Under 4" - STAY OFF
4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5" - 7" - Snowmobile or ATV
8" - 12" - Car or small pickup
12" - 15" - Medium truck
Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.
White ice or "snow ice" is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.
Weather Outlook Ahead
A fast moving clipper will scoot through the region today with a little light snow coating across the eastern portions of Minnesota and into Wisconsin. It doesn't look like much, but some locations in the Arrowhead could see 1" to 2" through Friday.
High Temps Friday
High temperatures on Friday will still be VERY chilly across the eastern half of the country and especially in the Southern US, where readings will be nearly 20F below average! Interestingly, it could be cold enough there for some wintry precipitation and even some slushy snow accumulations.
According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavier precipitation moving through the extreme southern part of the country through the Southeast and into the eastern portions of the Carolinas. A few areas here could see as much as 1" to 3" of liquid, some of which could turn into slushy snow accumulations!
Praedictix Briefing: Thursday, December 7th, 2017
- A State of Emergency remains in effect due to dangeous and rapidly growing wildfires in Southern California.
- Several ongoing wildfires have already burned more than 100,000 acres since Monday.
- At least 200,000 people have been evacuated across the region.
- The Thomas Fire in Ventura county has consumed nearly 90,000 acres and is only 5% contained. As of Mandatory evacuations remain in place today with evacuation zones increasing; here is the evacuation map. More than 1,700 people are battling the fire. night, at least 150 structures have burned, 50 have been damaged and 12,000 are threatened. According to the Los Angeles Times, 50,000 people have been evacuated.
- The Creek Fire in Los Angeles County near Sylmar has consumed more than 12,000 acres and is only 5% contained. This fire has destroyed at least 30 structures, 2,500 are threatened and 2 firefighters have been injured. Nearly 150,000 people have been evacuated and Mandatory evacuations remain in place today; here is the evacuation map. Nearly 1,700 people are battling the fire.
- The Rye Fire in Los Angeles County near Santa Clarita has consumed nearly 7,000 acres and was only 10% contained. 1,300 people in Westridge have been evacuated and nearly 5,500 structures are threatened. Nearly 1,000 people are battling the fire. Incident update from CalFire HERE:
- The Skirball Fire in Los Angeles County near Bel-Air, Skirball Center and Getty Center in the Sepulveda Pass has consumed 475 acres and is only 5% contained. The 405 Freeway has re-opened in both directions, but some offramps remain blocked. 4 to 6 homes have been destroyed and 11 have been damaged. Mandatory evacuations remain in place for people living in the area; here is the evacuation map.
- EXTREME and CRITICAL fire weather concerns are in place as the strongest Santa Ana Wind event of the season continues through the end of the week. This remains a rapidly changing situation and additional evacuations are likely as the fires continue to spread.
Credit: CAL FIRE
Numerous Wildfires in the LA area. A multitude of active wildfires continue in the Los Angeles area with the most notable fires being the Thomas Fire, which erupted HERE. Very strong Santa Ana winds and low humidity has allowed for explosive growth of the fires, which have been spreading rapidly. The ferocity of the blazes are hindering firefighting efforts along with the extreme fire weather conditions that continue. Up-to-the-minute information on these blazes can be found via Twitter: @CAL_Fire and @
Smoke Plumes Seen From Space. Dense smoke can be seen on visible satellite and from astronauts on the International Space State. The image above from @AstroKomrade shows the intense smoke plumes drifting west-southwest out over the Pacific Ocean. Strong off shore flow is pushing the smoke out to sea, but communities near the blazes and downwind of the fires are experiencing unhealthy air quality--it is advised to stay indoors.
Unhealthy Air: Air quality remains unhealthy in a number of areas downwind of the intense smoke plumes. Officials are advising to stay indoors in the areas that are experiencing smoky, hazy skies.
Hurricane Force Wind Gusts Continue. The National Weather Service in Los Angeles stated earlier this week: "This will likely be the strongest and longest duration Santa Ana wind event we have seen so far this season which will persist through the end of the week." With that said, wind gusts have been reported up to 80mph in the foothills of Orange county with gusts observed up to 78 mph in Los Angeles county. Unfortunately, there won't be much change through the end of the week, so Red Flag Warnings and High Wind Warnings have been posted through.
