Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Trip to America's Siberia.

In 423 days I will be moving to Minneapolis. Between now and then I have three breaks: This upcoming spring, Summer break and then Christmas. After that, it's time to move! However, a few problems arise: during the summer I will be taking an internship that is 12 weeks long. I simply cannot request time off for a week-long vacation. The other problem is that during Christmas I am working relentlessly at the restaurant since it's our busiest time of the year (plus, do I want to visit Minnesota at the coldest time of the year?!). So that means...

I'm going to Minneapolis for Spring Break!!! While everyone else on Spring Break will be basking on some beach, I'll be traveling up to the land of 10,000 Lakes to spend quality vacation in 30 degree weather. Whoo-hoo!

So in my planning process, I had a serious problem to consider: the weather. I plan on driving so I'll have my car, and I'm a bit nervous about the amount of snow that could accumulate. However, since there is ample amount of studies available on Minnesota weather, turns out I'll be just fine. Look at what I found!

Minneapolis is, as shown, in the middle/southern part of the state. According to this chart of past weather predictions, by the last week in March most of the snow has already melted away. This is great news!

Now since that map is kind of confusing, I'll give a little explanation.
Daily non-zero values of snowfall and liquid water equivalent within a given month were ratioed based on the entire length of record for each station (which is variable between stations). An average was then computed from the individual daily values to obtain a snow water equivalent for each station. The ratios were then gridded using a kriging technique. Higher ratios indicate wetter snow events (high liquid water content) while lower ratios represent drier snow events (low liquid water content). Quality control was performed to eliminate sources of error, such as days with a mixed precipitation type (yielding anomalously high ratio), or stations with very few daily observations.
Err, yeah, whatever they said. Here is another map of Minnesota weather stating the end of the snow season.

So this means that I should make it to the good state with very little chance of snow. Plus, with that whole "Global Warming" thing kicking in, these statistics are bound to be a bit dated. Score for me!

So the boyfriend and I will have one week to find out all the important stuff involved in a move: what neighborhood to choose, what amenities are important in selecting a home (in regards to the weather), where are the best places to hang out, etc. It's going to be a fun trip!

I know for a fact we'll check out the Guthrie, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Minnesota Museum of Science, The Walker Arts Center and University of Minnesota. Of course we'll have to hit up Lake Calhoun and Lake Minnetonka. Without question we'll ride the Light Rail to Minnehaha Falls and Mall of America. The St. Paul Capital will need to be visited, and the downtown Warehouse district will certainly be a night spot we'll explore.

We'll also try to explore some fun things outside of the Twin Cities. What those are, well, I'm not too sure since most of my research has been on Minneapolis and Saint Paul. However, I'm sure our adventure will lead us to some great and exciting things.

Hey, any Minnesotans out there? What do you suggest we explore?