65 F. high on Tuesday in the Twin Cities.

* 57 F. record (warm) low Tuesday morning at KMSP. Old record: 41 F. in 1938.

43 F. average high for March 20.

44 F. high temperature a year ago, March 20, 2011.

 

15 records in the Twin Cities since March 10. Details below.

7" snow fell on March 20, 1886.

.56" of rain predicted between today and Friday morning (NAM model).

 

March 29: small chance of a frost in the Twin Cities metro. It's probably the only risk of sub-freezing temperatures looking out the next 2 weeks. No, it's not "safe" to plant annuals yet. Photo: AP.

 

EF-0 tornado (or "gustnado") confirmed in Le Sueur county Monday evening, winds around 80-85 mph. Different (dynamically) from a conventional tornado, a "gustnado" is spawned by powerful straight-line winds that can spin up small funnels capable of relatively minor damage. File photo above is from a Wisconsin gustnado in 2002, courtesy of the National Weather Service and Wikipedia. More from the Twin Cities NWS office below.

March 18: record for earliest tornado in Minnesota. We missed a tornado record by one day. Details from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group: "In Minnesota, tornadoes have occurred in every month from March through November. The earliest verified tornado in Minnesota occurred on March 18, 1968, north of Truman, and the latest in any year on November 16, 1931, east of Maple Plain. Historically and statistically, June is the month of greatest frequency with July not far behind. May has the third greatest frequency, followed closely by August. Nearly 3/4 of all tornadoes in Minnesota have occurred during the three months of May (15%), June (37%), and July (25%). "

 

Daffodil Warning. Flowers are sprouting - in Ashland, Wisconsin! Details from the Duluth office of the NWS.

 

ECMWF: Mostly 60s, But 70s Possible Early Next Week. Temperatures remain amazingly constant looking out through next Thursday. Expect weekend highs in the 60s, but low to mid 70s are possible by Monday and Tuesday of next week. No more 80s in sight for a little while.

 

Wild Turkey Alert. Wild turkeys wandering the streets of St. Louis Park? Seems like everyone and everything is out enjoying our premature spring. Details: "These turkeys were spotted across from Trader Joe’s on Excelsior Boulevard and Monterey about 9:15am Tuesday, March 20th.  They were stopping traffic. Photo credit: Jeni Shoemate."

 

They Lost That Bet: Average Date Of The First 80-Degree Day?

March 16: Las Vegas

April 21: Chicago

May 1: Twin Cities

* Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul have already reached 80 this year. Las Vegas has not. Details below. Photo: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau.

 

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." - John Ruskin. Photo above: B.K. Brown.

"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." - Sir Rannulph Fiennes

 

"The warmth is so intense in some areas, high temperatures have reached mid-summer levels while it’s still winter. The longevity of the heat is as impressive as its intensity: temperatures have run some 20 to 45 degrees above normal for 6 to 10 straight days in some areas." - from meteorologist Jason Samenow at a Capital Weather Gang post below.

 

82 F. in Milwaukee Tuesday. This ties the all time record for highest temperature in March, and is the earliest 80+ temp in March on record! Source: NOAA.

 

Bulls-Eye. NOAA CPC's 6-10 Day Outlook (upper left) and 8-14 Day Outlook (upper right) shows a huge temperature anomaly lingering over the nation's midsection, temperatures running 10-30 degrees above average for much of the Great Plains and Midwest looking out the next 2 weeks. Again, the persistence of this pattern is just as impressive as the departure from normal. What happened to "normal"? Map courtesy of CPC and Ham Weather.

 

"The checklist says 31 percent of the 823 people killed in tornadoes nationwide from 2006 to 2011 died in or running away from mobile homes. It adds that the National Severe Storm Center says the occupants of mobile homes “are 10 to 20 times more likely to be killed in tornadoes than those in conventional homes.” - from a story about mobile home tornado safey at courier-journal.com. Photo above: Real Science.

 

2011 was the 35th year in a row that the global temperature was above average. Source: NCDC.

