Posted at 8:39 AM on February 10, 2011
by Paul Huttner
If you heard the "sonic booms" in your house this morning, you'e not alone.
This winter's cold in Minnesota is literally going out with a bang. The severe temperature changes cause moisture in the lumber in your home to expand and contract, and the result can be loud pops and bangs in your roof and walls.
Coldest in the northern hemisphere?
It looks like Minnesota may have had bragging rights for the coldest air in the northern hemisphere Thursday Morning. Check out some of these numbers.
-37 The temperature in Embarrass, MN
-28 In Iqaluit on baffin Island, Canada inside the Arctic Circle
+9 in Novosibirsk, Siberia
+12 in Fairbanks, Alaska
It was nearly 60 degrees warmer in Fairbanks, Alaska than in Embarrass, Minnesota this morning! Ouch.
The arctic high pressure center over Minnesota responsible for the bitter cold is the coldest air mass on the northern hemisphere of the planet today. Only Antarctica is colder.
Pacific Transfusion set to begin:
This is it. Rock bottom. Temperatures are already in the 20s above zero in Montana, and that milder air will push east into Minnesota on Friday. Temperatures should reach 30+ degrees in much of Minnesota Saturday. With temperatures observed at -30 Thursday morning, It could be 40 to 60 degrees warmer in much of Minnesota by Saturday afternoon!
Long duration thaw:
The coming thaw will have staying power. It looks like much of Minnesota will see 5 to 7 days in a row with temperatures above freezing. The season's first 40s could pop up next week, and nighttime lows may stay above freezing!
Windshield washer fluid alert:
Check the tank on your windshield washer fluid, there's going to be a major slush alert in the coming week as temperatures above freezing melt snow, and create new rivers and lakes in your favorite roadway.
Posted at 6:40 PM on February 10, 2011
by Paul Huttner
Cue the ukuleles.
Okay, maybe the milder wafting into Minnesota isn't quite a tropical Pacific air mass, but Bermuda shorts are within the realm of possibility for some spring crazed Minnesotans over the next week.
Our extended February thaw is ready to kick into high gear by this weekend. Several days with above freezing temperatures are likely, and there is a decent chance of the first 40 degree reading in southern Minnesota including the metro.
Winter from space:
Check out the amazingly detailed high resolution visible satellite image today from the MODIS Terra satellite. The clear arctic air and higher sun angle make for ideal viewing conditions.
The image clearly shows frozen lakes, rivers, and the Twin Cities urban landscape. Also visible are ice floes in Lakes Superior and Michigan, extensive snow cover and lake effect snow bands over the Great lakes.
You can click on even higher resolution images here.
Melting snow ahead:
There is around 12" of snow on the ground in the metro and more like 2 feet in northeast Minnesota. With temperatures pushing 40 next week, and even nighttime lows above freezing in some areas, we're going to melt a lot of snow next week. It's possible an inch a day could go... and maybe some snow piles will finally shrink a bit, and you'll likely see your driveway again.
Night Fog? Once we start melting snow, the additional moisture injection into the lower atmosphere will likely create some dense fog, especially at night and in the early morning. If the fog lingers into the afternoons, that will keep temperatures down a bit.