Snow for Thanksgiving? Weather Models Say No
Welcome to the Dark Days, when the sun seems to set shortly after lunch. Seasonal Affective Disorder? Seasonal Shopping Disorder. On those rare occasions the sun does break through the murk I want to take a photo.
November is running about 6F colder than average. Does this mean a bitter, pioneer winter is imminent? Nope. No correlation between early cold fronts and the winters that follow.
Exhibit A: 1991. Almost 30 inches around Halloween was followed by subzero records in early November. And yet the following December - February was the 11th warmest and 93 snowiest since 1872. Don't assume a worst-case scenario.
Roughly 1 in 3 Thanksgivings have an inch or more of snow on the ground. This won't be one of them. Model guidance builds a dry, relatively mild ridge of high pressure over the central USA next week; good news for travelers within 500 miles. Expect 40s Thanksgiving Day; maybe 50F on Black Friday. "I'd like a warm front to go, please."
NOAA models are predicting a MUCH warmer than average December. I'm skeptical, but at this point precious little surprises me anymore.
40s on Thanksgiving. The chance of (relative) warmth late next week is increasing over time. ECMWF (European) guidance hints at 50F for Black Friday in the Twin Cities late next week. Hardly a warm front, but it may feel pretty good out there for late November. Source: WeatherBell.
Remarkable Anomalies. 24-28F warmer than average over Hudson Bay in December? 15-18F warmer than average over Minnesota? NOAA's CFSv2 climate outlook for December is consistently toasty for much of North America. We'll see.
Thanksgiving Day Climatology in the Twin Cities. Here's a clip from The Minnesota DNR: "Measurable snow fell on 29 of the past Thanksgivings back to 1884, about every five years or so. The most snow that fell on Thanksgiving was five inches in 1970. The last time there was measurable snow on Thanksgiving was in 2015 with 1.3 inches of snow. Historically, about one in three Thanksgivings have at least one inch of snow on the ground. The deepest snow pack is a tie with 1921 and 1983, both with 10 inches on the ground by Turkey Day. It occasionally rains on Thanksgiving Day as well. In 1896, a two-day event in the Twin Cities doused Thanksgiving travelers with nearly three inches of rain..."
7 Odd Things That Happen To Your Body When It's Cold Outside. HuffPost has the story: "Unless you’re blessed to live in a magically warm climate all year round (looking at you, Californians and Floridians), frostier weather is rapidly approaching. And that can come with some unexpected mental and physical side effects. Changes in weather come with a lot of changes in your body and mind, according to Dr. Albert Ahn, a clinical instructor of internal medicine at NYU Langone Health. These shifts are important to keep in mind so you stay healthy all season long. We chatted with Ahn about how the winter affects your body so you know what to look out for when the temperature drops. Below are some changes you may not have realized are happening..."
Cold, Snowy Starts Don't Mean The Entire Winter Will Be Cold and Snowy. Exhibit A: 1991, when 28" of snow fell in late October, followed by subzero, record cold in early November. But it didn't last. The rest of the winter (December through February) was the 11th warmest and 93rd snowiest since 1872, according to the Minnesota DNR and State Climatology Office. I wish it was that simple...
BMW Dumps Coal in Pledge for 100% Renewable Power. Bloomberg has details: "BMW AG’s plan to switch exclusively to green electricity finds it tapping some unusual power sources, including a South African biomass plant that runs on cow dung and chicken droppings. The arrangement is part of the carmaker’s bid to shift all its external power purchases to renewables by 2020, up from 63 percent last year, head of procurement Markus Duesmann said in a speech at the United Nations climate conference in Bonn. Meeting the target means the carmaker will buy local clean power for all its 31 production sites in 14 countries, said Duesmann. BMW is already getting power from diverse sources such as wind turbines at its plant in Leipzig, Germany. It’s also getting methane gas from a landfill near its Spartanburg operation in South Carolina, he said..."
