Foggy start? Classic ‘meteorological winter’ weekend; 30s ahead next week

It’s still low-stratus season in Minnesota. Some fog will roll across southeast Minnesota including parts of the Twin Cities early Saturday.

Overall, this might be one of the best weekends of the meteorological winter season to get out and enjoy the great outdoors of Minnesota. Abundant sunshine and tolerable temperatures will make this a great winter weekend.

Let’s start with snow cover. There is ample snow cover to play in across northern and southern Minnesota. Bare ground is still widespread in west-central Minnesota.

Snow depth analysis from NOHRSC.

Perfect weekend temperatures?

In some southern cities, our Minnesota weekend weather might qualify as a civil emergency. But for Minnesota, this is about as good as it gets for a winter weekend. Highs in the 20s and abundant sunshine? We’ll take it. We even hit the thawing point next week.

NOAA forecast temperatures for Minneapolis via Weather Bell.

Mild December overall? 

Sometimes we forget how cold averages used to be in Minnesota. I was surprised to see that we’re running 1.2 degrees above average for the first 6 days of December in the Twin Cities. Next week will likely run a good 5 to 10 degrees warmer than average across Minnesota. The medium-range outlooks keep the Upper Midwest mild through most of December.

NOAA.

Looking ahead, it looks likely that December has about a 70% chance of coming in at least 2 to 4 degrees warmer than average in Minnesota. We’ll see.

The view from space

NOAA’s GOES-E satellite hovers in geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above North America. You can clearly see the Minnesota River and the Twin Cities urban footprint in the snow cover from space Friday afternoon.

GOES-E 1 km visible look via College of Dupage.

Strom-free for now

Right now I don’t see any big snow events lurking in the next week or so. If there is a big one on the way, it may favor the weekend before Christmas. The long-range upper air maps hint at a potentially snowy dip in the jet stream around December 21st.

NOAA

Stay tuned.

  • Michael Larsen

    For climate change sake, isn’t it time to begin forecasting and reporting % possible solar gain? After 7 years of off-grid solar life, I can attest that “cloudy” and “sunny” are poor measures of solar power potential.