60.4" snow so far this winter in St. Cloud.

29.9" on the ground as of Feb. 2, 2010.

13" on the ground at KMSP.

50.6" snow since December 1.

 

"Snowmageddon". Is this a movie or real life? Lake Shore Drive this morning (courtesy of the Chicago Tribune and twitpic).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago: The World's Biggest Parking Lot. Thanks to Jason Parkin for sharing some incredible photos of the aftermath of the Great Chicago Blizzard of '11. I've never seen anything quite like this.

 

 

 

Chicago Humbled By Powerful Storm. A good overview from a 1-in-20-year snowstorm rom the New York Times: "Chicago, a city that prides itself on its ability to conquer any snowstorm that comes its way, woke up Wednesday to discover that hundreds of people had been trapped for hours — scared and confused, in part because of the vague advice they heard from emergency workers — along a prominent roadway that runs smack through the heart of the city. Among the scenes described by those who spent most or all of the harrowing night on Lake Shore Drive: Frustrated drivers trying to unclog the roads by pushing stuck and abandoned cars through snow-filled exit ramps; a band of passengers crowded inside one Chicago Transit Authority bus — an express, of course — deciding after five hours to make a run for it (many were forced to turn back); people who ventured out, perhaps from their homes along Lake Shore Drive, to deliver cereal bars, water and Gatorade to those stranded."

 

 

 

Jim Cantore Freaks Out During Chicago Thunder-Snow. In defense of Jim - it was a pretty dramatic moment. Winds gusting to 70 mph - horizontal snow dropping visibilities - and then a zap of cloud to ground lightning lighting up the sky with a roar of thunder. It must have looked like the (snowy) end of the world. From Jodi Hill at examiner.com: "Jim Cantore knows weather. The Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore has a video going viral of him responding crazy to a Thundersnow moment on Tuesday night covering the Chicago Blizzard on the cable channel. The winter thundersnow was definitely a rare kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain and lightning in the area as well.

“Oh J****, Listen to that. Son of a….,” says Cantore who seems so shocked that the thundersnow is right above the Weather camera crew that he has shares it in short exclamations. “That's believable! Oh my goodness. Holy Smoke. Just Incredible.”

The January Blizzard of 2011 virtually crippled the Chicago, Illinois area as the residents of the area were digging out of feet and not inches of snow. While the snow stopped on Wednesday the cleanup continued and people were glad to see the precipitation end."

 

 

"A paralyzing, 2,000-mile swath of winter at its snowy, icy, messy worst pushed eastward across the United States on Tuesday, disrupting the rhythms of everyday life and punctuating this season’s recurring lesson that humankind has no dominion over nature." - New York Times

 

 

This Can't Be Good. Here is some amazing footage from Severe Studios of an accident on I-93 in New England. Never in my life have I seen a vehicle in this (predicament).

 

 

How Much Fell? It was a very close call for Minnesota, some 2 foot snowfall amounts from Missouri and eastern Iowa into southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Check out a new, interactive snow-reporting tool from NOAA here. "This product is an objective analysis of NWS Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) and Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) snowfall reports.  CoCoRaHS data is from non-NWS sources and may have not been fully quality controlled. The National Weather Service needs your feedback to assess the usefulness and quality of this web page. Please click here to fill out our survey."

 

 

 

* Difference between a Winter Storm Watch and a Winter Storm Warning? How is a Windchill Advisory different from a Windchill Warning? USA Today has a useful glossary of winter weather terminology here.

 

Wednesday Flight Cancellations. According to flightaware.com a total of 6,263 flights were canceled as of 2 pm Wednesday, 93 here in the Twin Cities. Chicago (as might be expected after nearly 21" snow and 5-10 foot drifts) was a basket case.

 

Winter Wonderland. From an interactive slide show at the New York Times web site: "I have lived in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. for 25 years. I have never seen icicles like this!"

 

 

"Mad-Town." Madison picked up nearly a foot, but Racine was buried under 21.5" - and there are reports of 10-15 drfits from southern Wisconsin into the Chicago area. It will take days for the Midwest to dig out. Authorities in southern Wisconsin isssued a "Civil Emergency", urging residents to stay off the roads. Photo credit: New York Times.

