Rain In January?


The next wave of rain moves in to the California coast today. This storm will arrive in Minnesota this weekend.

They say trends begin in California. That’s certainly true with many weather systems.

A series of storms is battering California with heavy rain and wind this week. That stormy weather will make a move on Minnesota this weekend.

It appears more likely today that our weekend winter storm may begin as rain in southern Minnesota. That’s right, just plain old rain in late January.

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Forecast modles cranking out a good inch of precipitation for the Twin Cities this weekend.

It’s still quite early to be sure of precipitation types 4 days out, but forecast model trends are hinting at surface temperatures in the Twin Cities around 36 degrees Saturday afternoon. It appears above freezing air may extend upwards to at least 5,000 feet Saturday over most of southern Minnesota. It’s pretty tough to get snow with that kind of a lower atmospheric temperature profile.

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Mid 30s on Saturday?

There may still be significant icing where surface temperatures remain at or just below freezing. Right now the favored areas for a coating of glaze appear to run from Sioux Falls, to Redwood Falls toward St. Cloud and Brainerd and maybe even Duluth.

The whole weather package may trend toward all snow Sunday into Monday. You might be watching big snowflakes fall outside Sunday evening if you can pry your eyes away from Vikings football long enough to notice. Monday may be the snowiest day before things wind down.

There are still plenty of twists and turns in the weekend forecast as the models grab hold of the storm just coming ashore in Cali today.

Stay tuned.

African Dust Plume:

Check out the Image of the Day from NOAA’s Operational Significant Event Imagry (OSEI).


The dust plume was generated from high winds in Egypt and blown out over the Mediterranean Sea. Dust from the Sahara is very fine and can be lifted several miles high into the atmosphere. African dust plumes cross the Atlantic into Florida, and have been found in soils there.


  • Andy

    Hi Paul,

    I’ve read about the speed of the jet stream reaching up to 200-250 mph in this storm. Is that normal?

  • Paul Huttner

    Hi Andy:

    I’ve read the polar front jet stream can reach nearly 300mph in extreme cases in winter. Basically the greater the temperature contrast from north to south, the higher the jet stream winds.

    Check this out from the “Weather Doctor” website. We have interviewed Keith on Jet Streaming.

    “The highest wind velocity is found in the jet stream core where speeds can be as high as 460 km/h (290 mph) in the winter. The jet stream core region averages 160 km/h (100 mph) in winter and 80 km/h (50 mph) in summer. Those segments within the jet stream where winds attain their highest speeds are commonly known as jet streaks.”