Paul Douglas on Weather Logo


Paul Douglas on Weather

30s & 40s This Week - Light Snow Monday Night Into Tuesday

We Finally Hit 50 On Saturday In The Twin Cities

Yes, the Twin Cities finally hit 50 for the first time this year Saturday. The last time we had hit 50 was back on December 4th.

The average first 50 in the Twin Cities occurs on March 9th, so we are just a touch behind this year. Last year we saw our first 50 on February 17th.

The latest ever first 50 in Twin Cities history was back in 1962, when it didn’t occur until April 17th. There have been 14 years where the first 50 didn’t occur until April. The last time the first 50 wasn’t until April was back in 2001, when we had to wait until April 4th. Luckily this year wasn’t one of those waiting years!


Spring Officially Arrives at 11:15 am Tuesday
By Paul Douglas

"Spring forever appears the soothing music part of lyrics unspoken. It thaws the frozen fears, mends the wounded heart that Winter has broken" wrote Aarno Davidson.

We're all paid up on our cold, snow and ice tax - our reward should be a long, luxurious summer season. At least in theory. The summer of '18 is still a mystery, but spring is in no great hurry.

The Spring Equinox is Tuesday at 11:15 am, when the sun's rays fall directly on the equator. Then why am I still shivering convulsively? Saturday's 50-degree high came about 12 days later than average. The snowiest winter since 2014 has left dirty drifts behind - snow and ice acts as a brake on temperatures, limiting how mild it can get.

The average high is 43F, and we'll be close to that mark into next week. No Mega-Tournament-Snowstorms brewing, just a coating of slush late Tuesday; maybe a cold rain ending as slushy snow on Saturday.

Lose the parkas - but keep a heavy jacket handy. No more subzero chill, but we haven't seen the last of the flakes just yet.

Remember, a slow meltdown lowers the risk of river flooding.


Extended Twin Cities Forecast

MONDAY: Cloudy and cool. High 41. Low 27. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NE 8-13 mph.
TUESDAY: Light snow & flurries. Slushy coating? High 36. Low 25. Chance of precipitation 60%. Wind E 5-10 mph.
WEDNESDAY: Clouds linger, seasonably cool. High 42. Low 29. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SE 3-8 mph.
THURSDAY: More clouds than sun. High 44. Low 33. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind E 5-10 mph.
FRIDAY: Cold rain arrives late in the day. High 45. Low 35. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind E 10-15 mph.
SATURDAY: Rain may end as period of wet snow. High 39. Low 28. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind NE 10-20 mph.
SUNDAY: Peeks of sun, a drier day. High 43. Low 32. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind SE 7-12 mph.


This Day in Weather History
March 19th

2012: This is the 4th day in a row that the Twin Cities reaches at least 79 degrees, and the 8th record high in a 10 day span.

1977: An energy emergency finally ends in Minnesota. It was caused by the extended cold.


Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
March 19th

Average High: 43F (Record: 79F set in 2012)
Average Low: 25F (Record: -15F set in 1875)
Average Precipitation: 0.06" (Record: 1.09" set in 1897)
Average Snow: 0.3" (Record: 8.8" set in 1943)


Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
March 19th

Sunrise: 7:17 AM
Sunset: 7:24 PM

*Length Of Day: 12 hours, 6 minutes and 22 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~3 minutes and 9 seconds

*Next Sunrise Before 7:00 AM: March 29th (6:59 AM)
*Next Sunset Of 7:30 PM Or Later: March 24th (7:30 PM)
*When Do We Hit 13 Hours Of Daylight? April 6th (Daylight Length: 13:02:46)


Minnesota Weather Outlook

A few flurries will be possible Monday across mainly northern Minnesota before a batch of snow moves into western and southern Minnesota during the evening and overnight hours. Highs will be in the 30s and 40s.

Highs will be slightly below average across the state Monday, with the coldest weather vs. average expected across parts of the Arrowhead.

