Snowy Landscape For Some
Last week snowstorm brought up to a foot or more of snow to parts of the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. The heaviest was in Owatanna at 17″ !! The Twin Cities officially had 12.4″ on Monday of last week, which was the 12th greatest single day snowfall event on record! The top? 18.5″ on November 1st, 1991 (Halloween Blizzard). The snowy landscape (for some) has allowed many to FINALLY get out and appreciate what Minnesota winters have to offer. Sledding, snowmobiling, cross county skiing… Enjoy!
Snow Depth
Here’s the snow depth across Minnesota and Wisconsin depicted by NOAA’s NOHRSC. Last weeks snow event is evident by the heavy snow swatch across southern Minnesota into Wisconsin. Note, however, that the heaviest snowpack is across far northern Minnesota. By the way, International Falls is reporting a snow depth of 10″, while the Twin Cities is officially sitting at 4″.
Weather Outlook
Here’s the weather outlook from early midday Monday to midday Wednesday, which shows a fairly fast moving clipper system rolling into the Great Lakes with a little light snow. While the system won’t bring much snow to the area, it will tap into the colder air across Canada. Temperatures by the end of the week will be quite chilly and just in time for thousands of people coming to town to take part in the Super Bowl festivities.


Snowfall Potential – NWS Forecast

Here’s the snowfall forecast through AM Thursday, which suggests a light coating possible across the far northern reaches of the state. Some along the international border could see as much as 1″ to 3″ of snow, while everyone else will likely just see a few light snow showers and flurries. At most, a light dusting would be possible for everyone else.
Minneapolis Snow Status
Despite the heavy snow last week, the Twin Cities is still running a fairly decent snow deficit. As of January 28th, MSP was more than 7″ below normal snowfall for the season, but was 7.5″ above normal snowfall for the of January, which by the way is typically the snowiest month of the year, averaging 12.2″!


 Mild Through Midweek, Then COLD
Here’s the temperature forecast through the middle part of February, which shows temps remaining somewhat mild through midweek, before another surge of colder air moves in late week and into the weekend. Temperatures on Wednesday could approach 40F in a few locations across southern MN, but will dip into the single digits and teens with sub-zero overnight lows. If you’re planning on taking part in any of the Super Bowl festivities later this week/weekend again, make sure you bundle up!



Snow Depth 2018

The snow depth map across the country for January 28th suggests that 27.5% of the country is covered in snow, mainly across the northern half of the nation. At this time last year, 46.3% of the nation was covered in snow. As of January 27th, the Twin Cities officially had 4″ of snow on the ground at the MSP Airport, but at this time last year, there was 2″ on the ground. Note also that last year at this time, the Sierra Nevada Range in California had a significantly greater snow pack than what is there now.

Snow Depth 2017
At this time last year, 46.3% of the nation was covered in snow.

“Minnesota Sees Deadliest Winter In Years”
“Minnesota has already had five ice-related deaths this winter. The state typically averages three during the whole season. Minnesota is on track to have one of its deadliest winters in years. Five people have died this season after falling through ice. The state typically averages three ice-related deaths over the course of the entire winter. The 2015-2016 winter had zero ice-related deaths, while the 2016-2017 winter had two. The last time Minnesota saw ice-related deaths in the double digits was in the 2002-2003 winter, when the state had 10 fatalities. The most recent death this year happened in northern Minnesota where a women drowned after riding an ATV on Rice Lake. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Hannah Mishler has already responded to multiple ice rescue calls. “Ice, especially snow covered ice, is extremely deceptive. You can’t see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow,” Mishler said in a statement.”


Ice Safety!!
Before you go testing the ice on area lakes and ponds, remember that “ICE IS NEVER 100% SAFE!” So when is ice safe? Here is an excerpt from the MN DNR regarding ice safety:
“There really is no sure answer. You can’t judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors — plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions.”


General Ice Thickness Guidelines

Here are some general ice thickness guidelines from the MN DNR:
For new, clear ice ONLY:

Under 4″ – STAY OFF
4″ – Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5″ – 7″ – Snowmobile or ATV
8″ – 12″ – Car or small pickup
12″ – 15″ – Medium truck

Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.
White ice or “snow ice” is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.

