65 F. high in the Twin Cities yesterday.

58 F. average high for October 16.

59 F. high on October 16, 2011.

Trace of rain fell Tuesday morning.

.23" rain predicted for the metro area by Thursday evening. (12z NAM model).


"...The last time September temperatures were below that average was 1976, and the last time any month was below that average was February 1985, NOAA scientists said in a statement..." - from a Scientific American report below.


"...63% of Obama voters say global warming is occurring mostly because of human activity, compared to 18% of Romney voters, Pew found..."

"...Eighty-five percent of Democrats believe there is solid evidence of warming, up from 77 percent last year; 65 percent of independents hold that view, up two percent from last year, while 48 percent of Republicans see solid evidence of warming, a five point increase over last year and 13 points higher than in 2009..." - from a recent Pew poll reported at The Hill; details below.




"Cut-Off Low". The 84-hour NAM shows a surge of chilly, Canadian air causing a storm to (temporarily) stall over the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, moisture wrapping all the way around this low pressure system, approaching from the north. The heaviest rains are predicted for the Red River Valley and Dakotas, lesser amounts from the Twin Cities to Milwaukee, Chicago and Des Moines.


Yet Another Rainy No-Show. We just can't seem to buy a storm. The drought is flavoring all weather now, and once again rainfall amounts will (probably) be minimal over much of central and southern Minnesota. The heaviest amounts predicted by NOAA NCEP's NAM model is over far northern Minnesota, where some 1-2" amounts are predicted.


September Tied Global Heat Record. Details from Scientific American; here's the introduction: "Last month tied for the warmest September in the global modern record, scientists at the U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Monday. This September tied with the same month in 2005 for the record. The land-and-sea global average temperature was 60.21 F (15.67 C), or 1.21 F (.67 C) above the 20th century average. In addition to being hottest since 1880, the month was the 36th consecutive September and 331st consecutive month with a global temperature above the 20th century average..."

Map credit above: NOAA NCDC.


NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center Opens. Details from phys.org: "Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and universities across the country are launching a series of initial scientific projects on the center's flagship, a 1.5 petaflop IBM supercomputer known as Yellowstone. These first projects focus on a wide range of Earth science topics, from atmospheric disturtances to subterranean faults, that will eventually help to improve predictions of tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, and other natural hazards..."

Photo credit above: "This photo shows a handful of the Yellowstone supercomputer's 100 racks. An iconic scene from its namesake national park is feature mosaic-style ont he ends of each rack. The image by Michael Medford, licensed to National Geographic, centers on Fountain Geyser." Credit: UCAR. Photo by Carlye Calvin.


NOAA Opens New, Word-Class Weather And Climate Center. The new NOAA campus is opening up on the campus of the University of Maryland. Details from NOAA: "The federal government today officially opens a new center that is the backbone of weather and climate prediction for the nation. Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank, U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, NOAA Adminstrator Jane Lubchenco and other federal and state officials will gather for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on University of Maryland grounds to announce the new programs and collaborations the facility will support. The 268,000 square-foot building is home to more than 800 employees of NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate Prediction who provide the nation with a broad range of environmental services – from predicting the hurricane season and El Niño/La Niña to forecasting ocean currents and large-scale rain and snow storms. Billions of earth observations from around the world flow through environmental models, developed and managed in the new building, that support the nation’s weather forecasts..."

Photo above: University of Maryland.


Amazing Aurora: Best Images From NASA's Suomi Satellite. Wired.com has details on some of the most aurora images I've ever seen - here's a clip: "Overnight on October 4-5, 2012, a mass of energetic particles from the atmosphere of the Sun were flung out into space, a phenomenon known as a coronal mass ejection. Three days later, the storm from the Sun stirred up the magnetic field around Earth and produced gorgeous displays of northern lights. NASA satellites track such storms from their origin to their crossing of interplanetary space to their arrival in the atmosphere of Earth. Using the “day-night band” (DNB) of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) satellite acquired this view of the aurora borealis early on the morning of October 8, 2012. The northern lights stretch across Canada’s Quebec and Ontario provinces in the image, and are part of the auroral oval that expanded to middle latitudes because of a geomagnetic storm..."


Climate Change Threatens Fall Colors. The story from delmarvanow.com; here's the introduction: "Fall colors are arriving later and are fading more quickly because of climate change, according to researchers. The climate-driven changes are already visible in some forests in New England. Scientists worry that leaf-peeping hotspots in Maryland also could eventually see duller foliage and delays in the start of leaf season. “It (climate change) certainly could have an impact here, as well,” said Saran Twombly, a researcher at the National Science Foundation who studies the impact of climate change on foliage. In Massachusetts’ Harvard Forest, data collected by retired Harvard professor John O’Keefe suggests that leaves are changing color four days later than they did in 1993..." Map: Minnesota DNR.


