Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 33 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, a new, national 24/7 weather channel with studios in Denver and Minneapolis. Founder of Media Logic Group, Douglas and a team of meteorologists provide weather services for media at Broadcast Weather, and high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention, no matter what business you’re in. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. | Send Paul a question.

Hints of Spring Friday, then Soaking Rains Return

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: April 24, 2014 - 6:16 PM

Stuck
By Paul Douglas

Stare at the weather maps long enough and you begin to hallucinate. I don't recommend it. Weather has always been unpredictable and erratic, but are the patterns shifting in new and odd ways? One trend I've noticed in recent years is a general slowing of weather systems; greater amplitude of the jet stream sparking periods where weather stalls for days, even weeks. At first I thought it was my imagination, but new research from Rutgers and other universities seem to bolster the theory that rapid warming of the Arctic MAY be impacting the speed and configuration of steering winds over the Northern Hemisphere. When weather stalls bad things can result: record floods, deeper, drier droughts, record heatwaves and wildfires.

Early next week a storm will temporarily stall over Indiana. pulling waves of moisture into Minnesota from Sunday into Wednesday.

The atmosphere should be just warm enough for rain. Hopefully no rerun of April 2013, when 18 inches of snow fell. 7 inches has piled up this month.

The sun peeks out Friday, afternoon highs brushing 60F. Plan your yard work for Saturday; showers return Sunday with a cold rain Monday. Next week looks cool, ragged and showery.

====================

THURSDAY NIGHT: Lingering showers early. Otherwise mostly cloudy Low: 39. Wind: WNW 5-10.

FRIDAY: Some sun, hints of spring later. High: 63. Winds: WNW 5-15

FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and cool. Low: 37. Winds: NNE 5-10

SATURDAY: Dry start. Clouds thicken with rain developing late. High: 58. Winds: E 10-15

SUNDAY: Unsettled with a few showers. Wake-up: 42. High: 52

MONDAY: Steadier, heavier rain. Wake-up: 44 High: 49

TUESDAY: Rain tapers. Wake-up: 42. High: 53.

WEDNESDAY: Another round of showers? Wake-up: 38. High: 51

THURSDAY: More clouds than sun. Wake-up: 37. High: 56.

=====================

This Day in Weather History

April 25th

1996: Heavy snow over northern Minnesota. 10 inches of snow at Baudette. The International Falls airport closed for only the second time in history.

=====================

Sunrise/Sunset Times
April 25th

SUNRISE 612 AM

SUNSET 811 PM

======================

MSP Average for April 25th

High: 63F

Low: 42F

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Moon Phase for April 24th at Midnight

3 Days Before New Moon

==========================

Severe Weather Awareness Week Continues

Friday's Topic: EXTREME HEAT

Extreme Heat

Minnesota's Third Deadliest Weather Factor Since 1990...
The third greatest number of weather fatalities in Minnesota since 1990 has been due to excessive heat. Eighteen people have died from high heat and humidity. Only tornadoes and flooding have killed more people in the last 24 years.

Wisconsin's Deadliest Weather Factor Since 1982...
The greatest number of weather fatalities in Wisconsin since 1982 has been due to excessive heat. 134 people have died from high heat and humidity. This total is more than tornadoes, flooding, blizzards or anything else. The 1995 summer heat waves hold the record as the number one weather-related killer in Wisconsin since it became a state in 1848. Most deaths occurred in the major urban areas in southeast Wisconsin, but there have been a number of fatalities in the rest of the state as well.

Read more from the National Weather Service HERE:

============================

Soggy Thursday

Ahh... well, we haven't had a day like Thursday's steady rain in quite some time. Too bad I wasn't able to take advantage of it on the couch or in bed napping. Thanks to Emily Schmidt for the picture below out of Waite Park, MN.

Snow Up North

While most of the state was getting rain on Thursday, snow was falling across the northern part of the state. This was the view from Park Point in downtown Duluth, MN around midday Thursday while snow was reported falling over the hill. As of Wednesday, April 23rd, Duluth had seen 125.3" of snow this season (+40.5" above normal), which is the 5th snowiest season on record!

Last season 2012-2013 saw 129.4" and was the 3rd snowiest season on record. The snowiest season on record is 135.4" set in 1995-1996.

Midday Thursday Weather

This is what the radar looked like midday Thursday as the northern flank of the storm system was sloshing through the Midwest. Note that most areas were seeing rain, while just a few areas on the northern tip of the precipitation field were seeing snow near Lake Superior.

Winter Weather Headlines

...A SNOWY NIGHT ACROSS MUCH OF THE NORTHLAND... .A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL BRING ACCUMULATING SNOWFALL TO MUCH OF THE NORTHLAND TONIGHT AND INTO FRIDAY MORNING. SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED TO RANGE FROM AN INCH OR LESS FROM EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA INTO HAYWARD AND PHILLIPS...TO AS MUCH AS A FOOT IN THE TIP OF THE MINNESOTA ARROWHEAD. TWO TO FIVE INCHES OF TOTAL SNOW IS EXPECTED IN THE DULUTH AREA...ESPECIALLY IN THE HIGHER TERRAIN NEAR LAKE SUPERIOR. ROAD CONDITIONS WILL BE VERY SLIPPERY OVERNIGHT AS THE SLUSHY SNOW ACCUMULATES. IF YOU WILL BE DRIVING ACROSS THE REGION OVERNIGHT...BE SURE TO ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME TO REACH YOUR DESTINATION SAFELY.