Credit: NWS Los Angeles
Update From the National Weather Service in Los Angeles: The strongest and longest duration Santa Ana wind event we have seen so far this season will continue through at least. The strongest winds during this event will occur into . During these times, damaging wind gusts of 50 to 70 mph will be common across wind prone areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, with isolated gusts as high as 80 mph in the mountains. The Santa Ana winds combined with humidities in the teens and single digits, along with very dry fuels, will bring an extended period of critical fire weather conditions to much of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. If fire ignitions occur, there is a high likelihood of very rapid fire spread, long range spotting, and extreme fire behavior. Other potential impacts included downed trees and power lines, blowing dust and debris, and power outages, especially through .
Credit: NWS Los Angeles
Strong WindsMorning: Some of the strongest winds will continue morning across wind prone areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, with isolated gusts as high as 80 mph in the mountains.
High Winds Concerns through: The National Weather Service continues High Wind Warnings and Advisories through at least as strong Santa Ana winds frequently gust at 60mph to 80mph. Not only will these winds fan recent wildfire flames, but they could also lead to downed trees and power lines. Property damage can't be ruled out along with widespread blowing dust and debris.
Red Flag Warnings: The National Weather Service continues Red Flag Warnings across much of the area throughas strong Santa Ana winds, warm temps and low realtive humidity continue. Here's an excerpt from their warning: "An extended moderate to strong Santa Ana wind event will continue over much of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties through at least . The winds are expected to strengthen again through with 18 to 24 hours of strong winds gusting to 50 to 75 mph. This is a significant period. The winds will then gradually weaken through . Meanwhile, minimum humidities of 6 to 12 percent will be common through at least early next week, with widespread very poor overnight recoveries staying under 30 percent. As a result, critical Red Flag conditions will persist over most of Los Angeles and Ventura through . The Santa Barbara Mountains will also see increasing east winds into , with Red Flag conditions through morning."
EXTREME Fire Weather Concerns: The Storm Prediction Center keeps a fire conditions at EXTREME and CRITICAL levels in Southern California as strong Santa Ana winds continue . Some of the strongest winds are expected to continue through early with gusts between 60 and 80 mph in the mountains. Single digit relative humidity continues, which marks an extended period of critical fire weather conditions for Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The Santa Ana winds will continue, but will gradually weaken and .
CRITICAL Fire Weather Concerns: The Storm Prediction Center has extended and expanded the CRITICAL fire weather concern across Southern California as the Santa Ana winds continue . Although winds may be a little lighter, winds could gusts up to 60 mph or higher.
Dangerous and rapidly growing wildfires will continue as the strongest Santa Ana wind event of the season extends through the end of the week. Conditions may change rapidly and additional evacuations may be ordered as fire weather conditions remain extreme.
Meteorologist Todd Nelson, Praedictix
It certainly has been a fairly active first half of 2017 with 1,511 preliminary tornado reports through December 6th. Note that this is the most tornadoes through that date since 2011, when there were 1,880 reports. The map below shows the distribution of the tornadoes so far this year.
PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Count
According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY 2017 tornado count is 1,511 (through December 6th). Note that is the most active year for tornadoes since 2011, when there were 1,880 tornadoes. Notice that the only other year with more tornadoes than this year was in 2008, which ended with a whopping 2,140 tornadoes nationwide.
National Weather Hazards Ahead...
1.) Heavy snow across portions of the Great Lakes and the Upper Mississippi Valley, Sun-Wed, Dec 10-Dec 13.
2.) Heavy snow across portions of the eastern Great Lakes, Mon-Wed, Dec 11-Dec 13.
3.) High winds across portions of California, Sun-Tue, Dec 10-Dec 12.
4.) Much below normal temperatures across the eastern half the U.S., Sun-Thu, Dec 10-Dec 14.
5.) Enhanced wildfire risk across portions of California, Sun, Dec 10.
6.) Heavy precipitation across portions of the Alaska Panhandle and mainland Alaska, Sun-Mon, Dec 10-Dec 11.
