Grey drizzly Monday; 70% chance of a brown Christmas?

Near 40 degrees– temps hover in the upper 30s in the metro Monday!

27 degrees – average high in the metro Monday

Patchy drizzle & fog Monday

Mainly wet roads – temps above freezing in most areas

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.25″ to .50″ of RAIN Wednesday?

2″ snow cover at MSP Airport Sunday morning

1″ snow cover at Chanhassen NWS as of Sunday morning!

0″ at Duluth!

70% chance of a “Brown Christmas” for much of southern Minnesota?

1 year ago today the “Domebuster” storm collapsed the Metrodome

London with pine trees:

It looks and feels like London or Seattle with drizzle and fog to start the work week. Shades of grey will color the landscape today.

The good news? Most areas will remain above freezing, so most roads will just be wet instead of icy. Still a few areas east of the metro may see some patchy freezing drizzle early Monday morning.

Wednesday rain:

A stronger weather system will push toward Minnesota Wednesday. Right now it looks warm enough for mostly rain in the metro.

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It may be just marginally cold enough for a few inches of wet snow from Brainerd to Duluth.

“La No-no”?

The jet stream pattern on the medium range maps looks totally different from last year’s strng La Nina induced snow blitz.

In fact, the “split flow” pattern that is developing in the upper air maps the next two weeks looks remarkably like an El Nino wintertime signature over North America.

The cold Polar Front Jet Stream that dealt Minnesota the snowiest December on record last year has been pushed far north into Canada.

A second, “sub-tropical” branch of the jet stream (STJ) is winding through the southern USA. The STJ is steering potential snow systems south of Minnesota so far this season.


Jonesboro, Arkansas has shoveled 5″ of snow so far this season. Duluth? Just 4.3″ That’s the slowest start to the snow season in Duluth in 49 years!

The details from the Duluth NWS.


Least Snowiest Start to a Snow Season at Duluth in 49 Years

“This snow season has started slowly thus far at Duluth. Average snowfall for the season through December 11th would be 22.0 inches. Duluth has received a paltry 4.3 inches of snow, 17.7 inches below average. This ranks as the 11th least snowiest start to the snow season at Duluth. Snowfall records go back to 1884 in Duluth. The last time we had such a meager amount of snow accumulation to start the season was in 1963. 45.4 inches of snow fell for the remainder of the 1962-1963 snow season, so snow lovers should not give up hope! The following is a list of the least snowiest starts to the snow season at Duluth.”

1. 1.0 inch in 1888

2t. 1.1 inches in 1899

2t. 1.1 inches in 1913

2t. 1.1 inches in 1937

5. 1.3 inches in 1930

6t. 1.9 inches in 1907

6t. 1.9 inches in 1915

8. 2.7 inches in 1939

9. 3.0 inches in 1962

10. 3.6 inches in 1908

11. 4.3 inches in 2011

The upper air pattern this December is nothing like last year. Call it “La Nino” or “La No-no” so far for December 2011.

Brown Christmas?

Not trying to play “Debbie Downer” here, but chances for a brown Christmas appear to be growing for much of southern Minnesota.

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-Much of central and western Minnesota is snow free

-There is just 1″ to 2″ of snow cover on the ground in much of the Twin Cities as of late Sunday

-This week’s mild temps and rainfall will wash away much of the snow cover in southern Minnesota

-There appears to be little chance for snow between now and Christmas for much of southern Minnesota

-Temperatures seem to be trending milder than average overall, with a couple of mild spells between now and Christmas.

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There is a possible snow system heading for southeast Minnesota next Monday, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that. Could it curve north into the metro?

Stay tuned!


  • Fr. Paul Kammen

    Hi Paul,

    No “Debbie Downer” at all, because some of us are hoping for a brown Christmas. The weekend snow systems that came through caused hundreds of accidents around the state, and while pretty, snow makes travel very difficult for those of us with smaller cars. The Christmas lights make for very pretty images at night, so I am quite happy to see an El Nino style pattern for the time being and the orange shades on the extended outlooks. It’s so nice to have dry or just wet roads, and as one who walks his dog a few times a day in a place where it’s hit or miss whether people shovel their sidewalk, to have clean pavement. I am dreaming of a 45-degree Christmas.


    Fr. Paul from Delano

  • raychie

    I do not like the idea of this warm/snowless xmas. As much as we all love the warm weather up here where it can dip well below zero, its not natural for how warm it is, i dont remember ever having a brown xmas. I would suggest anyone that doesnt like cold weather or snow. Theres always an option to move. Otherwise have fun with what you got.

    Werent they predicting a cold and wet winter season back a few months ago? Seems to be the exact opposite?



  • Paul Huttner

    The last “brown Christmas” was in 2006.

    You’re right about the dire cold winter predictions, at least from the Accuweathers and Star Tribunes of the world. My forecst was for an “average” winter, and even that may be looking a bit too cold and snowy at this point.

    So far December temps are running 0.3 degrees above average in the metro, and snowfall is 7.9″ or -6.8″ season to date.

    It reamins to be seen what January and February will bring.

    Stay tuned.


  • As well as

    Its the draft news releases that folks deliver to me that are my issue.