...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON CDT FRIDAY...
* LOCATION...THE ARROWHEAD OF MINNESOTA...INCLUDING ISABELLA... LUTSEN...GRAND MARAIS...GRAND PORTAGE AND THE GUNFLINT TRAIL. * TIMING...TONIGHT THROUGH NOON FRIDAY. * SNOW...8 TO 13 INCHES OF SNOW IS EXPECTED...WITH THE HIGHEST AMOUNTS IN THE EXTREME NORTHEASTERN TIP OF THE ARROWHEAD. * IMPACTS...ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY.

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CDT TONIGHT...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DULUTH HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT CDT TONIGHT. * LOCATION...DULUTH...CLOQUET...FLOODWOOD...CARLTON AND MOOSE LAKE. * TIMING...TONIGHT THROUGH MIDNIGHT. * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...3 TO 5 INCHES IS EXPECTED. * IMPACTS...ROADS WILL BE SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY.

Friday Weather

Weather conditions will be improving a bit on Friday as the storm system begins to shift east. Any lingering rain/snow on Friday will continue to taper prior to our next system moving in over the weekend. The image below suggests weather conditions from 8AM Friday through 8AM Saturday.

Friday Temps

Enjoy the weather on Friday as another waterlogged storm system will push into the region over the weekend. Hints of Spring return on Friday as temperatures warm into the 60s and 70s in spots across the Midwest.

Weather Outlook

The loop below from AM Thursday through PM Sunday shows one storm exiting the on Friday, while another fairly potent storm system takes its place over the weekend. Not only will heavy rain be an issue, but severe weather will also be a concern. The severe threat looks to be an ongoing issue into early next week.

Severe Threat Friday

The severe threat for Friday will be confined to the extreme eastern part of the country. Portions of North Carolina and Virginia could see some stronger storm later Friday with hail and high wind the primary threat.

...SERN VA SWD ACROSS THE ERN NC VICINITY... AFTERNOON HEATING OF A RELATIVELY MOIST BOUNDARY LAYER WILL CONTRIBUTE TO INCREASING CAPE DEVELOPMENT ACROSS ERN NC AND VICINITY...AHEAD OF THE ADVANCING COLD FRONT AND ASSOCIATED UPPER VORT MAX. AS THIS OCCURS...A DIURNAL INCREASE IN AFTERNOON CONVECTIVE COVERAGE/INTENSITY IS EXPECTED...WITH UPDRAFT ORGANIZATION AIDED BY AMPLE SHEAR ON ACCOUNT OF 40 TO 50 KT WLYS AT MID-LEVELS SPREADING ACROSS THIS REGION ON THE SRN FRINGE OF THE UPPER SYSTEM. ALONG WITH RISK FOR HAIL WITH STRONGER CELLS...LOCALLY DAMAGING WINDS WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE -- PARTICULARLY IF SOME UPSCALE GROWTH INTO SMALL LINES/CLUSTERS CAN OCCUR -- AS APPEARS POSSIBLE ATTM. THE SEVERE RISK WILL DIMINISH THROUGH THE EVENING...AS THE AIRMASS GRADUALLY STABILIZES AND CONVECTION MOVES OFFSHORE.

Next Pacific Storm

Take a look at the big storm system moving into the western part of the country. This potent storm looks to bring quite a bit of moisture to the western part of the country over the next few days, some of which will be in the form of high elevation snow prior to moving into the middle part of the country with severe weather chances.

Snow For Yosemite National Park

This was the view from Yosemite National Park on Thursday afternoon. Note the dark clouds gathering as the storm system was moving in.

Winter Returns to the West

The Pacific storm system moving into the western part of the country will bring wind, rain and heavy snow. Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Range could see 6" to 12" of snow by AM Saturday.

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM FRIDAY TO 5 AM PDT SATURDAY ABOVE 6000 FEET...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY ABOVE 6000 FEET REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM FRIDAY TO 5 AM PDT SATURDAY FOR THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA. THE NEXT IN A SERIES OF FAST MOVING PACIFIC STORMS WILL AFFECT THE SIERRA BEGINNING EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: UP TO 12 INCHES AROUND AND IN YOSEMITE PARK. 6 TO 9 INCHES IN AND NEAR SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON PARKS.

* ELEVATION: ABOVE 6000 FEET.
 

Severe Threat Saturday

Our next big event unfolds this weekend. The first day of the potential multi-day severe weather threat moves in on Saturday ahead of a deepening low pressure system. The Storm Prediction Center has issued an highlighted risk area across the Plains, where hail, high winds and tornadoes may be possible by PM Saturday.

Extended Severe Threat

The potential multi-day severe weather threat looks to continue into Sunday and Monday as the storm system slowly wobbles eastward. Note that from Saturday through Monday, the threat shifts east only slightly as the storm looks to deepen enough to nearly cut itself off from the upper level winds.

Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's 5 day precipitation outlook, there appears to be some widespread heavy moisture on the way over the weekend/next week. Flooding could certainly be an issue as thunderstorm development could bring several round of heavy rain to places in the midsection of the nation over the days ahead.

Developing a Cut-Off Low

Take a look at the series of images below. The 500mb vorticity (spin) map from PM Friday through PM Wednesday shows the progression of this potent Pacific disturbance as it moves into the central part of the country and becomes "Cut-Off" or detached from the upper level winds. This particular weather feature will be the cause for stagnant weather next week.

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Memories of March

Look at the big cold blob below. This is what the forecast is saying into the middle part of next week as the low pressure system gets cut-off from the upper level winds. If the forecast holds, temperatures could certainly be well below average for much of next week in the eastern two-thirds of the nation.

Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the temperature outlook into next week looks quite chilly in the eastern two-thirds of the nation due to the cut-off low developing in the central part of the country. Unfortunately, it looks like this colder than normal weather will stick around for a bit due to the stubbornly slow movement of this weather feature.

Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week and weekend ahead! Don't forget to follow me on twitter @TNelsonWNTV

Active Weather Continues; Tornado Drill Thursday

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: April 23, 2014 - 6:29 PM

El uh oh
By Paul Douglas

A silver lining to our cool, wet bias - no drought in 2014? NOAA's Climate Prediction Center forecasts a cooler, rainier May than average. And there's growing evidence that an El Nino event brewing in the Pacific may become a whopper later in 2014 and early 2015.

El Nino warming phases are triggered when trade winds weaken, allowing tropical warmth to be released into the atmosphere. They pop up every 2-7 years; the last big one was 1997-98, which resulted in the warmest atmospheric temperatures ever recorded, to date.

There is lingering doubt & uncertainty about the severity of the next El Nino, but if it strengthens on schedule it would probably mean a wetter, slightly cooler summer for Minnesota, with warmer than average conditions into next winter.

With whiplash the "new normal" don't be surprised if we go from the toughest winter in a generation to a relatively easy winter next year. Then again, I may be dreaming.

The first waves continue Thursday, but the main event, a big, slow-moving storm, pushes across the Plains, with more heavy rain late Sunday & Monday - maybe ending as a rain/snow mix by Monday night.

Next week will feel like something out of mid-March.

======================

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Periods of rain, heavy at times. Low: 43. Wind: SE 15-25mph

THURSDAY: Heavy rain, isolated thunder. Spotty street flooding? High: 54. Wind: E 10-20, turning west late.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Lingering showers. Low: 42. Wind: W 5-10.

FRIDAY: Some sun, drying out. High: 63

SATURDAY: Mix of sun and clouds. Wake-up: 41. High: 65

SUNDAY: Cloudy and soggy with periods of rain. Wake-up: 44. High: 52

MONDAY: Chance of a cold rain, mix late? High: 45

TUESDAY: Lingering light rain/snow mix. feels like March again. Wake-up: 29. High: 40.

WEDNESDAY: Partial clearing. Wake-up: 27. High: 40.

==========================

This Day in Weather History

April 24th

1854: Summertime at Ft. Snelling with temperatures in the 80's.

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Sunrise/Sunset Times

April 24th

SUNRISE 613 AM

SUNSET 810 PM

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Moon Phase for April 24th at Midnight

3 Day After Last Quarter

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Severe Weather Awareness Week Continues...

Thursday: Tornado Safety Information

Before the Tornado...
Tornado watches highlight the area where tornadoes are most likely to develop. Continue with your normal activites, but keep informed of the latest weather information and be ready to get to shelter in case tornadoes develop quickly.

In the Home...
Go to the basement if possible. Get under a table, work bench, or some other sturdy furniture to avoid falling debris. A stairwell is also a good place to hide during a tornado.

If You Cannot Get to a Basement...
Go to a small interior room on the lowest floor. Closets, bathrooms, and interior halls afford the best protection in most cases, or try to hide under a bed. Get under something sturdy or cover yourself with blankets. Stay away from windows.

In an Apartment, School or Office Building...
Move to the inner-most room on the lowest level or to a pre-designated shelter area. Stay away from windows. If in a hallway, crouch down and protect your head from flying debris. Avoid areas with glass and large roof expansions.

In a Mobile Home, Car, Truck or Other Vehicle...
Abandon these as quickly as possible. Seek a sturdy shelter or permanent structure. Remember that many deaths occur when people try to drive away in a vehicle, but get caught in the deadly winds. Avoid bridges since they act as wind tunnels.

Tornado Watch/Warning Drills

The National Weather Service, Wisconsin Emergency Management, the Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other state, county and local agencies have come together to host Severe Weather Awareness Week activities. On Thursday, April 24th, simulated tornado watches and warnings will be issued to test the statewide warning and communications systems. The schedule for April 24th is as follows:

(all times CDT)

1:00 PM:  The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado watch for Minnesota and Wisconsin.

1:45 PM:  The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning all of Wisconsin. Note that most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems.

1:45 PM:  The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for Minnesota counties. Note that most cities and counties will activate outdoor warning siren systems.

2:00 PM: The National Weather Service will issue an "End of Test" message using the Severe Weather Statement product. It should be stated that outdoor warning sirens will not be sounded again for this all clear, nor will there be any warning tone on NOAA Weather Radio.

6:55 PM:  Another simulated tornado warning will be issued for Minnesota counties.

The 6:55 PM warning will be issued by the six National Weather Service offices that serve Minnesota. It will be issued as a test of family preparedness in the home and for second shift workers.

 For the Minnesota and Wisconsin warnings, a TOR code (tornado warning) will be used to activate the broadcast on NOAA Weather Radios.

=====================

Weather Outlook

Weather conditions have certainly been a little more active as of late. The loop below shows two particular storms that we will be tracking. From heavy rain and severe weather potential to heavy snow across parts of the Great Lakes and Mountain West, it'll be active through next week.

Soggy Weather Continues

Wet weather returned Wednesday, but it looks to continue Thursday. The best potential for 1" to 2"+ total precipitation through the end of the week looks to be southeast of the Twin Cities. Some spots over extreme SE MN and into central/southern WI could see more than 2"!

