Paul Douglas On Weather
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Wintry Slap Thursday & Friday

POTENT WINTER STORM WILL IMPACT THE AREA TODAY THROUGH FRIDAY. This is a complex system. The main impacts will be late this afternoon through Friday morning. This is when the majority of the snow will fall. This is also when areas in western Minnesota will have northerly wind gusts near 50 mph. Blizzard conditions are likely across western Minnesota. A Blizzard Warning is in effect from late this afternoon through Friday afternoon for western Minnesota, particularly along and west of a line from Alexandria to Litchfield to Glencoe to Mankato to Wells. These areas can expect snowfall ranging from 4 to 6 inches in west central Minnesota to 7 to 9 inches in southwestern Minnesota, along with wind gusts to between 40 and 50 mph. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect south of the Twin Cities along the Interstate 35 corridor to the Iowa state line today through Friday afternoon. Snow amounts of 7 to 10 inches can be expected through Friday afternoon along with wind gusts of up to 30 to 35 mph. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect to the east of the Blizzard Warning and to the north of the Winter Storm Warning, essentially much of central and east central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, and continuing through western Wisconsin today through Friday afternoon. Snowfall amounts will generally range from 3 to 6 inches, although isolated locations may see receive 7 to 8 inches over a prolonged 36 hour period. Gusty winds and snow will continue through Friday, but conditions should begin to improve Friday afternoon into Friday evening. The main impacts will be to travel.

Weather Outlook AM Thursday to AM Saturday

Here's the weather outlook from AM Thursday to AM Saturday, which shows the onset of precipitation moving in early Thursday. Initially, this could be a mix of rain, sleet and snow, but should turn to all snow around midday Thursday and stay mostly snow through the remainder of the storm through Friday. Lingering flurries maybe possible early Saturday, but the bulk of the snow will fall PM Thursday into Friday.

Winter Storm Timeline

"Latest thinking for timing of wind, snow, and ice later today into Friday. A wintry mix with freezing rain is still possible this morning. Snow will become more widespread later today. Northwest winds increase overnight with blowing and drifting snow."

Expected Snowfall

"A long period of mainly light to moderate snow is expected across most of the area from Thursday through Friday. Widespread accumulations of greater than 5 inches are expected, with some totals of around 10 inches possible."

Peak Winds Expected

"Gusty west to northwest winds will develop behind a strong cold front Thursday morning, and remain strong into Friday. The strongest winds are expected across western Minnesota, where peak gusts over 40 mph are possible. Visibility reductions from blowing snow are possible Thursday night through Friday."

Thursday Weather Outlook for Minneapolis

Here's the weather outlook for Thursday. Note that a wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow will be possible early in the day, which will likely give way to all snow during the second half of the day. Winds will also be a bit gusty and will increase in intensity by the afternoon.

Thursday Meteograms for Minneapolis

Here's a look at the Meteograms for Thursday. Light wintry precipitation will be likely through the day with temperatures holding steady in the low/mid 30s. West to northwesterly winds will get a little stronger through the day with gusts approaching 20mph to 30mph at times.

ThursdayWeather Outlook

High temps on Thursday will warm into the 30s across much of the region, which will be +10F to +20F above average for mid January. Areas of wintry precipitation will be likely across the region through the day before turning to all snow late Thursday into Friday.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

Here's the extended temperature outlook for the Twin Cities, which shows temps warming into mid 30s through Friday, which will be nearly +10F to +15F above average. After our storm system slides east of us, temps will dip into the low/mid 20s, which will be closer to average for this time of the year. In fact, we'll be a little closer to average through the early part of next week.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended temperature outlook through the end of January shows temperatures gradually cooling over the next couple of weeks. According to the GFS, we could actually see some sub-zero daytime highs by the end of the month. Stay tuned...

Minneapolis January Summary So Far

Here's a look at the January numbers so far and it certainly has been a mild and snowless first 13 days of the month. We're nearly +7.5F above average, which is the 7th warmest start to any January on record. Also note that MSP is currently sitting at its 17th warmest Meteorological Winter on record (December 1st - January 12th).

Snow Depth As ofJanuary 12th

Thanks to heavy snowfall during the month of December, we are still carrying a decent snowpack across the state. As of January 12th, there was still 7" of snow on the ground in the Twin Cities. Our current storm system will likely buffer some of those tallies across the state.

