"Polar bears dying at a rapid rate near Canada's "Polar Bear Capital" as Arctic sea ice disappears"
"Polar bears in Canada's Western Hudson Bay — on the southern edge of the Arctic — are continuing to die in high numbers, a new government survey of the land carnivore has found. Females and bear cubs are having an especially hard time. Researchers surveyed Western Hudson Bay — home to Churchill, the town called "the Polar Bear Capital of the World" — by air in 2021 and estimated there were 618 bears, compared to the 842 in 2016, when they were last surveyed. "The actual decline is a lot larger than I would have expected," said Andrew Derocher, a biology professor at the University of Alberta who has studied Hudson Bay polar bears for nearly four decades. Derocher was not involved in the study.Since the 1980s, the number of bears in the region has fallen by nearly 50%, the authors found. The ice essential to their survival is disappearing."
Global Sea Ice - Lowest on Record
According to climate researcher Zach Labe, The Global Sea Ice as of early February is sitting at its lowest extent on record.
Arctic Sea Ice - 3rd Lowest on Record
Zach Labe suggests that the Arctic Sea Ice was at its 3rd lowest extent as of February 3rd.
Great Lakes Ice Coverage - 11th Lowest on Record
According to NOAA's GLERL, the ice coverage across the Great Lakes is at its 9th lowest extent as of early February. Last year at this time, there was nearly 23% ice coverage, while the longer-term average is around 31% to 32%.
Great Lakes Average Ice Coverage
The graph below shows the current Great Lakes ice coverage compared to the long term average (1973-2022). As of early February, the Great Lakes basin was sitting around 11%-12%, which is well below the long term average of 31%-32%. The peak ice coverage typically occurs late February into early March.
Twin Cities Weekend Outlook
After several days of very chilly weather, temperatures this weekend will be quite a bit warmer with highs warming into the lower 30s. Keep in mind that our average high for early February is in the mid 20s, so we'll be warmer than average this weekend.
Still Cold This Week, But Much Warmer This Weekend
Here's the 850mb temperature anomaly through next week, which shows above average temperatures moving through in waves. We should have an extended period of milder than average weather through about mid February.
Extended Temperature Outlook
The NBM extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis shows a stretch of milder weather in place through at least mid month. Highs will likely warm into the 30s several days with overnight lows in the 10s and 20s, which will be quite a bit warmer than average.
Extended Precipitation Potential
The extended precipitation outlook from NOAA's WPC shows fairly minimal amounts through the week ahead. A few communities along the international border and the MN/WI border could see some 0.10" to 0.20" tallies. Stay tuned...
As of Thursday, February 2nd, the MSP Airport recorded 10" of snow on the ground. Meanwhile, there's nearly 2ft of snow on the ground in Duluth, across northern Wisconsin and the UP of Michigan. Meanwhile, nearly 1.5ft of snow is on the ground in International Falls. With several days of warmer weather on the horizon, our snow pack will take a bit of a hit, so get out there and enjoy while it's still around.
Taking a look at snowfall since July 1st, many locations have seen above average amounts so far this season, but folks from near Sioux Falls to the Twin Cities and towards Duluth are nearly 20" to 30" above average this month. 55.5" of snow has fallen at the MSP Airport, which is the 5th snowiest start to any season on record.
Twin Cities Weather Outlook For Saturday
The weather outlook for the Twin Cities on Saturday, February 4th shows a high temp approaching 30F, which will be nearly +5F above average for this time of the year. We'll have a mix of clouds and sun with lighter south winds
Weather Outlook on Saturday
Temps across the region on Saturday will warm into the 20s and 30s, which will be nearly +5F to +10F above average for this time of the year. We will also see a mix of clouds and sun through the day.
Meteograms For Minneapolis
The weather outlook for the Twin Cities through the day Saturday shows temps starting around 10F in the morning and warming to around 30F in the afternoon. There will be a mix of clouds and sun through the day. Southwesterly winds could gust to around 10mph to 15mph through the day.
Hourly Feels Like Temps
Feels like temps on Saturday will be a bit cold in the morning with readings starting around 0F. Feels like temps in the afternoon will warm into the low/mid 20s.
Here's the weather outlook through next week. At this point we don't have any major systems on the horizon close to home, but there could be a little precipitation early next week and again late next week. Stay tuned...
Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis
The extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis into next week shows a nice mild trend with highs warming into the 30s, which will be nearly +5F to +15F above average at times. After a stretch of well below average (and subzero) temps, this will feel significantly warmer than it has been.
Extended Weather Outlook For Minneapolis
The extended weather outlook for the Twin Cities shows much warmer weather in place with a chance of light precipitation on Monday and again late next week. The next 7 days should be a breeze with no major snow storms or subzero temps.
8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook shows cooler than average temperatures across much of the Southwestern US, but warmer than average temperatures will settle in across the eastern and especially the northeastern part of the nation.
8 to 14 Day Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 8 to 14 Day precipitation outlook shows more active weather in place across the nation and especially across the Central US.
A Lack of Global Ice Coverage. Warmer Temps Ahead
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
According to NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the Great Lakes basin was only 12 percent ice covered earlier this week, which is the 9th lowest extent for this time of the year. The long term average is around 32 percent for early February and typically peaks around 40 to 45 percent in late February.
Climate researcher, Zach Labe, recently determined that the Arctic Sea Ice extent is at its 3rd lowest on record, while the Global Sea Ice extent is at its lowest on record.
A lack of ice has been a disturbing trend over the last several decades, which is drastically impacting the Polar Bear population. Researchers found a 50 percent decline in polar bear numbers since the 1980s with ice being a critical factor of their survival.
