"The top 10 weather and climate events of a record-setting year"

"In an all-around bizarre and largely unpleasant calendar year, extreme weather and climate-related changes contributed to the woes of 2020. Calendar year 2020 was an extreme and abnormal year, in so many ways. The global coronavirus pandemic altered people's lives around the world, as did extreme weather and climate events. Let's review the year's top 10 such events. 1. Hottest year on record? The official rankings will not be released until January 14, but according to NASA, Earth's average surface temperature in 2020 is likely to tie with 2016 for the hottest year on record, making the last seven years the seven hottest on record. Remarkably, the record warmth of 2020 occurred during a minimum in the solar cycle and in a year in which a moderate La Niña event formed. Surface cooling of the tropical Pacific during La Niña events typically causes a slight global cool-down, as does the minimum of the solar cycle, making it difficult to set all-time heat records. The record heat of 2020 in these circumstances is a demonstration of how powerful human causes of global warming have become."

See more from Yale Climate Connections HERE:

Winter Storm Possible Tuesday - Wednesday

"Forecast trends continue to show the potential for accumulating snow and travel impacts next week starting Tuesday afternoon and lasting into Wednesday. The exact track is still unknown, but at this point there is a high potential for the southern half of Minnesota and Wisconsin to receive at least several inches of snowfall. Monitor forecast updates for refinements of snowfall amounts and timing over the next couple days."

See more from NWS Twin Cities HERE:

Another Plowabe Snow Event Tuesday & Wednesday?

The weather forecast sill looks a bit snowy Tuesday into Wednesday, but latest model trends have the heaviest snow falling south of the Twin Cities. With that being said, most locations across the southern half of the state and into Wisconsin will have some shovelable / plowable snow amounts.

Snowfall Potential Through PM Friday

Here's the latest GFS & ECMWF snowfall potential. Again, it appears that the heaviest snowfall amounts are trending a little farther south than they were just a few days ago. However, most locations across the southern half of the state and into Wisconsin could see some shovelab / plowable snow. Stay tuned!

Ice Safety Guidelines

We're starting to see more folks venture out on frozen lakes and ponds, but keep in mind that that ice is never 100% safe!! You need at least 4" of ice to safely walk and close to a foot (12") to drive a small car on the ice. Stay safe out there!!

See more Ice Safety Guidelines from the MN DNR HERE:

Minneapolis December Summary So Far

Here's a look at the December number so far this month and note that MSP is nearly +6.5 degrees above average, which is the 17th warmest December on record. Minneapolis has now seen more than 9" of snow, which is a little bit below average for this time of the year. We may get another chance of accumulating snow Tuesday and Wednesday, which could bump us up to above average snowfall for the month. Note that December is typically our 2nd snowiest month of the season, averaging nearly 12" of snow at MSP.

Snow Depth As of December 26th

Thanks to our snow storm last week, many locations across MN and NW WI have deep snow in place. As of December 26th, there was 8" of snow on the ground at MSP and 6" of snow on the ground in Duluth.

National Snow Depth

As of December 27th, 26.5% of the nation was covered by snow. At this time last year, nearly 31.5% of the nation was covered,

Snowfall So Far This December

Up until recently, it had been a pretty snowless December. However, heavy snow fell from near the Twin Cities to Duluth and into Northwest Wisconsin last week, making up for some of the growing monthly snowfall deficits. With that being said, the Twin Cities is pretty close to near normal snowfall for the month now, but you can see that many locations are still below average snowfall, especially Marquette, MI, which is nearly -20" below average snowfall this month.

Snowfall So Far This Season

Interestingly, the Twin Cities and Duluth is running quite a bit above average snowfall for the season. However, most locations across the region are dealing with snowfall deficits for the season thus far.

Monday Weather Outlook for Minneapolis

Here's the weather outlook for Monday, which shows chilly temps in place once again. Keep in mind that the average high in the Twin Cities at the end of December is typically in the low/mid 20s, so we'll be running a little below average. The good news is that we should see more sunshine across the region before the clouds thicken up in advance of another snow chance Tuesday & Wednesday.

Monday Meteograms for Minneapolis

Here's a look at the Meteograms for Monday. Note that it'll be a bit cooler than it was over the weekend, but at least we'll have a little more sunshine. Winds on the other hand will be a bit stronger with WNW gusts approaching 20mph at times during the afternoon.

