December 18

40″+ Snowfall Amounts New York State – Exceptional Drought – First Arctic Cold Wave Coming

GFS Predicted Temperatures December 23-26
NOAA and Tropical

First Arctic Front of the Winter. Subzero temperatures are likely late next week, just in time for Christmas, and I could see chill factors dipping to -30F for about 36 hours before a rapid warming trend the weekend after Christmas. Just a subtle yet blunt reminder that it’s December.

Climate Forecast System model (CFS)

Mild Bias To Continue Into Mid-January. NOAA’s CFSv2 forecast from December 18, 2020 through December 17, 2021 predicts overall temperatures some 4-8F warmer than average for Minnesota and the Dakotas. Spasms of numbing air, but milder overall (which seems believable based on the data and models I’m looking at.)

Snowfall Totals

Golden Snow Shovel Award. Take a bow Newark Valley, New York. 44” of snow from a single storm is the definition of impressive. For updated snow totals click here.

Andrew Banas, Twitter

Let It Snow
My Dear Sister in Lancaster, PA

A winter storm hit New York City on the night of Dec. 16, resulting in more snow than all of the 2019-2020 winter season.

Snowstorm Rages in New England After Burying Parts of New York With More Than 40 Inches. Capital Weather Gang has a few jaw-dropping details: “An early winter wallop of snow, sleet and ice slammed parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing accumulations exceeding 40 inches in spots and a slick glaze of ice for some. Strong shoreline winds and coastal flooding accompanied the system, contributing to near-blizzard conditions as the intensifying strip of low pressure swept northeast. Sixty million Americans were placed under advisories, watches or warnings in advance of the storm, which was continuing to pivot into northern New England early Thursday afternoon. One snowfall jackpot as of sunrise Thursday was near the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, N.Y., where a staggering 39.6 inches had fallen by 7 a.m. It observed an astonishing 20.5 inches in six hours…”

U.S. Drought Monitor

Growing Drought. Exceptional drought is being reported across much of the southwestern USA, with pockets of moderate drought showing up over Minnesota’s Red River Valley and far west central counties. Click here for more details from the U.S. Drought Monitor.


Early January: Mild Signal Persists. This has been the story in recent week: brief spasms of snow and cold, in between longer stretches of relatively mild, Pacific air. That trend may continue into early January if the GFS model (above) is on the right track. Don’t buck the trends, right?

The San Francisco Bay Area experienced significant drops in surface transportation during the initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The blue areas indicate areas of greatest slowdown.
NASA and Planet Lab

Seeing the Covid-19 Pandemic from Space. NASA imagery is tracking changes brought on by the virus; here’s an excerpt: “Economic and social shutdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have led to noticeable changes in Earth’s environment, at least for the short term. NASA researchers are using satellite and ground-based observations to track these impacts on our air, land, water, and climate. These datasets have been collected in a free and openly available online dashboard. The NASA COVID-19 Dashboard features data collected by Earth-observing satellites, instruments aboard the International Space Station, and sensitive ground-based networks…”

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