Winter Storm Watch

...SNOW HEADED BACK INTO THE PICTURE FOR NORTHERN MINNESOTA... .A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO MOVE ACROSS THE NORTHLAND TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY. RAIN IS EXPECTED TO LIFT NORTHEASTWARD ACROSS THE REGION TONIGHT...AND MAY MIX WITH SOME SNOW OVERNIGHT. BY MIDDAY THURSDAY...MUCH OF THE PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO CHANGE TO SNOW ACROSS THE MINNESOTA ARROWHEAD...WITH SNOW ACCUMULATION THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING. AT THIS POINT...IT APPEARS INCREASINGLY LIKELY THAT 6 INCHES OF SNOW OR MORE WILL FALL ACROSS THE ARROWHEAD REGION. THE GREATEST AMOUNTS WILL LIKELY BE ON GRASSY AREAS...WITH LESSER AMOUNTS ON ROADWAYS DUE TO WARMER INITIAL SURFACE TEMPERATURES OF THE ROADS. LATER FORECASTS WILL TRY TO DETAIL SPECIFIC AMOUNTS...AND WARNINGS MAY BE ISSUED AS THE EVENT NEARS. IF YOU PLAN TO TRAVEL ACROSS NORTHERN MINNESOTA...ESPECIALLY IN THE ARROWHEAD...BE SURE TO STAY TUNED FOR MORE INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS STORM.

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DULUTH HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH FOR HEAVY SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

* LOCATION...NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA...INCLUDING TWO HARBORS... ISABELLA...SILVER BAY...LUTSEN...GRAND MARAIS...GRAND PORTAGE AND THE GUNFLINT TRAIL.

* TIMING...NOON THURSDAY THROUGH NOON FRIDAY. * SNOW...MORE THAN 6 INCHES OF SNOW WILL BE POSSIBLE IN THE WATCH AREA.

* WINDS/VISIBILITY...EAST WINDS WILL GUST TO MORE THAN 20 MPH.

* IMPACTS...DRIVING CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO DETERIORATE THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND THURSDAY NIGHT ACROSS THE MINNESOTA ARROWHEAD. THE SNOW WILL INITIALLY MELT...ESPECIALLY ON ROADWAYS. HOWEVER...AS THE DAY WEARS ON THERE WILL BE A SLIPPERY AND WET ACCUMULATION OF SNOW. AS THE SNOW TURNS OVER TO MAINLY ALL SNOW...IT WILL ACCUMULATE AT AN INCREASED PACE LATER THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT. SOME FREEZING RAIN MAY ALSO FALL FOR A PERIOD OF TIME.
 

Snow Potential

As our next storm system pushes through the Midwest, temperatures will be cold enough across the far northern reaches of the state to produce snow. At this point, the best potential for several inches of slushy snow will be across the northeastern part of the state and the U.P. of Michigan.

Slow Motion Spring

Even though temperatures have been running below average, we've actually seen quite a bit of lake ice melt close to home in recent days. I snapped these pictures from the Lake Minnetonka beach in Excelsior, MN. Note the drastic ice melt from Monday to Wednesday.

Monday, April 21st

Tuesday, April 22nd

Wednesday, April 23rd

Metro Lakes Ice Out

According to MN DNR, there have been several lakes across the metro that have seen ice out! Calhoun, Harriet, and Lake of the Isles actually were ice out as of this last weekend! As of April 23rd, Lake Minnetonka was not quite ice out yet.

See more ice out information from the MN DNR HERE:


2014 Minnesota Ice Outs

Ice outs across southern MN have been coming in a little more frequently now with the latest warm air, but we are actually running a little behind normal.

Average MN Ice Out Dates

According to MN DNR, the average ice out dates for some of our northern lakes typically don't come until the end of April/early May

Lake Superior Ice

Lake Superior early this year saw a peak ice coverage near 95%, but is currently down to 59.6%. Here were some visible satellite images from just a few days ago to show you how much ice there still is on Lake Superior.

Tuesday, April 15th

Note that you can also see Lake Mille Lacs, Leech Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish are still ice covered.

Friday, April 18th

Wednesday, April 23rd

According to NOAA's GLERL, Lake Superior was still nearly 60% ice covered as of Wednesday, April 23rd. This is actually having an impact on the early shipping season...

Great Lakes Ice

According to NOAA's GLERL, the Great Lakes were still nearly 34% ice covered as of Tuesday, April 22nd. Interestingly, this is nearly 20 times more ice than the long term average.

Record Levels of Great Lakes Ice?

The Capital Weather Gang has a nice, brief write-up about the recent high levels of Great Lakes ice this late in the season.

"It’s almost May and a third of the Great Lakes is still covered by ice.  This is unprecedented in records dating back more than three decades, and it’s not even close.

Environment Canada’s Great Lakes ice dataset, which extends back to 1980-81, shows the current ice extent at a chart-topping 32.8 percent as of April 22.  The year with the next greatest ice extent on this date, 1996, had about half as much ice – or 16.49 percent coverage.  The average Great Lakes ice cover right now is 2.2 percent.  There is roughly 16 times more ice than normal right now!"

See more from the WashingtonPost.com HERE:

Active Weather Continues

The higher resolution model below shows our first strong storm system wrapping up across the middle part of the country through the second half of the work week, while another strong storm system moves into the West Coast.

Severe Threat Thursday

Our current storm system in the middle part of the country will kick out some strong to severe storms on Thursday across parts of the Mississippi River Valley. Hail and high winds look to be the primary threat, but an isolated tornado can't be ruled out.

