Rain will soak into unfrozen ground; Ice “thunder” on Mille Lacs!

.35″ GFS model rainfall total for MSP next 24 hours

.67″ NAM model rainfall total for MSP

3″ to 6″ snowfall potential from Alexandria to Wadena and Grand Rapids by Thursday

.5″ snowfall possible in metro Wednesday night as system pulls away

32 to 39 degrees – soil temps in central and southern Minnesota in top 6 inches

Trace of snow on ground at MSP Airport as of December 13th

17″ snow on the ground at MSP last year on this day!

+0.3 degrees – December temps vs. average so far at MSP

7.9″ season snowfall so far at MSP

-6.8″ snowfall departure so far at MSP

33″ snowfall last year by this date at MSP!

December soaker?

Pinch me.

I’m forecasting rain that may soak into unfrozen ground in southern Minnesota on December 14th!

The next weather system moving in looks warm enough for mostly rain from St. Cloud into the metro and southern Minnesota. Rain should begin to bust out on radar around midnight tonight and continue into Wednesday.

**The morning commute Wednesday will be wet in the metro and “white” up north toward Alexandria and Grand Rapids.**

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Oddly enough, a check of soil temps around Minnesota shows some areas with unfrozen soil and soil temps between 33 and 39 degrees. This means some of the rain may actually soak into the top few inches of soil.

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Soil temps in Waseca above freezing in the first few inches Tuesday!

File this under the “weather news of the weird but good” category. Much of southern Minnesota is still in severe drought, and every little bit of moisture in the topsoil is liquid gold for next spring.

Some soil temps between 2″ and 6″ depth in Minnesota today:

-Hutchinson 33 degrees

-Mankato 35 degrees

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Mankato soil temps rise above thawing point.

-Lamberton 36 degrees

-Waseca 39 degrees

-Benson 29 degrees- frozen!

My own probe of the lawn and gardens at the weather lab in the west metro shows unfrozen topsoil depth between 2″ and 6″ depending on where you probe. Some of the rain tonight and Wednesday will soak in!

Snow up north:

Here’s a look at NAM model snow totals Wednesday.

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Expect snow if you are travelling up I-94 toward Alexandria and Detroit Lakes Wednesday!

Ice Booming on Mille Lacs!

There are reports of loud, thundering cracking ice on Mille Lacs these days. It appears the unstable ice that’s forming is cracking and sending booming thunder echoing across the big lake. The lack of snow cover means no “insulation” to muffle the cracking ice this year.

It’s loud up on Mille Lacs these days!

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Here’s an ice report form The Red Door Resort.

“Red Door Resort

Sunday, December 11th, 10 am., we have a solid 6.5 inches of ice in all the places we checked.

With that ice thickness, normally we would not hesitate in opening the access to ATV travel and the like with that much ice. But as we mentioned in previous reports, the snow free ice is very prone to temperature change expansion and contraction. For example, the past half hour, the warming temps created a big push(expansion) and busted the crack about 200yds. from shore. That crack was healed up the past 24 hrs. until now. So an ATV would have trouble getting across without bridging of some kind. As the warm temps continue today and into tomorrow, the potential of more changes is there, for sure.

So as of now, we will keep the access closed to ATV travel. Rather than getting ATV’s trapped on the lake side of the crack, that is best for all, as of now. Walking out, for the most part, should be fine. We will let the temps stabilize today and tomorrow and then, most likely, open the access for ATV travel and get light bridging in place where needed. Stay tuned!

In the meantime? A few locals have reported good walleye action in the neighborhood. (they walked out)

And bring the ice cleats…


Posted on: Yesterday 22:59:01”

Here’s a sequence of visible satellite images showing how ice has formed on Mille Lacs this month.

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Enjoy the rain tonight and Wednesday.

Windy & colder weather pushes in Thursday with highs in the 20s. Sun, cold and lighter winds return Friday. Temps will moderate Saturday and push back well into the 30s to near 40 by Sunday PM.

I’m keeping an eye on a potential rain/snow system for next Monday. The GFS is doing the usual flip flopping around the track and tempersture (rain vs. snow) with next Monday’s system but I’ll keep an eye on it!


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