Where Do You Watch Netflix? A story at Quartz caught my eye: "Streaming-video giant Netflix found that more people are watching video outside their homes. About 67% of people now watch movies and TV shows in public, according to an online survey it commissioned of 37,000 adults around the world… The most popular public places to stream are on planes, buses, or commuting, the survey found. But 26% of respondents also said they’ve binged shows and movies at work… The most popular public places to stream are on planes, buses, or commuting, the survey found. But 26% of respondents also said they’ve binged shows and movies at work. A small group—about 7% worldwide—said they’ve watched movies and TV shows in public restrooms (to say nothing of those who have streamed from the privacy of their own bathrooms)..."
Photo credit: "I will stream it anywhere." (Netflix)
TV Stations Are About to Track You, Much Like Google and Facebook Do. The Washington Post reports: "The same, weirdly specific ads you see online that are tailored to your behavior could soon appear on your local television network, thanks to looming policy changes by federal regulators. The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote Thursday on rules designed to promote the spread of what it calls Next Gen TV, a new technology that, among other things, will enable television broadcasters to collect data about your viewing habits. That information will give broadcasters the ability to sell targeted advertising against their programming, something that's become common practice among ad giants such as Google and Facebook. Other industries have also been racing to adopt data-driven ad targeting, too, including Internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T… Not all stations are likely to adopt Next Gen TV immediately. The FCC proposal would allow stations to start using the standard on a voluntary basis. Those that do could provide viewers with other benefits, such as better video and audio quality on their broadcasts..."
The Most Dedicated Music Fans? Country? Rock? Hip Hop? Nope. A story at Quartzy explains: "It is metal—yes, metal, meaning decades-old groups like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Kiss—that actually has the most loyal fans, it turns out. That’s per Spotify data analyzing the genres with the highest global loyalty, measured by the number of streams divided by the number of listeners per artist. Metal is number one by far on the list, ahead of genres like hip-hop, country, and rock by as much as 50%. In the US alone, metal has about twice as much listener loyalty as EDM, rap, or jazz…Why does metal has such loyal fans? It likely comes down to a combination of niche attraction, the intensity of the music itself and the types of relationships that listeners tend to form with it—and metal’s aging community of fans, who have now hit the prime point of exquisite cultural nostalgia…"
TODAY: Gray, few rain showers. Winds: S 7-12. High: 42
FRIDAY NIGHT: Showers taper. Low: 31
SATURDAY: Canadian exhaust, cooling off. Gusty. Winds: NW 15-25. High: 36
SUNDAY: Risk of a rare sunshine sighting. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 19. High: 38
MONDAY: Sunny intervals, milder breeze. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 29. High: near 50
TUESDAY: Blue sky, cooling off again. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 29. High: 34
WEDNESDAY: Blue sky, light winds - not bad. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 18. High: 36
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks for a milder front. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 31. High: 46
Democrats are Shockingly Unprepared to Fight Climate Change. The Atlantic explains why: "There’s a wrinkle in how the United States talks about climate change in 2017, a tension fundamental to the issue’s politics but widely ignored. On the one hand, Democrats are the party of climate change. Since the 1990s, as public belief in global warming has become strongly polarized, the Democratic Party has emerged as the advocate of more aggressive climate action. The most recent Democratic president made climate policy a centerpiece of his second term, and the party’s national politicians now lament and oppose the undoing of his work. Concern for the climate isn’t just an elite issue, either: Rank-and-file Democrats are more likely to worry about global warming than the median voter. On the other hand, the Democratic Party does not have a plan to address climate change..."
Image credit: Gino Santa Maria / Shutterstock / Eric Thayer / Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters / Paul Spella / The Atlantic.
