Hello and happy Monday everyone. Are you thawing out yet? I am happy to report that this 'milder' weather won't stop here, we're likely to gain a few more degrees in the temperature department through the next couple/few days right through midweek. Those, white salty roads will turn back to the dark gray color we're used to as the salt solutions that the snow plows have been spreading around town begin to hit critical temperature and work against the wintry elements. Sure, it'll be dry (no snow in the forecast), but if you were thinking about getting a car wash this week, you might want to wait until we see what the sloppy road situation will turn out to be after some snow and ice melt. I've already picked up some extra windshield washer fluid 'blue juice' just in case puddles begin to form in low spots around town. Below is the NOAA high temperature forecast for Wednesday:
Fly in the Ointment?
It'll be wonderful to have a reprieve from the Arctic air, but my concern will be the amount of sunshine by late week if the temperatures get warmer than expected. Take a look at the snow depth map below across Minnesota. Note how most locations have a decent amount of snow cover, which is sufficient for cooling near the surface. If we begin to melt snow, there will be an increase of water vapor near the surface, which will have an easier time condensing with the cold snow pack also at the surface.
Quake Off Northern California Coastline
This picture is from Eureka California where a 6.5 magnitude earthquake shook up things on Saturday afternoon. There were a number of damage reports including power outages and gas leaks, but there were no major injuries reported, which is great news!
This was the biggest quake to rock that region since April 4th, 1992 and June 15th, 2005 when a 7.2 magnitude quake hit. The epicenter was nearly 30 miles southwest of Eureka, CA - offshore - which was strong enough to be felt inland. Interestingly, there is a 78% chance of strong aftershocks in the 7 days following the main quake. Forecasts call for 20 to 70 smaller shocks, which most of won't be felt. Another interesting note is that this Gorda Plate is subducting or slipping underneath the North American Plate by nearly 2.5 to 3 centimeters per year! Doesn't seem like a lot, but any little slip can cause some major problems.
Learn more about the quake here:
Todd's Outlook for the Twin Cities
Today: Patchy clouds, a few passing flurries. High: 20
Tonight: Mostly clear, quiet and not as cold. Low: 3
Tuesday: Feeling better, mostly sunny. High: 28
Wednesday: A few passing cloud, quite mild for January standards. High: 31
Thursday: More clouds and a slight chance of flurries late, well above average temps. High: 32
Friday: Cooler and clearing. High: 24
Saturday: More sun, warming up slightly. High: 26
Sunday: Partly cloudy, thawing out again. High: near 31