Friday Morning Sun Dogs

Thanks to @aweidner22 for the picture below. These sun dogs were captured in Otsego, MN early Friday morning when the air temperature was near -20F. The MSP Airport dropped to -17F, which is the coldest temperature in the metro since -17F on February 15th, 2021. The coldest temperature recorded at the MSP Airport last winter was -19F set on February 14th, 2021.

Coldest Low Temps at MSP Since 2000

Below is a chart of the coldest low temperatures recorded at the MSP Airport since 2000. Our -17F on Friday morning, January 7th, 2022, ties for the 12th coldest reading since 2000. Last year we dropped to -19F on February 14th. Note the coldest reading was -28F set on January 30th, 2019. Interestingly, we've only dipped to -20F or colder 9 times in a 21 year time span (since 2000). Prior to 2000, the 21 year time span from 1978 to 1999, MSP dropped to -20F or colder 45 times!

Less Extreme Cold

According to Climate Central, there has been a trend in less extreme cold temperatures since 1970. In fact, since 1970, the lowest temperature each year has warmed nearly +12F since then. Sure, it can still get cold in winter, but the cold tends to be less intense and it tends not to be as prolonged as it was.

Warming Winters

According to Climate Central, the average Winter temperature for the months of December - January - February, has increased nearly +5.7F in Minneapolis since 1970. Again, winter will still be cold, but the cold is certainly not as intense or as prolonged as it was.

Mostly Quiet Next Several Days

Here's the weather outlook through AM Wednesday. Other than a little light snow across far northern Minnesota on Saturday, the next several days look rather quiet across much of the Upper Midwest. There could be a little light snow across far southern MN late Sunday night into early Monday morning, but it doesn't look to be very widespread.

Warmer, Then Cold Again

Here's the 850mb temp anomaly through the the middle part of next week shows a brief warmup on Saturday before another cold punch arrives Sunday. This Arctic air could stick around through early next week, but risk of a thaw moves in by the middle part of next week. We could see a +50F temperature swing from what we had Friday morning to high temperatures by Wednesday of next week.

Weekend Weather Outlook For Minneapolis

Here's the weather outlook for Minneapolis over the weekend. Note that high temps on Saturday will warm to near 30F, which will be significantly warmer than it was on Thursday and Friday. This warmer weather will be very brief as another cold slap arrives overnight into Sunday with highs falling back into the single digits with sub-zero feels like temps.

Saturday Weather Outlook

Here's the weather outlook for Minneapolis on Saturday. Thanks to a breezy south wind, temps will bump up close to 30F in the Twin Cities, which will be nearly +5F above average for early January. However, feels like temps will be in the single digits and teens much of the day.

Meteograms for Minneapolis

The hourly temps for Minneapolis on Saturday show temps starting in the teens the morning and warming into the upper 20s to near 30F by the afternoon. Breezy south to southwesterly winds will turn west-northwesterly late in the day, which will allow our temps to fall again overnight into Sunday.

Wind Chill Values Saturday

Feels like temps for Minneapolis on Saturday show a cold, sub-zero start in the morning to the mid/upper teens in the afternoon. Thankfully it won't feel as cold as it was on Thursday & Friday. However, Sunday will feel sub-zero for much of the day as another polar punch arrives through early next week.

Weather Outlook For Saturday

High temps across the region on Saturday show readings warming into the 20s and 30s across much of the state, which will be nearly +5F to +10F above average for early January. It will be a bit breezy, so feels like temps will be cooler, but not as cold as it was on Friday. Regardless, enjoy the mild air because Sunday will be cold once again.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis over the next several days shows temps running above average by nearly +5F on Saturday. However, look at how chilly it gets Sunday and Monday with highs running well below average as another polar punch arrives. We get back to near average on Tuesday and then well above average by Wednesday with a risk of a thaw with highs warming into the low/mid 30s!

Extended Weather Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended weather forecast through next week shows another Arctic plunge on Sunday and Monday before mild air return during the 2nd half of next week. In fact, several days late next week could warm to the freezing mark or better, which will be nearly +50F warmer than it was Friday morning.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

According to the ECMWF & GFS extended temperature outlook, temperatures will be quite cold on Sunday and Monday before several days of milder weather during the 2nd half of next week and weekend. The GFS shows another potential surge of colder air as we approach the middle and end of January... Stay tuned.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook shows below average temperatures moving back into the Upper Midwest by the middle part of the month. Meanwhile, folks along the West Coast will be dealing with above average temps.

8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, drier weather will be in place across the West Coast in mid January, while more active weather will be possible along the Front Range and the Gulf Coast States.

Cold, But Not As Cold As It Once Was
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

Frigid temps on Friday morning gave way to a brilliant sun dog sunrise over the southeastern horizon. Many locations outside the Twin Cities metro dipped into the -20s and even -30s with even colder wind chills. Uffda!

The MSP Airport fell just shy of a -20 degree reading, but it was the coldest morning in the metro since February 15th, 2021 (-17F). The last time the core of the metro dipped to -20F or colder was January 30th, 2019 (-28F)! Interestingly, the MSP Airport has only dropped to -20F or colder 9 times in the last 21 year since 2000. The 21 years prior to that (1978-1999), MSP dipped to -20F or colder 45 times!

According to Climate Central, our winter cold snaps are not as intense or as prolonged as they used to be. In fact, our average winter temperatures has warmed nearly +6F with the our coldest overnight lows warming nearly +12F since 1970. Yes, winters will still be cold and snowy, but maybe not as bad as they once were.

