More September than November
70F Next 2 Days?
"So dull and dark are the November days. The lazy mist high up the evening curled, And now the 'morn quite hides in smoke and haze; The place we occupy seems all the world" wrote John Clare. I'm reading John's poetry on my smart phone from the tee box on the par-four fifth hole of my favorite golf course, wishing I could golf (well).
You see, it's going to be 70 degrees today. Blue sky, a soft, buttery breeze from the southeast. A few boats out on the lake. Huh? More September than November.
Winter is coming but Mother Nature is ignoring the memo. Computer models hint at 50s into the third week of November with occasional swipes of rain. We'll see a cold frontal passage later this week, another feeble push of Canadian air late next week. By the time it's cold enough for slush deep moisture will be long gone.
The pattern favors stormy weather in New England and the Pacific Northwest, a mild bubble of high pressure persisting over the nation's midsection.
Enjoy the warm front. Jackets return by late week, but no coats, no snow boots, shovels or ice scrapers required just yet.
November Boating...in Minnesota? I'm black and blue from pinching myself on Monday. The last time we enjoyed 70F in November was 2008. We may go 3 days in a row at or above 70F this year - I can't remember (ever) seeing a flotilla of boats on Lake Minnetonka in November. Let's keep this a secret OK?
3 PM Today. High-resolution WRF guidance hints at low 70s across much of central and southern Minnesota and a big chunk of Wisconsin; lake effect keeping Duluth at least 10-15 degrees cooler. Not bad, considering the sun is as high in the sky as it was on February 10. Wow. Map: AerisWeather.
An Early Spring? I realize we'll eventually skid into winter - this year it may arrive like a cold smack across the face. But we can all be forgiven for suspending our disbelief a few more days. Expect 70F today; a few models showing low 70s again Wednesday. Guidance: NOAA and Aeris Enterprise.
Gusty Reality Check. Models show sustained winds over 30 mph by 9 PM Wednesday night as colder air finally arrives. Source: Aeris Enterprise.
Shorts & Jackets. What an odd weather pattern: shorts and T-shirts this afternoon, but within 3-4 days heavy jackets and sweatshirts will stage a comeback. Our internal guidance suggests a wind chill dipping to near 30F by Sunday morning.
Storms Stay South/East of Minnesota Into Early Next Week. In a pattern that may set the general tone for the winter, GFS guidance shows the heaviest rain events staying south and east of home until possibly the middle of next week. Showery rains are possible Thursday as cooler air arrives, but no soakers - no accumulating snow either. Source: NOAA and AerisWeather.
When In Doubt Predict "More of the Same". Within 2 weeks an omega block is forecast to set up across North America, stormy weather for New England and the Pacific Northwest, a relatively benign weather pattern over the central USA with milder than average temperatures from Minnesota to Denver and St. Louis. Source: GrADS:COLA/IGES.
Latest on Cyclone Chapala. Emirates 24/7 has a string of updates on the historically unprecedented cyclone (same as a hurricane) hitting Yemen; here's the intro: "A rare tropical cyclone packing hurricane-force winds killed three people and injured scores on the Yemeni island of Socotra on Monday, residents and officials said, and then headed for a town on the mainland. Amateur pictures and videos on social media, which could not be immediately verified, showed torrents of water washing through the streets of the Socotra provincial capital Hadibu. "Three people were killed, around 100 have been injured," said a local official, without describing the causes of death..."
A Yemen Hurricane? Rare, But Not Unprecedented. Ars Technica picks up on the probability of a hurricane in that part of the world; here's an excerpt: "...Yemen has been struck by tropical cyclones, as they are known in the Indian basin, before. The equivalent of a weak tropical storm, Keila, hit the country in 2011. According to the India Meteorological Department, two cyclones with stronger winds hit Yemen in 1959 and 1960. It appears safe to conclude that the country hasn’t been hit by a storm this potentially devastating in nearly half a century. In terms of climate change, it is not unusual for cyclones to form in the Arabian Sea. A research paper published in 2011 found that an average of one to two tropical cyclones form in the Arabian Sea each year, although most of these are not strong enough to be classified as severe cyclones..." (Image: NOAA's Aqua Satellite).
Gray Swan Tropical Cyclones. The theoretically unlikely is becoming more likely over time as oceans continue to warm. Check out the paper that predicted an uptick in Persian Gulf cyclones (hurricanes) at Nature Climate Change.
Here's more background from Climate Nexus:
• Sea surface temperatures along the path of Cyclone Chapala are at record levels.
• Climate projections show a substantial 46 percent increase in cyclone frequency over the Arabian Sea by the end of the century.
• Climate change loads hurricanes with additional moisture, intensifying rainfall and raising the risk of flooding.
• There is strong evidence that climate change increases the frequency of the most intense cyclones, the winds of which incur exponentially greater damage compared to lesser cyclones.
