Paul Douglas On Weather
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Slight Deterioration In The Drought Monitor

Once we hit winter in Minnesota, it is typically more difficult to see massive changes in the Drought Monitor. Over the past week, there was a slight increase in the amount of Minnesota under the D0 (Abnormally Dry) and D1 (Moderate Drought) categories. This generally occurred in parts of the eastern and northern metro.


Record Highs Possible Friday

A sun/cloud mix to mainly cloudy Friday is expected here in the metro, with breezy conditions also in place. The high for MSP is expected to be at least near - if not tying or breaking - the record for the day (50F in 1990).

Highs will be quite above average on Friday, ranging from the upper 30s in northern Minnesota to the low 50s in southern parts of the state. Some light rain or mixed precipitation will be possible in northern Minnesota - especially during the morning hours - with snow working into northwestern Minnesota by the evening. Far southern Minnesota will see a lot of sunshine, but work your way to the metro northward and cloud cover will be around most of Friday.

Here's a look at highs vs. records across the state on Friday. The Twin Cities appears to be the only real "reachable" record, again potentially tying the record for the day set back in 1990. It's possible, though, to see at least near-records in places like Duluth and Hibbing.

Strong southwesterly winds will also be in place on Friday ahead of a bit of a change in the weather for the weekend. Winds will gust up to around 25 mph in the metro and top 30 mph out in western Minnesota.


Snowy Saturday - Calmer Sunday

The weekend is in sight! Got plans? Here's a look at the weather this weekend:

Saturday: Some snow showers are likely as we head through the day in the metro as an area of low pressure moves just north of the Canadian border. Models peg the best chances of snow between mid-morning Saturday into the evening hours. Otherwise, cloudy skies are expected. Highs will be much cooler than they are to end the week - only reaching the mid-30s.

Sunday: While sunshine returns to the metro, we'll still be under the influence of northwesterly winds. Highs will only reach around freezing.

As that system passes through the region into Saturday, the heaviest snow amounts are expected to be out in western Minnesota where over an inch might accumulate. Totals aren't expected to be as high the farther east you go, but still will likely approach at least half an inch in the metro - and I wouldn't be surprised to see some overachieving places reach an inch.


30s And 40s Continue

After we get past the precipitation chance this weekend in the metro, quiet weather returns through most of next week. Highs will start the week off in the 30s before returning to the 40s for the second part of the week. Some models are trying to show some rain/snow showers late next week - far too out there to know specifics or whether the chance will even materialize.


Avoiding Holiday Decoration Injuries
By Paul Douglas

My goal in the coming days is to avoid a debilitating holiday decoration injury. Every year my wife and I wrestle with the Christmas tree, but that's not what I worry about. According to USA Facts an average of 18,400 Americans visit emergency rooms every December because of holiday decorations. Slipping off roofs or ladders, toddlers chewing on ornaments? I'm writing this down.

We cool off today but temperatures will be near 50, some 20F warmer than average as winds gust to 30 mph. Models still print out a candy-coating of snow Saturday, maybe a coating to an inch. A nuisance-snow, but it doesn't take much to grease up area highways. I expect slower travel tomorrow, but conditions improve on Sunday. Expect 30s early next week but another puff of Pacific air lures the mercury back into the 40s the latter half of next week. I'm not getting my hopes up - any white Christmas this year will come right down to the wire.

'Tis a joyously stressful time of the year. Happy Hannukah, and be careful out there!


Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast

FRIDAY: More clouds and wind. Wake up 39. High 52. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind W 15-30 mph.

SATURDAY: Coating to 1" of light snow. Slushy. Wake up 31. High 34. Chance of precipitation 80%. Wind NW 15-30 mph.

SUNDAY: Partly sunny with less wind. Wake up 22. High 33. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.

MONDAY: Sunny and pleasant. Wake up 23. High 39. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind S 10-20 mph.

TUESDAY: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Wake up 26. High 34. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Pacific air returns. Milder. Wake up 25. High 44. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SW 8-13 mph.

THURSDAY: Golfing in mid-December? Pleasant. Wake up 32. High 48. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SW 10-15 mph.


