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It Could Be MUCH Worse Out There - Shot at 60F by Tuesday - Spring Stages Comeback Next Week

A Windier Than Normal March Across Minnesota

I never fail to marvel at the number of Minnesotans who walk around in shorts when the temperature is below zero. Mostly young people. A silent protest? In Seattle many locals walk around in the rain with no umbrella to shield them. Life goes on, in a steady, wind-whipped drizzle.

Which got me thinking: would I get ANYTHING done if I lived in Florida, Arizona or southern California? Probably not.

According to Mark Seeley March has been unusually windy; an average daily wind speed over 12 mph - 9 days with gusts over 30.

The transition from winter to summer always leaves the atmosphere in a foul, potentially destructive mood. The lower atmosphere is warming due to a higher sun angle, while the upper atmosphere is still cold - suffering from a wintry hangover. The result can and will be severe storms and random tornadoes within a month or two.

Today looks like the drier day of the weekend; more rain showers tonight and Sunday. Highs surge into the 50s next week, and big storms track well south of Minnesota.

Spring is coming, however reluctantly. Kinder, gentler days ahead. 


Due for a Rerun of Spring. After a few chilly days temperatures are  forecast to mellow next week; a shot at 60F by Tuesday according to the ECMWF. Why do 50s feel so much better in late March and early April than they do in October? MSP meteogram: WeatherBell.


Parade of Storms. I keep waiting for a break in the pattern, the Conga-line of sloppy storms pushing into the west coast, reinvigorated by moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. More heavy rain pushes into Seattle and Portland Sunday before pushing inland, dumping out more heavy snow from the Cascades to the Rockies. Meanwhile we're keeping an eye on a system near the Bahamas which could (in theory) strengthen into a tropical storm in the coming days. 12 KM NAM guidance: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.


Active Pattern Continues. The last thing residents of the Pacific Northwest need right now is more rain, but 7-Day rainfall projections suggest as much as 3-5" of additional water. A series of storms tapping moisture from the (unusually warm) Gulf of Mexico will spawn severe storms and copious rains for the Plains and Mid South into late next week. Map: NOAA.


Tracking Devastating Wildfires. Nearly 1 million acres of land has already been consumed by fire in March alone; hardest hit: Texas and Oklahoma, but wildfires are flaring up as far east as Florida. Map credit: Geomac.gov.


Another Perspective. Recent rains over the southern Plains help the wildfire situation, but cloud to ground lightning strikes with recent T-storms have ignited new blazes. ESRI has an interactive, national map to track the various fires taking place across the USA.


Gizmodo has more details on the fast-moving flames that chased people from their homes and created a massive death toll among cattle in the southern Plains.


A Windy March. The greater the contrast in temperature, the stronger winds have to blow to keep the atmosphere in a state of equilibrium. Dr. Mark Seeley reports on a blustery March at Minnesota WeatherTalk: "March has been a windy month so far with average daily wind speed over 12 mph, and 9 days with peak wind gust over 30 mph. This continues a trend of windy weather which began the last week of January. The peak wind gust from MSP airport of 60 mph on the morning of March 8th was just the 5th time in the past 20 years that peak wind gusts in the Twin Cities have hit 60 mph or greater. The other years were 1998 (May), 2007 (Aug), 2008 (June), and 2010 (Oct). Historical trends in wind speed are difficult to study. There is great geographic disparity across the state. In western Minnesota, as well as the Twin Cities Metro Area wind speeds have been greater than normal more frequently in the months of February, April, and November. over the past two decades. Conversely, over the same time period, wind speeds have generally been less than normal more frequently during the months of May and October..."


3-Month Outlook. NOAA CPC is predicting warmer than average for a big chunk of the USA from April into June. Wetter than normal weather is forecast from the Northern Rockies to the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Gulf Coast.


California's Floods and Droughts Are Just the Beginning. The extended outlook calls for more weather-whiplash, according to an interview at Ars Technica: "...California history has always been one of drought and flood. Ingram told us about the southwestern region's great medieval warming period roughly 800 years ago, which may have caused drought for over a century. People living in the region abandoned their settlements and moved away, while plant life struggled to hold on. In the more recent past, California's central valley became an inland sea after 40 days of rain in 1862. This is the sort of megaflood that is due to happen again, Ingram told us, because they seem to occur roughly every two centuries. Even without humans contributing to rapid climate change, we should be preparing for another flood of this magnitude—but now, with atmospheric rivers becoming more common, they will probably happen more often..." (Image credit: NASA).


VORTEX Southeast: Tornado Study Gears Up For Another Year of Research. Here's an excerpt of a press release from the University of Alabama/Huntsville and WeatherBug: "The mysteries of severe weather in the southeastern U.S. -- and why tornadoes kill and injure more people here than any other part of the country -- will get an in-depth probe this spring, as researchers from 11 research institutions around the country gather at UAH for the second year of a major research campaign. Coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Severe Storms Laboratory and hosted by UAH's Severe Weather Institute, Radar and Lightning Laboratories (SWIRLL), VORTEX Southeast (V-SE) uses mobile and portable research hardware, such as UAH's MAX Doppler radar, to get in front of strong storms to learn more about how these storms develop, how they interact with the local terrain and environment, and why some storms create tornadoes and others do not..."

Image credit: "​Erik Rasmussen, VORTEX-SE project manager and NOAA senior research scientist, speaks about the research at Signature Aviation with a NOAA Lockheed WP-3S Orion aircraft in the background. The WP-35, nicknamed Kermit, has been brought to Huntsville to support VORTEX-SE."


Minnesota Tornadoes Since 1950. No need to fear Otter Tail county (73 confirmed tornadoes from 1950 to 2015). The reason there were so many? The size of the county. Then again proximity to chilly Lake Superior water has meant only 2 tornadoes in Cook County during the same period, probably the safest place in the state to ride out tornado season. Graphic: Minnesota DNR.



New Cloud Types Defined by WMO. The UK Met Office has details: "The cloud species Volutus has been officially named as a new species of cloud in the World Meteorological Organization’s Cloud Atlas. The new cloud species name will now be used by meteorologists operationally around the world. As well as a new species, several new ‘special clouds’ and supplementary features of existing cloud types have been officially recognised in the atlas which is the official publication of cloud types. It is used as a reference document by operational meteorologists around the world and is also an important training tool for meteorologists, as well as for those working in aviation and at sea. Special clouds named in the new edition include: Flammagenitus, which are clouds formed as a result of forest fires; and Homogenitus, which denotes man-made or anthropogenic clouds such as those which form over power station cooling towers. An example of a new supplementary feature is Asperitas, which are well defined wave-like structures in the underside of clouds..."


