Hang in there, we're stuck in this cold abyss for a while. In fact, temperatures look to stay below normal through the middle of January. Praying for a warm front. The lack of any thaw, however, will allow for pristine trail conditions for fatbikes.
Monday Night: Snow showers. About 1 inch accumulation. L: -9 Wind: NW 7
New Year's Eve: Cold, increasing clouds. Snow after midnight to ring in the new year. Accumulations ~1" H: 0 L: -9 Wind: NW 2-4
New Year's Day: Cloudy. H: 5 L: -7 Wind: NE 10
Thursday: Sunny. H: 3 L: -10 Wind: NW 4
Friday: Partly sunny. Slight warming thru the night. H: 15 L: 20 Wind: S 5-10
Saturday: Snow showers. Little to no accumulation. H: 20 L: 7 Wind: NW 15-20
Sunday: Partly cloudy. H: 13 L: -8 Wind: NW 10-15
The Twin Cities have not had a high temperature below zero degrees this month. Yes, we've had 4-5 consecutive days in the single digits but none below zero...yet.
After a brief thaw into Saturday, a cold, harsh reality settles in early next week. Highs on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday may barely break zero!
For the record, the lowest maximum temperature ever observed was -20° on January 15, 1888. Ouch.
Saturday: Increasing clouds. H: 40 Wind: N 5-10
Saturday Night: Snow, half inch of new accumulation. L: -8 Wind: NW 10-15
Sunday: MUCH colder. Staying sub-zero. H: -2 L: -15 Wind: NW 10
Monday: Mostly sunny. H: -3 L: -16 Wind: WSW 2
New Year's Eve: Still brutally cold. Coldest of the week? H: -5 L: -11 Wind: N 5
New Year's Day: Snow showers/flurries. Above zero. H: 5 L: 0 Wind: SE 7
Race to the Antarctic
It may be summer in the southern hemisphere but temperatures can still get down to -30°F across Antarctica. Few cyclists have dared attempt a mission to the South Pole but, with the recent arrival of the fatbike, there has been a surge of adventure cyclists racing to be the first ever to pedal to the South Pole. Track the progress of three cyclists as they race against each other and brave the harsh elements all with the end goal to be the first to bike to the heart of Antarctica.
Flying Saucer Clouds
If you've ever biked across the western US, you may have encountered clouds that look like flying saucers or a stack of pancakes.
2WheelWeather fan, Dan Owens, captured this picture above while on a trip through the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming. This type of cloud formation is known as a Altocumulus Standing Lenticular cloud. They typically form in winter and spring when the winds aloft are at their strongest. Moist, fast-moving air hits perpendicular to a mountain range, like the Rockies, and creates a mountain wave cloud.
Recently, a spectacular mountain wave cloud formed along the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. The image above was taken at night (notice the city lights) on December 18 and shows the feathery look to the mountain wave clouds downwind of the Rockies. The solid white you see on the mountains is actually snow.
No two snowflakes are alike. An individual flake's beauty can be mesmerizing. I admit, I'm a flake-aholic. I find myself ogling over high-res pictures of these delicate and incredibly symmetric ice crystals.
Researchers from the University of Utah use a special camera located at the Atla Ski Resort to capture snowflakes in action. These multi-angle snowflake cameras capture real-time footage of falling snowflakes. Observing their size and shape can help predict avalanches.
"[I]f the storm starts out with (flakes called) stellar plates, then switches to graupel — that Styrofoam ball kind of snow — then you know that the density has gone way up and you have what we call ‘upside-down’ snow, meaning denser snow on top of lighter snow, which can cause avalanches.”
Quick-moving clipper brings another coating of snow to the area just in time for the holiday. Expect quiet yet cloudy conditions the rest of this week. Turning crazy cold by Sunday.
Christmas Eve: Snow. H: 10 Wind: SE 10-15
Christmas Eve Night: Snow continues. Accumulations: 1"-2" L: 8 Wind: S 10
Christmas Day: Lingering morning flurries. H: 25 L: -2 Wind: NW 10
Thursday: Mostly cloudy. H: 18 L: 14 Wind: S 5-10
Friday: Cloudy. H: 24 L: 15 Wind: SW 5
Saturday: Partly cloudy. H: 30 L: -3 Wind: SW 10
Sunday: Partly cloudy and cold. H: -1 L: -15 Wind: NW 10-15
Hey, it could be worse. Scientists recently discovered the coldest place on the planet. The temperature just off a ridge in the East Antarctic Plateau reached minus 135.8°F, in the middle of August no less! Really puts our cold into perspective.
