Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 35 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist and Founder of Media Logic Group. Douglas and a team of meteorologists, engineers and developers provide weather services for various media at Broadcast Weather, high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster and weather data, apps and API’s from Aeris Weather. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention, no matter what business you’re in. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. | Send Paul a question.

Blizzard Warning West of MSP Tuesday - 50 Degrees Late Next Week?

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: March 2, 2015 - 9:37 AM

Be Afraid

Call out the National Guard, alert FEMA and pray for a last-minute reprieve. I've performed last rites on my Doppler - if you leave NOW you may get to work on time (tomorrow). As odd as it is to see this in print, there's a good chance of a "plowable snow event" tomorrow, with enough blowing and drifting to make for a tricky day of travel. NOAA has issued a Blizzard Warning just west of MSP for tomorrow; details below.

Tuesday's system moves quickly, keeping total amounts down, but a quick 2 to 4 inches of snow may fall during the morning and midday, whipped along by 30 mph winds by afternoon as much colder air comes charging south of the border. I'll be hiding in my weather bunker, watching a stain of dark red spread on my Google traffic maps. Good luck out there.

If it does snow I suggest you roll around in it, photograph it, memorize the way it looks, feels and smells - because odds are any snow won't stick around for long.

Models are unanimous in bringing a surge of mild, Pacific air into Minnesota next week with a streak of 40s. I could even see a few 50-degree highs with spurts of rain by mid-March.

Is tomorrow the last spasm of snow? No, but the atmosphere is about to shift gears, fast-forwarding us into an almost springy pattern by next week.

Not exactly a towering "Tournament Storm" but it'll have to do.


Tuesday Blizzard Warning Issued West of MSP. It isn't the snow amounts, it's the predicted wind speeds tomorrow, topping 30-40 mph by afternoon, capable of whipping around the few inches of snow expected to fall. Details from NOAA:

...BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM TO 9 PM CST
TUESDAY...

* TIMING...SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE TONIGHT AND TAPER OFF TUESDAY
  MORNING...AS WINDS INCREASE BEHIND A COLD FRONT. THE STRONG
  WINDS WILL PRODUCE CONSIDERABLE BLOWING SNOW AND BLIZZARD
  CONDITIONS THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...2 TO 3 INCHES.

* WINDS/VISIBILITY...WIND GUSTS AROUND 45 MPH AND VISIBILITY
  LESS THAN ONE QUARTER MILE IN OPEN AREAS. VISIBILITIES WILL BE
  A BIT BETTER WITHIN CITY LIMITS. THE STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS
  WILL DEVELOP BETWEEN 9 AM AND NOON...AND WILL CONTINUE INTO
  TUESDAY EVENING.

* IMPACTS...TRAVEL WILL BECOME DANGEROUS TUESDAY WITH DEVELOPING
  BLIZZARD CONDITIONS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS
AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT
CONDITIONS...MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF
YOU MUST TRAVEL...HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET
STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.

Monster Storm. Considering the most snow we've had from a single "storm" this winter is 3.4" Tuesday epic snowfall may rank right up there. I'm thinking 2-3", maybe more just north and west of the Twin Cities. But this next wave of low pressure moves very quickly, which will limit amounts tomorrow.


Potentially Plowable. 4 KM NAM guidance from NOAA suggests 2-3" for much of the Twin Cities, as much as 4-5" closer to Little Falls, Brainerd and Crosby. Temperatures fall through the 20s tomorrow, with significant blowing and drifting by afternoon as wind gusts top 30 mph. Map: Ham Weather.


Another Shot. Tuesday's snow falls in advance of another surge of bitter air, but this time it won't stay nanook for long. Wednesday will take your breath away (wind chills in the -20 to -30F range) and we wake up to a very subzero morning Thursday. And then the warming begins. 2-meter temperature prediction: NOAA NAM and Ham Weather.


Shifting Gears. There's at least a 1 in 3 chance that the subzero wake-up readings Wednesday and Thursday morning of this week MAY be the last of the winter. That may be overly optimistic, but based on how significant the shift in the pattern appears to be next week I'd be surprised if we see any more negative numbers after March 6. The mercury may brush 40F on Friday - by the weekend whatever snow falls tomorrow should be largely gone, allowing the sun's energy to go into heating up the air vs. melting snow next week. That, in turn, could mean a streak of 40s, even a few days above 50F next week.