The next several days look dry with a brief warm up today and another cold slap Sunday and Monday.

We'll see, but remember this: in 2 weeks average temperatures start to rise again, for the first time in 6 months. Eureka!

Extended Forecast

SATURDAY: Breezy. Warmer PM hours. Winds: WSW 15-30. High: 30.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy & cold. Feels like -10F to -15F. Winds: WNW 10-15. Low: -1.

SUNDAY: Cold winds. Another polar shot. Winds: WNW 10-15. High: 7.

MONDAY: AM Flurries south. Arctic temps. Winds: WNW 5-10. Wake-up:-10. High: 1.

TUESDAY: Frigid start. Better afternoon temps. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: -8. High: 23.

WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Risk of a thaw. Winds: WSW 5-10. Wake-up: 12. High: 32.

THURSDAY: Another 'mild' day. Hazy PM sunshine. Winds: WNW 5-10. Wake-up: 19. High: 33.

FRIDAY: AM snow showers. Cold winds develop. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 15. High: 28.

This Day in Weather History

January 8th

1902: A January Thaw occurs across Minnesota. The Twin Cities experience a high of 46 degrees.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

January 8th

Average High: 23F (Record: 54F set in 2003)

Average Low: 8F (Record: -30F set in 1875)

Record Rainfall: 0.33" set in 1875

Record Snowfall: 3.0" set in 2015

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

January 8th

Sunrise: 7:49am

Sunset: 4:44pm

Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours & 59 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 1 minute & 21 seconds

Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 13 minutes

Moon Phase for January 8th at Midnight

0.5 Days Before First Quarter Moon

National High Temps Saturday

The weather outlook on Saturday shows lingering mild January temps across the Southern US with highs running nearly +10F to +15F above average. Meanwhile folks in the Eastern US will see highs well below average after a big snow storm over the last couple of days.

National Weather Outlook

The weather outlook through the weekend shows a line of showers and storms developing along and east of the Mississippi River Valley late weekend and into early next week. Some of the storms could be a bit on the vigorous side with locally heavy rains. Areas across the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes and Northeast will see some freezing precipitation and snowfall.

Extended Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's Weather Prediction Center, areas of heavy precipitation will be found in the Lower Mississippi Valley through the weekend. Meanwhile, drier weather will be in place across the Midwest.

Extended Snowfall Potential

Here's the extended snowfall potential as we approach mid January. Areas of heavy snowfall will be possible across the northern tier of the nation, including the Great Lakes Region. There will also be ongoing areas of heavy snow in the high elevations in the Western US.

Climate Stories

"The AI forecaster: Machine learning takes on weather prediction"

"According to a 2009 study, U.S. adults look at weather forecasts nearly 300 billion times a year. Reliable forecasts can predict hazardous weather―such as blizzards, hurricanes, and flash floods―as early as 9–10 days before the event. Estimates value these forecasts at $31.5 billion per year. Although weather prediction keeps improving year to year for shorter-term forecasts, forecast skill decreases in the 2-week to 2-month time frame. These longer-timescale forecasts can play a critical role for many sectors, including water conservation, energy demand, and disaster preparedness. In a new study, Weyn et al. set out to improve this subseasonal to seasonal forecasting, as it is known, using a novel approach to weather prediction. Using a convolutional neural network, the authors developed a machine learning weather prediction system called Deep Learning Weather Prediction (DLWP). The model is trained on past weather data, which differs from standard numerical weather prediction models that create mathematical representations of physical laws. DLWP projects 2–6 weeks into the future for the entire globe."

See more from HERE:

"Strange Things That Can Happen To Your Body In The Winter"

"Do you love the winter season? It's the time of year to get out the warm, bulky sweaters, drink hot cocoa by the fireplace, or go skiing. Shoveling snow isn't for the faint of heart, but watching it fall and turn the landscape into a winter wonderland can be one of the season's joys. Alas, with the cold weather comes a host of ailments that are triggered by the dipping temps. In fact, there's a lot of strange things that can happen to your body during these chilly months. We sleep better because it's colder and darker for longer and, thankfully, our hay fever takes a break. We even think more clearly when the temperature plummets, a 2017 study published in Psychological Research found. Even just being shown images of colder temperatures improves cognition, so there's a trick for those of you in warmer climates. There's even stranger things that can happen to your body in the wintertime, though. Many of them will likely surprise you."

See more from Health Digest HERE:

Extreme air pollution from US wildfires now affects millions of people

"The area of the western US hit by the unusually high co-occurrence of two air pollutants because of wildfires has more than doubled in the past decade, exposing millions more people to dirty air. California and other western states have seen historic forest fires in the past five years that have claimed lives, destroyed property and forced evacuations. Now there is evidence that the human cost reaches much further than the blazes' immediate vicinity. After personally experiencing an increase in smog and smoke in recent years, Daniel Swain at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his colleagues explored the role wildfires play. Two types of air pollution – tiny particulate matter called PM2.5 and ozone – are both linked to human health concerns, but they tend to peak at different times of the year. If there is a significant level of wildfire activity, however – which in the western US can occur between July and September – it is possible to see simultaneous peaks in the two pollutants. Such a co-occurrence is thought to have a disproportionately more severe health impact than either pollutant in isolation."

See more from New Scientist HERE:

Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX