Before you let out a shrill primal scream let me gently remind you that average temperatures are on the rise again, for the first time since July. Since December 21 we've picked up 32 minutes of daylight. But nights are still long - a snow-covered Canada brewing up an ocean of numbing air - lapping south of the border in waves. And we have beachfront property.
Temperatures tumble today, and in spite of bright sun, may be unable to climb much above 0F Tuesday, again Thursday of this week. Double-digit negative numbers are possible at night. Although not as cold as January 6, the coldest since 1997, wind chills will dip into the -20 to -30F range later this week. Typical Minnesota cold, but probably not polar-vortex-school-closing-cold.
A non-stop parade of blustery clippers yanking cold air south in their wake brings up communication challenges for meteorologists. Do we publish the 24-hour maximum temperature for tomorrow, even if the "high" for the day comes at midnight, or the high during normal working hours, when most people are awake? Why should it be easy.
I still don't see significant storm potential here into early February.
Super Bowl weather February 2? AM rain showers, then clearing with 40s, gusty winds & falling temperatures.
Super Bowl Weather Preview. It's still early, the big game at New Jersey's Meadowlands (outdoor) stadium a little less than 2 weeks away. GFS guidance above, valid Sunday evening, February 2, shows the brunt of the rain offshore, a stiff west breeze and clearing skies over northern New Jersey. Not a blizzard in sight, at least not yet.
Numbing, But Probably Not School-Closing Cold. Expect subzero starts to Tuesday and Thursday, another wave of arctic air arriving late Saturday into the first few days of next week. The ECMWF solution (above) is colder than the GFS solution - I hope it's wrong. Graphic: Weatherspark.
Tuesday Morning Wake-up Temperatures. NOAA's NAM model shows double-digit negative numbers across much of Minnesota Tuesday morning at 6 AM, wake-up readings as cold as -20 from Willmar to St. Cloud and Wadena. Expect a low in the Twin Cities around -12F in the downtowns, as cold as -17 in the suburbs. 2-meter NAM temperatures courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather.
A Massive Canadian Leak. Although the sun angle is now noticeably higher, and daylight is longer, we still haven't been able to compensate for long nights and a snow-covered Canada brewing up numbing airmasses. Although not as cold as January 7-8 this next surge will get your attention. 84-hour NAM forecast surface temperatures courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather.
Snow Potential Mid Atlantic To Cape Cod? The ECMWF (European) solution keeps most of the snow offshore, but NOAA's NAM model prints out accumulating snow from near Richmond and Washington D.C. to Wilmington, Cape May, Long Island and Cape Cod. Later today we should have a better idea if the snow potential is real. Otherwise we expect primarily lake-effect snows into Thursday; unusually dry weather continuing over the western USA.
Fire Tornado In Australia. In 40 years of tracking the weather I can't remember ever seeing anything quite like this - symptoms of the massive blazes underway in Australia. Details via Twitter.
Drought Disaster Declared In Utah, 10 Other States. Details from The Salt Lake Tribune: "Federal officials have designated portions of Utah and 10 other drought-ridden Western and Central states as primary natural-disaster areas, highlighting the financial strain the lack of rain is likely to bring to farmers in those regions. In addition to 12 counties in Utah, the announcement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday included counties in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Oklahoma and California..."
California Fire From Low Earth Orbit. Mike Hopkins is an astronaut onboard the ISS, the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA.
Photo credit above: "Gov. Jerry Brown points to images showing the snow depth in the Sierra mountains on Jan. 13, 2013, left, and Jan. 13, 2014, center, while declaring a drought state of emergency in San Francisco, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. With a record-dry year, reservoir levels under strain and no rain in the forecast, California Gov. Jerry Brown formally proclaimed the state in a drought Friday, confirming what many already knew. Brown made the announcement in San Francisco amid increasing pressure in recent weeks from the state's lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein." (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu).
Photo credit: "Rebecca Morelle reports for Newsnight on the solar lull that is baffling scientists."
This LED Billboard Is The Only Way To See The Sunrise In Smoggy Beijing. No need for regulation; let's just go with the Ayn Rand fantasy and let markets police themselves! Just like China, where you can't breathe the air, drink the water or eat the food. Otherwise things are going well - the economy on a roll! Here's a snippet from Grist: "Yes, that’s a giant LED billboard displaying the sunrise — or maybe the sunset? Who can tell, since the smog is so bad it’s impossible to tell what time it is in real life..."
"Shoveling in Shirtsleeves" photo above courtesy of Jessica Roe in Golden Valley.
"Neglected Topic" Winner: Climate Change. The New York Time's Nicholas Kristof has the column; here's the intro: "HERE’S a scary fact about America: We’re much more likely to believe that there are signs that aliens have visited Earth (77 percent) than that humans are causing climate change (44 percent). That comes to mind because a couple of weeks ago, I asked readers for suggestions of “neglected topics” that we in the news business should cover more aggressively in 2014. Some 1,300 readers recommended a broad range of issues, which I look forward to pilfering (with credit!) — and many made a particularly compelling case for climate change..."
Did You Hear The One About The Serious Environmentalist? Huffington Post has the Op-Ed; here's an excerpt: "Environmentalists don't get the joke. The situation is too dire -- extreme weather from a changing climate, toxins in our food, endangered species dying off -- for this to be a laughing matter. At least, that's our reputation: Serious, earnest, humorless. The reputation is partly deserved. Most environmental activists take their work very seriously. We see huge problems facing our world, and know that human lives are at stake. Take a look at this new study from the National Academy of Science, about the abrupt impacts of climate change, and you'll know why. When you focus on issues that are so serious, it's easy to slip into taking yourself too seriously..."