 

 

A Winter To Remember. An update from USA Today on the massive storm that just shut down roughly a third of America, and where we stand for the winter, to date: "Consider New York City, which has received 56.1 inches of snow, the National Weather Service said. That's more than five times the city's typical average of 11.1 inches, to date. This puts New York's winter in sixth place all-time. The snowiest winter season on record there was 1995-96, when 75.6 inches of snow fell. (photo credit: Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Other notable records so far:

•Tuesday's snowfall of 13.2 inches was the greatest one-day snowfall ever recorded in Tulsa, where records date to 1900. The 11 inches of snow that fell in just 12 hours in Oklahoma City was more than the city usually sees in an entire year."

• Dallas Fort Worth International Airport was closed for several hours Tuesday, the first time in five years the airport shut down because of weather. Temperatures that plummeted into the teens in Dallas were the coldest the city has seen in 15 years, the weather service reported.

•So far this winter, Atlanta has received 5.9 inches of snow, which is more than four times the city's average of 1.3 inches.

•A total of 57 inches of snow fell in Hartford, Conn., in January, the city's snowiest month ever. Records in Hartford go back to 1905.

 

 

Dozens Stranded On Lakeshore Drive. A story from the AP and WHBP-TV in the Quad Cities: "CHICAGO (AP) - Dozens of motorists were stranded for hours on Chicago's iconic Lake Shore Drive after it was shut down as a blizzard battered the city. City officials said early Wednesday that multiple lanes of cars and buses became stuck on the northbound lanes of the city's crucial thoroughfare because of abandoned vehicles, multiple accidents and generally poor traffic conditions. Rescue officials were evacuating motorists from their cars overnight and guiding some to stranded buses to keep them warm."

 

 

Snowy Wasteland. Check out this YouTube footage from "swdowling", as he walked over the North Avenue Bridge over Lakeshore Drive Wednesday morning around 6:30 am. Unbelievable.

 

 

"White-Out". This is another photo from Lakeshore Drive and Monroe, at the height of the storm.

 

 

Minor Wind Damage At Wrigley Field In Chicago. From Jacob Wycoff and James Aman at EarthNetwork (formally WeatherBug). "With wind gusts over 50 mph last evening, a piece of roofing blew off Wrigley Field and landed in the intersection of North Clark and West Addison Streets.   These images are from 6:20 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. CT last evening."

 

The Big Dump. That's YouTube footage of Simon Walker from AndroidSPIN, snowblowing his driveway in Chicago. At least report 20.5", just shy of the all-time record of 23", set in 1967. Right now it's Chicago's third greatest snowfall from a single storm since the last 1800s.

 

Snow-Power > Ram-Power. I think there's a 4x4 somewhere under than 6 foot drift west of Cedar Rapids on Highway 30 Wednesday morning, courtesy of Dan Gottschalk from Severe Studios.

 

Drive Safe! Winter Weather Driving Tips For Tackling The Snow & Ice. ABC News has a timely article with a few friendly reminders (on ways to avoid having to make a frantic call to your car insurance company): "Americans may be winter weary, but they are bearing the brunt of yet another severe winter storm -- an enormous system that's expected to cover at least one-third of the country with snow, ice and rain. February may not bring any relief. So what can you do if you absolutely have to drive when the weather is bad and roads are slick, snow-covered and downright dangerous? Mark Cox of the Bridgestone Winter Driving School in Colorado Springs, Colo., appeared on "Good Morning America" to share safe driving tips for when you have to be out in winter's worst.

 

Safe Driving Tips

Avoid the Phantom Shoulder: When a road grader or truck plows, it pushes snow to one side of the road. That snow can often appear to be an extension of the road – like a very wide shoulder – but often it's is just covering a ditch or drop-off, Cox said. If you get a wheel in that ditch, your car could go off the road. If you have to pull over, slow down first and ease over slowly. If you start to feel the car sinking, you can pull away, Cox said."

 

Storm Stops Travelers As It Moves Across The USA. A good summary of the meteorological craziness from the New York Times: "A paralyzing 2,000-mile swath of winter at its snowy, icy, messy worst pushed eastward across the United States on Tuesday, disrupting the rhythms of everyday life and punctuating this season’s recurring lesson that humankind has no dominion over nature...Those inclined to rage against the elements — for following what seems to be a weekly delivery schedule of misery — were humbled into sheltered silence by the gusting winds. A wise choice, given that throughout the day the National Weather Service was issuing warnings for certain areas that read like snippets from a disaster-movie screenplay:   “DANGEROUS MULTIFACETED AND LIFE-THREATENING WINTER STORM ... BEFORE MAKING DECISION TO TRAVEL ... CONSIDER IF GETTING TO YOUR DESTINATION IS WORTH PUTTING YOUR LIFE AT RISK ... DO NOT TRAVEL! IF YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST TRAVEL ... HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU.”

