Icy Slushy Snowy Mess on Area Roads AM Tuesday
Here was the view from a MN DOT webcam early Tuesday morning after 1″ to nearly 3″ of snow fell across parts of the metro Monday night. Unfortunately, precipitation started off as rain and changed to wet snow as temperatures fell steadily from a record high of 57F at 2:32pm. By AM Tuesday, the temperature was in the teens with feels like temps in the single digits above and below 0F, which helped to turn everything into an icy slippery mess. The AM Tuesday commute was a bear, even with the help of several MN DOT plow crews out and about. Welcome back to winter driving… UGH!


Slippery Mess AM Tuesday

According to MN DOT, much of the state was considered to have slippery roadways after the snow Monday night. According to the MN State Patrol, by 8:45pm Monday there had been 121 crashes statewide and many more by Monday morning.

Observed Snowfall

Here is the observed snowfall from PM monday into AM Tuesday. The heaviest fell from northeastern South Dakota/southeastern North Dakota into far northwestern MN with some widespread 8″ to near 12″ tallies. Much of the rest of the state didn’t see much, but the 1″ to 3″ across the metro sure made for a rough commute.


Snow Reports
The actual snow reports from NWS showed the heaviest across far northwestern MN with some 1″ to near 3″ tallies in the Metro.
11.0″ ….. Roosevelt
9.0″ ….. Warroad
2.4″ ….. NWS Chanhassen
2.1″ ….. MSP Airport
0.4″ ….. STC Airport
Twin Cities Record High & Record Dewpoint For December 4th
Well this is a little unusual… not only did the MSP Airport have a record high of 57F on Monday, December 4th, but it has had a record dewpoint! Weird, huh? Interestingly, area lakes and ponds had a lot of fog hanging over them due to the fact that water temps were so cold combined with the high moisture content. It was pretty neat to see!
What a Cold Front!
After record breaking temperatures in the Twin Cities, the cold front REALLY dropped temps. Here’s a look at the 24-hour temp change from AM Monday to AM Tuesday. Note that the Twin Cities was 37F colder, while other parts of the state were more than 40F colder! Yikes!!
National 24-Hour Temp Change
Can you see the cold front? Yes, it’s pretty easy to pick out… The map below showed the 24-hour temp change from AM Monday to AM Tuesday. Note that some of the biggest changes during that time frame were nearly 20F to nearly 40F colder from parts of Texas to the Upper Midwest. Now that’s a cold front!


Cold Air Continues Acorss the Eastern Half of the Country
The 850mb temp anomaly loop below shows the MUCH cooler air mass continuing to move in across the eastern half of the country. Temperatures through the rest of the week look to remain well below average east of the Rockies, while temperatures across much of the Western US will be above average.


High Temps Wednesday

High temperatures on Wednesday will be quite  will be quite a bit cooler than what most of started with during the first few days of December. The potent cold front will continue surging east, which will allow MUCH cooler air to punch into the southern and eastern parts of US through the rest of the week. This will be the first time in a while that much of the nation will be dealing with below averageIt might actually feel a little more like winter!


Weather Outlook Ahead
The storm system responsible for the big cool down across much of the nation will stall briefly on the south side of the Hudson Bay, which will help to continue funneling down colder air across the Great Lakes and turn on the lake effect snow machine. Meanwhile, the potent cold front will continue to pump out areas of rain and some thunder before turning to a light wintry mix for some in Texas and across parts of the Southeast.
5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA’s WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavier precipitation moving through the eastern third of the nation and along the Gulf Coast in association with the potent cold front. Note that some of the heaviest precipitation could approach 1″ to 2″+ in some of these areas.

