Sunrise Saturday
The mercury dropped to -13F at the MSP airport on Saturday morning, which becomes the 4th coldest night of the winter season thus far. The coldest readings in the state were across the far north, where temperatures dropped into the -30s !! BRR!
Snow on the Way Sunday!
A fast moving clipper will roll through the area on Sunday and because temperatures will be so cold, a quick 1″ to 3″ of fluffy snow could accumulate by the days end. Here’s the NWS weather story for Sunday.
Weather Outlook
Here’s the weather outlook from AM Sunday to PM Monday, which shows the fast moving clipper moving through the region. Moisture amounts with this system aren’t extremely high, but because temperatures will be so cold, the snow will fluff up to a few inches in spots, which will make roads extremely slippery across the region.
Snowfall Potential
Here’s the snowfall potential as our next clipper slides through the region Sunday into early Monday. Note that the best potential of accumulating snow will be across the eastern half of the state and into Wisconsin. After all is said and done, a fluffy 1″ to 3″ of snow will be likely along the MN/WI border by early Monday.

 Minnesota Snow Drought

The Twin Cities officially had 2.4″ of snow on Thursday, which was the single largest snowfall event of the season so far… that’s not very exciting, is it? It certainly has been a pretty lame winter so far as the seasonal snowfall (through January 13th) coming in at only 9.6″, which is nearly 17″ below normal. Interestingly, this is the 23rd least snowy start to any winter season on record dating back to the late 1800s. The most recent least snowy start was in 2007 when we had only seen 4.5″ of snow through January 13th.
Another Arctic Blast
After Sunday’s snow, we’ll get another shot of cold, which will rival the cold we experienced the week between Christmas and New Years. Take a look at the coldest wind chills expected AM Monday and AM Tuesday. Note that the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs will likely see wind chills in the -20s and -30s, which will be very dangerous! Some across western and northwestern Minnesota could see wind chills in the -40s to near -50 range… BRR!
Frigid Through Wednesday – Thaw Late Next Week
Well, there it is. Your frigid forecast, which keeps temps well below average through about midweek next week. It looks like our coldest day will be on Tuesday with highs struggling to get above 0F… YIKES! Wednesday will be a little better, but the real warmth arrives late next week with highs approaching the freezing mark or warmer!


Northern Lights Potential

NOAA has predicted a 45% chance of a G1-class geomagnetic storm as we head through the weekend and early next week. What does that mean? Well, it bascially means that we may be lucky enough to see northern lights! We may be fighting clouds and cold temperatures, but there’s still a chance!

Here’s an excerpt from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute: “Forecast: Auroral activity will be active. Weather permitting, active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Sept-Iles, and visible low on the horizon from Vancouver, Great Falls, Pierre, Madison, Lansing, Ottawa, Portland and St. Johns”

____________________________________________________________________________Lake Superior Ice Coverage

According to NOAA’s GLERL, Lake Superior is 6.6% ice covered, which is pretty close to where we were at this time last year. Last year, Lake Superior was only 4.4% ice covered.


Great Lakes Ice Coverage

According to NOAA’s GLERL, 17.1% of the Great Lakes are covered with ice. At this time last year, only 12.2% of the Great Lakes were covered in ice.


Snowfall Analysis

The same storm system that was responsible for heavy rain, flooding and mudslides across parts of California was also responsible for areas of wintry weather east of the Rockies. Take a look at the snowfall analysis from last week. The first surge of snow brought heavy amounts across parts of North Dakota, northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan. The second surge of snow brought light accumulations to parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley and then heavier amounts to the Ohio Valley and into the Eastern Great Lakes.

Snow Depth 2018

The snow depth map across the country for January 13th suggests that 40.7% of the country is covered in snow, mainly across the northern half of the nation. However, note that parts of the Lower Mississippi Valley and the Gulf Coast States actually have some snow on the ground! At this time last year, 40.2% of the nation was covered in snow. As of January 13th, the Twin Cities officially had 2″ of snow on the ground at the MSP Airport, but at this time last year, there was 4″ on the ground.

Snow Depth 2017
At this time last year, 59.7% of the nation was covered in snow.