"If the weather wasn't changing over the long term, then each year would have about a 50-50 chance of being warmer than average. It is like tossing a coin. Now imagine that you tossed 35 heads in a row." - Michael Ashley

50% of Americans alive today have never lived through a "below average" year, temperature-wise. Source: census.gov.

Historic March Heat Wave Sets New Milestones. Some amazing statistics from climatecentral.org and  OPB News: "The March heat wave continues to shatter longstanding records from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast, with more than 2,200 warm temperature records set during the month so far. It’s quite possible that this March heat wave will be considered as an unprecedented event in the U.S. historical record, which extends back to the late 19th century, based on the margin by which records are being exceeded, the wide geographic scope of the heat wave, the duration of the event and the time of year when it is occurring.  According to the HAMweather website, 1,192 record daytime highs were set in the U.S. from March 12-18, along with 708 high minimum temperature records. This compares to just 66 coldest maximum temperature records, and only eight records for the coldest overnight low temperature. More records are likely to be set today through the end of this week, when a cooler airmass finally moves eastward (as it does so, it may spark rounds of severe weather)."

 

Wait, Minneapolis Reaches 80 Before Las Vegas? I can't remember the last time I saw a nugget like this, courtesy of the Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service. It isn't often MSP has warm weather boasting rights. We're enjoying our (fleeting) moment in the sun: "Record setting warmth in the Midwest over the past week has resulted in some rather interesting statistics for warmth. Take a look at how early it has reached 80 degrees this year in Chicago and Minneapolis compared to Las Vegas."

 

"The warmth underway in Chicago borders on the unreal. Between Wednesday and Sunday, it set new record highs five days in a row, all 80 or higher. Four of Chicago’s five warmest March days on record all occurred in this stretch. Before this year back to 1871, the most 80 degrees days it could string together in March was two and there had been only 10 80+ degree days total (in the month)." - from a recent Capital Weather Gang post.

 

Midwest, Great Lakes Basking In Unprecedented Warm Weather For March. Here's a great recap of our freaky March heat wave from meteorologist Jason Freedman at the Washington Post's must-read Capital Weather Gang: "The current spell of warm weather in the Upper Midwest is not just breaking but obliterating records which have stood for more than a century. The warmth is so intense in some areas, high temperatures have reached mid-summer levels while it’s still winter. The longevity of the heat is as impressive as its intensity: temperatures have run some 20 to 45 degrees above normal for 6 to 10 straight days in some areas. The warmth underway in Chicago borders on the unreal. Between Wednesday and Sunday, it set new record highs five days in a row, all 80 or higher. Four of Chicago’s five warmest March days on record all occurred in this stretch. Before this year back to 1871, the most 80 degrees days it could string together in March was two and there had been only 10 80+ degree days total (in the month). If Chicago manages to hit 79 today, it will have set a record high on six consecutive days for only the second time on record."

* map above shows a week's worth of records from Ham Weather for just the Upper Midwest. Here's a breakdown:

Total Records: 1921
Rainfall: 141
Snowfall: 37
High Temp: 1054
Low Temp: 5
Low Max Temp: 57
High Min Temp: 627

 

Spring Gets Ahead Of Itself. Here's an excerpt of a New York Times Op-Ed from Climate Central meteorologist and climatologist Heidi Cullen: "The climatologist Mark D. Schwartz at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and colleagues at the USA National Phenology Network have developed an index that can be used to estimate the date of the onset of the spring growing season (as opposed to the date in March when daylight and darkness are of equal length, the technical definition of the first day of spring, which falls on Tuesday). This “first leaf” index estimates the first day that leaves appear on plants. Here in the lower 48, spring now arrives approximately three days earlier. “First leaf” has gone from March 20 (1951-1980 average) to March 17 (1981-2010 average). This forward creep is consistent with the effects of an overall warming climate, roughly 1.4 degrees over the past century, what we refer to as global warming."

Photo credit above: "Thunderstorms announce the coming of spring on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)."

