Extended Periods of Zero or Below in the Twin Cities

"Since 1873, the temperature in the Twin Cities has remained at or below zero for at least four consecutive days a total of 27 times, with the most recent occurrence being a five-day stretch ending January 18th, 1994. The longest such streak on record was seven days, from January 1-7, 1912. The same stretch in 1912 clocked in at 186 consecutive hourly observations with temperatures at or below zero. The stretch in 1994 lasted 142 hours. More recent zero-or-colder stretches include 86 hours from 11pm January 12 to 1pm January 16, 2009 and 93 hours from 5pm January 31, 1996 to 1pm February 4, 1996. How long would a stretch of zero or below weather be to make the top ten list? The mercury would have to stay at or below zero for at least FOUR full calendar days to have a chance of making the list. The last time there was a fairly long stretch at or below zero was from midnight, January 29, 2019 to 5 am on February 1, 2019 for a total of 78 hours."

See more from the MN State Climatology Office HERE:

10 Consecutive Days With Sub +10F Highs

Monday, February 15th was the 10th consecutive day with sub +10F high temps at MSP. The forecast calls for sub +10F highs again on Tuesday, which would bring our stretch to 11 consecutive days and would put us 8th longest stretch on record.

Frigid Air Slowly Fades...

The worst of the winter sting will continue to slowly fade over the next several days. Here's the 850mb temp anomaly from midday Tuesday to midday Thursday, which still shows below average temps in place across much of the nation, but it won't be as bitter as it was. Note that actual air temps in the Twin Cities this Saturday could warm into the 20s, while highs on Sunday could warm into the 30s!

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the extended weather outlook for Minneapolis through the week and into the weekend ahead. Tuesday will still be quite cold with highs only warming into the single digits, which will be nearly -25F below average. The gradual warming trend will continue through the rest of the week with highs in the teens and by the weekend, we could be in the 20s and 30s, how about that!

Tuesday Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook for Minneapolis on Tuesday. It'll be another cold day with highs only warming into the single digits above zero, however, with a light breeze, it may feel more like the subzero range throughout most of the day.

Tuesday Meteograms for Minneapolis

The meteograms for Minneapolis on Tuesday shows cold conditions continuing through the day. A very light breeze is expected, which won't drag the wind chills down too much, but with temperatures as cold as they'll be, any breeze will make it feel subzero once again. Skies should remain sunny much of the day, but clouds will be on the increase late in the day ahead of light snow flurries that will arrive on Wednesday.

Tuesday Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook across the region for Tuesday. Highs will still be running -15F to nearly -30F below average across the region with highs only warming into the single digits above and below 0F. Clouds will increase late in the day ahead of light snow chances that will develop Wednesday.

Extended Temperature Outlook

Here's the ECMWF & GFS extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis through the 3rd week of February. Note that temperature readings will still be running well below average through the week ahead, but could be above average next week! In fact, some of the models are hinting at 40F as we approach the end of the month / early March. Stay tuned!

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests warmer than average temperatures returning to much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation, including the Upper Midwest! It will feel MUCH warmer by the end of the month, especially after the record cold snap.

Gradual Warming Trend Continues. 30s by Sunday?
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas

Cold enough for ya? I don't know about you, but I think my goose bumps have goose bumps. We've just endured 10 consecutive nights of subzero temps in the Twin Cities and we'll go below zero again tonight tying for the 25th longest stretch of consecutive subzero nights in recorded history. The polar vortex winter of 2013-2014 saw 17 consecutive subzero nights, while the top spot still sits at 36 consecutive nights from mid January to mid February back in 1936. Good grief!

With that being said, we've now seen a total of 12 subzero nights so far this winter, which is about average for any winter season in the metro. We may add a few more yet over the next month or so, but I think the worst of the winter bite is just about done.

