Friday February 28, 2014
Is this the coldest winter in Minnesota? It's a very reasonable theory. Considering the amount of sub-zero days, the arctic wind chills, and the number of below zero days in a row, you'd imagine that this has to be one of the coldest winters ever. You'd be right. According to the MN DNR, this winter is so far, based on average temperatures, the 9th coldest winter. The average temperature has been just 9.7 Fahrenheit, as of February 28. It's the coldest winter in 35 years.
The DNR also reports that the number of days below zero is also making the record books, with top-ten numbers of days below zero, and number of days below zero in a row.
The winter, as far as temperature records are concerned, is usually the meteorological winter, December 1 through March 1. With a chilly weekend in the forecast, it looks like the 2013-2014 is assured a place in those top ten charts.
Friday February 28, 2014
The city of St. Paul has followed Minneapolis' lead in enacting snow parking regulations city-wide. Starting from Monday March 3 at 8 a.m., parking on the even side of residential roads is prohibited. The restrictions will remain in place until April 1, or until enough snow melts to widen the streets sufficiently to permit more efficient traffic flow.
To avoid a ticket, park on the odd side of residential roads, and on either side of non-residential roads; as well as follow all other parking restrictions.
What is a residential street in St. Paul? What is a non-residential street? You can view a map and look up your address at the city of St. Paul's winter parking information page.
And it becomes even more confusing in the event of a snow emergency. According to the city, "If a Snow Emergency is declared while parking restrictions are in effect, the one-sided parking restrictions rules will be temporarily suspended as described here, and Snow Emergency rules will apply. Drivers may start moving their cars to Day Plow Routes beginning at 4 p.m. on the day the Snow Emergency is declared (Day 1). Winter Parking Restrictions resume again at 8 a.m. the morning following Day 2, when the Snow Emergency comes to an end". Check St. Paul's website for the latest info in the event of a snow emergency.
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Well, people always start asking that question after some major snowstorms, and the sheer amount of snow sitting at the sides of roads and compacted ice on the streets. This winter, the extreme cold has prevented all of the snow melting, so more of it is still there, so it perhaps looks worse than it is.
As of late February 2014, the Twin Cities have received just under 60 inches of snow. The record winter snowfall is from the 1983-84 season, with 98.6 inches. So, w e are not on track to beat any records, but you never know with the weather - there is still plenty of winter left.
Snowfall records in Minnesota, plus links to more statistics, analysis and reports on weather in the Twin Cities and Minnesota
Tuesday February 25, 2014
Many houses in Minneapolis and St. Paul are framed with icicles all around the edges of the roof - a sure sign of an ice dam. Icicles form when snow on a warm roof melts. The edge of the roof is colder than the center, so the melted snow re-freezes. Unfortunately, this forms an ice barrier or dam that pens up any more melting water. That water often percolates into the roof, causing water damage and mold.
Preventing ice dams can be tricky, and you'll need to evaluate your roof, your loft insulation, your willingness and ability to remove snow from your roof, and your budget. Preventing ice dams on Minnesota houses.