Paul Douglas On Weather
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Minneapolis Sunrise / Sunset Times

Believe it or not, we've gained more than an hour of daylight since the Winter Solstice nearly 7 weeks ago. We now have more than 10 hours of daylight and are picking up nearly 3 minutes of daylight per day as we approach the Spring Equinox in 6 weeks. We'll pick up almost an additional hour of daylight through the end of February and almost an additional 1 hour and 30 minutes of daylight through the Spring Equinox. We still have plenty of winter left to go, but winter is certainly on its way!

February 8th

Sunrise: 7:23am

Sunset: 5:30pm

Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 7 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: +2 Minutes & 46 Seconds

Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 1 hour & 20 minutes

Still Cold This Week, But Much Warmer This Weekend

The 850mb temperature anomaly through the weekend shows milder temperatures continuing across much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation. There will be a brief cool snap later this week, but milder temps look to return this weekend.

Extended Temperature Outlook

The NBM extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis shows mild weather in place over the next several days. Highs will warm into the 30s and possibly near 40F a few times through mid month. However, there will be a brief cool stint later this week with highs back to if not slightly below average on Friday. Looking ahead to Valentine's Day next Tuesday, we could be up near 40F once again. Some extended weather models are suggesting rain potential by midweek next week.

Snow Depth

As of Monday, February 6th, the MSP Airport still had 9" 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.

Seasonal Snowfall

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. 55.6" of snow has fallen at the MSP Airport, which is the 7th snowiest start to any season on record.

Twin Cities Weather Outlook For Wednesday

The weather outlook for the Twin Cities on Wednesday, February 8th shows a high temp approaching the mid/upper 30s, which will be nearly +10F to +15F above average for this time of the year. Skies will be sunny with south-southwesterly winds during day.

Weather Outlook on Wednesday

Temps across the region on Wednesday will warm into the 30s and possibly near 40F, which will be nearly +10F to +20F 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 Wednesday shows mild temperatures in place with readings in the mid 20s in the morning and mid/upper 30s in the afternoon. Skies will generally be sunny with gusty SW winds through the day.

Hourly Feels Like Temps

Feels like temps on Wednesday won't be too chilly with readings in the 10s and 20s through the day.

Weather Outlook

The weather outlook through the weekend shows another storm system developing in the Southern US midweek with areas of rain and thunder across the Central US. This system will drift north mid/late week with areas of snow for parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes. The Twin Cities will largely get missed, but there could be a little snow on Thursday as the storm passes to our southeast.

Severe Threat on Wednesday

According to NOAA's SPC, there is a slight risk of severe thunderstorms across the Lower Mississippi Valley. Large hail, damaging winds and even a few tornadoes will be possible.

Extended Temperature Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended temperature outlook for Minneapolis through the first full week of February keeps our temps rather mild for this time of the year. There's a chance that we could be close to 40F on Wednesday with a brief cool down on Friday. However, we'll warm up pretty quickly this weekend with highs back into the mid/upper 30s.

Extended Weather Outlook For Minneapolis

The extended weather outlook for the Twin Cities shows much warmer weather in place over the next several days. There could be a little light snow on Thursday as a storm system passes to our southeast of us. Temperatures will cool into the 20s on Friday, but will warm up into the 30s again this weekend.

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 Western 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.

Difference Between Weather and Spy Balloons
By Paul Douglas

Weather balloon or spy balloon - how can one be sure? The reported Chinese spy balloon shot down off the Carolina coast earlier this week was 200 feet tall and hovered at 60,000 feet.

In stark contrast, weather balloons are released from nearly 900 locations worldwide, twice a day. A battery-powered "radiosonde" is attached to the balloon, measuring temperature, wind and humidity as the balloon rises nearly 100,000 feet into the sky, before popping and landing 25-125 miles downwind, providing a 3-D thumbprint of conditions overhead. To be able to predict weather we need to know current conditions, and not just at ground-level. The atmosphere is nearly 12 miles thick.

If you find a 6-foot balloon attached to a gadget in a tree you can return it to the local National Weather Service office and get a dollar (I think). They try to recycle them.

We may hit 40F today before a Thursday storm brushes us with a slushy coating. 10" may fall on the Wisconsin Dells.

I see 30s and a few 40s into mid-February. Woohoo!

Extended Forecast

WEDNESDAY: Mild sunshine. Winds: S 10-15. High: 40.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy and quiet. Winds: S 5. Low: 26.

THURSDAY: Coating of flurries. Storm stays south. Winds: NW 15-25. High: 35.

