9th coldest on record
46 days below zero (and counting)
85% on the misery index.
These are just some of the stats used to describe this winter of 2014. Spring can't come soon enough. Meteorological winter ended Friday, giving way to meteorological Spring (March, April, May). Too bad it won't feel anything like it.
Saturday: Record cold high on this date: 0° Serious cold for Whiteout. H: 3°
Saturday Night: Very cold. L: -13 Wind: NW 10
Sunday: Mostly sunny. H: 4 L: -10 Wind: NW 4
Monday: Increasing clouds. H: 9 L: 6 Wind: NW 2
Tuesday: Snow. Close to 1 inch. H: 16 L: 4 Wind: SE 7
Wednesday: Snow. Additional 1-2 inches. H: 24 L: 12 Wind: SE 2
As of Friday, we've clocked 46 days below zero. That's good enough for 4th place. But when you count the amount of time below zero we're at 20-25 days. Crazy. This is what the good folks at Iowa Mesonet had to say about the graphic above:
The amount of time is expressed in units of 24 hour days, not the number of days with a sub zero temperature. If you are curious how these numbers compare to what we typically experience during winter, they are about 1.5 to 3 times larger than average.
Two snow storms pass just south of the state. Both will be close enough to brush extreme southern Minnesota with minor accumulations through Saturday night. Twin Cities miss out on the snow...for now.
This Friday is the end of meteorological winter, but it won't feel like it. Highs and lows will be 25-30 degrees below climatological normal through next weekend.
Meteorological winter is designated December-February and this year has been the 11th coldest on record.
Wednesday: Sunny. H: 16 L: -9 Wind: SW 10-15
Thursday: Partly sunny. H: -1 L: -10 Wind: NW 5-10
Friday: Partly sunny. H: 7 L: -12 Wind: NW 5
Saturday: Increasing clouds, overnight snow showers. H: 1 L: -10 Wind: NW 7
Sunday: Continued cold. H: 10 L: -1 Wind: NW 2
Record Ice on Great Lakes
One of the side effects of the extensive cold has been record ice cover on the Great Lakes. Ice covers an average of 88% of the lakes, the most since 1994. Lake Superior is now 94% covered giving way to spectacular ice caves that have been attracting thousands of visitors, including cyclists.
Which brings up an interesting point. Michigan's soils and shorelines are fragile, and off-road vehicles along stream banks and other waterways are restricted during the warm season. Off-road vehicles include ATV's, cars...and bikes. But what about in the rare event that the lake freezes over?
Mixed messages have been sent out. Some have been told that biking along the shoreline and ice caves is legal whereas others have been told otherwise. I know a group of riders heading up to northern Michigan this week and they plan to meet with the park rangers to get a straight answer before they hop on their saddles and explore the ice caves.
Just spoke with my mom this morning who is literally digging out (see video above) of nearly a foot of new snow. Pennsylvania and the rest of the East Coast are recovering after a winter wallop last week. Devastating ice accumulated to 1 inch across Alabama and Georgia while nearly 30 inches of snow fell in Maryland. The Northeast now has more snow on the ground than we do!
Let's face it, we all need to be done with this winter.
Minnesota does catch a big break this week. A significant warm-up occurs that brings us out of the sub-zero range and back above freezing! Finally!
Midweek warm-up is followed by another arctic chill this weekend. A bigger storm will bring snow to the Midwest later this week and bears some watching for Minnesota.
Tuesday: Sunny and warm! H: 39 Wind: SW 10
Tuesday Night: Partly clear. L: 19
Wednesday: Increasing clouds. H: 37 L: 25 Wind: SW 10-15
Thursday: Snow. H: 31 L: 5 Wind: NW 10-15
Friday: Turning colder. H: 15 L: 4 Wind: NW 10
Saturday: Partly sunny, cold. H: 16 L: -1 Wind: NW 5
Sunday: Sunny. H: 8 L: -2 Wind: NW 5
NWS Twin Cities Weather Story