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Showing posts from January, 2017

Some Record Snows and January Climate Summary

Some Record Snows on January 25th: A slow moving winter storm brought heavy snowfall to portions of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa over January 24-25 this week. Snowfall reports generally ranged from 5 to 12 inches, especially south of I90. The wet of the heavy, wet snow caused some tree breakage, as well as sporadic power outages, and a number of schools closed on Wednesday the 25th. Some new daily record amounts of snowfall reported included: 11.5" at Mason City (IA); 9.0" at Grand Meadow; 8.0" at Austin and Spring Valley; 7.0" at Lakefield and Albert Lea; 6.0" at Rochester and Hokah; and 5.0" at Winnebago. The National Weather Service-La Crosse, WI Office posted a summary. Preliminary Climate Summary for January 2017: As we end the month of January early next week most of Minnesota's climate observers are reporting mean monthly temperature values that are from 5 to 7 degrees F warmer than normal. For the Twin Cities January marks

Reversal of January Temperatures

Reversal of January Temperatures: The proverbial "January Thaw" (two or more consecutive days with daily high temperatures greater than freezing) for the Twin Cities has historically about an 80 percent probability of occurrence (about a 91 percent probability since 1980 with a pronounced urban heat island effect). This January it is happening to us with an exclamation mark! We may have up to 10 consecutive days with daily high temperatures above freezing if the forecast through January 26th verifies. In this context it would be the 5th longest such streak in the Twin Cities climate records surpassed only by 18 days in January 1944, 15 days in January 1942, 13 days in January 1919, and 11 days in January 1880 and 1909. (thanks to NOAA's Michelle Margraf and DNR-SCO's Pete Boulay for pointing this out). Over 50 Minnesota climate stations have already reported daytime highs in the 40s F this week, including 48°F at both Grand Rapids and Forest Lake on the 18th.

Snowy Week

Snow dominated the weather this week, especially over January 8-11. Daily amounts were generally modest, but made for difficult travel at times, especially commuter times in the Twin Cities area. Many climate observers reported multi-day snowfall totals ranging from 4 to 10 inches. There were some new daily snowfall records set at Minnesota and regional climate stations. Some examples: On January 10th: 4.0" at Rothsay and Glenwood; 4.5" at Winona Dam; and 5.2" at Milan On January 11th: 4.0" at La Crescent and Embarrass; 4.5" at Minnesota City; 5.2" at Wabasha; and 6.1" at Eau Claire, WI. With the snow, came an invasion of polar air which made temperatures tumble to below zero F readings around the state. Minnesota reported the nation’s coldest temperature three times this week. On January 8th Cotton (St Louis County) reported a minimum temperature of -34°F. This was not only the coldest reading in Minnesota that day, but the coldest in the

Roller Coaster Start to 2017

Roller Coaster Start to 2017: Following the conclusion of a very warm year in Minnesota (2016), January of 2017 began warm and wet. The first few days of the month averaged several degrees warmer than normal. Temperatures got as warm as 37°F at La Crescent, and 35°F at St James and Two Harbors. Then a major winter storm crossed the state over January 2-3 bringing a mixture of rain, freezing rain and drizzle, as well as snow, along with high winds. Several observers reported precipitation totals of 0.20 inches to 0.40 inches. Many roads and sidewalks in southern counties were coated in ice, leading to a number of accidents. MNDOT advised no travel on some highways over the night of January 2-3 because of ice-coated roads. You can read more about this challenging weather episode at the DNR State Climatology Office web site: In the north snow was the dominate form of precipitation as many areas reported 5-10 inches. Warroad received 13 inches, while Kabetogama reported 14.4