Highs are expected to be in the 30s to 40s this week in the Twin Cities, with the warmest days expected toward the end of the week ahead/with a strong storm system which will move into the region (more on that in a moment).

The next chance of snow will work in Monday Night into Tuesday across mainly western and southern Minnesota. Accumulations are expected to be on the lighter side, with the potential of up to 2-3” of snow greatest across parts of western and southwestern Minnesota.

As we head toward the end of the week, we will be watching a strong storm system which will lift in our direction. What can be certainly said with this system: precipitation is expected, and looks to be in the form of rain and snow at the moment. Above is the forecast precipitation, which shows a good 1”+ of liquid with this system. How much of that falls as snow will be determined as we get closer to the end of the week, as it will depend on when rain changes to snow.


National Weather Forecast

A low moving across the southern United States will bring widespread showers and storms from the Kansas into the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Monday. A few of these storms from Tennessee to northern Florida will likely be on the strong side. Some snow will be possible from the Rockies into Minnesota.

Severe weather is possible Monday from southern Kentucky into northern Florida. There is an enhanced risk of severe weather across parts of Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. This is the area that has the highest potential of tornadoes (a few of which could be strong), damaging winds and large hail during the afternoon and evening.

The severe threat will continue into Tuesday across parts of Florida, where an enhanced risk of severe weather is in place across northern parts of the state. Storms will be possible in the morning and afternoon that would be capable of damaging winds and potentially a tornado or two.

Through early Friday morning, we are expecting a few areas of heavier precipitation. One is from the central Plains into the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, where over 2" of rain could fall in spots. Some of the heaviest precipitation is expected on Monday in these areas. Precipitation will be working into the western United States Tuesday through at least the middle of the week, with some areas seeing over 3" of precipitation.

Several inches of snow is possible across the mountains in the western United States through midday Wednesday. An area of 1-4" of snow will be possible from the Dakotas into western Minnesota. Some snow will also be possible with a couple passing systems from the Ohio Valley into the Mid-Atlantic.


Disaster Aid Can Be Applied For In Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico

Parts of four states, including 60 counties in Texas, can apply for emergency loans from the USDA Farm Service Agency. More from the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: "The U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated 60 Texas counties, including most on the South Plains and Panhandle, as primary natural disaster areas because of losses and damage from the lingering drought. In a statement Wednesday, the USDA designated the counties of the Texas Panhandle and South Plains, along with those along the Red River and in northeastern Texas. Also covered by the designation are counties in Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico that are contiguous with the Texas disaster zone. Trent Hoffeditz, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Amarillo, said it was hard to say when the drought would end. No chance for rain is in the weather service’s seven-day forecast for the region, he said."

FEMA No Longer Mentions Climate Change In Planning Document 

New strategic planning documents for FEMA have elminated references to climate change. More from NPR: "The document does not say what could be contributing to "rising natural hazard risk," or what conditions could require the "increased investments in pre-disaster mitigation." Similarly, under a section about "Emerging Threats," the document cites cybersecurity and terrorism. There are no references to global warming, rising sea levels, extreme weather events or any other term related to the potential impact of rising surface temperatures."

"Berlin's Living Lab Project Helps CO2 Addicts Cut Back"

Interesting results in just a few months from an experiment underway in Berlin. Maybe it should give us hope that individuals can reduce our own carbon footprints one home at a time. More from Earther: "We’re all fossil fuel junkies, and the dangerous byproduct of our habit—CO2—is killing the planet. We need to quit, but since we’re unlikely to go cold turkey, it’s probably time for an intervention. In Berlin, such an effort is underway with a year-long living lab experiment. One hundred households are aiming to cut their carbon footprints 40 percent over the course of this year. Since the lab launched in December, several of the households have already reached that goal in the first few months.


Thanks for checking in and have a great Monday! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser)!

