Can you believe that we are already staring at the last page of the 2009 calendar?And these next two weeks absolutely fly by... before you know it, we'll be ringing in the New Year with "Auld Lang Syne" and funky 2010 sunglasses. Just to make it even more interesting, how about an atmospheric curve ball? Yes, those weekend whispers of a wintry blast coming by Christmas may come true. Those rumors will continue this week as you busily get ready for the long holiday weekend, so keep one eye/ear on the forecast if have travel plans this week, especially if you are heading south and east to "Whoville" for the annual "Roast Beast" dinner.
Winter Begins... Officially
At 11:47am today, the suns rays will shine directly over the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.5 degrees latitude south marking the first day of astronomical winter for us in the Northern Hemisphere.
Watch closely, the sun will be at its lowest point in the sky, today, than it is at any other time of the year. We are down to 8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight, which is cut nearly cut in half from the Summer Solstice back in June when we see 15 hours and 37 minutes of daylight. At least we have daylight... The Arctic Circle is in complete darkness until middle/end of January! Those are some hardy folks that live up there.
December Numbers So Far
We went from the 2nd warmest November on record in the Twin Cities area to temperatures running nearly 5 degrees colder than average for the first 20 days of the month. We most certainly have had a wintry chill to start December, but snowfall this season has been a little bleak, especially in central Minnesota. The Twin Cities' seasonal snowfall deficit is nearly 3.4 inches, but December snow numbers are running 4.4 inches above average. More is expected by the end of the week, which could could another block buster for some folks in the Upper Midwest. Below is an image of the 5 day precipitation accumulation from 6pm Sunday to 6pm Friday - the area of interest is circled in red/yellow - this is where the precipitation will be 'mostly' all snow (details to be hammered out in the coming days) however, this could be a whopper for some... Stay tuned!
Todd's Outlook for the Twin Cities
Today: Mostly cloudy, a bit colder with very light snow/flurries, a dusting or coating possible. High: 20
Tonight: A little light snow possible. Low: 15
Tuesday: Lingering clouds, flurries possible (especially south/west of St. Cloud). High: 21
Wednesday: Calm before the storm? Periods of sun, good travel weather. High: 24
Christmas Eve: Cloudy with snow developing. High: 26
Christmas Day: Snow, potentially heavy, enough to shovel/plow? High: 22
Saturday: Snow tapers to flurries. A very substantial snowfall is possible by Saturday, the heaviest amounts over the southern half of Minnesota. High: 19
Sunday: Some sun, better travel day as we dig out statewide. High: 25