Dude, Where's My Car?
Thanks to @severeweatherEU for the picture below! Crippling snow has been falling across parts of Europe over the last several days. Here's an image from Austria, where apparently marking cars with spray paint is good reminder of where you parked...
"The U.S Government Shutdown Is Now Affecting the Accuracy of Your Weather Forecast"
"The partial government shutdown in the U.S. is nearing the three-week mark. National museums are closed, trash is overflowing at understaffed national parks, and airport security is at stake with TSA screeners calling in sick over their pay. Yet there’s another, more niche but critical area that’s also affected by the shutdown: weather forecasting. While the National Weather Service is technically considered essential and therefore shouldn’t be affected by the shutdown, that doesn’t paint a complete picture of the situation. Staff, such as forecasters and managers, are not being paid during the shutdown, but many are nonetheless expected to work. This is important because the service is responsible for developing forecast models, which don’t just tell Americans the expected weather in a given location, but also helps predict extreme weather events, such as hurricanes."

See more from Fortune HERE:

ECMWF (European Model) Still Superior to GFS (American Model)
Thanks to @RyanMaue for the information below who shares this bit of troubling information regarding the ECMWF (European weather model) vs. the GFS (American weather model). It appears that the ECMWF still exceeds the NOAA GFS model...

Nattional Cut Your Engergy Costs Day !!

"Scheduling an appointment to get your heating system tuned up, would be one of the many ways to participate on January 10 for National Cut Your Energy Costs Day.  Did you know that tuning up your heating system can save you up to three to ten percent? National Cut Your Energy Costs Day encourages people to look for ways to reduce energy costs and save on their energy bills. It is often in the little things that you do that can save you big money on your energy bill, such as:"

*Weatherproof your home
*Replace old windows with new energy-efficient windows
*Replace old furnace with new energy-efficient furnace
*Properly maintain furnace
*Use solar heat if possible
*Turn down thermostats
*Turning off lights when leaving a room
*Use energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs
*Run dishwasher and washing machine only when fully loaded
*Lower water heater temperature
*Take shorter showers
*Unplug unused appliances
*Carpool whenever possible

See more from National Day Calendar HERE:


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 January Tornado in Ohio on Tuesday

The same line of thunderstorms that rolled through parts of northern Ohio was also responsible for spawning a tornado Tuesday morning as well. 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.

EF1 Tornado Confirmed in Trumbull County Ohio
Thanks to @GaryNWS, who is the Meteorologist in Charge at the National Weather Service in at the Cleveland, OH for the video below. This tornado was responsible for EF1 tornado damage with max winds of 97mph near Cortland, OH.

Average Number of January Tornadoes By State
According to NOAA's SPC, Ohio doesn't even average 1 tornado during the month of January, so Tuesday's tornado was a pretty rare event. Note that Texas typically average the most with 5 tornadoes in January.

Weather Outlook Thursday

High temps on Thursday will be warmer than it was on Wednesday with temps warming back into the teens across the northern part of the state and the 20s across the southern part of the state. Note that these readings are a little closer to where we should be during what is typically the coldest time of the year here across the region.
Lowest Wind Chill AM Thursday
Wind chill values on Thursday morning will still be quite cold across the state with most locations in the sub-zero range across the northern half of the state. The good news is that AM Thursday should be the last really cold morning as temps look to warm to above average levels by the end of the week and weekend ahead!
MN DNR Warning of Dangerous Ice Conditions
A recent tweet from @mndnr suggested that due to warmer weather as of late, ice conditions have deteriorated in some locations. PLEASE BE CAREFUL if you plan on venturing out on area lakes/ponds!!
Recent 'Warmer' Weather Making Ice Conditions Unsafe in Some Areas
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!