• Due to the combined impact of an extreme El Niño and climate change, 2015 has been a record year for tropical cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere.
A Flight To The Top of the Most Powerful Hurricane Ever. At least for that portion of the Pacific basin. WIRED has a fascinating tale - here's an excerpt: "...Then, almost overnight, Patricia strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane with the highest sustained wind speeds ever recorded. And it was headed straight for the west coast of Mexico. The speed of Patricia’s intensification stunned scientists around the world, including Doyle. The deep layer of warm water in the Pacific this year fueled the storm, and it got lucky by hitting a patch of calm and humid air. But all the models took those factors into account, and none of them even got close to predicting just how strong Patricia would become. Doyle didn’t know what the models were missing, exactly, but he had a good guess as to where to look for it: At the top of the hurricane, more than 35,000 feet above the ocean, where storms exhale the air they suck in from below..."
Photo credit above: "The WB-57."
Residents Survey Damage after "Historic" Hits San Marcos for Third Time. Three "historic" floods in the span of 2 years? Here's a clip from a video and story at Time Warner Cable News in Austin, Texas: "The word "historic" is being used all too often to describe floods from Wimberley to San Marcos to Onion Creek. That was the case two years ago. So was the flood this past Memorial Day. Now that term is being used once again. Our Stef Manisero takes us to San Marcos as residents there weather yet another historic bout with Mother Nature. Families in San Marcos spent Saturday cleaning up their flood-damaged homes. Residents sifted through their belongings, determining which things could be saved, and which things were just too wet..."
Photo credit above: "Mike Stoner gets out of his flooded car, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015 in San Marcos, Texas. A fast-moving storm packing heavy rain and destructive winds overwhelmed rivers and prompted evacuations Friday in the same area of Central Texas that saw devastating spring floods." (Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman via AP.
Beyond The High Tides, South Florida Water is Changing. Here's a snippet from a story at The Miami Herald: "...But beyond the flooding, a more insidious problem is at work. South Florida’s water is changing. Under climate change projections, beaches and bays that draw tourists and anglers and help fuel a booming real estate industry could grow saltier and more polluted. Underground saltwater is already spoiling the aquifer and moving closer to drinking water supplies for six million residents. If the Everglades dries up more than it already has, peat soil that provides the scaffolding for an entire ecosystem could collapse..."
Image credit above: "Emily Michot firstname.lastname@example.org"
The Pacific Ocean Becomes a Caldron. Was Category 5 Patricia hitting the west coast of Mexico and then dissipating rapidly a fluke, or a sign of what's to come? Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "Hurricane Patricia was a surprise. The eastern Pacific hurricane strengthened explosively before hitting the coast of Mexico, far exceeding projections of scientists who study such storms. And while the storm’s strength dissipated quickly when it struck land, a question remained. What made it such a monster? Explanations were all over the map, with theories that included climate change (or not), and El Niño. But the answer is more complicated..." (File image: NASA).
We're On The Cusp of a Revolution That Will Change the World As Much As Computers Did. Am I the only one who got chills after reading this at Tech Insider? Again, what can possibly go wrong. Here's an excerpt: "...But one of the most exciting things — or disconcerting things, for those scared of the power of this new technology — is that actually using the latest tools to make genetic edits is so simple that Doudna says that anyone who has basic molecular biology skills would be able to use CRISPR to edit a human embryo. People with sufficient expertise could probably set up a lab that would be able to make designer babies or transform animal species for less than $2,000, according to experts we spoke with. We're still waiting for a demonstration of genetic editing that will really sear it into the world's consciousness. But for better or worse, the world-transforming power of this technology isn't limited to the most technologically advanced and well funded labs..." (File image: genome-engineering.org).
How to Prepare for Cosmic Disaster? Finally, The U.S. Government Comes Up With a Plan. The first step is to make sure you have a plan, just in case the power is out for an extended period of time. Here's an excerpt from Christian Today: "...The White House Action Plan also tasked the Department of Energy to assess how vulnerable American infrastructure is to solar storms. At the same time, the agency was also instructed to develop a grid monitoring system that would "display the status of power generation, transmission, and distribution systems during geomagnetic storms" in real time. Likewise, the American government sought in its action plan better forecasting of solar storms, to be able to give agencies more lead-time before a cosmic disaster strikes..." (File image credit: NASA).
Will Conservatives Finally Embrace Clean Energy? Here's an excerpt from The New Yorker: "...Even more notable, however, are the trends in the renewable-energy marketplace: fossil-fuel prices fluctuate, but the costs associated with solar and wind power have been declining and will likely continue to fall. Indeed, nearly every speech was crammed with feel-good economic statistics: solar has become eighty per cent cheaper in the past five years; the U.S. clean-energy sector grew fourteen per cent in 2014, about five times as much as the rest of the economy. Senator Richard Burr, of North Carolina, cut to the chase. “Let me sum it up in one word: jobs,” he said..." (File image: Solar City).
