Winter Wonderland

Dense fog and freezing temperatures over the weekend created a beautiful winter wonderland. Just about everything was white. Sugar-coated that glistened in the sun. A very neat wintertime phenomenon - hope you enjoyed it!

Ice Safety Guidelines

We're starting to see more folks venture out on frozen lakes and ponds, 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 Wednesday

Here's the weather outlook from AM Monday to AM Wednesday. Note that a very weak front will slide through early Monday morning with very slight chance of a wintry mix. Much of the rest of the day Monday will be quiet before another system approaches on Wednesday. It appears that light snow will be possible on Wednesday.

Minneapolis January Summary So Far

Here's a look at the January number so far and the first few days of the month shows that we're off to a dry and mild start to the new year.

Snow Depth As ofJanuary 2nd

Thanks to our snow storm last week, many locations across MN and NW WI have deep snow in place. As of January 2nd, there was 9" of snow on the ground at MSP and 8" of snow on the ground in Duluth. International Falls had 10" of snow on the ground!

National Snow Depth

As of December 31st, 40.1% of the nation was covered by snow, including some snow on the ground as far south as west Texas! At this time last year, nearly 31.4% of the nation was covered,

Snowfall So Far This Season

Interestingly, the Twin Cities and Duluth is running quite a bit above average snowfall for the season. However, most locations across the region are dealing with snowfall deficits for the season thus far, including Marquette, MI, which is nearly -19" below average snowfall so far this season.

Monday Weather Outlook for Minneapolis

Here's the weather outlook for Monday, which shows a slight chance of a wintry mix early in the morning. The rest of the day looks dry and quiet with temps warming into the mid 30s, which will be nearly +10F to +15F above average!

Monday Meteograms for Minneapolis

Here's a look at the Meteograms for Monday, which shows very mild temps in place for early January. In fact, these temps will be nearly +10F to +15F above average for this time of the year. Note that after a slight chance of light wintry precipitation, much of the rest of the day looks quiet with sunnier skies. Winds will be a little stronger than they have been with westerly winds gusting close to 15mph at times through the day.

MondayWeather Outlook

High temps across the region on Monday will warm into the 30s and 40s, which will be nearly +10F to +20F above average for early January.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

Here's the extended temperature outlook for the Twin Cities, which shows temps warming into the 30s for much of the week ahead. Other than a light snow chance on Wednesday, much of the week ahead will be dry and mild.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended temperature outlook through mid January shows fairly mild temperatures for this time of the year. Note that our average coldest time of the year is from January 6th through the 18th. It appears that for about another week/week and a half, temperatures will still be quite mild, but according to the GFS, it could get mighty cold around mid month. Stay tuned!

Drought Update

According to the US Drought Monitor, drought conditions have increased slightly 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 central part of the nation from January 11th to the 17th. Stay tuned...

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, warmer than average temperatures will continue across much of the northern tier of the nation and the western half of the country.

Mild Into Mid-Month Then Watch Out
By Paul Douglas

"Sleigh bells ring. Are you listening. In the lane. Snow is glistening.." go the lyrics of Winter Wonderland. It's hard to adequately describe glistening snow. I call it diamond dust. Staring out at a snowy landscape and seeing hundreds of points of light - a new constellation of stars set against a universe of white. See what all your Florida friends are missing?

I wouldn't have thought it possible in early December but we've just had 2 consecutive weeks of nearly-perfect snow conditions. Sub freezing. Light winds. Bright sunlight. Snow lovers are euphoric, finally.

Minor melting is expected this week - a couple days above freezing. It may be mild enough for icy rain to mix in with flurries early Monday. Another big storm sails well south of Minnesota this week - no new snow here anytime soon, in fact the pattern looks remarkably quiet into mid-January.

Models suggest an arctic cold wave after January 15 or so. The latter half of this month may be a rude reminder that January often brings subzero slaps.

Extended Forecast

MONDAY: A few icy AM showers, clearing PM. Winds: W 10-15. High: 36.

MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and quiet. Winds: W 5-10. Low: 18.

TUESDAY: More clouds than sun. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 30.

WEDNESDAY: Cloudy. Flurries possible. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 10.High: 33.

THURSDAY: Intervals of sunshine, still quiet. Winds: S 3-8. Wake-up: 22. High: 30.

FRIDAY: Patchy clouds and fog.Winds: SW 3-8. Wake-up: 18. High: 25.

SATURDAY:Inversion lingers. Clouds & light winds.Winds: NW 3-8. Wake-up: 18 High: 27.

SUNDAY:Peeks of sunshine & dry. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 19. High: 24.

This Day in Weather History

January 4th

1981: Air cold enough to freeze a mercury thermometer pours into Minnesota. Tower hits 45 below zero.

