Wettest Christmas Eves & Days on Record at MSP

Here are the top 10 wettest Christmas Eves through Christmas Days on record at MSP. Note that in 1982 we had 2.61" of liquid that fell in the metro and the next wettest was in 1893 when 1.35" of liquid fell. The most recent wettest was in 2009 when 1.00" of liquid fell.

Twin Cities Weather Outlook For Christmas Day

Areas of rain will continue through the day Monday with the bulk of the precipitation falling in the Twin Cities through the day. Most of the precipitation will fall in the metro as rain, but areas of snow and freezing rain will be possible across western Minnesota. Winds will be breezy with gusts approaching 35mph at times.

Record Warmth on Christmas Day Monday

It won't be quite as warm on Christmas Day, we're looking at another record warm day in the Twin Cities with high warming into the lower 50s.

RAIN !? Through Christmas...

A long duration storm system will continue through early next week. The heaviest precipitation will continue through Christmas Day Monday before fading on Tuesday. Areas of wintry precipitation will be found north and west of the Twin Cities Metro.

A Very Wet Forecast

Here's the extended precipitation forecast into next week, which suggests some pretty widespread 1" to 2" liquid tallies across much of the region. Again, most of the precipitation will fall in the form of rain near the Twin Cities, but will in the form of a wintry mix north and west of the Twin Cities metro.

Snowfall Potential?

The snowfall potential into early next shows areas of snow across far western Minnesota and into the Dakotas. Some of the heaviest snow will fall across South Dakota, where plowable amounts will be possible.

Icing Potential

Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

Temperatures over the next few days will be well above average with record warmth possible again on Christmas Day Monday. We'll see a bit of a cool down into next week with highs hovering around the freezing mark around New Year's Day, which is still above average for this time of the year.

"A Historically Warm and Snowless December in Minnesota"

"December 2023 has been more like November in Minnesota, with bare ground dominating the landscape across the state for much or all of the month, and temperatures remaining mild with a few bouts of very warm weather. Strong El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean have kept frigid winter air masses locked up in central and northern Canada, 1,000 to 2,000 miles to our north. Most days have been much warmer than average, and passing cold fronts have struggled to bring in anything other than seasonally-normal air. The lack of snow cover has boosted temperatures further, because bare ground absorbs sunlight and warms the air above it 10-20 times more effectively than fresh snow. Snow cover during winter is a classical climatic "feedback," because snowy ground keeps temperatures lower, making precipitation more likely to fall as snow, which reinforces or deepens the cooling. A lack of snow cover allows temperatures to rise more readily, making rain more likely."

See more from MN State Climatology Office HERE:

"115 Million Americans Expected to Travel over Christmas, New Year's"

Second highest year-end holiday travel forecast since AAA began tracking in 2000. AAA projects 115.2 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the 10-day year-end holiday travel period*. This year's total number of domestic travelers is a 2.2% increase over last year and the second highest year-end travel forecast since 2000, when AAA began tracking holiday travel. 2019 remains the busiest Christmas and New Year's travel period on record with 119 million travelers. "This year-end holiday forecast, with an additional 2.5 million travelers compared to last year, mirrors what AAA Travel has been observing throughout 2023," said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. "More Americans are investing in travel, despite the cost, to make memories with loved ones and experience new places."

See more from AAA HERE:

Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI)

"Winter seasons have significant societal impacts across all sectors ranging from direct human health and mortality to commerce, transportation, and education. The question "How severe was this winter?" does not have a simple answer. At the very least, the severity of a winter is related to the intensity and persistence of cold weather, the amount of snow, and the amount and persistence of snow on the ground. The Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI) was developed to objectively quantify and describe the relative severity of the winter season."

It's probably no surprise, but most locations around the Midwest and Great Lakes have had a "Mild" winter so far. This by the way doesn't look to be changing anytime soon with milder than average temperatures continuing and very little snow in the forecast. Again, we're still waiting for the other boot to drop, but being in an El Nino setup, a winter like last year is not really in the cards. The Midwest will likely see an overall warmer and less snowy winter.

See more from MRCC HERE:

"Mild" Winter So Far in for the Twin Cities

Here's a look at the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI) for Minneapolis, MN so far this winter season. With a lack of cold temps and snow, it may be no surprise that we are currently sitting under a "Mild" winter rating so far.