More new entries in the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) Cloud Atlas:




Melting Arctic Worsens Beijing's Pollution Haze, Study Finds. Because everything is interconnected. Here's an excerpt from Climate Home: "The melting of the Arctic Ocean sea ice and the greater falls of snow in Siberia may be responsible for stagnant air conditions that cast a polluting haze over Beijing and the East China plains in January 2013, according to new research. Smoke from power stations, car exhausts and factory chimneys must have contributed. But a month-long episode of severe and choking air pollution that made world headlines now seems to have been made possible by climate changes that shifted China’s winter monsoon, to trap tiny floating particles of soot and dust over the nation’s biggest cities and industrial centers. If so, the haze could get worse, as the Arctic goes on warming and the northern latitudes get the extra burden of snow..."

Photo credit: "Beijing’s air pollution typically intensifies in winter." (Pic: J Aaron Farr/Flickr)

Clouds may also develop as a consequence of human activity. Examples are aircraft condensation trails (contrails), or clouds resulting from industrial processes, such as cumuliform clouds generated by rising thermals above power station cooling towers. Clouds that are clearly observed to have originated specifically as a consequence of human activity will be given the name of the appropriate genus, followed by the special cloud name “homogenitus”. For example, Cumulus cloud formed above industrial plants will be known as Cumulus (and, if appropriate, the species, variety and any supplementary features) followed by the special cloud name homogenitus; for example, Cumulus mediocris homogenitus. - See more at: https://www.wmocloudatlas.org/homogenitus.html#sthash.WGzVNilv.dpuf
Clouds may also develop as a consequence of human activity. Examples are aircraft condensation trails (contrails), or clouds resulting from industrial processes, such as cumuliform clouds generated by rising thermals above power station cooling towers. Clouds that are clearly observed to have originated specifically as a consequence of human activity will be given the name of the appropriate genus, followed by the special cloud name “homogenitus”. For example, Cumulus cloud formed above industrial plants will be known as Cumulus (and, if appropriate, the species, variety and any supplementary features) followed by the special cloud name homogenitus; for example, Cumulus mediocris homogenitus. - See more at: https://www.wmocloudatlas.org/homogenitus.html#sthash.WGzVNilv.dpuf

Race Is The Biggest Indicator In The U.S. of Whether You Live Near Toxic Waste. Quartz reports: "Go looking for the local landfill or toxic waste treatment facility in any US county with a mostly white population, and you’ll likely find it in the black or Latino neighborhoods. That’s because in the US, your race is the single biggest factor that determines whether you live near a hazardous waste facility. In 2016, a study published in Environmental Research Letters found “a consistent pattern over a 30-year period of placing hazardous waste facilities in neighborhoods where poor people and people of color live.” “In fact, places that are already disproportionately populated by minorities, and where their numbers are growing, have the best chances of being selected,” Paul Mohai, a professor and the founder of the environmental justice program at the University of Michigan who coauthored the paper, wrote in an email..."

Photo credit: "Not an ideal neighbor." (AP Photo/Gerry Broome).


A Map of Noisy America. Yes, noise pollution is making most of us a little nutty. Here's an excerpt from CityLab: "...Noise is part of the urban contract. If you want all the benefits of living with density, then you’ve got to accept a certain level of baby-screaming, train-screeching, neighbor-humping aural pollution. But a new map from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that nearly all of the U.S. population—urban, suburban, and rural—risks exposure to potentially harmful levels of vehicular and aviation noise. From the hills of Ventura County, to the streets of Chicago, to the heart of Appalachia, the hum of trucks, cars, and planes meets the ears of 97 percent of Americans, at roughly 35 to 50 decibels. That’s comparable to the noise of a humming refrigerator, according to the BTS..."

Map credit: "If only Eisenhower had known… he would totally have still built these roads." (Bureau of Transportation Statistics).


Solar Employs More People in U.S. Electricity Generation Than Oil, Coal and Gas Combined. Here's a clip from The Center for Climate Protection: "In the United States, more people were employed in solar power last year than in generating electricity through coal, gas and oil energy combined. According to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy, solar power employed 43 percent of the Electric Power Generation sector’s workforce in 2016, while fossil fuels combined accounted for just 22 percent. It’s a welcome statistic for those seeking to refute Donald Trump’s assertion that green energy projects are bad news for the American economy. Just under 374,000 people were employed in solar energy, according to the report, while coal, gas and oil power generation combined had a workforce of slightly more than 187,000. The boom in the country’s solar workforce can be attributed to construction work associated with expanding generation capacity. The gulf in employment is growing with net generation from coal falling 53 percent over the last decade. During the same period, electricity generation from natural gas increased 33 percent while solar expanded 5,000 percent..."


There's Almost Zero Rationale for Arctic Oil Exploration, Says Goldman Sachs Analyst. CNBC reports; here's an excerpt: "...Della Vigna sees rapid ongoing progress being made in power generation, where he says wind and solar energy systems in different regions are already perfectly competitive - even without subsidies - and are now taking more than 1 percent market share each year. The Goldman Sachs specialist noted that these sources of renewable energy are clearly winning out against hydrocarbons. He also pointed to the oversupply of gas, a dynamic which he sees persisting for the next 5 – 6 years due to "massive" LNG (liquid natural gas) capacity coming onstream from the U.S. and Australia, as lowering the price of that energy source..." (File photo credit: offshore-technology.com).


Colorado City Commits to 100% Renewable After Natural Gas Drives Up Electricity Costs. ThinkProgress reports: "Working-class homeowners in Pueblo, Colorado have struggled to keep up with their sky-high electric bills. Locals said rampant shutoffs have plunged entire city blocks into darkness and sent power-starved families to motels and homeless shelters. Senior citizens have given up television and unscrewed refrigerator lights in an attempt to save money. And local businesses have grappled with electric bills as high as their rents. Frustrated by bloated power bills and frequent shutoffs, citizens of Pueblo have lobbied the city council to abandon natural gas and switch to more affordable renewable energy. By organizing concerned citizens and packing town halls, Pueblo’s Energy Future managed to push the city council to pass a resolution committing to generate 100 percent of the city’s power from renewables by 2035..."

Photo credit: "Residents of Pueblo protest high electric rates." CREDIT: Pueblo’s Energy Future.


The Hidden Risks of Trump's EPA Cuts: Birth Defects, Bad Air. Bloomberg reports: "President Donald Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign that he would only "leave a little bit" of federal rules that protect human health and the environment. Now about 50 former officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are firing back in a lengthy analysis that details, program by program, what amounts to a starvation diet for the EPA.  Calling themselves the Environmental Protection Network, they worked through both Republican and Democratic administrations. The group's members are putting aside their differences over policies and programs to stop what they say "appears to be nothing less than a full-throttle attack on the principle underlying all U.S. environmental laws—that protecting the health and environment of all Americans is a national priority..."