Waterspout! This is not what you expect to see on your relaxing cruise, a full-blown (large) waterspout. The video clip is on YouTube; here's an explanation: "While on our cruise to the Bahamas just of the coast of Florida 2 waterspouts formed behind our ship the CARNIVAL PRIDE. They were on the water for almost 45 min - on Monday, Oct 8th 2012."


A Little Flag-Waving. Here's a shot from the Harry S. Truman National Historical Site in Independence, Missouri.


Postcard-Worthy. Michael Trofimov snapped this photo of fall color at Battle Ground, Washington on Tuesday


Microsoft Introduces XBox Music. A game-changer? Possibly, but the smart thinking is that mobile is key to the future, and there Pandora may be unbeatable. Details from gizmag.com: "As big companies like Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft each compete to gain supremacy in the “Post-PC” era, a killer ecosystem is thought key to keeping users locked in to one particular platform. While we can grant Microsoft’s gaming and business pedigree, its music services have been lacking thus far, and to address this, the Redmond company is launching a new music streaming service dubbed “Xbox Music,” which will be available from Tuesday October 16 on Xbox 360, with further platforms gaining support soon..."




A Superb October Day. A gray start with a few sprinkles gave way to blue sky, gentle breezes and lukewarm temperatures. Highs ranged from 50 at Grand Marais to 65 in the Twin Cities to 73 St. Cloud and 76 at Redwood Falls. Even International Falls got in on the fun with a high of 70, more than 20 degrees above average.



Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota (and the rest of the free world):

TODAY: Lot's of clouds - passing shower, gusty. Winds: W 15-25. High: 61 (falling by afternoon)


WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly to mostly cloudy. Low: 42


THURSDAY: A little light rain, heavier rain far western and northern MN. High: 48


FRIDAY: Showery rain, still cool & raw. Low: 39. High: 46


SATURDAY: Sun returns, warming up. Low: 40. High: near 60


SUNDAY: Fading sun, Indian Summer! Low: 45. High: 68


MONDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Low: 49. High: 62


TUESDAY: More clouds, chance of a shower or two. Low: 40. High: 58



What a Year

I have to admit I'm enjoying this (fleeting) quiet spell between hurricane and winter storm season. Especially in light of the eye-popping year that is 2012.

NOAA NCDC reports that September was the warmest, globally, on record - the 331st month in a row of global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. You have to go back to Ronald Reagan's presidency to find a cooler than normal month. 2012 will almost certainly be the warmest year on record for the USA. A 1-in-500 year flood in Duluth gave way to pervasive drought by autumn. Arctic ice reached the lowest level on record.

I'm reassured that both presidential candidates are taking this topic so seriously.

Cue the crickets.

The arrival of a cool smack sets off a passing shower today, a better chance of light rain tomorrow and Friday - heavier & steadier over northern and western Minnesota. Not the soaking we need in the cities, but beggars can't be choosy.

As if on cue skies clear over the weekend; 60 is posssible on Saturday - 70 F. not out of the question Sunday. Another surge of 60s & 70s may leave us mildly dazed late next week. No sign of snow. Give it a couple weeks.

We'll get our turn sometime in November.


Climate Stories...


2012 Global Temperature Anomalies. There's a misperception that "yes, North America had a hot year, but the rest of the planet was unusually chilly." Really? I wouldn't reach that conclusion looking at the map above, from statisticians at NOAA NCDC. Portions of Alaska and the northeastern Pacific were cooler than average, but pretty much the entire planet is trending warmer. More details from NCDC: "The global land and ocean temperature for the first nine months (January–September) of 2012 was 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average, ranking as the eighth warmest since records began in 1880. If this warmth continues through the end of the year, 2012 will surpass 2011 as the warmest La Niña year since the Climate Predition Center began monitoring ENSO conditions in 1950. The January–September global land surface temperature ranked as the sixth warmest such period on record. In the Northern Hemisphere, where the majority of Earth's land masses are located, the year-to-date temperature was the fourth warmest on record, largely attributed to monthly record warmth during April, May, June, and July."


New Study Ties Hurricane Strength to Global Warming. Climate Central has the story; here's a clip: "...But Alex Grinsted of the University of Copenhagen and his colleagues came at the problem in an entirely different way. They looked not at hurricanes themselves, but at the storm surges tropical storms drive before them as they come ashore, and surges have been reliably measured by devices known as tide gauges all the way back to the 1920's. “Using surges as an indicator,” Grinsted said in an interview, “we see an increase in all magnitudes of storms when ocean temperatures are warmer.” As ocean temperatures have risen inexorably higher in the general warming of the planet due to human greenhouse-gas emissions, the scientists concluded, hurricane numbers have moved upward as well. The implication: they’ll keep increasing along with global temperatures unless emissions are cut significantly..."