7.) High winds across portions of mainland Alaska, Mon, Dec 11.
8.) High winds across portions of the Alaska Panhandle and mainland Alaska, Sun, Dec 10.
9.) Much above normal temperatures across portions of mainland Alaska, Sun-Thu, Dec 10-Dec 14.
10.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio Valley, Fri-Thu, Dec 15-Dec 21.
11.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Southeast, the Mid-Atlantic, the Southern Appalachians, the Ohio Valley, and the Tennessee Valley, Fri-Sat, Dec 15-Dec 16.
12.) Moderate risk of much below normal temperatures for portions of the Northeast and Great Lakes, Fri-Sun, Dec 15-Dec 17.
13.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for portions of the Alaska Panhandle and mainland Alaska, Fri-Tue, Dec 15-Dec 19.
14.) Severe Drought across the Lower Mississippi Valley, the Northern Plains, Hawaii, the Northern Rockies, the Middle Mississippi Valley, the Southern Plains, and the Southwest.
North American Winter Dipole & A Clipper Today
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
Raging wildfires in southern California have burned more than 100,000 acres and have prompted evacuations for 200,000 people since Monday.
These explosive wildfires have been fanned by the strongest Santa Ana wind event of the season. The strength and duration has allowed 60 to 80 mph wind gusts and very dry air to persist for days. According to LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazes, the brush burning index was rated a 296 earlier this week, the highest he's ever seen it in his career.
From a very wet spring to a very dry fall, the pieces were in place. The catalyst was a "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge" in the West that helped develop the perfect Santa Ana wind storm.
Because that ridge is so large, the trough in the Eastern US is equally as big! This North American Winter Dipole will help develop snow accumulations from the southern tip of Texas to Georgia through the end of the week!
Meanwhile, the January-like northwest flow pattern continues for us as another clipper dusts the region with a light fluffy snow coating later today. No big deal.
FRIDAY: Light fluffy snow coating later. Winds: WNW 5-15. High: 26.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Coating of snow early, then mostly cloudy. Winds: NNW 10. Low: 15
SATURDAY: Some sun. Feels like January. Winds: WNW 5-15: High: 23.
SUNDAY: Brief thaw. Light snow overnight. Winds: WNW 5-10. Wake-up: 13. High: 35.
MONDAY: Scattered, wind-whipped flurries. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 25. High: 32.
TUESDAY: Brisk wind chills return. Winds: WNW 5-15. Wake-up: 14. High: 27.
WEDNESDAY: A few scattered flakes. Winds: WNW 5-15. Wake-up: 14. High: 27.
THURSDAY: Another clipper rolls through. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 13. High: 24.
This Day in Weather History
1995: A strong low pressure system passes across Northern Minnesota, producing considerable snowfall in advance of an intense cold front. Snowfall of five to eight inches was common with eight inches recorded at New London and Alexandria. The most snow reported was 9.6 inches in Mound. The Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport received 7.1 inches. The cold front moved through by late morning on the 8th as temperatures dropped 20 degrees within an hour of the frontal passage. Strong northwest winds of 20 to 40 mph immediately behind the front resulted in severe blowing and drifting and white-out conditions in many areas. Over 150 schools closed early or cancelled classes. Many businesses closed early as well. The Governor ordered state offices closed at noon on the 8th, sending thousands of state employees home. Over 100 outbound flights were cancelled at the Twin Cities International Airport, but the airport remained open.
1876: The term 'Blizzard' is first used in the government publication 'Monthly Weather Review.'
1804: John Sayer at the Snake River Fir Trading Post near present day Pine City mentions: 'Cold day. Thermometer 10 degrees below freezing.' Lewis and Clark also noted this cold wave at their winter quarters in Ft. Mandan, North Dakota near present day Bismarck.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 29F (Record: 50F set in 1990)
Average Low: 15F (Record: -22F set in 1876)
Record Rainfall: 0.44" set in 1963
Record Snowfall: 7.1" set in 1995
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours 53 mins
Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~1 minutes and 2 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 20th): 6 hours & 44 minutes
Moon Phase for December 8th at Midnight
1.0 Days Before Last Quarter Moon
High temps on Friday won't be quite as cold as what we've been dealing with over the past couple of days. In fact, it looks like reading will be closer to in not even a little warmer than average across far western Minnesota. This slight warmup will be ahead of a clipper system that will help to produce a little light snow across the region.