Historical Chances of a "White Christmas"

"Will we have snow on the ground at Christmas? It's an age-old question that we hear frequently as the holidays approach. The chances of having a "white Christmas," defined as having one inch of snow on the ground on the morning of December 25th, range from virtually guaranteed in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and a good part of the Arrowhead, to about 60% in southwestern Minnesota. The snow depth at most sites is measured once a day, usually in the morning. The best chances of having a white Christmas is almost guaranteed. Northern Minnesota is one of the few non-alpine climates in the US where a white Christmas is almost a sure bet. In 124 years of snow depth measurements in Twin Cities, a white Christmas happens about 71% of the time. From 1899 to 2022 there have been 36 "brown Christmases," with either a 0 or a "trace" reported for snow depth on December 25th in the Twin Cities; the last such instance was in 2021, when warm conditions melted all remaining snow on the 24th and in the overnight hours before the morning observation. The years 2018 and 2015 also no measurable snow on the ground in the Twin Cities on December 25th."

See more from the MN DNR HERE:

White Christmas History in the Twin Cities

Here's a look at the White Christmas History over the last 49 years (since 1953) in the Twin Cities. Since 2000, we've had 6 brown Christmases, where we failed to have at least 1" of snow on the ground on Christmas Day. 2021 was the most recent year, but in 2010, MSP had a whopping 19" of snow on the ground. Note that in 2018, we had a weak El Nino and we had a brown Christmas and in 2015, we had a very strong El Nino we had a brown Christmas.

Twin Cities December Summary So Far

Meanwhile, it has been a very warm and snowless December so far in the Twin Cities. Temperatures running nearly +10.0F above average through the first 22 days of the month, we're currently sitting at the 2nd warmest start to any December on record. We're also -7.4" below normal snowfall for the month. We still have a little more than 1 week left of the month, but if we fail to see any additional snow this month, this would be the 8th least snowy December on record.

On Track For the 3rd Warmest Year on Record

It certainly has a warm year, but did you realize that MSP is on track for the 3rd warmest on year record? With only 9 days to go, the average temperature is only 0.6F behind the warmest year on record which occurred in 1931.

Seasonal Snowfall So Far

The Twin Cities has only seen 4.5" of snow this season, which is more than -11.0" below normal snowfall, which is the 26th least snowy start to any season on record. With only 6.3" of snow in Duluth, they are nearly 2 feet below normal snowfall and good enough for the 6th least snowy start to any season on record. Marquette, MI is nearly 43" below normal snowfall and currently sitting at the 4th least snowy start to any season on record.

Seasonal Snowfall Departure From Average

Looking around the region, there is no climate site that has a surplus. The biggest deficits are around the Great Lakes, where we typically get lake effect snow, but with a lack of Arctic air, we haven't seen much in the way of heavy snow yet this season.

Twin Cities Average Snowfall

Depending on what 30-year average you look at, December is typically the 1st or 2nd snowiest month out of the year in the Twin Cities. If you look at the last 30 years 1993-2022, December averages 12.7" of snow and is the snowiest month of the year, followed by January with nearly 11" of snow.

Twin Cities Weather Outlook For Monday

The weather outlook for the Twin Cities on Monday, December 25th will be quite soggy with areas of rain and wind developing across the region. The heaviest and steadiest rains will be north and west of the Twin Cities, but there will be a better chance of rain in the metro later into the afternoon and evening.

Meteograms For Minneapolis

Temperatures in the Twin Cities will start in the mid 40s in the morning and will warm into thelower 50s by the afternoon, which will reach another record high for Christmas day. Areas of rain will become more likely later in the afternoon and evening. East to Northeastly winds will be breezy with gusts approaching 25mph to 30mph at times.

Weather Outlook For Monday

The weather outlook for Monday will warm into the 40s and 50s across much of the state, which will be nearly 15F to 25F above average. Record highs will be likely for some with areas of rain falling for Santa's big flight

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

The 5 day temperature outlook for Minneapolis will be quite a bit warmer than average over the next several days. Highs will warm into the 40s and 50s through early next week before falling into the 30s by Wednesday and Thursday, which will still be above average.