 

 

"Another Snow Day in Connecticut." Thanks to Mark Kehrberg and Jason Parkin for sharing this...

 

 

 

Wednesday Windchills. Yes, in spite of the 4-5" snow that fell Monday, and the painful windchills yesterday, we still got the better end of this week's super-storm. Click here for more details and snow amounts from the National Weather Service.

 

 

Extreme Category 5 Cyclone Yasi Comes Ashore. Click here to see a colorized Pacific image, you can zoom into Australia for a closer look at this 400 mile-wide storm. There are some estimates that Yasi may be roughly twice the size of Hurricane Katrina.

 

 

Massive Cyclone Bears Down On NE Australia Coast. An update from the AP on "Yasi": "Strong winds and driving rain began buffeting northeast Australia as one of the country's biggest storms bore down Wednesday while residents huddled in evacuation centers or hid at home in bathrooms behind piles of blankets and mattresses. Australian leaders issued dire warnings of potential devastation for cities and towns dotted along a stretch of coast more than 190 miles (300 kilometers) long in north Queensland state, in an area considered the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. The storm will compound misery in Queensland, which has already been hit by months of flooding that killed 35 people and inundated hundreds of communities. Yasi is due to hit north of the main waterlogged area, but emergency services are already stretched and the whole state is flood-weary. "This is a cyclone of savagery and intensity," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a nationally televised news conference. "People are facing some really dreadful hours in front of them."

 

Landfall. Yasi appears to have hit coastal Australia near the city of Cardwell with sustained winds estimated over 150 mph, gusts as high as 178 mph.

 

Yasi's Track. According to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Cyclone Yasi will weaken rapidly once it moves ashore, cut off from a supply of warmth and moisture - but severe flooding is likely hundreds of miles inland, some 10-20" amounts predicted.

 

Some Scientists Believe Extreme Weather Events Becoming The Norm. The Kansas City attempts to connect the dots with a story focused on the recent spike in severe weather events, random, or part of a larger (global) pattern? "Just in December, some forecasters thought our mild winter would continue and we’d cruise through with only a handful of storms. So what happened? Climate change, according to many scientists. Not a sudden change in the climate but a gradual change bringing us a pattern of extreme weather events. And although the atmosphere is warming, that doesn’t mean snowstorms will stop anytime soon, said Charles Rice, a Kansas State University professor and climate change author. That’s because the warmer air means more moisture, in the short term at least. “Climate change doesn’t mean you are not going to have cold spells and snow,” Rice said Tuesday. “It’s a change in the weather pattern, the intensity of a weather event — all those come into play.” Indeed, scientists said extreme weather events were becoming the norm."

 

 

 

With Climate Change Expect More Monster Storms. A story from LiveScience.com: "No single weather event can be directly attributed to climate change. But as the globe warms up, Americans can expect more storms like the one bearing down on much of the United States, scientists say. That's not because the Feb. 1 storm can be linked to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels or increasing global temperature – again, such a connection is impossible to make – but, according to climatologists, an increased propensity for winter storms is exactly what you'd expect in a warming world. "There's no inconsistency at all," Michael Mann, the director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center, told LiveScience. "If anything, this is what the models project:  that we see more of these very large snowfalls."

 

 

 

January 2011 Global Weather Extremes Summary. From Jeff Masters and his Wunderblog: "Another month of wild weather from around the world has just passed. Highlights include extraordinary snowfall in the Eastern portion of the U.S.A., record floods in Australia, Brazil, and Sri Lanka and record cold in Korea, Manchuria, and Japan. NORTH AMERICA: The biggest story of the month for the United States was a series of tremendous snowstorms in the Mid-Atlantic States and Southern New England. A storm on January 11-12 broke Hartford, Connecticut’s all-time 24-hour snowfall with a 24.0” accumulation. Unofficial amounts of up to 30.5” were reported from the New Haven area. On January 26-27 another blizzard deposited 19.1” in Central Park, New York City, its 8th greatest snowstorm on record and the 3rd top-ten snowfall in just the past year (Central Park has 142 years of records). Overall, this was the single snowiest month on record for Hartford: 57.0” (old record 45.3” in Dec. 1945), New Haven: 56.6” (old record 46.3” in Feb. 1934), and Newark, NJ: 37.4” (old record 33.4” in Jan. 1994). It was New York City’s 2nd snowiest month with a 36.0” total (snowiest month was just last February with 36.9”!)."