Snowfall Potential Ahead
After a fairly decent shot of snowfall across parts of the Upper Midwest, lighter amounts of snow will be possible acorss parts of the Plains and the Eastern US. However, cold air across the Great Lakes Region will allow heavy snow to fall down wind of some of the Great Lakes through the end of the week!
Heavy Lake Effect Snow Potential
The National Weather Service has issued a number of winter weather headlines across the Great Lakes as lake effect snow develops through the end of the week. Some spots could see up to 1ft. to 2ft., especially downwind of the Eastern Great Lakes.
Heavy Lake Effect Snow Near Buffalo, NY
Here’s the latest from the National Weather Service out of Buffalo, NY, where winter weather headlines have been posted as bands of lake effect snow set up through the end of the week.
Snow in Texas??
As the cold air penetrates the Southern US, some of the moisture will fall in the form as snow across parts of New Mexico and Texas on Wednesday. In fact, a number of winter weather headlines have been posted in west texas in advance of as much as 3″ to 5″ of snow that could fall across the area on Wednesday!

“Meteorologists Warn of Powerful Santa Ana Wind Conditions Not Seen in Many Years”
“The National Weather Service predicts powerful Santa Ana winds to and low humidity take hold in Southern California over the next week, increasing the risk of wildfires throughout the region. The predicted wind event, with forecasts of gusts as high as 65 mph in the San Diego County mountains, prompted the NWS to issue a red flag warning and the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department to increase staffing. Fire officials said several years of drought coupled with heavy rains last winter created significant fire fuel in the form of underbrush and grass. And because of a lack of recent rain, all of the fuel is extremely dry and ready to spark, officials said. “Meteorologists at the National Weather Service have not seen models for a Santa Ana event like this in many years,” said San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy. “We are being vigilant in up-staffing to protect San Diegans and their property. We ask that residents practice their evacuation plans and be prepared in case of a wildfire.””

See more from Times of San Diego HERE:

Explosive California Wildfires
Thanks to Praedictix Meteorologist Susie Martin for the update below regarding the extremely dangerous wildfires ongion across parts of southern California.
  • The Creek Fire in Los Angeles County has grown rapidly to 11,000 acres according to the fire department and remains uncontained. Mandatory evacuations for residents in Sylmar area.
  • The Rye Fire is another blaze in Los Angeles county, west of Valencia–currently at 1000 acres.
  • The Thomas Fire in Ventura county remains uncontained at 45,000 acres, twice the size of Manhattan. Mandatory evacuations remain. No new evaucations have been ordered recently.
  • California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency, freeing state funds and resources to assist the more than 1,000 firefighters battling the fires.
  • Critical and Extreme Fire Weather continues through the week. High Wind Warnings remain in effect until Friday and Red Flag Warnings remain in effect through Saturday.
  • Due to strong winds, these fires are quickly spreading, and this is a rapidly changing situation. The amount of acres burned will continue to increase throughout the day, and I would expect additional evacuations will be issued as these fires continue to spread. Be alert of the changing situation throughout the day.

Credit: CAL FIRE.

Numerous Wildfires in the LA area. A multitude of active wildfires continue in the Los Angeles area with the most notable fires being the Thomas Fire, which erupted yesterday evening and exploded to 45,000 acres, the Creek Fire, now 11,000 acres, and the Rye Fire, which has recently double in size from 500 acres to 1000 acres. The Creek Fire reportedly “jumped” over the 210 Freeway prompting mandatory evacuations from Easterly Border to Haynes Canyon, between Sunland to the South, Wentworth to the North and Wheatland to the West. A detailed, interactive map can be found here. Very strong winds and low humidity has allowed for explosive growth of the fires, which have been spreading rapidly. The ferocity of the blazes are hindering firefighting efforts along with the extreme fire weather conditions that continue. Up-to-the-minute information on these blazes can be found via Twitter: @CAL_Fire and @LACoFDPIO.

Credit: AerisWeather.

Poor Air Quality. Dense smoke can be seen on visible satellite. Strong off shore flow is pushing the smoke out to sea, but communities near the blazes and downwind of the fires are experiencing unhealthy air quality–it is advised to stay indoors.


Credit: NWS EDD.

Powerful Gusts. The Santa Ana winds continue to scream down the mountains with gusts that have exceed 60 mph easily. An 80 mph gust was reported in the foothills of Orange county and gusts have been observed at up to 78 mph in Los Angeles county, where the Rye Fire and Creek Fire continue to burn. The National Weather Service in Los Angeles stated earlier: “This will likely be the strongest and longest duration Santa Ana wind event we have seen so far this season which will persist through at least Thursday.” This is the strongest and longest-duration Santa Ana winds of the season. Red Flag Warnings and High Wind Warnings now go out through Friday and even Saturday.

