Fantastic Displays of Rime Ice
Freezing fog over the weekend created more beautiful displays of rime ice. According to NOAA's NWS, here's the definition of Rime Ice: An opaque coating of tiny, white, granular ice particles caused by the rapid freezing of supercooled water droplets on impact with an object.
Lake Superior Ice Coverage
Here's the latest ice coverage for Lake Superior from NOAA's GLERL. Note that the current ice coverage is only 1.4%. Keep in mind that at this time last year only 0.5% of the lake was covered in ice. Interestingly, this is below the long-term average (1973-2020), which typically should be around 15% ice coverage now. Also note that we typically don't see the maximum ice coverage until around the end of February or early March. It appears that we have some cold air arriving during the back half of January, so we'll see how the ice coverage changes over the coming weeks.
Lake Superior Average Ice Coverage vs Current
Current Great Lakes Ice Coverage
Here's the ice coverage across the entire Great Lakes, which currently stands at 3.1%. Last year at this time was only at 1.8%. A lack of cold air so far this season has kept the Great Lakes ice coverage at a minimum, but we'll see how that changes as we head toward the back half of January as colder air moves in.
Ice Safety Guidelines
We're starting to see more folks venture out on frozen lakes and ponds across the state and region, 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!!
Weather Outlook Through AM Wednesday
Here's the weather from AM Monday to AM Wednesday. Other than a brief shot of light precipitation across the Arrowhead of MN, much of the region will continue to stay dry through midweek. Looking ahead, our next best chance of precipitation will arrive on Thursday in advance of cooler air that will settle in on by the weekend.
Minneapolis January Summary So Far
Here's a look at the January number so far and the first week of the month has really been warm and dry. Temps have been running nearly +6F above average, which is the 12th warmest January on record. We've also only had a trace of snowfall, which is nearly 3.5" below average so far for the month.
Snow Depth As ofJanuary 9th
Thanks to heavy snowfall during the month of December, we are still carrying a decent snowpack across the state. As of January 9th, there was still 8" of snow on the ground in the Twin Cities, International Falls and Marquette, MI.
National Snow Depth
As of January 10th, 38.5% of the nation was covered by snow, including some snow on the ground as far south as some of the Gulf Coast States. At this time last year, nearly 32.2% of the nation was covered,
Snowfall So Far This January
Through the first full week of January, there hasn't been much snowfall across the region. The heaviest has fallen across southern Wisconsin, where a few inches can be seen near Milwaukee, while the rest of the region has had very little. The Twin Cities has only seen a Trace, which is nearly -3.5" below average snowfall so far this season.
Snowfall So Far This Season
Here's a look at the snowfall so far this season, which shows some of the heaviest tallies from the Twin Cities to Duluth and toward the U.P. of Michigan. With that being said, the Twin Cities is the only spot around the region carrying the greatest seasonal surplus, which Marquette is carrying the greatest seasonal deficit of more than 2ft.
Monday Weather Outlook for Minneapolis
Here's the weather outlook for Monday, which shows cloudy skies continuing through the day. Keep in mind that this is typically the coldest part of the year, but we'll still be running a little above average for this time of the year.
Monday Meteograms for Minneapolis
Here's a look at the Meteograms for Monday, which shows temps starting in the mid 2s0s and warming in to the mid 30s by the afternoon. Also note that mostly cloudy skies will be with us through much of the day. Winds could be a little stronger with SW breezes up to 10-15mph.
High temps on Monday will be very mild for this time of the year with readings nearly +10F to +20F above average across the region. We'll also have stubborn low clouds lingering across much of the region, but hopefully we'll see a little more sunshine in the days to come.
Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis
Here's the extended temperature outlook for the Twin Cities, which shows temps warming into mid/upper 30s, which will be nearly +10F to +15F above average. We could even get close to 40F in a few spots by Wednesday & Thursday! Our next best chance of any precipitation arrives on Thursday with cooler temps settling in by the weekend.
Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis
The extended temperature outlook through mid keeps temps above average and by quite a margin. There is an odd chance that we could warm to near 40F by Wednesday and Thursday before a bigger cool down arrives this weekend. According to the GFS, there is a chance that temps will only warm into the single digits with overnight lows dipping into the subzero range by the 3rd week of January.
According to the US Drought Monitor, drought conditions have continued 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.
6-10 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, there maybe an increase in precipitation chances across the northern tier of the nation from January 15th-19th. Meanwhile, dry weather looks to continue across the Southwestern US.
6-10 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, warmer than average weather look to continue through much of the week ahead.
Soon: Cold Enough To Get Your Attention
By Paul Douglas
"Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we'd have frozen to death" mused Mark Twain. Of course the word "cold" is subjective. 30s in Florida are an existential calamity, while 30s during a Minnesota January qualify as a warm front.
Colder air is on the way for the latter half of January, but model trends suggest Old Man Winter may pull his punch. Chilly?| Yes - but probably not obnoxiously cold.
