 21. Low 13. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.


This Day in Weather History
December 24th

1996: Strong winds of 20 to 30 mph, combined with over a foot of new snowfall, result in restricted visibilities from blowing snow. As a result, several highways closed, including highway 19 west of Redwood Falls, highways 7 and 40 at Madison, and highways 67 and 23 out of Granite Falls.

1982: Heavy rain falls over the state, along with slushy snow over southwest Minnesota. Twin Cities gets 2.61 inches of precipitation through Christmas. Some lightning and thunder occur with the heavy rain on Christmas Eve.


Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
December 24th

Average High: 25F (Record: 46F set in 1939)
Average Low: 10F (Record: -31F set in 1985)
Average Precipitation: 0.03" (Record: 1.26" set in 1982)
Average Snow: 0.4" (Record: 5.2" in 2009)


Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 24th

Sunrise: 7:49 AM
Sunset: 4:36 PM

*Length Of Day: 8 hours, 46 minutes and 31 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~11 seconds

*Latest Sunrise: December 30th - January 5th (7:51 AM)
*Next Sunset At Or After 5 PM: January 17th (5:00 PM)
*Least Amount Of Daylight?: December 21st (8 hours, 46 minutes, 12 seconds)


Minnesota Weather Outlook

Another mostly cloudy to partly sunny day is expected across most of the state Christmas Eve Monday. Highs will range from the teens across parts of northern Minnesota to the low 30s in southwest Minnesota.

Highs on Christmas Eve will be slightly above average across most of Minnesota. The exception? Grand Marais.

As a weak system moves through, some flurries or light snow will be possible Christmas Tuesday as you are opening presents from Santa. Otherwise another mainly cloudy day can be expected. Highs will once again range from the teens up north to the 30s across southern Minnesota.

Temperatures will be in the upper 20s to mid-30s through Friday here in the Twin Cities. However, behind our potential snowstorm, highs will fall into the teens for the last weekend of the year. Temperatures do appear to want to rebound just in time for New Years Eve and the first week of 2019.

This is a look at how cold next Saturday could be as highs struggle to make it into the teens across parts of southern Minnesota.


National Weather Forecast

Taking a look at the national forecast for Christmas Eve, some rain and snow will be possible across parts of New England as an area of low pressure moves through the region. An area of rain and snow may be possible across parts of the Central Plains with a stationary front. Meanwhile, rain and mountain snow is expected in the western United States as a system approaches the coast.

On Christmas Day Tuesday, a few rain showers are possible in the southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley, with a few snow showers possible in the upper Midwest. Rain and mountain snow will continue out west.

Through Tuesday evening, the heaviest precipitation is expected out along the west coast, where at least 1-2" of rain will be possible.

While a few inches of snow will be possible from the upper Midwest into New England through the first couple days of the week, the heaviest snow will be out in the western mountains. In these areas, over a foot could fall in spots.


More Than 200 Dead, Hundreds More Injured After Tsunami Hits Indonesia

More from NPR: "At least 222 people are dead and hundreds more are missing or injured, the AP reports, after a tsunami struck Indonesia late Saturday night local time.  The death toll is expected to rise.  Officials there are blaming the tsunami on underwater landslides caused by volcanic activity on the island of Anak Krakatau, which erupted just after 9 p.m.  Footage shared by news outlets and social media show a wave hitting a seaside concert at a resort on the island of Java, washing away the stage and many people along with it.  The 1883 eruption of nearby Krakatoa killed more than 30,000 people. Anak Krakatau, the "son of Krakatoa," emerged from the spot where the island of Rakata existed before that eruption."

Banksy's Latest Mural Targets Air Pollution in Town Choking on Soot

More from Earther: "Banksy’s back. The illest street artist of them all hit Wales with a surprise Wednesday—a new mural on air pollution that does not hold back.He took to Port Talbot, a small town near the Swansea Bay that is most known for its steel plant, one of the largest in the world. Naturally, the mural had everything to do with this.In July, residents of the town raised concerns over black dust that coated their homes, pets, and children who played outside. It’s among one of the most highly polluted towns in the U.K., per a 2017 report.Banksy, of course, had his own twist on this. It’s wintertime, so most of what falls from the sky should be magical white snow. His piece, on a corner of a garage, shows a young boy enjoying the snow, sticking his tongue out the way most kids do. However, turn the corner, and viewers can see that this is not snow but, rather, ash from a burning dumpster."

Global water supply shrinks in rainier world

More from ClimateNews Network: "Even in a world with more intense rain, communities could begin to run short of water. New research has confirmed that, in a warming world, extremes of drought have begun to diminish the world’s groundwater – and ever more intense rainstorms will do little to make up the loss in the global water supply.And a second, separate study delivers support for this seeming paradox: worldwide, there is evidence that rainfall patterns are, increasingly, being disturbed. The number of record-dry months has increased overall. And so has the number of record-breaking rainy months.Both studies match predictions in a world of climate change driven by ever-higher ratios of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, from ever-increasing combustion of fossil fuels. But, unlike many climate studies, neither of these is based on computer simulation of predicted change."


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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