Drake Equation Revision Hugely Ups Odds Intelligent Extraterrestrial Life Exists. Maybe so, but where are the aliens. Could it be they've sampled our TV shows and want nothing to do with us? Here's an excerpt from Inverse: "Mankind doesn’t explore space solely in search of extraterrestrials, but we keep our eyes peeled. Still, scientists know that the chances of happening across a fellow traveler in the great beyond are minimal — and they wrap their heads around the infinitesimal odds using the Drake Equation, a seven-variable way of deriving the chance of active civilizations existing beyond Earth. But equations get older and equations get wrong. The Drake Equation, which takes into account various factors like the rate of star formation, the fraction of stars that could form planetary systems, the number habitable planets in those systems, and so on, is now 55 years old. It doesn’t reflect the new information SETI researchers have collected since the 1960s..."


"Sea of Despair" Among White, Working-Class Americans. Industries are being disrupted, jobs automated; companies making do with fewer employees. A Washington Post article claims it's not just blue collar America that's feeling the heat: "Sickness and early death in the white working class could be rooted in poor job prospects for less-educated young people as they first enter the labor market, a situation that compounds over time through family dysfunction, social isolation, addiction, obesity and other pathologies, according to a study published Thursday by two prominent economists. Anne Case and Angus Deaton garnered national headlines in 2015 when they reported that the death rate of midlife non-Hispanic white Americans had risen steadily since 1999 in contrast with the death rates of blacks, Hispanics and Europeans. Their new study extends the data by two years and shows that whatever is driving the mortality spike is not easing up. The two Princeton professors say the trend affects whites of both sexes and is happening nearly everywhere in the country..."


Let Robots Handle Your Emotional Burnout at Work. Then again, maybe robotics and automation will keep us from going crazy? Here's an excerpt of a more hopeful perspective on automation at How We Get To Next: "...Over three decades later, working in a service job still demands the stamina and resilience to handle a barrage of customer complaints—and often even abuse—with a smile. Professions that require emotional labor, which involves inducing or suppressing emotion for the sake of a job, continue to see unprecedented levels of attrition, especially among customer service representatives, flight attendants, doctors, nurses, school teachers, and hotel employees. But as robotics and computing evolve, some researchers foresee a future where technology can relieve the long-held emotional burden of some of these professions. They think we owe it to the service workforce to offer a new frontline of robotic protection. In fact, they think it’s far overdue—but does that actually mean just automating these jobs away?..."

Image credit: Darren Garrett


Amazon, The World's Most Remarkable Firm, is Just Getting Started. Here's a clip from The Economist: "...In e-commerce, the more shoppers Amazon lures, the more retailers and manufacturers want to sell their goods on Amazon. That gives Amazon more cash for new services—such as two-hour shipping and streaming video and music—which entice more shoppers. Similarly, the more customers use AWS, the more Amazon can invest in new services, which attract more customers. A third virtuous circle is starting to whirl around Alexa, the firm’s voice-activated assistant: as developers build services for Alexa, it becomes more useful to consumers, giving developers reason to create yet more services..."


How Aristotle Created the Computer. I had no idea. The Atlantic connects the dots: "THE HISTORY Of computers is often told as a history of objects, from the abacus to the Babbage engine up through the code-breaking machines of World War II. In fact, it is better understood as a history of ideas, mainly ideas that emerged from mathematical logic, an obscure and cult-like discipline that first developed in the 19th century. Mathematical logic was pioneered by philosopher-mathematicians, most notably George Boole and Gottlob Frege, who were themselves inspired by Leibniz’s dream of a universal “concept language,” and the ancient logical system of Aristotle. Mathematical logic was initially considered a hopelessly abstract subject with no conceivable applications. As one computer scientist commented: “If, in 1901, a talented and sympathetic outsider had been called upon to survey the sciences and name the branch which would be least fruitful in [the] century ahead, his choice might well have settled upon mathematical logic.” And yet, it would provide the foundation for a field that would have more impact on the modern world than any other..."

Image credit: Wikimedia / donatas1205 / Billion Photos / vgeny Karandaev / The Atlantic.


The Average Young American Binge-Watches TV for Five Hours Straight. Wave goodbye to linear (appointment) television. Here's an excerpt from Quartz: "Binge-watching has hit critical mass in the US, according to a new study. Nearly three-quarters—73%—of Americans said they binge-watched videos, either on TV or another device, found a survey by Deloitte, including a staggering 90% of US millennials. And 38% of those millennials also said they binge-watched pretty much every week. The firm interviewed more than 2,100 Americans, aged 14 and up, for its 11th annual study on US media consumption. The research was conducted by an independent firm last November..."

Photo credit: "Streaming and mobile video has made it so much easier to binge." (AP/Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Showtime).



“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has the eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” - Augustine



45 F. high temperature yesterday in the Twin Cities.

45 F. average high on March 24.

47 F. high on March 24, 2016.

March 25, 2007: Record warmth stretches from southern Minnesota to western Wisconsin with 72 at Owatonna, 77 at Menomonie, WI, and 80 at Eau Claire, WI.

March 25, 1981: An F2 tornado hits Morrison county and does $25,000 worth of damage.


TODAY: Mostly cloudy - peeks of sun possible. Winds: NE 10-15. High: 48

SATURDAY NIGHT: Few showers possible. Low: 36

SUNDAY: Cool and damp. Few showers over eastern Minnesota. Winds: NE 7-12. High: 44

MONDAY: More clouds than sun, could we worse. Winds: N 7-12. Wake-up: 37. High: near 50

TUESDAY: More sun, feels like spring again. Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 39. High: 55

WEDNESDAY: Fading sun, late-day shower risk. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 40. High: 54

THURSDAY: Steadier, heavier rain possible. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 42. High: 53

FRIDAY: Sun returns, better outdoor day. Winds: N 10-15. Wake-up: 38. High: 55


Climate Stories...

Climate Change Signal in Great Plains Wildfires? Is the unusual warmth that helped to create conditions favorable for record wildfires over the southern Plains related to background warming, or just a random event? Here's an excerpt from Climate Signals: "...Since the 1970s, large grass and shrubland fires have increased by more than 100,000 acres per decade. The frequency and intensity of wildfires in the Great Plains are increasing as the combination of higher temperatures, untamed underbrush and more extreme drought elevate wildfire risk. Formal attribution work has identified the fingerprint of global warming in the record hot temperatures that swept across the US east of the Rockies in February 2017, as climate change increased the likelihood of such heat by threefold. The heat fueled worsening drought conditions in the Great Plains region, contributing to the extreme fire conditions in early March that precipitated major blazes in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Texas. One blaze, encompassing Clark and Comanche counties along Kansas' southern border with Oklahoma, is the largest wildfire on record in the state..."


