Lake Superior Ice Coverage

Here's the latest ice coverage for Lake Superior from NOAA's GLERL. Note that the current ice coverage is only 0.7%. Keep in mind that at this time last year only 0.4% of the lake was covered in ice. Interestingly, this is below the long-term average (1973-2020), which typically should be between 10%-15% ice coverage now. Also note that we typically don't see the maximum ice coverage until around the end of February or early March. It appears that we have some cold air arriving during the back half of January, so we'll see how the ice coverage changes over the coming weeks.

Lake Superior Average Ice Coverage vs Current

Current Great Lakes Ice Coverage

Here's the ice coverage across the entire Great Lakes, which currently stands at 2.0%. Last year at this time was only at 1.5%. A lack of cold air so far this season has kept the Great Lakes ice coverage at a minimum, but we'll see how that changes as we head toward the back half of January as colder air moves in.

Ice Safety Guidelines

We're starting to see more folks venture out on frozen lakes and ponds across the state and region, 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:

Weather Outlook Through AM Monday

Here's the weather from AM Saturday to AM Sunday. Note that weather conditions will continue to remain quiet with more clouds and patchy freezing fog continuing through the weekend.

Minneapolis January Summary So Far

Here's a look at the January number so far and the first week of the month has really been warm and dry. Temps have been running nearly +7.5F above average, which is the 7th warmest January on record. We've also only had a trace of snowfall, which is nearly 3" below average so far for the month.

Snow Depth As ofJanuary 7th

Thanks to heavy snowfall during the month of December, we are still carrying a decent snowpack across the state. As of January 7th, there was still 8" of snow on the ground in the Twin Cities, Duluth and also International Falls.

National Snow Depth

As of January 8th, 33.9% of the nation was covered by snow, including some snow on the ground as far south as some of the Gulf Coast States. At this time last year, nearly 30.9% of the nation was covered,

Snowfall So Far This January

Through the first full week of January, there hasn't been much snowfall across the region. The heaviest has fallen across southern Wisconsin, where a few inches can be seen near Milwaukee, while the rest of the region has had very little. The Twin Cities has only seen a Trace, which is nearly -3" below average snowfall so far this season.

Snowfall So Far This Season

Here's a look at the snowfall so far this season, which shows some of the heaviest tallies from the Twin Cities to Duluth and toward the U.P. of Michigan. With that being said, the Twin Cities is the only spot around the region carrying the greatest seasonal surplus, which Marquette is carrying the greatest seasonal deficit.

Saturday Weather Outlook for Minneapolis

Here's the weather outlook for Saturday, which shows more freezing fog in the morning followed by mostly cloudy skies continuing through the rest of the day. Keep in mind that this is typically the coldest part of the year, but we'll still be running a little above average for this time of the year.

Saturday Meteograms for Minneapolis

Here's a look at the Meteograms for Saturday, which shows temps starting in the mid teens and warming in to the mid 20s by the afternoon. Also note that Areas of freezing fog in the morning will give way to mostly cloudy skies through the rest of the day. Winds will still be pretty light with breezes out of the NW around 5-10.

SaturdayWeather Outlook

High temps on Saturday will warm into the 20s across much of the region, which will be nearly +5F to +15F above average.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

Here's the extended temperature outlook for the Twin Cities, which shows temps warming into the 20s and 30s, which will be nearly +5F to +15F above average. We could even get close to 40F in a few spots by Wednesday & Thursday. The other thing to note is that we will likely remain quiet over the next several days with minimal precipitation chances until late next week.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended temperature outlook through mid keeps temps above average and by quite a margin. There is an odd chance that we could warm to near 40F a couple of days late next week before a bigger cool down during the 2nd half of the month. According to the GFS, there is a chance that temps will only warm into the single digits with overnight lows dipping into the subzero range. This could be some of the coldest air of the season... Stay tuned.

Drought Update

According to the US Drought Monitor, drought conditions have continued 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.

8-14 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, drier than average weather looks to return to much of the nation from January 14th to the 18th. However, We could see more active weather across the High Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley. 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 and the western half of the country, while folks in the Southeast will be dealing with cooler than average weather.

Forecast Calls for More Rime Ice
By Paul Douglas

In recent days Minnesota has looked more like a cold, snowy San Francisco, shrouded under a perpetual blanket of thick ice fog. Trees, shrubs and bridges were spray-painted in white each morning; a slickly beautiful sight.

This is "rime ice", which forms when supercooled water droplets freeze on contact with cold surfaces. Not the same thing as "hoar frost", which forms a frosty stubble on lawns and fields on clear, calm nights. A cousin to summer dew.

Remarkably quiet weather for January lingers into next week, but a lingering inversion keeps us socked in with clouds/fog today. Winds increase next week and a combination of more sun and a Pacific breeze lures the mercury close to40F. With 8 inches of snow on the ground at MSP I don't think it'll be mild enough - long enough - to ruin the fun for snow lovers.

Although no beefy storms are brewing, a real cold front is coming I expect a week or two of subzero lows and single-digit highs in late January. Not record-breaking cold... but cold enough.

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY:Cloudy & foggy.Winds: W 7-12. High: 23.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy with areas of patchy freezing fog. Winds: NW 5. Low: 19.

SUNDAY:Peeks of sunshine, a little better. Winds: W 7-12. High: 30.

MONDAY: Partly sunny. A brief PM thaw. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 25. High: 33.

TUESDAY: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 19. High: 31.

WEDNESDAY: Some sun. Breezy and milder. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 23.High: 40.

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy with a cooler breeze. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 35. High: 38.

FRIDAY: Colder. Coating of flakes? Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 22. High: 24.

