KMSP - Just because it’s warm in Minnesota doesn’t mean it’s warm everywhere. While we have been basking in the gloriousness of the 50s, 60s, & 70s over the last few weeks, areas to our north have been tallying plenty of snow. In fact, Canada now has their largest snow cover ever this early into the winter season. Much of the rest of the Northern Hemisphere is above average as well as the NH as a whole has tallied its 3rd largest snow extent this early.
So what gives? Well our weather has been controlled by a pretty stationary ridge of high pressure that has funneled warm air northward into Minnesota. But it also pushed the storm track further northward as well, taking it into Canada which has been bringing them more precipitation than normal, most of it coming in the form of snow. Also likely adding to the issue is the lack of sea ice, down drastically from normal. Sounds counterintuitive but more open ocean allows more evaporation into the atmosphere, adding fuel to the storms and inherently dumping more precipitation, again in the form of snow.
The images above show the departure from average snow cover over the Northern Hemisphere and the total snow cover chart over the last several years through the end of October.