 

 

 

 

Growing Potential For River Flooding This Spring. I'm not the only one concerned about an escalating risk of flooding in 40-60 days. Here's the latest from Greg Spoden at the Minnesota State Climatology Office:

- There are several factors pointing towards major spring flooding for many of Minnesota's rivers and streams. Projections for many Minnesota river communities indicate a greater than 60 percent probability of major flooding. The probability of major flooding exceeds 80 percent at some locations and the possibility of record flooding exists for some locales.

- January 2011 precipitation totals were near, to somewhat above, historical averages in nearly all Minnesota counties. While January 2011 was not newsworthy for major winter storms, it was notable for a very large number of snowfall events. For example, the Twin Cities reported only four days during January without at least a trace of snowfall.

- Many Minnesota counties report more than 16 inches of snow cover as of this writing. Snow depths for portions of west central Minnesota, and all of northeastern Minnesota, exceed 24 inches. For numerous Minnesota locations, snow depths rank in the top 20th percentile.

 

Link Between Local TV News And Cancer? OK. At first I thought this was something put out by "The Onion", a scam/fake headline. "Cancer fatalism?" But after reading this story from mediabistro I'm starting to think it might be legitimate: "While cell phones, artificial sweeteners, and certain prescription drugs may, according to myriad news reports, cause cancer, it appears that local TV is a significant source of cancer fatalism. Two recently published research papers suggest that a steady diet of local TV news leads people to believe that they have little or no control over whether or not they get cancer. The papers, published by researchers at Cornell University and The Ohio State University, and reviewed by Miller-McCune, show that local TV news is more likely than other news outlets to emphasize recent scientific findings and less likely to include context and information about prevention."

 

 

 

Apple's Greatest Hits Under Steve Jobs. From Computerworld and yourversion.com, running down some of the innovations in 20+ years at Apple: "Here is Computerworld's list of the 12 most notable hits Apple has produced under CEO Steve Jobs, from his first tenure (1977-85) to his successful return from 1997 to today. These weren't always the biggest sellers or the best-designed, but they made a splash when they were unveiled and often pointed the direction for the rest of the computer industry. With Jobs now out on another medical leave, we thought it a good time to look at the innovation that has been the hallmark of his leadership.

Apple II Forever

The Apple II was the first product released from Apple Computer Inc. after incorporation in 1977. Unlike the Apple-1, this computer came with a monitor, keyboard, case and power supply, making it a machine for the masses, not just homebrew hackers. More than eight models and five million units were sold before it was discontinued in 1993."

(there are 12 more in this afticle).

 

 

 

Invisibility Cloak Enters The Real World. I love it when science fiction gets one step closer to becoming the latest technological innovation (landing on the moon was considered science fiction until the late 50s). A story from the U.K.'s Telegraph: "In the past researchers have only been able to "cloak" microscopic objects using extremely complicated physics and so-called meta-materials made on a tiny scale. But a new study at the University of Birmingham has taken a massive step forward by making a paper clip invisible – an object thousands of times bigger than previous experiments. The research works by using a naturally forming crystal called calcite which has extraordinary light bending abilities. By placing the crystals over an object it "bounces" light around it rendering it totally invisible to the naked eye. Dr Shuang Zhang, a physicist and lead investigator from the University of Birmingham, said: ‘‘This is a huge step forward as, for the first time, the cloaking area is rendered at a size that is big enough for the observer to ‘see’ the invisible object with the naked eye."

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Texting Made Easy (for anyone over the age of 50, myself included). Suddenly all those strange letters on my cell phone screen make sense! Oh, how I long for the days of my old, rotary phone. Rated PG, for pretty gross (but kind of funny). If you're easily offended or capable of taking this personally please skip over this part.

 

TEXTING FOR SENIORS

Since more and more Seniors are texting and tweeting there appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code). If you qualify for Senior Discounts this is the code for you: Please pass this on to your CHILDREN and Grandchildren so they can understand your texts.


