No Below Zero Readings At MSP So Far This Winter

Despite our cold blasts of air at times so far this winter, we have yet to see a below zero reading at MSP. The coldest the thermometer has read at the airport was 0F back on January 1st.

Since we haven't had a subzero reading yet, we are quickly approaching record territory for the latest first subzero reading on record. The latest on record is January 18th and it has occurred that late in the season three times - in 1888, 2001, and 2011. There is the potential we could see our first subzero low later this week - potentially Saturday morning - as we have a blast of cold air work southward. If it were to hold off dropping below zero until after Midnight Saturday morning (the 19th), it would be a new record for the latest on record. I'll have more on the upcoming cold snap later in the blog.

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Super-sized January Thaw. Latest First Subzero?
By Paul Douglas


I apologize for oversleeping. I went to bed in January and woke up in March, with scrawny snow piles, but mainly clear roads and drippy icicles. I was expecting more NCAA basketball coverage, less NFL. I must have hit my head on the Doppler hard.

The hiccup of relative warmth east of the Mississippi River known as the "January Thaw" is a puzzle. I've never seen a good explanation for Old Man Winter catching his breath after the New Year.

Today will be the 9th day above freezing this month; a longer, more durable January Thaw than most years. Much colder air is brewing, but not before we break a record for the latest first-subzero temperature in the MSP metro. The old record is January 18, set most recently in 2012. We should break that by a day.

Temperatures retreat later this week with single digit highs next weekend (the first subzero low of the winter at MSP comes January 19). Powdery snow is possible late Friday out ahead of this slap; another chance of a little snow Monday.

The pattern doesn't favor heavy snow, but NOAA models suggest a late-January cold snap. Bring it.

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Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: Gray, a little drizzle. High 34. Low 26. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind W 3-8 mph.
TUESDAY: Peeks of sun, last mild day. High 36. Low 15. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SW 8-13 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Plenty of sunshine, average temps. High 25. Low 18. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
THURSDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, stiff breeze. High 27. Low 8. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.
FRIDAY: Chance of light snow, colder. High 15. Low -2. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind NE 8-13 mph.
SATURDAY: 1st subzero smack for MSP? Some sun. High 8. Low -5. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
SUNDAY: Numbing sunshine, less wind. High 11. Low 5. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 5-10 mph.

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This Day in Weather History
January 14th

1981: Over 24,000 Canada Geese are present at Silver Lake in Rochester.

1952: A sleet and freezing rain storm develops across Minnesota from St Cloud south into Iowa. 1,100 Northwestern Bell telephone wires are knocked down. The Buffalo Ridge in the Pipestone area is the hardest hit with ¾ inches of solid ice on Northern State Power wires with icicles to 3 inches. Northwestern Bell reported ice up to 1 ½ inches on their wires in the same area. Thunder and a shower of ice pellets accompanied the storm in New Ulm and Mankato. Minneapolis General Hospital treated 81 people, victims of falls on icy streets.

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Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
January 14th

Average High: 23F (Record: 49F set in 1944)
Average Low: 7F (Record: -26F set in 1972)
Average Precipitation: 0.02" (Record: 0.34" set in 2001)
Average Snow: 0.4" (Record: 4.4" in 1999)

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Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
January 14th

Sunrise: 7:48 AM
Sunset: 4:56 PM

*Length Of Day: 9 hours, 8 minutes and 6 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~1 minute and 43 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)
*When Will We See 9 Hours And 30 Minutes Of Daylight? January 25th (9 hours, 30 minutes, and 40 seconds)

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Minnesota Weather Outlook

Highs will climb into the 20s and 30s across the state Monday with a mix of sun and clouds. A few snow showers will be possible early in the day across parts of the Arrowhead, and some drizzle is possible here in the Twin Cities.

Highs on Monday will be above average by a good 5-15 degrees across the state.

After a warm start to the week expected with highs in the 30s both Monday and Tuesday in the Twin Cities, we see temperatures take a plunge for the end of the week. Highs by the weekend are likely to only be in the single digits and the Twin Cities may finally see its first below zero reading this winter.

