"The Geminids: Best Meteor Shower of the Year!"
"The Geminids are widely recognized as the best annual meteor shower a stargazer can see, occurring between Dec. 4 to Dec. 17, with the best nights for viewing on Dec. 13 and 14. The parent of the Geminids is 3200 Phaethon, which is arguably considered to be either an asteroid or an extinct comet. When the Earth passes through trails of dust, or meteoroids, left by 3200 Phaethon, that dust burns up in Earth's atmosphere, creating the Geminid meteor shower. The Geminid rate will be even better this year, as the shower's peak overlaps with a nearly new moon, so there will be darker skies and no moonlight to wash out the fainter meteors. That peak will happen on the night of Dec. 13 into the morning of Dec. 14, with some meteor activity visible in the days before and after. Viewing is good all night for the Northern Hemisphere, with activity peaking around 2:00 a.m. local time, and after midnight for viewers in the Southern Hemisphere."
"Here are the best holiday gifts for weather fanatics"
"Shopping for a weather enthusiast? Here's gift ideas sure to spark some sunshine. The holidays are fast approaching, and with them the gift-shopping frenzy that accompanies the season. Online shopping could be bigger than ever this year amid the ongoing pandemic, with virtual reunions replacing face-to-face gatherings for tens of millions of Americans. We don't know much about holiday shopping in general, but we do know one thing — weather. And if you've got a weather fanatic you need to shop for, we've got you covered. Here are our top 10 ideas for holiday gifts sure to please any weather enthusiast."
Ice Safety Guidelines
We've had several nights sub-freezing across the state and with that, ice is forming on area lakes and ponds. Keep in mind that many lakes around that state are still not safe to venture out on as of yet! Note that ice is never 100% safe, but you need at least 4" of ice to safely walk on. Stay safe out there!!
Minneapolis December Summary So Far
Here's a look at the December number so far and through the first few days of the month, MSP is nearly +10 degrees above average! It has also been a dry start with only 0.01" of precipitation falling. We've also only had 0.2" of snow, which is nearly -4.0" below average through the first part of the month.
Least Snowy Decembers
"MSP managed to pick up 0.2" of snow last Saturday, December 5th. Note that we're on track to have the 3rd least snowy December at MSP on record. Interestingly, there was only a Trace of snow in 1943 and 1913. We still have about 3 weeks left of the month and a lot can happen between now and then. Stay tuned!
Snow Depth As of December 10th
Interestingly, the Twin Cities has seen more than 18" of snow so far this season, but with several days that have been warmer than average, we don't have much snow left on the ground. There are still a few inches on the ground in the Arrowhead and in northern Wisconsin.
Snow Depth From 2019
Take a look at how much different our snow coverage was last year at this time. Note that much of the state had snow on the ground with the heaviest tallies close to the head of Lake Superior. According to the report at the MSP Airport from December 12th of last year, there was 8" of snow on the ground at this time last year and we also had 6" of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. Duluth on the other hand had 23" of snow on the ground at this time last year and had 18" of snow on the ground on Christmas Day.
Snowfall So Far This Season
Hard to believe, but the Twin Cities has already had 18.3" of snow this season, which is still about +4" above average. Duluth has had more than 30" of snow, which is nearly +10" above average.
Light Snow Flurries in Northern MN on Sunday
A large storm system sailed south of us on Saturday with several inches of snow falling across Nebraska to Iowa to Wisconsin to Michigan. On Sunday, there will be a weak clipper system that will bring flurries and a light snow coating across the northern part of the state.
Light Snow Potential on Sunday in Northern MN
A weak clipper will slide across the northern part of the state on Sunday with flurries and a light snow coating. Most locations will see less than 0.5" snow possible if anything sticks.
7 Day Snowfall Potential
The weather maps have been extremely quiet as of late, but the GFS is advertising a larger storm system moving through the Upper Midwest by next weekend. It's still WAY too early to get detailed. It's also possible that this storm may not even materialize, but it's the most exciting thing I've seen in the weather models in quite some time. Stay tuned!!
Sunday Weather Outlook for Minneapolis
Here's the weather outlook for Sunday, which shows partly to mostly cloudy skies continuing. However, temps will be warm to slightly above average levels once again with readings close to the freezing mark
Sunday Meteograms for Minneapolis
Here's a look at the Meteograms for Sunday. Note that our average low for this time of the year is in the lower teens, so temps will actually be quite a bit warmer than average on the low side. However, the high temp will only be slightly above average. Sky conditions will remain mostly cloudy throughout the day as well.