Strong Pacific Storm

The next storm that we will be watching will be the impulse of energy moving into the western part of the country by late week. The 500mb vorticity (spin) map, shows a fairly stout disturbance moving into the Southwest over the weekend. As this particular storm system works out into the Plains, strong to severe storms look to once again push across the middle part of the country.

Severe Storms Ahead?

The Storm Prediction Center has already issued severe weather outlooks from Saturday through Monday for the areas below. The deepening area of low pressure looks to kick out a multi-day severe weather potential.

Days Since Last Tornado Warning

This is an interesting map that shows how many days it's been since we've seen a tornado warning in any particular National Weather Service county warning area. note that it has been nearly a year since we've seen a tornado warning in parts of eastern Kansas since the last tornado warning.

2014 Tornado Count

According to the Storm Prediction Center, the 2014 PRELIMINARY tornado count through April 22nd is at a very low 109 reports. The 2005-2013 average through April 22nd is 428 reports! In 2013 we saw just 223 reports through that date, while in 2008 there had been a whopping 643 reports through that date!

High Amplitude Weather Pattern

The strong storm that looks to kick out several days of strong to severe thunderstorms, looks to also nearly stall across the central/eastern part of the nation. The end result will be a just stream that will get all bent out of shape, this type of weather pattern is known as a High Amplitude weather pattern, which means that weather tends to get stuck... The image below shows the 500mb voricity (spin) map for Tuesday, April 29th. Note how the lines bubble north in the western third of the country, while the lines dip south across the eastern two-thirds of the nation. This will dictate warming and cooling and it certainly looks warm/hot in the Southwest, while it appears to be quite chilly in the eastern two-thirds of the natin.

Temperature Outlook

Take a look at NOAA's HPC 6 to 10 day temperature outlook, which will take us into early May. Note that the temperature trends from April 29th to May 3rd mirror what the jet stream will look like next Tuesday, April 29th. Next week is going to feel very March-like...

Precipitation Outlook

According to NOAA's 7 day precipitation outlook, it looks quite wet across much of the nation through early next week. As our 2 storm systems plow across the nation, heavy rainfall from convective type showers will likely several inches of precipitation in the central part of the country.

Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV

2 Soaking Rain Events On Tap - March Relapse Next Week

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: April 22, 2014 - 10:14 PM


The nagging, perpetual, slow-motion drought that has plagued many counties of Minnesota in recent years finally shows signs of easing. NOAA expects the drought designation to be lifted in coming weeks, and gazing at the current pattern that's not hard to believe.

We've had a few warm blips (Easter Sunday was a balm for the senses) but overall a cool bias is forecast to linger into May. This, in turn, increases temperature contrasts over the lower 48 states, whipping up stronger storms, capable of pulling moisture north from the Gulf of Mexico.

Another factor: El Nino, forecast to kick in by summer, which also tends to favor cooler and wetter weather. With any luck meteorologists won't be dragging around the D-word (drought) much longer.

NAM model guidance shows 1-2 inches of rain from today into Thursday as a slow-moving storm approaches. By the weekend you may be able to actually hear your lime-green lawn growing.

Latest ECMWF guidance shows another wave of moisture moving in with more rain, heavy at times, from Saturday night into Monday, possibly ending as a mix of rain and wet snow by Tuesday of next week. Don't pack away the jackets - it looks like a string of 40-degree highs shaping up for next week as spring loses its bounce once again

Yes, it's been a challenging 5 months to be a weather-guy.


Tortured Spring: The Sequel. God-willing we won't have a rerun of April, 2013, when 18" of snow delighted residents of the Twin Cities, with heavy snow spilling over into the first week of May. But after blipping upward Friday and Saturday ECMWF guidance shows a chilly spell much of next week with a string of days in the upper 30s to mid 40s; as much as 20F colder than average. Rain Sunday and Monday may end as a mix by Tuesday. I'm calling in sick that day. Graphics: Weatherspark.


Waves of Rain. GFS guidance shows heavy showers and a few T-storms pushing across the Midwest later today and Thursday; a second storm spinning up over the Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley late in the weekend and early next week. California is still too dry, but much of America east of the Rockies will see plenty of rain in the coming days.


April Drenching. Some 3-4" rains are predicted from Omaha to near Des Moines over the next 5 days, with over 1" of rain by Sunday evening for much of Minnesota. The Pacific Northwest sees soaking 2-5" rains capable of flash flooding. Source: NOAA HPC.


Severe Risk. NOAA SPC predicts a "slight risk" of severe storms from near Lincoln southward to Oklahoma City, Midland and Wichita Falls, Texas later today, including a few isolated tornadoes.


Looking Up In May? NOAA's CFS (Climate Forecast System) model predicts sustained 60s and 70s as we head into May. I hope the model is on the right track. We'll see.


Slowest Start To U.S. Tornado Season On Record. It's a little premature to get too complacent about a lack of major tornado outbreaks (93 so far nationwide, less than a quarter of "average", to date). That's the topic of today's edition of Climate Matters: "WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas goes over this years tornado stats. So far, we've been extremely lucky to see only 93 tornadoes. But in all things weather, it can change on a dime. Peak tornado months are May followed closely by June. So don't write off tornado season yet, this could be just the beginning."


Quietest Start To Tornado Season In 60+ Years? So says NOAA SPC. Details from the Storm Prediction Center here.