This week brings the fabled January Thaw, which is still something of a meteorological mystery. Most but not all Januaries bring a brief upward blip in temperature, before the Mother Lode of arctic air rushes south later in the month. There is still no good scientific explanation why.
Daytime highs rise above freezing into Thursday, so expect minor melting. Your driveway may magically reappear in the days ahead.
The arrival of the first volley of colder air spins up a Thursday storm capable of accumulating
snow. Right now it appears the heaviest bands stay south of MSP but the track may shift. Stay tuned.
MONDAY: Partly sunny. milder. Winds: SW 7-12. High: 34.
MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy and quiet. Winds: W 5. Low: 20.
TUESDAY: Plenty of sun. Almost pleasant. Winds: SW 8-13. High: 36.
WEDNESDAY: Blue sky. Feels like March. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 28.High: 40.
THURSDAY: Periods of wet snow. Heaviest south. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 32. High: 35.
FRIDAY: Cloudy with a cold wind. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 24. High: 27.
SATURDAY:More clouds than sun, chilly.Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 14. High: 21.
SUNDAY:Early flurries. Stiff breeze. Winds: W 10-20. Wake-up: 21. High: 25.
This Day in Weather History
1975: A blizzard continues with hurricane force winds in southwestern Minnesota.
1899: An odd flash of lightning lights the clouds up around 9 pm at Maple Plain.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 23F(Record: 44F set in 1986)
Average Low: 7F (Record: -31Fset in 1977)
Record Rainfall: 0.47" set in 1930
Record Snowfall: 6.0" set in 1905
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~9hours & 4minutes
Daylight GAINEDsinceyesterday: ~ 1 minute & 34seconds
Daylight GAINEDsince WinterSolstice (December 21st): ~ 18minutes
Moon Phase for January 11th at Midnight
0.9 Days Before New Moon
What's in the Night Sky?
"For the first time since October 2015, you have a chance in the coming evenings to view aplanetary trio, or three planets bunched together on the sky's dome. At evening dusk – on January 8, 9, 10 and 11, 2021 – watch for the now-famous planets Jupiter and Saturn, fresh from theirDecember 21 great conjunctionand still close together. The third planet, Mercury, is just now coming into view. All three worlds pop out low in the west, close to the sunset point on the horizon. Jupiter will be the brightest of the three, followed by Mercury and then Saturn. Start watching them tonight and watch them move in relationship to each other! On January 8 and 9, bright Jupiter will be at the top of the gathering. The sky chart at top is for January 9, 2021, when fleet-footed Mercury will pass to the south of Saturn. The tightest grouping of these worlds will be on January 10. Then Mercury will swing to the south of Jupiter on July 11, as shown on the chart below. Depending on your sky conditions and use of optical aid (binoculars), you should be able to watch this planetary trio for several days to a week."
National High Temps Monday
Here's a look at weather conditions across the nation on Monday. Note that temps in the Southern US will be running nearly -10F to -15F below average in the wake of a system that dropped snow across parts of Texas over the weekend. Meanwhile, temps along the northern tier of the nation will still be running above average.
National Forecast Map For Monday
The weather map on Monday shows storm system tracking across the Gulf Coast States, which will bring areas of heavy rain to the Southeast. Also note that areas of rain & snow will be possible on the northern flank of this system as well.
National Weather Outlook
Here's the weather map through early next week. Monday will be an unsettled day in the Southeast with areas of rain and snow, while another surge of Pacific moisture will move into the Northwest.
7 Day Precipitation Outlook
Here's the precipitation potential over the next 7 days. Note that much of the nation will remain dry, with the exception of the Southern US and the Pacific Northwest.
7 Day Snowfall Potential
The extended snowfall forecast shows areas of heavy snow wrapping up in the Southern US early this week. The heaviest snowfall will be found across the Rockies and the northern Cascades.
Object that whizzed by Earth probably came from alien world, Harvard professor asserts"
"A Harvard University professor is making the case that we're probably not alone in the universe. Astronomer Avi Loeb's new book "Extraterrestrial" examines the 2017 flyby of a space object that he believes was truly out of this world. "At first people thought, 'Well it must be a rock, just like the asteroids or comets that we have seen before within the solar system,'" Loeb toldCBSN Boston's Paula Ebben. "But as they got more data on it, it looks very weird." The cigar-shaped object seen by telescopes was dubbed "Oumuamua" – meaning "a messenger that reaches out from the distant past" in Hawaiian."
"The Top Five Climate Stories of 2020"
"From raging wildfires to a pending shift on U.S. climate action, the year was a notable one for climate change. This year began with terrifyingly massive blazes that tore across eastern Australia, and it will end with a photo-finish race to see if 2020 will beat 2016 as Earth's hottest year on record. Though the coronavirus pandemic has been a defining story of 2020, the year has been a notable one on the climate front as well. Developments have ranged from an agonizing array of warming-fueled disasters that impacted the lives and livelihoods of millions around the world, to signs that some countries (including China and members of the European Union) are making efforts to move forward on reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving this warming. Here is a roundup of five of the biggest climate stories of the year:"