“Minnesota Sees Deadliest Winter In Years”
“Minnesota has already had five ice-related deaths this winter. The state typically averages three during the whole season. Minnesota is on track to have one of its deadliest winters in years. Five people have died this season after falling through ice. The state typically averages three ice-related deaths over the course of the entire winter. The 2015-2016 winter had zero ice-related deaths, while the 2016-2017 winter had two. The last time Minnesota saw ice-related deaths in the double digits was in the 2002-2003 winter, when the state had 10 fatalities. The most recent death this year happened in northern Minnesota where a women drowned after riding an ATV on Rice Lake. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Hannah Mishler has already responded to multiple ice rescue calls. “Ice, especially snow covered ice, is extremely deceptive. You can’t see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow,” Mishler said in a statement.”


Ice Safety!!
Before you go testing the ice on area lakes and ponds, remember that “ICE IS NEVER 100% SAFE!” So when is ice safe? Here is an excerpt from the MN DNR regarding ice safety:
“There really is no sure answer. You can’t judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors — plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions.”


General Ice Thickness Guidelines

Here are some general ice thickness guidelines from the MN DNR:
For new, clear ice ONLY:

Under 4″ – STAY OFF
4″ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5″ – 7″ – Snowmobile or ATV
8″ – 12″ – Car or small pickup
12″ – 15″ – Medium truck

Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.
White ice or “snow ice” is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.

See more from the MN DNR HERE:



Temperature Anomaly on Sunday
The image below shows the temperature anomaly across North America from Sunday, which showed a blob of Arctic air surging south across the eastern half of the country. This cold air is on the heels of what was a fairly potent winter storm that brought ice and snow to many areas east of the Rockies over the last several days. Temperatures will remain quite cold in these areas until late next week.


Cold And Then More Cold!
Temperatures east of the Rockies will remain quite cold as we head into the 3rd full week of January. It’s cold now, but look at the next surge of Arctic air that will splash south early next week! From Texas to Florida, many will be dealing with well below average temperatures over the next several days. Meanwhile, warmer than average temperatures will continue in the Western US.



High Temps Sunday

Another surge of Arctic air has splashed in across much of the eastern US with temperatures running -10F to nearly -20F below average! Folks in Florida will be freezing their butts off as well with highs only in the 40s, 50s, and 60s! Note the warmer temps in the western US. These milder temps will actually start moving in at some point next week, which will end the deep freeze for most.

 Weather Outlook Ahead
The weather over the next few days looks a little quieter than what most of us were dealing with last week. Other than a fast moving clipper impacting parts of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Ohio Valley, most locations will be a little quieter. There will be another surge of Pacific moisture that will impact the Northwest early next week with areas of heavy rain and mountain snow.
5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA’s WPC, the 5-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy precipitation in the Northern New England States and also in the Northwest. The next surge of Pacific moisture will bring several inches of liquid there with heavy rain in the lower elevations that could lead to flooding, while the mountains will have heavy snow.

Snowfall Potential Ahead
The snowfall potential for next week shows heavy snow wrapping up from Saturday’s storm in the Northeast, but areas of heavy snow returning to the mountains in the Western US. Interestingly, there could be another round of wintry precipitation across the southern US as we by the middle/end of next week.
National Weather Hazards Ahead…

1.) Periods of much below normal temperatures for most of the central and eastern CONUS, Mon-Thu, Jan 15-18.
2.) Much above normal temperatures for parts of southern mainland Alaska, Mon-Tue, Jan 15-16.
3.) Periods of heavy precipitation for the Pacific Northwest and northern California, Mon-Thu, Jan 15-18.
4.) High winds for the Pacific Northwest coastal region, Wed-Thu, Jan 17-18.
5.) High significant wave heights along the Pacific Northwest coast, Wed-Thu, Jan 17-18.
6.) Heavy precipitation for the northern Rockies, Tue-Wed, Jan 16-17.
7.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for eastern Montana, Wed-Thu, Jan 24-25.
8.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation from most of California eastward across approximately the southern halves of both the Intermountain Region and Rockies, portions of the Plains, and from the Mississippi Valley to the Appalachians, Sat-Wed, Jan 20-24.
9.) Moderate risk of heavy precipitation from the Lower Mississippi Valley to the Lower Ohio Valley, Mon-Tue, Jan 22-23.
10.) Severe drought for parts of the Great Plains, the Southwest, the central and southern Mississippi Valley, the Southeast, and Hawaii.

