General Ice Thickness Guidelines
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.
Warmest December on Record For Alaska!
According to NOAA, December 2017 was the WARMEST December on record with an average temperature of 19.4F, which was nearly 16F above average! WOW! The average December temperature in the Twin Cities finished -0.8F below average.
High Temps Tuesday
Temps across much of the nation will be warmer than average for January 9th, which will be a BIG difference from where most of us where over the last couple of weeks.
According to NOAA’s WPC, the 5 day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy precipitation across the Western US with several inches of liquid possible along the coast and in the high elevations. Some could be dealing with flooding and debris flows as we head through Tuesday and Wednesday. There will also be areas of heavier precipitation in the eastern half of the country, with several inches of liquid possible in spots east of the Mississippi River Valley.
1.) Much below normal temperatures between the Rockies and Appalachians, Thu-Mon, Jan 11-15.
2.) Heavy precipitation for western Washington and northwestern Oregon, Thu-Fri, Jan 11-12.
3.) Heavy precipitation for much of the country east of the Mississippi River, Thu-Sat, Jan 11-13.
4.) Heavy precipitation for the South Coast of Alaska between Kodiak and Yakutat, Fri-Sun, Jan 12-14.
5.) Heavy snow from eastern Nebraska northeastward across the western and central Great Lakes region, Thu-Fri, Jan 11-12.
6.) Heavy snow for northern Idaho, Thu-Fri, Jan 11-12.
7.) High Winds for the South Coast of Alaska and parts of the Southwest mainland, Sat-Sun, Jan 13-14.
8.) High significant wave heights for the South Coast of Alaska, Sat-Sun, Jan 13-14.
9.) Slight risk of much below normal temperatures from eastern portions of the northern and central Plains east-southeastward across the northern and central Mississippi Valley, the southern Great Lakes region, the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, the central and southern Appalachians, and the Atlantic Coast states from New Jersey to Florida, Tue-Thu, Jan 16-18.
10.) Moderate risk of much below normal temperatures from the Midwest to the southern mid-Atlantic region, and northern Florida, Tue-Thu, Jan 16-18.
11.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation over south-central and southeastern portions of Mainland Alaska, Tue, Jan 16.
12.) Slight risk of heavy precipitation for most areas west of the Continental Divide, the northern and central Plains, and the north-central Mississippi Valley, Tue-Sat, Jan 16-20.
13.) Moderate risk area of heavy precipitation for Oregon, much of Idaho, western portions of Wyoming and Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and northern California, Tue-Sat, Jan 16-20.
14.) Moderate risk area of heavy precipitation for the northern Plains, Thu-Sat, Jan 18-20.
15.) High risk area of heavy precipitation for southern Oregon, southern Idaho, northern Utah, northern Nevada, and northern California, Tue-Sat, Jan 16-20.
16.) Severe drought for parts of the Northern Plains, the Southwest, the central and southern Plains, the central and southern Mississippi Valley, and Hawaii.
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Well Deserved Thaw Continues & Rumors of Snow
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas
“We’re having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave.” Sure it’s Minnesota-style, but this feels darn nice! It’s amazing how warm 30s and 40s feel after being in an Arctic cellar for the last couple of weeks. I can actually feel my face again!
The Twin Cities finally ended a 9-day stretch of sub-zero nights, which seems like a lot, but in 1936, we spent 36 consecutive nights below 0 degrees… BRR! Enjoy the mild weather while you can now. Another shot of appendage-stinging air will move in later this week with sub-zero wind chills values likely through early next week.
The Arctic chill will surge in behind what could be a fairly sizable snow event for some across the Upper Midwest. Amounts and placement are uncertain right now, but recent snow rumors may come true. My hunch tells me that some of us in Minnesota and Wisconsin will have shoveling duties to attend to on Thursday.
Could this be our first real snow event of the season? Stay tuned. Hopefully it’s not another hype-storm. MSP is at an 18 inch snow deficit this season!
TUESDAY: Well deserved thaw. Winds: SE 5-10.. Wake-up: 17. High: 37.
TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy with a chance of drizzle/freezing drizzle. Winds: SSE 5-10. Low: 32.
WEDNESDAY: Cloudy and warm. Rain/snow mix changes to all snow overnight. Winds: SSE 5-10. High: 40.
THURSDAY: Snow early, then turning blustery and colder. Winds: NW 15-30. Wake-up: 11. High: 13.
FRIDAY: Face-numbing again. Light snow chance late. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: -5. High: 10.
SATURDAY: Few flurries. Cold PM sunshine. Winds: WNW 5-10. Wake-up: -2. High: 6.
SUNDAY: Extra layers needed. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: -11. High: 4.
MONDAY: Another sub-zero start. Winds: WSW 5. Wake-up: -10. High: 8.
This Day in Weather History
1982: Both January 9th and 10th would have some of the coldest windchills ever seen in Minnesota. Temperatures of -30 and winds of 40 mph were reported in Northern Minnesota. This would translate to windchills of -71 with the new windchill formula, and -100 with the old formula.
1934: A sleet and ice storm hits southwest Minnesota. Hardest hit locations were Slayton, Tracy and Pipestone. The thickest ice was just east of Pipestone with ice measuring 6 to 8 inches in diameter. At Holland in Pipestone County three strands of #6 wire measured 4.5 inches in diameter and weighed 33 ounces per foot. The ice was described as: ‘Very peculiar information being practically round on three sides, the lower side being ragged projectiles like icicles: in other words pointed. The frost and ice were wet, not flaky like frost usually is. In handling this, it could be squeezed into a ball and did not crumble.’