Global Warming is Increasing Rainfall Rates. Here's an excerpt of a story from Dr. John Abraham at the University of St. Thomas, writing for The Guardian: "...In my state, we have had four 1000-year floods since the year 2000! Two years ago, Minneapolis, Minnesota had such flooding that people were literally fishing in the streets as lakes and streams overflowed and fish escaped the banks. No joke, I actually observed fish swimming past me as I waded up a street. This occurrence is being observed elsewhere in my country and around the world. It falls upon city planners and engineers to design infrastructure that is more able to accommodate heavy rains and manage water. This means designing river containment areas or flood plains, reinforcing buildings and houses, and increasing the capacity of storm drainage in urban areas, just to name a few. These modifications present costs but not preparing for increased flooding poses even greater financial and social costs. Moreover, storing water from times when there is too much for the inevitable times when we have too little (drought), results in better water management and multiple benefits..."

Photo credit: "Jared Bakko hauls a boat down a flooded road after taking supplies to his grandmother as the Red River flood waters began to recede just south of Moorhead, Minnesota, USA, 28 March, 2009." EPA/CRAIG LASSIG Photograph: Craig Lassig/EPA.


How Climate Change is Altering Spring. Michigan Radio has the report, confirming what many of us have already observed: "...That “magical spring period” she’s talking about is called the vernal window. It’s basically when the snow melts, the rivers start rushing, the seeds sprout, birds start to sing: all of the classic signs of spring. But Contasta’s new study finds that those very basic, ecological things are changing. In our warmer winters, that vernal window – the spring awakening, basically – happens over a much longer period of time. And things that used to happen back to back, now have a longer lag time in between. “That could be a longer time when, soil is warm, where water could be moving through the soil, and trees are not active,” she says. Which could be bad for the trees, of course..."

Photo credit: "Spring is arriving earlier, and the vernal window is lasting longer." ellenm1 / Flickr, http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM.


How a Libertarian Think Tank is Trying to Correct the "Degenerate" Climate Science Debate. Here's an excerpt from DeSmogBlog: "...We find a lot of degenerate narratives about climate science amongst libertarians and conservatives in D.C.,” said Joseph Majkut, director of climate science at the Niskanen Center. Majkut, a Princeton graduate in atmospheric and ocean sciences, has written a dispassionate paper explaining the common myths held as true by many conservatives.The climate science debate that you see occurring at fairly high levels of government in the United States is decades behind real climate science,” Majkut told DeSmog.  He says with his briefing paper, he wanted to subject some of the common arguments to a “durability test.”How might a policy maker think about climate science,” he asked.  “How might you view the sort of conclusions that you can take from the climate science community — are they durable, what are the common objectives that you cede to them from experts that might lie outside the consensus and might challenge it and how do those objections hold up?” The paper notes the world is warming, global temperature records are reliable, and there has been no compelling evidence offered that the cause of warming is anything other than human activity. While none of this is news to climate scientists, it will be news to many conservatives..."


China Blames Climate Change for Record Sea Levels. Here's an excerpt from Reuters: "Chinese coastal sea levels hit record highs in 2016, driven by climate change as well as El Nino and La Nina events, the country's sea administration said. According to an annual report published on Wednesday by China's State Oceanic Administration, average coastal sea levels in 2016 were up 38 millimeters compared to the previous year, and saw record-breaking highs in the months of April, September, November and December. "Against the background of global climate change, China's coastal air and sea temperatures have soared, coastal air pressure has fallen and sea levels have also soared," it said. It warned that high sea levels would lead to problems like coastal erosion as well as more frequent and severe typhoons..."



The Arctic Just Set a Grim New Record for Low Levels of Sea Ice. Chris Mooney reports at The Washington Post: "Floating sea ice at the top of the world has set another troubling record for its low spatial extent, shattering a record set just two years ago for this key component of the planet’s climate system. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the sheet of Arctic sea ice, which expands and contracts in an annual cycle, probably reached its maximum size this year on March 7, when it spanned 14.42 million square kilometers, or 5.57 million square miles, atop the Arctic ocean. That’s an enormous area, but it’s also the smallest winter maximum extent ever observed in records dating to 1979. A low ice extent at the peak of winter is troubling because from here on out, the ice will continue to shrink all the way into September, exposing ever more of the Arctic ocean to the sun’s warming rays and storing up heat in the system..."

Image credit: "On March 7, Arctic sea ice hit a record low wintertime maximum extent." (L. Perkins/NASA Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio).


Arctic's Winter Sea Ice Drops To Its Lowest Recorded Level. The New York Times has details. Graphic credit above: National Snow and Ice Data Center.


Accelerating Meltdown. From Climate Nexus: "For the third year running, Arctic sea ice hit a record low for its annual peak extent of winter ice cover, scientists reported Wednesday. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), sea ice cover reached its peak extent on March 7 at 5.57 million square miles – over 470,000 square miles, an area the size of South Africa, smaller than the 1981-2010 long-term average, and 37,000 square miles smaller than the 2015 record. The meager ice cover comes after a disturbingly warm winter in the region, and NSIDC reports temperatures 4.5°F above average from October to February. The ice is "a key part of the Earth's climate system and we're losing it," NSDIC director Mark Serreze told the AP. "We're losing the ice in all seasons now."


Record-Breaking Climate Change Pushes World into "Uncharted Territory". The Guardian reports: "The record-breaking heat that made 2016 the hottest year ever recorded has continued into 2017, pushing the world into “truly uncharted territory”, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. The WMO’s assessment of the climate in 2016, published on Tuesday, reports unprecedented heat across the globe, exceptionally low ice at both poles and surging sea-level rise. Global warming is largely being driven by emissions from human activities, but a strong El Niño – a natural climate cycle – added to the heat in 2016. The El Niño is now waning, but the extremes continue to be seen, with temperature records tumbling in the US in February and polar heatwaves pushing ice cover to new lows..."

* The 28 page WMO (World Meteorological Organization) report on the climate is here.

Wet & Raw Today But Spring Fever Returns Next Week - What do Volutus, Asperitis and Homogenitus All Have in Common?

Another Warmer, Wetter Year for Minnesota?

"Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while" wrote Kin Hubbard. The forecast? "Changeable". Back to you, Earl.

People ask me what I think 2017 will be like in Minnesota. Rule number one: "persistence". Go with the flow. Don't buck the trends. Odds favor another warmer, wetter year. A few major flash flood events are likely. Higher dew points will fuel thunderstorms with damaging hail, maybe a long-lasting derecho or two. This is already the busiest year for tornadoes in the USA since 2008. By April you'll want to review your family's severe weather plan - it's good to be prepared.

A sprawling storm sparking severe weather over the southern Plains brushes us with showers today. We dry out this weekend but a cool, damp northeast breeze will discourage shorts and T-shirts. It's still a little early to put in the dock or plant annuals.