 - D.J. Kayser

Don't Read Too Much Into This Chilly Phase

Last Weekend of Winter...
It's been fairly quiet across much of the state over the last several days and Saturday was just about as nice as any St. Patrick's Day can be here in Minnesota. However, who could forget the 80F record high temperature on St. Patrick's Day in 2012? Yea, that was nice! 2012 was an exceptional spring that came VERY early, almost too early that year. This year, spring seems to be coming at a pretty normal rate. We still have snow on the and there is still a lot of ice on area lakes.
2017 Ice Out Dates
Take a look at ice out dates across the state from last year. Note the darker red markers, which indicated that ice out occurred on many lakes in central and southern MN before March 18th! As of March 17th, we have no ice outs anywhere across the state this year. 

Spring is Just Around The Corner!
"On Tuesday, at 11:15:21 a.m. CDT, the winter season will officially come to an end in the Northern Hemisphere. How can we be so sure? At that moment, the sun will arrive at one of two positions where its rays will shine directly down on the equator. Indeed, if you were standing on the equator at a point just to the west of the Itapará River of the Roraima State in northern Brazil, the sun would appear directly overhead, even as we in the Northern Hemisphere make the transition from winter to spring. At that time, the sun will also be shining equally on both halves of the Earth. Spring at last! Many look upon the arrival of spring as an end to cold — and, in northern climes — snowy weather. That, of course, is simply not true. In some years, unseasonably cold temperatures and accumulating snows can linger well into April, just as warm weather sometimes hangs on well into October."
Signs of Spring
For me, spring officially arrives when I hear the first call of the Red-winged Blackbird! It is probably one of my favorite springtime birds, not sure why, but I do! Thanks to Journey North, there are a number of different spring things that are being tracked. From Red-winged Blackbirds to Robins to Loons and even Hummingbirds! Here is a map of Red-winged Blackbird first sightings and note that there have already been a few sightings through the first half of March around the Twin Cities and in southeastern MN!
Spring Phenology in the Twin Cities
"One of the first signs of spring have arrived in 2018. The songs of the first red-winged blackbirds of the season were heard in north Maplewood on Thursday, March 8, six days earlier than the median date of March 14. There is still plenty of reminders that winter is still here. At the same time the red wing blackbird call was heard, 14 inches of snow was on the ground and morning temperatures were around 10 degrees. Phenology which is derived from the Greek word phaino meaning to show or appear, is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events that are influenced by environmental changes, especially seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation driven by weather and climate. The USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN)  collects phenological data from across the United States. Also track the progress of The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds  as they migrate north. According to the National Phenology Network spring is about a week ahead of average for 2018 so far. Here is some recent spring phenology for a site in Maplewood just north of St. Paul."

Spring Leaf Index

According to the USA National Phenology Network, the spring leaf index shows spring creeping north. The red colors indicate that spring leaves have been emerging earlier than normal, while the blue indicates that spring leaves have emerged later than normal. It was a later than normal start to the season across the Gulf Coast States, but across the Mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley, things are off to an earlier start. Keep in mind that the average bloom date for lilacs in the Twin Cities is around May 10th, so we still have a ways to go, but we're not that far away!

Starting Your Garden Indoors
Local gardeners are well on their way to starting their 2018 garden! As you can see from the image below, a number of different flowers and vegetables can already be planted INDOORS. Earlier this week, I planted 108 different seeds from peppers to flowers. Looks like we have a couple of weeks yet before tomato seeds can be planted! Such a fun time of the year!! Grow baby grow!!
Snow Depth
Here's the latest modeled snow depth across the state, which shows the snowpack dwindling from where we were 3 weeks ago when nearly 10" of snow was on the ground in the Twin Cities on February 25th. As of Saturday, March 17th, the MSP Airport still had 2" of snow on the ground in the morning.