70 F. high yesterday at KMSP.
72 F. record high for November 2 in the Twin Cities (1978)
9 F. record low for MSP on November 2.
49 F. average high on November 2.
56 F. high on November 2, 2014.
November 3, 1991: The Great Halloween blizzard ends with a total of 28.4 inches of snow at Twin Cities.
November 3, 1956: Parts of central Minnesota had record high low temperatures in the upper forties to the lower fifties. Minneapolis, Farmington, Chaska, and Gaylord all had high temperatures of 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
November 3, 1915: Severe thunderstorm in Chatfield, MN. One person killed by lightning.
TODAY: What November? Mild sunshine, breezy. Winds: SE 10-15. High: near 70
TUESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, unseasonably mild. Low: 55
WEDNESDAY: I feel a sick day coming on. Lukewarm sunshine. Winds: S 10-20. High: 72
THURSDAY: Cooling off, periods of rain likely. Wake-up: 57. High: 59 (quickly falling thru the 50s)
FRIDAY: More clouds than sun, brisk. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 42. High: 48
SATURDAY: Partly sunny, fresh breeze. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 35. High: 45
SUNDAY: Blue sky, above average temperatures. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 33. High: 54
MONDAY: Intervals of sun, milder than average. Wake-up: 41. High: 56
NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater Than Losses. It'll be interesting to see if this holds up, if data from recent years shows a (net) gain in ice Way Down Under. Here's an excerpt from NASA: "A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers. The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice. According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008..."
Image credit above: "A new NASA study says that Antarctica is overall accumulating ice. Still, areas of the continent, like the Antarctic Peninsula photographed above, have increased their mass loss in the last decades." Credits: NASA's Operation IceBridge.
* The Christian Science Monitor has more on what's happening in Antarctica.
Homogenization of Temperature Data: An Assessment. The current manufactured flap from the usual suspects is over new data sets which show no hiatus, no slow-down in warming for the last 15 years. Do charges of "NASA and NOAA are cooking the books!" hold up? Here's an excerpt from Skeptical Science: "...The validity of this process has been questioned in the public discourse on climate change, on the basis that the adjustments increase the warming trend in the data. This question is surprising in that sea surface temperatures play a larger role in determining global temperature than the weather station records, and are subject to a larger adjustments in the opposite direction (Figure 1). Furthermore, the adjustments have the biggest effect prior to 1980, and don't have much impact on recent warming trends..."
Graphic credit: Figure 1: The global temperature record (smoothed) with different combinations of land and ocean adjustments.
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: "Global Warming Is Real - And We Made It". Tulsa World Magazine has the Op-Ed, here are a couple of clips that caught my eye: "...For members of Congress who say the science is not, in fact, settled, I say, “Don’t you trust NASA and NOAA and our Navy and every American national lab — the science you pay for? And every major U.S. scientific society? Are they all wrong? And if you think there is some vast federal conspiracy, how about your own home state university?”...If you think there’s a vast federal scientific conspiracy, and that you can’t even trust the military on this, listen to the Oklahoma experts. They’ll tell you that climate change is real, that the consequences are serious for Oklahoma and that there’s an industry-funded “organized climate-denial machine.” Or use your own two eyes and brain..." (File image: NASA).
At Sea Level, Climate Change in Georgia is More Than Theoretical. This level of flooding with no storm nearby? Blame rising sea levels and a king tide. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at ajc.com: "...Forty-eight hours after the mayor returned, Tybee Island made a little history. On Tuesday morning, a 10.47-foot high tide swamped much of the island and U.S. 80, the only road that links 3,000 residents to Savannah and the mainland. It was the third-highest tide on record. But that doesn’t really tell the story. Those higher tides in 1940 and 1947 were produced by surges from hurricanes. No such storms struck the Georgia coast last week. We would have noticed. The king tides on Tuesday and Wednesday were the product of the moon making a closer-than-usual pass, a stiff wind, and rising sea levels. That last condition is the result of climate change. Heated water expands and ice caps melt. Volume increases..."
Photo credit above: "U.S. 80 on Tuesday, between Tybee Island and the mainland." Photo courtesy of Sean R. Compton
Liberals Want to Mitigate Climate Change, Conservatives to Adapt To It, According to Study. Here's a clip from a story at phys.org: "...They found climate change mitigation - which focuses on eliminating causes of climate change - to be a much more polarizing issue than climate change adaptation, which focuses on preparing for the results of climate change. Liberals more strongly endorsed mitigation while conservatives tended to favor adaptation strategies. One possible reason for this distinction, O'Connor said, is that mitigation implies blame by focusing attention on human activities, such as burning fossil fuels. On the other hand, adaptation does no necessarily assign blame, but focuses on dealing with likely problems...
