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50s in December?

  • Blog Post by: Paul Douglas
  • December 2, 2012 - 5:54 PM

No December For You

By Todd Nelson

Are you as weirded out by this weather as I am? I mean, come on... 50s in December, what gives?

A nearly stationary and powerful Pacific storm is responsible for our late October/early November like weather as of late. The record high for today's date is 62F and we should fall short of that mark, but looking back through past Decembers, since 2000, I could only count a +50F high only 3 times; 2011, 2006 and 2004.

Upper level winds have been consistently blowing in from the west. This mild Pacific or zonal flow will get a little nudge north today as an approaching storm system rides along the international border. Even after the cold front passes later today, Tuesday's 'colder' temperatures will still be warmer than normal average high. In fact, I don't see us going below average until maybe the end of the week.

I, probably like many other, have the shovels at the ready and the snow blower all gased up. Though I still don't see whopper storm system brewing, models are hinting at a little more substantial shot at something by the end of the week/weekend ahead. Until then, enjoy winter-lite. Minnesota weather will likely return soon! -Todd Nelson

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Todd's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin CIties and all of Minnesota:

 

MONDAY: Brief shower?Turning colder later. High: 54 (by midday, then falling) Winds: S, then WNW 10-20

MONDAY: Breezy and cooler. Low: 32

TUESDAY: Cool breezy, more PM sun. High: 41

WEDNESDAY: Jacket weather. Clouds increase, light wintry mix late? Low: 21. High: 36

THURSDAY: AM wintry mix, more PM sun. Low: 31. High: 43

FRIDAY: Fading PM sun, PM flurries?. Low: 26. High: 33

SATURDAY: Cloudy with light snow late. Low: 18. High: 31.

SUNDAY: Sun/cloud mix with light snow. Low: 24. High: 30.

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Somewhat Soggy and Foggy Sunday

I had to work the early shift on Sunday, so the drive into work at 4am wasn't the greatest... in fact, it was a bit nerve wracking. I wasn't a big fan of driving on the highway with extremely low visibility. It was almost hypnotic, staring into the abyss, watching the white lines whizz past. I snapped this shot earlier Sunday... the low fog layer opened up enough to get a quick glimpse of the near full moon.

 

 

 

Sunday Sunshine or No Sunshine

Look at how close the clearing line was to the Twin Cities Sunday afternoon... If you were northeast of the yellow through the day Sunday, you more than likely had a pretty gloomy day. Southwest of that line, the sun popped out and temperatures warmed close to 60F... remind me what month it is again.

 

 

 

Sunday Afternoon Temperatures

It's hard to see in the map below, but temperatures across southwest Minnesota on Sunday afternoon warmed into the low 60s. Marshall, MN reported a 61F temp by 2pm, while temperatures in the Twin Cities were only in the 30s.

 

 
 
Classic Warm Front
 
This is a pretty classic warm front setup... cool, cloudy and foggy north of the warm front and warm/sunny south of the warm front. Unfortunately that setup right over the Twin Cities so folks in the metro didn't see much sun.
 
 
 
December Rain?
 
As a storm system slides along/north of the international border today, it'll drag Pacific moisture along with it. Doesn't it seem weird to be talking about the potential for rain on the 3rd of December? Even though the graphic below looks pretty wild, Monday isn't expected to be a washout. However, there could be a few isolated t-storms near Chicago, which could beef up rainfall just a little bit.
 
 
Monday Rainfall Potential
 
NOAA's HPC 1 day precipitation across the nation shows this weak disturbance across the Upper Mississippi Valley with light precipitation potential, but it also shows addtional precipitation potential across the West Coast.
 
 
 
5 Day Precipitation Forecast
 
For those along the West Coast, the constant barrage of heavy Pacific moisture isn't over just yet. The 5 day precipitation forecst brings in another +5" for some... some of which may be in the form of snow across the higher elevations.
 
 
 
Heavy California Rain
 
 
"Grass Valley, Brunswick Basin. The area was formerly known as Olympia Lake. Photo by Daniel Swartzendruber"
 
 
California Rainfall Totals
 
Here are some of the NWS Mesonet observations of precipitation totals over northern California. See more HERE:
 
 
 
Atmospheric River - California Flooding?
 
This is kind of a timely story from scientificamerican.com, read more HERE:
 
"DROWNED: A 43-day atmospheric-river storm in 1861 turned California’s Central Valley region into an inland sea, simulated here on a current-day map."
 
"Geologic evidence shows that truly massive floods, caused by rainfall alone, have occurred in California about every 200 years. The most recent was in 1861, and it bankrupted the state.
Such floods were most likely caused by atmospheric rivers: narrow bands of water vapor about a mile above the ocean that extend for thousands of miles. Much smaller forms of these rivers regularly hit California, as well as the western coasts of other countries."
 
 
 
Vikings Lose at Lambeau
 
WNTV meteorologist Bryan Karrick made his annual trip to Lambeau field for the "Border Battle" (Vikings vs. Packers) on Sunday. We happened to corrdinate and capture Bryan on the Lambeau tailgate webcam.
 
 
 
Extended Snowfall Potential
 
The long range "192 hour fantasyland" GFS forecast suggests a better potential of light snow accumulations by some point late week/weekend.
 
 
Highs Monday - Very Warm December 3rd
 
Take a look at the forecast highs across the nation on Monday.... much of the central part of the country will be nearly 15F to 25F warmer than normal and near records in spots!
 
 
Highs From Normal Monday
 
It's pretty remarkable to see much of the nation well above average...
 
 
 
Thanks for checking in, have a great week ahead.
 
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV
 

 

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