Snow Melt Ahead

The extended forecast through the end of March suggests high temperatures bouncing around the 30s and 40s. The GEFS seems to be a little more aggressive with mid to upper 40s during the last full week of March, while the ECMWF remains cooler with highs in the 30s to 40s this week and next week. The good news is that average highs and lows are going up and the avearge high by the end of the month in the Twin Cities is 49F!

Weather Outlook Ahead
Sunday will be another quiet day across the Upper Midwest, but as we head into the week ahead, we may be looking at a little rain and snow. Here's the weather outlook from Monday into Tuesday night, which shows a fairly weak system scooting across the region, which could bring some minor slushy accumulations to parts of Minnesota.
Rain/Snow Next Weekend?
The weather could stay active into the end of next week as another, larger, storm system could develop. Although it is still several days away, we could be looking and more rain and snow. Stay tuned...

Great Lakes Ice Coverage

According to NOAA's GLERL, the Great Lakes were 23.5% covered in ice as of March 16th. Interestingly only 14.4% of the Great Lakes were covered at this time last year.
Lake Superior Ice Coverage
Here's a look at the ice coverage across Lake Superior and as of March 16th, NOAA's GLERL, said that 42.9% of Lake Superior was covered. Interestingly, at last time last year only 11.1% of the lake was covered in ice! Quite a difference from this year to last.   
Visible Satellite
The visible satellite from Friday, March 16th revealed a wintry landscape across the Great Lakes Region and Upper Mississippi Valley. Much of the white you see is snow on the ground, while big chunks of ice can still be seen floating around the Great Lakes and some of the lakes in Minnesota, including Mille Lacs, Leech and Upper/Lower Red Lake.
Snow Depth 2018
The snow depth map across the country for March 17th suggests that 34.8% of the country is covered in snow, mainly across the northern half of the nation. At this time last year, 22.7% of the nation was covered in snow. As of March 17th, the Twin Cities officially had 2" of snow on the ground at the MSP Airport, but at this time last year, there was juat a trace of snow on the ground. Note also that last year at this time, the Sierra Nevada Range in California had a significantly greater snow pack than what is there now.
Snow Depth 2017
At this time last year, 22.7% of the nation was covered in snow.  

2018 Tornadoes So Far...

According to NOAA's SPC, there have been 71 preliminary tornaoes so far this year (March 16th), which is more than what we had at this time in the last couple of years. Interestingly, there were 482 tornadoes at this time in 2008; that year ended with 2,194 tornadoes, which is nearly 800 more than the short-term 2005-2015 average. 

Average Tornadoes in March By State
Here's the average number of tornadoes during the month of March by state. Texas sees the most with 11, but interestingly, Minnesota averages 1 tornado in March!

Major River Flooding

According to NOAA, there were 69 river gauges in flood stage as of Saturday, 6 of which where at Major flood stage! Interestingly, 2 of those are in North Dakota near Devils Lake.

MAJOR Flooding Forecast along Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, LA
Take a look at the river gauge along the Mississippi River at Baton Rouge, LA. It entered MAJOR flood stage earlier this month and may not go below major flood stage until late next weekend! This flooding is the result of very heavy rainfall that happened during the 2nd half of February across the Mississippi and Ohio River Valley areas. It finally looks like the flood waters will recede a bit as we get closer to April.
"Cool satellite image shows rising Mississippi River pouring sediment into the Gulf of Mexico"
"Fresh water from the Ohio River Valley is flooding into the Mississippi River, causing it to rise and pick up speed. A new image taken by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration research satellite shows a fan of sediment leaving the bird's foot delta as a result of the increased flow. The plume extends 10 to 20 miles offshore, said Alex Kolker, an associate professor with Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. Bent by a southeast wind, the plume curls in on itself.  "It's cool to be able to have the wealth of data that we have in near real time," Kolker said of the image. Louisiana State University's Earthscan Lab compiles satellite images of the state almost every day. Before the Mississippi River was leveed off, flood waters from the river carried sediment into the marsh, rebuilding and stabilizing land along the coast. The state's coastal master plan calls for two river diversions in Plaquemines Parish to reconnect the river with the degrading marsh."
"Deadline to remove fish houses approaching"
"The deadline for anglers to remove fish houses from lakes in Minnesota is approaching quickly, according to the Department of Natural Resources.  Removal dates are determined by an east-west line formed by U.S. Highway 10, east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. The removal deadline south of that line is the end of the day Monday, March 5. The deadline north of that line is the end of the day Monday, March 19. “With the recent snow and a forecast that calls for warmer weather, travel conditions on lakes may be difficult,” said DNR Conservation Officer Brent Grewe, who patrols the Minnetonka area. “But anglers are responsible for removing their shelters by the deadline, so they should plan ahead and make sure they’re able to do so.” Fish house owners also should be cognizant of taking trash off the lake – whether it’s theirs or was left by someone else. “Minnesota’s lakes are among the best in the nation and it’s up to each one of us to do our part to keep them clean,” said Col. Rodmen Smith, director of the DNR Enforcement Division."