Extended Weather Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended weather outlook for Minneapolis over the next 7 days will be very warm through the Christmas Holiday Weekend. Record highs will be possible again on Monday with areas of steady rains through early next week. There could be a little wintry mix through the first half of the week, but the best chance of accumulating snow will be across far western Minnesota. The 2nd half of next week will feature drier and sunnier weather with cooler temps, but we'll still be above average for the end of December.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook shows warmer than average temperatures continuing across the Western US and along the International border. Meanwhile, cooler temps will develop across the Southeastern US into Early January.

8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook

The 8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook shows more active weather across the Southern and Southwestern US into early January. Meanwhile, drier weather will continue across the northern tier of the nation, including much of the Midwest.

Rain And Record Warmth On Christmas Day
By Paul Douglas

My jingle bells are floating. Santa didn't touch the cookies and milk but he did borrow my blow drier. A Christmas soaking continues statewide. Most of Minnesota and Wisconsin are experiencing a brown Christmas, and a stalled storm will drop over an inch of rain by Wednesday. It's rare for late December, but unseasonably mild air is getting tangled up in a low pressure system loitering over Iowa, keeping most of the state all-rain today and Tuesday, tapering to showers Wednesday. A little slush and ice western counties, with over a foot for parts of South Dakota.

Oh what might have been. Christmas Day 1983 saw 20" of snow on the ground at MSP, on our way to 98.6" for the winter. Christmas 1996 the "high" was -9F. Today's record high at MSP is 51F set in 1922. We may break it.

Temperatures cool off by late week and models hint at a parade of nuisance clippers as early as New Year's Weekend. Yes, what can possibly go wrong? I could see a quick inch or 2 next Sunday and Monday. Merry Christmas to all!

Extended Forecast

CHRISTMAS DAY (MONDAY): Rain likely. Ice far western MN? Winds: NE 15-30. High: 52.

CHRISTMAS DAY NIGHT: Rain & wind. Winds: ENE 15-35. Low: 42.

TUESDAY: Cooler with periods of rain. Winds: SE 10-20. High 45.

WEDNESDAY: Few light rain showers, sprinkles. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 33. High 38.

THURSDAY: Some sun, quiet. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 29. High 41.

FRIDAY: Sunny - no weather drama. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 26. High 42.

SATURDAY: Flurries, slushy coating possible. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 27. High 35.

NEW YEAR'S EVE (SUNDAY): Inch or 2 of snow? Could be slick. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 23. High 33.

This Day in Weather History

December 25th

1999: Strong winds resulted in a one hundred thirty foot radio tower to collapse in Milaca. No wind measurements were available in the city of Milaca. However, Princeton airport (Mille Lacs county), had a gust to 45 mph at 10:35 pm CST. St. Cloud airport (Stearns County), had a gust to 44 mph at 8:52 pm CST. Mora (Kanabec county) had a gust to 55 mph at 9:35 pm CST, and a gust to 47 mph at 10:35 pm CST.

1996: A strong low pressure system which deposited heavy snow over much of Minnesota on the 23rd, pulled extremely cold Canadian air southward over Minnesota. The cold remained entrenched through the 26th. Temperatures fell to 15 to 35 degrees below zero Christmas Day morning. The Twin Cities and St. Cloud set new record low temperatures both days. In addition, the high temperature on Christmas Day in the Twin Cities was only 9 degrees below zero. Combined with the record low temperature that morning of 22 below, the mean temperature for Christmas Day was 16 degrees below zero. This Christmas Day set a new record for being the coldest day on record for the Twin Cities metro area, going back to the year 1890 when modern day records began.

1922: People are golfing on Christmas in the Twin Cities as temperatures reach the 50s.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

December 25th

Average High: 26F (Record: 51F set in 1922)

Average Low: 12F (Record: -39F set in 1879)

Record Rainfall: 1.35" set in 1982

Record Snowfall: 9.6" set in 1945

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

December 25th

Sunrise: 7:49am

Sunset: 4:36pm

Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours & 47 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: 15 Seconds

Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 31 Seconds

Moon Phase for December 25th at Midnight

0.7 Days Until Full "Cold" Moon

"Dec. 26 at 6:33 p.m. CST - The Full Cold Moon; among some tribes, the Full Long Nights Moon. In this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and the nights are at their longest and darkest. Also sometimes called the Moon before Yule (Yule is Christmas, and this time the moon is only just after it; the next full moon that falls on Christmas Day will come in 2034). The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long and the moon is above the horizon a long time. The midwinter full moon takes a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite to the low sun."