Experts: Civilians Not Ready For EMP-Caused Blackout. No kidding. Watchdog.org has the details; here's the introduction: "The catastrophic effects of an electromagnetic pulse-caused blackout could be preventable, but experts warn the civilian world is still not ready. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards, said the technology to avoid disaster from electromagnetic pulses exists, and upgrading the nation’s electrical grid is financially viable. “The problem is not the technology,” Pry said. “We know how to protect against it. It’s not the money, it doesn’t cost that much. The problem is the politics. It always seems to be the politics that gets in the way....”

Photo credit above: Wikipedia. "They're Testing: The government testing electromagnetic pulses uses a simulator hanging over an airborne command post."


Space Weather Prediction Center. Here is NOAA SWPC's new (beta) web site with a host of resources and tracking tools to keep an eye on the greatest potential source of dangerous EMP-like CME's or coronal mass ejections, capable of bringing down communication systems and portions of the grid.


Waste of Space. 135 million pieces of space junk? The amount of garbage hurtling around the Earth is almost incomprehensible. If this keeps up we may resemble Saturn before long. Here's a clip from Foreign Policy: "...There are some pertinent facts about space debris that demonstrate the pressing danger. Roughly three-quarters of all space debris -- 23,000 items over 10 centimeters across, 300,000 measuring between 1 and 10 centimeters, and over 135,000,000 fragments less than 1 centimeter -- is presently found in low earth orbit (LEO), the area extending from 99 to 1,200 miles above the Earth. Traveling at an average speed of 18,000 miles per hour, even small pieces of debris can damage or destroy satellites and spacecraft..."


The Brain Injury That Made Me A Math Genius. Amazing, but apparently true. Salon has the remarkable story - here's a clip: "...Because of a traumatic brain injury, the result of a brutal physical attack, I’ve been able to see these patterns for over a decade. This change in my perception was really a change in my brain function, the result of the injury and the extraordinary and mostly positive way my brain healed. All of a sudden, the patterns were just . . . there, and I realize now that my injury was a rare gift. I’m lucky to have survived, but for me, the real miracle—what really saved me—was being introduced to and almost overwhelmed by the mathematical grace of the universe..."


Does The Moon Influence Human Behavior? Some new research is emerging that suggests the answer is yes - staring with our sleep habits. Here's an excerpt from a long but excellent story at Aeon: "...When volunteers in their study, whether old or young, stayed in the lab during the three or four days around the full moon, they spent five minutes longer trying to fall asleep than those who stayed in the lab during other times of the lunar month. Their full-moon sleep was 20 minutes shorter, they felt less rested, and slept 30 per cent less deeply than those who visited the lab during other times. They couldn’t see the Moon, and the researchers hadn’t even noted the Moon phase at the time..."


Which Cities Sleep In, And Which Get To Work Early? Here's a clip from Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight: "...How much do American cities differ in when they begin work? The Census Bureau collects data on this through the American Community Survey. This data isn’t especially user-friendly, but I figured out the median time Americans begin their workday in each metro area. All the figures that I’ll describe here refer to the location of work — not the location of residence for the workers — since some Americans commute between metro areas for their jobs..."



59 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.

61 F. average high on April 22.

44 F. high on April 22, 2013.

.95" rain predicted for MSP by Friday morning (NAM model).


TODAY: Windy with rain, thunder risk. Winds: SE 15-30. High: 53

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Periods of rain, heavy at times. Low: 43

THURSDAY: Heavy rain. Spotty street flooding? High: 56

FRIDAY: Some sun, drying out. Wake-up: 45. High: 62

SATURDAY: Clouds increase, showers and T-storms possible late: 41. High: near 60

SUNDAY: Cloudy and soggy with periods of rain. Wake-up: 46. High: 53

MONDAY: Chilly with a chance of a cold rain. High: 46

TUESDAY: Rain may mix with a little wet snow before tapering. Wake-up: 34. High: 41


Climate Stories....

Preparing The U.S. Military For The "Threat Multiplier" Of Climate Change. Here's a snippet from a story at Stars and Stripes that caught my eye: "...Climate change worsens the divide between haves and have-nots, hitting the poor the hardest. It can also drive up food prices and spawn mega-disasters, creating refugees and taxing the resiliency of governments. When a threat like that comes along, it's impossible to ignore. Especially if your job is national security. In a recent interview with the blog Responding to Climate Change, retired Army Brig. Gen. Chris King laid out the military's thinking on climate change: "This is like getting embroiled in a war that lasts 100 years. That's the scariest thing for us. There is no exit strategy that is available for many of the problems...."

Photo credit above: "An F/A-18 from the Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron is fueled with a 50-50 blend of biofuel and jet fuel. Experimenting with biofuels is part of the military's push to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels." Kiona Miller - U.S. Navy.


Interactive Map Shows How The U.S. Has Warmed Since The First Earth Day. Mashable has the article and interactive graphic - here's a clipper: "Since the very first Earth Day was celebrated in the United States in 1970, average temperatures across the U.S. have increased markedly. A new interactive graphic from Climate Central, a nonprofit research and journalism organization, shows a state-by-state breakdown of those temperature trends. According to Climate Central, average temperatures in the lower 48 states have increased at a rate of about 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit per decade..."


"Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can not eat money." - Costa Rican saying


NOAA Releases Arctic Action Plan. Details from NOAA: "Earlier this year, President Obama released a plan for moving forward on his national strategy to advance U.S. security and stewardship interests in the Arctic. Today, in keeping with the goals and tenets of his strategy, NOAA unveils its Arctic Action Plan—a document that provides NOAA scientists, stakeholders and partners a roadmap to make shared progress in monitoring, understanding, and protecting this vast, valuable, and vulnerable region. Climate change is making the Arctic a greener, warmer, and increasingly accessible place for economic opportunity. However, climate impacts such as sea ice loss and rising ocean acidification are straining coastal community resilience and sound resource stewardship. Impacts are also being studied outside the Arctic, as NOAA scientists and colleagues work to better understand the region’s influence on global weather and climate patterns..."


