Average December Snowfall
Below is a look at the last 30 year snowfall for the month of December. These last 30 years (1991-2020) make up our climatological normals. Note that our 'average' December snowfall is right around 12" (11.8" to be exact). Last year we picked up 12.4", which is right about what we should get. The most snow we've ever seen during the month of December was 33.6" set in 2010. The least amount of snow we've had during the month was a Trace set in 1943 and 1913.
Snow Depth Across The Region
Here's a look at snow depth across the region, which shows minimal snow cover across the northern third of the state. The greatest snow depth was reported in International Falls, where 5" was on the ground. Meanwhile, folks in the southern two-thirds of the state are snow free.
Weather Outlook Ahead
The simulated radar from AM Thursday to AM Wednesday shows somewhat active weather across the Midwest with several impulses of energy scooting along the international border. Each system will bring the potential of snow across the international border and northern Minnesota. The biggest system arrives late Saturday into Sunday with the possibility of shovelable/plowable snow north of the Metro. There is another potential system that will move through the Midwest on Tuesday, which could bring more snow to the region. Stay tuned...
Snowfall Potential Through AM Monday
According to the ECMWF, there could be some shovelable/plowable snow across the northern half of the state with some spots picking up closer to 3" to 6" by Monday.
Drought Update For Minnesota
According to the US Drought Monitor, nearly 3% of the state is still considered to be in an extreme drought (in red across northern Minnesota), which is down from nearly 58% from 3 months ago. There has been a slight improvement in Severe Drought, which is at 27%, down from 88% 3 months ago. Nearly 52% of the state is still under a Moderate Drought, which includes much of the Twin Cities Metro.
Precipitation Departure From Average Since January 1st
Here's a look at the precipitation departure from average since January 1st and note that most locations are still several inches below average. The Twin Cities The metro is still -6.42" below average since January 1st, which is the 46th driest January 1st - November 30th on record.
Thursday Weather Outlook
Thursday will be another very warm day with temps warming into the mid 40s, which will be nearly +10F above average for the early part of December. Skies will generally be sunny in the morning with clouds thickening up through the day. There could be a few light rain or snow showers after dark.
Meteograms for Minneapolis
The hourly temps for Minneapolis on Thursday show readings starting in the upper 30s in the morning and warming into the mid 40s by the afternoon. There will be a sunnier in the morning, but clouds will thicken up through the day with light rain/snow chances late and mainly north of the metro. Winds will be out of the northwest and will gust close to 20mph through the day.
Weather Outlook For Thursday
High temps across the region on Thursday will still be well above average. Readings will range from the lower 30s across northern Minnesota to the mid 60s across parts of South Dakota, where record highs will be possible
Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis
Temperatures will be well above average for the early part of December with highs running nearly +10F to +15F above average. Highs by the weekend will be closer to average with readings warming into the mid 30s.
Extended Weather Outlook For Minneapolis
The weather outlook through the first weekend of December shows temperatures gradually cooling to near normal levels. There is a chance of snow this weekend, but the best chance will be across northern Minnesota once again. There is another chance of snow as we approach Tuesday.
Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis
According to the ECMWF & GFS extended temperature outlook, temperatures will be well above average over the next several days. However, temperatures will gradually cool as we head through the first full week of December. According to the GFS, there will be a continued temperature rollercoaster as we head through mid month.
8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook shows well above average temperatures continuing across much of the nation and especially the Southern US.
8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, dry weather will be in place across much of the Plains. Meanwhile, folks in the northwest and east of the Mississippi River will have a better chance of precipitation.
4th Warmest Meteorological Fall on Record at MSP
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
Believe it or not, Minneapolis just experienced its 4th warmest Meteorological Fall (September 1st - November 30th) on record. Interestingly, 3 of the 4 warmest such periods have occurred since 2015.
2021 has also been a very warm year so far. In fact, the Twin Cities is currently sitting at its 5th warmest year on record and According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day outlook keeps well above average temperatures in place across much of the nation, including the Upper Midwest. Climate Central notes that the average high temperature for Minneapolis during the month of December has warmed +4.6 degrees since 1970. Good grief!
With that being said, the weather outlook into the weekend looks cooler and a little more unsettled. A fairly decent storm system blows into town with wind-whipped flakes expected on Sunday. Plowable snow will stay across the far northern part of the state once again.
The MSP Airport typically sees around 12 inches of snow in December. Last year we had 12.4". In 2010, 33.6" fell!
THURSDAY: Mild December Sunshine. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 48.
THURSDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Winds: ENE 5. Low: 33.
FRIDAY: Partly sunny. What month is it? Winds: WNW 10-15. High: 43.
SATURDAY: Chillier afternoon breeze. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 26. High: 36.
SUNDAY: Wind-whipped flakes. Plowable North. Winds: WNW 15-35. Wake-up: 27. High: 36.
