By Paul Douglas
Frigid? You call THIS frigid? Back in the day, when I walked to school, (uphill both ways) we didn't slap on extra layers until we couldn't see the mercury in our backyard thermometers! We had to plug in our cars and even a few slow-moving pets! It got so cold, sometimes our words froze in midair!
Old fashioned pioneer winters are harder to come by in Minnesota, and saying it's going to get cold in January is like admitting you're going to get wet when you jump in a lake. It's inevitable.
Arctic air rarely arrives at once, it usually ripples south in waves - each successive clipper dragging a colder cold front in its wake.
Another major winter storm pushes south of Minnesota Friday, yanking the coldest air of the season so far into town this weekend. Daytime highs hold in single digits and teens Saturday & Sunday before recovering next week. No significant natural snow in sight, but it will be cold enough for ski resorts to make snow.
Odds still favor a new record for 'latest first-subzero low" on record in the Twin Cities. Pretty exciting, huh?
THURSDAY: Flurries south, sun north. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 23.
THURSDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and colder. Winds: NW 5-10. Low: 6.
FRIDAY: Light snow far southern MN. Winds: N 7-12. High: 12.
SATURDAY: More clouds than sun. Feels like -10F. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 3. High: 11.
SUNDAY: Cloudy and cold. Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: -2. High: 13.
MONDAY: Light snow or flurries. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 5. High: 18.
TUESDAY: A little light snow lingers. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 14. High: 21.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy, not as numb. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 17 High: 27.
This Day in Weather History
1996: A severe ice storm hits the western and northern Twin Cities with accumulations between a half an inch and an inch. A foot of snow fell over central Minnesota.
1982: The citizens of Tower wake up to a frigid low of -52 degrees F.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 23F (Record: 44F set in 1894)
Average Low: 7F (Record: -26F set in 1967)
Record Rainfall: 0.90" set in 1996
Record Snowfall: 5.1" set in 1932
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~9 hours & 14 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 1 minute & 53 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~ 28 minutes
Moon Phase for January 17th at Midnight
2.9 Days Until Full "Wolf" Moon
"Jan. 20: Full Wolf Moon 11:16 p.m. CST - Amid the frigid cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. The Full Wolf Moon was also known as the Old Moon or the Moon after Yule in other cultures. In some tribes this was the Full Snow Moon; most applied that name to the next moon. This year, there will be also be a total lunar eclipse that will be visible across the entire Western Hemisphere as well as Europe and a swath of western Africa. Totality will last 1 hour and 2 minutes."
"A lunar eclipse and a ‘super blood wolf moon’: how to watch this cosmic event"
"Skygazers are set to be treated to a total lunar eclipse this weekend, on top of a “super blood wolf moon.” The cosmic event is the convergence of a few stellar lunar events — an eclipse coinciding with a supermoon turning an eerie blood red. The eclipse will be visible to much of the Western Hemisphere, including Canada, the U.S., Mexico and South America on Sunday, Jan. 20, and finish early Monday, Jan. 21 (ET time). Here’s what you need to know. If you’re planning to watch the lunar eclipse, you may have to stay up a late. It begins around 9:12 p.m. ET on Jan. 20. However, you probably won’t be able to see any movement until the first phase of the eclipse, which is set to happen at 10:34 p.m. This is when the moon starts to get a little darker. Around 11:41 p.m., the full eclipse slowly sets in and then the maximum eclipse is set to take place at 12:12 a.m. Jan. 21. The total eclipse will end at 12:44 a.m. Unlike a solar eclipse, it’s completely safe to watch a lunar eclipse with the naked eye."
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:
"On January 16 and 17, 2019 – the waxing gibbous moon passes in the vicinity of Aldebaran, an ex-pole star, a famous zodiac star and the brightest star in the constellation Taurus the Bull. This is a wonderful time to learn to identify this star, even though you might have to squint a bit to see it in the moon’s glare. Aldebaran is a bright reddish star, a good star to come to know. Did you know that Aldebaran is also a former pole star? It’s true, and it’s a fascinating story. Many people know that Polaris is the present-day North Star, but few know that Aldebaran reigned as the North Star some 450,000 years ago. What’s more, Aldebaran appeared several times brighter in the sky then than it does now. Plus – 450,000 years ago – Aldebaran shone very close to the very bright star Capella on the sky’s dome. In that distant past, these two brilliant stars served as a double pole star in the astronomical year -447,890 (447,891 BC)."
7 Day Precipitation Potential
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation potential suggests areas of heavy moisture continuing in the Western US with several inches of liquid likely, which could cause flooding at the lower elevations and heavy snow in the higher elevations. Also note the heavy precipitation potential in the Eastern US. Areas of heavy rain will be possible from the Tennessee Valley and south, while areas of heavy snow could be possible in the Northeast
"Antarctica's Largest Ice Shelf Could Be at Risk of Melting"
"The Ross Ice Shelf appears to be melting in previously unknown ways. The same mechanisms could be melting other giant ice shelves, too. Most of the worry over melting ice in Antarctica has focused on the rapidly melting western shore, where there is enough ice to raise worldwide sea levels by up to 4.3 feet. But new research suggests that the massive Ross Ice Shelf, which has long been considered stable, might be at risk as well -- potentially leading to a slower sea level rise of up to 38 feet as glaciers that were once held back by the shelf slide more quickly into the ocean. The researchers suspect that other crucial ice shelves could also be at risk. "My primary concerns would be that the potential for melting and collapse of the big ice shelves is not being taken seriously enough," said Laurie Padman, a physical oceanographer based in Corvallis, Oregon who works at a Seattle-based nonprofit called Earth and Space Research. "They're being treated as less important because they are not presently showing much signs of change. But on a 100-year timescale, they have the potential for large changes."