Here's the temperature outlook through December 22nd, which shows slightly warmer temps moving in as we head into the weekend and early next week before the bottom drops out again. It appears that we could warm briefly to above freezing on Sunday and Monday before temps drop into the 10s and 20s through the rest of the month. Stay tuned...
8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook
Here's the temperature outlook into the 3rd week of December, which suggests temperatures will remain cooler than average across much of the Midwest into the Great Lakes. However, warmer than average temperatures will continue in the Western US.
8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook
Here's the extended temperature outlook as we head into the 3rd week of December. The high amplitude and stagnant weather pattern will continue to keep colder than average temperatures in the Eastern US, while warmer than average temperatures will continue in the Western US.
"ATMOSPHERIC RADIATION IS INCREASING"
"Since the spring of 2015, Spaceweather.com and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus have been flying balloons to the stratosphere over California to measure cosmic rays. Soon after our monitoring program began, we quickly realized that radiation levels are increasing. Why? The main reason is the solar cycle. In recent years, sunspot counts have plummeted as the sun's magnetic field weakens. This has allowed more cosmic rays from deep space to penetrate the solar system. As 2017 winds down, our latest measurements show the radiation increase continuing apace--with an interesting exception, circled in yellow:"
"10 Strange Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Earth"
"The planet we all call home is even more bizarre than you might imagine. There’s no doubt that planet Earth is awe-inspiring. That’s even more true for the handful of humans who’ve seen it from space with their own eyes. “We tend to think of ourselves as a weird, tiny little human being on a very large, powerful planet, and therefore clearly irrelevant to anything that might affect the planet at a planetary scale,” says former NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan, who in 1984 became the first U.S. woman to walk in space. “In some ways that’s true. But if you step back and look at the planet in total, you see how richly interconnected and intertwined all the actual systems are.” Even with all its magnificence and majesty, Earth is also just kind of strange. Aside from the fact that it’s the only planet known (so far) to support life, it has a bunch of inherent quirks, from geophysical weirdness to the landscapes adorning its surface to the organisms it supports. And the more we learn about Earth’s peculiarities, the more we grow to appreciate and treasure its many wonders—starting with the air we breathe. “You look back at the Earth and that huge majestic ocean, [the atmosphere is] a lot more like the fuzz on a tennis ball than some big massive thing,” Sullivan says. “It’s like the wall of a soap bubble, this little membrane that envelops this grain of rock and is the reason that critters like us can live.” Here are some of the oddest things about this gas-shrouded ball of water and rock we call home."
"Russian weather satellite fails to enter orbit after launch"
"VOSTOCHNY LAUNCH PAD, RUSSIA - A Russian weather satellite and nearly 20 micro-satellites from various nations failed to enter their designated orbits Tuesday following the launch from Russia's new cosmodrome, another blow to the nation's space program. Russia's Roscosmos space agency said it has failed to establish communications with the Meteor M 2-1 satellite that was launched atop a Soyuz-2 booster rocket Tuesday from Russia's new Vostochny launch pad in the Far East. The agency says it's trying to determine what happened. Russian news agencies reported the likely cause was the failure of the booster's final stage, the Fregat, possibly caused by a software flaw."
"Pacific Weather Shenanigans Could End Up Weakening December Cold"
"As with the infamous El Nino, what happens in the Pacific Ocean doesn’t always stay in the Pacific Ocean. To the dismay of natural gas traders, that may also be the case with the Madden Julian Oscillation, known as MJO. That pulse of rain and clouds in the western Pacific could set off a series of events that pulls the teeth out of a cold snap set to blanket the eastern U.S. in mid-December, said Brad Harvey, a meteorologist with MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For the gas market, that would mean less demand for the power-plant fuel. The MJO, which moves eastward around the globe every 30 to 60 days, can break down a ridge of high pressure over the Gulf of Alaska, which helps funnel cold air into central Canada and the U.S. With the cold air pump shut off, temperatures could fail to deliver the bitter cold for which natural gas traders have been searching."
