Red, white and blue states

Last week I enjoyed being a weather spectator from south Florida. It was a wild week of weather across the nation. A striking diversion from the presidential primaries, yet a not dissimilar patriotic image painted on the weather map.

From the beaches of Florida, with the white sand and the radiant sunshine, within hours I correctly called this a red state based in large part on the glow of my tinged fair skin.

Watching news reports of destructive tornadoes in the nation’s midsection it was clear that there was a strong dividing line between the unseasonably warm and unseasonably cold air masses through Arkansas and Tennessee.

At poolside, surrounded with family and friends from the northern states, we commiserated by phone with those left behind to deal with historical season snowfall in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Reports validated snow piled so high at intersections it remains difficult to see the cross traffic. The sun’s brilliant reflection off the fresh snowfall was whiter than the sand on the Florida beach.

Clearly Minnesota was the blue state with a record low reading of 40 below at International Falls. Exposed skin had the potential to freeze, turning blue in minutes. I am pleased to learn that the Falls has duly reclaimed its trade mark title as the Ice Box of the Nation.

The MPR weather team is keeping tabs on a developing weather system that promises to dump several inches of snow on central Minnesota later today and overnight. Snow should break out around mid afternoon from Grand Forks to Fergus Falls.

Paul and I will keep you updated on the expected snow accumulations. Currently the heaviest snow is likely to occur north of Interstate 94.

Snowfall potential

Enjoy the seasonal temperatures this afternoon, more Arctic cold is on the way for Valentine’s Day.


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