After a quick 1-2 inch coating of new snow on the trails, cold settles in again for the weekend. A storm that passes to our south and brings accumulating snow to Iowa and Wisconsin and flooding rains to the Ohio Valley. Minnesota is spared.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy, light wind. H: 22 Wind: NE 2
Saturday Night: Cloudy. L: 11 Wind: N 7
Sunday: Cloudy. H: 16 L: -7 Wind: NW 10 mph
Monday: Sunny but wind chill sub zero. Bitterly cold. H: 1 L: -7 Wind: NW 7
Christmas Eve: Partly cloudy, breezy. H: 16 L: 12 Wind: S 10-15
Christmas Day: Cloudy, light snow showers. H: 22 L: 1 Wind: SW 10-15
Thursday: Partly sunny. H: 9 L: 0 Wind: W 10
Friday: Mostly sunny. H: 11 L: -1 Wind: SW 7
Okay, do you want the good news or the bad news first? Though the amount of daylight will decrease for a few more days as the sun continues to rise later, we have passed the earliest sunset of the year and will see the sun set later each day. The winter solstice and the official start to winter is Saturday. Bring on the bright summer evenings!
Something odd fell from the sky Monday, December 16...snow in the shape of corkscrew pasta! I've been scratching my head trying to figure out how these individual snowflakes obtained this odd shape. Maybe it has to do with the type of tiny air particles and just the right atmospheric conditions? No clue! Some things defy explanation.
Minnesota Heat Waves Linked to Lost Cryosphere
New study links loss of arctic sea ice and snow melt to extreme weather in the mid-latitude, including in Minnesota. Warning, technical weather talk:
Atmospheric changes associated with the combined snow/ice reductions reveal widespread upper-level height increases, weaker upper-level zonal winds at high latitudes, a more amplified upper-level pattern, and a general northward shift in the jet stream.
More frequent extreme summer heat events over mid-latitude continents are linked with reduced sea ice and snow through these circulation changes.
You may have seen this story but I though it was the coolest thing. Imagine raindrops that fall today being preserved for billions of years.
Recently discovered raindrops in South Africa were fossilized in volcanic ash 2.7 billion years ago. This discovery provided a clue as to what our atmosphere was like during that time. Based on the size of the imprints, scientists were able to conclude that the atmosphere that created the preserved raindrops was nearly twice as thick as today.
Below zero temperatures have been the norm lately. Average temperatures this month are now running 10 degrees below average. A brief warm-up close to freezing occurs by mid week followed by a quick snow on Thursday and a deep freeze into the weekend.
Tuesday: Overnight snow ends. Afternoon clearing. H: 24 Wind: WNW 10-15
Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy. L: 13 Wind: SE 5-10
Wednesday: Warmest day of the week. H: 30 L: 11 Wind: W 4
Thursday: Snow developing throughout the afternoon. Totals: 1"-2" H: 20 L: 19 Wind: NE 10
Friday: Mostly cloudy, colder. H: 16 L: 7 Wind: NW 2-4
Saturday: Partly sunny. H: 19 L: 4 Wind: S 4
Sunday: Dry and cold. H: 10 L: -4 Wind: NW 10
The snow you see out on the trails is here to stay. No significant warm up in sight. My apologies in advance for those wishing for a warm up! Conditions look to stay colder than normal through the weekend with a few nuisance snow showers.
Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Snow showers. H: 13 Wind: NE 5
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy. L: 0 Wind: CALM
Sunday: Light snow showers. H: 14 L: 10 Wind: SE 5
Monday: Cloudy, snow showers. H: 27 L: 14 Wind: W 5-10
Tuesday: Mostly sunny. H: 18 L: -3 Wind: W 5-10
Wednesday: Bitter cold returns. H: 8 L: -4 Wind Chill: near 0
2WheelWeather Talk - Episode #2
I recently had a chance to catch up with Brad Boyd, the race director of the Fatbike Frozen 40. This 40 mile endurance race occurs in the middle of February...in Minnesota...in the dead of winter!...so the weather will sure to have an impact on race day!
Building a Snow Ready Cycling City
The Twin Cities has received 9.2" of snow this season. So far, that's 5" below normal. We got a long way to go because we typically average 51.8" of snow a year. But, hey, at least the city plows the Greenway!