"Minnesota Sees Deadliest Winter In Years"

"Minnesota has already had five ice-related deaths this winter. The state typically averages three during the whole season. Minnesota is on track to have one of its deadliest winters in years. Five people have died this season after falling through ice. The state typically averages three ice-related deaths over the course of the entire winter. The 2015-2016 winter had zero ice-related deaths, while the 2016-2017 winter had two. The last time Minnesota saw ice-related deaths in the double digits was in the 2002-2003 winter, when the state had 10 fatalities. The most recent death this year happened in northern Minnesota where a women drowned after riding an ATV on Rice Lake. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Hannah Mishler has already responded to multiple ice rescue calls. "Ice, especially snow covered ice, is extremely deceptive. You can't see dangerous cracks or the thickness of the ice under the snow," Mishler said in a statement."
Ice Safety!!
Before you go testing the ice on area lakes and ponds, remember that "ICE IS NEVER 100% SAFE!" So when is ice safe? Here is an excerpt from the MN DNR regarding ice safety: 
"There really is no sure answer. You can't judge the strength of ice just by its appearance, age, thickness, temperature, or whether or not the ice is covered with snow. Strength is based on all these factors -- plus the depth of water under the ice, size of the water body, water chemistry and currents, the distribution of the load on the ice, and local climatic conditions."
General Ice Thickness Guidelines
Here are some general ice thickness guidelines from the MN DNR:
For new, clear ice ONLY:

Under 4" - STAY OFF
4" - Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5" - 7" - Snowmobile or ATV
8" - 12" - Car or small pickup
12" - 15" - Medium truck

Many factors other than thickness can cause ice to be unsafe.
White ice or "snow ice" is only about half as strong as new clear ice. Double the above thickness guidelines when traveling on white ice.

See more from the MN DNR HERE:

Temperature Anomaly on Saturday
The temperature anomaly across North America from Saturday, showed above average temperatures across much of the Southern US and from central Canada to the Northwest Territories. Meanwhile, cooler than average temperatures across the Northeast, High Plains and the Western US.
Temperature Trend
The 850mb temperature anomaly from Sunday to Tuesday, shows a blob of chilly temps moving back in across much of the eastern half of the country as we head into the 3rd full week of March. Sure this will be chilly, but the deep winter bite has lost its punch, so it won't be as bad as it was back in January or even February. 
Weather Outlook Ahead
Weather conditions through the rest of the weekend and into early next week shows another storm system developing and moving into the Central US. Areas of rain and high elevation snow in the Western US on Sunday will move into the Central US early this week with wintry weather up north and rain/rumbles across the Central and Southern US. Keep in mind that some of the storms could be on the strong to severe side through Tuesday. 
Severe Threats Ahead
The images below are the severe weather threats on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. As our next storm system moves east, areas of hail, high wind and even tornadoes can't be ruled out.
Severe Threat Sunday
Severe Threat Monday
Severe Threat Tuesday

7 Day Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's WPC, the 7-day precipitation outlook suggests areas of heavy precipitation continuing across the Western US. Areas of heavy rain could lead to flooding along the California Coast, while more heavy snow will fall across the Sierra Nevada Range. There will also be a few areas of heavier precipitation along and east of the Mississippi River. One swath across the Ohio Valley, another across the Gulf Coast State and another potentially along the East Coast. It's safe to say that the next 7 days could be pretty active across the country.

