Weather

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December 4

Polar Punch Within 2 Weeks? Hurricane Hunters Reflect on Record 2020 Season

It’s Much Too Early To Write Off Winter “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love” wrote 19th century American essayist Hamilton Wright Mabie. Well-worn traditions will look different this year but the love story lives on, undiminished. It runs contrary to every fiber in my being, but this year the greatest gift I can give the people I love most is to keep my distance from them. After a rough and tumble start in October Old Man Winter has been remarkably absent in recent weeks and snow lovers are starting to fret. I...

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December 3

Winter On Hold For Much of USA – NOAA CFSv2: Mild Signal May Linger Into January

Where’s the Snow? According to NOAA NOHRSC 16.9% of the lower 48 states are snow covered. It is strange seeing the Dakotas and so much of Minnesota and Wisconsin snow-free on the 4th day of December. White Christmas Musings. So you’re telling me there’s a chance…? Kudos to the Twin Cities National Weather Service for doing the research and putting the odds of a white Christmas into perspective. Bottom line: past data shows that even with little or no snow on the ground at MSP on December 3 roughly 2 out of 3 of the following Christmas Days were “white”...

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December 2

What La Nina? Milder Than Normal December – 2020 Hurricane Recap

Photo credit: Paul Douglas. December Temperature Anomalies. 4-8F warmer than average this month? That’s what NOAA’s Climate Forecast System version 2 is (consistently) predicting for December across Minnesota, with eye-opening anomalies over 10F for much of Canada. To which I reply, what La Nina? Map credit: NOAA. Top 7 Warmest Minnesota November on Record? That’s the latest, based on data compiled by Dr. Mark Seeley; here’s an excerpt from Minnesota WeatherTalk: “In contrast to October, this November was very much warmer than normal. Most climate stations report an average monthly temperature that ranges from 4 to 6°F above normal. This...

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December 1

Models Predict Mild December for USA – Tornado-Proof Home (?) – Coastal Flooding on the Increase

December Outlook: Climate Prediction Center. Here is the latest temperature and precipitation outlook from NOAA CPC. Looks pretty toasty. December Temperature Anomalies. 4-8F warmer than average this month? That’s what NOAA’s Climate Forecast System version 2 is (consistently) predicting for December across Minnesota, with eye-opening anomalies over 10F for much of Canada. To which I reply, what La Nina? Map credit: NOAA. Operational Winter Storm Severity Index. With the exception of lake effect snow and some snow and icing over Kansas and northern Oklahoma, it looks fairly quiet across the USA. NOAA WPC is making WSSI operational – another step...

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December 1

Statistical Odds of a White Thanksgiving – Stormy Pattern Southern and Eastern USA

Winter Remains On Indefinite Pause Have you noticed that most disaster movies start out with people ignoring warnings from scientists? I have a respect for science – and faith in something more. God gave us experts. This Thanksgiving season I’m grateful for family, friends and facts. I don’t take democracy, free speech or freedom of the press for granted. And a special shout-out to 2020’s biggest heroes: our frontline healthcare workers. They all deserve medals, and our enduring gratitude for being steadfast on the front lines of this pandemic. Glancing Blows of Chilly Air, But Not Bad for December. Looking...

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November 30

Happy Thanksgiving! Tracking Lightning “Superbolts” and Lingering Drought Western USA

Giving Thanks For Quiet Weather “When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself” wrote Tecumseh, a 19th century Shawnee Native American leader. In spite of viral angst and economic malaise, the glass is much more than half full. Today I will choose safety over togetherness and avoid turning Turkey Day into a super-spreader event. I’ll be giving thanks in my own way, reaching out to family, friends, preachers, teachers and mentors, thanking them for helping me along...

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November 25

Mild Signal Deep Into December – Record 2020 Hurricane Season Recap – Doppler Radar “Gaps”

Cooler, But Pacific Influence Lingers Into Mid-December. We’ll see a few cold shots in the weeks to come (not surprising considering the Winter Solstice is less than a month away) but I see no sign of prolonged, polar air capable of considerable discomfort. Record-Breaking 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Draws To An End. Good riddance. NOAA has highlights and lowlights: “The extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is drawing to a close with a record-breaking 30 named storms and 12 landfalling storms in the continental United States. While the official hurricane season concludes on November 30, tropical storms may continue to...

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November 13

Peril of “Snow Squalls”, La Nina Strengthening – Eta, Theta and Iota

The Perils of Snow Squalls and a Thanksgiving Thaw Many of us become transfixed by the big snowstorms but sometimes it’s the little things. Like yesterday’s 60-minute snow burst, a “snow squall”. Prevalent downwind of the Great Lakes, these bands of torrential snow are similar to a line of summer thunderstorms: a narrow band of intense precipitation. Visibilities can fall to zero in seconds, creating mayhem on the highways. What I’ve found over the years (the hard way) is that it’s not “how many inches” of snow falls. It’s the timing, intensity and temperature of the roadway surface. A lousy...

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November 12

“Eta” Takes Second Swipe at Florida – “Theta” Makes Record 29 Storms in 2020

Impressive Early Season Snowfall Tallies. Granted, most of it has melted, but 14.8″ of snow in the Twin Cities as of November 10 (more than a foot above average, to date) and nearly 20″ at Duluth? Snow lovers have to feel pretty good right about now. Maybe we’ll have a real winter, preferably without the Polar Vortex. Good Travel Weather Thanksgiving Week. Right now I don’t see any (big) storms looking out 1-2 weeks, just a series of Alberta Clippers, but little moisture available for accumulating snow. Temperature may be in the 40s, possibly 50+, depending on how quickly we...

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November 11

29 and Counting: Record Year for Tropical Systems in the Atlantic (Up to “Theta”)

Snowfall Totals. Generally 3-6″ from last night’s snow burst, give or take. Click here for updated totals, courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service. Odds Favor a Milder Than Average Thanksgiving. That may seem hard to believe gazing out your snow-encrusted window, but the flow looks more Pacific than Canadian Thanksgiving Week. A Very Warm Start to November. Dr. Mark Seeley breaks it down in Minnesota WeatherTalk; here’s an excerpt: “After recording mostly cooler than normal temperatures on the first day of the month, temperatures have averaged 12 to 18 degrees F warmer than normal under mostly bright, sunny...