Long-range models pull 50s back into Minnesota next week; NOAA's GFS model shows 60s and 70s in roughly 2 weeks.

Spring is imminent. Take that forecast to the bank!


April temperature anomaly outlook above courtesy of NOAA and WeatherBell.


3-Month Outlook. NOAA CPC is predicting warmer than average for a big chunk of the USA from April into June. Wetter than normal weather is forecast from the Northern Rockies to the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Gulf Coast.


Wintry Slap for the Front Range. Oh to be in Denver. On Thursday the high temperature in the Mile High City reached a record 77F, that's 20F warmer than average. Today it will snow (hard) with winds gusting over 45 mph; blizzard conditions possible - especially south and southeast of downtown Denver. An amazing case of weather whiplash. Meanwhile (spoiler alert) another sloppy front pushes into the western USA with more heavy rain, while heavy snow gradually tapers over New England. All vivid reminders that Old Man Winter won't go quietly. NAM Future Radar: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.


Plowable Snow for Denver. Yes, it's appropriate to wear shorts under your down-filled parka if you live in or near Denver, where as much as 3-6" of snow may pile up today, whipped along by tropical storm force winds at times. A far cry from 77 degrees yesterday. Then again, it's March.


Snowfall Potential. NOAA's (new) 3KM NAM model shows the heaviest snow bands setting up along and south of I-70 near Denver; the best chance of white-out conditions south and east of downtown, from Castle Rock and Deer Trail to Limon.


BPI: Blizzard Potential Index. Our internal algorithms show a high probability of blizzard conditions today across central and eastern Colorado as heavy snow combines with strong winds to create a wide swath of visibility under 1/4 mile. Conditions rapidly improve tonight. Animation: AerisWeather.


Slight Severe Storm Risk Southern Plains. In the warm sector of the same storm whipping up a blizzard for Colorado conditions look more favorable for a more widespread severe storm outbreak than we saw yesterday. Today Tulsa, Little Rock, Shreveport, Dallas and Houston may be under the gun. The 15% highlighted area means a 15 percent risk of severe weather within 25 miles of any point. Map: NOAA SPC.


Raw Gives Way to Spring. ECMWF (European) model guidance shows 40s again today, but milder weather returns next week; an outside shot at 60F by Tuesday. Next week should be milder than average with a little more spring in your step. 15-day meteogram for the Twin Cities: WeatherBell.


Warm Wave in Early April. GFS forecasts for the evening of April 5 suggest a broad ridge of high pressure building across the USA with cold air lifting into Canada and temperatures well above average; especially southwestern states into the central Plains. Even New England will mellow a bit, but a cold, wet bias continues for the Pacific Northwest.


New Cloud Types Defined by WMO. The UK Met Office has details: "The cloud species Volutus has been officially named as a new species of cloud in the World Meteorological Organization’s Cloud Atlas. The new cloud species name will now be used by meteorologists operationally around the world. As well as a new species, several new ‘special clouds’ and supplementary features of existing cloud types have been officially recognised in the atlas which is the official publication of cloud types. It is used as a reference document by operational meteorologists around the world and is also an important training tool for meteorologists, as well as for those working in aviation and at sea. Special clouds named in the new edition include: Flammagenitus, which are clouds formed as a result of forest fires; and Homogenitus, which denotes man-made or anthropogenic clouds such as those which form over power station cooling towers. An example of a new supplementary feature is Asperitas, which are well defined wave-like structures in the underside of clouds..."


More new entries in the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) Cloud Atlas:



Clouds may also develop as a consequence of human activity. Examples are aircraft condensation trails (contrails), or clouds resulting from industrial processes, such as cumuliform clouds generated by rising thermals above power station cooling towers. Clouds that are clearly observed to have originated specifically as a consequence of human activity will be given the name of the appropriate genus, followed by the special cloud name “homogenitus”. For example, Cumulus cloud formed above industrial plants will be known as Cumulus (and, if appropriate, the species, variety and any supplementary features) followed by the special cloud name homogenitus; for example, Cumulus mediocris homogenitus. - See more at: https://www.wmocloudatlas.org/homogenitus.html#sthash.WGzVNilv.dpuf
Clouds may also develop as a consequence of human activity. Examples are aircraft condensation trails (contrails), or clouds resulting from industrial processes, such as cumuliform clouds generated by rising thermals above power station cooling towers. Clouds that are clearly observed to have originated specifically as a consequence of human activity will be given the name of the appropriate genus, followed by the special cloud name “homogenitus”. For example, Cumulus cloud formed above industrial plants will be known as Cumulus (and, if appropriate, the species, variety and any supplementary features) followed by the special cloud name homogenitus; for example, Cumulus mediocris homogenitus. - See more at: https://www.wmocloudatlas.org/homogenitus.html#sthash.WGzVNilv.dpuf

Another El Nino Brewing? According to NOAA NCEP ENSO-neutral may morph into another El Nino warm phase in the Pacific by late summer and autumn.



Most Active Start to Tornado Season Since 2008. Thanks to Johnny Kelly for passing this nugget along.


Gulf of Mexico Waters Are Freakishly Warm, Which Could Mean Explosive Springtime Storms. With unusually warm water in the Gulf and a persistent and powerful subtropical jet stream providing sufficient shear, there's every reason to believe the upcoming severe weather season will be formidable, possibly the most severe in 5-6 years. Here's an excerpt from Jason Samenow at Capital Weather Gang: "...The warm water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico, in particular, could mean that thunderstorms that erupt over the southern and central United States are more severe this spring. Berger explained in his Ars Technica piece: “While the relationship is far from absolute, scientists have found that when the Gulf of Mexico tends to be warmer than normal, there is more energy for severe storms and tornadoes to form than when the Gulf is cooler.” Victor Gensini, a professor of meteorology at the College of DuPage, agreed that the warm Gulf could intensify storms this spring but cautioned that additional ingredients will need to come together. “The water is only one piece,” he said. An additional key component for severe thunderstorms is a phenomenon known as the elevated mixed layer, a zone of hot and dry air at high altitudes that develops over Mexico’s high plateau and can flow into the southern and central United States. When it interacts with the warm, moist air from the Gulf, the resulting instability can give rise to explosive thunderstorms..."

Map credit: "Sea surface temperature difference from average." (WeatherBell.com)


Freezing Temperatures Devastate South Carolina Farmers. More details via South Carolina Department of Agriculture: "Last week, temperatures dipped to record lows and now South Carolina peach farmers face the worst crop damage they have seen in ten years. Strawberries and blueberries were among other crops damaged during the freeze. Members of the South Carolina Peach Council and other industry representatives met Monday morning to discuss the severity of the damage to the peach crop, which was in early bloom due to an unseasonably warm winter. Farmers are hopeful to have ten to fifteen percent of their usual crop. Peach-lovers can still expect to see local peaches in July and August in limited quantities. Statewide, strawberries have experienced about a fifteen percent loss. Midland and Upstate blueberry farmers are reporting significant loss, similar to that of peaches. Information is still being gathered from blueberry farms in the lower part of the state..."