Climate Change is Here: Wisconsin Is Seeing Earlier Springs, Later Falls, Less Snow and More Floods. Here's a clip from a story at madison.com: "...Badger State folks have a front-row seat to the effects of global warming, which are significantly more pronounced in northern latitudes. In Wisconsin, more than states to the south, climate change is ushering in earlier springs, later falls, less snow, less lake ice, more floods, more drought, more algae. More heat. Scientists with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Initiative on Climate Change Impacts — an effort to identify climate change fallout and offer coping strategies — believe that the effects can be mitigated with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. They believe that policy makers and public agencies can take measures to adapt. But those measures are on indefinite hold..."
Map credit: . By Brandon Raygo
These Are The Melting Glaciers That Might Someday Drown Your City, According to NASA. Chris Mooney reports for The Washington Post: "New York City has plenty to worry about from sea level rise. But according to a new study by NASA researchers, it should worry specifically about two major glacier systems in Greenland’s northeast and northwest — but not so much about other parts of the vast northern ice sheet. The research draws on a curious and counterintuitive insight that sea level researchers have emphasized in recent years: As ocean levels rise around the globe, they will not do so evenly. Rather, because of the enormous scale of the ice masses that are melting and feeding the oceans, there will be gravitational effects and even subtle effects on the crust and rotation of the Earth. This, in turn, will leave behind a particular “fingerprint” of sea level rise, depending on when and precisely which parts of Greenland or Antarctica collapse..."
Image credit: "
Trump Ignoring Feds Own Science. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from the Editorial Board at San Antonio's Express News: "...The science of climate change can make the eyes glaze over — the charts, the dry language and the number soup — but this is an intrinsically human issue, caused by humans and affecting human lives in the form of coastal flooding, extreme weather, drought and famine. And it will have potentially profound effects on future generations. Our young children and their children will live with the policy decisions we make today. The United States, which is the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon, is withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement. We are the only country in the world not participating in the accord. The other holdouts, Nicaragua and war-torn Syria, have signed on. We stand alone. It’s not a choice informed by science. That’s a tough one to explain to our children and grandchildren."
Photo credit: Branden Camp /Associated Press.
CLIMATE IMPACTS: Climate Nexus has linked to the following stories: "Here’s what climate change is doing to the West (Mother Jones), a tiny island prepares the world for a climate refugee crisis (Bloomberg), climate change is turbocharging growth of city trees--and that's really bad news (Newsweek, Earther), how climate change could lead to more wars in the 21st century (Vox), in storm-hit St. Lucia, insurance creates a buzz (Thomson Reuters Foundation), atmospheric river brings storm and flash flood warnings to fire-ravaged wine country." (LA Times $)
How a North Carolina Meteorologist Abandoned His Climate Change Skepticism. Greg Fishel is a friend (since my high school days). He's a smart guy and a gifted meteorologist; here is his story at Columbia Journalism Review: "...But this search sparked a flurry of other questions. Why was the country so polarized on issues of science, and why did it appear that religion was at war with science? I argued vehemently that we discuss politics and religion within our documentary. I’ll never forget the look on our producer’s face when I first made the pitch. But we did it. Out of that research and filming, one primary culprit for this polarization emerged: unconditional loyalty to one’s tribe, a quality that is remarkably common. We believe what the people we align ourselves with believe, and rather than look for common ground with those who fall outside of that tribe, we seek the disparities..."
Climate Change Bringing "Biblical" Rains to Texas: From Climate Nexus Hot News: "The chances of a Hurricane Harvey-scale hurricane in Texas have increased sixfold since 1980, and climate change will make massive storms in the area much more likely by the end of the century, according to new research. A study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences from MIT's Kerry Emmanuel finds that warming upped the odds of an over-20 inch rainfall from a once-in-100-years event in Texas between 1980 and 2000 to a once-in-16-years event in 2017. Emmanuel's study projects the chances of this type of extreme rainfall in Texas to rise to once every 5.5 years by the end of the century. "There are folks down in Texas who are having to rebuild infrastructure, and I think they need to have some idea of what kind of event they’re building for," Emmanuel told the Washington Post." (Washington Post $, AP, Bloomberg, LA Times $, The Atlantic, Ars Technica)
File photo: AP.