See more from the MN DNR HERE:



Temperature Anomaly on Sunday
The image below shows the temperature anomaly across North America from Sunday, which showed a very mild air mass across much of the eastern half of the country and especially across the northeast, where temperatures were nearly 10F to 20F above average! The extended forecast suggests another whack of colder air by the end of the week for much of the Central US. This colder air is currently perched across Canada and will begin moving into the Lower 48 by Thursday.


Temperature Trend
Here’s the 850mb temperature anomaly from PM Tuesday to Friday, which suggests mild temperatures continuing across much of the Central US through midweek, but MUCH colder air will settle in by the second half of the week. Keep in mind that Friday is already the 2nd of February and is also Groundhog Day! Punxsutawney Phil might freeze his furry little tail off!


Chilly Groundhog Day 2018 – Friday, February 2nd
MUCH Colder air will spill in across much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation by the end of the week. Here’s a look at daytime highs from average on Friday, which happens to be Groundhog Day! All the furry little forecasters in the Central US will likely freeze their beloved tails off that morning. Maybe that help sway their decision and predict an early spring?
“Groundhog Day 2018: 5 bizarre things you didn’t know about this quirky tradition”
“Punxsutawney Phil has an “inner circle”: Those men in top hats aren’t random. They’re called the “inner circle.” They’re responsible for planning the events around Groundhog Day (no small feat, considering this year’s events span over a week), and caring for Phil. They say his predictions are 100% accurate: Let’s be clear, taken at face value, they’re not. The predictions are actually wrong more than they’re right. But the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club notes that the predictions aren’t geographically specific. So if Phil “predicts” a long winter, that’s probably true – somewhere in the world. They say he is basically immortal. It’s been the same Punxsutawney Phil for all 132 years of the tradition, according to the club. That’s over 15 times longer than the upper end of a groundhog’s typical lifespan. That’s an old groundhog. They say they make him immortal by feeding him the ‘groundhog punch’ every year. They say Phil can communicate. They call it “Groundhogese” and say Phil communicates his predictions to the current president of the inner circle.”
High Temps Monday

First things first. Here’s a look at weather conditions across the nation on Monday. Temps in the Central US will be running a little bit below average, but the western half of the country looks to be quite mild with temps running nearly 10F to 15F above average.

 Weather Outlook Ahead
Heavy rain will exit the Eastern US late Sunday into Early Monday, but there will be areas of snow across the Northeast through the early week time frame. While the snow in the Northeast doesn’t look to be all that heavy, it will likely cause travel issues in spots through Tuesday as the storm system moves through the region. The other area of concern is in the Northwest where areas of heavy rain and snow will continue over the next several days.
5 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA’s WPC, the 5-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy precipitation across parts of the Eastern US and across the Pacific Northwest. A storm system dropping heavy rain from the Southeast to the Mid-Atlantic States on Sunday will by AM Monday, but will bring areas of snow to the Northeast through Tuesday. Take a look at the heavy moisture that will pound the Pacific Northwest over the week. This particular model suggests that some in far northwestern Washington and into Vancouver Island could see nearly 10″ of liquid by AM Friday! WOW!!

Snowfall Potential Ahead

The snowfall potential for the week ahead shows pockets of heavy snow across the high elevations in the Western US. Not also the heavier snow potential across the Ohio Valley and into the Northeast. Weather models have been suggesting accumulating snow potential in some of these areas over the last several days. While there is still some uncertainty as to where and how much snow could fall, it is important to note that travel impacts could be felt in these areas later this week. Stay tuned for more!
National Weather Hazards Ahead…

1.) Heavy precipitation (mountain snow and valley rain) for the Pacific Northwest, Mon-Tue, Jan 29-30.
2.) Heavy precipitation for the eastern CONUS, Thu-Sat, Feb 1-3.
3.) Much below normal temperatures for the north-central CONUS, Thu-Fri, Feb 1-2.
4.) Flooding possible in western Washington state.
5.) Flooding likely in northwestern Illinois.
6.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures for the Alaska Panhandle, the northwestern CONUS, the Great Plains and Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes region, the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, and the Northeast, Sat-Fri, Feb 3-9.
7.) Moderate risk of much below normal temperatures across the northern half of the region included in the slight risk area, Sat-Fri, Feb 3-9.
8.) High risk of much below normal temperatures over the north-central CONUS, Sat-Fri, Feb 3-9.
Severe drought for parts of the Great Plains, Southwest, middle and lower Mississippi Valley, and Southeast.

Football Frenzy. Clipper Midweek Brings More Cold
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.

