Delayed Winter: 60 Thanksgiving Day? Mild start to December?

Updraft Headlines:

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A much different scene at the weather lab birdbath last year!

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Weather Lab birdbath soaking in sunshine today.

9.8″ November snowfall in 2010 at MSP

3.0″ November snowfall so far in 2011 at MSP Airport

27 degrees – high on Thanksgiving Day at MSP in 2010

56 degrees – forecast high Thanksgiving Day in the metro tomorrow

+29 degrees this Thanksgiving?

18 degrees on December 8th 2010

41 degrees GFS forecast high for MSP on December 8th 2011

Different year = Different weather:

It always amazes me how quickly weather changes in Minnesota. Hour to hour, day to day, even year to year it’s nothing short of amazing.

You just can’t draw conclusions from one year to the next.

Old Man Winter is taking a long nap this year. The winter constellation Orion is already high in the nighttime sky. He usually reigns over bracing northwest winds and snow covered landscapes in Minnesota by now. Not this year. As of today, winter is nowehere in sight on the weather maps into early December.

Last year we were about to get blitzed by a record 33.6″ of snow in December, including 6.8″ December 3-6th and the infamous Domebuster 17″ blast on December 10-11th.

This year the maps look benign as far as the eye can see, which is to about December 9th right now. Yes, thay may change and do another radical snowy flip flop between now and then, but overall the trend looks mild to open December. La Nina, are you listening?

I heard some people talking about this being another La Nina winter yesterday, and how we’re likely to get clobbered with cold and snow. If only it were that simple.Not all La Nina’s are created equal.

Saturday’s snow is gone at the weather lab. A mild, brown Thanksgiving is on the way tomorrow. The maps look mild and quiet well into December.

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Winter will come eventually. Northwest winds will send icy air south from Canada. Northeast winds will cake the northeast side of trees with wet sticky snow cover. Your driveway plow guy will be pushing snow around in your yard. Just not yet. Just not anytime soon.

I’m thankful for the delayed winter this year. After peeking over snow drifts as high as people, and watching ice chunks the size of small cars come take some of my roof with them last February, I’m ready for an easy start to winter this year.

There will be those who complain about the lack of recreational snow and ice making cold, but I won’t be one of them this year. After one of the most extreme and insane weather years in Minnesota history, I’m counting my tranquil weather blessings this Thanksgiving.

A shot at 60 on Thanksgiving?

We may not get there, but the atmosphere has potential to produce a 60 degree reading somewhere in southern Minnesota tomorrow.

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Thursday is one of those rare November days where the atmosphere has the potential to warm rapidly, even with the low sun angle.

I think 50 to 55 degrees is a lock for southern Minnesota Thursday. Everything would have to go just right, but here’s why we could see a stray (and potentially record) 60 degree reading in southern Minnesota this Thanksgiving.

-Thermal ridge centered over Minnesota at max temp time Thursday (noon- 3pm)

-Southwest breeze to keep atmosphere stirred up and prevent fog & low clouds

-100% of possible sunshine?

-Little or no snow cover

It’s going to be a race, but 60 is not out of the question tomorrow!

Thanksgiving Weekend Forecast:

Today: Increasing sunshine. No travel problems in Minnesota. High near 47.

Thanksgiving Day: Sunny with near record warmth. High near 56. Wind SW 5-15 mph.

Black Friday: Mild with mixed sun. High near 52.

Saturday: Chance of rain changing to light snow. Accumulations of 1″ possible? Temps falling into the 30s. Colder NW winds.

Sunday: Sunny & cooler but not bad! High near 40. Lighter winds.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

And thank you for all your support for Updraft and MPR’s expanding weather coverage this year! Beacuse of you it’s been a great year for Updraft and MPR weather in general.

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“Bosco The Weather Cat” wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you and yours have a great holiday weekend!

PH