December 22

White Christmas Odds Increase Across Upper Midwest – Advantages of Winter Hibernation?

18z Monday ECMWF Snowfall Prediction by Christmas Morning

ECMWF Holding Firm With Accumulating Snow? Slam dunk? No, it never is. But the European model is still predicting potentially plowable snowfall amounts Wednesday into Wednesday night. Even if you cut the numbers in half it would still cover lawns and fields with a blanket of white in time for Christmas. We’ll see. But yeah, there’s still a chance.

Paul Douglas, Praedictix

The Nadir of Daylight. It’s all uphill from here in the daylight category; within 2 months nearly 2 additional hours of daylight. Yes please.

Early January: Mild Signal Persists. January is, historically, the coldest month of the year, and we will see (bracing) cold frontal passages. But I continue to be impressed by the sheer persistence of the Pacific signal we’ve been witnessing since the latter half of November. Brief arctic slaps, sandwiched in-between (longer) spells of mild, Pacific-flavored weather regimes.

MnDOT, Twitter

2020 Minnesota Climate Weather Review. Dr. Mark Seeley takes a look at the big picture in this week’s edition of Minnesota WeatherTalk: “…Even without the final statistics for December, we can say that in general it was a warmer and drier than normal year for Minnesota. December may end up among the 5 or 6 warmest in history and may be among the 10 driest in history on a statewide basis. The statewide average precipitation for this month so far is only 0.03 inches. From a temperature standpoint three months of 2020 were colder than normal, two months were very close to normal, and 7 months were warmer than normal. Overall, the year 2020 will probably rank among the 15 warmest years in state history (back to 1895). Extremes for the year were 102 degrees F at Granite Falls on June 7th and -40 degrees F at Cotton and Isabella on February 20th...”

December Temperature Anomalies
Brian Brettschneider, Twitter
Average Snowfall After Christmas
Brian Brettschneider, Twitter

A damaged home is knocked into a road by a powerful storm that struck Upson County, Georgia, early Monday, April 13, 2020

20 Weather Occurrences That Could Have Only Happened in 2020. breaks down some of the more memorable “weather events: “2020 will be remembered largely for a confluence of challenges unrelated to weather. The pandemic’s deadly toll, its economic impact, the scrambling of daily life, social unrest and a tumultuous election will probably remain top of mind when looking back at 2020. But weather certainly left its mark and, like 2020 itself, there were plenty of weather oddities. With that in mind, we ranked the 20 strangest things we saw in the year’s weather, mainly in the United States. We also have a sizable list of honorable mentions below our top 20 list, simply because we love weird weather…”

U.S. Forest Service

Wildfire Smoke is Loaded with Microbes. Is That Dangerous? takes a look: “…As wildfires become bigger and more intense thanks to climate change, researchers are finding a troubling rise in mycoses cases (meaning, any disease caused by a fungus) in the American West. Fungal spores “can act as an allergen and initiate asthma development in the atopic population and have been associated with decreased lung function, hospitalizations, and increased mortality,” says Mary Prunicki, director of air pollution and health research at Stanford University’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research, who wasn’t involved in this new paper. “Overall, many microbes are of concern for human health…”

Early Humans May Have Survived Harsh Winters by Hibernating. Sounds like a good idea to me. Wake me up in 2022, please. The Guardian reports: “…Evidence from bones found at one of the world’s most important fossil sites suggests that our hominid predecessors may have dealt with extreme cold hundreds of thousands of years ago by sleeping through the winter. The scientists argue that lesions and other signs of damage in fossilized bones of early humans are the same as those left in the bones of other animals that hibernate. These suggest that our predecessors coped with the ferocious winters at that time by slowing down their metabolisms and sleeping for months…”

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