Not gonna lie, I was really rooting for the home team this year. Gosh, how sweet would it have been to party in purple for “LII”? As a Vikes fan, it’ll be tough to see “Eagles” and “Patriots” painted in the endzones. Oh well, there’s always next year, right?

Folks traveling to MSP for the big game this week will have to gear up for another round of cold temps. We’ll all be shivering by Friday (Groundhog Day) as temps dip into the single digits with sub-zero wind chills. Our favorite furry forecaster will likely freeze his tail off in Punxsutawney. My hunch is that he’ll extend winter with La Nina still in play, we’ll see?

NOAA is calling Wednesday’s full moon the “Super Blood Blue Moon” as it will be the 2nd full moon of the month, also coinciding with a super moon and a total lunar eclipse! Interestingly, this is the first time this has happened since 1866! Yea, it’s rare; generally once every 2,380 full moons or once every 265 years.

Enjoyed chilled sun today. Light snow develops late tomorrow. No accumulations.

Extended Forecast

MONDAY: Chilled sunshine. Winds: NNW 5. High: 16.

MONDAY NIGHT:  Mostly clear and cold. Winds: Calm. Low: 5.

TUESDAY: Breezy. Light snow overnight. Winds: SSE 10-20. High: 30.

WEDNESDAY: Lingering AM flurry. Winds: WNW 10-20. Wake-up: 24. High: 32.

THURSDAY: Face-numbing wind chills return. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 2. High: 9.

FRIDAY: Cold. Increasing clouds. Few flakes? Winds: ENE 5. Wake-up: -8. High: 10.

SATURDAY: Chance of snow across southern MN. Winds: NE 5-15. Wake-up: -2 High: 12.

SUNDAY: Cold temps for the big game. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: -5. High: 8.

This Day in Weather History
January 29th

1977: Due to the extreme cold, the St. Paul Winter Carnival is held indoors for the first time.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
January 29th

Average High: 25F (Record: 49F set in 1931)
Average Low: 8F (Record: -29F set in 1951)

Record Rainfall: 0.52″ set in 2001
Record Snowfall: 5.3″ set in 1967

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
January 29th

Sunrise: 7:36am
Sunset: 5:17pm

Hours of Daylight: ~9 hours & 41 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 2 minutes & 29 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): 55 minutes

Moon Phase for January 29th at Midnight
1.3 Days Until Full “Snow” Moon

“Usually this title is reserved for a full moon in February, since  world tends to be fully coated in snow by then. But this year is an oddity, in that there will be no full moon in February. (This is true for most locations on Earth, but in some places, including eastern Asia and eastern Australia, the moment of peak fullness will occur on the morning of Feb. 1.) During February, the snow and bitter cold makes hunting difficult, so some tribes called this moon the Full Hunger Moon.

This is the second time the moon turns full in a calendar month, so it is also popularly known as a Blue Moon. On average, full moons occur every 29.53 days (the length of the synodic month), or 12.37 times per year. So months containing two full moons occur, on average, every 2.72 years. This year, however, is a striking exception to this rule, as you will soon see.

Jan. 31 will also be the night of a total lunar eclipse.The Pacific Rim — the lands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean— will have a ringside seat for this event: Totality will last 77 minutes, and at mideclipse, the moon will appear directly overhead (or nearly so) over the open waters of the western Pacific Ocean.

In the western U.S. and western Canada, the eclipse will take place during the predawn hours, but across the rest of North America, the progress of the eclipse will be interrupted by moonset.


“How Rare Is The All-In-One Supermoon, Blue Moon, And Lunar Eclipse, Really?”

“This January 31st, something quite rare and special will happen. At 1:30 PM, Universal Time (8:30 AM Eastern / 5:30 AM Pacific), the Moon will reach its full phase for the second time in the month of January, making it a blue Moon. The full Moon also occurs very close to perigee, where the Moon makes its closest approach to Earth in its elliptical orbit, occurring close enough to create a Supermoon, where the full Moon is up to 14% brighter than average. And finally, the Moon will fully slip into the Earth’s shadow during this time, creating a total lunar eclipse. NASA is calling it the “Super Blood Blue Moon.” For observers in North America, it’s the first time all three of these phenomena will line up since 1866. But how rare is it, really, to get a Supermoon, blue Moon, and lunar eclipse all at once?”

