November “Lite” 10th “least snowy”; Euro model hints at 60F by Monday?

0.8″ snowfall so far for November (and the season) at MSP Airport

Trace amounts likely between now & Friday November 30th

10th least snowiest November on record if no more snow is recorded (tie)

3.0″ snowfall at MSP Airport in November 2011

9.3″ latest 30 year “average” monthly snowfall for November at MSP

+3.6F November temps vs. average in the metro so far

22F high temp at MSP Airport Monday PM

(23F was “daily” high at 12:09AM)

February 11th last time MSP recorded a high temp colder than 22F (21F)

Weather Window: Visualize the forecast below

(Slide green slider button at top to choose forecast hour)


“Freezing Full Moon” (Ojibwe) peaks Wednesday this week

Native American “Moon Names” captured the seasons by linking moons to seasonal weather & climate conditions

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November Lite:

Yes it was cold Monday.

22F at MSP Airport was the coldest daytime high temp since February 11th when the mercury staggered to 21F.

It was even colder up north. Bank (and NWS) thermometers struggled to reach the teens over now snow covered areas of northern Minnesota. Ely managed to squeak out 12F Monday afternoon before temps began to slide again as nightfall set in.

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Image: University of Illinois

No “Snow-vember” this year:

We’ve had some pretty impressive early season snowfall in Canada and the northern half of Minnesota. From October’s record storms in northwest Minnesota & the Red River valley…to Thanksgiving weekend’s snow blitz in the Arrowhead and along parts of the North Shore it’s been a strong start ot the snow season “up north.”

The storm track has not extended as far south as the Twin Cities most of the month.

So far MSP Airport has recorded just 0.8″ snowfall this month. That’s well shy of the 3″ we squeaked out last November, and way below the 9.3″ average in the latest (1981-2010) set of “30-year averages” for MSP Airport.

Data from the MN Climate Working Group.














Snow depth in Minnesota ranges from none in the south, to as much as 8″ near Ely.

Location/Snow Depth Monday

MSP Airport Trace

North Metro 1″-2″

St. Cloud 1″

Duluth 4″

International Falls 4″

Babbitt 7″

Finland 7″

Ely 8″

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The Twin Cities now lies on the extreme southern edge of snow cover for the Northern Hemisphere. Snow cover is now continuous from the Twin Cities all the way north through Canada, Alaska & into Siberia.

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Air masses that sag south from this extensive snow cover will bring a wintery chill this week.

Pattern change ahead: Southerly winds brings returning warmth by this weekend

As winds turn to the south this weekend, the air mass moving into Minnesota will increasingly come from sun warmed, snow free ground to the south.

The two main models that predict temps & weather systems a week in advance are NOAA’s GFS model, and the often more accurate “European” or ECMWF model.

The GFS is cranking out temps in the upper 40s this weekend, and the latest Euro runs are going hog wild with temps near 60F for MSP next Monday.

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Source: Norwegian Met Institute

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The Euro may be optimistic, but looking at the persistent southerly wind pattern that’s developing over the weekend and lack of snow cover ot the south… I think 50s may be likely, and I wouldn’t rule out temps briefly touching 60F somewhere in southern Minnesota next Monday PM.

December begins Saturday; it looks like NOAA’s call for a colder than average December in the Upper Midwest may be off to a rocky start.

Stay tuned.

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What’s in a (moon) name?

The Native American tribes are historically excellent and astute observers of nature and seasonal weather patterns. When your survival depends on changes in weather, your “tuning fork” tends to be well honed.

Various Native American tribes have historically adopted “moon names” that describe seasonal weather or migration patterns for various full moons throughout the year.

The Farmers’ Almanac elaborates.

Full Moon Names and Their Meanings

Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year. Here is the Farmers Almanac’s list of the full Moon names.

• Full Wolf Moon – January Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon.

• Full Snow Moon – February Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult.

• Full Worm Moon – March As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.

• Full Pink Moon – April This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.

• Full Flower Moon – May In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.

• Full Strawberry Moon – June This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!

• The Full Buck Moon – July July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.

• Full Sturgeon Moon – August The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.

• Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon – September This full moon’s name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.

• Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon – October This full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.

• Full Beaver Moon – November This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon.

• The Full Cold Moon; or the Full Long Nights Moon – December During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.

From a now defunct site (

Native American Names

January – Wolf Moon

February – Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, Opening Buds Moon

March – Maple Sugar Moon, Worm Moon

April – Frog Moon, Pink Moon, Planter’s Moon

May – Flower Moon, Budding Moon

June – Strawberry Moon

July – Blood Moon, Buck Moon

August – Moon of the Green Corn, Sturgeon Moon

September – Harvest Moon

October – Hunter’s Moon, Moon of Falling Leaves

November – Beaver Moon

December – Cold Moon

LAKOTA (Joseph RedCloud):

Wiotehika Wi – Hard moon.

Cannapopa Wi – Moon when the trees crack because of the cold.

Istawicayazan Wi – Moon of the sore eyes.

Wihakaktacepapi Wi – Moon when the wife had to crack bones for marrow fat.

Canwape To Wi – Moon of the green leaves.

Wipazatkan Waste Wi – Moon when the June berries are good.

Canpasapa Wi – Moon when the chokecherries are black.

Wasutoa Wi – Moon of the ripening.

Canwape Gi Wi – Moon of the brown leaves.

Canwape Kasna Wi – Moon when the wind shakes off the leaves.

Waniyetu Wi – Moon when winter begins.

Wanicokan Wi – Moon when the deer shed their antlers.

Here are some links to various “full moon names.”

Farmers’ Almanac

According to my trusty Weatherguide Calendar, the Ojibwe called December’s moon the “Freezing Moon”.



  • Month names from the Ojibwe People’s Dictionary (established by Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota):

    January manidoo-giizis spirit month

    February namebini-giizis sucker [fish] month

    March onaabani-giizis crust-on-the-snow month

    April iskigamizige-giizis maple-sugaring month

    May zaagibagaa-giizis budding month or waabigwani-giizis flower month

    June ode’imini-giizis strawberry month

    July aabita-niibino-giizis halfway-through-summer month or baapaashkizige-giizis keeps-exploding month (named for July 4th, I imagine) or miini-giizis blueberry month

    August manoominike-giizis wild-rice-harvesting month or miini-giizis blueberry month

    September waatebagaa-giizis bright-leaves (or yellow-leaves) month or manoominike-giizis wild-rice-harvesting month

    October binakwii-giizis falling-leaves month or waatebagaa-giizis bright-leaves month

    November gashkadino-giizis freeze-up month

    December manidoo-giizisoons little-spirit month [lesser January?]

    Vowels generally have their European values (double vowels are drawn out longer). The apostrophe (‘) in June represents a sort of catch, like the sound at the beginning and in the middle of “oh-oh”.

    Some of the months have other names that aren’t in the OPD. There’s a lot of variation, with location, speaker’s age, etc. Ojibwe was and is spoken over a very large area of Canada and the north central U.S. The OPD concentrates on the dialect(s) of Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

    The translations are mine, based on the OPD and Bishop Frederic Baraga’s marvelous Dictionary of the Otchipwe Language (1878-80)