Clipper May Drop a Plowable Snowfall Sunday
By Paul Douglas
Last winter was a breeze, in fact, most winters are trending milder now, with more erratic snowfall patterns. Kansas City winters. One in four is an old-fashioned Minnesota winter. Although not as severe as 4 years ago (the infamous “Polar Vortex” winter) this winter is starting to get on people’s nerves. I could recite weather statistics, but there are other metrics in play. Fewer people are waving with all their fingers. My garage resembles an angry toddler’s sandbox. And there was a traffic jam getting to the Boat Show yesterday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. I wasn’t the only one who needed a warm, mental health break.
Sunday’s clipper should drop 2-3 inches of powder; as much as 4 inches in a few suburbs. Enough to plow, enough to slow down drive times. Take it easy out there.
A reinforcing jab of numbing air keeps temperatures subzero all day Monday, with wind chills ranging from -25F in the metro to -45F over western counties.
We warm up by midweek, with 3-4 days above freezing by late week; 40F possible on Friday. We end the month in the 20s (above zero!)

Extended Forecast

SUNDAY: 2″ to 3″ snow. Icy PM. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: -9. High: 16.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Snow tapers, then mostly cloudy and cold! Winds: NW 10-15. Low: -6 (Feels like: -20)

MONDAY: Coldest day. Feels like -25F. Winds: NW 10-20. High: -1.

TUESDAY: Bright sun, less wind. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: -13. High: 3.

WEDNESDAY: Patchy clouds. Close to average. Winds: SW 7-12. High: 21.

THURSDAY: Lots of clouds. Another welcome thaw. Winds: SW 7-12. High: 34.

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy. Feels pretty good. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 24. High: 37.

SATURDAY: Overcast. Light mix late? Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 27. High: 36.

This Day in Weather History
January 14th

1981: Over 24,000 Canada Geese are present at Silver Lake in Rochester.

1952: A sleet and freezing rain storm develops across Minnesota from St Cloud south into Iowa. 1,100 Northwestern Bell telephone wires are knocked down. The Buffalo Ridge in the Pipestone area is the hardest hit with ¾ inches of solid ice on Northern State Power wires with icicles to 3 inches. Northwestern Bell reported ice up to 1 ½ inches on their wires in the same area. Thunder and a shower of ice pellets accompanied the storm in New Ulm and Mankato. Minneapolis General Hospital treated 81 people, victims of falls on icy streets.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
January 14th

Average High: 23F (Record: 49F set in 1944)
Average Low: 7F (Record: -26F set in 1972)

Record Rainfall: 0.34″ set in 2001
Record Snowfall: 4.4″ set in 1999

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
January 14th

Sunrise: 7:48am
Sunset: 4:57pm

Hours of Daylight: ~9 hours & 9 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 1 minute & 43 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): 23 minutes

Moon Phase for January 14th at Midnight
1.8 Days Before New Moon


Temp Outlook For Sunday
Temps on Sunday will still be quite cold across much of the Upper Midwest, especially across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. However, a fast moving clipper will help to briefly warm things up a bit before a reinforcing shot of cold air moves in early next week. Hang in there.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

Here’s the temperature outlook as we head into the 4th week of January, which suggests that warmer than average temperatures will be in place again across much of the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and into the Central US! However, note the colder air lurking just to the west. At this point, there is no reason to believe that another surge of Arctic air will move in later this month, but stay tuned!

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

The Arctic air mass that is currently impacting the eastern half of the country will fade at some point next week. After that, it appears that warmer than average temperatures will return to much of the eastern half of the country during the 4th full week of January. However, colder than average temperatures will be found in the western half of the country.

“Rain fuels wildfire risk”
“First the north burned, then the south: Two series of devastating wildfires in October and December left behind a trail of destruction in California and losses totaling well over ten billion dollars. It is to be feared that such wildfires will become more frequent in California in the future. The October wildfires broke out in the wine country around Sonoma and the Napa Valley north of San Francisco, leaving unprecedented levels of damage in their wake and surpassing the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire as the worst conflagration in the state’s history. In all, over 8,900 structures were destroyed by the fires, over 5,500 of which were from one fire alone – the Tubbs Fire – that obliterated complete neighborhoods in the city of Santa Rosa. Two months later, Santa Ana winds fuelled a devastating complex of fires around the Los Angeles metropolitan region. Insured losses from all the Northern California fires alone are estimated at about US$ 8bn, becoming the largest insured wildfire loss in US history (by far) and a worrisome harbinger of the future of wildfire risk.”


