Winter kicks in: Black Friday cold wave?

Welcome to Minnesota. Land of weather extremes.

Only here does the weather flip from balmy temps near 70 degrees to a foot of snow in less than a week. Now get set for the next chapter…our first arctic cold wave of the 2010-11 winter season.

Cold air is pooling in northern Canada these days. Temperatures have plunged to 20 below zero in north central Canada around the Arctic Circle. As the upper level winds buckle late next week all indications are that a surge of arctic air will plunge south straight toward Minnesota.

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This will likely bring the season’s coldest air mass so far, and the coldest temperatures since last February to Minnesota by Black Friday. We could feel bitter arctic winds and wind chill in the sub zero range by Thanksgiving weekend.

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Snow first?

Arctic air masses like to “pave the way” with fresh snow cover.

The medium range forecast models are hinting at two potential snow chances for Minnesota in the next week or so.

The first wave may come as warm air pushes in over Minnesota Sunday. As the warm air pushes over a relatively colder air mass near the surface, it creates what we weather geeks like to call “overrunning.” This may bring steady snow to northern Minnesota Sunday, while the metro and southern Minnesota basks in near 40 degree warmth.

The models are unclear on a potential snow chance Monday for southern Minnesota at this point.

The next (and bigger) chance for snow may come Thanksgiving Day. The models are spinning up a low near Chicago. If it happens that would put heavy snow across Wisconsin Thanksgiving Day, and could clip the southeast part of Minnesota… and maybe the metro. Stay tuned on that one.

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The GFS model spins up a potent low near Chicago Thanksgiving Day. This track usually brings heavy snow to Wisconsin.

Here’s the forecast as we head through the next week or so.

Today: Mixed sun & clouds. High 37 metro & south. Low 30s north.

Wind NW 5-15 mph. Colder tonight with low in the teens!

Thursday: Mostly sunny & colder. High 31 metro, 20s north. Light winds becoming south late. Steady to rising temps overnight.

Friday: Partly sunny, breezy & milder. Highs near 40 metro & south. 30s north.

Saturday: Chilly AM sun…clouds increase PM. High 35 south, 20s north.

Sunday: Milder. Chance of snow north. Partial sun south. Highs near 40 south, 30s north.

Thanksgiving Week Outlook:

Slight chance of snow Monday, better chance Thanksgiving Day for far eastern Minnesota. Major winter storm possible in Wisconisn. Turning MUCH colder. Highs by Friday in the teens south, single digits north. Sub-zero wind chills!

There are some signs temps may moderate the first week of December. Hang in there!

Surf’s up in Ireland?

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Check out the amazing video of surfers riding huge 40 foot “prowlers” off the coast of Ireland in a secret undisclosed location. Ireland, surf capitol of the world? Who knew?

PH

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