Monday Weather Outlook

High temps on Monday will be quite a bit cooler than it was over the weekend. Note that highs in the norther part of the state will only warm into the single digits. Highs around the rest of the region will only warm into the 10s and 20s, which will be nearly -5F to -10F below average.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

Here's the extended temperature outlook for the Twin Cities, which shows temps running a bit below average on Monday, but Tuesday and Wednesday we'll get back to average with plowable snow potential. Behind that potential snow event, temps will dip to slightly below average readings again during the second half of the week.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended temperature outlook through the early part of January shows a few puffs of cooler air moving in over the next couple of weeks. The good news is that it doesn't appear to be too cold and it doesn't appear to last too long.

Drought Update

According to the US Drought Monitor, drought conditions have increased slightly over the last few weeks with nearly 98% of the state considered to be in abnormally dry, while almost 23% is considered to be in a moderate drought. Precipitation in Duluth is nearly -10" below average and is considered to be the 10th driest (January 1st - December 26th) on record. Meanwhile, Sioux Falls, SD is at their 6th driest such period on record.

8-14 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, wetter than average weather looks to return to much of the nation from January 3rd to the 9th. We'll see what happens, but the weather could be a little more active over the coming weeks. Stay tuned...

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, warmer than average temperatures will continue across much of the nation, including the Upper Midwest & Great Lakes Region.

A Welcome Distraction? More Snow Coming
Paul Douglas

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. The pandemic has changed the way we look at the world. When tomorrow is in question we fixate on today - things in front of us we often take for granted.

Minnesotans know a thing or two about quarantining. During these solitary times I'm fixating on snow. Shoveling and snow blowing yes, but also marveling at how each snow event is different; the look and feel of the snow changes with temperature, humidity and wind. A free show almost every other day.

After an extended snow drought the pattern has obviously shifted. Sunday's snowfall was an appetizer. A southern storm pushes a shield of accumulating snow into Minnesota PM hours Tuesday, and plowable, 4-5 inch plus amounts are possible before skies clear late Wednesday.

Whatever falls sticks around the rest of 2020, with subfreezing temperatures likely. Models show a January early thaw next week. Freezing may feel pretty good. I had some doubts a few weeks ago, but we may salvage a real winter after all.

Extended Forecast

MONDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. Winds: W 7-12. High: 19.

MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and chilly. Winds: WNW 5. Low: 5.

TUESDAY: PM snow. Plowable amounts possible. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 20.

WEDNESDAY: Flurries taper. Some PM clearing. Winds: N 8-13. Wake-up: 18. High: 25.

THURSDAY: Some sun on last day of 2020. Winds: S 8-13 Wake-up: 14. High: 21.

FRIDAY: Sunny start. PM clouds increase. Winds: N 10-15. Wake-up: 9. High: 21.

SATURDAY: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 12. High: 20.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Feels better out there. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 15. High: 30.

This Day in Weather History

December 28th

2000: Central and southeast Minnesota receive 6 to 10 inches of snow. Some notable snow amounts include: Chanhassen NWS Forecast Office with 7.8 inches, St Cloud with 7.5 inches, and Hutchinson, Willmar, Albany, Red Wing, and Long Prairie with 7.0 inches.

1979: Balmy weather enables the city park crew in Duluth to rake leaves.

1927: A cold snap results in sharp temperature drops across Minnesota. The temperature would fall from 41 to -15 at Farmington.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

December 28th

Average High: 24F (Record: 47F set in 2013)

Average Low: 9F (Record: -27F set in 1880)

Record Rainfall: 1.09" set in 1982

Record Snowfall: 12.0" set in 1982

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

December 26th

Sunrise: 7:50am

Sunset: 4:39pm

Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours & 48 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~32 seconds

Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 2 minutes

Moon Phase for December 28th at Midnight

0.9 Days Until Full "Cold" Moon

Dec. 29: Full Cold Moon - 9:28 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. 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.

See more from Space.com HERE:

What's in the Night Sky?

