“Fog Front”; Dense Fog Advisory; Foggy, icy AM commute

“Fog front” shrouds eastern MN in low clouds & fog

Near Zero visibiity at times into Thursday morning!

Dense fog advisory posted for most of eastern Minnesota until 10 am Thursday

Bright sun in western Minnesota Wednesday!

50s again in Ortonville, Pipestone & Marshall Wednesday

3rd least snow on record in USA in January

19% of the lower 48 USA states covered in snow

52% snow covered last year on this date!

6″-12″+ snowfall possible in parts of Nebraska and Iowa by Saturday

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Foggy Front:

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Dense fog advisory thorugh 10 am Thursday

The fog hung tough in eastern Minnesota including the metro Wednesday. Visibilities are below 1/4 mile again overnight into Thursday morning before a clearing trend kicks in.

The definite western edge of the fog bank from near Albert Lea to Willmar created a “pseudo warm front” in western Minnesota Monday. To the east of that front, moisture from snow melt saturated the air and thick fog and low 30s in the Twin Cities and eastern Minnesota.

To the west, drier air and bright sunshine boosted temps on snow free ground into the 50s at Ortonville and Marshall!

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USA January snow drought:

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Burnsville resident Dale Vaillancourt skis the 2.5 kilometer man-made snow loop at Wirth Winter Recreation Area Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 in Minneapolis. The park is unseasonably snow-free, except for the ski trail groomed with man-made snow.

(MPR File Photo/Jennifer Simonson)

It’s not just “Snowless in St. Paul” this winter.

Last winter snow coevred over half the USA on this date. This year? A paltry 19%.

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Seth Borenstein from Associated Press has the story.

“Washington (AP) — Snow has gone missing in action for much of the U.S. the last couple months. But it’s not just snow. It’s practically the season that’s gone AWOL.

“What winter?” asked Mike Halpert, deputy director of the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. For the Lower 48, January was the third-least snowy on record, according to the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University. Records for the amount of ground covered by snow go back to 1967.

Last year more than half the nation was covered in snow as a Groundhog Day blizzard barreled across the country, killing 36 people and causing $1.8 billion in damage. This year, less than a fifth of the country outside of Alaska has snow on the ground. Bismarck, N.D., has had one-fifth its normal snow, Boston a third. Midland Texas has had more snow this season than Minneapolis or Chicago.

Forget snow, for much of the country there’s not even a nip in the air. On Tuesday, the last day in January, all but a handful of states had temperatures in the 50s or higher. In Washington, DC, where temperatures flirted with the 70s, some cherry trees are already budding -weeks early.

“I am disgusted that golfers are golfing on my cross-country ski course,” said New Jersey state climatologist David Robinson, director of the Global Snow Lab.”

Snow storm developing south; another miss for Minnesota?

Fire up the snow blowers in Nebraska and Iowa….but it looks like most of Minnesota may once again escape a wintery smack as we approach this weekend.

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A major winter storm may dump 6″ to 12″ snows in Nebraska and Iowa Friday & Saturday. It looks like the system will track south of Des Moines and Chicago. That track is just too far south to get snow in the metro and most of Minnesota. The southern tier of counties along I-90 may get clipped Saturday…stay tuned.

PH

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