Ancient Tundra Discovered Under Greenland Ice Sheet. Extreme melting is leading to some interesting discoveries, under the ice. Here's a video clip and explanation from The Wall Street Journal: "A team of scientists have found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet for 2.7 million years, providing strong evidence that the ice sheet has survived many periods of global warming." WSJ's Niki Blasina reports. Photo: Joshua Brown, University of Vermont.


Column: Get Past Fake Debate On Global Warming. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from The Wasau Daily Herald: "... It is obvious now that no amount of scientific evidence and no degree of consensus among climate experts can shake the true denialist. It’s as if there are two parallel universes. For the denialists there is the universe created by Fox News and the Heartland Institute, and news from that world is reported Charles Krauthammer, Rush Limbaugh, and many others. In this world climate models don’t work, global warming has stopped, but if there is warming it is from natural causes, there is no scientific consensus, but if there is, tens of thousands of scientists from different countries and diverse fields are all conspiring together to create the greatest hoax the world has ever seen..."

Midweek Lawn Watering (Earth Day 2014: how going green can put more green back in your wallet)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: April 21, 2014 - 8:47 PM


We're all environmentalists - some of us just don't know it yet. On Earth Day 2014 America's air and water is dramatically cleaner than it was 40 years ago. But greenhouse gases continue to spike at an alarming rate, worldwide.

Who cares? As I gently remind my friends on the right: conservatism shouldn't be a la carte. It should apply to the very thing that sustains us, the amazing gift we've been loaned. We're all stewards of God's Creation.

I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't like to save money. Skeptics may perk up when they realize clean energy options will eventually put more green in their wallets. Solar power is catching on as innovation causes prices to fall dramatically, but that's just the beginning.

Last year I traded in 2 gas-powered cars for a Tesla Model S, an all electric vehicle that I charge up every night in my garage. It has a range of 200 miles and is continually connected to the Internet, allowing streaming media on a super-sized iPad-like center console. Software upgrades are sent automatically, making it the rough equivalent of an iPhone on wheels. I'm a car nut, and I can safely say this is the most fun I've had in a vehicle in 40 years. The best part: I'm saving $600/year on insurance and my electricity rates have yet to blip upward. The dream is to drive for free, powered by the sun. Some day soon.

Enjoy a flawless blue sky today. A free lawn watering is still on tap for late Wednesday and Thursday; maybe half an inch of water for your garden. Clouds thicken Saturday; a cold rain reaches southern Minnesota Sunday, but the storm track may keep moisture just south of MSP early next week. The risk of slush next Monday has diminished just a bit.

Insert deep sigh here.


Cooling Trend. After peaking in the upper 50s to near 60F Tuesday afternoon temperatures drop off into the 40s to near 50F, according to ECMWF guuidance. The best chance of rain comes late Wednesday into Thursday; drier air pushing in for Friday and Saturday. Latest guidance keeps most of the moisture to our south Sunday and Monday; a very slow warming trend set for next week. Graphic: Weatherspark.


Future Radar. NOAA's 12km NAM guidance shows heavy showers and a few embedded T-storms pushing across the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes as the eastern USA dries out; waves of moderate to heavy rain sweeping into the Pacific Northwest. 84-hour loop: HAMweather.


7-Day Rainfall Amounts. As much as 5" of rain may soak the Pacific Northwest over the next week as a series of impulses push inland. Heavy showers and T-storms may drop some 2-3" amounts from near Kansas City to Little Rock, with as much as 1" for portions of southern MInnesota Wednesday and Thursday. Source: NOAA.


Burning Restrictions In Effect For All of Minnesota. Until we get to statewide spring green-up conditions will remain ripe for spotty brushfires. Here's a video and story excerpt from northlandsnewscenter.com: "In a quicker than anticipated time frame, burning permit restrictions for Minnesota now cover the entire state. According to the Minnesota DNR, burning permits are now required for anyone in the state wanting to burn small amounts of dry leaves, plant clippings, brush, and untreated, unpainted wood as long as weather conditions do not pose an immediate fire hazard..."


Slowest Start To U.S. Tornado Season On Record. It's a little premature to get too complacent about a lack of major tornado outbreaks (93 so far nationwide, less than a quarter of "average", to date). That's the topic of today's edition of Climate Matters: "WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas goes over this years tornado stats. So far, we've been extremely lucky to see only 93 tornadoes. But in all things weather, it can change on a dime. Peak tornado months are May followed closely by June. So don't write off tornado season yet, this could be just the beginning."


Quietest Start To Tornado Season In 60+ Years? So says NOAA SPC. Details from the Storm Prediction Center here.


Experts: Civilians Not Ready For EMP-Caused Blackout. No kidding. Watchdog.org has the details; here's the introduction: "The catastrophic effects of an electromagnetic pulse-caused blackout could be preventable, but experts warn the civilian world is still not ready. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both congressional advisory boards, said the technology to avoid disaster from electromagnetic pulses exists, and upgrading the nation’s electrical grid is financially viable. “The problem is not the technology,” Pry said. “We know how to protect against it. It’s not the money, it doesn’t cost that much. The problem is the politics. It always seems to be the politics that gets in the way....”

