Cold start to January:
New low temperature records included: -28F at Thief River Falls on January 4th; and -28F at Grand Portage on January 5th
New cold maximum temperature records include: -7F at both Grand Marais and Grand Portage on January 5th; and -8F at Wright (Carlton County) also on January 5th
In addition a new daily precipitation record was set for January 3rd at International Falls with 0.58 inches (associated with 7.8" of snow)
At least 45 Minnesota climate stations reported low temperatures of -20F or colder this week. The core of the cold air occurred over January 4-5 this week under high pressure. As a measure of the strength of the air mass, some climate stations reported extremely cold daytime highs. Temperatures rose no higher than -15F at Isabella and Kabetogama, and no higher than -16F at Sandy Lake Dam and Ely.
The period of cold temperatures and sparse or shallow snow cover combined to push frost depths deeper into the soil. Frost depths now vary from 20-30 inches around the state.
Dangerous Wind Chills:
The history of the use of "wind chill" dates back to 1939 and Antarctic explorer Paul Siple.
In the fall of 2001, the U.S. National Weather Service and the Canadian weather replaced the formulas with new ones (one for Fahrenheit temperatures and one for Celsius readings). The new formulas are based on greater scientific knowledge and on experiments that tested how fast the faces of volunteers cooled in a wind tunnel with various combinations of wind and temperature.
The new formula for winds in mph and Fahrenheit temperatures is:
Wind chill temperature = 35.74 + 0.6215T - 35.75V (**0.16) + 0.4275TV(**0.16)
In the formula, V is in the wind speed in statute miles per hour, and T is the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.
Note: In the formula, ** means the following term is an exponent (i.e. 10**(0.5 ) means 10 to the 0.5 power, or the square root of V), - means to subtract, + means to add. A letter next to a number means to multiply that quantity represented by the letter by the number. The standard rules of algebra apply.
Roller Coaster Barometric Pressure:
A jet stream roaring across the North Atlantic at more than 200 miles per hour early Thursday morning nearly succeeded in bringing back supersonic air travel for the New York to London route. Several flights from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport made the trip from there to London's Heathrow Airport (from gate to gate) in about five hours and 20 minutes.
British Airways Flight 114, a Boeing 777-200 jet, took off from JFK at 10:50 p.m. ET, and landed at 9:06 a.m. local time, taking just five hours 16 minutes to make a trip that typically takes more than six hours.
The current drought coverage is the nations lowest in more than 3 years, since December 20, 2011. During December, heavy precipitation across the southern and eastern U.S. brought significant reductions in the coverage of abnormal dryness (D0) and moderate to severe drought (D1 and D2). Improvement was especially dramatic...... with drought coverage dropping from 32 to 10% in Louisiana; 29 to 5% in Mississippi; and 35 to 3% in Alabama. Drought still covers a substantial portion of the southern Plains and the western U.S. On January 6, the highest level of droughtD4, or exceptional drought was noted in portions of California (32%), Nevada (12%), Oklahoma (6%), and Texas (2%). California also led the nation with 78% coverage of extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4). However, California's drought depiction represented an improvement from 5 weeks ago, when 55% of the state was categorized as being in exceptional drought (D4).
MPR Listener Question:
Twin Cities Almanac for January 9th:
MSP Local Records for January 9th:
MSP weather records for this date include: highest daily maximum temperature of 49 degrees F in 2002; lowest daily maximum temperature of -14 degrees F in 1886; lowest daily minimum temperature is -32 degrees F in 1977; highest daily minimum temperature of 34 F in 2002; record precipitation of 0.31 inches 1924; and record snowfall is 3.8 inches in 1924.
Average dew point for January 9th is 3 degrees F, with a maximum of 42 degrees F in 1939 and a minimum of -40 degrees F in 1977.
All-time State Records for January 9th:
Past Weather Features:
On January 9, 1960 a snow storm brought several inches of new snow to northeastern Minnesota. Hoyt Lakes reported 7 inches, while Virginia reported 9 inches.
January 9, 1977 was the coldest in state history. Over 30 climate stations reported a low temperature of -40F or colder. As far south as Faribault it was -40F with dangerous wind chill values even colder. At New London in Kandiyohi County, the temperature never rose above -20F during the day.
January 7-8, 2003 brought two of the mildest January days ever recorded in the state. Over 75 climate stations reached or surpassed the 50F. It was that warm as far north as Black Duck and Walker. Most of the state had little or no snow cover.