National Snow Depth

As of January 13th, 36.9% of the nation was covered by snow, including some snow on the ground as far south as some of the Gulf Coast States. At this time last year, nearly 39.2% of the nation was covered,

Snowfall So Far This January

Through the first half of January, there hasn't been much snowfall across the region. The heaviest has fallen across southern Wisconsin, where a few inches can be seen near Milwaukee, while the rest of the region has had very little. Through January 13th, the Twin Cities had only seen a Trace, which was nearly -5" below average snowfall this month.

Snowfall So Far This Season

Here's a look at the snowfall so far this season, which shows some of the heaviest tallies from the Twin Cities to Duluth and toward the U.P. of Michigan. With that being said, the Twin Cities is the only spot around the region carrying the greatest seasonal surplus, which is nearly +4 above average. Meanwhile, Marquette, MI is carrying the greatest seasonal deficit of nearly 3ft.

Drought Update

According to the US Drought Monitor, drought conditions have continued over the last few months with nearly 98% of the state considered to be in abnormally dry, while almost 23% is considered to be in a moderate drought. Through January 12th, had been running up to -1.0" below average precipitation for the year 2021 so far.

8-14 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, there maybe an increase in precipitation chances across much of the nation from January 21st-27th.

8-14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, cooler than average will return to much of the western half of the nation and especially the Northwest. Meanwhile, folks in the southern US will stay warmer than average.

Plowable Snowfall Likely By Friday Night
By Paul Douglas

Storms are a metaphor for life. Weather doesn't care about your plans, your commute or your feelings. We do our best to predict what's coming and then brace for impact. One of our biggest fears? Predicting flurries, only to wakeup the next morning to a foot of flurries. You NEVER live that down. As a result, meteorologists tend to overpredict snow. We don't want to be caught with our Dopplers down.

A storm is coming and the words of my favorite professor are reverberating in my brain. "You can't predict snow down to the inch". He's right.

Disclaimers aside, this storm should be "plowable". An icy mix today gives way to all-snow and stronger winds PM hours into Friday. This will be a warm storm; even tomorrow temperatures flirt with freezing. That should mean a wetter snowfall, less prone to blowing & drifting. I see about 3-6 inches by Saturday morning.

Much colder air arrives after January 21 or so with a 1-2 week stretch of single-digit highs and subzero lows. No record cold but noticeably nippy.

Extended Forecast

THURSDAY: Mix changes to snow. Winds: NW 15-25. High: 35.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Snowy mix and slushy accumulations. Winds: WNW 15-30. Low: 31.

FRIDAY: Windy. Plowable 3" to 6" likely. Winds: NW 15-30. High: 33.

SATURDAY:Cloudy with flurries. Better travel.Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 26. High: 29.

SUNDAY:Mostly cloudy. Less wind. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 19. High: 27.

MONDAY: Another clipper. More snow. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 24. High: 30.

TUESDAY: More clouds than sun. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 18. High: 26.

WEDNESDAY: Flurries, then windy and colder. Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 12.High: 23.

This Day in Weather History

January 14th

1981: Over 24,000 Canada Geese are present at Silver Lake in Rochester.

1952: A sleet and freezing rain storm develops across Minnesota from St Cloud south into Iowa. 1,100 Northwestern Bell telephone wires are knocked down. The Buffalo Ridge in the Pipestone area is the hardest hit with ¾ inches of solid ice on Northern State Power wires with icicles to 3 inches. Northwestern Bell reported ice up to 1 ½ inches on their wires in the same area. Thunder and a shower of ice pellets accompanied the storm in New Ulm and Mankato. Minneapolis General Hospital treated 81 people, victims of falls on icy streets.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

January 14th

Average High: 23F(Record: 49F set in 1944)

Average Low: 7F (Record: -26Fset in 1972)

Record Rainfall: 0.34" set in 2001

Record Snowfall: 4.4" set in 1999

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

January 14th

Sunrise: 7:47am

Sunset: 4:57pm

Hours of Daylight: ~9hours & 9minutes

Daylight GAINEDsinceyesterday: ~ 1 minute & 45seconds

Daylight GAINEDsince WinterSolstice (December 21st): ~ 23minutes

Moon Phase for January 14th at Midnight

2.1 Days Since New Moon

See more from HERE:

What's in the Night Sky?