"On December 26, 27 and 28, 2020, look for the bright waxing gibbous moon to shine in front of the constellation Taurus the Bull. On December 28, as seen from North America, the moon appears almost to clip the top of Orion's upraised club. Still, officially, the moon is near the border of Taurus then. It'll be difficult to see the entire starlit figure of the Bull on these moonlit nights, but – despite the lunar glare – you should be able to glimpse the two major signposts in Taurus: the bright star Aldebaran and the Pleiades star cluster, otherwise known as the Seven Sisters. During the moon's trek through Taurus in December 2020, it passes to the south of the Pleiades and then to the north of Aldebaran."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

National High Temps Monday

Here's a look at high temps across the nation on Monday. Note that folks along the East Coast and the Southern US will be above average by +5F to nearly +10F. However, slightly cooler than average temps will settle in across the Upper Midwest on Monday.

National Forecast Map For Monday

The weather map on Monday shows a fairly large area of low pressure developing in the Southwestern part of the nation. This storm system will bring another chance of plowable snow to parts of the Upper Midwest on Tuesday and Wednesday.

National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather map through early Tuesday. Note the large area of low pressure that will develop rapidly across the Central part of the nation. This will areas of showers and storms across the Southern part of the nation with areas of heavy snow across parts of the Plains and into the Upper Midwest/Great Lakes.

Heavy Precipitation in the Western US

Here's the precipitation potential over the next 7 days. Note that areas of heavier precipitation will be possible in the Central and Eastern US with several inches of precipitation possible. Also note the heavier precipitation across parts of the Western US, including parts of Southern California.

7 Day Snowfall Potential

The extended snowfall forecast shows another round of heavy snowfall as a large storm system crosses the nation. Note that areas of snow will be found across parts of the Southwestern US to the Upper Midwest and into the Great Lakes.

Climate Stories

"A change in the weather: new demand for TV presenters to include climate in forecasts"

"The ABC's Graham Creed says new climate change research could 'fill a big gap' in public understanding. Graham Creed has spent 30 years with his head in synoptic charts, and for the past 20 he's been on television letting Australians know if it's going to be hot, cold, wet or dry. But for the past two years, usually at the end of months with heatwaves and extreme temperatures, Creed has been adding extra information to his weather segments. He's started talking about climate change. "I'll look at what's been happening particularly with temperature and the general trends in a warming climate," says Creed, who does more than a dozen live weather bulletins a day on ABC television and radio in New South Wales and on the national broadcaster's rolling news channel. Given the rarified and often polarised nature of Australia's national conversation on climate change, you might think introducing climate change into weather bulletins would see a flood of negative feedback. "I'm surprised by how little there's been," says Creed, who says some people tell him on social media that it's "about time" they heard about the changing climate from a weather presenter."

See more from The Guardian HERE:

"Spectacular fireball explodes over China's Yushu City, the largest fireball event since December 2018"

"A spectacular fireball exploded over northwestern China's Yushu City, Qinghai Province at around 23:23 UTC on December 22, 2020 (07:23 LT, December 23). The event lasted up to 20 seconds. Many locals reported hearing a series of loud bangs."

  • "The event was recorded by CNEOS at coordinates 31.9N / 96.2E and an altitude of 35.5 km (22 miles)."
  • "This is by far the largest recorded fireball event of the year, the largest since December 18, 2018, and the 15th largest on record."
  • "For China, this is the largest fireball since 1988."

"China Earthquake Networks Center confirmed their Qinghai Seismic Network recorded impact at 23:25:44 UTC at coordinates 32.36N /96.59E. This places it near the border between the counties of Nangqian and Yushu."

See more from The Watchers HERE:

"Major Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event expected as we enter 2021"

"A major Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) event is predicted to occur as we start the new year. If the models are correct, we can expect prolonged extremely cold temperatures to affect parts of the northern hemisphere by mid-January. SSW refers to a rapid rise in temperatures between 10 and 50 km (6.2 - 31 miles) above the surface of our planet. Several weeks later, we see knock-on effects on the jet stream, which can significantly affect weather in the troposphere — bringing prolonged extremely cold temperatures such as witnessed in 2018 with an extreme event dubbed 'Beast from the East.' "The stratospheric sudden warming can sometimes cause the jet stream to 'snake' more, and this tends to create a large area of blocking high pressure," the UK Met Office meteorologists explained."

See more from The Watchers HERE:

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