1971: A snowstorm moves through the Upper Midwest. Winona gets over 14 inches.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

January 4th

Average High: 24F(Record: 41F set in 2007)

Average Low: 8F (Record: -32Fset in 1884)

Record Rainfall: 0.57" set in 1997

Record Snowfall: 3.2" set in 2007

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

January 4th

Sunrise: 7:51am

Sunset: 4:46pm

Hours of Daylight: ~8hours & 54minutes

Daylight GAINEDsinceyesterday: ~ 1 minute & 5seconds

Daylight GAINEDsince WinterSolstice (December 21st): ~ 8minutes

Moon Phase for January 4th at Midnight

1.1 Days Before Last Quarter Moon

See more from Space.com HERE:

What's in the Night Sky?

"Tonight, as you look up at the stars, think about the direction our local star, the sun, moves through our Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers call the sun's direction of motion through the Milky Way by a great old name. It's called thesolar apexor theapex of the sun's way. The solar apex is located in our sky in the direction of the constellation Hercules, southwest of the starVegain the constellation Lyra the Harp. Vega is a bright star. So you can look for it, and find it pretty easily. At this time of year from mid-northern latitudes, Vega appears over the northwestern horizon at dusk and early evening. Vega sets around mid-evening. It also appears low in the northeast sky in the predawn and dawn hours. So look for the star Vega, and contemplate the fact that our sun and family of planets travel more or lesstowardit. With its blue-white color, Vega also happens to be one of the loveliest stars you'll ever see."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

National High Temps Monday

Here's a look at high temps across the nation on Friday. Note that highs in the Southeast will be quite warm with highs warming to near +15F above average near Atlanta, GA. Meanwhile, folks in Dallas, will be dealing with near -15F below average temps post storm system on the first day of 2021.

National Forecast Map For Monday

The weather map on Friday shows a sizeable storm system moving through the eastern US with areas of strong to severe storms and heavy rainfall across the southeastern US, with areas of snow and ice across the far north.

National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather map through the weekend, which shows active weather continuing along and east of the Rockies. Strong to severe storms and heavy rainfall will be found in the Southeastern US with areas of snow and ice continuing from the middle Mississippi Valley to the Northeast.

7 Day Precipitation Outlook

Here's the precipitation potential over the next 7 days. Areas of heavy precipitation will be possible from the Southeastern US to the Northeast, while areas of heavy precipitation will be found along the West Coast and high elevations.

7 Day Snowfall Potential

The extended snowfall forecast shows areas of snow Texas to the Northeast over the next several days. Also note that several feet of snow maybe possible in the Western Mountains.

Climate Stories

"Korean artificial sun sets the new world record of 20-sec-long operation at 100 million degrees"

"The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR), a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun, set the new world record as it succeeded in maintaining the high temperature plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature over 100 million degrees (Celsius). On November 24 (Tuesday), the KSTAR Research Center at the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) announced that in a joint research with the Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University of the United States, it succeeded in continuous operation ofplasmafor 20 seconds with an ion-temperaturehigher than 100 million degrees, which is one of the core conditions of nuclear fusion in the 2020 KSTAR Plasma Campaign. It is an achievement to extend the 8 second plasma operation time during the 2019 KSTAR Plasma Campaign by more than 2 times. In its 2018 experiment, the KSTAR reached the plasma ion temperature of 100 million degrees for the first time (retention time: about 1.5 seconds)."

See more from Phys.org HERE:

"Fire and rain and the smoke that lingers"

Scientists highlight the impact of huge pyrocumulonimbus clouds. Wildfire-driven thunderstorms, such as those created in Australia a year ago, produce lingering impacts that may affect much of the globe, scientists have told the virtual annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Such storms occur when fires funnel hot air upward, much like a massive chimney, says David Peterson, a meteorologist at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). When conditions are right, they can create giant pyrocumulonimbus clouds (fire-driven thunderstorms) that can punch all the way into the stratosphere. Like ordinary thunderstorms, these can produce lightning and rain. But unlike ordinary thunderstorms, they can inject enormous amounts of smoke into the upper atmosphere, where it can linger for months or longer. Wildfire-driven thunderstorms occur each year around the globe, but the ones created by Australia's New Year's fires were "off the chart", Peterson says. "We've never seen anything like that before." In combination, he says, they were similar to a volcanic eruption in their ability to inject fine particles into the upper atmosphere.

See more from Cosmos HERE:

"Can pilots predict turbulence?"

"This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visitthis page. "A superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations which require the use of his superior skill." This famous quote by aviation hero Frank Borman epitomizes exactly what the job of an airline pilot is all about. It's our job to use our knowledge and experience to assess the conditions around and ahead of the aircraft to make decisions to keep those on board safe. This is particularly true when it comes to turbulence. Whilst turbulence in itself is not dangerous to an aircraft, it is, of course, uncomfortable for those passengers inside. In addition to this, some of the sources of turbulence can pose a threat to the aircraft. It is, therefore, a competent pilot's responsibility to be aware of what turbulence is, how it can affect the aircraft and, most importantly, how to recognize the signs of potential turbulence and void them before it affects the aircraft."

See more from The Points Guy HERE:

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