 

EF-0 Tornado/Downburst Monday Evening In Le Sueur County. Again, whatever hit near Elysian produced winds around 80 mph, either a minimal tornado, straight-line (downburst) winds, or even a small "gustnado", spun up along the periphery of the downburst. More from the Twin Cities NWS office here.

 

A Record-Breaking Stretch Of Records. 15 individual records in less than 10 days? That may also be a record. We broke some of these records by nearly 15 degrees. The Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service has more details here.

 

Warm Bias Continues. The persistence of this mild pattern is remarkable - I keep waiting for a "correction", but I don't see anything remotely resembling a cold front looking out into early April. Remember cold fronts? I don't either. The best chance of sampling 70 again: Thursday, again Monday and Tuesday of next week.

 

Lawn-Watering Optional. So who gets the honor of being the first Minnesotan to mow their lawn..in late March? Models hint at anywhere from .4" to over 1". The NAM predicts .56", the local NWS is saying just over an inch. I hope we get that much rain, but right now I doubt we'll see much more than half an inch between now and Friday morning.

 

Showery Into Thursday. A very low-moving storm over the southern Plains will continue to rotate "spokes" of moisture northward, sparking south-to-north waves of showers, even a few embedded T-showers, into Friday. A slow drying/clearing trend is likely over the weekend.

 

Pittsburgh Heat. Here are some updated numbers from the Pittsburgh office of the NWS: "Spring officially began today at 1:14 AM local time. Today is the 8th consecutive day where Pittsburgh reached 70 degrees plus. We started the first day of spring quite warm with record breaking temperatures across the locations where we keep climate data. Take a look."

80 – Pittsburgh, PA. Breaks Old Record of 79 set in 1948.
84 – Zanesville, OH. Breaks Old Record of 76 set in 1976.
82 – Morgantown, WV. Breaks Old Record of 79 set in 1984.
73 – DuBois, PA. Ties Old Record of 73 set in 1976.
80 – Wheeling, WV. Breaks Old Record of 69 set in 1952.
82 – New Philadelphia, OH. Breaks Old Record of 73 set in 2003.

Photo credit above: AP/Keith Srakocic.

 

Warming Trend. The following table (above) list the global combined land and ocean annually-averaged temperature rank and anomaly for each of the years to date in the 21st century. Source: NOAA's NCDC.

 

Farmers Market: What Does Warm Weather In March Mean To Our Gardeners? Some interesting details from The Austin Post Bulletin:

• Climate change will affect crop yields and irrigation demands.

• Water resources will be affected: water supply, quality and competition for water.

• Moderately warmer weather and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may help some crop growth (up 30 percent in the case of rice, soy and wheat), but with increased temperatures, the grain yield drops 10 percent for every degree Celsius rise above 26ËšC.

• Agricultural areas may suffer erosion from increased wind and water from short term changes in weather.

• The growth of agricultural pests (weeds, insects and pathogens) under climate change is being studied with varying results.

Photo credit above: AP/Bloomington Herald-Times, David Snodgress.

 

Texas Soaker. I'm seeing some 5-6" rainfall amounts just south/east of Dallas. Impressive. More from the Dallas office of the NWS: "This image is a quality controlled derived product using both radar data and rain gauge data. This image provides a much better estimate of rainfall than the radar-only estimate which was severely contaminated by ice coated rain. The actual numbers are rainfall reports received from cooperative observers and automated rain gauge data. www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd."

 

Moderate River Flooding In East Texas. It's amazing how fast east Texas went from exceptional drought to flooding conditions; the weather truly capable of turning on a dime these days. More from NOAA.

 

Doppler "On Steroids". New Doppler Radar Has Bright Potential. Here's a great summary of "dual-polarization Doppler" from the Des Moines Register: "It’s been dubbed “Doppler on steroids,” and the new weather radar system arriving soon in Iowa promises some dramatic improvements in forecasting technology. The advanced technology will help make precipitation forecasts more accurate, improve flash flood watches and warnings, and detect aviation hazards such as bird flocks, meteorologists say. The National Weather Service officially calls it Polarimetric Doppler Radar or dual-polarization radar. Current Doppler radar transmits and receives radio wave pulses horizontally, while dual-polarization radar measures both horizontal and vertical pulses. The new gear is being launched nationwide at a cost of $50 million."