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 23F (Record: 49F set in 2012)
Average Low: 7F (Record: -32F set in 1977)
Record Rainfall: 0.31″ set in 1924
Record Snowfall: 3.8″ set in 1924
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~9 hours
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 1 minute & 25 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): 14 minute
Moon Phase for January 9th at Midnight
1.4 Days Before Last Quarter Moon
High temps on Sunday will be MUCH warmer than it has been over the last couple of weeks. This will likely be some of the warmest weather we’ve seen since just before Christmas! Highs across the state of MN will be nearly +5F to +20F above average!
Here’s the temperature outlook as we head into the 3rd week of January, which suggests that warmer than average temperatures will be in place across much of the Midwest! This will feel amazing compared to what many of us have endured over the last couple of weeks.
8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook
How the tides have turned! Here’s the extended temperature outlook from January 17th to January 21st, which suggests warmer than average temperatures across much of the nation! This will be a dramatic shift in what many of us had over the last couple/few weeks!
- Winter cold kills more than twice as many Americans as summer heat does.
- In one study, men rated pictures of women’s breasts and bodies as more attractive in the winter months, while they rated pictures of women’s faces the same. Researchers believe men don’t see women’s bodies as much during the winter, so they’re more excited when they do.
- The Southern Hemisphere typically has milder winters than the Northern Hemisphere. This is because the Southern Hemisphere has less land and a more maritime climate.
- While it seems counterintuitive, Earth is actually closest to the sun in December, even though winter solstice is the shortest day of the year.
___________________________________________________________________________“How to keep your skin from falling off this winter”
“After spending the weekend in sub-zero weather, my lips are so chapped I can’t even think of a joke about how chapped they are. The state of my lip skin is frankly no laughing matter at this time. But luckily, there are ways to avoid losing your skin to a brutal winter. Why does my skin give up on being skin every winter? In theory, your skin—your largest organ—serves to keep water sealed within your body. But even if your skin is usually dewy and perfect, it probably flakes on the job a bit during the winter months.”
____________________________________________________________________________“EVERY STATE, RANKED BY HOW MISERABLE ITS WINTERS ARE”
“In most of America, winter sucks. It is cold out. You don’t feel like doing anything, so you get fat. Pipes freeze. Lips, noses, and cheeks get chapped and raw. Black ice kills. Snow hats look cool until you have to take them off indoors and then your hair looks shitty. It’s horrible. As two people who grew up in the Midwest and New England, Matt and I have both experienced the personal hell that is winter’s awkwardly long, frigid embrace, but we had yet to figure out which, amongst all of the 50 states, could hold up the title as the state with the worst winter. And so began an intense period of research and debate, factoring in everything from weather patterns, average temperatures, and how effective and quickly their department of transportation clears highways, to interviews with locals and the historical success rates of their winter-season sports teams. This is one of those things where you probably actually want to finish last.”
____________________________________________________________________________“I’m sick of ‘supermoons’ and ‘superstorms’ and ‘bomb cyclones’”
“It used to just get cold. It used to just snow. The moon used to just be . . . the moon. Sometimes the moon was a little sliver. Sometimes it was full. Mostly it was in between. Not anymore. These days, nothing can be normal. Now a full moon is a “supermoon.” A cold snap is a “polar vortex.” A snowstorm is a “bomb cyclone.” Really? A bomb cyclone? That doesn’t even make sense. Shouldn’t it be cyclone bomb? Actually, it should be: “It’s January. It’s going to be cold. It may get windy. It may snow.” But I guess that wouldn’t sell cereal. Here’s my plan for making America great again: Get rid of all these superfluous superlatives. They’re like the “Breaking News” graphic that runs endlessly along the bottom of the CNN feed, purporting to herald something special but serving merely to numb us with its needless overuse. [This researcher helped coin the term ‘bomb cyclone.’ He did it to keep people safe.] I blame the wind chill, invented in the 1970s to let the TV Weather Guy pad his report. The wind chill was the perfect data point for the Me Decade. No longer was it good enough to just tell us what the thermometer said. We had to know how the thermometer made us feel. Awww, Mercury’s in retrograde and I feel fwozen.”
____________________________________________________________________________“Antarctic Modeling Pushes Up Sea-Level Rise Projections”
“Antarctic ice sheet models double the sea-level rise expected this century if global emissions of heat-trapping pollution remain high, according to a new study led by Dr. Robert Kopp of Rutgers University and co-authored by scientists at Climate Central. Global average sea level is expected to rise by one foot between 2000 and 2050 and by several more feet by the end of the century under a high-pollution scenario because of the effects of climate change, according to the projections in the new peer-reviewed study. It shows 21st century sea-level rise could be kept to less than two feet if greenhouse gas emissions are aggressively and immediately reduced, reflecting a larger gap in sea-level consequences between high and low emissions scenarios than previous research has indicated. The study provides a median projection for sea-level rise of 146 cm (4’9”) during the 21st century under a high-pollution scenario known as RCP8.5 (see Table 1), when results from new modeling of Antarctic ice sheet behavior are included. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report, published in 2014, which assumed the Antarctic ice sheet would remain stable, provided a median projection for the same scenario during a similar time period of 74 cm (2’5”).”
Thanks for checking in and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX