Massive Snow Melt This Week

Hard to believe that it was about a week ago that parts of the Twin Cities metro picked up more than 1 foot of snow. Some of the heaviest amounts reached 20" near St. Paul! 2 to 3 days later, most of the snow had all but melted thanks to record high temperatures and heavy rain on Wednesday.

Unique Storm of December 15, 2021:

"The storm system that crossed over Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois over December 15-16 was almost totally unique in many of its atmospheric attributes. Hundreds of temperature and dew point records were set with the rapid transport of heat and moisture from the south. The wind structure of the atmospheric layers supported record-setting wind speeds, as well as producing 25 reports of tornadoes (12 in NE, 13 in IA), and three suspected reports of tornadoes in MN, yet to be verified. Though fast moving, the storm system produced some record-setting rainfall amounts as well. Among the most rare and unique measurements of the storm were: confirmed tornadoes on the ground near Lewiston (Winona County) and Hartland (Freeborn County), the first ever observed such storms in Minnesota during the month of December; a radiosonde (balloon) measured precipitable water measurement from the Twin Cities (integrated water vapor content in the atmosphere overhead) of 1.23inches, the highest measurement ever made in Minnesota during the months of December, January, and February; a dew point measurement at MSP airport of 55°F, the highest historical dew point measurement historical for the Twin Cities between December 6th and March 6th; a maximum temperature reading of 66°F at Caledonia, Winona, and Austin, all-time statewide record high for this time of year, and about 30-35 degrees F above normal."

See more from Minnesota WeatherTalk HERE:

Storm Summary For Central US Extreme Wind Event

"Here is a brief look at both the estimated and observed maximum wind gusts across the central U.S. for the 24 hour period ending 9 am CT. For a more detailed list, visit WPC's storm summary (…). Local NWS forecast offices will have more information as well."

Quiet Weekend Ahead; Light Snow Tuesday

After a little light snow Friday night, the rest of the weekend will be colder and quiet. Our next chance of light snow moves through the northern half of the state on Tuesday with some minor snow accumulations.

Drought Update For Minnesota

According to the US Drought Monitor, nearly 1% of the state is still considered to be in an extreme drought (in red across northern Minnesota), which is down from nearly 36% from 3 months ago. There has been a slight improvement in Severe Drought, which is at 27%, down from 59% 3 months ago. Nearly 49% 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, including the Twin Cities. The MSP Airport is still -5.65" below average since January 1st, which is the 56th driest January 1st - December 16th on record.

Saturday Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook for Minneapolis on Saturday. Areas of light snow will lingering through the morning hours, but skies will gradually clear through the day with with a high temp warming into the lower 20s, which will be nearly -5F to -10F below average for mid December.

Meteograms for Minneapolis

The hourly temps for Minneapolis on Saturday show readings hovering in the upper teens to lower 20s for much of the day with a few peeks of sunshine later in the day. Breezy northwesterly winds at 15mph to 20mph will make it feel even cooler.

Chilly Feels Like Temps on Saturday

Here are the hourly feels like temps for Minneapolis on Saturday, which show readings in the single digits for much of the day.

Weather Outlook For Saturday

High temps across the region on Saturday will warm into the 10s & 20s across much of the state, which will be nearly -5F to -10F below average for mid December. Lingering light snow will be possible in the morning, but skies will gradually clear from the west.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

Temperatures will be slightly below average on through Saturday with highs only warming into the low/mid 20s. We get back to and above average Sunday and Monday with a potential thaw across parts of southern MN.

Extended Weather Outlook For Minneapolis

After a little light snow potential PM Friday into AM Saturday, weather conditions look rather dry and quiet through much of the week ahead. There will a be chance of light snow across the northern half of the state on Tuesday with another chance of snow on Friday, which is Christmas Eve.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

According to the ECMWF & GFS extended temperature outlook, temps will bounce around the 20s and 30s over the next several days with mostly quiet weather. The last week of the month could be colder with highs running below average. Stay tuned...

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook shows below average reading across the northern tier of the nation by the end of the month. Meanwhile, much of the rest of the nation will running well above average once again.

8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, more active weather will continue across the Western US and Upper Midwest, while drier weather will continue in the southern and along the East Coast.

A Barely-White Christmas for the Metro?
By Paul Douglas

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth...more winter tornadoes or Polar Vortexes... and fewer references to the Greek alphabet in 2022 would be nice, Santa.

We will tell our grandkids about 2020 and 2021, even though they'll think we're telling tall tales. Weather is always fickle and extreme, but 2021 took it to an absurd new level: the biggest severe storm outbreak of the year happened on December 15, not May. Drought drained lake water levels, smoke from western fires made it hard to breathe at times during the hottest summer on record in the US. Pond-hockey-worthy ice came a month later than usual this year.

Parts of the north metro are waking up to an inch of fluff this morning. Models predict a few minor snowfalls next week, mainly northern counties, with a few days in the 30s. A couple inches of new snow may fall on central Minnesota, with some 4-8" amounts over the northern third of the state by Christmas.

ECMWF predicts a few rain showers in the metro on December 25. Insulting.

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: AM flakes, PM sun. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 21.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy & chilly. Winds: NW 5-10. Low: 9.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny and milder. Winds: S 10-20. High: 32.

