Rain And Snow Sunday Night Into Monday
As a system moves through the region Sunday Night into Monday, an area of rain and snow will spread across the state. While for southern Minnesota this will mainly be in the form of rain, an area of snow changing over to rain is likely across central Minnesota through the overnight hours, including the Twin Cities. Some freezing rain may even be possible in spots. Further north, most of the precipitation will fall in the form of snow, and some very heavy snow is likely along the North Shore Sunday Night into Monday.
Along parts of the North Shore, over a foot of snow could fall in areas like Silver Bay and Grand Marais. Snowfall totals will taper the futher you head south across Minnnesota, with parts of the Twin Cities metro likely to only pick up a trace of snow.
Due to the potential of heavy snow associated with this system, Winter Storm Warnings have been issued across northern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Again, these areas - including Duluth, Grand Marais, and International Falls - are the most likely to see at least 6" of snow with this storm. Surrounding that are Winter Weather Advisories, where for areas like Roseau, Bemidji, Brainerd, and Hinckley, the potential of 2-6" of snow exists. In areas like St. Cloud, Alexandria, and Little Falls, Winter Weather Advisories are in effect from 9 PM Sunday night to 9 AM Monday morning for the potential of a glaze of ice and up to an inch of snow.
Looking at liquid precipitation totals (accounting for rain as well as melted snow), the heaviest liquid totals are expected where the heaviest snow will fall across northern Minnesota. What is also interesting to note is that some area like Grand Marais may change over to a rain/snow mix as precipitation ends Monday afternoon and enough warm air moves in. Areas like the Twin Cities and Rochester will pick up between about a quarter and a half an inch of liquid.
Our "January Thaw" Continued Saturday
We've been enjoying some lovely March weather in early January the past few days, and that continued on Saturday as highs climbed into the mid-40s in the Twin Cities. Officially MSP airport saw a high of 47F, which tied the record for the day set back in 1885. Many areas of central and southern Minnesota climbed into the 40s Saturday, with most of the northern half of the state staying in the 20s and 30s.
Saturday marked the second day in a row with a record high in the Twin Cities (with the thermometer hitting 47F both days) as well as the third day in a row with a high in the 40s. That pales in comparison to that high of 11F that welcomed the new year on Tuesday!
While MSP was the only Minnesota NWS climate location to set a record high Saturday, more records were set out in Wisconsin. Eau Claire, Green Bay, and Milwaukee all saw record highs on Saturday.
Monday Marks A Minnesota Snowfall Record
While parts of the state are receiving heavy snow Sunday Night into Monday, it's not likely to rival what fell along one portion of the Minnesota North Shore back on January 7th, 1994. While the Twin Cities airport picked up a Trace of snow that day and the Duluth airport saw 8.2", it was a winter wonderland further up the shore where 36" of snow - yes, three feet of snow - fell near Finland at the Wolf Ridge ELC. That is the record for the largest one-day Minnesota snowfall total. Over the entire length of the storm - from January 6th through the 8th - they picked up 46.5" of snow, marking the largest single storm snowfall in Minnesota history.
Rain in January? Blame (or Thank) El Nino
By Paul Douglas
Two dates stand out in my mind every winter: December 21 and January 19. Of course December 21 is the Winter Solstice, when the sun is lowest in the southern sky. Note: MSP has picked up 11 minutes of daylight since then.
Looking at 30-year climate data, average temperatures tick up again January 19, for the first time in 6 months.
No, spring is not right around the corner, but this January may wind up considerably milder than average.
El Nino is hijacking upper level steering winds; the jet stream blowing big storms into the west coast, pushing mild, Pacific air deep into Minnesota. Most El Nino winters bitter airmasses give Minnesota just a glancing blow - the coldest, eye-watering air bottled up just to our north.
A subzero slap or two is inevitable by late January, but the next 2 weeks look relatively mild. After cooling off by midweek, 40s return next Sunday and Monday.
Last night's cold rain sweeps into Wisconsin today, maybe a plowable snowfall near Green Bay.
Talk of 40s, rain, ice and wet, sloppy snow? I'd swear it's March 7. Who turned on the time machine?
Extended Twin Cities Forecast
MONDAY: Wet start, slow clearing. High 40. Low 25. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind W 10-15 mph.
TUESDAY: Blustery with a cold wind. High 27. Low 8. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 20-35 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny and chilly. Less wind. High 18. Low 9. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
THURSDAY: Clouds increase and thicken. High 23. Low 21. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SE 8-13 mph.
FRIDAY: Gray, few flurries possible. High 28. Low 19. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NE 8-13 mph.
SATURDAY: Peeks of sun, a bit milder. High 32. Low 23. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 8-13 mph.
SUNDAY: Sunny breaks, another January Thaw. High 41. Low 31. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 10-15 mph.
This Day in Weather History
2003: Record warmth develops over Minnesota. Many places reached the 50s, including the Twin Cities. St. James hit 59 and the Twin Cities reached 51. Nine golf courses were open in the Twin Cities and 100 golfers were already at the Sundance Golf Course in Maple Grove in the morning.
1873: A storm named the 'Great Blizzard' hits Minnesota. This three-day blizzard caused extreme hardship for pioneers from out east who were not used to the cold and snow. Visibility was down to three feet. Cows suffocated in the deep drifts and trains were stuck for days. More than 70 people died, and some bodies were not found until spring. Weather conditions before the storm were mild, just like the Armistice Day storm.
Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
Average High: 23F (Record: 52F set in 2003)
Average Low: 8F (Record: -34F set in 1887)
Average Precipitation: 0.04" (Record: 0.30" set in 1989)
Average Snow: 0.4" (Record: 3.6" in 1989)
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Sunrise: 7:50 AM
Sunset: 4:48 PM
*Length Of Day: 8 hours, 57 minutes and 23 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~1 minute and 15 seconds
*Next Sunrise At Or Before 7:30 AM: February 3rd (7:30 AM)
*Next Sunset At Or After 5 PM: January 17th (5:00 PM)
Minnesota Weather Outlook
As mentioned above, rain and snow will continue across eastern and northern Minnesota through the morning hours - lingering longer into the day across parts of northern Minnesota - on Monday. Highs will range from the 30s across northern and central Minnesota, with 40s expected across the southern third of the state.
Highs on Monday will range between 15-25 degrees above average in most locations.
Our "January Thaw" is unfortunately going to come to an end after Monday, however. Highs on Tuesday will be set early in the day in the Twin Cities, with falling temperatures expected through the second day of the work week. Highs on Wednesday will be stuck in the teens, but they will rebound to around freezing by Friday or Saturday.
Of concern Tuesday with those falling temperatures will be strong wind gusts across the region. Wind gusts over 30 mph will be possible thoughout the day, and favored areas out in western and southern Minnesota could see wind gusts up to 50 mph.
After we get past the rain and snow Sunday Night into Monday, a few snow flurries or showers may be possible Tuesday across the region. Otherwise our next best shot of precipitation looks to be late Thursday into Friday. However, moisture will be minimal with that next system, meaning that totals at the moment would be expected to be on the light side.
National Weather Forecast
A system moving through the middle of the country Monday will bring rain from parts of the upper Midwest southward into the Southern Plains, as well as into parts of the Northeast by the evening hours. Snow will be possible across parts of the Great Lakes into New England with this system as well. Meanwhile, rain and snow will continue out west as a third system in a series of storms that has been impacting the region moves toward the coast. Highs will be quite above average in parts of the upper Midwest, with Chicago and St. Louis seeing highs that are about 25 degrees above average.
The heaviest preciptiation through Tuesday evening will occur along the west coast, where rainfall totals could top 2-3" in spots.
Heavy snow will be possible across two portions of the country. The first is in the western mountains - including the Sierra - where at least 1-3 feet of snow will be possible in some locations from the series of storms impacting the region. The second will be across parts of the Great Lakes, where areas along the Lake Superior North Shore in Minnesota could see over a foot of snow Sunday Night into Monday.
As effects of drought linger, California snowpack measures below average — but better than last year
More from the Los Angeles Times: "Bundled up in royal blue puffy jackets, surveyors with the California Department of Water Resources waddled through a field Thursday in the Sierra Nevada, the snow crunching beneath their feet. They plunged a pole into the frozen ground, probing for an important measurement: the first snowpack of the year. The result wasn’t perfect, but it’s an OK start, officials said: 25.5 inches deep. That’s 80% of average to date, and 36% of the April 1 average in that location, said John King, a water resources engineer with the state department. “That suggests we’d be standing in 9 inches of water right now if all the snow were to be melted,” he said. “While these results are below average, they are a stark contrast to where we were last year.” Earlier in the morning, spokesman Chris Orrock guessed as much when looking at the department’s Phillips station, one of many sites surveyors return to every month between January and April."
Cosmic collision billions of years off could fling Earth out of Milky Way
More from c|net: "Day to day here on Earth, our biggest threat from space is probably some undetected asteroid smashing into us, but astrophysicists looking at the universe on a much larger scale warn that another kind of collision could also impact our planet in the distant future. A team led by researchers from the UK's Durham University says the threat of another galaxy colliding with the Milky Way could happen much sooner than previously thought and might send our entire solar system hurtling off in a new direction. "There is a small chance that we might not escape unscathed from the collision between the two galaxies which could knock us out of the Milky Way and into interstellar space," Marius Cautun, a postdoctoral fellow at Durham's Institute for Computational Cosmology, said in a statement."
Texas has enough sun and wind to quit coal, Rice researchers say
More from the Houston Chronicle: "Texas might have the perfect environment to quit coal for good. Texas is one of the only places where the natural patterns of wind and sun could produce power around the clock, according to new research from Rice University. Scientists found that between wind energy from West Texas and the Gulf Coast, and solar energy across the state, Texas could meet a significant portion of its electricity demand from renewable power without extensive battery storage. The reason: These sources generate power at different times of day, meaning that coordinating them could replace production from coal-fired plants."
- D.J. Kayser