This Day in Weather History

January 9th

1982: Both January 9th and 10th would have some of the coldest windchills ever seen in Minnesota. Temperatures of -30 and winds of 40 mph were reported in Northern Minnesota. This would translate to windchills of -71 with the new windchill formula, and -100 with the old formula.

1934: A sleet and ice storm hits southwest Minnesota. Hardest hit locations were Slayton, Tracy and Pipestone. The thickest ice was just east of Pipestone with ice measuring 6 to 8 inches in diameter. At Holland in Pipestone County three strands of #6 wire measured 4.5 inches in diameter and weighed 33 ounces per foot. The ice was described as: 'Very peculiar information being practically round on three sides, the lower side being ragged projectiles like icicles: in other words pointed. The frost and ice were wet, not flaky like frost usually is. In handling this, it could be squeezed into a ball and did not crumble.'

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

January 9th

Average High: 23F(Record: 49F set in 2012)

Average Low: 7F (Record: -32Fset in 1977)

Record Rainfall: 0.31" set in 1924

Record Snowfall: 3.8" set in 1924

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

January 9th

Sunrise: 7:50am

Sunset: 4:51pm

Hours of Daylight: ~9hours & 1minutes

Daylight GAINEDsinceyesterday: ~ 1 minute & 26seconds

Daylight GAINEDsince WinterSolstice (December 21st): ~ 15minutes

Moon Phase for January 9th at Midnight

2.9 Days Before New Moon

See more from Space.com HERE:

What's in the Night Sky?

"For the first time since October 2015, you have a chance in the coming evenings to view aplanetary trio, or three planets bunched together on the sky's dome. At evening dusk – on January 8, 9, 10 and 11, 2021 – watch for the now-famous planets Jupiter and Saturn, fresh from theirDecember 21 great conjunctionand still close together. The third planet, Mercury, is just now coming into view. All three worlds pop out low in the west, close to the sunset point on the horizon. Jupiter will be the brightest of the three, followed by Mercury and then Saturn. Start watching them tonight and watch them move in relationship to each other! On January 8 and 9, bright Jupiter will be at the top of the gathering. The sky chart at top is for January 9, 2021, when fleet-footed Mercury will pass to the south of Saturn. The tightest grouping of these worlds will be on January 10. Then Mercury will swing to the south of Jupiter on July 11, as shown on the chart below. Depending on your sky conditions and use of optical aid (binoculars), you should be able to watch this planetary trio for several days to a week."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

National High Temps Saturday

Here's a look at weather conditions across the nation on Saturday, which shows cooler conditions across the southeastern US with highs running -5F to nearly -10F below average.

National Forecast Map For Saturday

The weather map on Saturday shows our next system developing along the Front Range and sliding south into the Southern Plains. This system will be responsible for areas of heavy snow across parts Texas, where some 3" to 6" tallies can't be ruled out.

National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather map through the weekend, which shows active weather moving into the Southern US with areas of heavy snow possible across parts of west Texas.

7 Day Precipitation Outlook

Here's the precipitation potential over the next 7 days. Areas of heavy precipitation will be possible across parts of Texas with another are of heavy precipitation in the Pacific Northwest.

7 Day Snowfall Potential

The extended snowfall forecast shows areas of heavy snow across the Southern US and in the Pacific Northwest. However, there doesn't appear to be any big events across the Central US or Eastern US anytime soon.

Climate Stories

"Drought is the sleeper weather story you'll hear more about in 2021"

"Dry conditions are tightening their grip on the Southwest, including fire-prone Southern California. Drought is an insidious climate threat — by the time it has a hold of a region, impacts on ecosystems and water supplies can be locked in. It may not grab extreme weather headlines like thedisrupted polar vortexorrecord hurricane season, but drought during 2020 and heading into 2021 is a looming story likely to grow in importance. The above map shows drought conditions across North America, including parts of Canada and Mexico, valid on Dec. 10. Nowhere is this more true than in the Southwest, population growth and years of drought conditions are putting the region on a collision course with drastic water management decisions. On Wall Street, traders can nowbet on California water futureson commodity markets, enabling them to hedge against future scarcity, much as they trade gold, oil and agricultural products."

See more from Washington Post HERE:

"Cities Face Withering Heat under Worst Warming Scenarios"

"Temperatures could rise by more than 4 degrees Celsius by 2100 in some cities around the world. Cities could experience more acute warming than previously predicted, according to scientists. Research published Monday inNature Climate Changefound that urban regions across the world — from the United States to Africa — could warm by more than 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century under a high-emissions climate change scenario. "That's a concerning point," said Lei Zhao, the study's lead author and an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. "We showed that this kind of 4-degree warming is actually in a lot of urban areas, with high inter-model robustness and agreement."

See more from Scientific American HERE:

"Climate Change Is Turning Cities Into Ovens"

"A new model estimates that by 2100, cities across the world could warm as much as 4.4 degrees Celsius. It's a deadly consequence of the heat-island effect. WHICHEVER SIDE OFthe subjective city-versus-rural debate you're on, the objective laws of thermodynamics dictate that cities lose on at least one front: They tend to get insufferably hotter, more so than surrounding rural areas. That's thanks to the urban heat-island effect, in which buildings and roads readily absorb the sun's energy and release it well into the night. The greenery of rural areas, by contrast, provides shade and cools the air by releasing water. Climate change is making the urban heat-island effectall the more direin cities across the world, and it's only going to get worse. Like, way worse. An international team of researchers has used a new modeling technique to estimate that by the year 2100, the world's cities could warm by as much as 4.4 degrees Celsius on average. For perspective, that figure obliterates theParis agreement's optimistic goalfor aglobalaverage temperature rise of 1.5 degrees C from preindustrial levels. In fact, the team's figure more than doubles the agreement's hard goal of limiting that global rise to no more than 2 degrees C."

See more from Wired HERE:

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