Weather Lab "Snow-O-meter"
3" Season snowfall to date at MSP Airport
9.3" already by this date last year
8.6 "average" season snowfall so far
-5.6" season snowfall vs. average so far
Driest fall in 141 years at MSP Airport (and in much of Minnesota)
14 Billion Dollar Weather Disasters in the USA in 2011, a new record!
53 billion dollars in weather related damages in the USA in 2011
58% chance of 'Northern Lights" tonight according to NOAA
The sun is finally back today in much of Minnesota as a stubborn gray cloud deck pushes east. Look for temps to rebound over mostly snow free Minnesota today.
Highs should crack 40 in most areas this afternoon!
Snowfall drought developing:
We're already -5.6" behind average snowfall at MSP in the delayed winter of 2011-'12. We're also a good 6"+ behind last year's snowfall pace.
With no major snow in sight, the drought will deepen.
The next chance for significant snow may not arrive until a week from Saturday (December 10th) according to the latest GFS model runs.
Drought Deepens: MSP to record driest Fall season in 141 years
With no precip expected through Wednesday, it looks like MSP Airport and much of southern Minnesota will set the all time record for the driest fall (Sep-Nov) on record.
We've managed just a scant 1.14" of precip at MSP since September 1st. That's well below the previous record of 1.54" in 1889. Records began in the Twin Cities n 1871.
According ot the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, a full 40.58% of Minnesota is now in moderate to severe drought.
Another record in a remarkable string for Minnesota
It's not your imagination. The weather has been remarkably extreme in Minnesota over the past 18 months.
Check out some of the major weather records we've set in Minnesota & Wisconsin in just the past 18 months.
-Most active tornado day, month and year on record in 2010
-Wettest September on record in Minnesota in 2010
-Lowest barometric pressure on record in Minnesota last October ("Octobomb")
-Snowiest December on record in 2010 (33.6")
-5th & 15th biggest snowstorms on record at MSP Airport (Domebuster & Presidents' Day Storms)
-4th snowiest winter on record at MSP Airport (86.6")
-Biggest tornado outbreak on record in Wisconsin (April 2011)
-Driest fall on record at MSP
From tornadoes, to drought, to snowmageddon and back to drought again, it's enough to make your local meteorologists head spin!
USA 2011: Most extreme weather year on record?
It's not just Minnesota.
By some measures 2011 is the most extreme (catastrophic) weather year on record in the USA.
So far in 2011 we've had 14 separate "Billion Dollar Weather Disasters" in 2011 according to NOAA and insurance industry sources.
By dollar amount the $53 billion in losses is the 5th largest on record. Only 2005 (Katrina, Rita) 2008 (Ike) 1998 & 1980 (Midwest droughts) surpass 2011 for losses.
Here's the list.
Weather Underground's Jeff Masters has a nice summary here.
Aurora Alert Tonight!
Keep an eye to the northern sky after dark tonight. According to NOAA, there's a 58% chance of northern lights tonight.
Another substantial CME is racing earthward, and is expected to slam into the earth's magnetosphere at around noon today. (+ or- 7 hours)
Here's more from spaceweather.com
As always it's best to get away from city lights and generally look north. You may see colored rays or curtains shimmering in the sky after dark tonight if the aurora materializes.
Happy Aurora hunting tonight!
Brilliant northern lights display in Scandinavia. Photos below courtesy of spaceweather.com.
Clearing skies mean auroras are still possible overnight in Minnesota.
Look north tonight. You might see the aurora.
NOAA says thee is a 58% chance of an aurora tonight.
A CME hit earth Monday, and it could trigger northern lights overnight.
According to NOAA northern lights may be visible as far south as Missouri. That's how far south the current "Auroral Oval" extends.
The best viewing is always away from city lights and with a good view to the north.
Check it out tonight!
Growing snow chance by Thursday?
I've said many times this month how closely I watch (babysit?) the forecast models in November. The models are notorious this time of year for playing catch up, as weather systems can rapidly form, deepen or change track on a dime.
It looks like Thursday may be one of those days.
Monday afternoon's NAM and GFS runs are hinting at a low pressure system rapidly spinning up in Kansas and tracking into Iowa Thursday. The system may contain enough cold air and moisture to generate snow somewhere in southern Minnesota Thursday, and maybe in the Twin Cities.
It's too early to tell if this system will come together, but the 18Z (Noon) NAM run is already cranking out a potentially shovelable event Thursday and Thursday night.