Finally sunshine! Cold fronts; Will Feb be the coldest month of “winter?”

Bright sunshine at the weather lab today!

40 degrees in the metro and southern Minnesota today

Today – warmest day this week!

Cold front cuts through Minnesota from north to south today

Colder days ahead this week

2nd stronger “Arctic front” due late Thursday & Friday

Teens for highs by Friday?

Sub zero in northern Minnesota Friday & Saturday morning?

5:30pm sunset at MSP Wednesday

(Now light until nearly 6pm in the western sky on clear nights!)

1 hour 20 minutes of additional daylight since December solstice

3 minutes per day of additional daylight this week

12 days – pitchers & catchers report to Twins spring training in Fort Meyers!

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A rare bright sunny morning at the weather lab Monday!

The sun:

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After nearly a week shrouded in fog and low stratus, the sun is finally shining brightly at the weather lab this morning.

The welcome sunshine today will greet most of Minnesota, as the stubborn (and beautiful) fog bank slides east into Wisconsin.

With a milder air mass ahead of a cold front and increasingly strong February sunshine, temps will make a run at 40 today in southern Minnesota, including the metro.

Cold fronts ahead!

A cold front is cutting through Minnesota from north to south today.

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A few flurries may accompany the front as it dives south. The front moved through northern Minnesota this morning, and will arrive in the metro and southern Minnesota late afternoon and evening.

Temps behind the front are about 10 degrees cooler, with 20s for highs Tuesday & Wednesday.

Arctic Front later this week!

A colder arctic air mass will sag south by Friday. It looks like a glancing blow of cold air fr about 48 hours for Minnesota Friday & Saturday.

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Highs may struggle to get out of the teens both Friday and Staurday, with some sub-zero lows in northern Minnesota. The usual cold suspects like Embarrass and Ely may boast some double digit sub zero lows Friday and Saturday morning.

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February 2012: The coldest month of this winter?

After the 4th warmest December & January period on record in the Twin Cities, it looks like we’ll finally get one month closer to “average” in February.

Looking at the medium range maps (through February 22nd) the overall pattern looks decidedly colder. Temps may run near or slightly below average the next two weeks.

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This should mean that February will end up as the “coldest” month of this meteorological winter. (Dec-Feb)

That may be good news for those who want an early spring. We usually need to “drain” the cold air from the northern latitudes in February and early March to allow things to warm up on schedule in Minnesota. If the cold air lingers up north, it can take a while for it to ooze south in March & April.

It’s too early to say for sure what spring may be like this year in Minnesota. The one thing we really need is above average rainfall during April and May to try and stave off the growing drought.

If we stay dry in spring, then severe drought is going to quickly become the major weather story of spring 2012.

Snow chances increase next week?

If the maps verify, our northwest wind flow in the upper atmosphere next week will bring a family of Clippers sailing south toward Minnesota. This could mean 2-3 rounds of light snow next week.

The snows may not be heavy, but we could theoretically stack up a few inches of fresh snowfall (and gum up a few rush hours) in the next two weeks.

Stay tuned.

Brighter days ahead!

One thing we all have to look forward to is the now rapidly increasing daylight in Minnesota. You can already sense the noticeably longer days.

We’ve gained a full 1 hour & 20 minutes of daylight since the December solstice. We’re now gaining a full 3 minutes per day, and 21 minutes per week.

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The higher February sun angle means it’s tougher to keep any snow cover around too, even on colder days.

Enjoy the sun!

PH

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