Light snowy coating enough to gum up roads once again in metro today
+10 to +20 degrees "less cold" over Minnesota this morning vs. Tuesday
Arctic relapse as reinforcing arctic surge hits tonight
-10F to -15F again tomorrow morning in central & southern MN
-30F up north
4 sub-zero mornings so far this winter in the metro
22.5 average number of sub-zero mornings in the metro (latest 30-year average)
Moderation overall temps trend is positive next few days
+30F possible by Sunday & Monday
Snow chances lurking Thursday night, Sunday & Tuesday?
Another "Krylon" rush hour this morning:
Welcome to the weird winter of 2012-'13.
This winter you can expect the unexpected. Little snow overall...but what snow does fall...even .1" will create havoc on metro roads.
Another Krylon... spray painted coating of snow greets metro commuters today, and the roads are coated with the greasy skid stuff once again.
I can't remember another winter when so little snow...has caused so much havoc on area roadways. Check out the number of "incidents" on Twin Cities roads this morning from MNDOT.
Take it easy out there today.
Moderation today, Arctic relapse tonight:
Minnesota continues to ride the boundary between bitter arctic air and somehwat milder air.
Temps across Minnesota this morning were anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees "less cold" than Tuesday...but it won't last long.
Another arctic cold front is dropping south today, and you'll feel the sting as temps and wind chills drop again by tonight.
The metro will plunge to between -10F and -15F by Thursday morning. Northern Minnesota is in for another night of -30F in most locations.
This arctic sideswipe will be brief, as temps recover above zero again Thursday...then slowly rise Friday into the teens.
One more sub-zero speed bump Saturday morning...then the arctic air is done for at least few days.
+30F? How great will that feel?
The good weather news for Many Minnesotans is that a long awaited, well deserved respite from sub zero mornings is on the way by the weekend.
Temps rebound Saturday afternoon and may approach +20F in the metro.
By Sunday & Monday, a southerly wind flow should boost temps to near +30F.
A 3-day respite from sub-zero cold? Not much...but we'll take it I think.
Reality Check: Winter cold not done yet:
I wish I could say that's it for sub-zero cold this winter, and that a big extended thaw is on the way and spring is right around the corner after that.
It appears arctic air will again surge south starting next Tuesday & Wednesday. Another round of sub-zero temps is in the cards....just a question of how cold and for how long.
The winter of 2012-'13 appears to be mocking those who had hoped for an "easy" or "abbreviated" winter.
On our radar: Snow chances lurking?
We're still looking at 3 possible opportunities for snow the next few days.
Thursday night: A weak clipper system brings a shot of light snow, especially to the northern half of Minnesota.
Sunday: Models are hinting at another light snow chance Sunday as warmer air pushes in.
Tuesday? The GFS has been all over the map on this one (what's new?) but the ECMWF (Euro) has been pretty consistent about brining what could be at least a couple of inches into the metro and much of Minnesota next Tuesday.
Still too early to get a handle on this one...but at least there's hope for snow lovers.
Just when I think I've seen everything.
Meteorologists have known for decades that waste plumes...the vented heat and moisture from power plants can produce clouds and showers downwind.
Now this phenomenon has been captured by Doppler radar.
"Nuke Effect" snow.
It appears Pennsylvania's Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant near Shippingport generated enough waste heat and moisture in this bitter air mass to create a "nuke effect" snow plume downwind. Up to an inch of snow was reported under the narrow, localized snow plume.
Here's the Doppler radar image from Pittsburgh showing the plume drifting downwind.
How does this happen?
Enough additional heat and moisture is injected into the bitterly cold air overhead that clouds and snow crystals form in the plume. As the winds blow the plume downwind, the snowflakes fall out of the cloud base, leaving a narrow swath of snow underneath.
Kudos to Climte Central's Andrew Freedman for picking up on this remarkable radar image. He elaborates here.
You've probably heard of lake-effect snow and ocean-effect snow, but now you should add "nuclear snow" to the list of strange winter weather phenomena. As the Midwest and East shivers under a bitterly cold air mass, waste heat given off from the Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Plant near Shippingport, Pa., generated a narrow band of snow. Up to an inch of snow fell as a result of the steam billowing from the stacks.
The snowfall was also the result of steam vented from the Bruce Mansfield Generating Station, which is a coal-burning power plant that is located next to the nuclear facility in Shippingport.
Not to worry though, this snow should not contain elevated levels of radiation, and poses no danger to public health.
Pretty cool stuff.