Ted Cruz: "Climate Change Is Not Science. It's Religion." We're still cherry-picking data? I come to Christ through both evidence and faith. With a warming atmosphere and oceans no faith is required; the evidence is overwhelming and growing daily. Here's an excerpt from ThinkProgress: "...The data he is referring to is very specific. Cruz is looking only at satellite data — not ground-level data or oceanographic data — and he does not say “18 years” just as a random number. In 1998 the planet experienced a record-setting El Niño — and satellite data showed temperatures were very high. That does not mean that the global warming trend (weather and data will fluxtuate, but trends are important) is not occurring. In fact, 14 of the hottest 15 years on record have all occurred since 1998. Moreover, 90 percent of warming has been absorbed by the oceans. Ninety- seven percent of published, peer-reviewed climate science papers concur that man-made climate change is occurring..."
Image credit above: "Republican Presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at the Iowa GOP's Growth and Opportunity Party at the Iowa state fair grounds in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015." (AP Photo/Nati Harnik).
Here's a Climate Change Solution That Doesn't Freak Out Every Conservative. We just need a few billionaires who will step up and buy the world's remaining coal deposits - and keep them in the ground. Easier said than done? Here's a clip from a story at The Week: "...But then a friend of mine, Matt Frost, came up with a simple, elegant idea: Just buy coal that's in the ground and then don't extract it. Environmentalist millionaires and billionaires spend fortunes on ineffective lobbying efforts that do more to enhance the lifestyle of professional environmentalist consultants and politicians than the condition of the atmosphere. Those consultants and politicians then work to build an elusive consensus on moonshot regulatory and diplomatic schemes, which are unlikely to get global buy-in and are likely to be cheated and abandoned anyway..." (File photo credit: AMIT DAVE/Reuters/Corbis).
Who Can Save Journalism? Big Oil, Apparently. L.A. Weekly has a curious story - but maybe we shouldn't be too surprised - or concerned about a possible blurring of solid journalism. Here's an excerpt: "...The campaign reaches the Times' audience through banner ads and through Essential California, the paper's daily newsletter. The ads link to the Powering California website, which includes a disclaimer stating that the editorial staff is not involved in producing sponsored content. In that respect, it's not that different from traditional newspaper advertising. And, of course, newspapers are under tremendous pressure to find revenue wherever they can. If the oil industry is helping to fund journalism, a portion of which is aimed at exposing the oil industry, then perhaps it's all to the good..."
Image credit above:"Sponsored content produced by the L.A. Times, via Powering California."
Climate Change is Forcing People to Migrate, And The World Doesn't Have a Plan to Handle It. Grist has the story; here's the intro: "How should governments treat people who are forced to migrate due to climate change? That question is on the working agenda for the upcoming Paris climate talks, at least sort of — and that’s a good thing. As it stands, there’s no clear definition of what, exactly, a forced climate migrant is; nor is there an international legal framework to deal with the mass movement of people (and, sooner than you might think, entire nations) displaced because of global warming. Paris could go a long way toward further recognizing the phenomenon, as well as helping to shape how to deal with it. If it doesn’t, some of the world’s most vulnerable people will remain in a bizarre legal and political limbo..."
Photo credit above: "Kiribati looks like a tough place to leave -- but some of its citizens driven from their homeland by rising seas are telling New Zealand that they had no choice." KevGuy4101
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-11-liberals-mitigate-climate.html#jCp
Climate Change and Creation Care. As I dig into how United States faith communities are responding to climate change I am noticing that there is a very concerted effort to care for creation and a focus specifically on climate change. An example of this is the United Methodist Women’s national office has made climate justice one of its four social justice priorities.
Would you like to explore where your faith intersections with weather and climate change? On Saturday, November 7th at 9a in Prior Lake, Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church is hosting a Creation Care event that will examine the intersection of faith, climate change and weather. The event is free. Childcare is provided for those that RSVP. Presenters include faith leaders from the Lutheran, Methodist, MCC and Catholic church, Dr. John Abraham (climate scientist from the University of St. Thomas) and me. RSVP at: http://www.sollc.org/creationcare.
Who Will Take the Lead on Climate Change? Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at Detroit Free Press: "...States will have to be going about implementing their plans to actually meet the regulations ... But those regulations only concern power plants and so gradually the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will have to look at other sectors of the economy and their carbon pollution ... We need to work in terms of a range of incentives to further efforts to move to renewable energy and energy efficiency. There are questions about energy supply, offshore drilling, drilling on federal lands, more questions on tar sands pipelines, whether to allow on royalty rates, things like that.” Goldston correctly points out that, for the most part, international businesses — traditional GOP constituents — don’t deny the existence or causes of climate change..."