The End is Near
To our meteorological migraine of a headache, that is - this epic cold wave, the most midwinter polar pain since 1984. For now you might want to say a silent prayer, thanking Canada for the lack of mercury in your back yard thermometer.
You've heard "too cold to snow"? That old, creaky proverb has some scientific merit. Of course it can snow at any temperature below 32F. But our heaviest snows pile up when temperatures are 20-30F, a storm track 200 miles southeast of MSP. Cold exhaust blowing behind a treadmill of clippers has pushed the main storm track too far south for heavy snow anytime soon. We may be brushed by flurries Tuesday; closer to 6-8 inches of flakes in Chicago.
Our weather won't exactly be a treat: single digits & teens, probably 5 more nights below zero in the next week.
But here's the thing: 66 extra minutes of daylight since December 21 - 2 to 3 more minutes every day. The sun is as high in the sky as it was November 6. It can't stay this Nanook much longer. A thaw arrives next week, as this miserable Yukon vacation begins to wind down. Finally.
A well-earned spring is coming, but just this week be glad it's not 15F warmer.
Plenty cold. Shovels optional.
* graphic above courtesy of democraticunderground.com.
* Heavy snow and ice spreads from Texas and Oklahoma into Ohio Valley and portions of Mid Atlantic over the next 36 hours.
* Impacted metro areas include Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Louisville and Cincinnati.
* Washington D.C. and Baltimore will experience heavy rain early Monday, ending as a few slushy inches of snow - heaviest amounts north and west of downtowns Monday.
* Second wave of significant snow to impact Quad Cities, Chicago and much of Lower Michigan late Tuesday into Wednesday morning with plowable snowfall amounts.
Summary: Two storms are likely to drop plowable snowfall amounts into midweek. The more southerly accumulation (Texas to Louisville and Washington D.C.) comes today into Monday. A second storm drops heavy snow on Chicago, northern Indiana and much of Michigan Tuesday into Wednesday. Travel conditions improve somewhat the latter half of this week, nationwide, but stating the obvious: spring can't come soon enough. Much of the USA east of the Rockies is experiencing some of the coldest weather since the mid 1990s. More snowfall records are about to be broken. Another update Monday morning.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
-63 degrees F at Grand Marais Airport on the 6th (-48 F in the Twin Cities)
-50 degrees F at Duluth on the 7th
-51 degrees F at Park Rapids on the 23rd (-37 F in the Twin Cities)
-53 degrees F at Grand Marais Airport on the 27th (-39 F in the Twin Cities)
-52 degrees F at Fosston on the 28th
According to the State Climatology Office the median number of days each winter when the windchill warning criteria (-35 F or colder) is reached is three times. The National Weather Service had to issue four windchill warnings for the Twin Cities so far this winter..."
Great Lakes Have Most Ice In Decades Thanks To Bitter Winter. Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel has the story - 60% of the Great Lakes have ice cover - the most in 25 years.
Photo credit above: "The water level in Lake Cachuma is dropping, in part because of sustained drought conditions across the state." (Brian van der Brug, Los Angeles Times / January 14, 2014).
* the latest U.S. Drought Monitor information for California is here.
Image credit above: Max Whittaker for The New York Times.
* more details on the upcoming hurricane storm surge forecasts from NOAA NHC.
Graphic credit: Credit: Adam Cole/NPR with data from the Council on Foreign Relations.
* Harrington's TSA (Taking Sense Away) blog is here.
** Photo above courtesy of Birch Leaf Photography.
* graphic above: Climate Reanalyzer.
Photo credit above: "An oil platform off Greenland shows how far north companies are pushing with the melting of polar ice." Photo: AP.
Photo credit above: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli.
Photo credit above: "Crews work on construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline east of Winona, Texas." Photograph: Sarah A Miller/AP.
Image credit above: "The State Department says in a report released Friday that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would have little effect on climate change."
Photo credit above: " Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters.
Photo credit: NOAA.