Part time winter, another thaw next weekend?

Winter has been reluctant to stick around this season.

January goes into the books this weekend as another warmer than average month across Minnesota. That means two of the three months we call "meteorological winter" in these parts are warmer than average.

  • +5.1 degrees vs. average in December at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

  • +3.4 degrees vs. average at MSP (through Jan. 29)

  • 20.4 inches season snowfall so far at MSP

  • -13.2 inches vs. average so far this season

A foot below average on snowfall so far this winter? Yes snow sports are tough to find in most of Minnesota. One exception, there's been plenty of snow to play in along the Gunflint Trail and other locales in far northern Minnesota where more than 50 inches has accumulated this season.

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Wintry relapse

Winter clings to life in Minnesota over the next week. An arctic front sweeps south this weekend delivering an air mass chilling over northern Canada for a few days now.

Low pressure spins up ahead of the advancing low delivering snow to Iowa and far southern Minnesota this weekend.

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By Sunday colder winds blow across Minnesota. This arctic air mas next week will be cold but not as cold or persistent as what we endured in early January. I don't think we'll string together seven consecutive sub-zero days like we did Jan. 4-10.

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By next weekend Pacific breezes blow once again. The European model is cranking out temps in the 40s again by next weekend.

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NOAA's Climate Prediction Center picks up on the notion of incoming milder air from the west in about a week.

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The winter of 2014-15 has come in fits and start this year. That's probably a symptom of the borderline El Nino conditions in the tropical Pacific and associated jet stream changes. I still think we have a better than 50/50 shot at an early spring this year.

Stay tuned.

New York Times via NOAA

State of change: MPR special reports on climate change in Minnesota next week

We all know our climate is changing in Minnesota. In fact, Minnesota's climate is among the fastest changing in the US. Climate change is already here and now in Minnesota.

Next week MPR airs our series of special reports on climate change in Minnesota. For months we have been meeting with and interviewing Minnesota's experts across multiple sectors of climate change. We've spoken with Minnesota's leading climate scientists, economists, legal, insurance and infrastructure experts.

MPR reporters Dan Kraker and Elizabeth Dunbar lay out what we've found in a series of reports next week on MPR News. How are we measuring climate change in Minnesota? What are the tangible impacts? How are Minnesotans already adapting to our changing climate?

Tune in all next week and watch online for our special series on climate change and Minnesota next week. Kerri Miller and I will have more on next week's special one hour edition of Climate Cast Thursday at 9 a.m.

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