Why People Think Weather Forecasts Are Bad When They Are Actually Pretty Good. Dr. Marshall Shepherd explains weather-accuracy perception vs. reality at Forbes: "...The reality is that modern-day weather forecasts are pretty accurate so I decided to explore reasons people think they are bad. A field goal kicker could make every single kick during football season, but what if he misses the "big one" in the championship bowl game? He may be ridiculed or criticized, but is he a bad kicker? Probably not, but he did miss a kick with great impact. Weather forecast outcomes are very similar. The March Blizzard of 2017 happened. It really did. However, a vigorous debate ensued on whether it was a "bust" because it did not produce snowfall totals and blizzard conditions in the big cities along the I-95 corridor. Some argued that forecasters adequately conveyed the uncertainty with the forecast while others suggested that the National Weather Service made some errors in leaving Blizzard warnings up in the big cities though models seemed to be backing off..."


Race Is The Biggest Indicator In The U.S. of Whether You Live Near Toxic Waste. Quartz reports: "Go looking for the local landfill or toxic waste treatment facility in any US county with a mostly white population, and you’ll likely find it in the black or Latino neighborhoods. That’s because in the US, your race is the single biggest factor that determines whether you live near a hazardous waste facility. In 2016, a study published in Environmental Research Letters found “a consistent pattern over a 30-year period of placing hazardous waste facilities in neighborhoods where poor people and people of color live.” “In fact, places that are already disproportionately populated by minorities, and where their numbers are growing, have the best chances of being selected,” Paul Mohai, a professor and the founder of the environmental justice program at the University of Michigan who coauthored the paper, wrote in an email..."

Photo credit: "Not an ideal neighbor." (AP Photo/Gerry Broome).


Healthcast: Air Quality Impacts Exercise. Outdoor air pollution is the world's biggest killer, claiming more lives, worldwide, than malaria and HIV/AIDS. Praedictix.com meteorologist Kristin Clark reports: "Now a new study finds that simply exercising outdoors in poor air quality can be more detrimental to your health than not exercising at all. Researchers reveal that in some cities air pollution levels have increased to the point where just 30 minutes of cycling outweigh the benefits of the exercise altogether. As a cyclist myself this is a surprising stat. Seems counterintuitive, right? Exercise, no matter in what environment, should be good for our body and our overall health, right? Wrong. Air pollution is so bad in certain areas that even walking poses a serious health threat. Granted this finding holds true for only the most polluted cities on Earth. Zabol, Iran and Gwalior, India are the top two most polluted cities in the world according to the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 80% of people living in low-income cities that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits..."

Image credit: "Scale of PM2.5 particles. The human hair is 30 times larger than fine particles." Source: EPA


Visualizing Uncertain Weather. Scientific American highlights research showing the power of maps to tell the story and quantify uncertainty: "...As defined by the National Hurricane Center, the cone, “represents the probable track of the center of a tropical cyclone, and is formed by enclosing the area swept out by a set of circles (not shown) along the forecast track (at 12, 24, 36 hours, etc). The size of each circle is set so that two-thirds of historical official forecast errors over a 5-year sample fall within the circle.” But as a visualization—even with the on-image text disclaimer “NOTE: The cone contains the probable path of the storm center but does not show the size of the storm. Hazardous conditions can occur outside of the cone.”— that full context isn’t terribly clear..."


A Map of Noisy America. Yes, noise pollution is making most of us a little nutty. Here's an excerpt from CityLab: "...Noise is part of the urban contract. If you want all the benefits of living with density, then you’ve got to accept a certain level of baby-screaming, train-screeching, neighbor-humping aural pollution. But a new map from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that nearly all of the U.S. population—urban, suburban, and rural—risks exposure to potentially harmful levels of vehicular and aviation noise. From the hills of Ventura County, to the streets of Chicago, to the heart of Appalachia, the hum of trucks, cars, and planes meets the ears of 97 percent of Americans, at roughly 35 to 50 decibels. That’s comparable to the noise of a humming refrigerator, according to the BTS..."

Map credit: "If only Eisenhower had known… he would totally have still built these roads." (Bureau of Transportation Statistics)


Is The Dark Really Making Me Sad? Here's an excerpt of a fascinating look at how a lack of sunlight can impact people's moods and mental health at Mosaic Science: "...Why should darker months trigger this tiredness and low mood in so many people? There are several theories, none of them definitive, but most relate to the circadian clock – the roughly 24-hour oscillation in our behaviour and biology that influences when we feel hungry, sleepy or active. This is no surprise given that the symptoms of the winter blues seem to be associated with shortening days and longer nights, and that bright light seems to have an antidepressive effect. One idea is that some people’s eyes are less sensitive to light, so once light levels fall below a certain threshold, they struggle to synchronise their circadian clock with the outside world. Another is that some people produce more of a hormone called melatonin during winter than in summer – just like certain other mammals that show strong seasonal patterns in their behaviour..."


Colorado City Commits to 100% Renewable After Natural Gas Drives Up Electricity Costs. ThinkProgress reports: "Working-class homeowners in Pueblo, Colorado have struggled to keep up with their sky-high electric bills. Locals said rampant shutoffs have plunged entire city blocks into darkness and sent power-starved families to motels and homeless shelters. Senior citizens have given up television and unscrewed refrigerator lights in an attempt to save money. And local businesses have grappled with electric bills as high as their rents. Frustrated by bloated power bills and frequent shutoffs, citizens of Pueblo have lobbied the city council to abandon natural gas and switch to more affordable renewable energy. By organizing concerned citizens and packing town halls, Pueblo’s Energy Future managed to push the city council to pass a resolution committing to generate 100 percent of the city’s power from renewables by 2035..."

Photo credit: "Residents of Pueblo protest high electric rates." CREDIT: Pueblo’s Energy Future


Energy Storage is America's Industry to Lose. Will we rise to the opportunity? Here's a clip from E&E News: "...She sees a market that is strapping on its boots for a steep and inexorable climb. Blunden and a growing number of experts believe that energy storage will be worth tens of billions of dollars in revenue within a decade, regardless of what the Trump administration does to harm or help. Batteries will start showing up everywhere, sending shock waves through the auto industry, the electric grid, the petroleum industry and the broader power sector, adding tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs to the economy. The question that Blunden keeps asking herself is whether that money and those jobs will go to Michigan and North Carolina, or flee to Shanghai or Seoul, South Korea. The problem, Blunden said, is that the United States is wandering into a global competition without much urgency or a plan. "Are we going to make the decision to take a significant share of the next wave of manufacturing growth globally?" Blunden asked. "Or are we just going to give it to [Asia]?..."

