"It may be a little shocking, but National Static Electricity Day is January 9.
Static electricity is different from the electrical current carried by wires through a building or transmitted by the electric companies. Static electricity is produced when the positive and negative charges of an atom are out of balance. The atoms of some materials hold their electrons tightly. These materials, such as plastic, cloth or glass, are insulators. The electrons of these substances do not move very freely. The electrons of other materials, such metal, move more freely and are called conductors. By rubbing two insulators together, we transfer electrons causing positive and negative charges. Opposites do attract. Atoms with a positive charge become attracted to atoms with a negative charge. We can see the evidence if we rub a balloon head. When the balloon is pulled away, the hair clings to the balloon. Remove the balloon, and the hair may stand on end. In this circumstance, the hair has the same charge (either positive or negative). Items with the same charge repel each other. At some point, these charges need to be put back in balance, and the static electricity is discharged. The release or the resulting shock occurs when an insulator comes in contact with a conductor, such as a piece of metal."
Rare January Tornado in Ohio on Tuesday
Thanks to the @NWSCLE and the Bazetta Township Road Department for the picture below. This is a look at a rare January tornado that touched down in Cortland, OH around 10:30AM Tuesday.
Rare January Severe Thunderstorm Warning in Ohio on Tuesday
Wow - take a look at this screen grab from GR2Analyst on Tuesday morning from just south of Cleveland, OH, where a severe thunderstorm warning was issued by the National Weather Service. Definitely a fairly rare site on a January morning, where winds of 60mph and quarter size hail were possible.
Rare Snow in Santorini, Greece
Thanks to @ActiveWxCams for the image below, which shows some rare snow that fell in Santorini, Greece!! Keep in mind that average January temps in these areas are in the 50s!
Weather Outlook Wednesday
"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."
By Paul Douglas
The federal government shutdown is impacting the quantity and quality of weather data flowing into U.S. weather models, specifically the GFS; NOAA's Global Forecast System. There's growing evidence that model accuracy is degrading over time.
Junk in - junk out. If the data that fuels a weather model is inferior, forecasts will be more inaccurate.
NOAA, including The National Weather Service, is "providing critical forecast, watch, and warning information to protect life and property throughout the shutdown". But some forecasters aren't getting paid & weather models aren't being maintained or improved.
Big, beefy storms continue to track from California to Texas and then right up the East Coast, leaving Minnesota drier and milder than average much of January.
This is as chilly as it gets looking out a week, but at least the sun will be shining (we've picked up 14 minutes of daylight since December 21).
Metro area temperatures rise above 32F from Friday into Wednesday of next week; 40s possibly again the middle of next week.
Payback for a lousy autumn and a numb November?_____________________________________________
WEDNESDAY: Chilled sunlight. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 16.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy and cold. Winds: NNW 5-10. Low: 10.
THURSDAY: Clouds increase, closer to average. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 23.
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Quiet for January. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 18. High: 32.
SATURDAY: Gray, but milder than average. Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 25. High: 32.
SUNDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 24. High: 36.
MONDAY: Intervals of sunshine. Still dry. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 25. High: 37.
TUESDAY: Touch of March. Where's winter? Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 28. High: 43.
This Day in Weather History
1982: Both January 9th and 10th would have some of the coldest windchills ever seen in Minnesota. Temperatures of -30 and winds of 40 mph were reported in Northern Minnesota. This would translate to windchills of -71 with the new windchill formula, and -100 with the old formula.
1934: A sleet and ice storm hits southwest Minnesota. Hardest hit locations were Slayton, Tracy and Pipestone. The thickest ice was just east of Pipestone with ice measuring 6 to 8 inches in diameter. At Holland in Pipestone County three strands of #6 wire measured 4.5 inches in diameter and weighed 33 ounces per foot. The ice was described as: 'Very peculiar information being practically round on three sides, the lower side being ragged projectiles like icicles: in other words pointed. The frost and ice were wet, not flaky like frost usually is. In handling this, it could be squeezed into a ball and did not crumble.'
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 23F (Record: 49F set in 2012)
Average Low: 7F (Record: -32F set in 1977)
Record Rainfall: 0.31" set in 1924
Record Snowfall: 3.8" set in 1924
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~9 hours & 00 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 1 minute & 24 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~ 14 minutes
Moon Phase for January 8th at Midnight
4.0 Days Before First 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, you’ll need a very dark sky in order to see Eridanus the River. You won’t see this one from the city, or even the suburbs. Eridanus the River begins near the star Rigel in the constellation Orion the Hunter – and wells up in a great loop before ambling back down toward the southern horizon. Eridanus is one of the longest and faintest constellations. It’s variously said to represent the Nile in Egypt, Euphrates in western Asia, or the River Po in Italy. Eridanus is also sometimes called the River of Orion, or River of Ocean. In Homer’s day in ancient Greece, it was thought that the River of Ocean encircled a flat Earth. A planisphere is virtually indispensable for beginning stargazers. Order your EarthSky Planisphere today! Why search for such a faint constellation? Only because it’s very beautiful. And seeing Eridanus – understanding its association with a river in the minds of the early stargazers – can give you a kinship with those stargazers from centuries ago. From most of the U.S., the River disappears below the southern horizon. But if you live at a very southerly latitude in the U.S., you can see a special sight: the star that represents the end of the River. This star is named Achernar."
National Weather Outlook
Here's a look at weather conditions as we head through the next few days, which shows another storm moving through the Northeast with areas of rain along and near the coast, while areas of heavy snow and gusty winds will be found in the higher elevations and in the Eastern Great Lakes. Meanwhile, another Pacific storm will continue in the Northwest with heavier rain along the coast and snow in the higher elevations.
7 Day Precipitation Potential
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation potential suggests heavy precipitation continuing in the Western US with several inches of liquid possible along the coast and in the higher elevations! There also appears to be more heavy precipitation across parts of the Southern US, where several inches of rain will be possible near the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
"The Milky Way Could Crash Into Another Galaxy Billions of Years Earlier Than Predicted"
"Ah, the Milky Way, our glittering home in the cosmos. Seen in an unencumbered night sky, far from the glare of city lights, it seems magnificent and eternal in its enormity. Nothing could shift this ancient web of stars, nothing could disturb its transcendent stoicism. Except, that is, another galaxy. Galaxies orbit millions of light-years apart, but gravity, the immutable magnet of the cosmos, can pull them together, producing spectacular collisions that reshuffle stars. According to the leading theory, the Milky Way will collide with one of its closest neighbors, Andromeda, sometime between 6 billion and 8 billion years from now. But the Milky Way may face another galactic threat before that, from a different neighbor. A new study predicts our galaxy will collide with a galaxy called the Large Magellanic Cloud between 1 billion and 4 billion years from now. This is a rather surprising change in schedule, considering that the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is close enough to be seen with the naked eye, is currently moving away from the Milky Way. What gives?"