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Snow Chances Continue Wednesday Night, Thursday

Forecast loop from 6 PM Wednesday to 6 PM Thursday.

As we head into Wednesday Night, we continue to watch two batches of snow traverse across the state that will bring some snow chances to the region. On Thursday, mainly the northern one will be left, bringing the northern third of Minnesota continuing snow chances. We're also tracking lake effect snow during the Wednesday Night and Thursday timeframe that'll bring parts of the North Shore in the Two Harbors and Silver Bay areas heavier snowfall. Toward Thursday evening, we may have to start to watch snow working into southwestern Minnesota - there's some uncertainty around the placement of that (and therefore the system to impact us Thursday Night through Saturday morning) which we will get to in a moment.

The heaviest additional snow will be in northern Minnesota where the snow lingers into Thursday, with a band of at least 1-3" possible. However, where that lake effect snow band off of Lake Superior sets up - again, somewhere in the Two Harbors/Silver Bay area - overall totals of 6-10" can't be ruled out.


A Few Peeks Of Sun Thursday? Dropping Temperatures

While skies look to be mostly cloudy in the metro on Thursday, I would not be surprised to see some peeks of sun in the metro during the midday and early afternoon hours. Highs will be set early in the day, with slowly falling temperatures through the rest of the day.

Snow chances on Thursday are mainly confined to northern Minnesota, with mainly cloudy skies to a sun/cloud mix elsewhere. Colder air is moving in as we head through the day, with eastern Minnesota seeing falling temperatures and highs only in the teens and single digits in western Minnesota.


Snow Chances Thursday Night Through Friday - But Where?

Forecast six-hour precipitation through 3 PM Friday.

As we head into Thursday Night and Friday, we are watching another high-impact system that will bring snow to at least southern and eastern Minnesota into Wisconsin as we head into a 24-36 hour (or so) timeframe. The big question that lingers is the overall track of this potential system. Global models like the one on the left (which is the European model) still keep the storm farther south and east where the metro will potentially just get clipped with a few inches of snow. Hi-res models (like the NAM on the right) are starting to show a track farther to the northwest, which would bring heavier snow totals toward the metro (possibly closer to 5"). This is something we'll be watching closely over the next day to see what this overall track is, as that track will greatly impact expected totals.

Where the heaviest snow (6"+) is currently expected - across parts of southern/southeastern Minnesota into Wisconsin, including the I-90 corridor - Winter Storm Watches are in place.


Cold Weather On The Way

The coldest air of the season is on the way as we head into the weekend and early next week. Here's a look at just the highs between Saturday and Tuesday. Sunday looks like the coldest day across the state, with the western two-thirds of the state not likely making it above zero and the Twin Cities barely struggling to zero. The last time MSP saw a high at or below 0F was back on December 23, 2022, when the high was -2F.

And here's a look at lows. From Sunday through Tuesday morning, lows statewide (even along the North Shore) are expected to drop into the subzero range. The last subzero low at MSP was back on February 24, 2023 (-8F), and the last low of at least -10F was on February 3, 2023 (-13F).

Meanwhile, morning wind chill values are expected to dip into the -20s and -30s from Sunday through Tuesday mornings.


No Snow Days Or Rain Days In Sight
By Paul Douglas

With remote learning during the pandemic "snow days" may be an endangered species. A Praedictix colleague who works remotely from South Carolina shared that this week's east coast storm triggered a rare "rain day". Call me crazy, but I'll take windchill and frozen water over rising seas and hurricanes any day of the week.

It's been 2 weeks since we've seen a sunny day at MSP and the natives are getting cranky. That may change with the first real shot of arctic air on the way. Our coldest days tend to be our sunniest days, as frigid (dry) air swirls south.

Daytime highs struggle to top 0F Sunday through Tuesday, with 3 or 4 subzero lows early next week. Windchills may dip to -25F. Brisk! But models show a milder, Pacific flow returning the last week of January with 20s, even a few 30s. Woohoo!

The arrival of this polar punch may set off 1-3" of powdery snow Friday into Saturday. Chicago may pick up 14".