Sunday Weather Outlook
High temps on Sunday will still be running above average across much of the region under mostly cloudy skies. A weak clipper system will scoot across the northern part of the state with light snow. A few flurries maybe possible even in the Twin Cities.
Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis
Here's the extended temperature outlook for the Twin Cities, which shows temps running a little closer to average and we head into next week. Note that highs will still be nearly +5F above average on Sunday with readings topping out in the low/mid 30s, but we'll chill down with highs only in the 20s next week. Again, note that we don't have much precipitation (or snow) in the forecast anytime soon.
Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis
The extended temperature outlook through Christmas doesn't show any major Arctic smacks moving through. It does look like we chill down a bit early next week, but could then gradually warm to above average levels again by next weekend.
According to the US Drought Monitor, drought conditions have increased slightly over the last few weeks with nearly 77% of the state considered to be in abnormally dry, while almost 11% is considered to be in a moderate drought. Precipitation in Duluth is nearly -10" below average and is considered to be the 9th driest (January 1st - December 12th) on record. Meanwhile, Sioux Falls, SD is at their 7th driest such period on record.
8-14 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, precipitation potential appears to be going up across the nation, especially through the Mississippi River Valley and Great Lakes Region. After several days and weeks of dry weather across much of Minnesota, we may see a bit of a shift towards more active weather closer to home. 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 as we ahead into the week of Christmas. However, folks in Alaska should remain below average in the temperature department.
Half a Winter for Minnesota This Year?
By Paul Douglas
At the risk of being meteorologically-reckless let me shimmy onto a shaky tree limb and make a forecast I may regret. Minnesota will see half a winter this year. Yep.
In spite of La Nina, an unusually persistent mild signal blowing from the Pacific will linger into January and February. We'll see a few obligatory snowstorms and arctic fronts, but Old Man Winter will pull his punches into March. Winter snow cover will be erratic, skimpy and suboptimal for all of us who love the white stuff. I'm predicting trends not day to day weather. I hope I'm wrong.
A fistful of flurries later today mark the arrival of a colder front, with highs near 20F on Monday, an impotent sun hanging low in the southern sky. But then that pesky Pacific signal kicks in again, with temperatures above 32F from Wednesday into early next week.
A white Christmas? I stand a better chance of growing hair on the top of my head. Snow| showers Saturday may coat the ground, and some of that may linger into Christmas Day. Go away 2020.
SUNDAY: PM Flurries. Chilly. Winds: W 10-20. High: 32.
SUNDAY NIGHT: Decreasing clouds. Winds: WNW 10. Low: 15.
MONDAY: Sunny and cold-ish. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 21.
TUESDAY: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 16. High: 30.
WEDNESDAY: Peeks of sunshine. Above average. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 20. High: 33.
THURSDAY: Partly sunny. Thawing out again. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 23. High: 36.
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, breezy and milder. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 26. High: 41.
SATURDAY: Coating of flurries. Winter-ish. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 30. High: 34.
This Day in Weather History
1995: A low pressure system moved across northern Minnesota, depositing a band of five to seven inch snowfall along a line from around Wheaton to north of St. Cloud and around Rush City. Alexandria received seven inches of snow. Meanwhile, in southern Minnesota, one to four inches of snow fell, along with one-quarter to one-half inch of freezing rain, which forced some school closures.
1821: An extended cold snap begins at Ft. Snelling. Highs were below zero for all but one day of a 19-day stretch.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 27F (Record: 53F set in 1891)
Average Low: 13F (Record: -21F set in 1917)
Record Rainfall: 0.48" set in 1975
Record Snowfall: 6.3" set in 1983
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours & 49 minutes
Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~39 seconds
Daylight LOST since Summer Solstice (June 20th): ~ 7 hour & 1 minute
Moon Phase for December 13th at Midnight
0.4 Days Before New Moon
What's in the Night Sky?