A Whiff of Spring Fever. GFS guidance from NOAA shows consistent 40s after March 13 or so, even a few days near 50F; the atmosphere mild enough for rain by the middle of next week. That was sudden.


Weather Officials Worry That Quiet Tornado Seasons Have Lulled into Complacency. The Wichita Eagle has the story, including a few jaw-dropping statistics, and concern about what 2 supernaturally quiet years may mean for 2015. Here's a clip: "Tornado Alley has never been this quiet in the Wichita area before. Forget about tornadoes last year – there were not even any tornado watches issued. That’s never happened before in the nearly half a century that watch records have been kept. There were only two tornado watches issued for Sedgwick County the year before that, which translates into the lowest two-year total on record..."


Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/weather/article11863763.html#storylink=cpy

What ISIS Really Wants. Just in case you missed this important story in The Atlantic; here's a link and excerpt: "The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it..." (Image credit: AP/The Atlantic).


Uber Was Hacked Last May. In case you didn't hear - PC Magazine has more details; here's a clip: "Uber revealed on Friday that an "unauthorized third party" broke into a company database last May and gained access to driver data. The ridesharing service said in a blog post that it discovered the security breach last September and "[u]pon discovery we immediately changed the access protocols for the database and began an in-depth investigation." "A small percentage of current and former Uber driver partner names and driver's license numbers were contained in the database..."


Who Is Hacking Whom? Ham Weather uber-programmer and weather model specialist, Patrick Francis, wrote a recent story that made me do a triple-take. Here's an excerpt from aplus.com: "Modern Media will "Hype" times that a massive hack occurs, such as Sony Corporation, but does that tell the real story? For the last two months I have tracked every attempted breach of my systems, stored the IP of the attacker, and researched information about his or her country of origin, city, company and so forth. The heck of it is, there's not a lot that can be done with this information, because there is no one to share it with who can do anything about it! :) Still, some people might be interested to know a little bit about who is hacking who..."


Why More Schools Are Letting Their Students Sleep In. Huffington Post has an interesting update on the merits of later school starts; here's an excerpt: "...According to a new poll, parents are coming around to the idea of letting kids hit the snooze button. A survey conducted in November and December 2014 by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital as part of its National Poll on Children's Health found that about half of parents of teenagers whose schools start before 8:30 a.m. would support a later school start time. Forty percent said a later start time would allow their teens to get more sleep, and 22 percent said a later start time would help their teens do better in school..."


Facebook Will Now Reach Out To Users Who Their Friends Think Are Suicidal. A big thank you to Dr. Dan Reidenberg and his amazing team at SAVE (Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education) based in Bloomington for being the driving force behind this effort with Facebook; BuzzFeed News reports: "...The social network teamed up with a number of suicide prevention organizations and research centers in hopes of helping people online prevent their friends from committing suicide. These organizations include National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Now Matters Now, Save.org, and Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention from the School of Social Work at Washington University..."


Kids, Allergies and a Possible Downside to Squeaky Clean Dishes. So there is an upside to being a slob, after all? Great news. Here's an excerpt from NPR: "Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That's what some provocative new research suggests — but don't tear out your machine just yet. The study involved 1,029 Swedish children (ages 7 or 8) and found that those whose parents said they mostly wash the family's dishes by hand were significantly less likely to develop eczema, and somewhat less likely to develop allergic asthma and hay fever..."


28 F. high in the Twin Cities Sunday.

34 F. average high on March 1.

8 F. high on March 1, 2014, after waking up to -7.

Trace of snow on the ground at KMSP.

March 1, 1913: A record low of 24 degrees below zero is set at the St. Cloud Regional Airport.


TODAY: Early sun, then clouds increase. Winds: S 10. High: 28

MONDAY NIGHT: Cloudy with snow developing late. Low: 22

TUESDAY: Blizzard Warning west of MSP. 2-4" snow possible. Blowing & drifting likely with potentially treacherous travel. High: 28

WEDNESDAY: Last subzero slap? Feels like - 25. Wake-up: -2. High: 8

THURSDAY: Cold start. Partly sunny and breezy. Wake-up: -8. High: 18

FRIDAY: Sunny peeks, risk of a thaw. Wake-up: 14. High: 38

SATURDAY: Blue sky, quiet pleasant. Wake-up: 21. High: 35

SUNDAY: Drippy icicles. Feels like March! Wake-up: 18. High: 43

* Thanks to Media Logic meteorologist Todd Nelson, who snapped the photo above near Two Harbors on Saturday.


