Good news from the weather department if you’re looking for a warm up.
A rare January warm front up may evolve into a “mini-thaw” later this week. That’s great news if you’re longing to hear the sound of dripping water, or see the pavement on your favorite street again. Maybe not such great news if you’re looking for fast ice for a pond hockey tourney on Lake Minnetonka Friday.
Temps climb this week…cold front returns Saturday.
Pond hockey anyone?
I’ve talked to many people who are enjoying our “real winter” in Minnesota this year. The combination of ample snowfall and consistent cold has made for great snow conditions for cross country and downhill skiing. It’s also making great ice on Minnesota lakes and outdoor rinks.
Count me in among those who appreciate the consistent cold from a winter recreational standpoint. I play outdoor hockey with a great group of guys every Friday night for the “Friday Night Game” at a local outdoor ice rink. The ice has been fast and hard this year, almost ideal.
That’s also great news for Minnesota’s outdoor pond hockey tournaments. Last weekend’s U.S. Pond Hockey Championships was a smashing success. This weekend the Pond Hockey North America Championship takes place on Excelsior Bay on Lake Minnetonka. The ice may be a bit soft Friday with temps in the 30s. But a cold front should drop temps into the 20s Saturday and make for great ice again.
If you’re looking for a great hockey movie to watch this weekend that sort of captures the essence of the pond hockey spirit I recommend checking out “Mystery Alaska.” It’s a good movie many people have never heard of, but it has some grown up moments so it may be better for adults than kids. People in “The State of Hockey” will get and appreciate this movie.
It’s been rare to have a week go by this winter without much snow. In the past 12 days, the Twin Cities has received 3 inches of snowfall. That’s the longest stretch with that little snowfall since November!
Here are some other metro snow stats this winter:
January snowfall so far: 12″
January average snowfall: 13.5″
With little snow in the forecast in the next week, it looks like we might end up near average snowfall in January.
Season snowfall so far: 55.4″
Annual average: 55.9″
We’ve already piled up close to our seasonal (30 year 1971-2000) average snowfall of 55.9″ so far.
The average snowfall for the rest of the winter season (Feb-Mar-April) is 22.8″ for the metro. If we get average snowfall the rest of the winter, that will bring the metro total to about 78.2″. That’s just shy of the 80.3″ needed to bust into the top 5 snowiest winters on record for the metro.
The snowiest winter ever? 98.4″ back in 1983-’84. We’d need another 44″ to break that record. Anything’s possible, but that’s a very tall order…even in this year of weather extremes.
Enjoy the warm up!