December 10

Searching For Snow: Odds of a White Christmas Drop For Much of USA – Billion Dollar Disasters in 2020

Snow Cover on December 9, 2020NOAA NOHRSC Where’s the Snow? We are heading into mid-December but the latest NOAA snow cover map looks like something you might see in early October. At last report 10.5% of the lower 48 states had snow on the ground, down from 18.3% of the USA on November 9. 10-Day ECMWF Snowfall ForecastWeatherBell Keep Dreaming. At this point, unless there is a major shift in weather patterns (that isn’t yet showing up on the weather models) I’m not sure how we salvage a white Christmas for most of Minnesota. It’s not impossible, but the odds...

Flowing river in winter
December 8

Mild Signal Continues Much of USA – ARkStorm Scenario – Chinese Weather Modification – Mental Health Risks of Wildfire Season

Not Excited About Friday Snow Just Yet. Here is the 12z Monday ECMWF solution, showing a period of light snow or flurries Friday, but the focus on the moisture remaining south and east of Minnesota. Map credit: WSI. Strong Warm Temperature Trend in December. Dr. Mark Seeley connects the dots in the most recent edition of Minnesota WeatherTalk: ” We should not be surprised that December is bringing us warmer than normal temperatures. Since the new millennium (2000) 70 percent of Decembers have been warmer than normal, including the last six consecutive years based on statewide average temperature. This is...

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...

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”...

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...

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...

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...

snowbank with plants nearby
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...

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...

Snow squall causes bad road conditions
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...