Warmer Weather Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook from January 16th - 22nd suggests warmer than average temps moving back in across much of the Upper Midwest. Interestingly, mid January is typically the coldest time of the year for us closer to home.
Temperature Trend
Here's a look at the temperature trend from Sunday, January 13th to Tuesday, January 15th, which shows waves of warmer than average weather moving through the Upper Midwest. If you're not a fan of sub-zero wind chills, it looks like we'll have another winter reprieve continuing through mid-month!
Extended Temperature Outlook
Take a look at the extended temperature outlook as we head through January 24th. Note that after Wednesday's below average temp dip, the cold air doesn't appear to last too long as 20s and 30s move in pretty quickly later this week.In fact, it looks like warmer than average weather sticks around through much of next week with a hint of chillier weather returning by the beginning of the 3rd full week of the month.
A Look Ahead...
According to the ECMWF (European model), there doesn't appear to be a whole lot of snow chances as we head through the next 10 days or so. If  we trust this model, it looks like there maybe a little better chance by the middle/end of next week. Stay tuned...
 Snowfall Potential
Here's the ECMWF snowfall potential through over the next 10 days and at this point, it doesn't appear that there will be any significant snow events close to home anytime soon. There maybe some shovelable snow across the Arrowhead of MN and across parts of the Middle Mississippi Valley/Ohio Valley, but that's about it. Stay tuned...
Snow So Far This Season
Note that the Twin Cities has only seen 11" of snow so far this season, which is nearly 14" below average! Interestingly, Rochester has seen more than 15" of snow this season, International Falls has seen nearly 24" of snow this season and Duluth has seen nearly 35" of snow this season. Also note that there are only two climate locations that are reporting above average snowfall for the season (Brainerd, MN & Marquette, MI). Other than that, every location is reporting below average snowfall for the season.
Current Snow Depth
The current snow depth across the region shows pretty minimal amounts across the Twin Cities and into the southeastern part of the state. However, locations across the northern half of Minnesota shows a decent snow pack, especially along the MN North Shore, where more than a foot is being reported.

"How To Tell If Your Symptoms Are The Flu Or Just A Cold"
"The flu and the common cold are nasty respiratory illnesses with some similar symptoms. Here’s how to tell the difference. In the winter literally everyone seems to be getting sick. Your coworker won’t stop coughing and your kid keeps coming home from school a snotty mess, and a box of tissues barely lasts you one day. Contrary to popular belief, cold weather does not make you sick — but respiratory viruses (namely, influenza) do tend to peak during the fall and winter. In the US, flu season typically lasts from October to March. However, a nasty case of sniffles and aches during the winter doesn’t always mean you have the flu. Often, it’s just a cold, which you can get any time of the year. The common cold and flu are both contagious respiratory illnesses that can make you feel miserable, but they are caused by different viruses. Some flu symptoms may mimic a cold, but the flu tends to be much more serious and deadly — so it’s important to know the difference between these two illnesses. Obviously, only a doctor can diagnose you, but knowing how to recognize symptoms is always helpful. So how can you tell if your symptoms mean you have a cold or the flu, and what is the best treatment? We spoke to Dr. Tania Elliott, an allergist and immunologist at NYU Langone Health in New York City, to find out."
Cold and Flu Forecast - Minneapolis
According to Pollen.com, the Cold and Flu forecast suggests that we will be running at medium to medium-high levels over the next few days. Wash your hands!!

"14 Ways to Avoid Colds and Flu"
"Are you avoiding your co-worker with that hacking cough, cold, or flu in the cubicle next to you? Do you draw your hand back from every doorknob? Have cold-and-flu phobia? Get a grip before the grippe gets you. Weve consulted dozens of medical experts to bring you 14 ways to avoid colds and flu this season. Every time you shake someones hand, wash yours: But dont stop there. Wash them as much as possible, says Mark Mengel, MD, chair of community and family medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Running lots of water over your hands will dilute any germs and send them down the drain. Keep your hands off: Touching your nose and your eyes may hurt you, Mengel says. Those are the most common places for germs to get in."

"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."

See more from Bazar HERE:


New Minnesota State Precipitation Record in 2018
By Paul Douglas

Minnesota is trending wetter over time. Every 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature translates into 7 percent more water vapor floating overhead; moisture that's falling with greater intensity and frequency.

