Saturday Snow; Drought deepens; Metro sized Antarctic iceberg?

Updraft Headlines:

-6 degrees – in Hallock this morning!

(Season’s first sub-zero temp in Minnesota)

16 degrees at MSP Airport - coldest since March 27th

4% – approximate indoor relative humidity in your home today

Growing chance of snow Saturday from the metro north

-6.69″ rainfall deficit in the Twin Cities since August 1st!

99.52% of Minnesota in some stage of drought according to latest U.S. Drought Monitor

Metro sized iceberg ready to break off in Antarctica according to NASA

6 dead and counting in southeast tornado outbreak

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Coldest so far…

We’ll hear that line again many times over the next month or two. Today it was tiny Hallock in far northwest corner of Minnesota that recorded the first sub-zero temperature of the season in Minnesota. The mercury dipped to a frigid -6 at Hallock this morning!

The Twin Cities bottomed out at 16 degrees around 7 am today! That’s the coldest since March 27th, nearly 8 months ago.

The Arctic Desert: Just add water!

Welcome to the Arctic Desert. This bone numbing air mass is also extremely dry. Dew points are in the single digits in much of Minnesota today.

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As you take that dry air indoors and heat it up, relative humidity plunges inside your home. The approximate relative humidity if you heat your home to 65 degrees is around 4% today!

No wonder you’re getting door knob zapped, and your skin is cracking like crazy.

It’s a good time to check the indoor humidifier on your furnace or add water to the air in your home if you can.

Saturday Snow: Still on track

The early Thursday model runs are still on track for snow Saturday from the metro north.

The GFS, NAM and other models seem to mostly agree on tracking low pressure through Iowa to south of La Crosse Saturday. As the fast moving system zips by, it should lay down a few inches of snow.

Still to early to pinpoint totals, but what we can credibly say is the quick pace of the system will not give it time to gulp down hugs amounts of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. That should keep snowfall totals down into the manageable (but potentially shovelable) range. I don’t see a Mega Storm with double digit snowfall totals this time.

At this time the most reliable advice is to plan on snow Saturday and Saturday evening from the metro north and west, with lesser amounts south and east.

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NAM model hints at lighter snow totals near the metro, with heavier snow in northwest Wisconsin.

Stay tuned, there are still model snowfall differences for the metro and possible track changes. I’ll put some numbers out tomorrow.

Drought Deepens

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows a full 99.52% of Minnesota is now “abnormally dry” or in some stage of drought. Severe drought now extends form the southwest metro to the Iowa border, and from near Ely to the North Shore.

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The metro is running nearly 7″ behind on rainfall since August 1st, with deficits as high as 9″ in southern Minnesota near Mankato, Waseca, Northfield, Faribault and Owatonna.

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The average date of soil freeze is nearly here, and we desperately need significant rainfall to soak into the ground before the soil is locked up until spring. Unfortunately the weather maps look relatively dry the next two weeks.

It’s crazy how we’ve transitioned from one of the most extreme severe weather barrages in Minnesota history last year to deep drought in just a few weeks!

Metro sized Antarctic Iceberg ready to break off?

This caught my eye.

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According to NASA a huge 18 mile long crack on the edge of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is ready to break off and form a huge iceberg. The giant crack is anywhere from 260 feet to 820 feet wide.

NASA scientists discovered the gaping crack on a flyover in October.

The resulting iceberg may be about 300 square miles. That’s about the size of the Twin Cities inside the 494 – 694 ring!

Death toll rises in southern severe outbreak

As many as 6 people are now dead in last night’s tornado outbreak in the southeast.

Preliminary data from SPC indicates 12 tornado reports from Mississippi to North Carolina.

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Stay tuned as new model runs come in today and tonight as we track the potential for the first real snow of the season for the metro and much of central Minnesota Saturday!

PH

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