"Puerto Ricans Who Moved To New York After Hurricane Maria Are Living In A State Of Uncertainty"
"Thousands of the island's displaced residents are waiting and watching as recovery efforts progress slowly back home. Puerto Ricans who fled the storm-ravaged island for New York City in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria are living in a state of uncertainty, waiting and watching the painstaking process of recovery at home while their lives are in limbo, unsure of whether to stay or go back. "I'm not making any decisions right now. It's all too much at once," Evelyn Rosario, 52, said Tuesday at a hurricane service center set up by the city. The center, located in Harlem, receives around 35 families like Rosario's per day, who are looking for assistance signing up for benefits like SNAP and Medicaid in New York, and information about other city services, officials said."
"Thanks to climate change, the weather roasting California and freezing the East may thrive"
"The explosive brush fires raging in Southern California and the frigid weather about to grip the eastern U.S. are connected. They are the consequences of an extreme jet pattern that makes the West hot and dry, and simultaneously the East cold. And new research reveals climate change and shrinking sea ice may help this pattern of wild contrasts develop more frequently. The overarching weather pattern responsible for the contrasting extremes between the coasts is known as the North American Winter Dipole. It is fancy term to describe abnormally warm conditions in the West and cold conditions in the East. Under such a pattern, the jet stream, the super highway for storms that divides cold and warm air, surges north in the western half of the nation, and crashes south in the eastern half."
"Video: Incredible 1,000fps slow-motion 4K lightning footage"
WOW! This is incredible video... If you're mesmerized by weather, you'll surely love watching this! "If you need something to get your week off to an 'epic' start, look no further than DP Dustin Farrell's incredible storm chasing video he just released yesterday. Captured mostly with a Phantom Flex4K slow-motion camera at 1,000fps, it's a slow-motion masterpiece with lightning footage that left this writer's jaw slack. The video, titled Transient, is a compilation of Farrell's best storm chasing shots from the 2017 season. Over the course of 30 days he says he drove over 20,000 miles—developing a deeper "respect and admiration for storm chasers" all the while. He also shared some technical details in the video's description: Most of the lightning footage was captured in uncompressed raw at 1000 frames per second with our Phantom Flex4K."
"Stunning video captures mega storm over Western Australia"
"A rainy-season electrical storm lit up the skies over Kimberley, Western Australia, as Tropical Cyclone Dahlia lay over the coast nearby. This extraordinary time-lapse video was captured by Geoff Green."
"No-Snow November in Denver: Climate Change or Funky Weather Patterns?"
"If November's weather felt more like September's to you, you were on to something. November finished with no measurable snowfall for just the ninth time since reliable records began in 1882. It's also the first time Denver will finish snow-free in the month since 2005, and just the second time since 1949. Temperatures were also seven degrees above average for the month, making it the tenth-warmest November on record. This included a stunning 81-degree temperature on November 27, the warmest November temperature on record in our dear city. In the nine seasons that had no measurable snowfall, eight finished with seasonal below-average snowfall. Of course, part of that has to do with losing November's 7.7-inch average snowfall, typically Denver's fifth-snowiest month of the year. But in those nine snow-free Novembers, seven had less December snowfall than average, too. Winter's not dead, but this winter may end up with less snowfall than average, which could be caused by the current weak La Niña pattern in the Pacific."
"From deluge to drought: Texas endures severe drought after Harvey"
"Weather is known for its wild pendulum swings, but this is ridiculous: Three months after the nation's worst urban flood disaster ever, parts of Texas are now enduring severe drought conditions. "Since Harvey, we have had 90 days of below-normal rainfall and average monthly temperatures have been 5 degrees above normal," according to Nikki Hathaway, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Houston. The main threat from the drought at this point is wildfires: "Fire is the primary potential impact, and wet followed by dry is the standard recipe for lots of dry fuels," said John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas state climatologist. "Other problems are related to lack of establishment of winter pasture and (farther north) winter wheat," he said. And while it's too soon for any water supply impacts, summer reservoir inflows in the Hill Country were third-lowest on record, according to Bob Rose of the Lower Colorado River Authority."
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