Climate Stories...

Is The Environment a Moral Cause? Here's a clip from a New York Times Op-Ed: "...People think quite differently, however, when they are morally engaged with an issue. In such cases people are more likely to eschew a sober cost-benefit analysis, opting instead to take action because it is the right thing to do. Put simply, we’re more likely to contribute to a cause when we feel ethically compelled to. Still, why do liberals moralize environmental issues, while conservatives do not? The answer is complex, owing in part to the specific history of the American environmental movement..."


Greenpeace Probe of Climate Naysayer Implicates Exxon Mobil. BuzzFeed News takes a look at more implications of the Willie Soon sage; here's an excerpt: "...The records released Friday show that Exxon’s support of Soon came despite a 2007 pledge to quit funding climate naysayer groups, according to Greenpeace’s Jesse Coleman, who started the Soon records search using public records laws. “Exxon told us that they would stop funding climate denial front groups,” Coleman told BuzzFeed News. “Years later, they were still funding Willie Soon...”

Tuesday Snow Potential - Early Case of Spring Fever?

Posted by: Paul Douglas under Lions Updated: February 28, 2015 - 11:47 PM

In Like a Yak?

"If March comes in like a lamb it will go out as a lion?" How predictably pedestrian.

Sadly, lions are endangered and the lambs have hired lawyers. I was raised (by wolves) to believe that, when March comes in like a yak, it will go out like an emu. Or is it tortoise and aardvark? I'm just not good with animals.

I apologize for any confusion.

Welcome to March, a baffling month of slush, puddles and a wild freeze-thaw cycle, where the only thing guaranteed is crater-size potholes. By the end of this month the average high is close to 50F, but temperatures can range from subzero to 80s.

With an average of 10.3 inches, March, once the snowiest month of the year, is now second only to January.

A few inches of snow may fall on Tuesday, maybe 6 inches for southeast Minnesota. A rapidly thawing atmosphere will push the storm track north in the coming weeks, increasing the potential for moisture here. But by the latter half of next week temperatures aloft should be warm enough for rain. I see persistent 30s and 40s by the second week of March. It still looks like the wicked winds of winter, a winter that hasn't been that bad, will subside within 2 weeks.

Very yak-like, don't you think?


Potentially Plowable. I'm not yet convinced the metro area is picking up 6" on Tuesday, but a plowable, 2-3"+ slush-fest is possible, slowing down your commute a bit, maybe enough to shovel, plow (and lead the news).


An Early Taste of Spring Fever? One more cold front with subzero implications arrives Wednesday; 2 more nights below zero later this week. No travel problems today or Monday but Tuesday may be a mess with a few inches of snow, with could be catastrophic, conisdering we're all forgotten how to drive on "snow". A Pacific warm front arrives Friday; 40s may be commonplace next week with a chance of "rain". So many new terms in the weather blog.


The (Mild) Ides of March. 500 mb winds (18,000 feet) are forecast to be zonal, blowing in from the Pacific Northwest by mid-month. That should mean 40s, even a chance of a few 50s within 2 weeks or so, temperatures aloft warm enough for rain. I don't think March 2015 will in any way resemble March, 2014.


Too Early To Celebrate. The (new) GFS model hints at 60F in roughly 2 weeks. Not sure I'm buying that, at least not yet. We have a trace of snow on the ground and even if we pick up a few more inches Tuesday most of that will be gone by next weekend. If the sun comes out temperatures may surge into the 50s in about 12-14 days. Source: Ham Weather's Aeris Enterprise.


Alerts Broadcaster Briefing: Issued Saturday night, February 28, 2015.

* Major icing event possible Sunday afternoon, evening and early nighttime hours as rain falls on ground temperatures colder than 32F. I-95 may be wet and slushy, but many state and local roads from Baltimore to Philadelphia to New York City will become icy during the late afternoon and evening hours.

* Potential for major travel disruptions on land, and from BWI to PHL, JFK, EWR and LGA.

* Power outages possible as ice accumulates on power lines and transformers. Risk appears to be greatest in the Delaware Valley.