Image credit: "In the next decade, the energy storage industry will go from the familiar, like the iPhone, into much bigger applications like electric cars and the power grid." Photos courtesy of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Pixabay, Dave Dugdale/Flickr (Tesla).



47% of Jobs Will Disappear in the Next 25 Years, Says Oxford University. White collar positions will continue to be disrupted, according to a summary at Big Think: "...According to Art Bilger, venture capitalist and board member at the business school, all the developed nations on earth will see job loss rates of up to 47% within the next 25 years, according to a recent Oxford study. “No government is prepared,” The Economist reports. These include blue and white collar jobs. So far, the loss has been restricted to the blue collar variety, particularly in manufacturing. To combat “structural unemployment” and the terrible blow it is bound to deal the American people, Bilger has formed a nonprofit called Working Nation, whose mission it is to warn the public and to help make plans to safeguard them from this worrisome trend. Not only is the entire concept of employment about to change in a dramatic fashion, the trend is irreversible..."

Image credit: BBC


Job-Stealing Robots? Millennials See Hope, Fear in Automation. Every threat is an opportunity, right? Here's a clip from LinkedIn: "...Dramatic shifts in the how and the where of the future of work recently prompted my 15-year-old to ask, “Mom, are robots going to take my job someday?” Timely question. Deloitte Global’s latest survey of millennials shows many are asking the same thing. While they recognize the benefits of automation in terms of productivity and economic growth, they also see it providing opportunities for value-added or creative activities, or learning new skills:

  • 40 percent see automation posing a threat to their jobs;
  • 44 percent believe there will be less demand for their skills;
  • 51 percent believe they will have to retrain; and
  • 53 percent see the workplace becoming more impersonal and less human. Which is news that should make every CEO sit up and take notice, given this generation’s use of social media..."

Let Robots Handle Your Emotional Burnout at Work. Then again, maybe robotics and automation will keep us from going crazy? Here's an excerpt of a more hopeful perspective on automation at How We Get To Next: "...Over three decades later, working in a service job still demands the stamina and resilience to handle a barrage of customer complaints—and often even abuse—with a smile. Professions that require emotional labor, which involves inducing or suppressing emotion for the sake of a job, continue to see unprecedented levels of attrition, especially among customer service representatives, flight attendants, doctors, nurses, school teachers, and hotel employees. But as robotics and computing evolve, some researchers foresee a future where technology can relieve the long-held emotional burden of some of these professions. They think we owe it to the service workforce to offer a new frontline of robotic protection. In fact, they think it’s far overdue—but does that actually mean just automating these jobs away?..."

Image credit: Darren Garrett


How Aristotle Created the Computer. I had no idea. The Atlantic connects the dots: "THE HISTORY Of computers is often told as a history of objects, from the abacus to the Babbage engine up through the code-breaking machines of World War II. In fact, it is better understood as a history of ideas, mainly ideas that emerged from mathematical logic, an obscure and cult-like discipline that first developed in the 19th century. Mathematical logic was pioneered by philosopher-mathematicians, most notably George Boole and Gottlob Frege, who were themselves inspired by Leibniz’s dream of a universal “concept language,” and the ancient logical system of Aristotle. Mathematical logic was initially considered a hopelessly abstract subject with no conceivable applications. As one computer scientist commented: “If, in 1901, a talented and sympathetic outsider had been called upon to survey the sciences and name the branch which would be least fruitful in [the] century ahead, his choice might well have settled upon mathematical logic.” And yet, it would provide the foundation for a field that would have more impact on the modern world than any other..."

Image credit: Wikimedia / donatas1205 / Billion Photos / vgeny Karandaev / The Atlantic.



40 F. high temperature yesterday in the Twin Cities.

45 F. average high on March 23.

36 F. high on March 23, 2016.

4.7" snow at MSP so far this month.

8.6" average monthly snowfall, as of March 23.

March 24, 1851: Minnesota experiences an early spring 'heat wave' with 60s and 70s common.



TODAY: Cool and showery. Winds: NE 8-13. High: 46

FRIDAY NIGHT: Showers taper over southern Minnesota. Low: 35

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, drying out with peeks of sun. Winds: NE 10-15. High: near 50

SUNDAY: More clouds than sun, quiet. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 36. High: 49

MONDAY: Lingering clouds, a little drizzle. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 38. High: 48

TUESDAY: Partly sunny and milder. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 36. High: 55

WEDNESDAY: Few complaints. Intervals of sun. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 38. High: 54

THURSDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, springier. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 40. High: 58


Climate Stories...

How a Libertarian Think Tank is Trying to Correct the "Degenerate" Climate Science Debate. Here's an excerpt from DeSmogBlog: "...We find a lot of degenerate narratives about climate science amongst libertarians and conservatives in D.C.,” said Joseph Majkut, director of climate science at the Niskanen Center. Majkut, a Princeton graduate in atmospheric and ocean sciences, has written a dispassionate paper explaining the common myths held as true by many conservatives.The climate science debate that you see occurring at fairly high levels of government in the United States is decades behind real climate science,” Majkut told DeSmog.  He says with his briefing paper, he wanted to subject some of the common arguments to a “durability test.”How might a policy maker think about climate science,” he asked.  “How might you view the sort of conclusions that you can take from the climate science community — are they durable, what are the common objectives that you cede to them from experts that might lie outside the consensus and might challenge it and how do those objections hold up?” The paper notes the world is warming, global temperature records are reliable, and there has been no compelling evidence offered that the cause of warming is anything other than human activity. While none of this is news to climate scientists, it will be news to many conservatives..."


China Blames Climate Change for Record Sea Levels. Here's an excerpt from Reuters: "Chinese coastal sea levels hit record highs in 2016, driven by climate change as well as El Nino and La Nina events, the country's sea administration said. According to an annual report published on Wednesday by China's State Oceanic Administration, average coastal sea levels in 2016 were up 38 millimeters compared to the previous year, and saw record-breaking highs in the months of April, September, November and December. "Against the background of global climate change, China's coastal air and sea temperatures have soared, coastal air pressure has fallen and sea levels have also soared," it said. It warned that high sea levels would lead to problems like coastal erosion as well as more frequent and severe typhoons..."



The Arctic Just Set a Grim New Record for Low Levels of Sea Ice. Chris Mooney reports at The Washington Post: "Floating sea ice at the top of the world has set another troubling record for its low spatial extent, shattering a record set just two years ago for this key component of the planet’s climate system. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the sheet of Arctic sea ice, which expands and contracts in an annual cycle, probably reached its maximum size this year on March 7, when it spanned 14.42 million square kilometers, or 5.57 million square miles, atop the Arctic ocean. That’s an enormous area, but it’s also the smallest winter maximum extent ever observed in records dating to 1979. A low ice extent at the peak of winter is troubling because from here on out, the ice will continue to shrink all the way into September, exposing ever more of the Arctic ocean to the sun’s warming rays and storing up heat in the system..."

