12/11/14: Inversion Problems

There continues to be a fairly tight pressure gradient in the area.  Today should be another day with a southerly wind in the 10-25 mph range.  The south wind also continues to feed low level moisture into the regions with abundant reports of low clouds and fog throughout eastern North and South Dakota and pretty much all of Minnesota.

7:00 AM Surface Analysis


Although the visibility will improve today, the low clouds will be stubborn to erode.  Yesterday, many locations did finally break into some sunshine and at least some areas will today, but the process will be slow for many and if your area does break into some sunshine.  High temperatures were in the low to mid 30s in central and eastern North Dakota with 50s in the more abundant sunshine and slightly higher elevations of southwestern North Dakota.  High temperatures today look somewhat similar.

December 10, 2014 maximums
December 10, 2014 maximums

There is much potential for highs to reach the 40s in eastern North Dakota, but the low clouds will likely keep temperatures down into the low to mid 30s once again.  If you read my blog yesterday on the strong inversion that is currently in place you have a better understanding of that potential.  Temperatures just three of four thousand feet above the ground will reach into the 50s the next couple of days, but with the low level moisture in place, very little if any of that “heat” will transfer to the surface, but even 30s is quite mild for the time of year and a far improvement over what we have experienced in the past month.

Moisture wise, there still appears to be a threat of some precipitation on Sunday (a light mix of rain and snow) and into Monday, although a bulk of this moisture looks to be staying to the south of North Dakota.  Otherwise, a dry and cooler forecast next week with some signs of a warm up for the weekend before Christmas.  No major storms foreseen at this time.

Daryl Ritchison