Trailheads temporarily closed as temperatures rose above freezing to start the week. A colder puff of Canadian air will send temps back below normal (26°) late this week. Icy conditions for now but several inches of snow Saturday could make for a promising weekend of riding.
Amazing what just a few inches of snow could do for the trails. A two inch snowfall would be enough to cover up most of the icy patches. While a few inches Saturday will do the trails good, no significant snow events are expected through early next week.
Temperatures are set to remain below freezing Wednesday on into the weekend. A slightly cooler-than-normal bias stays into early February.
The area saw 14 days this month either at or above freezing. From January 17-24 we had eight consecutive days above freezing. The record is 18 consecutive days.
Ice still lurks below the 1"-3" snowfall we had this week. Luckily this replenishing snow remains in good condition as cloudy, cold weather continues into the weekend. Ongoing flurries and snow showers will amount to less than one inch. A brief return above freezing Monday is followed by a stretch of cold to start February.
With a broad northwesterly flow across the Central U.S. conditions will be unfavorable for a big snow event over the next 2 weeks. A quick-moving clipper may get close to producing some snow across the area Monday-Tuesday. As we saw with the last storm, it really doesn't take much snow to greatly improve trail conditions. Stay tuned!
Your prayers for snow have been answered. There is the potential for a packable snow Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. A storm that has developed in eastern Colorado will drift just south of Minnesota. This type of storm track is favorable for precipitation (in the form of snow during winter) across central and southern portions of the state. Two to four inches (with isolated five inch amounts) of a heavy, wet snow could fall by Wednesday. The I-90 corridor could receive as much as six to eight inches!
The map above shows significant surface lows that will be impacting the nation early this week. The "Colorado Low" (center storm) packs just enough moisture and cold air to help replenish our depleted snow pack. Heaviest snow will fall Tuesday night in the Twin Cities.
Fairbanks, Alaska had a low temperature of -50 degrees on Wednesday. Coldest in 5 years! Makes our highs in the 40s feel balmy. As warm, moist air drifts over our dwindling snow pack low stratus clouds and fog will form. Misty drizzle along with a cold rain Saturday will make it look more like March. Needless to say trail riding is on hold until the cold can make a comeback.
The latest MODIS Terra satellite image shows what's left of the snow cover. Bare ground is now visible across southwestern Minnesota. No big snow events or arctic invasions in the long term outlook. Above normal temperatures will continue for Minnesota through early February.
While the first two weeks of January were unseasonably cold, the latest bout of warm weather will bring our monthly average temperature back above normal. January will likely end up being the 17th consecutive month featuring above normal monthly temperatures in the Twin Cities.
Yet another record warm streak was reached. NOAA and NASA announced this week that 2016 was the third consecutive year of record warmth globally.
A classic "January Thaw" is underway. The Twin Cities area is set to experience above normal and, at times, above freezing temperatures well into the weekend. The two inch snow depth out on the trails will slowly melt to slush. After a bout of rain (yes rain!) and snow this weekend temperatures will return closer to normal (highs in the 20s) late next week.
The official definition of a January Thaw is a period of unseasonably warm (usually above freezing) weather in mid to late January. The forecast for number of days (including nights) spent at or above freezing (32F) is currently nine. The record stretch is 18 days set in January 1944.
6 TO 10 dAY tEMPERATURE oUTLOOK
Each of the past 16 consecutive months had above normal average monthly temperatures. That's an impressive streak. This January has been trending slightly colder than normal but with the warmer air this week and the 6-10 day temperature outlook (above) indicating above normal temperatures, this month may make the 17th consecutive month with above normal temperatures.
The next potential ice event stays south of the Twin Cities. Instead a fresh blanket of snow will temporarily freshen up the snowpack...that is until the January thaw kicks in.
You may want to hold off on washing your bike anytime soon. A much anticipated thawing out period begins this week. A warm south breeze ahead of an approaching storm will send highs into the 40s this weekend. Rain (yes rain!) is looking more likely Saturday and Sunday.
By now it is no secret that the trails are icy. Studded tires have been recommended at all Twin Cities trailheads. A few opportunities of snow this week may be enough to hide the ice and gain some extra traction on the singletrack.
California is getting hammered by Pacific storms this week. This Pineapple Express weather set up will draw unusually warm, moist air into the West Coast to produce dangerous flooding. Energy from these storms will routinely move across the Upper Midwest, significantly increasing Minnesota's likelihood for snow.
Occasional, light snow can be expected almost every day this week with the model average snowfall forecast indicating around 4 inches of new snow by Thursday.
The snow is then followed by the coldest stretch of weather yet this winter. (Yes! The air is about to get even colder!) We will spend Friday far below zero degree with a record strong Canadian high pressure right overhead. The brutal cold is short-lived, however. We thaw out by late January.
Summer brings warm afternoons perfect for biking, but the summer heat and humidity can also spark thunderstorms and severe weather. Be prepared for any type of adverse weather headed your way with Aeris Pulse.
NWS Twin Cities Weather Story