Twin Cities’ Urban Heat Island visible from space

On the coldest night of the winter, you could see the strong Urban Heat Island effect in the Twin Cities from space.

Check out the NWS GOES infrared satellite image below. You can clearly see the brighter colors over the metro, which represent the “warmer” temperatures in the core of the Twin Cities metro last night.

From Twin Cities NWS:

“Cold Temperatures Seen From Space The temperatures Friday morning were so cold that they were similar to normal cloud top temperatures between 10 and 20thousand feet this time of year. With no clouds over Minnesota and thus no blocking, satellite infrared channel (which detects temperatures) could sample temperatures at the surface. Because of the frigid temperatures, the infrared image values resembled that of cloud top temperatures.”

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A look at minimum temperatures around the core of the metro morning make show that the greatest metro UHI effect was about +13 degrees early Friday morning.

MSP Airport -16

St. Paul (Holman Field) -17

Eden Prairie -21

St. Paul (UM Campus) -22

Crystal -22

Chanhassen (NWS_ -25

Chaska -29

Lakeville -29

“Air mass” temperatures clearly supported -29 Friday morning, even south of the metro.

Also of note are the warmer temperatures over Lake Superior and the colder cloud tops in South Dakota.

Next Snow Sunday & Monday?

The weekend looks cold, but not nearly as barbaric as what we endured Friday. Temperatures should hover a few degrees either side of zero most of the weekend.

The next clipper appears to be on track to bring us more snow Sunday & Monday. Early indications are that much of Minnesota could see another shot of 1″ to 3″ by late Monday. That could also set up another slick Monday morning rush hour.

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Stay warm, and have a great weekend!


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