Credit: NWS San Diego.

A Blocked Pattern. The atmosphere has entered a blocking pattern, which means there will be little change in the overall pattern this week. A strong ridge of high pressure remains anchored in the West, which is resulting in strong off-shore flow, enhancing the fire weather. Little change is expected through the end of the week.

Critical Fire Weather Conditions Continue. The Storm Prediction Center keeps a fire conditions Critical in Southern California for Wednesday as the pattern remains. Moderate to strong Santa Ana winds will continue through ThursdayWednesday night and Thursday, winds are expected to increase in strength with gusts between 50 and 70 mph. Single digit relative humidity continues, which marks an extended period of critical fire weather conditions for Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Long range models are now pointing to the Santa Ana winds continuing into Friday and Saturday, which is why some of the warnings have been extended.

Meteorologist Susie Martin, Praedictix

Flurry Filled Sunrise on Tuesday

After several mild days at the end of November and into the early part of December, winter finally hit overnight Monday. A snowy, icy commute met with sub-zero wind chills really made for a more January like landscape. Here was the sunrise from AM Tuesday, while scattered flurries continue to blow around in the wake of the Arctic front.


High Temps From Average Since November 1st
Take a look at the high temps from average in the Twin Cities from October 27th – December 4th, which shows how back and forth temperatures have been over the last several weeks. Note that from Friday, October 27th to Sunday, October 12th temperature remained quite chilly. Then we had a warm spell during the end of November into the first few days of December with temps running WELL above average. Now it looks like we’ll be dealing well below average temps over the next several days as we head through the middle part of the month.
Ice Safety
Ice is once again starting to form on area lakes and ponds, but we’re far from the ice being safe out there! Here’s an excerpt from the MN DNR regarding ice safety. Note that ICE IS NEVER 100% SAFE, but in order to walk out safely onto the ice, you need 4″ of ice!
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.
PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Map

It certainly has been a fairly active first half of 2017 with 1,509 preliminary tornado reports through December 4th. Note that this is the most tornadoes through that date since 2011, when there were 1,880 reports. The map below shows the distribution of the tornadoes so far this year.

PRELIMINARY 2017 Tornado Count

According to NOAA’s SPC, the PRELIMINARY 2017 tornado count is 1,509 (through December 4th). Note that is the most active year for tornadoes since 2011, when there were 1,880 tornadoes. Notice that the only other year with more tornadoes than this year was in 2008, which ended with a whopping 2,140 tornadoes nationwide.


National Weather Hazards Ahead…

1.) Much below-normal temperatures expanding across the eastern U.S., Fri-Mon, Dec 8-12.
2.) Periods of heavy, lake-effect snow downwind of the Great Lakes, Fri-Wed, Dec 8-13.
3.) Much below-normal temperatures for the Rio Grande Valley and Gulf Coast of Texas, Fri, Dec 8.
4.) Heavy snow for parts of the central and southern Appalachians, Tue, Dec 12.
5.) Much above-normal temperatures for interior mainland Alaska, Fri-Tue, Dec 8-12.
6.) Periods of heavy precipitation from the Kenai Peninsula to the northern Alaska Panhandle, Fri-Tue, Dec 8-12.
7.) High winds for the Alaska Range, Mon, Dec 11.
8.) A high risk of much below normal temperatures for the Great Lakes and parts of the Northeast, Wed-Sat, Dec 13-16.
9.) A moderate risk of much below normal temperatures for parts of the eastern U.S., Wed-Sat, Dec 13-16.
10.) A slight of much below normal temperatures for parts of the eastern U.S., Wed-Tue, Dec 13-19.
11.) A slight risk of much below normal temperatures for pars of the Southeast, Wed-Fri, Dec 13-15.
12.) A high risk of heavy precipitation for the Kenai Peninsula, Wed-Fri, Dec 13-15
13.) A moderate risk of heavy precipitation for southern coastal mainland Alaska, Wed-Fri, Dec 13-15.
14.) A slight risk of heavy precipitation from the Alaska Peninsula east to the northern Alaska Panhandle, Wed-Sun, Dec 13-17.
15.) Severe drought across parts of the lower and middle Mississippi Valley, Great Plains, Arizona, and Hawaii.


