61 in Montevideo Minnesota Sunday!
55 degrees in Phoenix. AZ Sunday
47 at MSP
+22 degrees vs. average
No sub-zero temps expected this month at MSP
2002 last December without sub zero temps at MSP
4:32pm sunset at MSP last Friday
4:36 pm sunset at MSP by Saturday!
11:30pm Wednesday winter solstice - daylight begins to increase starting Thursday!
Upside Down Weather Map:
Welcome to the Swedish Riviera. Looking for a mild December destination? How about beautiful downtown Montevideo Minnesota, where temps hit a balmy 61 degrees Sunday!
It was warmer in Montevideo Sunday than in most USA "warm weather" destinations.
55 Phoenix, AZ
56 Las Vegas
59 New Orleans
60 San Diego
First Brown Christmas in 5 years for metro
Last year there was 19" of snow on the ground at MSP on Christmas Day!
The last time you had to go searching for snow in the metro on Christmas Day was 5 years ago. Just a trace of snow was reported on the ground at MSP on Christmas Day that year.
Here is the snow depth at MSP on Christmas Day for the past few years.
Daylight starts getting longer this week!
The winter solstice occurs at 11:30pm CDT Wednesday. Starting on Thursday, daylight will increase ever so slightly each day n the northern hemisphere.
You may already notice this week that the sunsets are getting later. By Saturday the sunset at MSP is 4:36pm. This is 4 minutes later than a week ago!
The sun actually begins to set later before the winter solstice because of a quirk in the earth's orbit. Because the earth's orbital path is an ellipse, it turns out sunsets begin to occur later before the solstice, and sunrise continues to occur slightly later after the solstice.
The sunset by New Year's Eve at MSP is 4:42pm, a full 10 minutes later than last week. It is light in the western sky on clear nights until well after 5pm by the end of the month!
You'll really notice the increased evening daylight soon.
40s return New Year's Eve?
Speaking of New Year's Eve, the medium range weather maps look extremely mild once again. Assuming no snow cover which looks likely, temps may again surge well into the 40s again in the metro on New Year's Eve! Yes, there could again be some 50s in Minnesota on the 31st of December. The record high at MSP on December 31st? 50 degrees.
There are some signs we may see our first real taste of arctic air after about January 4th. But so far, I don't see any big snows or bitter arctic outbreaks until then.
Short Winter of 2011-'12?
Who knows what the rest of January-February-March (April?) will bring? Nobody.
But with each passing mild snowless week, the chances for a "short" winter in Minnesota increase. We've already taken November and December off the map for "winter" this season.
Now, March is just a little more than 2 months away, and we've seen no sign of winter yet. Could this be a rare 2 month "winter" in Minnesota? Place your bets.
After last year's nearly 5 month winter (November 13th to March 31st with pretty much continuous snow cover and cold!) we may be due for a break.
No snow=no below:
I have a saying I use that usually works in southern Minnesota for winter nighttime temps. "No snow? No below!"
Generally speaking it's tough to dip below zero in the Twin Cities without snow cover. Even with arctic type outbreaks, we just don't seem to get enough radiational cooling to drop below zero.
This December we managed to dip to 5 degrees above zero on the 5th.
Looking at the maps, it seems likely we will escape December without a sub-zero temp at MSP Airport and many southern Minnesota locations.
If we do, this will be the first time in 9 years that has happened, since 2002!
Unstable and shifting ice on Lake Mille Lacs prompted multiple ice rescues lately.
NASA Terra Modis satellite shot of Lake Mille Lacs Sunday afternoon, Note the arcing crack with open water (dark) in the left side of the image near the west shore of Mille Lacs.
High resolution satellite images showed a huge wedge of open water roughly 6 miles long and 1/2 mile wide along the west side of Mille Lacs on Sunday. The gaping crack in the ice, along with other areas of shifting ice and open water have caused numerous ice rescues in the past few days, according to posts and photos on billboards from local resorts and ice fishermen on Mille Lacs.
The ice rescue accounts are second hand, but rescue photos, satellite shots and local reports add credibility to the accounts. Here are some of the photos and accounts from ice rescues on Mille Lacs in recent days courtesy of mnlakecams.com and Minnesota Fishing Reports.
"This rescue was Sunday am near my home on Picard Point on the east side.
These pics were taken by my wife while I was at work......check it out."
Here's another account from another rescue...
"Sheriff, and Fire Rescue workers are try to get to 6 people that are trapped on a floating island of ice. Two of the people are children."
"This from the scene...
Guys are floating around on an ice island out on Mille Lacs!!! True story. Rescue team can't rescue them! Hovercraft down!!!
Hovercraft busted twice. 4 wheelers would not start for Sheriffs. 2 hours now. Brandt's 2 kids with there adult friends floating still. Sheriffs truck just about hit us going 90 mph with 2 snowmobiles on back and no lights on!!!!"
The bottom line on many Minnesota lakes is that the ice is still not safe in many areas!
You really need to know the ice thickness before you head out on ice this year. When in doubt, as local ice fishermen who have drilled holes that day. They're usually a good source of info.
Here what the MN DNR says you need for "safe ice."
What are ice conditions at your favorite lake now?
Stay dry & stay safe!