Other cities like Ottawa, Canada average 88" of snow a year. This city has also been busy planning a bike infrastructure that helps cyclists travel year round.
With the plowing of more bike lanes, new 'meter hitches' and inexpensive fatbikes, the number of winter riders is bound to increase!
Simple Physics and Cycling
Remember torque and kinetic energy in high school physics class? Scientists at MIT are using basic physics to turn a bike into a hybrid. The Copenhagen Wheel makes pedaling effortless. What's even cooler is that the same energy that powers your forward motion also powers environmental sensors such as relative humidity, carbon monoxide and temperature. Every Copenhagen Wheeled bike is essentially a mobile weather station!
After one of the coldest air outbreaks in years, the weather finally begins to warm late this week.
Tuesday: Mostly cloudy, snow showers/flurries. H: 9 Wind: W 15-20
Tuesday Night: Partly cloudy, frigid. L: -5 Wind Chill: -15 to -20
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, last truly cold day. H: 3 L: -1 Wind: WNW 10
Thursday: Slightly warmer south wind. H: 20 L: 12 Wind: SW 5-10
Friday: Turning mostly cloudy. H: 25 L: 14 Wind: SW 2
Saturday: Snow flurries. H: 17 L: 2 Wind: NW 10
Sunday: Snow. Minor accumulations less than 1 inch. H: 16 L: 6 Wind: E 10
Welcome to the coldest weather since 2008! Temperatures will struggle to break even 10 degrees and wind chill values 20 below zero will test even the best cold weather riding gear. After everybody's frozen we only modestly start to climb out of this arctic abyss late next week. Good grief!
Saturday: Partly sunny, dry for Global Fatbike Day. Wind chill: -5 to -10 H: 5 Wind: W 5-10
Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy. Wind chill -16. L: -1 Wind: W 10
Sunday: Snow continuing overnight. Totals: 1-2" H: 15 L: 4 Wind: SE 2-4
Monday: Mostly cloudy. H: 8 L: -3 Wind: WNW 10-15
Tuesday: Snow showers. Less than 1 inch accumulation. H: 11 L: -7 Wind: NW 10-15
Wednesday: Partly sunny. H: 10 L: -4 Wind: SW 5-10
When the air is so bitterly cold, ice crystals can form out of clear air. These ice crystals are sometimes referred to as diamond dust and can cause beautiful optical phenomena in the sky. The pillars of sun like the ones shown above are a common sight in Minnesota on very cold mornings and form when ice crystals refract sunlight low on the horizon.
Find Fatbike Snow
If you want to crush some snow you gotta head up north. Duluth and areas along the north shore of Lake Superior got hammered by over 20 inches of snow this week! Duluth had a storm snow total of 23.3 inches Monday-Wednesday.
Minnesota Cimate Change
Milder winters, more heat waves, heavier rain events. The jury may still be out on wether climate change is natural of human caused but change is evident even for an ordinary observer. For Minnesota, 7 of the past 10 warmest years have occurred in the past 15 years. The state has also experienced more intense droughts and heavy rain events. You can read more here about Minnesota climate change and weather hazards from state climatologist Mark Seeley and the University of Minnesota Extension climate team.
NASA has just released this most detailed movie to date of Saturn's north pole, known as 'the hexagon'.
The hexagon is a wavy jet stream of 200-mile-per-hour winds (about 322 kilometers per hour) with a massive, rotating storm at the center. There is no weather feature exactly, consistently like this anywhere else in the solar system.
Best part about the hexagon?....astronomers aren't exactly sure how it takes on that shape.
Several rounds of snow early in the week followed by bitter cold!
Tuesday: Snow. Totals: 1-2 inches. H: 39 Wind: E 5-10
Tuesday Night: Snow slowly winding down. L: 14 Wind: SW 10-20
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy. Arctic front arrives. H: 16 L: -2 Wind: NW 10-20
Thursday: Cold settles in. Wind chill below zero. H: 7 L: -6 Wind: NW 10
Friday: Mostly clear but crazy cold. H: 4 L: -7 Wind: WNW 10
Saturday: Cold for Global Fatbike Day. Luckily lighter wind. H: 4 L: 2 Wind: NW 2-4
Sunday: Mostly cloudy. H: 8 L: 2 Wind: NE 5-10
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