So far MSP has seen 6" snow this winter. Last year at this time we had already seen 48". El Nino!


Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, chilly. Wake up 16. High 18. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind W 10-15 mph.

FRIDAY: Light snow and flurries. Wake up 10. High 14. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind NW 15-25 mph.

SATURDAY: Snow tapers, 1-3" of snow (total). Wake up 11. High 13. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind NW 15-25 mph.

SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy, feels like -20F. Wake up -6. High 2. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.

MONDAY: Polar breeze. Feels like -25F. Wake up -9. High 1. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.

TUESDAY: Sunny peeks, no bugs. Wake up -8. High 4. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SW 7-12 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Some sun, coldest weather behind us. Wake up -2. High 10. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind W 15-25 mph.


Minneapolis Weather Almanac And Sun Data
January 11th

*Length Of Day: 9 hours, 2 minutes, and 46 seconds
*Daylight GAINED Since Yesterday: 1 minute and 31 seconds

*When Do We Climb Above 10 Hours Of Daylight? February 6th (10 hours, 0 minutes, 34 seconds)
*When Are Sunrises At/Below 7:30 AM? February 3rd (7:30 AM)
*When Are Sunsets At/After 5 PM? January 18th (5:01 PM)

This Day in Weather History
January 11th

1975: A blizzard continues with hurricane force winds in southwestern Minnesota.

1899: An odd flash of lightning lights the clouds up around 9 pm at Maple Plain.


National Weather Forecast

Messy weather is expected across the nation on Thursday as we watch the next system dig across the western United States and eject into the Plains by Thursday Night. Severe storms are possible in the lower Mississippi Valley.

The heaviest rain through Friday is expected in the mid-Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley, where upwards of 3" will be possible.

Heavy snow continues to slam the western U.S. mountains through the end of the week, with several feet possible - especially in the Cascades. As a system moves into the central U.S. to end the week, a band of heavy snow is expected from northern Kansas to the Great Lakes, where at least 6-12" could fall.

On Friday, we're also tracking the potential for another round of severe weather containing high winds and strong tornadoes across the Southeastern United States, with an Enhanced Risk (threat level 3/5) in place.


This US-Indian Satellite Will Monitor Earth's Changing Frozen Regions

More from NASA: "NISAR, the soon-to-launch radar satellite from NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), will measure some key Earth vital signs, from the health of wetlands to ground deformation by volcanoes to the dynamics of land and sea ice. This last capability will help researchers decipher how small-scale processes can cause monumental changes in the ice sheets covering Antarctica and Greenland, as well as on mountain glaciers and sea ice around the world. Short for NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, NISAR will provide the most comprehensive picture to date of motion and deformation of frozen surfaces in Earth's ice- and snow-covered environments, collectively known as the cryosphere."

Biden's aides weigh climate test for natural gas exports

More from Politico: "The Biden administration is launching a review that could tap the brakes on the booming U.S. natural gas export industry — a move that threatens to pit the president's climate ambitions against his foreign policy agenda. The outcome of the review could have big implications for the fossil fuel industry, U.S. clout as an energy superpower and the credibility of President Joe Biden's climate pledges — and his reelection hopes in November. The review being led by the Department of Energy will examine whether regulators should take climate change into account when deciding whether a proposed gas export project meets the national interest, according to two people familiar with the action who were granted anonymity to discuss deliberations that have not yet been publicly acknowledged."

U.S. cut climate pollution in 2023, but not fast enough to limit global warming

More from NPR: "The United States reduced emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gasses last year, after two years in which emissions rose. But the decline wasn't enough to meet climate targets set by the Biden administration. That would require much steeper cuts, most likely by significantly reducing the use of fossil fuels. U.S. emissions declined 1.9% in 2023 despite a growing economy, according to new estimates from the research firm Rhodium Group. That continues a trend in which wealthy countries have managed to break the link between economic growth and climate pollution. Under the 2015 international Paris Agreement, the U.S. has pledged to cut U.S. emissions 50 - 52% from their 2005 levels by the end of this decade."


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- D.J. Kayser