 

Updated Radar Can Detect Tornado Debris Cloud; Will Change Warning System. The Springfield News-Leader has more: "Weather forecasters recently armed with updated radar that can detect tornado debris clouds soon will have another tool for warning people about dangerous storms. What’s known by the National Weather Service as the Impact Based Warning Product rolls out April 2. The new effort changes the way forecasters will alert news media and emergency management departments when damaging storms threaten, said Steve Runnels, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service Springfield office."

 

Sense Of Community Shines In Ann Arbor: "I Have Never Seen Neighbors Look Out For Each Other This Way." Annarbor.com has a heart-warming story: "Raymond Eddy is a veteran of weather-related disasters. As executive vice president of Statewide Disaster Restoration out of Southfield, he’s seen the aftermath and worked with homeowners following devastating hurricanes most recently in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Ala. Eddy has flown across the country to assist on the scenes of 13 major hurricanes and other natural disasters, but he said, “In my 22 years in this business, I have never seen neighbors looking out for each other the way they have here and a community come together the way the Dexter community has.”

Photo credit above: "Contents are emptied from a home in Huron Farms in Dexter Monday." Annarbor.com.

 

Mobile Home Checklist Issued For Storm Safey. A disproportionate number of tornado injuries and deaths take place in mobile homes, which can become airborne at wind speeds as low as 60-80 mph. If you live in a trailer park/mobile home community you need to have a viable plan before the next tornado threatens. The courier-journal.com has the story: "A construction-research organization issued an inspection checklist for mobile homes on Monday, just a few weeks after a tornado outbreak killed 34 people in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, most of them in such structures. “I think it’s the first and best thing that’s come out in a long time” to help owners of mobile homes, said Larry Tanner, a wind engineer with the Texas Tech University Wind Science and Engineering Research Center. No matter how well-built and anchored a mobile home may be, if there’s a tornado alert, residents of mobile homes should get to their own storm shelters or some other safe place quickly, Tanner said."

Photo credit above: "Sierra Gaines, 8, sifts through the remains of her family's mobile home Thursday, March 1, 2012. Gaines was trapped under the rubble when a tornado overturned the trailer Wednesday morning, but escaped with only minor scratches. (AP Photo/Daily American Republic, Paul Davis)."

 

Everything You Need To Know: Tornado Safety. Image above courtesy of wwaytv3.com. Some good, timely reminders from EarthSky.org:

Have a designated place to go. The best place is a specially built storm shelter. Next best solution is in a central room (like a bathroom or a closet) in the basement. If you don’t have a basement, the next best place is a central room in the lowest level of the house. Avoid windows, and try to have as many walls between you and the tornado as possible!


• If you locate in a bathroom, get in the bathtub and throw cushions on top of you. Out of the many tornado ravaged areas I visited, the bathtub was always the last thing standing.


• Put together an emergency supply kit, including items such as a battery operated weather radio, flashlight, batteries, first aid items, and bottled water. Keep it in a place you can easily grab it (preferably your designated shelter). Make sure cell phones are fully charged.


• If you have a whistle, have it on you. If you end up being trapped in debris, a whistle could let others know you are alive and need assistance.

 

Volcanoes And Hurricanes: Mortal Enemies, Best Friends? An interesting article from Wired.com: "We have had many discussions over the years here on Eruptions about the relationship between volcanic eruptions and weather/climate (remember, they are different things). Most of the time, the concern is how weather will become worse (i.e., much colder or much hotter) due to volcanic aerosols or ash that are kicked high into the atmosphere during large eruptions. Remember, ash plumes from many plinian eruptions can tower over 35-50 km up, so material can be injected into the upper atmosphere and spread around the world in a matter of weeks. It would be very surprising if these sorts of eruptions – which are relatively rare, only occurring maybe once or twice a decade – didn’t effect weather and climate for years until the aerosols can all settle out. So, I was quite interested when I saw a new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research titled “Atlantic hurricane activity following two major volcanic eruptions” by Amato Evan. My instant thought was I actually wasn’t sure what to expect – I mean, how would a large eruption effect the activity of such major, hemisphere-spanning events like hurricanes? Would it make hurricanes worse? As it turns out, this study suggests that major eruptions in the tropics (or close) might actually subdue Atlantic hurricane activity for years after the eruption."