MONDAY: Some sun, a cooler breeze. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 23. High: 26.

TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, snow up north. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 14. High: 31.

WEDNESDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 11. High: 25.

THURSDAY: Some sun, risk of a thaw. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 19. High: 33.

FRIDAY: Peeks of sun, relatively mild. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 25. High: 36.

This Day in Weather History

December 18th

1923: Southern Minnesota experiences a 'heat wave'. Temperatures rose into the 60s at New Ulm and St. Peter.

1917: Milaca has its fifty-ninth consecutive day with no precipitation.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

December 18th

Average High: 26F (Record: 55F set in 1923)

Average Low: 11F (Record: -24F set in 1983)

Record Rainfall: 0.28" set in 1939

Record Snowfall: 5.3" set in 2000

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

December 18th

Sunrise: 7:46am

Sunset: 4:33pm

Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours & 47 minutes

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~ 21 seconds

Daylight LOST since Summer Solstice (June 20th): ~6 Hour & 50 Minutes

Moon Phase for December 18th at Midnight

0.1 Days After Full "Cold" Moon

"10:37 p.m. CST - December is usually considered the month that the winter cold begins to fasten its grip in the Northern Hemisphere. This month's full moon is also called the Long Night Moon, since nights are at their longest and darkest. It's also known as the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long and the moon is above the horizon a long time. The midwinter full moon takes a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite to the low sun. This is also the smallest full moon of 2021 (a "micromoon," or minimoon), since the Earth will arrive at apogee, its farthest distance from Earth, on Dec. 17 at a distance of 252,476 miles (406,320 km). The moon will appear some 14% smaller compared to the full moon of May 26."

National High Temps Saturday

The weather outlook on Saturday shows well above average temperatures temperatures continuing across the Southeastern US, where records highs will be possible. Meanwhile, below average highs will be possible Midwest and parts of the Western US.

National Weather Outlook

The weather outlook through Sunday shows widespread showers and storms across the southeastern US. Wintry precipitation will be possible from the Great Lakes to the Northeast. Another surge of Pacific moisture will begin to move into the Northwest with heavy coastal rains and mountain snow.

Extended Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's Weather Prediction Center, areas of heavy precipitation will be found along the West Coast over the next several days with localized flooding. There will also be several feet of snow in the high elevations. There will also be another surge of heavy precipitation across parts of the Gulf Coast States.

Extended Snowfall Potential

Here's the extended snowfall potential through Christmas, which show heavy snow potential across the Western US. There will also be another swath of heavy snow along the International Border.

Climate Stories

"2021 was a remarkable year for Earth's climate"

"The close of another year provides an opportunity to assess what happened in the worlds of climate science and policy in 2021 and to gaze into a proverbial crystal ball to anticipate likely events in 2022. This was a year full of climate-fueled extreme weather events, the publication of important new climate research and synthesis reports, and a crucial international climate negotiation. It ends with anticipation and uncertainty over whether the U.S. Congress will pass the country's first-ever major climate change legislation. 2021 certainly did not lack for important climate events. A hot year full of extreme weather When the year comes to a close, 2021 will be the sixth- or seventh-hottest year on record and hotter than any year prior to 2015, despite a La Niña event's having drawn cold water to the surface of the Pacific Ocean. La Niña years tend to be cooler than years with El Niño or neutral conditions in the Pacific. The year 2000 saw a La Niña event of similar strength to that in 2021, but 2021 was more than 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.75 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than 2000. In short, 2021 was consistent with the long-term human-caused global warming trend of about 0.2°C (0.36°F) per decade."

See more from Yale Climate Connections HERE:


"IT'S A PERFECTLY pleasant day for a stroll on the beach. The Sun shines overhead while wet sand clings to your bare feet. As you turn to face the ocean, a gust of sea breeze blows through your hair, giving it a classic windswept look. And transports toxic chemicals into your body to linger there long after you towel off. Sounds idyllic. WHAT'S NEW — A study published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology finds that sea spray can transport chemicals, known as PFAAs, into your body via airborne particles. These chemicals are of "high global concern" to humans. The findings have serious implications for understanding how these toxic chemicals make their way into the atmosphere and affect human health, especially for coastal communities. "PFOS, PFOA, and many other PFAAs are highly enriched on sea spray aerosol and can be transported back to the atmosphere from the oceans," the paper's authors tell Inverse in a joint interview. Co-authors Bo Sha, Ian Cousins, and Matthew E. Salter are researchers in Stockholm University's Department of Environmental Science."

See more from Inverse HERE:

"All Weather Records Broken in 2021: Temperatures, Rain and Snowfall"

"Over the past year, the U.S. saw a wide array of severe weather events, and several weather records, such as rainfall amounts, high and low temperatures and snowfall accumulation, were broken. In Oregon during the past summer, record-high temperatures were recorded in Seattle and Portland. In June, the National Weather Service in Seattle reported two consecutive days of record-high temperatures. On June 28, the NWS recorded a temperature of 108, which was the highest number ever recorded in the city, surpassing the 107 degrees recorded the day before. On the same day, the NWS in Portland recorded a record-high temperature of 116 degrees, surpassing a previous record of 112 recorded just a few days before."

See more from Newsweek HERE:

Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX