Posted at 9:09 AM on January 22, 2010
by Mark Seeley
On today's date (Jan 22), 1936 a cold wave gripped the state of Minnesota and produced the all-time worst windchill conditions. In the Twin Cities area in the early morning hours the windchill readings were -70 degrees F (-90 degrees F in the old Windchill System). Some rural areas of the state saw values colder than -80 to -85 degrees F. Under such conditions frostbite can be experienced in only a matter of minutes.
Over January 21-27, 1936 the Twin Cities remained below 0 degrees F for a period of 142 consecutive hours, and repeatedly had spells of dangerous windchill values. There were reports of fatalities due to exposure and even the street car switches stopped working and rail cars froze to the tracks.
Certainly this was one of the most challenging winter spells of weather in Minnesota history!(3 Comments)
Posted at 3:10 PM on January 22, 2010
by Paul Huttner
We may finally have a clearer picture of what we can expect from our weekend slop storm.
This big, disorganized two headed monster is chugging in our direction after laying howling winds, flooding rains and several feet of snow on California and the Desert Southwest. This system will bring a mixed bag of rain, ice and snow to the Upper Midwest this weekend.
Today's model runs have finally become a bit more consistent in their handling of the storm. I think we finally have a picture of what this storm may look like for different parts of the region. Confidence is not exceedingly high with disorganized winter storms like this one, and there could still be some changes to the forecast.
Let's start east and work back west.
Metro, southeast Minnesota and western Wisconsin:
Tonight: It looks like a mix of freezing rain and rain will invade the metro tonight. Temperatures may hover right around freezing tonight. That means we will likely see a period of freezing rain before the storm pulls in enough warm air to boost temps above freezing by Saturday. There will likely be some icing in the metro and surrounding areas tonight. Watch for icy roads and sidewalks tonight! Gusty southeast winds will pick up dramatically tonight.
Saturday: It looks like temperatures will stay above freezing most of Saturday. The metro may even reach as high as 35 to 37 degrees. 40 is not out of the question far southeast around Rochester and La Crosse. That should mean just plain rain from the metro southeast Saturday.
In fact, the bulk of precipitation with this storm appears it will fall as rain on Saturday. With as much as .50" of rainfall in many areas, it will be a sloppy mess with 10,000 new lakes forming wherever runoff from rain over deep snow and ice collects. Look for some gigantic puddles Saturday.
Saturday Night & Sunday: It appears much of eastern Minnesota will get "dry-slotted". Rain may shut off Saturday evening and many areas may stay mostly dry into Sunday.
Sunday night & Monday: As cold air and back side moisture wraps around the system a band of snow looks like it will follow. Snow may linger overnight Sunday into Monday. Right now it appears the metro may see 1" to 3" of snowfall Sunday night and Monday on the back side of the system. The best chance for 3" looks to be in the west metro.
I think there are three graphics that best illustrate the storm's effects in the metro.
Notice how the bulk of precipitation falls as rain on Saturday. This should keep snow amounts down in the metro with this system. If we get the forecast .40" to .80" in the metro it will be a big sloppy wet mess around here by Saturday evening!
After getting dry-slotted Sunday, the models bring in cold wrap around snow Sunday night and Monday. It looks like we may have enough residual mositure for 1" to 3" in the metro. Monday AM rush could be slick.
Look for colder air to funnel in next week behind the system. Temperatures may be slightly below average, but not as cold as a few weeks ago. Highs may be in the teens, lows near zero by week's end.
For the rest of the region, it appears the best chance for a significant ice storm will be in western Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas tonight. Conditions may be just right for half an inch to an inch of ice in laces like Pipestone, Canby, Morris, Ortonville and Alexandria.
The best chance for heavy snow with this system also appears to be in the Dakotas and the Red River Valley stretching into north central Minnesota. 5" to 10" could fall in these areas.
Here are some resources to keep track of changing conditions and forecasts as the storm evolves.
More on the weekend storm as it evolves. Stay safe and stay dry!