ATD: At The Doctor's
BFF: Best Friend Farted
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair

BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare 

CGU: Can't get up

CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent

FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin

GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
HGBM: Had Good Bowel Movement

IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor

LWO: Lawrence Welk's On
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
OMSG: Oh My! Sorry, Gas.

PIMP: Pooped in my pants
ROFL... CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing... And Can't Get Up

SGGP: Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
TTYL: Talk To You Louder
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?

WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again
WTP: Where's The Prunes?

WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil
GLKI (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In)

 

 

 

 

65" By The Middle Of Next Week? No major, Chicago-style monster snows are brewing, just a few (minor) clippers. We may pick up a quick, slushy inch late Friday, again Sunday night and Tuesday as colder air invades Minnesota. It won't be as cold as January, but temperatures trend well below average for at least the next week or so.

 

 

 

Signs Of Hope. The 00z model runs of the GFS weather model have been hinting at a prolonged stretch of 20s and low 30s after Feb. 13 or so. Not exactly spring fever material, but a step in the right direction. We've picked up 63 minutes of additional daylight since December 21 - that higher sun angle (twilight at 6:30 pm!) will make it harder to experience subzero daytime highs - and take the edge off our nighttime lows in the coming weeks. Yes, within a few weeks we'll pull out of the deep freeze. I stand by my earlier prediction: the worst of winter is behind us (looking at sheer duration of subzero weather). More cold fronts? Absolutely, but it will be harder to sustain day after day of subzero weather as we sail into mid and late February.

 

 

 

 

 

Coldest Day Of The Week. Wednesday was numbing alright, a bright sun couldn't lure the mercury above 2 in Alexandria, 9 in St. Cloud, and a nippy 12 in the Twin Cities (12 degrees below average for Feb. 2). Breaking news: it didn't snow.

 

 

 

History Of Groundhog Day. How on Earth didn't Punxatawney Phil see his shadow? Personally, I think there's a cover-up here. In fact I'm not only skeptical, I'm a denier. I'm a groundhog-day-denier, and until I see irrefutable evidence that Phil did not see his shadow, I will keep the volume turned up on Fox News and mind my own business. Personally, I think Al Gore had something to do with this. The history of groundhog day from National Geographic is here.

 

 

 

 

Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

 

TODAY: Partly sunny, stiff breeze. Winds: SW 10-20. High: 20

 

THURSDAY NIGHT: Clouds increase, not as cold. Low: 14

 

FRIDAY: "Milder", coating to 1" late in the day and at night, slushy roads possible. High: near 30

 

SATURDAY: Lingering flurries, still "mild". High: 32

 

SUNDAY: Turning colder, light snow late, maybe a coating to 1". High: 28

 

MONDAY: Light snow tapers to flurries - sun comes out, numbing again. High: 12

 

TUESDAY: Patchy clouds, few flakes? Low: -5. High: 9

 

WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, still cold. Low: -4. High: 7

 

 

 

 

The End Is Near

 

Don't watch CNN before trying to fall asleep. Riots, floods, historic snowstorms, the cyclone that just hit Australia was almost twice the size of "Katrina". The only thing missing is plagues of locust, and that may show up on Doppler any day now. When there's no 7th day on my 7-Day Outlook, that's when it's time to head for the hills.

The reality? Weather has always been severe, sometimes extreme and news-worthy. With YouTube, Twitter and real-time global communications we're doing a better job of finding and reporting on crazy weather that's been there since the beginning of time.

Is a 4% spike in water vapor floating overhead increasing the odds of massive storms? Probably. But (as always), the truth is probably more complicated. The sky is not falling, in fact, the atmosphereover Minnesota will be warming to near freezing later this week. Let the good times roll! 32 F. Here in the Land of Low Weather Expectations, after the (real) winter we've endured, that sounds pretty good. Snow? 1/2-2" possible late Friday, maybe another inch late Sunday, but no headline-grabbing storms for Minnesota. The groundhog is predicting an early spring. Hmm. Don't see it. Hope he's right.

