Temperatures topped out in the lower 30s in portions of southern Minnesota this afternoon. Albert Lea reported 34 F at 4 p.m. CST. Bright sunshine aimed at the south facing slopes has melted and evaporated most of the snow in many places In the Twin Cities.
At the daybreak today, the official report for snow depth at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport was only a trace.
So far this winter season the Twin Cities is running about ten inches below normal for snowfall, accumulating only 16.8 inches since November 1st.
NOAA GOES visible image from 245 p.m. CST.
Matching up this eye in the sky picture you can see the confirmation of the fading snowpack in southern Minnesota as well as Wisconsin. It seems a long time since Madison, Wisconsin got hammered with more than 15 inches of snow in mid December.
In this morning’s Updraft, I included the most recent status of the US Drought monitor. The story continues to be a concern for moisture in Minnesota, now extendng into western Wisconsin. Persistence of the jet stream from northwest to southeast has kept the moisture laden storms from the Gulf region from reaching this far north.
This afternoon’s computer runs are now backing off on the moisture with the weak system embedded in the jet stream. While some light snow is expected later tonight and Wednesday, amounts will be generally an inch or less.
Temperatures are likely to drop off this evening and before holding steady and even rise later tonight. The normal minimum is in the single digits in central Minnesota for mid January, but we’ll likely wake up to 30 F in the Twin Cities on Wednesday morning. Biting winds will usher in colder air Wednesday afternoon.
Looking ahead, we expect the jet stream to tilt more from north to south over central North America. Cold air has been building in Manitoba, Canada and it’s the time of the year when it finds its way to Minnesota and the Great Lakes.
Sub zero readings are likely on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday morning, at least over northern and central Minnesota.
Periods of light snow may accompany the intrusions of increasingly colder air. A strong high pressure system settles over the Midwest early next week, creating ideal conditions for fridgid overnight low temperatures.
Cold start to next Tuesday morning.