Glass Half Full
Have a friend or family member you're trying to coax back to Minnesota? Here's my spiel to new, fresh-faced meteorologists wavering at the thought of living on The Tundra: "Winters aren't what they used to be; Old Man Winter has lost a few teeth. Yes, it still gets cold, but our nippiest days tend to be sunny, which helps. Humidity levels are low. 15 F in Minnesota is tolerable. 15 F. in Chicago, Boston or Manhattan is miserable, because you're surrounded by water, with high humidity levels that allow the chill to penetrate your clothing faster. That, and everyone has their own lake."
It's worth a shot.
Rain, less than a week from what is historically the coldest weather of the year is a bit unnerving. According to climate guru Mark Seeley roughly 40 percent of Januaries in the last 20 years have seen some rain in the Twin Cities.
The coldest airmass of winter will spill south of the border, coming in waves. This weekend is the chilled appetizer. The main course, with a few subzero nights, arrives late next week - but no sustained subzero weather. Hey, it's January.
I'm worried about drought. The USDA has designated 597 counties in 14 states "Drought Disaster Areas".
Global temperature extreme map above courtesy of Ham Weather.
* the latest U.S. Drought Monitor is here.
Photo credit above: Reuters.
Photo credit above: Scott Beale, flickr