Snowfall Potential Ahead

The GFS snowfall potential through the 3rd full week of March suggests areas of heavy snow across the Western US and especially in the Sierra Nevada Range as another large storm system looks to move into the region late week. There may also be some slushy snow accumulations across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic States. 
Don't Read Too Much Into This Chilly Phase
By Paul Douglas
The weather never moves in a straight line. Data is "lumpy" - the challenge is to discern long-term trends amidst seemingly chaotic gyrations of day to day weather.
I'm up north, staring out at an endless expanse of ice, marveling at what happened 6 years ago. The mercury in the Twin Cities hit 80F on St. Patty's Day, 2012 - the warmest day of the warmest March on record at MSP. The summer that followed was a perpetual steam bath; hotter and more humid than average.
Spring still seems like a mirage this year. So does our lack of serious warmth, to date, suggest a cooler than normal summer? I wouldn't connect those dots just yet. In spite of a cool bias into early April, the pattern can shift on a dime. Count on it.
Clouds increase today and a light mix is possible Tuesday into Wednesday. A more significant period of rain coupled with mid-40s will accelerate snow melt later this week, and models hint that a cold rain may end as wet snow next weekend. Keep a shovel handy just in case.
On a positive note: the risk of damaging tornadoes will remain low until further notice.

Extended Forecast

SUNDAY: Clouds increase. Winds: SE 3-8. High: 46.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Winds: NE 5-10. Low: 30.

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy and cooler. Winds: E 8-13. High: 41.

TUESDAY: Chance of a little wet snow. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 27. High: 37.

WEDNESDAY: Light snow and flurries linger. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 26. High: 39.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny. More springlike. Winds: NW 3-8. Wake-up: 25. High: 46.

FRIDAY: Rain arrives late in the day. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 30. High: 45

SATURDAY: Cold rain may change over to snow. Winds: NE 10-20. Wake-up: 35. High: 40.

This Day in Weather History
March 18th

1968: The earliest tornado to hit Minnesota. No one was hurt when it hit Watonwan County.

Average High/Low for Minneapolis
March 18th

Average High: 42F (Record: 79F set in 2012)
Average Low: 25F (Record: -8F set in 1923)

Record Rainfall: 1.07" set in 1968
Record Snowfall: 9.6" set in 1951

Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
March 18th

Sunrise: 7:20am
Sunset: 7:23pm

Hours of Daylight: ~12 hours & 3 minutes

Daylight GAINED since yesterday: ~ 3 minutes & 9 seconds
Daylight GAINED since winter solstice (December 21st): 3 Hour 18 Minutes

Moon Phase for March 18th at Midnight
1.7 Days Since New Moon


 Temp Outlook For Sunday

Temps on Sunday will be fairly mild for mid March with readings in the 40s across much of the state. There may be a few lingering 30s across the Red River Valley and Arrowhead, but not bad for this time of the year. 
8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's CPC, the last part of March, cooler than average temperatures will be found across much of the nothern US and especially across the High Plains. Meanwhile, warmer than average temps will be found from Texas to Florida. 

"Pacific Heat Wave Known As 'The Blob' Appears To Be In Retreat"
"Ocean conditions off the Pacific Northwest seem to be returning to normal after a three-year spike in water temperature.

It’s promising long-term news for fishermen who are looking ahead in the short term to yet another year of low salmon returns. A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) outlined the latest ocean observations for the organization that sets salmon catch limits off the West Coast. The Pacific Fishery Management Council will set those limits in early April.

