So much for our snow drought. Yet 83 percent of Minnesota is still in severe drought, or worse. Sunday's 8-14" storm, the equivalent of turning on a snowy faucet, can't hurt, but early spring rains will determine if we can salvage a promising growing season in 2013. All or nothing.
After last winter's (pathetic) 22 inches I was exuberant about the weekend snow-blitz. Some took me to task over a "pro-snow" bias, pointing out the risk of traffic accidents & injuries and seniors falling on icy sidewalks. I get it. And I'm certainly not insensitive to the very serious problems that a big dumping of snow can trigger. Winter is a blessing and a curse. But we live in Minnesota. Snow is part of our DNA. It's a little like growing up in San Diego and complaining about the ocean.
Yes, everyone has an opinion about the weather.
Santa is pleased: no long-lasting thaws are brewing for the next two weeks. In fact this is as cold as it's going to get for the next 10-15 days; highs mostly 20s and low 30s. We may hit 40F the weekend before Christmas, but most of the snow in your yard will still be there on Dec. 25.
Details below: today the sun starts setting later, due to the changing speed of Earth as it reaches its closest point to the sun. By Dec. 31 the sun sets 10 minutes later than now!
* a whopping 13.6" of snow fell at Twin Cities Headquarters in Chanhassen, Minnesota! 10.5" fell at MSP Airport.
* for much of central and southern Minnesota it was a "December's worth" of snow, falling in 24 hours or so.
* 4th largest December snow storm in modern-day Twin Cities weather records.
* keep in mind a total of 22.3" of snow fell last winter. The most from a single storm? 4.2" on December 3, 2011.
- Falling upon a mostly frozen landscape, only a portion of the weekly precipitation will enter the soil profile. Soil moisture content in many Minnesota counties was 4-6" short of the end-of-season historical average. This is a lot of ground to make up. Winter precipitation alone can't rescue us. We remain very dependent on abundant early-spring rainfall.
- The storm provided only a glancing blow to northwest Minnesota and the southern tier of Minnesota counties, two areas of MInnesota in the Extreme Drought category.
- If we can retain this snow cover through the heart of winter, the insulating effect of the snow will keep frost depths shallow. A shallow frost leaves the ground quicer in the late-winter, thus leaving the soils more receptive to infiltration (from rain) in the early spring.
- I see that the CPC long-range outlooks (6 to 10 day, 8 to 14 day) tilt towards above-normal precipitation. Will our high-albedo landscape set up a baroclinic zone and thus impact the storm tracks? I'll defer to you synopticians.
Greg Spoden, State Climatologist
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Division of Ecological and Water Resources
* Climate Prediction Center 8-14 day precipitation outlook above courtesy of Ham Weather. Thanks Greg.
Thanks Dean! I needed that. See for yourself at this web site (plug in Minneapolis and you can get a custom calendar with astronomical information for any month). Sunset today is 4:32 pm. By the end of December sunset is 4:41.
Kent Smith in Eden Prairie
Greatest probability for at least 1-inch snow depth (continental U.S.):
Sault Ste Marie MI
International Falls MN
Stampede Pass WA
Sault Ste Marie MI
International Falls MN
Stampede Pass WA
Greatest probability for at least 5-inch snow depth (continental U.S.): 100% - Stampede Pass WA."
December 25. Probability of... 1" 5" 10"
|INTERNATIONAL FALLS||100%||73%||53%||EAU CLAIRE||87%||33%||17%|
|REDWOOD FALLS||62%||27%||8%||LA CROSSE||66%||28%||10%|
Image credit above: "Comparison between the U.S. (GFS, black), European Center (red lines), and other modeling systems over the northern hemisphere. The closer to one the better. The ECMWF model (red) beats the U.S. model (black) for nearly all days. The difference is even larger in the southern hemisphere."
Photo credit above: "This ark, located an hour south of Amsterdam, is a replica of Noah's Biblical boat. Underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard is in Turkey, looking for evidence that the Great Flood happened."
"1. Read the agreements for all mobile phone apps before you download them. Some of them are scary! They will track your location using your GPS and some (like Facebook) will download ALL OF THE CONTACTS IN YOUR PHONE. Can’t remember who you’ve handed your data to? MyPermissions can help.
2. Read the Terms of Service Agreements for sites you give your information to. Especially sites you give your financial information to. You maybe thinking:"I've been on page 5 of Freedom for 8 months, HOW am I going to find the time to read online agreements?" ToS;DR can help...."
High Temperature for Monday, December 10, 2012
87 at Fort Pierce, FL
87 at Punta Gorda, FL
Low Temperature for Monday, December 10, 2012
-24 at Alamosa, CO
The Very Definition Of "Duh". I have no further information on this one...
Photo credit above: "The Whitewater-Baldy Complex wildfire in Gila National Forest, New Mexico, as it burned on June 6th, 2012. Scientists calculate that high fire years like 2012 are likely occur two to four times per decade by mid-century, instead of once per decade under current climate conditions." Credit: Kari Greer/USFS Gila National Forest
Graphic credit above: "From the Web of Science peer-reviewed scientific articles with keyword phrases "global warming" or "global climate change" published between 1991 and 2012." Research by JL Powell. Full article at DeSmogBlog (http://s.tt/1tBXZ)
Photo credit above: Robert F. Bukaty AP Photo. "Four Santas ride a chairlift last Sunday at the Sunday River Ski Resort in Newry, Maine. More than 250 skiers and snowboarders participated in the annual Santa Sunday event to raise money to benefit the Bethel Rotary Club's Christmas for Children program. A number of ski areas are open now in New England, but environmental groups warn that more ski areas throughout the Northeast and the rest of the country will have to make their own snow and face shortened seasons because of rising global temperatures."