Thursday Weather Outlook
I'm sure I'm not the only one going to say this - but it is very nice to not have "fun" with negative numbers! Our stretch of warm weather continues into Thursday, with morning lows in the low 20s and highs climbing into the mid-30s. Skies could begin the day somewhat cloudy due to some overnight light snow (that may impact the roads as you head out Thursday morning) but it should quickly become sunny.
As we look statewide on your Thursday, partly to mostly sunny skies can be expected with highs climbing into the 30s in most locations. These highs will be up to 10F degrees above average out in western Minnesota, with near-average temperatures in eastern portions of the state and in western Wisconsin.
Looking Toward The Weekend
Looking ahead toward the weekend, it's looking quiet with temperatures that will make you want to break that cabin fever from earlier in the month! Sunnier skies are expected both days, but Sunday will be a touch cooler behind a cold front moving through Saturday. However, those highs appear to stick in the 30s at the moment.
Above Average The Past Few Days
Last Friday feels like so long ago - I don't know if that's because of the pandemic, or if it is that I am just keeping busy. Back on Friday, we saw highs only in the teens, but by Monday we had climbed into the 40s for the first time since December.
Extended Outlook Keeps Us On The Warmer Side
Over the next few days, highs will remain above average in the Twin Cities in the mid to upper 30s. A cold front swinging on through Saturday will help knock temperatures back down to only around 30F for Sunday and Monday.
That below average stretch doesn't look like it will last long, however, as the extended outlooks show temperatures returning back to the 30s and 40s as we head into Tuesday and the middle of next week. In previous runs of the GFS, that model has even been hinting at the first 50F of the year possible sometime during the first weekend or second week of March. The average first 50F across the entire Twin Cities record is March 9th. Last year the first 50F occurred on March 1st.
February Summary Through Tuesday
With the warmer weather the past few days, our average temperature has been slowly starting to climb. However, we are still almost 13F degrees below average month-to-date, and it is the 12th coldest start to February on record. We are also below average in both the snowfall and precipitation departments, and there isn't a lot of additional chances for precipitation in store through the weekend.
Mushy Snow Alert In Effect
By Paul Douglas
Useless trivia: snow melts from the ground up. Counterintuitive, but true. Darker ground absorbs more of the sun's energy (faster) than at the surface. That's why footprints and yellow snow stick around until the bitter end.
Observation: big weather-swings in one direction are often followed by pattern shifts in the opposite direction. Dry spells interrupted by flooding rains. Or extended mild spells after a painful polar vortex.
That is what models are spelling out for the next few weeks: temperatures consistently above average through mid-March. Expect 40s, even an outside shot at 50F by early March.
Stating the obvious (which I've become good at over time) if you like snow get out and romp in the drifts ASAP. A slow meltdown is imminent, and I see no big storms organizing over the next few weeks - just a persistent Pacific breeze.
The sun's energy is going into melting snow. Once we lose most of our snow cover, that energy can go into heating the air. Which should play out the next 3 weeks.
Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast
THURSDAY: Plenty of sun, breezy. Wake up 23. High 37. Chance of precipitation 0%. Wind SW 10-20 mph.
FRIDAY: Clouds increase, gusts to 35 mph. Wake up 29. High 40. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 20-40 mph.
SATURDAY: Some sun, relatively mild. Wake up 26. High 42. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SW 7-12 mph.
SUNDAY: Sunny and cooler. Wake up 16. High 28. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind W 7-12 mph.
MONDAY: Partly sunny, still quiet. Wake up 24. High 36. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 7-12 mph.
TUESDAY: Sunny, touch of spring fever. Wake up 28. High 46. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 10-15 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Blue sky, winter on indefinite pause. Wake up 23. High 41. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SW 5-10 mph.
This Day in Weather History
1934: A late season cold snap produces a bitterly cold low of -46 at Big Falls.
Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
Average High:32F (Record: 58F set in 1976)
Average Low:17F (Record: -23F set in 1967)
Average Precipitation:0.03" (Record: 0.63" set in 1944)
Average Snowfall: 0.3" (Record: 4.8" in 2001)
Record Snow Depth: 27" in 1967
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
*Length Of Day:10 hours, 58 minutes and21 seconds
*Daylight GAINED Since Yesterday:~3 minutes and 3 seconds
*When Do We Climb To 11 Hours Of Daylight?February 26th (11 hours,1 minute, and 25 seconds)
*When Is The Sunrise At/Before 6:30 AM?: March 12th (6:30 AM)
*When Is The Sunset At/After 6:00 PM? March 1st (6:01 PM)
National Weather Forecast
On Thursday, some snow showers will be possible across portions of the Great Lakes into New England. Showers and storms are expected in the southern United States with a system moving through, and a few of the storms could be on the strong side. Rain and snow with a new system will fall across the Pacific Northwest.
The heaviest rain across the next couple of days will be across portions of the Southern Plains and Deep South, where at least 1-2" will be possible. Snowfall-wise, the heaviest will be out in the Cascades, where up to 60" of snow could fall.
Twinkling Black Holes Reveal an Invisible Cloud in Our Galaxy
More from WIRED: "At first, Yuanming Wang was not excited. More relieved, maybe. The first -year astrophysics PhD student at the University of Sydney sat in front of her computer, looking at images in which she'd found the signs of radio waves from distant galaxies twinkling, just as she had hoped. But because Wang's discovery relied more on scouring ones and zeros than peering through a telescope—and the discovery itself was just plain weird—it took awhile for the moment to hit. Radio wave "twinkling," known as scintillation, happens when the radio signals from sources like stars and black holes get interrupted as they stream toward Earth. Detecting scintillation from distant galaxies is very rare. Only a tiny fraction of the night sky will yield these signals, and most telescopes are unable to capture variations on such fast timescales. But Wang found hallmarks of scintillation from six galaxies at once. And five appeared to be separate galaxies in a tight, straight line. "I realized, OK, so this is the first detection of such an unusual shape in the sky," Wang says. "That is definitely the first time, and it will imply we found some invisible thing. So at that moment I started to understand this exciting result.""
Annapolis sues 26 oil and gas companies for their role in contributing to climate change
More from the Capital Gazette: "The City of Annapolis is suing 26 oil and gas companies for what it calls the costs and consequences of climate change. The city filed the lawsuit Monday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. It names some of the biggest fossil fuel companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell. Similar lawsuits have begun to pop up across the country. Annapolis is the 25th state or local government to file such a lawsuit, the city said."
UN Security Council hears of climate threat, does nothing
More from Politico EU: "When it comes to climate change, bombs don't work, so the United Nations Security Council prefers words to action. Tuesday saw the highest profile discussion of climate change in the U.N.'s central body for promoting global peace. But Russia, which holds a veto as a permanent member of the Council, warned against any move to recognize warming as a threat to global security. Moscow's stance left the Security Council's U.K. presidency stabbing at a broken panic button."
- D.J. Kayser