Photo Credit Above: "The plume from a lateral blast at Pinatubo in the Philippines seen on June 15, 1991. The eruption may have helped stifle hurricane activity in the Atlantic for three years afterwards." Photo: USGS, Wired.

 

The U.S. Falls Behind In Numerical Weather Prediction, Part 1. Some alarming news over at the Cliff Mass Weather Blog: "It's a national embarrassment.  It has resulted in large unnecessary costs for the U.S. economy and needless endangerment of our citizens.  And it shouldn't be occurring. What am I talking about?   The third rate status of numerical weather prediction in the U.S.  It is a huge story, an important story, but one the media has not touched, probably from lack of familiarity with a highly technical subject.   And the truth has been buried or unavailable to those not intimately involved in the U.S. weather prediction enterprise. This is an issue I have mentioned briefly in previous blogs, and one many of you have asked to learn more about.  It's time to discuss it. Weather forecasting today is dependent on numerical weather prediction, the numerical solution of the equations that describe the atmosphere."

 

Digital Gadgets Make Us Read More News. Confirming what we already know, CNN Money has the details: "As the mobile tech revolution takes hold, the way in which we get our news is changing. More than a quarter of Internet-connected Americans now follow news on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and e-readers, according to the Pew Research Center's annual State of the News Media report, which was released on Monday. Here's the surprise: Those users track the news on a much more frequent and consistent basis than any other news consumers, including those surfing on PCs."

 

Don Shelby Joins BringMeTheNews, Leaves Minnpost. Personal opinion: Don Shelby is an underutilized journalistic resource in this town. Glad to see that he's still pushing forward with a new opportunity. Rick Kupchella is doing some very innovative things over at BMTN - I predict more great things will come of this, happy to see that he will continue to provide his commentary, perspective and yes (it pains me to say this) his wisdom. Here's an update from David Brauer at minnpost.com: "BringMeTheNews, ex-KARE 11 anchor Rick Kupchella’s web/radio aggregation news service, nabbed a big name today: former WCCO anchor Don Shelby, who had been writing a MinnPost column since his TV retirement last year. Shelby, who turns 65 in May, will deliver the morning radiocasts on the 39 Minnesota radio stations that contract with the Minneapolis-based Bring, replacing Kupchella. He starts April 4. Eventually, Shelby will contribute original reporting – primarily on public health, environment and energy – though he’s not sure when that will begin."

 

Expensive Appliances That Eat Up Your Electric Bill. I found this to be a timely article - I don't even want to think about all the electricity I (needlessly) waste during the course of a day - here are a few good tips to cut down on waste (and cut your electrical bill at the same time) from Huffington Post: "A good number of Baby Boomers can recall conversations with their grandparents about a time before electricity, or when an "icebox" was literally a container that housed a block of ice that kept food inside cool. But my, how times have changed. We have gizmos and gadgets that didn't even exist a decade ago, and we consume energy at an alarming rate. Between 1949 and 2010, domestic energy consumption has more than doubled to about 100 quadrillion BTUs, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. During that same period, consumption of coal, petroleum, and natural gas have skyrocketed — yet energy use from renewable sources, such as the sun and wind, has remained surprisingly flat. Look around your own home, and you'll find power guzzlers in both likely and unlikely places. But by making some fairly painless changes, you can see big savings: in energy, cash, and yes, saving the planet by shrinking your carbon footprint. Here's a look at some of those power-hungry appliances, and what you can do to be more efficient and economical without backbreaking hassle." Photo credit above: Jo Boume.

 

 

"First-World Problems". No, in the cosmic scope of things most of us don't have much to complain about, day-to-day. Not to minimize sickness, injuries, unemployment and other maladies, quickmeme.com reminds us that some of us are whining about pretty inconsequential things.