FRIDAY: Blue sky, coolest day in sight. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 13. High: 26.

SATURDAY: Partly sunny, warming up again. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 12. High: 33.

SUNDAY: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 24. High: 35.

MONDAY: Patchy clouds, still quiet. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 28. High: 37.

TUESDAY: Cloudy, light rain far south? Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 29. High: 35.

This Day in Weather History

February 8th

1996: Showers and thunderstorms bring a mix of freezing rain and rain across the eastern portion of Minnesota. In Edina, lightning damaged a house.

1933: Arctic air remains entrenched across Minnesota with a morning low of -55 at Warroad.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis

February 8th

Average High: 26F (Record: 50F set in 1991 & 2002)

Average Low: 10F (Record: -29F set in 1899)

Record Rainfall: 1.08" set in 1966

Record Snowfall: 5.0" set in 1905

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis

February 8th

Sunrise: 7:23am

Sunset: 5:30pm

Hours of Daylight: ~10 hours & 7 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: +2 Minutes & 46 Seconds

Daylight GAINED since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~ 1 hour & 20 minutes

Moon Phase for February 8th at Midnight

3.5 Days After 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 Wednesday

Temperatures on Wednesday will be very mild across the eastern half of the nation, where some readings will be nearly +10F to +15F above average.

National Weather Outlook Wednesday

The weather outlook for Wednesday will be fairly active across the Southern US with scattered showers and storms, some of which could be strong to severe with locally heavy rainfall. There could be some rain and snow farther north into the Great Lakes as the storm lifts north.

National Weather Outlook

An area of low pressure will develop in the Southern US with scattered showers and storms, some of which will be strong to severe with locally heavy rainfall. Areas of snow will develop on the northern side of the storm, where some 3" to 6" tallies can't be ruled out through parts of the Midwest into the Great Lakes.

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 Pacific Northwest.

Snowfall Potential

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 Midwest and eastern Canada.

Climate Stories

Hit With Extreme Weather, Texas Cities Debate Cost of Adaptation

"Experts say local governments should prioritize extreme weather preparedness. But building resilience is expensive. TWO YEARS AFTER a winter storm killed 246 people and left millions of Texans without electricity, Texas cities once again buckled under a menacing winter storm. Freezing temperatures and ice storms pushed large portions of the state to a standstill last week. Many school districts shut down through at least Thursday as ice made roads and bridges in Dallas and Austin nearly impossible to traverse. Heavy ice brought down power lines all over Austin, prompting widespread power outages in the capital city of the nation's second-most-populous state. Hundreds of thousands of businesses and households across Central and East Texas remained without power on Thursday as utility crews worked nonstop to repair downed power lines. Unlike in February 2021 when the state's electric grid nearly collapsed, last week's outages were caused by localized issues, such as power lines downed by fallen trees. Still, the weather ultimately caused major disruptions and closures, leaving Texans wondering whether the rapidly growing state is fit to handle extreme weather."

See more from Undark HERE:

"Mapped: 2022's lightning strikes"

"Florida took the top prize for the most lightning flashes last year, and the Southwest experienced significantly more lightning than usual, according to data from Vaisala, which operates a national lightning detection network. Why it matters: In a warming world, the total amount of lightning is expected to increase. Shifts in lightning hot spots can provide clues to major storm events and how storm corridors are changing over time. Details: Florida's large quantity of lightning partly reflects Hurricane Ian's devastating landfall in late September. Meanwhile, last year saw an uptick in lightning compared to the average across the Southwest, which reflects an active monsoon season. Strikes across the country's northern tier were also plentiful, revealing the prevailing storm track."

See more from Axios HERE:

"At Last, the Milky Way Gets a Better Close Up"

"The largest catalog ever collected by a single telescope maps Earth's 3 billion stellar neighbors—and helps track the dust that warps how we see them. AFTER TWO YEARS of data-taking and number-crunching, a team of astronomers has dropped a snapshot of, quite literally, cosmic proportions. It's chock-full of stellar goodness: The image shows the reddish-brown dust clouds clumped along the centerline of our Milky Way teeming with over 3 billion pinpricks of light—nearly all stars, a faint neighboring galaxy here or there. The project, based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, is called the Dark Energy Camera Plane Survey, and aims to index celestial objects located in our galactic plane. In January, the researchers published their second data release in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, making it the largest catalog, or index, of stars ever collected by a single instrument, and one of the few instances in which we've turned a camera toward the middle of our own galaxy. It's a space selfie, if you will."

See more from Wired HERE:

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