Image credit: "On March 7, Arctic sea ice hit a record low wintertime maximum extent." (L. Perkins/NASA Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio).


Arctic's Winter Sea Ice Drops To Its Lowest Recorded Level. The New York Times has details. Graphic credit above: National Snow and Ice Data Center.


Accelerating Meltdown. From Climate Nexus: "For the third year running, Arctic sea ice hit a record low for its annual peak extent of winter ice cover, scientists reported Wednesday. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), sea ice cover reached its peak extent on March 7 at 5.57 million square miles – over 470,000 square miles, an area the size of South Africa, smaller than the 1981-2010 long-term average, and 37,000 square miles smaller than the 2015 record. The meager ice cover comes after a disturbingly warm winter in the region, and NSIDC reports temperatures 4.5°F above average from October to February. The ice is "a key part of the Earth's climate system and we're losing it," NSDIC director Mark Serreze told the AP. "We're losing the ice in all seasons now."


Record-Breaking Climate Change Pushes World into "Uncharted Territory". The Guardian reports: "The record-breaking heat that made 2016 the hottest year ever recorded has continued into 2017, pushing the world into “truly uncharted territory”, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. The WMO’s assessment of the climate in 2016, published on Tuesday, reports unprecedented heat across the globe, exceptionally low ice at both poles and surging sea-level rise. Global warming is largely being driven by emissions from human activities, but a strong El Niño – a natural climate cycle – added to the heat in 2016. The El Niño is now waning, but the extremes continue to be seen, with temperature records tumbling in the US in February and polar heatwaves pushing ice cover to new lows..."

* The 28 page WMO (World Meteorological Organization) report on the climate is here.


More Extreme Weather Coming After Record 2016 Heat, WMO Says. Bloomberg provides more perspective on the WMO report: "Unusually warm weather in the Arctic is helping shift weather patterns this year from North America to the Middle East, after global warming shattered records in 2016, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Rising ocean temperatures that are melting polar ice sheets, killing marine life and flooding coastal communities may have increased more than previously reported last year, the WMO said in a report Tuesday. Average sea-surface temperatures hit their highest levels ever last year, and overall temperatures over sea and land were 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period. At least three times this winter, the Arctic has experienced the polar equivalent of a heat wave with Atlantic storms driving warm, moist air..." (Map credit: NOAA NCDC).


How Americans Think About Climate Change, in Six Maps. The New York Times has details: "Americans overwhelmingly believe that global warming is happening, and that carbon emissions should be scaled back. But fewer are sure that the changes will harm them personally. New data released by Yale researchers gives the most detailed view yet of public opinion on global warming..."


These Republicans Think Climate Change is Real. They Can See It In Their States. The symptoms of climate volatility will be harder to dismiss or deny. Here's an excerpt from News & Observer: "Republicans may have a president and a congressional majority that doesn’t believe climate change is a big threat or that the cause is driven by human activity – but they also have a bloc of congressional lawmakers with very different views. About 13 of the House of Representatives’ 237 Republicans are part of the Climate Solutions Caucus. Among them, Florida Republican Reps. Carlos Curbelo and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen represent south Florida, where rising sea levels pose a grave threat to coastal communities. “We’re already seeing the effects of rising sea levels,” Curbelo told reporters. “These are very real concerns.” The bipartisan caucus, which also has 13 Democrats, was established last year to promote economically viable options to reducing the risks from climate change. Though it hasn’t proposed specific legislation, it has brought some influential voices to the cause..."

Photo credit: "Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., speaks to reporters at the Capitol about climate change on Monday, March 20, 2017. He is flanked by Republican Reps. Mark Sanford of South Carolina (from left), Brian Mast and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania." Curtis Tate McClatchy


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article139889718.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article139889718.html#storylink=cpy

Republican Green Groups Seek to Temper Trump on Climate Change. Here's a snippet from Reuters: "...Conservative green groups such as ConservAmerica and republicEn, along with politically neutral religious groups such as Catholic Climate Covenant and bipartisan groups such as the Citizens Climate Lobby, have ramped up efforts to recruit more congressional Republicans to work on addressing climate change since Trump's election. Conservative environmental advocates promote what they call "free enterprise" solutions to climate change, like a carbon tax. That stands in contrast to the approach of liberal environmentalists under former President Barack Obama, who backed bans on certain kinds of oil drilling and regulations aimed at discouraging petroleum use. But whatever their differences, the conservative groups say they have an important role to play. "Conservatives now have a chance to earn back the trust of Americans on environmental issues," said Alex Bozmoski, director of strategy for republicEn. "They can lead in a completely different direction that actually grows the economy while cutting greenhouse gasses..."


Climate Change is Certainly Causing More Powerful Storms. Here's a clip from an article at Salon: "...The ‘100-year flood’ now occurs more often than once a century,” Hansen said. Michael E. Mann, Director of the Earth System Science Center and Distinguished Professor of Meteorology at Penn State University, observed that the warming climate is actually causing more snow. “The oceans have been at record levels of warm the past two years (and climate change is a key contributor to that),” Mann said. “That record warmth means that there is more moisture in the atmosphere that is available both to help strengthen the storm and produce record snowfalls as the warm oceanic air is entrained in toward the eastern U.S. by the cyclonic winds of the storm. Climate model simulations indicate a likelihood for stronger, more snow-making storms, and that’s what we’re seeing...”

Superstorm Sandy file imagery: Mel Shapiro, NCAR.


Here's How Climate Change is Already Affecting Your Health, Based on the State You Live In. Yahoo News has the story: "Climate change is already beginning to wreak havoc upon the planet. In the short term, we're facing more winter storms, miserably hot summers, and a longer allergy season. In the long term, entire coastlines will likely disappear, threatening communities and wildlife. On a more local level, experts say the US will be unrecognizable in 100 years. But just how is all of this affecting you — your state, your coastline — right now? A new report from the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health reveals that different geographic regions in the US are facing a range of effects, many of which are already taking shape today. Some of them are as geographically specific as to affect only one state..."

Map credit: Medical Society Consortium on Climate Change and Public Health map


The Seasons Aren't What They Used To Be. Here's an excerpt of a poignant piece at The New York Times: "...Spring has been particularly hasty and irregular this year, but this is no anomaly. In the latter half of the 20th century, the spring emergence of leaves, frogs, birds and flowers advanced in the Northern  Hemisphere by 2.8 days per decade. I'm nearly 50, so springtime has moved, on average, a full two weeks sinnce I was born. And you? We now experience climate change not only through the abstraction of science, but also through lived experience..." (Image credit: NOAA).