“Winter storm brings destructive mudslides to California in January 2018”

“Heavy rains led to tragedy in California this week, after a winter storm passing over Southern California led to mudslides and debris flows that killed at least 17 people according to the New York Times. This infrared satellite image shows the storm draped around Los Angeles on January 9, 2018. The coldest cloud tops (an indication of vigorous convection and rainfall) are in shades of light blue and white, while the relatively warm waters of the Pacific are pink. Very hot land surfaces in the desert basins of southernmost California and Baja, Mexico, are yellow. Given the state’s hilly terrain and development patterns—homes perched on the edge of the cliffs and slopes to take advantage of stunning views—mudslides during the area’s wet winters are not uncommon. However, the devastating fires that scorched this same region in December likely increased the risk of erosion and may have made debris flows more dangerous. Following a severe fire, the soil can be coated with a waxy, water-repellent residue that prevents rain from penetrating the soil, and the increased runoff sweeps up soil, rocks, and dead timber.”

See more from NOAA HERE:



“NOAA Says Pesticides Killing NW Salmon, Orca”
“A trio of widely-used pesticides threatens Northwest salmon and the orca that rely on them, even with these species on the brink of extinction.  That’s according to a biological opinion from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fisheries office that the environmental law firm Earthjustice unveiled this week. The document is part of a 2017 court deadline requiring NOAA Fisheries to determine the threat these agricultural pesticides pose to salmon. Glen Spain is Northwest regional director of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, which has been pushing back against the Environmental Protection Agency on the use of pesticides near rivers since a 2002 lawsuit. “We require that our rivers, basically, are clean and that the salmon runs are healthy in order to survive as an industry,” says Spain. “And the idea of putting more and more toxic chemicals in our rivers without any analysis is appalling.” The report finds even low levels of runoff from these three pesticides – chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon – can cause abnormal development and impair the salmon’s ability to swim. The document suggests prohibiting the use of these pesticides near salmon habitat. The Environmental Protection Agency asked for a two-year extension on the deadline for this biological opinion at the request of Dow Chemical, but that request was not granted. Spain believes the EPA is not doing its job to protect the environment, which hurts Northwest fishers.”


“Let it go: The Arctic will never be frozen again”

“Last week, at a New Orleans conference center that once doubled as a storm shelter for thousands during Hurricane Katrina, a group of polar scientists made a startling declaration: The Arctic as we once knew it is no more. The region is now definitively trending toward an ice-free state, the scientists said, with wide-ranging ramifications for ecosystems, national security, and the stability of the global climate system. It was a fitting venue for an eye-opening reminder that, on its current path, civilization is engaged in an existential gamble with the planet’s life-support system. In an accompanying annual report on the Arctic’s health — titled “the Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades” — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees all official U.S. research in the region, coined a term: “New Arctic.””

See more from Grist HERE:


____________________________________________________________________________“NOAA kicks off 2018 with massive supercomputer upgrade”

“Faster computers with more storage will boost accuracy, efficiency of U.S. weather models. NOAA’s combined weather and climate supercomputing system will be among the 30 fastest in the world, with the ability to process 8 quadrillion calculations per second, when two Dell systems are added to the IBMs and Crays at data centers in Reston, Virginia, and Orlando, Florida, later this month. “NOAA’s supercomputers play a vital role in monitoring numerous weather events from blizzards to hurricanes,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These latest updates will further enhance NOAA’s abilities to predict and warn American communities of destructive weather.” This upgrade completes phase three of a multiyear effort to build more powerful supercomputers that make complex calculations faster to improve weather, water and climate forecast models. It adds 2.8 petaflops of speed at both data centers combined, increasing NOAA’s total operational computing speed to 8.4 petaflops — or 4.2 petaflops per site.”

See more from NOAA HERE:


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