This December's snowfall is burying monthly average
Mother Nature brought out her best behavior Christmas Day.
The National Weather Service reported tranquil was the catch word of the day for weather across most of the nation. The Brainerd lakes area was sparkling beneath a fresh mantle of fluffy snow. About 2.5 inches of new snow was reported in the Brainerd area by Christmas morning. Temperatures could not be considered anything but warm even at 22 degrees. That’s about 52 degrees warmer than it was during the early morning hours on Christmas Eve.
And it’s the gift that keeps giving — at least for a few days. After dropping to 10 below overnight, temperatures should rebound to a workable 16 degrees Thursday, Dec. 26, with a calm wind.
Those who are looking to exchange gifts or find post-Christmas deals may contend with another round of snow. The weather service reported snow is likely — at 60 percent — mainly between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday. Accumulation is expected to be less than an inch.
By Friday, this brief thaw will be in full swing as a southern wind brings in an anticipated high of 32 degrees. The kind of temperature, after this December, that is likely to make jackets optional. Saturday may not be as warm, but it will be close with an expected high near 27 degrees.
“By Friday, it’s going to seem downright balmy. Enjoy that while you can because it’s not going to last,” said Carol Christenson, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth.
Cold will return with gusto.
“Another round of bitterly cold temperatures is expected for the second half of the weekend into early next week,” the weather service reported. “Bitterly cold overnight low temperatures are forecast with high temperatures struggling to warm above zero. Even colder windchill values will occur at times.”
Compared to the brief warm-up, temperatures will make a nearly 55 degree plunge in the opposite direction. Next week’s forecast is full of negative numbers. Overnight lows are expected to be 22 below Sunday and 20 below Monday. Highs on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday may be in the single digits below zero.
Continuing the roller coaster weather ride, after this latest cold snap another warm-up is in the extended forecast for late next week and through the following weekend.
“If you can just last through this one coming up it should improve as far as temperatures go,” Christenson said of the next round of sub-zero cold temperatures.
The extended forecast doesn’t indicate much snow, outside of small accumulations, during the coming week. Duluth has already received 38.2 inches of snow, putting this December as No. 4 for all-time snowiest.
“Cold and snowy will probably be the weather words to describe December of 2013,” Christenson said. “So far our average temperature in Duluth has been 5.2 degrees — almost 11 degrees below the normal.”
In Brainerd, the average temperature has been 3.9 degrees. That’s about 10 degrees below normal.
Brainerd’s total snowfall to date is 21.8 inches. The average snowfall for December is 9.5 inches. Brainerd’s average total winter snowfall is 46 inches. According to weather records, the maximum snowfall during a 30-day period in Brainerd, stands at 35.5 inches.
For those already weary of winter just six days into its official start, January is typically the snowiest month of the year. March is third, behind December. It’s too early to know if this winter is getting the snow and cold out of its system early or if this is a winter-long pattern. The weather service lists it as an equal chance. But keeping the shovels and hand warmers close by or snowblowers in good working order may be a good New Year’s resolution.