It'll be another chilly day today, but we get back to the teens tomorrow with a little light snow. Saturday's high could reach the 20s with 30s possible on Sunday! If you're keeping track, that will be +50 to near +60 degree temperature swing from Monday's AM low temp. Talk about a February heat wave!

Extended Forecast

TUESDAY: Still cold, but not as bad. Winds: SSE 5. High: 6.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy, not as cold. Winds: Calm. Low: -5.

WEDNESDAY: Light snow dusting. Icy roads again. Winds: SE 5-10. High: 11.

THURSDAY: Lingering AM flake or two. Peeks of sun. Winds: W 5. Wake-up: 0. High: 16.

FRIDAY: Mix of sun and clouds. Nothing rough. Winds: WNW 5. Wake-up: 2. High: 18.

SATURDAY: Clouds increase. Milder south breeze. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 0. High: 22.

SUNDAY: Increasing snow chance. Winds: WNW 10-15. Wake-up: 13. High: 30.

MONDAY: February heat wave. Flurry or sprinkle? Winds: W 10-20. Wake-up: 8 High: 35.

This Day in Weather History

February 16th

1981: A significant warmup occurs across Minnesota. Highs in the 50s and 60s are common. 5 daily high records are broken in a row in the Twin Cities, with many others also broken statewide.

1903: A temperature of -59 is recorded at Pokegama Dam, tying the state record low at that time. It would not be broken for another 93 years.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

February 16th

Average High: 29F (Record: 60F set in 1981)

Average Low: 13F (Record: -26F set in 1936)

Record Rainfall: 0.40" set in 1878

Record Snowfall: 3.2" set in 1938

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

February 16th

Sunrise: 7:11am

Sunset: 5:43pm

Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 31 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 57 seconds

Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 1 hour & 45 minutes

Moon Phase for February 16th at Midnight

2.5 Days Before First Quarter Moon

What's in the Night Sky?

"Tonight, at mid-northern latitudes, look for the brilliant star Arcturus to climb over your eastern horizon around 9 to 10 p.m. local time. That's the approximate time on your clock, regardless of your longitude. South of the equator, this northerly star rises considerably later in the evening. Extend the natural arc of the Big Dipper's handle to verify that you've found Arcturus. The Big Dipper can actually be seen from as far south as the tropical and subtropical regions of the Southern Hemisphere. However, the Big Dipper doesn't reach its high point for the night in late February until an hour or two after the midnight hour. Use the Big Dipper to find Polaris, the North Star In the Northern Hemisphere, Arcturus counts as our faithful springtime star. At present, Arcturus rises about three hours after sunset at mid-northern latitudes. Yet this shining beauty of a star rises about four minutes earlier with each following day whereas the sun sets a bit later daily. All added up, that means Arcturus will be sparkling above the horizon at dusk/nightfall in a month or so to announce the return of spring to the Northern Hemisphere!"

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

Record Cold High Temps on Tuesday

A number of locations in the Central and Southern US will be VERY cold with record cold high temperatures expected from Nebraska to far southern Texas and the Gulf Coast. The unprecedented cold will be quite problematic for many in the Deep South over the next several days.

National High Temps Tuesday

Here's a look at weather conditions across the nation on Tuesday, which shows extremely cold air in place across much of the Central US. Many locations will be running -20F to -40F below average in the wake of a major winter storm that brought record snow, sleet and ice to many across the Southern US.

National Forecast Map For Tuesday

The weather map on Tuesday shows the potent storm system lifting into the Northeast with areas of heavy snow and ice. If you can believe it, another winter storm will unfold across the Southern US over the next few days with more snow, sleet and ice. This system will also bring severe weather to the Gulf Coast and Florida Panhandle later this week.

National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook through Wednesday, which shows the potential winter storm moving into the Northeast on Tuesday with areas of heavy snow & Ice. Interestingly, there could be strong to severe storms in the Southeast with locally heavy rain. Meanwhile, another strong storm will move from the Rockies into the Southern US with more heavy snow, sleet and ice. Strong to severe storms will also develop later this week in the Southeast with more heavy rainfall.