See more from Forbes HERE:


_______________________________________________________________________________Temp Outlook For Monday

Temps on Monday will be a little cooler than what it’s been like over the past several days. In fact, it looks like it will be the coldest days we’ve had since January 16th, when the mercury warmed to only 8F at the MSP Airport. With that said, temps will be nearly 5F to 10F below average across much of the region, but it will be MUCH colder by the end of the week with highs nearly 10F to 20F below average.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

Here’s the temperature outlook as we head into the 2nd week of February, which suggests that colder than temperatures will be in place across much of the region. While temperatures will likely be colder than average, it doesn’t appear to have as big of a bite that it had at the end of December and early January.

8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

As we head into the 2nd week of February, warmer than average temperatures will still be in place across the Southwestern and Southeastern US, while much of the central and northern part of the nation will still be running below average.

“The flu can kill tens of millions of people. In 1918, that’s exactly what it did.”
“The flu arrived as a great war raged in Europe, a conflict that would leave about 20 million people dead over four years. In 1918, the flu would kill more than twice that number — and perhaps five times as many — in just 15 months. Though mostly forgotten, it has been called “the greatest medical holocaust in history.” Experts believe between 50 and 100 million people were killed. More than two-thirds of them died in a single 10-week period in the autumn of 1918. Never have so many died so swiftly from a single disease. In the United States alone, it killed about 675,000 in about a year — the same number who have died of AIDS in nearly 40 years.”
(Photo Credit: Library of Congress via AP)


“Solar Energy Now Creates More Jobs in America Than Any Other Industry”
“Solar energy isn’t just a tool to reduce emissions and help slow climate change – it’s a job creator. According to the most recent National Solar Jobs Census published by The Solar Foundation, the industry creates more jobs than any other sector in the US. According to the census, solar energy adds jobs 17 times faster than the overall economy in the United States. In 2010, there were only 93,000 jobs in solar. The sector has seen a steep rise and six years later 260,077 people were employed in the field. This means that in 2016 one in every 50 new jobs was in the solar industry, and analysts expect the trend to continue. Although the figures presented in the census were originally criticised for underestimating the number of workers operating in the solar industry, The Hillnow reports that “the Census is widely recognised as the most authoritative and comprehensive analysis of the US solar workforce.””
(Photo Credit: Thongsuk Atiwannakul/Shutterstock)

“The 2017 Hurricane Season Officially Rewrote the Record Books”
“Even before they made landfall, 2017’s major hurricanes—Harvey, Maria and Irma—were already causing billions in damage. A new update from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) makes clear just how costly this trio of terrors will end up being, estimating that all three storms clock in among the top 5 most expensive hurricanes to ever hit the U.S. According to the NOAA official list of billion-dollar hurricanes, Harvey tied with 2005’s Hurricane Katrina for the most costly on record, coming in with an estimated $125 billion price tag. The damage was largely tied to the storm’s record-setting rains which swamped Houston, the fourth-most populous city in the U.S. Just over five feet of rain fell on the metro area over six days in August, turning the city into a Venetian-looking disaster.”


“The Number of Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters in the U.S. Is Surging”

“Extreme weather is becoming more common, and the economic impact is soaring. Last year there were 16 weather events in the U.S. that caused at least $1 billion each in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The cumulative cost was $306 billion—easily surpassing the previous one-year record of $215 billion set in 2005. In September a report from the nonprofit Universal Ecological Fund, “The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States,” estimated that total climate-related economic losses and health costs in the U.S. averaged $240 billion a year over the past decade. The authors project the annual cost will rise to $360 billion over the next 10 years.”

See more from Fortune HERE:

____________________________________________________________________________“CAPE TOWN’S WATER CRISIS IS SO SEVERE, EVEN LUXURY TOURISTS ARE FEELING IT”

“For people who know it, Cape Town is a city that can feel defined by its mind-boggling levels of inequality. But for travelers being catered to by the city’s sophisticated luxury travel market, Cape Town’s rampant challenges often stay shielded from view. However, the city’s increasingly severe water crisis—which has Cape Town officials warning that “Day Zero,” when the city will turn off its taps, could come as soon as late April—is a reality that even the city’s finest hotels aren’t shielding their guests from. In fact, as a whole, five star and ultra luxury properties are responding to the crisis with an urgency that is somewhat surprising—especially when you consider the types of wealthy guests they generally serve.”

See more from Quartzy HERE:



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