This GFS model image of the wind speeds at about eighteen thousand feet paints a wind max, depicted by the red shading, over the northern Rockies. This means a push of milder air across Minnesota and Wisconsin today, along with stiff winds. Colder air and a few flurries are expected as the system moves east of the region on Tuesday.
As we monitor the computer model output we look for consistency in the movement of short wave troughs in the jet stream. The timing on these, sometime minor systems, presents a challenge with accurately predicting a burst of snowfall. We know from experience, it only takes an inch of snow falling at rush hour to create a commuter nightmare.
Perhaps portions of central Minnesota may see an inch or two later this week. We remain moisture starved in much of central and southern Minnesota.
Some of you may recall December of 1983. I was reminiscing last evening about the Christmas Eve of 1983 when I traveled to Chicago. I’d never been so cold. In the Twin Cities there was a stretch from the middle of the month to the end of the month where temperatures frequently dropped to twenty degrees below zero. On December 23rd the low temperature at the International Airport was thirty below with a strong wind. On December 19th 1983 the low was thirty-five below zero (not the wind chill).
In January of 2009 I snapped this image of the temperature readings inside and outside the Eden Prairie weather lab. Remember my valley location has a cold bias (not unlike Embarrass, MN).
The International Airport registered twenty-two degrees below zero on January 16, 2009.
The fast moving west to east jet stream may have have few kinks dash across the northern tier of states this week. There might be a bout or two of snow possible on Wednesday night and Thursday night.
Looking into the second month of the meteorological winter, the Climate Prediction Center shows a strong confidence in above normal temperatures for much of the continental USA. Remember as we move into the middle two weeks of January we are encroaching on the coldest seasonal temperatues of winter, based on the thirty year normals.
Todays forecast…Brisk Winds, sunshine and temperatures well above normal. Hold on to your return receipts and your packages if you brave the shopping malls.