We’re Making Ice! Happy Anglers & Hockey Players
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas

I feel like we just witness the kickoff of winter, don’t you? Hey Paul Allen, can I get a “BOOM”?

Anglers and hockey players are happy that we’ll finally be making ice. It’ll take some time before ice conditions are safe enough to wet a line through a 6 inch hole on area lakes. Don’t rush it! However, backyard hockey rinks should be in action in no time! Despite a brief thaw on Sunday, the extended temp forecast looks to keep us below freezing through the 3rd week of December.

The good news is that driving around town on treated roads should improve dramatically from Tuesday mornings commute. Good grief that was rough! According to the MN State Patrol, there were 410 crashes across the state from AM Monday to AM Tuesday. The problem was a quick transition from a record high of 57 degrees on Monday with rain changing to snow across the state. Everything turned to ice as temps dipped into the teens AM Tuesday.

Brisk winds give way to a few flurries today. A few more flakes will fly Friday, but no major snow storms are brewing.

Extended Forecast

WEDNESDAY: Few flurries. Cold wind. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 15. High: 21.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy and cold. Winds: NW 5-10. Low: 10.

THURSDAY: Brisk sun. Not as breezy. Winds: W 5-10. High: 14.

FRIDAY: A little light snow coating by evening. Winds: NW 5-15. Wake-up: 14. High: 24.

SATURDAY: Isolated flake or two. Still chilly. Winds: NW 5-10: Wake-up: 11. High: 23

SUNDAY: Not as nippy, some afternoon sun. Winds: WSW 10-15. Wake-up: 15. High: 33.

MONDAY: Sun and cloud mix. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 22. High: 32.

TUESDAY: Wind chills return. Winds: NW 5-15. Wake-up: 13. High: 21.

This Day in Weather History
December 6th

1950: A snowstorm hits Duluth with 23.2 inches of snow in 24 hours, and a storm total of 35.2 inches.

1939: Warm weather occurs over parts of Minnesota. The high temperature hits 62 at New London.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
December 6th

Average High: 30F (Record: 63F set in 1939)
Average Low: 16F (Record: -19F set in 1972)

Record Rainfall: 0.58″ set in 1887
Record Snowfall: 4.2″ set in 1947

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
December 6th

Sunrise: 7:36am
Sunset: 4:32pm

Hours of Daylight: ~8 hours 55 mins

Daylight LOST since yesterday: ~1 minutes and 11 seconds
Daylight LOST since summer solstice (June 20th): 6 hours & 42 minutes

Moon Phase for December 6th at Midnight
3.0 Days Before Last Quarter Moon


Weather Outlook For Wednesday

High temps on Wednesday will be quite chilly across the region once again with highs only in the 10s and 20s across Minnesota. These temps will be more reminiscent of January with windchill values in the single digits and teens for much of the day.

Minneapolis Temperature Outlook

Here’s the temperature outlook through December 20th, which shows a MUCH colder temperature outlook as we continue through the next could of weeks. Temps will remain more January-like through the rest of the week, but could warm to above freezing on Sunday and Monday before another surge of colder air settles in next week.


8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

Here’s the temperature outlook from through the 3rd weekend of December, which suggests temperatures will remain cooler than average across much of the Midwest into the Great Lakes. However, warmer than average temperatures will continue in the Western US.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

Here’s the extended temperature outlook as we head through the 3rd weekend of December. The high amplitude and stagnant weather pattern will continue to keep colder than average temperatures in the Eastern US, while warmer than average temperatures will continue in the Western US.