Minneapolis Weather Almanac And Sun Data
December 8th

*Length Of Day: 8 hours, 53 minutes, and 17 seconds
*Daylight LOST Since Yesterday: 1 minute and 4 seconds

*Day With The Least Amount Of Sunlight: December 21st (8 hours, 46 minutes, 10 seconds)
*When Is The Latest Sunrise? December 30th-January 5th (7:51 AM)
*What Is The Earliest Sunset? December 8th-14th (4:31 PM)

This Day in Weather History
December 8th

1995: A strong low pressure system passes across Northern Minnesota, producing considerable snowfall in advance of an intense cold front. Snowfall of five to eight inches was common with eight inches recorded at New London and Alexandria. The most snow reported was 9.6 inches in Mound. The Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport received 7.1 inches. The cold front moved through by late morning on the 8th as temperatures dropped 20 degrees within an hour of the frontal passage. Strong northwest winds of 20 to 40 mph immediately behind the front resulted in severe blowing and drifting and white-out conditions in many areas. Over 150 schools closed early or cancelled classes. Many businesses closed early as well. The Governor ordered state offices closed at noon on the 8th, sending thousands of state employees home. Over 100 outbound flights were cancelled at the Twin Cities International Airport, but the airport remained open.

1876: The term 'Blizzard' is first used in the government publication 'Monthly Weather Review.'

1804: John Sayer at the Snake River Fir Trading Post near present day Pine City mentions: 'Cold day. Thermometer 10 degrees below freezing.' Lewis and Clark also noted this cold wave at their winter quarters in Ft. Mandan, North Dakota near present day Bismarck.


National Weather Forecast

On Friday, we'll be tracking two areas of low pressure - one in the Southern Plains, and another just north of International Falls in northern Minnesota. These will help to produce showers and storms from the Great Lakes to the Gulf Coast, with snow behind in parts of the Rockies and Northern Plains. Areas of the Pacific Northwest will also see some rain and snow. A few record highs are possible in the Southern Plains and in the Upper Midwest.

A few pockets of heavier precipitation is expected through Saturday evening - one across the mid/lower Mississippi Valley, and another in parts of the Northwest. Totals will generally remain under 3".

Through the first half of the weekend, some western mountainous areas could see a foot to foot and a half of snowfall - particularly in parts of the Cascades and northern Rockies.


2023 is officially the hottest year ever recorded, and scientists say "the temperature will keep rising"

More from CBS News: "After months of expectation, it's official — 2023 will be the hottest year ever recorded. The European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service announced the milestone after analyzing data that showed the world saw its warmest-ever November. Last month was roughly 1.75 degrees Celsius warmer than the pre-industrial average, Copernicus said, with an average surface air temperature of 14.22 degrees Celsius, or about 57.6 degrees Fahrenheit. And now, Copernicus says that for January to November 2023, global average temperatures were the highest on record — 1.46 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average."

The U.S. is moving away from coal. We toured a central Minnesota plant in transition

More from Project Optimist: "High-pitched whines, middling whirs, and deep thrumming fill the turbine room at the coal-powered Sherburne County Generating Station. Ear protection is required. Plant Director Michelle Neal must raise her voice on a tour to speak over turbines and generators turned by steam produced in three massive furnaces. The furnaces are the size of large buildings, visible for miles around the plant. They seem to sprout from the potato fields that surround it. "I don't think that people understand the massiveness of the plants," Neal said outside, in the shadow of the first unit. "It's such an awe-inspiring location. We are the largest electric generating facility in the state of Minnesota." The Sherco plant started producing energy more than four and a half decades ago. When all units are firing, it can generate 2,220 megawatt hours, which is enough to power roughly 1.5 million homes. At the end of the month, Xcel Energy will power down one of three coal-firing units at this generating station. Forever. It's part of a massive shift in the company's and the state's electricity production."

More than 3 million U.S. workers have clean energy jobs, report finds

More from Yale Climate Connections: "When people hear the phrase, "clean energy jobs," many think of solar panel installers or wind turbine technicians. But those are just two of many careers in clean energy. Keefe: "Think about the manufacturers that produce, for instance, energy-efficient appliances, who produce electric vehicles … construction workers … who go out and make our homes, our offices, our schools more energy efficient through better insulation, through better windows and doors, through better lighting systems, better HVAC systems and that sort of thing. That's actually the biggest part of the clean economy and the clean jobs market." Bob Keefe directs Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), which publishes an annual clean jobs report. The report finds that more than 3 million people in the U.S. are employed in clean energy, and clean jobs grew 4% in 2022."


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Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

- D.J. Kayser