Six Pix for 12/25/05

SIX PIX FOR 12/25/05


From: Linda Olson
from Detroit Lakes, MN

    You just have to smile after taking one look at this great picture from Linda Olson.  This is a picture of one of her Bichon Friese puppies, 7 month old Madeline, having a tough time getting around in the snow.  Linda said that she had to give Madeline a bath in the sink to get all the snow off of her.  She also has another bichon friese puppy, 3 month old Elizabeth, who decided that it would be smarter to stay inside. 

Thanks for the great picture!
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Happy Winter Solstice!

Today is the winter solstice, at 12:35 PM local time the sun’s direct rays will be over the Tropic of Capricorn. I won’t get into the “First Day of Winter” myth as I already blogged about that last September, but I do very much enjoy the two solstice days of the year. Why you ask? It’s all because of sun angle. Most people think of the winter solstice as the “shortest day of the year” and the summer solstice as the “longest day of the year” (are they not all 24 hours?), but I think of the solstices as the highest and lowest sun angles of the year.

Today at solar noon (which is never at noon locally because of our position in the time zone) the sun will reach its maximum height above the horizon at only 19 degrees (in Fargo, 18 degrees in Grand Forks). With snow on the ground reflecting what little heat the sun is giving us this time of year with that low sun angle, it’s no wonder we can get very cold around the holidays. Fortunately for us, the Pacific Ocean will be the source of our airmass for the next few days, so mild weather is expected most days, but with the warmer air will come a few shots of freezing rain and/or snow. With temperatures also climbing above freezing during the days and below freezing at night, frosty roads and icey spots will need to be watched on the roads the next few days as well.

Six Pix for 12/18/05

SIX PIX FOR 12/18/05

From: Tori Johnson
from Pelican Rapids, MN

Taken near Lake Lida, MN on Saturday,
December 16th, 2005

Even though our wintry weather has deeply impacted our traveling weather so far this year, it has made for some great pictures! Tori wrote: "There has been so much snow collecting on the trees they are bending over and touching the ground."

Thanks for the great picture!
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Creepers

The most common question asked of meteorologists when a winter storm is coming is, “When is it gonna hit?”

The thing about winter storms is that they usually don’t have a “hit” moment. Only rarely does a winter storm begin with a sudden ferocity that stops everything cold. Much more common is the winter storm that creeps up gradually, beginning with a little bit of snow or wind or something that gradually builds until eventually, it’s a bad storm.

This is the reason most accidents occur in winter storms. People are lured out onto the highways by conditions that are not that bad. But then it gets bad.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that the vast number of weather-related serious car accidents happen not in the height of the worst of storms, but rather when conditions are only marginally bad. The Highway Patrols in both Minnesota and North Dakota will tell you it’s people driving too fast for the conditions; conditions that are only just beginning to deteriorate.

The present storm is no exception. Light snow has roadsways covered with slush which is beginning to freeze tonight. As the temperature drops, the wind picks up, and the snow gets heavier, road conditions will gradually get worse. And while this will never be anything like a blizzard or a bad snowstorm, I can tell you there will be an awful lot of car accidents.

Six Pix for 12/11/05

SIX PIX FOR 12/11/05

From: Glen Enderson
(photo taken in Wahpeton, ND)

Photo taken in Wahpeton, ND after our
major winter storm of the season.


Thanks for the great picture!
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Send in your picture to:
SIX PIX
C/O WDAY Television
Box 2466
Fargo, N.D. 58108

Six Pix for 12/4/05

SIX PIX FOR 12/4/05

From: Nancy Grotluschen
from Wahpeton, ND
(photo taken by Gladys Moline)
from Wahpeton, ND
Photo taken in Wahpeton, ND after our
first major winter storm of the season.

The beautiful side of a dangerous winter storm that hit our area is shown in this picture. Sheets of ice on vegetation, a blanket of snow and a morning sunrise made for one picture perfect moment for Gladys the day after the storm.

Thanks for the great picture!
Check back every week for the latest Six Pix Picture!

Send in your picture to:
SIX PIX
C/O WDAY Television
Box 2466
Fargo, N.D. 58108

November Climate

November 2005 brought a little of everything.  The first half of the month was very warm with a record high set on the 11th with the temperature topping off at 62 degrees that day.  For the month as a whole, even with the cooler weather the last week of the month the temperature finished 4.2 degrees above average.  That wasn’t quite enough to finish in the top ten, but we came close.

Besides being warm, it was also a very wet month, snowfall fell into the average range, but the liquid precipitation (rain and melted snow) was well above average.  November 2005 was the 5th wettest on record (records going back to 1881).  Only 1906, 1896, 2000 and 1977 had higher precipitation in the month of November.  We received 2.84" for the month.

November is the last climatological month of autumn.  All three autumn months finished well above average for temperatures.  So for the second straight year we had a very pleasant autumn for our area at least.  I’ll try to write more about the autumn season stats next week.