Sunny, mild November may mean a shorter winter!

Updraft Headlines:

+5.5 degrees November temps vs. average at MSP Airport

10th warmest & driest November on record (pending final confirmation)

3″ total snowfall at MSP in November 2011

-5.8″ snowfall vs. average in November

9.8″ snowfall in November 2010!

53% of possible sunshine in November 2011

39% of possible sunshine on average in November

(cloudiest month of the year on average)

4:32 pm sunset at MSP Airport Saturday through December 16th!

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Mild sunny November!

Mild & sunny are weather adjectives we don’t normally associate with November in Minnesota. In fact our cloudiest month of the year on average (and by far my least favorite in Minnesota!) has turned out surprisingly sunny!

My unofficial tally show roughly 16 of 30 November days featured sunny or partly cloudy skies at MSP Airport. That’s about 53% of possible sunshine this month. Compare that to the 30 year average of just 39% and we’ve enjoyed one of the sunnier Novembers in recent memory. Can I get whoo hoo?

With temps running a good 5.5 degrees above average and just .29″ of precipitation this month; this should land the metro and much of Minnesota somewhere near the 10th warmest and driest November on record.

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The extra sunshine and mild temps may be helping some who normally suffer from Seasonally Affected Disorder (SAD) this time of year. I am one of those. Every November it feels like somebody is sucking the energy right out of me with a hose. This year I can really appreciate the extra sunshine and warmth!

Shorter winter ahead?

Our mild and nearly snow free November means that the winter of 2011-’12 has now given up one potential month to mild and relatively sunny weather. Unless we get slammed in April which is unlikely, that means we will not have a 5 month winter like we had last year.

In fact the GFS is hinting at near normal temps and below average snowfall into mid-December. That may mean this will be a shorter than average winter. It almost certainly looks shorter and less snowy that last year at this point.

It’s still too soon to say if we’ll be milder with below average snowfall overall. For now I’m sticking to my forecast of near average temps and snowfall for this winter. But with each passing snow free week, the chances for below average winter snowfall increase a little.

There is a chance fo a little snow to open December Thursday. Let’s see how things pan out in the next 3-4 weeks!

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Dark days for now; but light at the end of the tunnel!

We’re about to hit the weeks with our earliest sunsets of the year in Minnesota. Starting Monday, the sun sets at MSP Airport at 4:32pm and stays there until December 17th.

This marks the earliest sunsets of the year.

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Due to a quirk in earth’s orbit, sunsets actually start getting later again on December 17th, a few days before the winter solstice. This marks a hopeful point for me, as daylight noticeably increases in the evening by Christmas week.

Vegas Bound!

I’m taking the next week off to head to Vegas and hang with my best college friend who lives in the Vegas suburbs. Though the weather looks cool and windy for the first few days, the sunshine and milder temps by early next week will be a blessing.

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My good friend Eric Miller and I goofing off along the Colorado River near Vegas

There is a lot of great hiking and natural attractions near Las Vegas. I’m looking forward to enjoying some quality outdoor time. And yes, we may spend a little quality time on “The Strip.”

Craig Edwards will capably man the weather lab while I’m away.

I’ll bring back some photos!

PH

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