See more from Space.com HERE:

National High Temps on Monday

The weather outlook on Monday shows well above average temperatures in the eastern half of the nation with record warmth likely in the Midwest. Areas of rain and thunderstorms will continue in the Central. Meanwhile, the Western US will chill down to below average readings

National Weather Outlook For Monday

The National Weather Outlook on Christmas Day Monday will be pretty active across the Central US with storms possible across the Southern US and locally heavy rain. Soaking rains will continue for some farther north into the Midwest with snow and wintry precipitation from the Front Range of the Rockies to the Dakotas and Minnesota.

National Weather Outlook

The National Weather outlook through Monday shows a very active setup in the Central US with showers, storms and a steady soaking rain for many. Areas of accumulating snow and icing will be possible north and west of the storm system, which will cause some travel concerns through early next week.

Extended Precipitation Outlook

The extended precipitation outlook shows heavier precipitation across the Central and Southern US. There will also be some heavy precipitation across the Western and US.

Extended Snowfall Outlook

According to the ECMWF weather model, heavy snows are in the forecast across parts of the Western US through ext week. Some of the heaviest and most widespread could be in the high elevations in Colorado and Wyoming. However, there will be some decent tallies in the Plains. Also note the heavier snow around the Great Lakes, which will be induced by some colder air on the way into next week.

Climate Stories

"How will climate change affect how predators hunt prey?"

"As climate change warms the planet, weather patterns are likely to shift. Even the consistency of snow—how fluffy it is, for example—could change. Laura Prugh, a wildlife ecologist and University of Washington associate professor in the School of Environmental & Forest Sciences, wants to know how these changing conditions will affect how predators hunt prey. "When you wear snowshoes in deep snow, you stay on top of the snow. But if you take the snowshoes off, you might go in up to your waist. Certain species, such as wolves and lynx, have adapted to deep snow conditions because their feet act like snowshoes," Prugh said. "But their prey, such as caribou and moose, are heavier and have hooves instead of paws, so they sink in more. As climate change is making things warmer and changing the amount of precipitation, it's going to affect how deep and hard the snow is. And that's going to affect how deep the animals are sinking into the snow. Few scientists have looked at this before."

See more from Phys.org HERE

"D-Day 'hero' Maureen Sweeney, 100, of Ireland dies, known for storm prediction that saved Allies from disaster"

"Maureen (Flavin) Sweeney, a lighthouse worker in Ireland whose critical weather reports helped ensure the success of the epic D-Day invasion of Normandy in World War II, died on Sunday at 100 years old, according to multiple reports on Monday in Irish media. Her death was received with reverence on Capitol Hill. "Maureen Sweeney is a hero and saved countless lives of Allies," Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Michigan, told Fox News Digital. "The information she provided to Gen. Eisenhower and his command team made the difference in the success of the Allied operation on D-Day." Sweeney's accurate prediction of a dangerous storm bearing down on Europe from across the Atlantic Ocean convinced Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and his staff to delay a planned June 4, 1944, invasion."

See more from Yahoo HERE

"In a win for the climate, urban speed limits are dropping"

"Since 2015, Seattle has lowered speed limits across much of its road network, setting residential streets at 20 miles per hour and most larger urban corridors at 25 miles per hour. After these changes took effect, studies showed that car crashes fell by approximately 20%, while the crashes that did occur resulted in significantly fewer injuries. Cities across the U.S. are following Seattle's lead, with speed limits dropping from Denver and Minneapolis to Washington, D.C., and Hoboken. Although these changes are motivated by the need to reduce deaths and injuries from car crashes, there's a growing recognition that they also benefit the climate. "Safety and environmental goals go together. They're inevitably interlinked," said Venu Nemani, the chief safety officer of the Seattle Department of Transportation."

See more from Yale Climate Connections HERE:

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