Major Ice Storm Potential. Internal Alerts Broadcaster algorithms focus the greatest risk of moderate to severe glaze icing from Baltimore and Wilmington to Lancaster, Philadelphia and south Jersey late afternoon and evening hours on Sunday. Graphic: Alerts Broadcaster.


Cities We're Tracking. Over a third of an inch of freezing rain (rain freezing into glaze ice on sub-freezing surfaces, including streets, sidewalks and power lines) from Baltimore to Philadelphia and the suburbs of New York City. Credit: Alerts Broadcaster.


Why We're Concerned. Model guidance shows the 32-degree isotherm staying south of Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City at 4 PM Sunday, increasing the risk of significant accumulations of ice. Models print out .50 to .80" of rain, and a significant percentage of that rain may freeze into glaze, especially at the onset of precipitation Sunday afternoon. 4 PM NAM: NOAA and Ham Weather.

Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster


2015 Boston Blizzard Takes It's Toll On Region's Buildings. I found a story at Architecture Magazine interesting - here's an excerpt and link: "This winter has been a particularly tough one for those in the Boston area, which has experienced 31 days and counting of heavy snow, ice, and deep freezes. The severe winter weather has not only claimed several lives, but also a number of the region’s buildings44 in a two-day span. In particular, the unanticipated and extreme snow and ice loads have taken their toll on the region’s roofs, causing them to sag, leak, and collapse. The damage to municipal buildings can be seen through the city’s drone footage..."

File Photo credit above: "Graham Jamison, right, and Austin Anschultz walk through blowing snow on Beacon Hill in Boston, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. A blizzard warning was in effect for coastal communities from Rhode Island to Maine, promising heavy snow and powerful winds to heap more misery on a region that has already seen more than 6 feet of snow in some areas." (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer).


Close-Up Lightning Strike Compilation. No, don't try this at home - some of these close calls are truly amazing. Check out the YouTube clip, which has received 3.7 million views.


Aeris Pulse: Location-Specific Severe Weather Threats. Full disclosure: this is an app for Apple iOS and Android that my team is working on, the ability to create GPS-centric alerts that are different for everyone, based on their current location  and the areas they care about. Learn more about Aeris Pulse: "Using your current GPS location, Aeris Pulse highlights where the weather threats are relative to you. Aeris Pulse informs you to a variety of threats, whether it’s a severe thunderstorm with large hail and lightning or a winter storm with ice and heavy snow. All of this is immediately available when you launch the app in an easy-to-read, clean interface."


Aeris Wear. Doppler on your watch? People raised eyebrows when we (first) put Doppler radar on cell phones back in 2001. Why on Earth would you ever want that? Maybe in a few years (most) weather enthusiasts won't think twice about checking their watches to see if rain or lightning (or any threat) is lurking nearby. For now Aeris Wear is available for Android phones only, and the basic version is free. A version for iOS and Apple is coming soon.


What ISIS Really Wants. Just in case you missed this important story in The Atlantic; here's a link and excerpt: "The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it..." (Image credit: AP/The Atlantic).


Who Is Hacking Whom? Ham Weather uber-programmer and weather model specialist, Patrick Francis, wrote a recent story that made me do a triple-take. Here's an excerpt from aplus.com: "Modern Media will "Hype" times that a massive hack occurs, such as Sony Corporation, but does that tell the real story? For the last two months I have tracked every attempted breach of my systems, stored the IP of the attacker, and researched information about his or her country of origin, city, company and so forth. The heck of it is, there's not a lot that can be done with this information, because there is no one to share it with who can do anything about it! :) Still, some people might be interested to know a little bit about who is hacking who..."


Who Killed Tony The Tiger? Bloomberg Business takes a look at how Kellogg lost breakfast and what it means for the rest of the industry; here's a clip: "...Now Americans have fewer children. Both parents often work and no longer have time to linger over a serving of Apple Jacks and the local newspaper. Many people grab something on the way to work and devour it in their cars or at their desks while checking e-mail. “For a while, breakfast cereal was convenience food,” says Abigail Carroll, author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal. “But convenience is relative. It’s more convenient to grab a breakfast bar, yogurt, a piece of fruit, or a breakfast sandwich at some fast-food place than to eat a bowl of breakfast cereal...."