 

 

Skeptics Vs. "Deniers": Cooling Off The Heated Climate Change Rhetoric. Andrew Freedman from the Capital Weather Gang has an interesting post about the increasingly virulent, sometimes hate-filled rants, e-mails and blog comments regarding climate change science, and growing concern on the part of professional climate scientists about their personal safety: "The scene: A crowded room at the American Meteorological Society's 91st Annual Meeting in Seattle last week, where the theme was "communicating weather and climate." Climate scientists and weather experts from the U.S. and around the world, along with a sizable contingent of communications specialists from various media outlets, government agencies and academic institutions, are listening to a presentation by Kevin Trenberth, a climate researcher who heads up the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo. Trenberth, whose accent betrays hints of his New Zealand heritage, is delivering a presentation in memory of his friend and colleague, Stephen Schneider, a Stanford University climate scientist who died suddenly last year. Schneider was a passionate advocate of communicating climate science to the public and policymakers. The question: Will Trenberth refer to those who disagree with the scientific consensus - that human activities are very likely warming the climate system - as "climate deniers," which he did in an earlier version of his talk, thereby raising an outcry and a fusillade of emails from the climate skeptic blogosphere? The answer: Yes, he most certainly will. Perhaps it's just human nature to dig in your heels when under attack for holding a particular viewpoint, or maybe Trenberth really believes that it's useful to use the term "denier" when discussing certain people who disagree with him. Whatever the reason or reasons, Trenberth does indeed show a slide entitled "The Deniers" during his wide-ranging talk, which touches upon the changing nature of extreme weather and climate events in a warming climate."

 

 

 

Fox News Columnist Seeks Sources To Scoff At Global Warming. A story from gawker.com: Fox News Science Columnist Gene Koprowski has a long history of standing up against this "global warming" foolishness. Today, he's seeking sources to to explain the "ridiculousness" of the idea of global warming causing snow. Can you imagine?

Koprowski posted this request to Profnet, the service that brings together desperate journalists and publicity-hungry sources:

1. ENVIRONMENT/TODAY: Global Warming Causing More Snow? Come Again? — FoxNews.com
Deadline: Feb 01, 2011 11:00 PM EST

Former Vice President Al Gore told Bill O'Reilly that: "A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species." We need comments from someone who can point out the ridiculousness of his argument, even if you accept the somewhat-implausible argument. I've been assigned this story just now by Fox News in New York for the science and technology desk. I'm looking for comments. Please send comments via e-mail. Please send your name, title and company you represent. Please send comments by 10 p.m. CST. Contact: Gene Koprowski, [redacted]

 

The Third Economic Revolution: Boom Or Bust For America? Commentator Andy Stern had an interesting post, focusing on the information revolution, and whether the USA can maintain its edge: "Last Thursday the leaders of the Senate, in contrast to President Obama's State of the Union speech, reached an agreement on rule changes which shows again that they may be able historians, but they fail miserably as futurists and leaders of change. Sadly, this is simply the latest in a series of American leaders failing to choose to change and maybe make history, preferring to stick to the status quo and threatening to turn American competitiveness into ancient history. In 2005, I wrote about the need for change at this moment of economic inflection in my book, A Country That Works--Getting America Back on Track. I was reminded during President Obama's State of the Union address how many of my own observations about the future were embodied in his speech. My book's premise was simple -- our country, joined by the rest of the world, is living through the most profound, the most significant, and the most transformative economic revolution in the history of the world. And where the first economic revolution -- the agricultural revolution -- took 3,000 years, and the industrial revolution 300 years, this third economic revolution will take only 30 years. As the President reminded us, "In a single generation revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work, and do business."

 

 

India's Crops Affected By Erratic Climate. A story from UPI: "NEW DELHI, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A number of India's key crops are experiencing the effects of climate change, experts say. H Pathak, an investigator with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute's Climate Change Challenge Program, said global warming isn't limited to a rise in average temperatures. "It's a little more complicated than that. There is for example also a rise in carbon dioxide and a change in rainfall patterns, which could affect India very severely because much of our agriculture is still rain-fed," Pathak told The Times of India. India would be the hardest hit by climate change in terms of food production, said a study, ''The Food Gap -- The Impacts of Climate Change on Food Production: A 2020 Perspective'' released last month by the Universal Ecological Fund. The report predicts that crop yield in India would decrease by as much as 30 percent by the end of the decade."

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Weather Gone Wild (from historic snowstorms to category 5 hurricanes)

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First Thaw in 37 Days? 1-3" Sunday - First 40 of 2011 in Sight?