12/8/14: November in December

The area of low pressure that moved across southern Canada yesterday and swept in some mild air has now moved into northwestern Ontario. This places North Dakota and western Minnesota on the back side of the low and with it, a northwesterly wind.  The cold front associated with the low did bring some light precipitation across the area during the overnight hours.

13 Z (7:00 AM) Surface Analysis
13 Z (7:00 AM) Surface Analysis

The precipitation was light but it was enough to glaze up the roads and travel conditions are not terrible but there will be some slick spots in the area especially this morning.  But even this afternoon with the temperatures steady or falling through the day will allow for any liquid on the surfaces freeze making for the potential of some travel problems even later in the day.

ND Road Conditions this morning
ND Road Conditions this morning

 

MN roads
MN Road Conditions this morning

Outside of perhaps the typical flurries you can always see anytime there are clouds in the winter, no precipitation is expected the rest of the day, but with a stiff northwest wind ushering in cold air from Canada all day, temperatures are not expected to climb much at all today, in fact, the temperatures may fall a bit during the course of the day.

8:00 AM Temperatures
8:00 AM Temperatures
8:00 AM Wind Speed and Direction
8:00 AM Wind Speed and Direction

 

The wind is expected to stay in the 15 to 30 mph range out of the north or northwest throughout the day and with temperatures steady or even falling a bit, it will definitely much a colder experience outdoors today than what was experienced on Sunday.  But today is likely going to the be the exception not the rule for what is expected in the weather for the rest of the week.

The current jet stream configuration has the north central part of the United States in a northwesterly flow aloft, but if you look carefully at the graphic below you will notice a ridge (upward tendency) of the wind.  That is expected to move slowly easterly this week and with it a significant warm up.

 

gfs_jet_300_conus_5
Projected Jet-stream (300 mb wind) at Noon today

 

By Friday, which appears at the moment to be the warmest day of the next 7 days, it is projected that a large ridge be in place over North Dakota and Minnesota.  This should allow for a surge of warm air from the deep south to advect into the region bringing record or near record warmth.

 

Friday 12/12/14 6:00 PM Progged 300 mb Wind Speed and Direction
Friday 12/12/14 6:00 PM Progged 300 mb Wind Speed and Direction

 

After today each day should bring slightly warmer temperatures with Friday being the warmest before the cooler air starts to move back into the region this weekend.  The temperatures on Friday may approach the record high for the date in many locations across North Dakota.  The records are presented below (there are a few stray very short term record in the low 30s that should be ignored).  Locations with highs in the 40s, like Fargo at 46° would be sites with the highest probability of breaking a record.  Either way, this week the pattern will be conducive for some very mild temperatures and with many days well above the freezing point, much of the current snow pack will disappear.

12 12 records
Record High Temperatures across North Dakota for December 12

 

The transition to cooler weather this weekend would be the next threat of precipitation in the form of snow or rain (or both) especially Saturday Night into Sunday.  Until that time frame the November temperature regime that went missing should finally show up, just a month late.

Daryl Ritchison