 

Warped Sense Of Reality. OK. So after 80 on Saturday mid 60s is considered a "cool front". It's only, what, 22 degrees above average. Our normal low for March 20 is 26 F. Right. With stubborn clouds highs ranged from 52 at Alexandria to 62 St. Cloud, 65 Twin Cities and a humid 69 at Rochester on Tuesday.

 

John's Weather Forecasting Stone. Hey, don't knock it. It probably works pretty well. Photo: Rene0101, ifunny.mobi.

 

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

 

TODAY: Mostly cloudy and damp. Showers likely. Winds: W 3-8. High: 66

 

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: More showers, still cool and damp. Low: 53

 

THURSDAY: Steadier, heavier rain possible. Thunder? High: 67

 

FRIDAY: Damp start, skies brighten PM hours. Low: 52. High: 65

 

SATURDAY: Plenty of sun, feels like late April. Low: 51. High: 64

 

SUNDAY: Cool start. Partly sunny and pleasant. Low: 47. High: 68

 

MONDAY: Patchy clouds, breezy, humid - a shower or two up north. Low: 52. High: near 70

 

TUESDAY: Intervals of sun, still mild. Low: 58. High: 71

 

 

Drought-Denting Rains

"The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: four perfect movements in harmony with each other" enthused Arthur Rubenstein. Lately the seasons have been out of synch. Fall drought. No winter. And now a June-like heat wave with thousands of records, some blown away by more than 20 degrees. A 20 degree temperature departure is a big deal. To be 30-45 degrees above average for a long period of time? Off-the-scale-weird.

Climate scientists predicted this 25 years ago: shorter winters, early springs, more extremes. If you warm the atmosphere by 1-3 degrees you increase the amount of water vapor in the air, loading the dice in favor of more flash floods and record warmth.

Were our 15 records at MSP the result of a warmer climate? Probably. You can't prove any of the 762 home runs hit by Barry Bonds was the result (allegedly) of steroids; you can't prove any one spell of freakish weather is automatically climate change. But none of us should be surprised. Amazed? Absolutely.

Some good news: a slow-moving storm sends a pinwheel of moisture into Minnesota; about .5 - 1" rain by Friday. Skies clear this weekend, highs in the 60s. A warm bias lingers the next 2 weeks.

Incredible.

 

Climate Stories...

 

 

"We have to shift our emphasis from economic efficiency and materialism towards a sustainable quality of life and to healing of our society, of our people and our ecological systems." - Hanet Holmes a Court

 

Tornado Frequency In 2012: Global Warming, Climate Change To Blame? A few surprising answers from The International Business Times: "Does global warming lead to an increase in deadly twisters? "No," says the SPC in a statement on the FAQ section of their website. "Thunderstorms do. The harder question may be, 'Will climate change influence tornado occurrence?' The best answer is: We don't know." They go on to explain that since tornadoes are so small and quick, it's hard to make broad assumptions about what causes their frequency. There are disagreements among researchers. Weather is complicated; warmer global temperatures can lead to a myriad of consequences. As Reuters explained, "The scientific challenge is this: the two conditions necessary to spawn a twister are expected to be affected in opposite ways. A warmer climate will likely boost the intensity of thunderstorms but could dampen wind shear, the increase of wind speed at higher altitudes."

Photo credit above: Reuters/Rebecca Cook. "Katie Clifford carries her son as she looks at her home destroyed by a tornado in Dexter, Michigan, March 16, 2012."

 

UM Study Finds Increase In Global Warming Belief. The story from Michigan Radio: "The number of Americans who believe in global warming is once again on the rise, moving from 58 percent in 2010 to 62 percent last year. That's according to survey results released last month by U of M's Ford School of Public Policy. The survey, conducted in conjunction with the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion and published by the Brookings Institute, shows that a higher percentage of Americans accepted the science of climate change in 2011 than anytime since the fall of 2009. A University of Michigan press release says that the survey has been conducted for the past four years and until this year's results, researchers had seen a consistent drop in belief starting from a high of 72 percent in fall 2008."

