Coldest Air We've Seen in 2 Years?

The coldest air of the season is set to arrive this weekend and lingering into early next week. High temperatures may not even get above 0F across parts of the state with wind chill values dipping well below 0F for several days. Note that this could potentially be some of the coldest air we've seen in nearly 2 years. Keep in mind that the last time the Twin Cities has had a high colder than 0F was back in January of 2019.

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the extended weather outlook for Minneapolis through the weekend and into early next week. Note that temperatures will really plummet with high temperature possibly not getting above 0F for the first time since late January 2019. Low temperatures on the other hand could dip to -10F for the first time since February 2020. By the way, the last time we dropped to -20F or colder was at the end of January 2019 as well.

Cold Weekend Temperatures

It'll be a dangerously COLD weekend with temperature readings likely staying below 0F for many across the northern half of the state. The Twin Cities should warm to a few degrees above 0F for a few hours on Saturday, but will dip into the teen below zero Sunday morning and not get above zero again (perhaps) until Monday afternoon if we're lucky. Note that wind chill values will likely go below zero on Thursday night and won't go above zero until sometime next week!

Mild & Quiet Wednesday; Arctic Front Arrives Thursday

Here's the weather outlook from midday Wednesday to Midday Friday, which shows an Arctic front plowing through on Thursday with wind-whipped snowflakes an minor snow accumulations across parts of the state. Heavier snowfall tallies will be found east of the Mississippi River Valley and into northern Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan.

Snowfall Potential Through PM Friday

Parts of the state will get clipped by snow will develop on the leading edge of an Arctic front that will move through the region on Friday. The heaviest snow will be found in Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan with plowable amounts of +6" possible there.

Wednesday Weather Outlook for Minneapolis

Here's the weather outlook for Wednesday, which shows another mild day in place with temps warming into the low/mid 30s under mostly cloudy skies. Winds will be a bit stronger through the day with gusts approaching 15-20mph during the afternoon.

Wednesday Meteograms for Minneapolis

Here's a look at the Meteograms for Wednesday, which shows temps warming into the low/mid 30s during the afternoon with a few peeks of sunshine possible. South to southeasterly winds will be stronger than they've been as of late. A few gusts could approach 20mph during the 2nd half of the day.

Wednesday Weather Outlook

Here's a look at weather conditions across the region on Wednesday, which shows very mild temps in place for the early part of February. Many locations should warm into the 30s, which will be nearly +10F to +15F above average across the state o Minnesota. Interestingly, Pierre, SD could warm close to 50F on Wednesday!

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended temperature outlook through the first half of February, which shows a BIG temp drop late week with some of the coldest air in nearly 2 years, settling in over the weekend and lingering into next week. Dangerously cold air will be in place this weekend with widespread subzero temps likely across the region.

6-10 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, much of the nation will be dealing with below average temperatures, especially across the Upper Midwest & Great Lakes Region.

Coldest Air Of Winter On The Way
By Paul Douglas

Winters are trending shorter and milder with spasms of cold air, but nothing like the 1970s,with week after week of subzero chill. Averages are mellowing over time, so when we do get an occasional blast of Siberian exhaust, it's suddenly newsworthy.

The arctic is warming 3 times faster than the rest of the planet - the jet stream is more erratic than ever. Old Man Winter is staggering around like a drunken uncle most weeks.

After the 12th warmest January and the 13th warmest meteorological winter, to date, a reality check is brewing. The next 10 days will be the coldest of winter - the core of arctic air arrives late next week, when daytime highs may hover below 0F. The Polar Vortex has been well-behaved up until now, confining bitter air well to our north. Now it's our turn to get a taste. Wind chill readings may dip to -25F by Sunday, maybe -40F late next week.

This numbing front sets off snow on Thursday, maybe a few inches, with some plowable amounts possible south/east of the Twin Cities.

Extended Forecast

WEDNESDAY: Peeks of sun & milder. Winds: S 10-15. High: 32.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Light wintry mix possible. Winds: SSE 5-10. Low: 29.

THURSDAY: Few inches of snow. Sharply colder. Winds: NW 15-20. High: 30.

FRIDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 5. High: 13.

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Few flakes? Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: -2. High: 3.

SUNDAY: Groundhog was right. Feels like -25F. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: -14. High: 0.

MONDAY: Some sun. Still numb. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: -9. High: 4.

TUESDAY: Blue sky. A cold quarantine. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: -12. High: 6.

This Day in Weather History

February 3rd

1989: Bitterly cold temperatures occur across Minnesota with lows in the 40-below-zero range in the north.

1947: A strong dust storm hits Crookston with winds near 50 mph. Visibility was reduced down to 300 feet.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

February 3rd

Average High: 26F (Record: 51F set in 1934)

Average Low: 9F (Record: -27F set in 1886)

Record Rainfall: 0.42" set in 1943

Record Snowfall: 3.4" set in 1976

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

February 3rd

Sunrise: 7:30am

Sunset: 5:24pm

Hours of Daylight: ~9 hours & 55 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 38 seconds

Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 1 hour & 9 minutes

Moon Phase for February 3rd at Midnight

0.4 Days Before Last Quarter

See more from Inverse HERE:

What's in the Night Sky?

"Tonight, find the gorgeous Double Cluster in the constellation Perseus. It's a wonderful sight to see, assuming your sky is dark. To see it at this time of year, face north to northwest as darkness falls. The Double Cluster consists of two open star clusters, known as H and Chi Persei (also called NGC 884 and 869). How to find them? First, you really do need that dark sky. Second, you might need binoculars, as the Double Cluster is only faintly visible to the unaided eye, even on an inky black night. Look for the famous constellation Cassiopeia the Queen in the northwest, forming a backwards "3," or perhaps an "E," or the letter "M" or "W" turned on its side. Just above Cassiopeia, assuming your sky is dark enough, you'll see a faint fuzzy patch. This is the Double Cluster, which blooms into a sparkling array of stars through binoculars or a small backyard telescope."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

National High Temps Wednesday

Here's a look at weather conditions across the nation on Wednesday, which shows lingering chilly temps along the East Coast in the wake of a powerful storm system that dropped upwards of 2ft. of snow across parts of the Northeast earlier this week. Meanwhile, temps will warm to well above average readings in the Central US, with readings nearly +15F above average.

National Forecast Map For Wednesday

The weather map on Wednesday shows snow showers lingering across parts of the Northern New England States. Meanwhile, our next storm system will push into the Midwest through the day ahead of an Arctic cold front that will drop temps to well below average through the weekend and into next week.

National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather map as through Through Thursday. Note lingering snow showers across the Northern New England on Wednesday with our next storm system moving into the Central US. Areas of heavy rain and snow will develop along and east of the Mississippi River Valley as we head through the 2nd half of the week.

7 Day Precipitation Outlook

The precipitation potential over the next 7 days shows heavier pockets of precipitation east of the Mississippi River Valley with heavier snowfall possible in the Great Lakes Region. There will also be areas of heavier precipitation & mountain snow in the Western US.

7 Day Snowfall Potential

The extended GFS snowfall forecast shows heavy snowfall across the Great Lakes region and also across the high elevations in the Western US.

Climate Stories

"Apollo 15 landing site is strikingly clear in image captured from Earth"

"Scientists captured this striking image of the Apollo 15 landing site by shooting a powerful radar signal from Earth into space and bouncing it off the lunar surface. The thin, meandering channel running through the middle of the image is the Hadley Rille, a scar left on the moon after past volcanic activity, likely a collapsing lava tube, according to a statement from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The circular dent pictured near the rille is Hadley C, a crater about 3.7 miles (6 kilometers) in diameter. Scientists spent two years developing the technology to take these detailed images of the moon from Earth, and now, they can capture snapshots of lunar objects as small as 16.4 feet (5 meters) across from about 238,855 miles (384,400 kilometers) away. In the future, the researchers plan to develop the technology further, to the point where they can throw radar signals out to the far reaches of the solar system and capture images of Uranus and Neptune, which at their closest are 1.6 billion miles (2.6 billion km) and 2.7 billion miles (4.3 billion km) from Earth, respectively, according to"

See more from Live Science HERE:

"What Exactly Is a Nor'easter?"

"Soon after your local meteorologist utters something about a nor'easter, batteries and other essentials start flying off store shelves. For many, the word basically means huge storm—and rightly so. Nor'easters have earned their reputation for wreaking havoc on land. But what qualifies a storm as a nor'easter? As the National Weather Service explains, nor'easters occur on the East Coast of the U.S. The name, which people have been using at least since the 19th century, doesn't just symbolize the region where nor'easters hit; it actually refers to where the wind comes from. When warm air from the Southwest meets cold air heading south from Canada's polar region, it creates a strong wind—called a polar jet stream—that moves east across North America. Meanwhile, the Gulf Stream—a warm, powerful current—flows up the East Coast, heating both the water and air above it along the way. If that warm air (heading northeast) collides with the polar jet stream (also heading east), the temperature difference between them creates a low pressure system; in short, precipitation starts to form. This usually happens somewhere between Georgia and New Jersey, and the wind cyclone gains strength as it drifts farther north. Whether your city is pelted with rain or blanketed in snow simply depends on how cold it is. Bostonians might be shoveling their driveways at the same time Baltimoreans are steering clear of flooded roads."

See more from Mental Floss:

"Misconceptions about Wildfires Are Fueling the Problem"

"The 2020 wildfire season was the worst in California's recorded history, with more than four million acres burned and almost 10,500 structures destroyed across the state. The fires were heavily covered by the news media, and some reports suggested California had suffered apocalyptic devastation and permanent loss. But the more complicated reality of fire's long-term impact on forests is often poorly reported and misunderstood. In this video, we talk to experts who say many accounts of California's blazes sensationalize the extent of forest devastation while paying less attention to fire's crucial role in nature. Chad Hanson is a fire ecologist and director of the John Muir Project, an environmental group that advocates for drastic changes in state and national fire policy. He says fire is a natural and unstoppable reality in California. Hanson believes that in some cases, the state's forests would be healthier and more resilient if certain fires were allowed to burn. Another expert also notes that to understand 2020 in context, we need to take a very long view of fires in the forest: Valerie Trouet, a researcher who studies tree rings at the University of Arizona, has observed evidence of wildfires in giant sequoias in California dating back almost 3,000 years. She says that although today's fires sometimes burn more intensely, they used to burn longer and over much larger areas."

See more from Scientific American HERE:

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