"Maybe you saw the planet Mercury last week, near the planets Jupiter and Saturn? Now Jupiter and Saturn are difficult to see in the glare of twilight. But Mercury has ascended higher in the sky, and – on January 14, 15 and 16, 2021 – the innermost planet will be near the young moon. Find an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset, and look for these two worlds to pop out into the evening twilight as dusk ebbs into darkness. Don't dally when searching for the moon on January 14; from most spots worldwide, the wispy slender crescent (and Mercury) will follow the sun beneath the horizon before nightfall (before the end ofastronomical twilight)."

See more from Earth Sky HERE:

National High Temps Thursday

Here's a look at weather conditions across the nation on Thursday. Note that much of the nation will be above average with near record warmth possible across the Southwestern US.

National Forecast Map For Thursday

The weather map on Thursday shows a potent storm system moving into the Upper Midwest with wintry precipitation transitioning into all snow, which could be plowable for some through Friday.

National Weather Outlook

Here's the weather map through the end of the week, which shows a potent storm system sliding into the Upper Midwest with areas of heavy snow and strong winds. This slow moving storm will be responsible for plowable amounts across the Upper Midwest before slowly sliding east into the weekend.

7 Day Precipitation Outlook

Here's the precipitation potential over the next 7 days. Heavier amounts will be likely with accumulating snow in the Upper Midwest with heavier rainfall possible in the Southern US.

7 Day Snowfall Potential

The extended snowfall forecast shows pockets of heavier snowfall potential across the the northern tier of the nation. Also note the pocket of heavier snow in the Southwest. There could be decent tallies north of Tucson, AZ and southwest of Albuquerque, NM.

Climate Stories

"Atmospheric river wallops Pacific Northwest with flooding, landslides and power outages"

"A top-tier atmospheric river soaked the Pacific Northwest during the first half of the workweek, bringing extreme rainfall approaching 10 inches, severe wind gusts and a litany of mudslides. The "exceptional" atmospheric river, rated a Category 5 on a 1 through 5 ranking, is the latest in storms and conveyor belts of moisture to buffet Oregon and Washington state. Because of the high winds,more than 600,000 customers were without powerin the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday morning (about 540,000 in Washington, and 74,000 in Oregon), according to At its peak Tuesday, the atmospheric river was trucking ashore 665 million gallons of moisture every hour, about a quarter of the flow rate of the Mississippi River. Flood watches blanketed western Oregon and Washington during the height of the episode, which drew in moisture from the tropical West Pacific up to 4,000 miles away."

See more from the Washington Post HERE:

"How climate change is ruining retirement across America"

"Jay Gamel, 76, still talks about his Northern California home in the present tense, as if nothing had happened. "The place is a paradise by any measure," says Gamel, who is semiretired. "The mountains are beautiful, the surroundings are gorgeous. It's a postcard." For 26 years, Gamel had lived in — no,reveledin — his little redwood cabin in the Sonoma County town of Kenwood, where he edits a twice-monthly local newspaper. Gamel, who moved there from Chicago, thought he would never leave the little enclave known as Adobe Canyon, in the Mayacamas range, about 90 minutes north of San Francisco. "That place is everything to me," he says. "It has been my life. It's the center of my being."

See more from Market Watch HERE:

"The Carbon Skyscraper"

"Speed kills. That's why firing bullets from a gun is more dangerous than tossing them by hand. Why skydivers use parachutes. Why roads have speed limits. And why it's critical to understand how quickly human activity will drive the climate to change, compared to past rates. Will we cause gradual shifts that civilization and life on Earth can adapt to—or are we igniting a wildfire that can't be outrun? And so it is that scientists trek to frigid Antarctica, to drill deep into its ice sheets and pull out thousands of feet of snow compressed into ice. They carefully date each layer, extract tiny bubbles of ancient atmosphere, and measure the concentration of carbon dioxide, tuner of the planet's thermostat. From this hard work, we've learned the sawtooth pattern of carbon levels over the past million years. It has shot swiftly up during climbs to past warm intervals a bit like the climate of today, and ramped slowly down into the long ice ages in between them. We can also see the sharp recent increase in carbon dioxide that humans have caused, mainly by burning fossil fuels for energy. The graph used to show this jump is arguably the most iconic figure in climate science."

See more from Climate Central HERE:

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