Declining Great Lakes Ice Coverage
According to Climate Central, the amount of peak ice cover on Lake Superior has been dwindling over the last several years. Note that the current ice cover of Lake Superior on February 9th was around 8%, which is well below the long-term average of nearly 35% for this time of the year.
Declining Lake Superior Ice Coverage
Not only is the ice coverage on Lake Superior dwindling, but it is dwindling across the entire Great Lakes. The peak back in the mid 1970s was around 80%, while the average in 2020 was a little more than 40%. According to NOAA's GLERL, the Great Lakes was around 19% ice covered as of February 8th.
Cold Air Continues
The coldest air of the season continues over the next several days with high temperatures running well below average. Here's the 850mb temp anomaly from midday Friday to midday Sunday, which shows the core of the cold air sliding southeast through the Midwest through the weekend. Note that highs may not even get above 0F across parts of the state with wind chill values dipping well into the subzero range. Note is some of the coldest air that we've had to deal with in nearly 2 years. Prior to Sunday's subzero high of -3F, the last time we had high temps colder than 0F in the Twin Cities was January of 2019.
Extended Temperature Outlook
Here's the extended weather outlook for Minneapolis through the weekend ahead. Note that temperatures will stay VERY chilly with readings running nearly -20F to -30F below average. This will be the longest and coldest stretch of winter. It does appear that there will be some improvement as into the 2nd half of the month. There will be a light snow chance on Thursday and perhaps again on Saturday. Both chances will be light, but because temperatures will be so cold, roads will become icy across the region.
Wednesday Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook for Minneapolis on Wednesday. It'll be another cold day with highs only warming into the single digits through the afternoon. Westerly winds at 5-10mph will keep wind chill values in the subzero range all day.
Wednesday Meteograms for Minneapolis
The meteograms for Minneapolis on Wednesday show bright, icy cold sunshine in place through the day. Actual air temperature will warm above 0F, but westerly winds at 5-10mph will keep wind chill values in the subzero range all day long. BRR!
Wednesday Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook across the region forWednesday, which shows temperatures running well below average. In fact, many locations will be nearly -20F to -25F below normal with some folks across northern MN staying below zero.
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 much of that time. The GFS is a little more aggressive with the cold (which I don't believe), while the ECMWF is more believable. Regardless, both models suggest the worst of the deep freeze will be over at some point during the 3rd week of the month. Stay tuned...
Snowfall Potential Through AM Friday
According to the ECMWF, there's a change of snowfall late Thursday across the far southern part of the state with some 1" to 3" tallies possible. If the cold air plunges farther south, the storm track will push a little farther south as well. Stay tuned.
6-10 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, much of the nation will be dealing with below average temperatures, especially the center of the country.
Stuck In The Coldest Week of Winter
By Paul Douglas
The weather gives me an even greater appreciation for the pioneers who settled Minnesota. How did they endure even colder winters, without the relative luxury of insulation, gas-powered HVAC systems and heated car seats. Would they be amused by our righteous howls of indignation?
The Minnesota DNR confirms 49 consecutive hours below zero at MSP from Saturday through Monday afternoon. Impressive, but far from a record. January 1994 brought 142 straight hours below zero. The record: January 1912 with 186 hours of negative fun. Ouch.
I see 6 or 7 more metro nights below 0F before slow moderation the latter half of February. Teens (above zero!) may feel reasonable next week, and NOAA's GFS weather model pulls in a few 20s and 30s the last week of February. Cue the Hallelujah Chorus.
Moisture riding up and over this slow-moving scoop of Arctic Crunch will squeeze out snow Thursday into Saturday, with 2-4 inches of fluff by the weekend. Perfect Aspen-like powder.
A warm-boot advisory remains in effect.
WEDNESDAY: Intervals of sunshine. Winds: NW 3-8. High: 9.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and cold. Feels Like -25F. Winds: WNW 5. Low: -8.
THURSDAY: Light snow develops late. 1"-2" late. Winds: NE 7-12. High: 3.
FRIDAY: Bitter with a few flurries. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: -5. High: 4.
SATURDAY: Light snow. Another 1"-2" of fluff. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: -9. High: 3.
SUNDAY: Arctic sunshine. Feels like -30F. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: -15. High: -4.
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy and brittle. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: -15. High: 2.
TUESDAY: Not quite as Nanook. Few flurries. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: -2. High: 12.
This Day in Weather History
1965: A snowstorm dumps 15 inches of snow at Duluth over two days.
1861: An ice storm impacts Elk River. Coatings of 1/2 inch of ice are reported. The ice broke off many large branches and saplings were bent to the ground.