Facebook Will Now Reach Out To Users Who Their Friends Think Are Suicidal. A big thank you to Dr. Dan Reidenberg and his amazing team at SAVE (Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education) based in Bloomington for being the driving force behind this effort with Facebook; BuzzFeed News reports: "...The social network teamed up with a number of suicide prevention organizations and research centers in hopes of helping people online prevent their friends from committing suicide. These organizations include National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Now Matters Now, Save.org, and Forefront: Innovations in Suicide Prevention from the School of Social Work at Washington University..."


-3 F. morning low on Saturday.

20 F. high Saturday afternoon.

34 F. average high on February 28.

14 F. high on February 28, 2014.

Trace of snow on the ground at KMSP.

9.4. February is running 9.4F colder than average in the Twin Cities. February 2014 was 12.3F colder than normal.

February 28, 1966: The Blizzard of '66 hits Minnesota and lasts 4 days. Aitken got 23 inches of snow. The snow depth at International Falls reached a record 37 inches by the end of the storm.



TODAY: Mix of clouds and sun, not bad. Winds: W 15. High: 27

SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and chilly. Low; 10

MONDAY: Partly sunny, no travel problems. High: near 30

TUESDAY: Few inches of snow? More south. Wake-up: 22. High: 28

WEDNESDAY: Sunny and bitter. Feels like -20F. Wake-up: -1. High: 8

THURSDAY: Cold start, breezy with fading sun. Wake-up: -6. High: 19

FRIDAY: Some sun, above average. Wake-up: 17. High: 35

SATURDAY: Blue sky, feeling better out there. Wake-up: 19. High: 37

* Thanks to Media Logic meteorologist Todd Nelson, who snapped the photo above near Two Harbors on Saturday.


Climate Stories...

Is The Environment a Moral Cause? Here's a clip from a New York Times Op-Ed: "...People think quite differently, however, when they are morally engaged with an issue. In such cases people are more likely to eschew a sober cost-benefit analysis, opting instead to take action because it is the right thing to do. Put simply, we’re more likely to contribute to a cause when we feel ethically compelled to. Still, why do liberals moralize environmental issues, while conservatives do not? The answer is complex, owing in part to the specific history of the American environmental movement..."


Greenpeace Probe of Climate Naysayer Implicates Exxon Mobil. BuzzFeed News takes a look at more implications of the Willie Soon sage; here's an excerpt: "...The records released Friday show that Exxon’s support of Soon came despite a 2007 pledge to quit funding climate naysayer groups, according to Greenpeace’s Jesse Coleman, who started the Soon records search using public records laws. “Exxon told us that they would stop funding climate denial front groups,” Coleman told BuzzFeed News. “Years later, they were still funding Willie Soon...”


Climate Oscillations and the Global Warming Faux Pause. Here's an excerpt of a story written by Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann at Huffington Post: "...It is true that Earth's surface warmed a bit less than models predicted it to over the past decade-and-a-half or so. This doesn't mean that the models are flawed. Instead, it points to a discrepancy that likely arose from a combination of three main factors (see the discussion my piece last year in Scientific American). These factors include the likely underestimation of the actual warming that has occurred, due to gaps in the observational data. Secondly, scientists have failed to include in model simulations some natural factors (low-level but persistent volcanic eruptions and a small dip in solar output) that had a slight cooling influence on Earth's climate. Finally, there is the possibility that internal, natural oscillations in temperature may have masked some surface warming in recent decades, much as an outbreak of Arctic air can mask the seasonal warming of spring during a late season cold snap. One could call it a global warming "speed bump." In fact, I have..."

* An abstract of the new research is available at Science Magazine.

* Reuters has more on the latest research here.


Climate Change Might Be Causing These Huge Craters in Siberia. VICE News has the story - here's the introduction: "Reports of new methane-eruption craters in the Siberian permafrost have piqued the interest of scientists around the higher latitudes who see it as a new sign of a warming climate. The first craters were identified in summer 2014 in the natural gas-rich Yamal Peninsula, which juts into the frigid Kara Sea more than 2,000 miles northeast of Moscow. They're suspected to have been caused by eruptions of methane from beneath the region's permafrost soil, which has been thawing during recent summers..."

Photo credit: Vladimir Pushkarev/Russian Centre of Arctic Exploration/Reuters.