Here's a look at that temperature plunge during the second half of the week and into the weekend. Highs by Friday will be below zero across parts of northern Minnesota.

As we look toward Saturday morning, we could finally see our first subzero reading of the season at MSP with a current forecast low of -1F. Lows would be a lot colder in northern Minnesota through - reaching the 20s below zero.

Precipitation-wise, most of the week will be fairly dry here in the Twin Cities. Besides some light drizzle Monday, the next chance of precipitation would come in the form of some light snow Friday across the region.

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National Weather Forecast

A somewhat calm day is expected on Monday across much of the nation. The main story will be an area of low pressure approaching the Calfornia coast, bringing rain and snow along with it. Otherwise, a few snow showers will be possible early in the day across eastern Massachusetts due to a departing system which brought heavy snow to D.C. this weekend. Some lingering wintry precipitation will be possible across parts of the southern Applachians. A cold front diving south will bring some snow showers to the Great Lakes.

Rainfall amounts of 1-3" will be possible through Tuesday evening across parts of the Calfornia coast, including around Los Angeles.

While snow fell from the Mid-Mississippi Valley to the Mid-Atlantic as well as in the Four Corners region Sunday, the greatest snow through Tuesday evening will be out in the Sierra where totals of up to a foot are possible.

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Praedictix Corporate Weather Briefing: Sunday, January 13th, 2019

  • Snow is falling from Missouri to the Mid-Atlantic this morning, with 1”+ per hour snowfall rates possible in the Washington D.C. area through the mid-morning hours.
  • Overall snow totals have ranged from over a foot in parts of the Mid-Mississippi Valley to 2-6” (so far) in and around the D.C. and Baltimore metros. Ice of up to a quarter inch has also been reported in parts of North Carolina.
  • This snow and ice is causing travel troubles as well as power outages across these regions this morning.
  • While snow is tapering off throughout the day back toward the Mid-Mississippi and Ohio Valleys, snow and ice will continue to fall (heavily at times) across parts of the Mid-Atlantic today. The system responsible for this wintry precipitation will move away from the region tonight, bringing an end to the precipitation.

Morning Radar. As of Sunday morning, snow continues to fall from Missouri into the Mid-Atlantic. The heaviest snow is falling across parts of the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic, including in and around the D.C. metro.

D.C. Heavy Snow. Some of the heaviest snow through the morning hours will continue to fall in the D.C. area, with snowfall rates of 1”+ per hour possible through at least the mid-morning hours.

Snow Totals So Far. With this snow storm, the heaviest totals so far have come in from the Mid-Mississippi region, where snow is slowly tapering off today. The top total is out of Montgomery City, MO, with 20" of snow reported as of Saturday Night. Elsewhere, 10.4" had been reported at the St. Louis airport, with 14.5" near Udell (IA), 8.3" near Ball State University (IN), and 14" in Jacksonville (IL). Further east, where heavy snow is falling this morning, at least 2-6" of snow has fallen in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas, with 5.1" reported at Dulles airport and 4.6" at BWI airport.

Ice is also falling with this system across parts of the Mid-Atlantic. So far, a quarter inch of ice has been reported in Henderson, NC, with two-tenths of an inch in Asheville and Lawsonville (NC). A tenth of an inch of ice was reported in Greer, SC.

Power Outages This Morning. This snow and ice has caused numerous power outages across both the Central Plains and Mid-Atlantic. The most power outages were in North Carolina, where at least 127,000 power customers were without power this morning as of about 8:05 AM ET. (Image: poweroutage.us).

Snow And Ice Threat Continues. This winter storm will continue to produce snow and ice across particularly the Mid-Atlantic states today. Precipitation will finally start to taper off tonight as the storm system involved moves away from the region. Any snow still falling across the mid-section of the country will taper off throughout the day.

As this snow and ice impacts areas from the Central Plains to the Mid-Atlantic, the latest road conditions will be able to be found on the following local DOT websites:

Winter Weather Alerts. Due to the continuing snow and ice potential today, numerous winter weather alerts - including Winter Storm Warnings - are in place from the Ohio Valley into the Mid-Atlantic. Looking at some of the locations under winter weather alerts this morning:

  • Cincinnati, OH: Winter Storm Warning through Noon for an additional 1-3” of snow.
  • Philadelphia, PA: Winter Weather Advisory through 10 PM for up to an additional 2” of snow.
  • Baltimore, MD: Winter Storm Warning through 6 PM for total snow accumulations of 5-8”.
  • Washington, DC: Winter Storm Warning through 6 PM for total snow accumulations of 6-10”.
  • Roanoke, VA: Winter Storm Warning through 7 PM for an additional 1-2” of snow and less than two-tenths of an inch of ice.
  • Richmond, VA: Winter Storm Warning through 1 AM Monday for up to an additional 2” of snow and a light glaze of ice.
  • Durham, NC: Winter Weather Advisory through 6 PM for up to a tenth of an inch of ice.
  • Charlotte, NC: Winter Weather Advisory through 7 PM for up to a tenth of an inch of ice.
  • Asheville, NC: Winter Storm Warning through 7 PM for up to an additional quarter of an inch of ice.

Additional Snow Totals. The heaviest snow today will fall across the D.C. metro, where an additional 3-7” of snow could accumulate through tonight. Additional totals of around 5” will also be possible in the Baltimore area. This snow will continue to cause issues on area roads.

Additional Ice Totals. Ice will continue to be a concern across parts of the Mid-Atlantic as well today. The greatest icing potential continues to be across parts of western and central North Carolina into southern Virginia. In these areas, total ice of up to a third or even a half inch could fall. This ice will continue to cause power outages and tree damage as well as making travel difficult to nearly impossible.

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix

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Surprising Everyone, Florida’s New Republican Governor Orders Sweeping Environmental Reform

More from Earther: "In his first week in office, Florida’s new Republican Governor Ron Desantis has made the environment and climate change a top focus.  On Thursday, Desantis signed an executive order to tackle the myriad environmental problems facing the state from toxic algae to sea level rise to Everglades degradation. He also asked for the resignation of all board members of Florida’s most powerful water management district, which has come under fire for leasing parts of the Everglades needed for restoration to the sugar industry just after November’s election. In doing so, Desantis immediately cleared the incredibly low bar of “doing better than Rick Scott,” though there are still details that need to be sussed out to determine just how much oomph the new policies will have."

Migrant birds face risk in earlier springs

More from Climate News Network: "Biologists have identified another tale of conflict and bloodshed as African migrant birds compete with European natives for resources in a fast-warming world.  Death rates among male pied flycatchers – African carnivores that migrate each spring to the Netherlands to breed – have risen in the 10 years between 2007 and 2016, as winters have warmed and springs have arrived earlier.  And in some years, almost one in 10 of the male migrant flycatchers has been found pecked to death by great tits that have already taken up residence in nest boxes that both species favour."

Weatherwatch: heat waves are getting larger as well as hotter

More from the Guardian: "Not only are heat waves becoming more frequent and intense, but they are getting larger too. Analysis of 38 years of NASA climate data has shown that the average size of northern hemisphere heat waves has grown by 50% since 1980. Presenting his findings at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall meeting in December, Chris Skinner from the University of Massachusetts explained how today’s “mega” heat waves are putting more people and ecosystems at risk. “If D.C is in a heat wave, then New York might be in one, and Phily might be in one too,” he said.  Strangely the team found that winter heat waves had experienced the greatest growth in size, leaving northern hemisphere seasons less defined than they used to be. Although winter heat waves tend not to be as hot as summer ones they do still strain health services and confuse ecosystems. In particular false springs can trick plants into blooming prematurely and being in trouble when winter returns. For farmers this can be economically devastating."

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Thanks for checking in and have a great Monday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 - D.J. Kayser

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Prediction: Latest "First Subzero" on Record at MSP - Numbing End to January Likely