"The 2020 Geminid meteor shower is expected to produce the greatest number of meteors on the night of December 13-14 (Sunday night until dawn Monday). There's never any certainty about meteor showers. They're like fishing … you go, and sometimes you catch something. But Monday morning is a good bet. That's true no matter where you live on Earth's globe. These meteors tend to be bright, but, still, you'll want a dark sky. On a dark night, with no moon (as is the case this year), you can easily spot 50 or more meteors per hour. On an optimum night for the Geminids, you might spot 100 meteors or more per hour. A thrill! Also know that – although this is one shower you can successfully watch in the (late) evening – the best viewing is typically around 2 a.m., no matter where you are on Earth. Remember … meteors in annual showers typically come in spurts, interspersed by lulls. So give yourself at least an hour of observing time. Simply sprawl out on a reclining lawn chair, look upward and enjoy the show."
National High Temps Sunday
Here's a look at high temps across the nation on Sunday, which shows warmer than average temperatures across much of the eastern half of the nation. Meanwhile, folks in the Central and Western US will be running cooler than average.
National Forecast Map For Sunday
The weather map on Sunday look a little more active across the nation with a bigger storm system moving into the eastern half of the nation. Showers, storms and locally heavy rainfall will be possible on the warmer side of the storm, while areas of rain mixed with snow will be possible on the colder side of the storm. There will also be another surge of Pacific moisture that moves into the Western US with heavier coastal rains and mountain snow.
National Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook through early next week, which shows a fairly large storm system wrapping up in the Eastern US. Meanwhile, the Western US will remain active with a number of areas getting in on decent rain and snow potential!
Heavy Precipitation in the Western US
Here's the precipitation potential over the next 7 days. Note that areas of heavier precipitation will be possible in the Eastern US and also across the Western US.
7 Day Snowfall Potential
Here's the 7 day snowfall potential across the nation, which shows decent snowfall potential in the Eastern and Central US as well as the Western US, but Minnesota stays mostly snow free.
"Current pace of action on climate change is "unthinkable" state ex UN climate leaders"
"Justifiable pride can be taken in the incremental accomplishments of international climate change cooperation, but it is "unthinkable" to continue at the current pace. The global response to climate change is completely insufficient and leaves the world on a "road to hell". That's according to four former senior members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat, who have published an exclusive critical insider insight piece -today published in the peer-reviewed journal, Climate Policy. In reviewing 30 years since the launch of international negotiations on climate change, the team state that while countries have successfully agreed three significant UN treaties over the three decades, global implementation of the ensuing commitments is failing, and ramped up action is required urgently "to avoid dangerous climate change" and to stay within agreed temperature increase thresholds."
"Scientists explain why aurora borealis not visible from U.S."
"If you were planning to view the northern lights in Montana on Thursday night, chances aren't as great as originally predicted. The geomagnetic storm watch has been downgraded from a G-3 to a G-1, which means the lights will not be visible from the United States. Scientists at NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center explained how the aurora borealis make their appearance on Earth and why they are so difficult to predict. Solar flares on the sun is how it all begins. Coronal mass ejections are associated with solar flares. CMEs blast clouds of material into outer space. "If it's pointed in the right direction and comes quickly enough, it can activate Earth's magnetic field system and create aurora," said Rodney Viereck, a scientist with the Space Weather Prediction Center. Based on data gathered Wednesday night, Viereck said it appears the CME only grazed the Earth, rather than coming into direct contact with it. That's why viewing impacts were minimal, and the watches have been degraded."
"Meet The 15-Year-Old Activist Fighting For Better Climate Education"
"In 2018, the state of California was on fire. Alexandria Villaseñor, who was 13 at the time, was traveling between her hometown of Davis, California, to her mother's temporary residence in New York City, when she witnessed the destruction of Northern California's Camp Fire, which would go on to burn more than 150,000 acres of land. As her family stuffed wet towels under their doors to keep out smoke from fires miles away from their home, Villaseñor was scared. This couldn't be the new normal. Before the Camp Fire, Villaseñor knew about as much as any other young teen about climate change: Go green. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But, as Villaseñor, now 15, is aware, the conversation was bigger than individual action. California's wildfires have continued to get worse — in 2020, more than 8,200 state-wide fires burned a record-breaking 4 million acres of land, killing 31 people. And, as Villaseñor says, ongoing climate change is only going to make things worse. She quickly realized the fight requires international, government-level changes. For her, what started as local concern turned into a year-long protest in front of the United Nations' New York City headquarters and a global campaign for more robust climate education."