MONDAY: A bit nippy. Few flurries possible. Winds: WNW 10-15. Wake-up: 19. High: 29.
TUESDAY: Chance of snow. Don't hold your breath. Winds: NNE 10-20. Wake-up: 19. High: 28.
WEDNESDAY: Feels like December. Winds: WSW 10-20. Wake-up: 18. High: 30.
This Day in Weather History
1985: Record low highs are set in north and east central Minnesota with temperatures ranging from the single digits below zero to the singles digits above. Alexandria was the cold spot with a high of 4 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. Other record low high temperatures included Redwood Falls with 3 below, Long Prairie with zero, and Litchfield and Little Falls with 5 degrees above zero.
1982: A record high of 63 degrees is set at the Twin Cities.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 32F (Record: 63F set in 1982)
Average Low: 17F (Record: -17F set in 1886)
Record Rainfall: 0.30" set in 1933
Record Snowfall: 2.7" set in 1978
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~9 hours & 0 minutes
Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 1 minute & 27 seconds
Daylight LOST since Summer Solstice (June 20th): ~6 Hour & 50 Minutes
Moon Phase for December 2nd at Midnight
1.0 Days Before New Moon
National High Temps Thursday
The weather outlook on Thursday shows above average temperatures across much of the nation. Interestingly, much of the Central US will be well above average with record to near record highs will be in place across the Plains and along the Front Range of the Rockies.
National Weather Outlook
The weather outlook through the end of the week shows mostly quiet weather across much of the nation with the exception of the northern tier of the nation. There will be areas of light rain/snow across the Great Lakes and Northern New England States.
Extended Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's Weather Prediction Center, heavier precipitation will be found in the Pacific Northwest. There will also be another swath of heavier precipitation from the Lower Mississippi Valley to the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast.
Extended Snowfall Potential
Here's the extended snowfall potential through next week, which shows heavier snow potential across the northern tier of the nation. The heaviest will be found across the Rockies and across the Great Lakes Region.
"How to Prepare for a Natural Disaster on Vacation"
"As if the pandemic hasn't done enough to disrupt travel this year, the weather only made things worse. 2021 has been a particularly bad year for natural disasters in the United States. As of Oct. 8, the National Centers for Environmental Information reports that 18 weather and climate events have caused over a billion dollars each in damage so far this year, well over the 7.1 average number of such events per year from 1980 to 2020 (adjusted for inflation). Climate change will likely make these natural disasters only more frequent and intense in coming years, according to Climate.gov. So what can you do to prepare for them on your next trip? Although there's no way to avoid disasters altogether, whether at home or on vacation, there are some straightforward steps you can take to minimize travel disruption."
"This Map Shows the Pacific Northwest's Nightmare November Rain Totals"
"The calendar can't turn to December fast enough for the Pacific Northwest—but even that offers little promise of respite. Residents there have been blitzed by a series of November storms that have driven widespread flooding and destruction. A snap of moisture is ushering the month out with flood watches and warnings blanketing Washington and British Columbia. Warm conditions have boosted snow levels to 10,000 feet (3,050 meters), meaning rain will fall at high elevations and melt out what little snowpack there is, sending more water rushing into rivers and racing over already soggy soil. The reason those soils are so waterlogged is because of the absolutely stunning rainfall totals seen over the course of this month. The National Weather Service's Seattle office tweeted a graphic on Tuesday that made me do a double-take. It shows that a large swath of the Cascades and Olympics, the two main mountain ranges in Washington, have seen 50 inches (127 centimeters) or more of rain in November. As the office helpfully notes, that's 13 years of annual rainfall for Las Vegas. The color scale on the map below includes such a wide range due to those monster totals—the areas that are light-gray are actually where the heaviest rain fell, not gaps in data of rainfall. (Hence, my double-take.)"
"Rain to replace snow in the Arctic as climate heats, study finds"
"Rain will replace snow as the Arctic's most common precipitation as the climate crisis heats up the planet's northern ice cap, according to research. Today, more snow falls in the Arctic than rain. But this will reverse, the study suggests, with all the region's land and almost all its seas receiving more rain than snow before the end of the century if the world warms by 3C. Pledges made by nations at the recent Cop26 summit could keep the temperature rise to a still disastrous 2.4C, but only if these promises are met. Even if the global temperature rise is kept to 1.5C or 2C, the Greenland and Norwegian Sea areas will still become rain dominated. Scientists were shocked in August when rain fell on the summit of Greenland's huge ice cap for the first time on record. The research used the latest climate models, which showed the switch from snow to rain will happen decades faster than previously estimated, with autumn showing the most dramatic seasonal changes. For example, it found the central Arctic will become rain dominated in autumn by 2060 or 2070 if carbon emissions are not cut, instead of by 2090 as predicted by earlier models."