The extended marine heatwave of the past few years has been nicknamed “the Blob.”

“The high pressure system over the North Pacific basically got stalled out and stuck there. And so the ocean warmed up about 6 degrees Fahrenheit,” NOAA’s Toby Garfield said."

See more from KUOW HERE:


"Is the Western U.S. Snowpack Declining "Dramatically"?"

"Last week a paper (Mote et al., 2018)  was published in the journal Climate and Atmospheric Scienceclaiming "dramatic" declines in western U.S snowpack. The article had all kinds of scary details. The loss in water resources would be "comparable in volume to the West’s largest man-made reservoir, Lake Mead" and the losses would be so great that "new reservoirs cannot be built fast enough to offset the loss of snow storage." The principal author's (Phil Mote) institution put out a press release that amplified the message, with the lead author noting that: “It is a bigger decline than we had expected,” The media headlined this "dramatic" loss of western snowpack, with hundreds of stories in major outlets around the world, allowing millions of people to learn about the bad news. Here are a few examples. I could show you a hundred more, but you get the point."

See more from Cliff Masters HERE:


"This is What a West Without Water Will Look Like"

"A huge swath of the US is facing massive droughts. It’s only going to get worse. The Southwest United States is wrapping up an abnormally dry winter. Nearly all of Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and California are facing drought conditions in 2018. About a quarter of the West’s drinking water relies on melting snow, which has been in short supply this year, to fill up reservoirs. While it’s unlikely that the Southwest United States is headed for a full-scale disaster like in Cape Town, South Africa, where residents have severely restricted water usage after three years of drought. But thanks to climate-changed linked droughts in the Southwest, water will become a precious commodity in this part of the US. “There’s a general sense that there will be less water in the future,” says Michael Cohen, a senior research associate at the Pacific Institute, a global water think tank."

See more from Mother Jones HERE:


"Weird winter weather has scientists looking to the North Pole"

"Temperatures in the Arctic could help drive extreme weather in the United States. Last October, experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationpredicted a fairly mild winter for the United States. Though they were careful to hedge their bets (“maps show only the most likely outcome,” NOAA warned, “but this is not the only possible outcome”), models suggested a weak La Niña would bring slightly colder than average temperatures to the northwest, with slightly warmer than average temperatures cropping up in the south and east. But this winter, as anyone with a TV—or window—knows, appears to have turned out rather differently. The northeast has experienced three back-to-back-to-back storms. We rang in the New Year with a so-called “bomb cyclone” and, for one day only, it was colder in Florida than in Alaska. This weird weather wasn’t confined to the eastern seaboard, either. Seattle and other communities in the Pacific Northwest saw unusual snowfall in November, December, and February. Last month, Europe got colder than the north pole, allowing the residents of Rome to toss a few snowballs."

See more from Raw Story HERE:


"It’s not your imagination, we really are getting more blizzards"

"We’ve all spent the last several weeks reading nonstop nor’easter news, as three major winter storms bombarded the East with wet snow and power outages. It turns out that having three storms so close together isn’t that unusual—it happened just a few years ago—but we are having more storms these days. If you were around in 1959, you experienced an average of 5.9 blizzards annually. Well, not you personally, because blizzards don’t always affect the same area. But across the U.S. there were about six every year. That number rose to 21.6 in 2014 following a long, fairly steady rise over the decades, according to a study from last year. Those same meteorologists predict we’ll get up to 32 blizzards per year by 2050, assuming this trend continues. Most blizzards, as you’d expect, happen from December to February—that’s meteorological winter, and peak snow season. But when they happen outside that timeframe, it’s actually more common to get them in spring than in the fall. Even though it can seem weird for us to get snowstorms in March, these late-season blizzards happen twice as often as early-season ones. The U.S. usually gets about three storms from March to May, making us exactly average right now."

See more from Popular Science HERE:


Thanks for checking in and don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWX