Statewide Snow Depth

Are you looking for snow on the ground for some winter recreation? Unfortunately, despite our fast start to the season, most of that has melted. Even though we saw a couple of tenths of an inch of snow Sunday, right now the only appreciable snow on the ground for outdoor receration is up in northwestern Minnesota. According to the MN DNR Snow Depth and Groomed Trail Conditions page, a few inches of snow can be found in some locations:

  • Crosby-Manitou State Park: 2" of snow on the ground as of November 11th
  • Temperance River State Park: 0" of snow depth as of November 11th: "Very little snow left but watch for icy spots on trails."
  • Tettegouche State Park: 0-2" on the ground as of November 11th: "What snow we had is slowly going away but watch for icy spots on trails."
  • Mille Lacs-Kathio State Park: 1" of snow as of November 11th: "most of our snow is gone, trails are patchy, with ice and mud in low areas."

I was actually up in Tettegouche State Park back on Tuesday last week. In the back woods, I would estimate there was about 1-3" of snow on the ground as me and my wife were hiking around. This picture was taken from the Lax Lake Overlook, where there were people ice skating and fishing out on the lake.


How Often Do We NOT Have Snow On The Ground This Time Of Year?

Even though it may seem weird that we don't have a lot of snow on the ground right now in the Twin Cities, it's not actually all that uncommon. Looking back through the Twin Cities snow depth history (back to 1899), we have seen no snow on the ground thirty-two times on December 13th, the most recent being back in 2015. On this date we have seen an additional eighteen years with only a trace on the ground. Last year we had 8" of snow on the ground on December 13th.


Today's Shot of Winter Won't Last Long
By Paul Douglas

My heart is still racing after yesterday's DUSTING of snow in the MSP metro - the memory still vivid and almost winterlike. In truth, the roads did ice up in a cold twinkle of an eye, underscoring my observation that timing and temperature matter more than amounts during many snow events.

This is as cold as you're going to feel through the end of December. Expect highs either side of 20F today but the sun should be visible, which should surgically remove some of the sting.

A smorgasbord of weather models show a return flow of Pacific air later this week; ECMWF (European model) hints at highs near 50F a week from today. Good grief. A coating of slush is possible Friday night and NOAA's GFS model prints out some snow a day before Christmas. I'm skeptical, but keeping an open mind. It just doesn't want to snow. At least not here. 1-2 FEET of snow may pile up just west of Washington D.C. and New York City by Thursday. While we wear jackets, stare at our green-ish lawns, and wonder where winter went.


Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: Bright cold sunshine. Wake up 11. High 21. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.

TUESDAY: More clouds than sunshine. Wake up 17. High 29. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 7-12 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Patchy clouds, not as cold. Wake up 22. High 33. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 8-13 mph.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny, above average again. Wake up 24. High 36. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 7-12 mph.

FRIDAY: Clouds increase, late snow showers. Wake up 27. High 40. Chance of precipitation 50%. Wind SW 10-20 mph.

SATURDAY: Partial clearing, good travel weather. Wake up 22. High 34. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.

SUNDAY: Blue sky, breezy and milder. Wake up 25. High 43. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SW 10-20 mph.


This Day in Weather History
December 14th

1996: Snowfall exceeding one foot is reported from south central Minnesota through portions of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Some of the higher snow totals include 15 inches at Rockford, 14 inches at Cedar and North Branch, 13 inches at Stewart and 7 to 10 inches across the central and southern parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

1933: A severe ice storm hits southeast and central Minnesota.


Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
December 14th

Average High: 27F (Record: 55F set in 1998)
Average Low: 12F (Record: -27F set in 1901)
Average Precipitation: 0.04" (Record: 1.50" set in 1891)
Average Snowfall: 0.4" (Record: 5.2" in 1996)
Record Snow Depth: 17" in 2010


Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 14th

Sunrise: 7:44 AM
Sunset: 4:32 PM

*Length Of Day: 8 hours, 47 minutes and 58 seconds
*Daylight LOST Since Yesterday: ~0 minute and 34 seconds

*Day With The Least Amount Of Daylight? December 21st (8 hours, 46 minutes, and 11 seconds)
*When Is The Latest Sunrise?: December 29th-January 5th (7:51 AM)
*When Is Sunset At/After 5 PM? January 17th (5:00 PM)


Twin Cities And Minnesota Weather Outlook

The coldest day so far this winter is expected Monday in the Twin Cities as highs will only climb into the low 20s. At least we will see the sun - that's the bright spot of the day!

The coldest high so far this winter has been 29F in the Twin Cities, back on both October 25th and November 30th. We have only observed a total of three days with a high under freezing.

Looks like we'll see some chilly weather Monday, as highs remain below freezing across the state to begin the work week. Highs won't make it out of the single digits across portions of northern Minnesota Monday (the coldest high through Saturday in International Falls had been 22F on Saturday). Across southern Minnesota, highs will reach the low 20s.

Highs across the state Monday will be below average - up to around 10-15F degrees across portions of northern Minnesota. The average high in the Twin Cities on December 14th is 27F.

We won't remain this cold as we go through the work week - in fact, we will see a warming trend, with highs back in the low 30s as we head toward Wednesday and then the upper 30s for Friday.


National Weather Forecast

On Monday, an area of low pressure moving through the Mid-Atlantic will produce rain and snow from the Southeast into southern New England. Another low north of the Great Lakes will help produce snow for the Great Lakes into New England. A system moving through the western United States will bring snow from the Great Basin to the Rockies and portions of the Central Plains. Rain and snow will be possible in the Pacific Northwest.

Through Tuesday evening, a stripe of at least 1-3" of rain will be possible from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Mid-Atlantic states. In some of the western mountains, a few feet of snow could fall. Meanwhile, about a half a foot of snow will be possible across portions of Oklahoma.


Snowstorm Possible This Week In The Northeast

If you have plans to head to the Northeast during the second half of the week, you will definitely want to pay attention to the forecast over the next few days. Models have consistently been showing a snowstorm impacting portions of the Northeast as we head later in the day Wednesday into Thursday. While it's too early for exact snow totals, it does appear that at least a half a foot to a foot of snow could fall in some locations.


How We Survive: A changing mindset

More from Marketplace: "Adaptation, also called resilience in the climate world, has been a relatively small part of the climate conversation. One study from the Climate Policy Initiative estimates that we spent $30 billion on climate adaptation from 2017 to 2018. But experts say we should be spending a lot more: $180 billion every year over the next decade on solutions like early warning systems for floods and storms, more resilient homes, buildings and infrastructure, better water management and more resilient crops. And that potential spending, according to the Global Commission on Adaptation, would result in more than $7 trillion in benefits. That investment is starting. Much like the pandemic changed the way we live, climate change is forcing us to change how we think — about a new reality of extreme weather and changing landscapes."

World still warms in 2020 as greenhouse gases fall

More from Climate News Network: "The year of the coronavirus − the year of global lockdown − meant a record fall in emissions of the greenhouse gases that drive global warming: by December there had been 34 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion worldwide, a fall of 7% compared with 2019, according to a new study. If governments followed the economic shutdown with what the UN calls a "green pandemic recovery", then by 2030 greenhouse gas emissions could fall by up to 25%. That remains a "big if." Right now the planet is heading towards an end-of-century average temperature rise of a calamitous 3°C, according to a second report."

Sea ice loss and extreme wildfires mark another year of Arctic change

More from NOAA: "Some of this year's significant findings include: The average annual land-surface air temperature in the Arctic measured between October 2019 and September 2020 was the second-warmest since record-keeping began in 1900, and was responsible for driving a cascade of impacts across Arctic ecosystems during the year. Nine of the past 10 years saw air temperatures at least 1 degree C above (1.8 degrees F) the 1981-2010 mean. Arctic temperatures for the past six years have all exceeded previous records. Extremely high temperatures across Siberia during spring 2020 resulted in the lowest June snow extent across the Eurasian Arctic observed in the past 54 years."


Thanks for checking in and have a great day! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser).

- D.J. Kayser