Nothing related to nature ever moves in a straight line. Extreme rainfall events are "lumpy" - flooding events coming in spurts - not spaced out evenly.

You won't get much argument from residents of Harmony, Minnesota, where a new state precipitation record of 60.2 inches was set in 2018. That broke the old record of 56.6 (Waseca in 2016). Average 30-year rainfall in Harmony is 34.6 inches, according to the Minnesota DNR. More than 120 stations across the Midwest had their wettest year on record in 2018, according to the Midwest Regional Climate Center.

Storms track south of Minnesota the next 2 weeks - our snow drought drags on indefinitely. Temperatures mellow over time with a thaw from Friday into Wednesday of next week.

Twin Cities highs may top 40F next Monday, January 14. Considering we could be -15 with butt-deep-drifts, I'm rather enjoying this quiet spell.

Extended Forecast

THURSDAY: Dim sun, not as nippy. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 26.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, not as cold. Winds:SE 5. Low: 19.

FRIDAY: Patchy clouds, afternoon thaw. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 34.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Storm stays south. Winds: E E-10.  Wake-up: 25. High: 32.

SUNDAY: More sun. Supernaturally quiet. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 21. High: 33.

MONDAY: Partly sunny, hints of March again. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 24. High: 41.

TUESDAY: Patchy clouds. Slightly cooler. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 25. High: 35.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy. Flurries possible. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 26. High: 32.

This Day in Weather History
January 10th

1990: A January 'heat wave' forms. MSP Airport warms to 49 degrees.

1975: The 'Blizzard of the Century' begins. Also called the 'Super Bowl Blizzard,' it was one of the worst blizzards ever. The pressure hit a low of 28.62. This was the record until 1998.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
January 10th

Average High: 23F (Record: 52F set in 2012)
Average Low: 7F (Record: -30F set in 1886)

Record Rainfall: 1.13" set in 1975
Record Snowfall: 4.0" set in 1976

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
January 10th

Sunrise: 7:49am
Sunset: 4:52pm

Hours of Daylight: ~9 hours & 2 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 1 minute & 28 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~ 16 minutes

Moon Phase for January 10th at Midnight
3.0 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, find Achernar, the star at the southern end of the River. The chart above is almost just like yesterday’s chart. But we’ve changed our observing location. Normally, our charts are set for the geographical center of the continental U.S. – say, the latitude of Wichita, Kansas (about 37o north latitude). The chart above is set to the extreme southern U.S. or similar latitudes around the world. It’s as if we’re gazing at stars from this southerly latitude in the Northern Hemisphere . . . maybe along the Texas/Mexico border, or from the Florida Keys, or from the latitude of some great cities around the world including Miami in the U.S., Taipei in Taiwan, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, or Muscat in Oman. From the latitude of these cities (about 25 degrees N.), the bottom part of constellation Eridanus the River may be seen just above the southern horizon. It’s from this latitude, or farther south on Earth’s globe, that you can see Achernar, the famous star that marks the end of the constellation Eridanus the River. Achernar is very bright. But, bright or not, you’ll never see it anywhere but right next to the southern horizon if you’re observing from the extreme southern U.S., or a similar latitude. And you won’t see it at all from a more northerly latitude. That’s because this star is located very far to the south on the celestial sphere, the imaginary dome of stars surrounding Earth."

National High Temps - Thursday, January 10th
High temps across the country on Thursday will still be warmer than average across much of the nation, with the exception of the Central and Southeastern US, where readings will be nearly -5F to -10F below average.

National Weather Outlook

Here's a look at weather conditions as we head through the next few days, which shows a fairly strong storm continuing in the Northeast with areas of heavy snow and gusty winds, while the Western US will still be dealing with rain and snow. Late week heavier rain/snow & ice will develop across the Central and Southern US. 


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. 