Photo credit above: Wikipedia. "They're Testing: The government testing electromagnetic pulses uses a simulator hanging over an airborne command post."


Space Weather Prediction Center. Here is NOAA SWPC's new (beta) web site with a host of resources and tracking tools to keep an eye on the greatest potential source of dangerous EMP-like CME's or coronal mass ejections, capable of bringing down communication systems and portions of the grid.


"Fukushima Radiation Killing Our Children, Government Hides Truth, Says Former Mayor" Not sure what to make of this one, but the fact that authorities are telling locals that it's safe to come home seems questionable, under the circumstances. Another Chernobyl? I sure hope that's just an exaggeration. Here's a clip from RT.com: "...According to Idogawa there are about two million people residing in the prefecture who are reporting “all sorts of medical issues,” but the government insists these conditions are unrelated to the Fukushima accident. Idogawa wants their denial in writing. “I demanded that the authorities substantiate their claim in writing but they ignored my request.” Once again, Idogawa alludes to the nuclear tragedy that hit Ukraine on April 26, 1986, pleading that the Japanese people “never forget Chernobyl.” Yet few people seem to be heeding the former government official’s warning. “They believe what the government says, while in reality radiation is still there. This is killing children. They die of heart conditions, asthma, leukemia, thyroiditis… Lots of kids are extremely exhausted after school; others are simply unable to attend PE classes. But the authorities still hide the truth from us, and I don’t know why...."


Poll: Big Bang A Question For Most Americans. Here's an excerpt of a story from Associated Press: "...On some, there's broad acceptance. Just 4 percent doubt that smoking causes cancer, 6 percent question whether mental illness is a medical condition that affects the brain and 8 percent are skeptical there's a genetic code inside our cells. More — 15 percent — have doubts about the safety and efficacy of childhood vaccines. About 4 in 10 say they are not too confident or outright disbelieve that the Earth is warming, mostly a result of man-made heat-trapping gases, that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old or that life on Earth evolved through a process of natural selection, though most were at least somewhat confident in each of those concepts. But a narrow majority — 51 percent — questions the Big Bang theory...."

Image credit here.


The Brain Injury That Made Me A Math Genius. Amazing, but apparently true. Salon has the remarkable story - here's a clip: "...Because of a traumatic brain injury, the result of a brutal physical attack, I’ve been able to see these patterns for over a decade. This change in my perception was really a change in my brain function, the result of the injury and the extraordinary and mostly positive way my brain healed. All of a sudden, the patterns were just . . . there, and I realize now that my injury was a rare gift. I’m lucky to have survived, but for me, the real miracle—what really saved me—was being introduced to and almost overwhelmed by the mathematical grace of the universe..."


68 F. high on Monday in the Twin Cities.

61 F. average high on April 21.

51 F. high on April 21, 2013.

.20" rain fell early Monday; scattered thundershowers reported across the metro area.


TODAY: Sunny, still mosquito-free. Winds: NW 10. High: near 60

TUESDAY NIGHT: Clouds increase. Low: 43

WEDNESDAY: Showers arrive, windy. SE 15-25. High: near 50

THURSDAY: Rain, heavy at times. Raw and very soggy. Wake-up: 45. High: 48

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, few sprinkles. Wake-up: 40. High: 49

SATURDAY: More clouds than sun, cool. Wake-up: 35. High: 51

SUNDAY: Cold rain far southern Minnesota. Wake-up: 39. High: 47

MONDAY: Patchy clouds, few sprinkles. Wake-up: 34. High: 45

* lone boat on the water courtesy of WeatherNation TV meteorologist Todd Nelson, who snapped this photo at Maynards in Excelsior as the ice was coming off Lake Minnetonka Monday morning.


Climate Stories....

 

"Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can not eat money." - Costa Rican saying


NOAA Releases Arctic Action Plan. Details from NOAA: "Earlier this year, President Obama released a plan for moving forward on his national strategy to advance U.S. security and stewardship interests in the Arctic. Today, in keeping with the goals and tenets of his strategy, NOAA unveils its Arctic Action Plan—a document that provides NOAA scientists, stakeholders and partners a roadmap to make shared progress in monitoring, understanding, and protecting this vast, valuable, and vulnerable region. Climate change is making the Arctic a greener, warmer, and increasingly accessible place for economic opportunity. However, climate impacts such as sea ice loss and rising ocean acidification are straining coastal community resilience and sound resource stewardship. Impacts are also being studied outside the Arctic, as NOAA scientists and colleagues work to better understand the region’s influence on global weather and climate patterns..."


Ancient Tundra Discovered Under Greenland Ice Sheet. Extreme melting is leading to some interesting discoveries, under the ice. Here's a video clip and explanation from The Wall Street Journal: "A team of scientists have found organic soil that has been frozen to the bottom of the Greenland Ice Sheet for 2.7 million years, providing strong evidence that the ice sheet has survived many periods of global warming." WSJ's Niki Blasina reports. Photo: Joshua Brown, University of Vermont.


Column: Get Past Fake Debate On Global Warming. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from The Wasau Daily Herald: "... It is obvious now that no amount of scientific evidence and no degree of consensus among climate experts can shake the true denialist. It’s as if there are two parallel universes. For the denialists there is the universe created by Fox News and the Heartland Institute, and news from that world is reported Charles Krauthammer, Rush Limbaugh, and many others. In this world climate models don’t work, global warming has stopped, but if there is warming it is from natural causes, there is no scientific consensus, but if there is, tens of thousands of scientists from different countries and diverse fields are all conspiring together to create the greatest hoax the world has ever seen..."

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