1857: Extreme cold at Fort Ripley. E.J. Baily, Assistant Surgeon notes: 'Spirit thermometer -50 at 6am. Mercury frozen in charcoal cup. Spirit thermometer at Little Falls 16 miles from the fort -56 at 6am. The lowest degree of cold on record in the territory'.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 27F (Record: 49F set in 1877)
Average Low: 11F (Record: -24F set in 1885)
Record Rainfall: 0.62" set in 2013
Record Snowfall: 5.9" set in 2019
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 14 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 50 seconds
Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 1 hour & 28 minutes
Moon Phase for February 10th at Midnight
0.5 Days Before New Moon
What's in the Night Sky?
"Are you an early riser? Depending on where you live worldwide, the planets Venus and Jupiter will pair up most closely in the morning sky on February 11 or 12, 2021. Although Venus and Jupiter rank as the third-brightest and fourth-brightest celestial bodies in all the heavens, respectively, after the sun and moon, their furtive rendezvous might elude detection in the morning twilight from mid-and-far northern latitudes. Plus, we give you warning: the conjunction will probably be much less obvious in the real sky than on our sky chart! If you see only one bright starlike object, it's most likely Venus, which outshines Jupiter by about 6 times. Do you have binoculars? If so, aim them at Venus to gaze at Jupiter snuggling up with Venus inside a single binocular field of view. At their conjunction, these two worlds are only be 0.4 degrees apart on the sky's dome. (For reference, the moon's angular diameter spans about 0.5 degree of sky.) We give you fair warning. The Southern Hemisphere enjoys the big advantage for viewing this spectacularly-close conjunction, and northerly latitudes may well miss out altogether (even if using an optical aid). We give you the approximate rising times for Venus, and nearby Jupiter, at various latitudes (given an absolutely level horizon):"
National High Temps Wednesday
Here's a look at weather conditions across the nation on Wednesday, which shows temps running well below average across the central part of the nation. Note that readings in Billings, MT will be nearly -45F below average once again, where record cold high temperatures will be possible. Meanwhile, folks across the Southeastern US will still be running above average.
National Forecast Map For Wednesday
The weather map on Wednesday shows wintry precipitation falling from northern Texas and Oklahoma to the Ohio River Valley. This is where freezing rain and ice accumulations of up to 0.25" - 0.30" can't be ruled out, which could lead to treacherous road conditions and power outages.
National Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook through Thursday which shows another round of heavy precipitation developing across the Eastern US. Heavy icing will be possible Wednesday and Thursday from the Southern US to the Ohio Valley. Meanwhile, another round of heavier rain and snow will be possible across parts of the Western US.
7 Day Precipitation Outlook
The precipitation potential over the next 7 days shows heavier precipitation in the Southeastern US with 1" to 3" rainfall tallies possible through the rest of the week. 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 narrow bands of decent snowfall will be possible across the Midwest and into the Mid-Atlantic States.
"This Californian desert is covered in unexpected snow"
"Over the past few weeks, Joshua Tree National Park in California has seen some uncharacteristic snowfall. While snow isn't completely unheard of in the area, this year it extended down to the valley floors, which signifies it's been a heavier spread than the park is accustomed to. The protected national park, located in southern California, is home to rugged rock formations and its namesake, the twisted, bristled Joshua trees. The park spans 3,000 kilometres and usually sees up to three million visitors each year. Joshua Tree also boasts a wide variety of bird species, including the greater roadrunner, mockingbird, red-tailed hawk, American kestrel and prairie falcon. When news of the snowfall reached the media and photographers, locals flocked to the site to capture it in snow."
"The Western United States Is a Hotspot for Snow Droughts"
"Most of us know a bad drought when we see one: Lakes and rivers recede from their normal water lines, crops wither in fields, and lawns turn brown. Usually we think of these droughts as being triggered by a lack of rain, but scientists also track drought in other ways. "The common ways to measure droughts are through precipitation, soil moisture and runoff," says Laurie S. Huning, an environmental engineer at the University of California, Irvine. Her most recent work adds another dimension to that by looking at water stored in snowpack. Huning is the co-author of a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, with U.C. Irvine colleague Amir AghaKouchak, which developed a new framework for characterizing "snow droughts." These can occur when there's an abnormally low snowpack, which may be triggered by low precipitation, warm temperatures or both."
"Climate-driven temperature swings slow economic growth"
"Increasingly erratic weather caused by global warming threatens global economic growth, scientists warned Monday with a report showing that even short-lived climate volatility can have a significant impact. Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels is causing planet-wide temperature rises that have intensified deadly droughts, heatwaves, floods and superstorms. But researchers from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Columbia University and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change said impact studies often look at annual averages, rather than the effects of day-to-day temperature fluctuations. "The real problem caused by a changing climate are the unexpected impacts, because they are more difficult to adapt to," said co-author Anders Levermann from PIK and Columbia, adding that these rapid changes work differently to long term ones."