 

Bombshell: After Fixing Errors, UK Met Office Says 2010, 2005 Hottest Years On Record; World Warming Faster Than Thought. An update from Think Progress: "Reuters: Setback for the ‘stalled’ global warming view advanced by ‘skeptics’ The UK Met Office said two years ago it had underestimated recent warming. The key reason is their Hadley/CRU (Climatic Research Unit) Temperature dataset (HadCRUT) undersampled the Arctic — the place on earth warming up the fastest. Now the Met[eorological] Office (part of the Defence Ministry) has corrected their errors and update their temperature record (release here, video below). No longer is 1998 the hottest year on record. It has been (slightly) edged out by 2010 and 2005. As the UK Telegraph reports: Between 1998 and 2010, temperatures rose by 0.11C, 0.04C more than previously estimated."

 

Florida's Inland Residents May Pay As Sea Levels Climb. The story from Bloomberg BusinessWeek: "Telephone repairman Josh Smith lives in Jasper, which is Florida’s most inland city, according to the state’s Geological Survey. Even 75 miles (121 kilometers) from the Atlantic Ocean, Smith is bearing part of the cost of rising seas and stronger storms caused by global warming. That’s because U.S. taxpayers help insure against hurricane damage for nearly 5 million Americans, mostly in Florida (BEESFL), whose homes are less than four feet (1.2 meters) above normal high tides. The programs pit beachfront property owners against inland residents who subsidize their policies. Sea level may rise eight inches in the next 18 years and 80 inches by 2100, Climate Central Inc., a nonprofit research and advocacy organization in Princeton, New Jersey, estimated in a report this month."

 

 

Confidence In Climate Data: Using 3 Million Year Old Records. An interesting story from USGS: "Scientists are looking at what climate conditions were like 3.3 to 3 million years ago, during a geologic period known as the Pliocene, and they are confident in the accuracy of their data. The Pliocene is the most recent period of sustained global warmth similar to what is projected for the 21st century. Climate during this time period offers one of the closest analogs to estimate future climate conditions. "The litmus test of whether a climate model has any predictive power to tell us what future conditions might be on planet Earth in response to both natural and human climate drivers is the ability of that model to accurately predict past climate conditions as preserved in the geologic record," explained U.S. Geological Survey director Marcia McNutt. "Finally we have a paleoclimate dataset against which to test models with accuracy comparable to the accuracy that we need in the models for future planning and decision making." Image above: Wikipedia.

 

Climate, Science And Religion. Here's an excerpt of a post from The Huffington Post: "It seems that for the senator, religion is very much part a huge part of climate science, so much so that during a recent interview Inhofe pronounced that his beliefs on global warming are "biblically inspired," and he quoted from Genesis 8:22, where God made his covenant with Noah -- "As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime, harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night" -- Inhofe's point being, I suppose, that catastrophic global warming cannot happen because it would violate God's covenant, and that to even consider or register such a thought is sheer arrogance. Oh well, so much for science. But you know, I'm bothered by the senator's implication that we are free to do what we want, that it will all be taken care of by a higher being. Experience, history, and geology tell us the world can be a dangerous place."

 

Why Climate Change In 2100 Matters To Me. Here's an Op-Ed in Canada's The Globe And Mail: "I gave birth to my first child last year. According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, his life expectancy is 79; if he reaches that age, he will live until the year 2090. The normal anxiety I feel as a parent about my child’s future is heightened by what I know from a career spent considering the implications of climate change and analyzing the economic impacts of climate change policy. And for me, it couldn’t be more personal. The best information available today tells me this issue touches anyone who has a child in their life who they love. Action we take, or fail to take, right now to address climate change will profoundly affect their lives." Photo credit here.

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Welcome to Spring! (no kidding...14 records @MSP...3rd earliest ice-out for 'Tonka?)

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Jaw-Dropping Record Great Lakes Heat (70-degree weekend here; severe risk next Tuesday)