Could Be Worse
"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some" wrote Charles Dickens.
Add weather to a list of things to be grateful for in 2014.
Today's clipper may drop a quick inch or two, just enough to grease up a few roads for commuting and Thanksgiving travel. It'll be a puny pile compared to the Nor'easter slushing up New England with as much as a foot of snow later today and tonight. Great timing!
Hang onto your lunch because big temperature swings are brewing over the next 1-2 weeks, as a scuffle between Arctic air and Pacific air plays out directly overhead. 30-45 degree gyrations in temperature will result in strong winds and very rapid changes. Exhibit A: we go from teens Thanksgiving Day to near 40F Saturday; back into the teens Monday, before a fleeting warm front direct from Vancouver thaws us to near 50F next Tuesday.
The pattern favors frequent invasions of Canadian air for the Great Lakes and New England, spinning up a parade of coastal storms out east. But I see an increasingly milder bias as Pacific warmth pushes farther inland during December.
Symptoms of a developing El Nino? I'm starting to think so.
* MAIN IMPACT...TRAVEL MAY BE HAZARDOUS WEDNESDAY. EXPECT THE
POSSIBILITY OF SIGNIFICANT DELAYS FOR THE BUSIEST TRAVEL DAY OF
* SNOW ACCUMULATION...2 TO 5 INCHES...WITH THE HEAVIEST TOTALS IN
THE FAR SOUTHWEST TWIN CITIES SUBURBS AND THE LIGHTEST AMOUNTS
IN THE NORTHERN AND EASTERN TWIN CITIES SUBURBS.
* TIMING...ACCUMULATING SNOW DEVELOPING AROUND 6 AM AND CONTINUING
THROUGH MID AFTERNOON.
* Conditions deteriorate as the day goes on Wednesday as a classic Nor'easter pushes up the coast, dropping a band of very heavy wet snow.
* Washington D.C. and Baltimore may avoid the heaviest amounts, but a plowable snowfall is expected from the suburbs of Philadelphia to New York and Boston Wednesday night, tapering off Thursday morning.
* Travel will be impacted for a 24-36 hour period from midday tomorrow into Thanksgiving morning; some power outages are expected, especially from the Hudson Valley of New York into the Berkshires of Massachusetts, even the western suburbs of Boston.
Overview: Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor. Today is the second most-traveled day of the year, and (right on schedule) here comes the first significant Nor'easter of the season from New York to Boston. This storm will impact facilities from midday tomorrow into Thursday morning; the heavy, wet nature of the snowfall may bring down trees and powerlines - I could see sporadic power outages, especially from the Hudson Valley into the suburbs of Boston and Portland, Maine.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
Photo credit: 1955 Turkey Race courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Distribution of Thanksgiving Day Highs Since 1882. Media Logic meteorologist D.J. Kayser put together a graphic putting Turkey Day highs into perspective. It looks like this will be the 20th Thanksgiving since 1882 with a high in the teens. For more good historical information on Thanksgiving Day climatology in the Twin Cities click over to his blog here.
Thanksgiving Lows In The Twin Cities. There have been only 9 Thanksgivings with subzero wake-up temperatures since 1882; statistically we're much more likely to wake up to 20s at KMSP.
Map credit above: Virginia W. Mason, NG Staff Source: Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service.
21 F. high in St. Cloud Tuesday.
33 F. average high on November 25.
38 F. high on November 25, 2013.
November 25 in Minnesota Weather History. Source: MPX National Weather Service:
2001: A strong low pressure system developed in Colorado on the 25th, reached eastern Iowa during the evening of the 26th, then moved into eastern Wisconsin late on the 27th. It produced a wide swath of heavy snow across much of central Minnesota into West Central Wisconsin. Storm total snowfall of 8 inches or more was common, with a large area exceeding 20 inches. Specifically, Willmar picked up 30.4 inches, New London saw 28.5 inches, Collegeville had 23.4 inches, Litchfield and Granite Falls received 22 inches, 14 inches at Canby, 10.7 inches at Springfield, 11 inches at Long Prairie, 12.5 inches at New Hope, 15 inches at Milaca, 11 inches at Wild River State Park, and Milan had 20 inches. A convective snow band set up across this area on the 27th and remained nearly stationary for over 12 hours, resulting in the extreme storm totals. From 8 am on the 26th to 8 am on the 27th, Willmar received 21 of its 30.4 inches, setting a record for most snowfall in Willmar in a 24 hour period. Visibilities were frequently below 1/4 mile during the storm, and winds remained in the 15 to 30 mph category. The heavy wet snow downed numerous power lines, and at one point, at least 20,000 customers were without power in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Over one thousand traffic accidents were noted across the entire area. Most were minor, but one accident claimed two lives when a car spun out and collided with a semi near Mora.
1995: A narrow band of five to eight inches of snow fell from west central Minnesota around Canby and Granite Falls to east central Minnesota. This included much of the Twin Cities metro area.
1965: Snowstorm across northern Minnesota. 14.7 inches of snow fell at Duluth, and 13.6 inches at Grand Rapids.
1896: Severe Thanksgiving day ice storm over southwest and central Minnesota. 1.42 inches of rain at Bird Island and 1.20 inches of rain at Montevideo. The ice caused a great deal of damage to trees and shrubs.
TODAY: Periods of light snow; 2-3" possible. Slick spots. Winds: N 10. High: 24
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Flurries taper, turning colder again. Low:1
THANKSGIVING: Thank your furnace. Sunny and extra-brisk. Feels like -10F. High: 13
BLACK FRIDAY: Coating of snow, then a bit milder. Wake-up: 7. High: 27
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, almost tolerable. Wake-up: 21. High: 36
SUNDAY: Windy and colder. Feels like -10F. Wake-up: 12. High: 16 (falling)
MONDAY: Sunny, comfortably numb. Wake-up: -2. High: 15
TUESDAY: Windy and milder again. Hang on. Wake-up: 10. High: 38
Nebraska Farmers Union President Says Climate Change Must Be Taken Seriously. Here's a snippet from a story at The Nebraska Radio Network: "...Hansen says there’s no doubt those impacts are still being felt. “We’ve already seen very substantial changes in property and casualty losses, especially in the Midwest,” Hansen says. “As you study loss ratios and loss experiences and go through the actuarial tables, we’re already seeing an impact.” Hansen says agriculture is in a good position to help battle the negative effects of climate change by storing and utilizing carbon credits..."
Photo credit above: John Hansen, president, Neb. Farmers Union.
Climate Change Is An Obvious Myth. How Much More Evidence Do You Need. The aliens living on the dark side of the moon told me so. Here's an excerpt from a bit of satire, courtesy of The Guardian: "...Then there’s this “extreme weather” nonsense. I’ve not noticed any changes in the weather outside of the norm. Clueless clime change believers keep telling me it’s a global change so that doesn’t mean anything, but I LIVE ON THE GLOBE, so I’d notice any changes wouldn’t I? Duh! But there haven’t been any changes, obviously. There are no more storms now than there was when I was a kid. I barely get struck by lightning more than once a month, maybe every three weeks at most, and it’s never done me any harm and I’ll kill anyone who says otherwise!..."
Image credit above: "Some people love it; others dread it, but make no mistake: Thanksgiving is as American as apple pie and it’s one of the few chances we have to come together as families." (Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want, via Wikipedia.)