After a week of face-numbing cold, we'll finally pull out of the Arctic cellar this weekend. Highs will warm into the 30s over the next several days, nearly 40 to 50 degrees warmer than it was Friday morning.
Enjoy the February heat wave for now. We still have plenty of winter left.
SATURDAY: Chilly start. Warmer PM. Winds: SW 5. High: 30.
SATURDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and not as cold. Winds: SW 5-10. Low: 22.
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy and milder. Winds: W 10-20. High: 33.
MONDAY: Chance of a rain snow mix. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 20. High: 37.
TUESDAY: Lingering clouds. Breezy winds. Winds: WNW 10-20. Wake-up: 28. High: 33.
WEDNESDAY: February thaw. Icicle alert. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 24. High: 38.
THURSDAY: Cloudier. Chance of rain/snow mix. Winds: NNE 5-10. Wake-up: 28. High: 37.
FRIDAY: Breezy. Light snow. Winds: NNW 10-20. Wake-up: 26. High: 32.
This Day in Weather History
1984: The event termed the 'Surprise Blizzard' moves across Minnesota and parts of the Dakotas. Meteorologists were caught off guard with its rapid movement. People described it as a 'wall of white.' Thousands of motorists were stranded in subzero weather. Only a few inches of snow fell, but was whipped by winds up to 80 mph. 16 people died in stranded cars and outside.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 25F (Record: 51F set in 2005)
Average Low: 9F (Record: -28F set in 1886)
Record Rainfall: 0.34" set in 1955
Record Snowfall: 4.4" set in 1971
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Hours of Daylight: ~9 hours & 56 minutes
Daylight GAINED since yesterday: +2 Minutes & 39 Seconds
Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 1 hour & 9 minutes
Moon Phase for February 4th at Midnight
0.5 Days Until Full Moon
"12:29 p.m. CST - Usually, the heaviest snows fall in this month. Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence to some tribes this was the Full Hunger Moon."
National High Temps on Saturday
Temperatures on Saturday will still be quite a bit colder than average in the Eastern US with record cold highs possible in the Northern New England States. Meanwhile, folks in the Midwest to the Western US will see warmer than average readings.
National Weather Outlook Saturday
The weather outlook for Saturday keeps lingering light snow showers in place across the Great Lakes Region. There will also be rain and snow showers across the West Coast, but much of the rest of the nation will be dry.
National Weather Outlook
Weather conditions across the Central US will be MUCH quieter than it was earlier this week. However, areas of rain and snow will move through the Western US through the weekend.
Extended Precipitation Outlook
According to NOAA's Weather Prediction Center, the extended precipitation outlook shows heavier amounts in the Southern US. There will also be heavier pockets of precipitation in the Western US.
According to the ECMWF (European model), heavy snow will be found across much of the high elevations in the Western US. There will also be decent snowfall potential in the across parts of the Northern New England States.
"UN REPORT: OZONE LAYER IS HEALING ITSELF"
"Ozone is a naturally occurring gas comprising three oxygen atoms. The stratospheric ozone layer is essential in protecting humans and the environment from the harmful ultraviolet light from the sun. "Gases like chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, destroy stratospheric ozone and are responsible for the ozone hole over Antarctica," says Scot Miller, assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins University environmental health and engineering department. "The report found that emissions of ozone-depleting substances, or ODS, like CFCs have dramatically declined over the past 30 years, which spells good news for the recovery of stratospheric ozone." The UN report comes out every four years to assess progress on the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, an agreement among United Nations member nations to reduce the consumption and production of man-made ODS and some hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. Here, Miller, who studies greenhouse gases and air pollutants, offers insight on the implications of this report:"
"Step Aside Punxsutawney Phil: These Weather-Predicting Rodents, Armadillo And Quahog Forecast Early Spring"
"Punxsutawney Phil, perhaps the most famous weather-predicting rodent, saw his shadow this year, indicating more cold days ahead, although several other famous groundhogs, an aardvark, armadillo and a quahog apparently predict spring could be around the corner. Pennsylvania's loveable groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow as he emerged from his burrow on Thursday, meaning six more weeks of winter are ahead, according to a tradition in the central Pennsylvania town that dates back to 1887. At the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, however, Leia the aardvark—a more recent alternative to the Groundhog Day tradition—poked her nose in a termite mound labeled "spring." Just north of Austin, Texas, Bee Cave Bob the armadillo was released on a cloudy day, meaning there is no shadow to cast, and that spring is coming—although Texas is currently in the midst of an unseasonably cold front, with more than 400,000 homes and businesses in the state without power. Members of the Nantucket Natural Resources Department in Massachusetts shucked Quentin the quahog, which squirted to the right, indicating spring is around the corner (the quahog was promptly eaten raw)."
"The coldest temperatures on record are hitting Asia"
"Over the past two weeks, polar vortex-induced freezing weather has seen all-time cold temperature records tumble across Central and Eastern Asia. This included China's coldest temperature ever. On January 22, Mohe in the country's northernmost Heilongjiang province recorded a chilly -53°C/-63.4°F, the lowest temperature ever measured in China. Previously, Tongulah in Siberia, Russia, had recorded -62.7°C/-80.9°F, a new record low for the town. As the icy weather moved West to East, Northern India also experienced near-record chill, while Nokkundi in the Balochistan province of Pakistan repeated an all-time record for its coldest-ever temperature at -10°C/+14°F. 160 people perished in Afghanistan over the past 14 days when temperatures dropped way below their usual levels."