“One of the biggest US oil fields turns to an unexpected power source: solar”

“The Belridge oil field near Bakersfield, California, is one of the largest in the country. It has been producing oil for more than a century and last year produced around 76,000 barrels a day, according to operator Aera Energy. Now the oil field is about to become even more remarkable. Its future production will be powered partly by a massive solar-energy project to make the extraction process more environmentally friendly, according to Aera and GlassPoint Solar, the firm that will create the solar project. The Belridge field was discovered in 1911. Oil from the field flowed out of the ground because of natural pressure in the geologic reservoirs. Later, as the pressure declined, many companies said the field was exhausted. The field gained new life in the 1960s through a process known as enhanced oil recovery. But squeezing more crude oil from the Belridge requires large amounts of steam to loosen the heavy crude, which in turn requires energy. Traditionally, Aera used natural gas to heat water to create steam. Now Aera and GlassPoint will use a large, 850-megawatt solar thermal array to evaporate the water that’s pumped into the ground to liberate more oil. The companies say this will offset 4.87 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year and avoid the emission of 376,000 tons of carbon. The water used emerges from the process of oil extraction itself and will be recycled and pumped back into the ground.”

See more from Chicago Tribune HERE:



“This New Power Plant Will Produce Clean Energy From Cow Manure”

“Japanese automobile giant Toyota is making some exciting moves in the realm of renewable, clean energy. The company is planning to build a power plant in California that turns the methane gas produced by cow manure into water, electricity, and hydrogen. The project, known as the Tri-Gen Project, was unveiled at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The plant, which will be located at the Port of Long Beach in California, will be “the world’s first commercial-scale 100 percent renewable power and hydrogen generation plant,” writes USA Today. Toyota is expecting the plant to come online in about 2020. The plant is expected to have the capability to provide enough energy to power 2,350 average homes and enough fuel to operate 1,500 hydrogen-powered vehicles daily. The company is estimating the plant to be able to produce 2.35 MW of electricity and 1.2 tons of hydrogen each day.”

See more from Science Alert HERE:


“Why remote Antarctica is so important in a warming world”

“Ever since the ancient Greeks speculated a continent must exist in the south polar regions to balance those in the north, Antarctica has been popularly described as remote and extreme. Over the past two centuries, these factors have combined to create, in the human psyche, an almost mythical land – an idea reinforced by tales of heroism and adventure from the Edwardian golden age of “heroic exploration” and pioneers such as Robert Falcon Scott, Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton. Recent research, however, is casting new light on the importance of the southernmost continent, overturning centuries of misunderstanding and highlighting the role of Antarctica in how our planet works and the role it may play in a future, warmer world. What was once thought to be a largely unchanging mass of snow and ice is anything but. Antarctica holds a staggering amount of water. The three ice sheets that cover the continent contain around 70% of our planet’s fresh water, all of which we now know to be vulnerable to warming air and oceans. If all the ice sheets were to melt, Antarctica would raise global sea levels by at least 56m. Where, when, and how quickly they might melt is a major focus of research. No one is suggesting all the ice sheets will melt over the next century but, given their size, even small losses could have global repercussions. Possible scenarios are deeply concerning: in addition to rising sea levels, meltwater would slow down the world’s ocean circulation, while shifting wind belts may affect the climate in the southern hemisphere.”

See more from The Conversation HERE:



“A Giant Iceberg in West Antarctica Is Disintegrating, And Scientists Are Worried”

“We hope this isn’t the start of something really bad. When the fastest melting glacier in Antarctica surrenders itself to the ocean, the results can be pretty dramatic to watch – and, as scientists explain, worrying. Researchers have just released a new animation depicting the ongoing disintegration of a vast Antarctic iceberg four times the size of Manhattan, which calved from the Pine Island Glacier two months ago and has been breaking up into ever smaller fragments ever since. The iceberg, which covers approximately 267 square kilometres (103 square miles), broke free of the glacier in West Antarctica in late September, and was initially expected to drift far out into the Southern Ocean before fracturing. That didn’t happen though, with the huge chunk of unstable ice thought to have been impeded by a layer of thick sea ice, ensuring that the breakup is taking place only kilometres from the glacier it abandoned.”

See more from Science Alert HERE:



“The Godzilla Ridge Returns”

“It is big, hard to get rid of, and persistent.  Scary for those who love fresh snow. Yes, it is the Godzilla Ridge.  One so powerful that is may be hanging around for 1-2 weeks.  Strong enough to give us sun in normally cloudy December.”

See more from Cliff Masters Weather blog HERE:


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