Running out of degrees
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport logged -5 degrees Friday morning, the first of many sub-zero mornings in our near future. We’re used to cold in December in these parts. But it’s always a shock when the first real cold wave hits.
This year, our instant winter wonderland came fast. The banter at the coffee shop today was a mix of delight and resignation.
Welcome to Minnesota.
Into the Deep Freeze
I’m like many Minnesotans who have mixed feeling about the cold.
The bad news? Ice underfoot, groaning car engines, dead batteries and brick-like car seats.
Three words. Heated-car-seats. Best invention ever?
The good news? Great snow for skiers of all stripes, and excellent outdoor ice. I’ve been playing hockey with a group of great guys on and off for about 25 years, and tonight the season opener is early thanks to our sustained cold. Yes, that was me skipping across my living room floor with excitement today. Can’t wait to hit the ice and feel the sting of the Friday night chill on my face.
I once read somewhere that the East German Olympic athletes used to go into freezers to enhance performance just before olympic events. Sounds like some twisted eastern bloc science fiction stuff, but judging from the number of gold medals from one small country in the 80s, maybe they were on to something!
But, I digress. Here’s a look at the raw numbers for the next few days in the metro. When 15 above on Sunday is a warm front, you know it’s cold.
The worst of the cold will be in northern Minnesota, where temps will reach -15 to -25 this weekend.
Next Snow: Sunday
A low pressure system passing south on Sunday will throw enough moisture over the cold dome to produce snow in the southern half of Minnesota. With air this cold, these kind of system can be efficient little snow producers. With ground temps this cold, any snow can turn into an icy mess in a hurry.
The early read on this system is for lighter, but shovelable snow in the metro with higher totals in south metro and southern Minnesota. But there is a possibility for heavier snows that will need to be watched.
The models vary on placement as usual. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale Forecast System model is probably too far north with the heavier snow on this run, but I like the overall layout for coverage here.
At this point I would move this south and put the best chance for snowfall in the metro at 1 inch (far NW metro) to 4 inches (SE metro) at this point, with the potential for 3 inches to 6 inches just south of the metro to the I-90 corridor.
Again, it’s early so stay tuned for possible changes this weekend!