Here are the latest GFS and ECMWF model outputs for snowfall through the end of the week. Both models show the heaviest band setting up northwest of the Twin Cities with some 12"+ tallies possible across Central MN. Note that these models also suggest that the Twin Cities will largely get missed by the heaviest stuff, especially the south metro. However, if the storm tracks just a bit farther south, this heavy snow band could shift a little farther south as well and put the metro in the bullseye!
"In 118 years of snow depth measurements in Twin Cities, a white Christmas happens about 72% of the time. From 1899 to 2017 there have been 34 years with either a "zero" or a "trace." The last time the Twin Cities has seen a brown Christmas was 2015. 2014 was also a "brown Christmas." The deepest snow cover on December 25th was in 1983 with a hefty 20 inches. It was also a very cold Christmas in 1983, with the high temperature of one (1) degree F. It was not the coldest Christmas Day in the Twin Cities. That dubious award goes to 1996 with a "high" temperature of 9 below zero F. The warmest Christmas Day in the Twin Cities was 51 degrees in 1922. There was not a white Christmas that year. In fact, the Minneapolis Weather Bureau log book for that day states that the day felt "spring-like."
2019 - Officially a "Brown" Christmas at MSP
Weather Outlook For Tuesday, December 25th - Christmas Day
6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the extended temperature outlook from December 29th through January 2nd suggests cooler than average temps working back into much of the Lower 48 with the exception of the Southeastern US.
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By Paul Douglas
CHRISTMAS DAY:Grey. Few flakes. Winds: NE 5-10.High: 29.
TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy and quiet. Winds: NNE 5-10. Low: 23.
WEDNESDAY: Light snow or icy mix PM hours. Winds: E 8-13.High: 32.
THURSDAY: Snow mixes with rain and ice. Winds: E 15-25. Wake-up: 23. High: 35.
FRIDAY: Colder. Few inches of snow. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 26. High: 28.
SATURDAY: Partly sunny. Better travel day. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up:5. High: 15.
SUNDAY: Cloudy. Windy and milder. Winds: S 10=20. Wake-up: 7. High: 26.
NEW YEARS EVE: Patchy clouds. Few flurries. Winds: W 10-20. Wake-up: 18. High: 30.
This Day in Weather History
1999: Strong winds resulted in a one hundred thirty foot radio tower to collapse in Milaca. No wind measurements were available in the city of Milaca. However, Princeton airport (Mille Lacs county), had a gust to 45 mph at 10:35 pm CST. St. Cloud airport (Stearns County), had a gust to 44 mph at 8:52 pm CST. Mora (Kanabec county) had a gust to 55 mph at 9:35 pm CST, and a gust to 47 mph at 10:35 pm CST.
1996: A strong low pressure system which deposited heavy snow over much of Minnesota on the 23rd, pulled extremely cold Canadian air southward over Minnesota. The cold remained entrenched through the 26th. Temperatures fell to 15 to 35 degrees below zero Christmas Day morning. The Twin Cities and St. Cloud set new record low temperatures both days. In addition, the high temperature on Christmas Day in the Twin Cities was only 9 degrees below zero. Combined with the record low temperature that morning of 22 below, the mean temperature for Christmas Day was 16 degrees below zero. This Christmas Day set a new record for being the coldest day on record for the Twin Cities metro area, going back to the year 1890 when modern day records began.
1922: People are golfing on Christmas in the Twin Cities as temperatures reach the 50s.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 25F (Record: 51F set in 1922)
Average Low: 10F (Record: -39F set in 1879)
Record Rainfall: 1.35" set in 1982
Record Snowfall: 9.6" set in 1945
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours & 47 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 16 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): ~ 1 minute
Moon Phase for December 25th at Midnight
3.1 Days Before Last Quarter Moon
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:
"These next two nights – December 25 and 26, 2018 – you might see the moon and Regulus, the Royal Star, coming up above your eastern horizon before your bedtime. If not, you can always get up before daybreak to view the waning gibbous moon and Regulus much higher up in the sky. Want to know when the moon and Regulus rise into your sky? Then Click here for the moon’s rising time (remember to check the Moonrise and moonset box). An app such as Stellarium can help you find out the rising time for Regulus. EarthSky lunar calendars are cool! They make great gifts. Order now. Going fast! Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion, is the only 1st-magnitude star to sit almost squarely on the ecliptic – the sun’s apparent annual path in front of the constellations of the zodiac. Of course, the sun’s apparent motion in front of the background stars is really a reflection of the Earth revolving around the sun."
National Weather Outlook
All eyes are on our next storm system developing in the Western US. This storm will bring strong winds, heavy mountain snow and coastal rains to areas in the West. As the storm moves east, areas of heavy snow will develop along the Front Range of the Rockies and across the Upper Midwest during the second half of the week. There will also be strong to severe storms along with locally heavy rain in the Southern US starting as early as Wednesday.
Severe Threat Wednesday
According to NOAA's SPC, there is a SLIGHT risk of severe storms across parts of the Southern US. Keep up to date with latest forecasts here if you have travel plans then.
7 Day Precipitation Potential
According to NOAA's WPC, the 7 day precipitation potential suggests heavy precipitation continuing across the Western part of the country, but take a look at the heavy moisture moving into the Central and Southeastern part of the country as we head into the 2nd half of next week! Showers, storms and heavy snow will be possible later next week - stay tuned!
The winners travel to Sweden to help make their frozen visions a reality, aided by experienced ice artists."
"Crisp white winters are beginning to turn mushy gray across the northern United States. And the longer we wait to get serious about limiting climate change, a White Christmas could become a thing of the past for many cities later this century. As part of our Weather 2050 project, we examined how average winter low temperatures are projected to shift in the 1,000 largest US cities by 2050 if we do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In our latest analysis, we found that in 67 cities, the average winter low temperature could cross a critical threshold by 2050: the freezing point of water."