7 Day Precipitation Outlook

The precipitation potential over the next 7 days shows heavier precipitation in the Southeastern US with several inches of rain and flooding possible across the Southeastern US. Meanwhile, areas of heavier precipitation, including heavy snow in the Western Mountains will be possible.

7 Day Snowfall Potential

The extended ECMWF snowfall forecast shows heavy snow continuing in the high elevations in the Western US, while another round of heavy snow will be possible in the Southern US and into the Northeast.

2020 Severe Weather in Review

"2020 was a relatively average year overall by the numbers. However, there were anomalies within the overall average numbers. Most notable was the lack of strong and violent tornadoes during the May/June time period. This period of very few strong and violent tornadoes led to the first May without a moderate or high risk convective outlook issued and the fewest May tornado watches on record. Despite much below normal tornado activity in May and June, total tornado fatalities (76) were well above normal. 71 of these 76 fatalities occurred from January 10 to April 22 with only 5 fatalities during the rest of the year."

See more from NOAA's SPC HERE:

Climate Stories

"Increasing hurricane intensity around Bermuda linked to rising ocean temperatures"

"For many people, the beauty of spring is countered by the sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes of allergies that come with the warmer weather. For those people, science has some bad news – climate change seems to be making pollen season longer and more severe. The new study, led by scientists at the University of Utah, compiled almost 30 years of measurements from 60 pollen count stations across the US and Canada. They found that by 2018, the pollen season was starting 20 days earlier, lasting 10 days longer, and involving 21 percent higher pollen concentrations than in 1990. The team says that tree pollen levels increased more than that of other plants, and Texas and the Midwestern US saw the highest increases in pollen counts. So why are pollen levels going up? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the researchers link it to the warmer temperatures brought about by climate change."

See more from Phys.org HERE:

"How to stay warm while sleeping in the frigid outdoors"

"Frozen toes at the bottom of your sleeping bag, the fear of frostbite looming in the back of your mind, and the ever-present possibility that you didn't bring enough layers. A fear of nights spent outdoors in below-freezing temperatures is enough to deter even the most passionate campers from spending a night in the wild in wintertime. After all, no one likes to wait for the sun to rise as they shiver. "People hear 'winter' and they think 'impossible.' But if you have the right systems and the right gear, it can be comfortable and fun," says Katie Oram, a winter field instructor at the National Outdoors Leadership School, who routinely spends 10 to 18 days at a time in often snowy, wintery backcountry conditions. Learning how to beat that unforgiving chill and stay warm and cozy will allow you to have the full winter wonderland experience, plus take advantage of the empty trails, quiet animal encounters, and the beautiful silent nights."

See more from Popular Science HERE:

"Large variation in daily temperatures linked to lower economic growth"

"Economic growth is lower in regions that experience bigger swings in day-to-day temperatures, revealing a potential new cost of climate change that boosts the case for green investments and fossil fuel taxes. Larger fluctuations in annual temperatures are known to damage economies by harming farming and other sectors, but the effect of daily differences in temperature is less well-studied. The impact is significant, according to a study by a team in Germany and the US that analysed daily temperatures and subnational economic data collected across 76 countries between 1979 and 2018. Globally, the researchers found that each extra 1°C in day-to-day temperature variability was linked to a cut in the regional economic growth rate by at least 5 percentage points in any given year. That is a big change, even at a regional level where annual rates can swing by 16 percentage points each year. "What we show is if those high-frequency changes in the weather are going to change with climate change, that is going to have considerable impacts for the economy," says Maximilian Kotz at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. The average economic hit masks differences around the globe. The cost was lower in places that experience large seasonal changes in temperature, such as Russia and Canada, than regions in the tropics, which don't have such big seasonal swings. Kotz thinks that is because people living in places with hot summers and cold winters have ways of coping that are useful for abrupt daily changes too."

See more from News Scientists HERE:

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