Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Sure it's cold, but this is -nutin! Could you image what this would be like if there was a good 12" of snow on the ground from here to the the North Pole? Deep snow pack has a unique way of chilling an air mass by reflecting most of the incoming solar radiation back to space. Where there is no daylight, like around the Arctic Circle, the cold air mass continues to grow and get colder until it gets dislodged. Interestingly, part of that cold air has been dislodged right into the Upper Midwest. Check out this satellite animation:
Large storms wrapping up near the Gulf of Alaska and Alaska's Aleutian Islands are sending the jet stream or strong upper level winds well north into Canada, which is dislodging chunks of the Arctic air, in waves, and sending them southeastward.
Here's some color for you:
(Looking at the northern hemisphere)
The image below shows exactly where the heart of the Arctic air is. It may be hard to see what we are looking at here, but the north pole is right in the center of the image. Notice the faint white lines... those are land masses and the outlined land mass in the center, near the bottom of the image is the U.S. - Asia is located just opposite that in the center near the top... Can you see it?? Next look at the colors. Notice the purple and pink colors just north of Alaska. This is where overnight lows are dropping into the 40's and 50's below zero! That is the heart of the Arctic air. Also notice the "L" located near the Aleutian Islands of Alaska (outlined in the black line contours) This is the same low that I've depicted in the graphic above. The light blue coloring over the Upper Midwest is some of the coldest air we've seen so far this season, but again, it's -nutin!
Take a look at what the extended weather models are depicting at days 7-10:
The blob of purples and pinks are in and just north of the Canadian Prairie Provinces. The darker blue coloring is in Minnesota and THIS is when I think we'll see our first sub-zero low temperature across central and northern Minnesota. Time frame would be Tuesday night - Friday morning of NEXT week. We'll have to wait and see if this pans out, but it is interesting to look at the weather maps from this perspective isn't it?
Weather Conditions Today:
Low clouds and and cool temperatures will squeeze out a few flurries across the region today. Accumulations are not likely, except along the south shore of Lake Superior. The light blue color indicates light snow/flurries.
Todd's Outlook for the Twin Cities
Today: Feeling quite chilly, single digit wind chill values through the middle morning hours. Lot's of clouds, a few flakes around. High: 27
Tonight: Flurries still possible with single digit wind chill values. Low: 16
Friday: Partly sunny, not as breezy, but still a few flakes. High: 25
Saturday: A few more peeks of sun, feeling like December. High: 27
Sunday: Partly sunny, light snow showers possible. High 28
Monday: Partly sunny, light snow possible. High 27
Tuesday: Cooling down again. High 24