Friday clipper ahead, remember the Weatherball?

Winter’s next clipper sails south across Minnesota Friday. Snowfall totals look light, but most of northeast Minnesota will likely pick up an inch or two.

A quick shot of snow the Twin Cities late Friday afternoon into evening leaves a coating to an inch or so. Just enough to slick up area roads once again Friday night.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale Forecast System 3 km resolution model captures the system.

NOAA NAM 3 km resolution model, via tropical tidbits

Lake-effect snows kick in on the lee shores of Lake Superior behind the low. Here’s the assessment from the Duluth National Weather Service office.

Milder days?

If temperatures just above freezing seem mild to you, you might be a Minnesotan. We bump along between slightly milder and colder days in the next week.

NOAA National Digital Forecast Database forecast temperatures for Minneapolis, via Weather Bell

Remembering the Weather Ball

Whoever wrote this jingle should know they burned it into kids of my generation’s memory forever. I’m not sure if I should love or hate tweet that.

Here’s more on the Weatherball from Forgotten Minnesota.

On Thanksgiving Day in 1982, Minneapolis lost one of its most enduring landmarks–the Weatherball. It was perched atop the 14-story Northwestern National Bank building at 600 Marquette Avenue.

The Weatherball was a fixture in the sky for 33 years and could be seen from 15 miles away at night. There was no excuse for weather-cautious Minneapolitans to be caught unaware.

A sing-along advertising jingle made the forecast easy to remember. Red meant warmer weather ahead, white meant colder, if it was blinking there was probably going to be some precipitation moving in, and green meant that you could expect more of the same.

Unveiled with great fanfare on October 7, 1949, the Weatherball was hailed as the tallest lighted sign between Chicago and the West Coast.

The base of the sphere sat 367-feet above the street and was the topmost feature of a 78-ton illuminated sign that flashed “NW” in 30-foot letters, followed by “BANK” in 13-foot type.

The Weatherball was illuminated by 1¼ miles of neon tubing and built to withstand winds of up to 140 miles-per-hour. In fact, it survived hurricane-force winds just three days after it began operating.

Minnesota Historical Society

Colors blinking by night and day in Friday’s forecast.

Assorted weather tidbits