Arctic Sea Ice Falls To Lowest Extent On Record In September. Here's an excerpt of a recent Wunderground post from Dr. Jeff Masters: "Arctic sea ice extent during September reached its lowest extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). As of October 14, Arctic sea extent had set a new record low for the date every day since July 27. I have much more to say about this year's extraordinary loss of Arctic sea ice in my September 20, 2012 post, Earth's attic is on fire: Arctic sea ice bottoms out at a new record low."

Graphic credit above: "Arctic sea ice extent in September 2012 was the lowest measured, since satellite records began in 1979." Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).


Arctic Summer Wind Shift May Increase Extreme Weather Events Across The Northern Hemisphere. The story from Current TV; here's an excerpt: "Changes in summer Arctic wind patterns contribute not only to an unprecedented loss of Arctic sea ice, but could also bring about shifts in North American and European weather, according to a new NOAA-led study published today in Geophysical Research Letters. A research team led by James Overland, Ph.D., of NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Wash., examined the wind patterns in the subarctic in the early summer between 2007 and 2012 as compared to the average for 1981 to 2010. They discovered that the previously normal west-to-east flowing upper-level winds have been replaced by a more north-south undulating, or wave-like pattern. This new wind pattern transports warmer air into the Arctic and pushes Arctic air farther south, and may influence the likelihood of persistent weather conditions in the mid-latitudes..."


Poll: Belief In Global Warming Rising In Both Parties. Details from The Hill; here's an excerpt: "Growing numbers of Democrats, Republicans and independent voters believe global warming is occurring, but sharp partisan divides on the topic remain, a new poll shows. The Pew Research Center poll released Monday shows that 67 percent of Americans say there is solid evidence of global warming. That’s four points higher than 2011 and 10 points higher than 2009, although it remains well below the 77 percent who held at view five years ago, according to Pew..."


Climate Heroes Crash Through Climate Silence. Thank God there are a few politicians who get it. Here's an excerpt from getenergysmart.com: "Consider …


Senator Bernie Sanders: To Battle Global Warming We Must Pick Clean Energy As A "Winner". Think Progress is hosting a letter from Senator Berie Sanders; here's an excerpt: "...As a member of both the Senate Energy and Environment committees, I am working to stop the handouts to the fossil fuel industry. I have introduced legislation called the End Polluter Welfare Act. Rep. Keith Ellison filed the companion bill in the House of Representatives. Our measure calls for the elimination for all subsidies to the oil, gas and coal industries. Using the best available estimates from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation and other budget experts, we found over $113 billion in federal subsidies will go to fossil fuel corporations over the next 10 years alone. These subsidies benefit some of the wealthiest corporations on the planet, including the five largest oil corporations, which made a combined profit of $1 trillion over the last decade. Unlike sustainable energy incentives, many of these fossil fuel subsidies are written permanently into the tax code by industry lobbyists, which means they never expire.

Let me give you just a few examples of outrageously strong federal support for Big Energy companies:

  • BP, after committing one of the worst environmental disasters in the modern history of America, was able to take a large tax deduction on the money it spent cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Coal companies are able to sign single-bid sweetheart leases to mine on federal lands without paying fair value in royalties to the taxpayers of this country...."


49 Of The Top 50 U.S. Employers Are Concerned About Battling Climate Change. Details from triplepundit.com; here's a clip: "In this election year there have been ubiquitous declarations about the concerns of America’s “job creators” which is understandable given the high rate of unemployment.  But what has been missing from the discussion is that all but one of the top 50 employers in the U.S. is concerned about battling climate change. An analysis of sustainability reports and corporate websites of the Fortune 50 list of top U.S. employers reveals that 68 percent specifically cite climate change as a key challenge, while everyone except Berkshire Hathaway, a holding company, has strategies to lower their carbon footprints and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These are not just passing references.  Forty of the 50 companies issue annual sustainability reports that clearly outline their mitigation plans and report their annual progress..."


How Stupid Does Cato Institute Think Congress Is? Oh..Right. The story from Climate Denial Crock Of The Week; here's an excerpt: "A seasoned DC observer flags this one: Apparently the (right wing “think” tank) Cato Institute is set to release into the election campaign circus a report titled “ADDENDUM: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” which mimics in layout and format the national climate assessment report with the same title released by the White House and the USGCRP in 2009.  We have heard that this report was coming, but apparently it is now to be publicly released and no doubt is intended to be taken up and pushed by the denial machine..."

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65-70 Degree Sun Today (Warmest September on Record, Worldwide)

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Paul Douglas: Rerun of jackets, showery into Friday