Mid-January Sloppy Snow
Wintry weather continued across central and southern Minnesota on Friday, with many having to shovel or brush off a heavy, cement-like wet snow. This snowstorm did cause numerous accidents across the state, and some roads - including portions of I-90 - were closed Thursday night into early Friday in southern Minnesota due to the blizzard conditions.
Most areas of the metro picked up about 2-4" of snow from our snowstorm (image above grabbed around 4:30 PM Friday), with the highest totals across the south metro. Farmington, Rosemont, and Apple Valley each saw 4.5" reported.
Meanwhile, we saw peak wind gusts of over 50 mph in Jackson, Worthington, and Slayton.
Saturday Snow Showers
We aren't done with snow just yet it appears. We will watch the potential for a few more snow showers on Saturday, especially later in the day toward the Twin Cities. Any snow that does fall should not accumulate too much besides a tenth or two of an inch.
Snow Depth Update
The latest snow depth guide from the Minnesota DNR came out on Thursday during the middle of the snow falling across the region, but it once again shows the most snow on the ground up in the Arrowhead. Mistletoe Road along the C.J. Ramstad/North Shore State Trail reported an 18" snow depth on Thursday. Here's what was reported across state parks near the metro:
- Fort Snelling State Park: 5" snow depth as of Thursday.
- William O'Brian State Park: 8" snow depth as of Monday.
- Lake Maria State Park: 6" snow depth as of Friday.
Find more reports from state parks and trails via the Minnesota DNR Snow Depth and Groomed Trails website. (Image above from the MNDNR)
Factors Behind Another Snowy No-Show
By Paul Douglas
Glee. Dismay. Disgust. Emotions ran the gamut after Thursday's alleged "storm". Amounts were definitely on the low end of our range, with 2-4 inches of Marchlike slush; over 6" from Zumbrota to Albert Lea.
What happened? It was a warm storm with temperature close to 32F sparking a mix - and snow melting on contact. Had it been 2-3F colder we might have seen a cool half foot at MSP. In truth, had I been 12 inches taller and more coordinated I might have been starting center for the LA Lakers.
Winters are warming with more midwinter mush, and that is part of challenge. Another factor: with the pandemic fewer jets are flying. Aircraft provide upper air data used to power the models we use. Fewer data points to fuel the simulations we rely on is problematic.
A gray but quiet weekend gives way to cooler weather next week. Models (insert accuracy disclaimer here) hint at more snow or a mix next weekend.
And that cold wave? Old Man Winter may pull his punch (again) as a mild, Pacific flow continues to dominate.
Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast
SATURDAY: Cloudy, few flakes. Wake up 25. High 27. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, a bit nicer. Wake up 16. High 25. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 5-10 mph.
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, passing flurry. Wake up 18. High 24. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.
TUESDAY: Chilly with periods of flurries. Wake up 9. High 22. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind SW 5-10 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Cloudy, breezy and milder. Wake up 17. High 33. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SW 10-20 mph.
THURSDAY: Colder wind kicks in, more flurries. Wake up 27. High 30. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind NW 15-30 mph.
FRIDAY: Chilled sun, feels like January again. Wake 3. High 10. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.
This Day in Weather History
1921: Winds gusting up to 59 mph create a 'sand blizzard' across southwest Minnesota and a snowstorm across the north.
Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
Average High:23F (Record: 46F set in 1961)
Average Low:7F (Record: -29F set in 1888)
Average Precipitation:0.03" (Record: 1.05" set in 1887)
Average Snowfall: 0.4" (Record: 11.3" in 1887)
Record Snow Depth: 18" in 1984
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
*Length Of Day:9 hours,12 minutes and41 seconds
*Daylight GAINED Since Yesterday:~1 minute and52 seconds
*When Do We Climb To 9.5 Hours Of Daylight?January 25th (9 hours,31 minutes, and 51 seconds)
*When Is The Sunrise At/Before 7:30 AM?: February 3rd (7:29 AM)
*When Is The Sunset At/After 5 PM? January 17th (5:00 PM)
Twin Cities And Minnesota Weather Outlook
Skies will be mainly cloudy in the Twin Cities on Saturday. Temperatures won't budge much throughout the day - starting off in the mid-20s but only climbing to the upper 20s for highs. We could see a few snow showers work in toward sunset.
Cloudy skies are expected across much of the state Saturday with a few snow showers possible, especially in northern Minnesota. Highs will only make it into the 20s statewide.
These highs will be up to 10F degrees above average across the state on Saturday, especially as you head northward. The average high for January 16th in the Twin Cities is 23F.
Highs will remain in the mid to upper 20s through the weekend into early next week, taking a little bit of a dip behind a cold front heading into Tuesday. Temperatures will then warm into the low 30s for Wednesday.
National Weather Forecast
The system that has been impacting the upper Midwest with snow and blizzard conditions will start to move east on Saturday, still bringing the chance of rain and snow to areas of the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast to begin the weekend. Some snow will be possible out toward the Colorado Rockies, with rain by Sunday morning in the Pacific Northwest.
The heaviest snow tallies through Sunday evening will be across portions of New England, where at least 6-12" could fall in some areas. Near the Northeast Coast, at least 1-2" of rain could accumulate.
With Only a Week Left in Trump's Presidency, a Last-Ditch Effort to Block Climate Action and Deny the Science
More from Inside Climate News: "President Donald Trump's appointees took their final shots at staving off future climate action this week, even as his presidency careered to an inglorious end with a second impeachment. Trump's Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday finalized a surprise measure to bar future greenhouse gas regulation at oil refineries, manufacturing plants or other facilities beyond coal-fired power plants. The move came the same week that two contrarian scientists working at the White House were reassigned after publishing a series of online reports bearing a White House logo but full of sham arguments denying the risk and extent of climate change."
Survey Finds Majority of Voters Support Initiatives to Fight Climate Change
More from the New York Times: "A majority of registered voters of both parties in the United States support initiatives to fight climate change, including many that are outlined in the climate plans announced by President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr, according to a new survey. The survey, which was conducted after the presidential election, suggests that a majority of Americans in both parties want a government that deals forcefully with climate change instead of denying its urgency — or denying that it exists at all."
Massachusetts Governor Baker Vetoes Climate Bill, Citing Housing Concerns
More from WBUR: "Scuttling what looked to be a major session-ending accomplishment for the Legislature, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday said he would veto ambitious climate legislation over his concerns that key pieces of the bill could stymie housing construction. Baker said he supports much in the bill, but believes key components fly in the face of another legislative victory — the passage of his "housing choice" proposal — that he is poised to sign before the end of the week. The veto sets up an early confrontation in the new year between the governor and the Legislature, where Democratic leaders have signaled a lack of willingness to budge on a bill that was negotiated over the past five months and overwhelmingly approved by the last Legislature."
- D.J. Kayser