"VIDEO: High winds, waves knock lighthouse into Lake Michigan"
"A lighthouse was swept away by high winds and waves on Lake Michigan on Monday. NBC 25 reports the South Pier Light's 20-foot-tall fiberglass tower, on the south side of the Manitowoc Breakwater Light in Wisconsin, fell into the lake around 8:30 a.m. All that is left is the concrete base. The Manitowoc Breakwater Light, located at the mouth of the Manitowoc River, is a 52 foot steel tower set upon a 22 foot by 48 foot concrete base. The present light was built in 1918, replacing earlier lights built in 1840 and 1895."

"A Major Climate Treaty to Reduce Air Conditioning Emissions Just Went Into Force—Without the U.S."
"While the world was still hungover from the major climate conference in Poland last month, a game-changing climate treaty quietly went into effect. The Kigali Amendment entered into force as the calendar turned to 2019 and with it, the world began to put the clamps down on some of the most potent greenhouse gases on Earth. Now if only the U.S. would sign on. It’s taken years for the amendment to take shape and ratify, and it all stems from a big whoopsie in the 1980s. Then, scientists realized that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)—chemicals commonly found in air conditioners, refrigerators, and other cooling technologies—were screwing up Earth’s ozone layer. The world’s governments acted quickly to phase them out, passing the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that’s considered to be among the most successful environmental treaties ever agreed to."

"Glacial pace of space weather modernization"

"Since the U.S. military is extremely reliant on satellites for communications, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and geolocation, the Air Force is striving to augment space weather observations and improve forecast models. Unfortunately, progress often occurs at a glacial pace. “All of you probably learned about climate change and glacier movement,” said Ralph Stoffler, Air Force weather director. “Well this is the glacier of modernization. It moves very, very slowly.” Funding is not the problem.  “The resources are there,” Stoffler said Jan. 7 at the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting here. “The problem is the number of folks in industry and everywhere else that are building space weather capabilities are pretty limited.” This year, the Air Force plans to test prototype Energetic Charged Particle (ECP) sensors with goals of awarding production contracts in 2020 and reaching full operational capability in 2023. In 2015, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James signed a memo requiring all new satellites that had not completed their final design phase to include an energetic charged particle sensor. “We continue with mandate to equip all Air Force satellites with ECP sensors,” Stoffler said. “That is moving forward, which is good news.”

See more from SpaceNews HERE:

"China's Lunar Rover Enters Standby Mode for 'Noon Nap' as Chang'e 4 Tests Continue"
"China's Chang'e 4 lander and Yutu 2 rover have tested out payloads and systems on the far side of the moon, with the rover now taking a "noon nap" as a precaution against high temperatures. The Chang'e 4 lander made its historic landing at 177.6 degrees east longitude and 45.5 degrees south within Von Kármán Crater within the South Pole-Aitken basin at 9:26 p.m. EST Jan. 2 (0226 GMT on Jan. 3), following two weeks in lunar orbit. The rover was deployed from the lander just under 12 hours later, at 9:22 a.m. EST (1422 GMT) Jan. 3. The rover also officially received the name Yutu 2 ("Jade Rabbit 2"), following on from China's first lunar rover for the 2013 Chang'e 3 mission."
"Road to Crater Lake closed due to 'human waste buildup'"
"Crater Lake National Park remains open, but winter visitors will now need to hike a long way in, after the National Park Service closed the road into the park due to issues brought about by the federal government shutdown. On Thursday, park officials closed the southern entrance road at Oregon 62 due to a buildup human waste in the park – a disturbingly common problem at national park sites as they remain unstaffed during the shutdown, which started on December 22. “Due to conditions caused by the impact of human waste buildup on the park’s water system, the road to Crater Lake is now closed to vehicles at hwy 62 to protect public health and park resources. The road may not reopen until after the shutdown,” officials said in an alert posted to the park website. The closure effectively shuts down reasonable access to the national park, as the northern entrance road was closed earlier in the season."

See more from Oregon Live HERE:


"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?"

See more from The Atlantic HERE:

Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX

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Another Thaw Coming - Snow Drought Continues