Posted at 8:27 AM on February 25, 2010
by Paul Huttner
We've hit bottom for the winter season, I hope. It's all uphill from here on temperatures.
This could be our last week with sub-zero lows around parts of the metro, as a nice warming trend kicks in over the next few days.
Though we can, and usually do still get a sub-zero low in early March there are several factors working against temperatures that cold this time of year.
-Daylight is getting longer by 3 minutes per day and 21 minutes per week. That leaves less time to chill off at night before the sun is up and warming us again in the morning.
-Increasing sun angles and higher solar energy output modifies Canadian air masses that are pulled southward into Minnesota.
-Snow cover is not as "fresh" and that means less sunlight is reflected away
When meteorologists are stretching to find things to write about this time of year, that's a good thing for those who enjoy quiet weather in Minnesota. Look for plenty of continued sunshine, and temperatures pushing into the 30s as we head into the upcoming weekend.
Northeast snow machine lingers:
Our quiet tranquil weather would be a welcome change for many in the Northeast this week. A massive, slow moving coastal rain and inland snow storm is pummeling New York and Philadelphia. Some areas will see 10" to 20" inches of snow before all is said and done this weekend.
The storm is nearly stationary in the upper atmosphere, and will loop upon itself this weekend. That will produce prolonged snow in what continues to be the winter of discontent for many in the eastern USA.
Posted at 3:39 PM on February 25, 2010
by Paul Huttner
Our crystal clear skies tonight will provide an excellent viewing opportunity for an unusual sky show. The waxing gibbous moon and Mars will have a close encounter in the southern sky all night tonight. The Red Planet will be just 6 degrees away from the moon tonight.
Mars will also be brighter than usual due to its relatively close proximity to Earth.
Tonight's sky show follows a close encounter between Mars and the full moon in late January.
You can see the two close together in the southern sky after sunset tonight. If you have a telescope this is an excellent time to see greater detail on Mars.