Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 33 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, a new, national 24/7 weather channel with studios in Denver and Minneapolis. Founder of Media Logic Group, Douglas and a team of meteorologists provide weather services for media at Broadcast Weather, and high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster. 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.

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Dangerously Cold (today: coldest day of winter, may be the coldest day since 1996, statewide)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: January 5, 2014 - 8:08 PM

-67F. coldest wind chill ever observed in the Twin Cities: January 22, 1936 (new formula). This would have been a wind chill of -87F using the wind chill formula in use before 2001. Details below.


Trouble on the Tundra

Can you feel colder than numb? Not sure, but a wind chill this low cools your skin and body core temperature down much faster, increasing the risk of frostbite & hypothermia exponentially.

Check in on older friends and neighbors today to make sure they're staying warm.

Limit or even eliminate time spent outside today. So often media reports of crime, traffic tangles or severe storms exaggerate and hype the risk.

Not today. It's truly dangerous out there.

Arctic scientists talk of a 30-30-30 Rule. A temperature of -30F with 30 mph winds can freeze your skin in 30 seconds. It won't be quite that extreme out there today - but close; frostbite certainly possible on exposed skin within a couple of minutes this morning.

The all-time MSP wind chill record is -67F, set January 22, 1936. That's using the new, warmer wind chill formula. Old, pre-2001 formula? -87.

It won't get THAT cold, but an air temperature of -25F coupled with 25 mph winds will make it feel like -50 to -55F early this morning.

Call in sick (of winter). I'll write you a note.

Storms will strafe Chicago and the Great Lakes, but no big snowfalls are imminent here, just a badly needed thaw, with 30s this weekend and much of January.

One small silver lining: the mercury has to reach -40F or colder to kill off beetle pests in Minnesota's North Woods.

RIP bugs.


Windchill Warning. Check out the (very) strongly worded statement from the Twin Cities National Weather Service. Never tell a Minnesotan to not go outside - with the possibly exception of today:

...HISTORIC AND LIFE-THREATENING COLD AIR HAS ARRIVED...
...THIS IS A PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION...

.A WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN
MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN THROUGH NOON TUESDAY.

THE COLDEST AIRMASS SINCE 1996 IS MOVING INTO THE REGION AND WILL
BE WITH US INTO TUESDAY. WIND CHILL VALUES TODAY WILL RANGE FROM
30 BELOW TO 45 BELOW ZERO. TEMPERATURES TONIGHT WILL BOTTOM OUT IN
THE 20S AND 30S BELOW ZERO WITH ONLY A SMALL RECOVERY ON MONDAY.
THE ARCTIC COLD TONIGHT AND MONDAY WILL BE ACCOMPANIED BY BRISK
NORTHWEST WINDS. THE COMBINATION OF THE COLD AND WIND WILL PRODUCE
WIND CHILLS OF 50 BELOW TO 65 DEGREES BELOW.

THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING SITUATION IF YOU BECOME STRANDED. WIND
CHILLS COLDER THAN 50 BELOW CAN CAUSE EXPOSED FLESH TO FREEZE IN
ONLY 5 MINUTES. COVER AS MUCH FLESH AS POSSIBLE WHEN VENTURING OUT
OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

THE GUSTY WINDS WILL ALSO BRING AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW TO MUCH OF
THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT. WIND GUSTS MAY REACH 35 TO 45
MPH OVER WESTERN AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA. AS A RESULT...VISIBILITIES
MAY BE REDUCED AT TIMES TO LESS THAN A HALF MILE...WITH NEAR
BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. THIS WILL BRING AN ADDITIONAL LEVEL OF DANGER
TO ANYONE STRANDED.

Current Temperatures. The image above was from last night. Click here to see the latest air temperatures, nationwide, courtesy of mesonet.org.


Current Wind Chill. Yes, new colors are showing up on the weather map. Click here to see the very latest wind chill values - if you dare.


Wind Chill Survey. Students at St. Cloud State University are doing some research into the effectiveness of Wind Chill Warnings issued by NOAA. If you have a couple of minutes take the survey and contribute your time toward trying to make warnings more impactful, accurate and useful


Coldest Nighttime Mins Ever Observed At MSP. Here's the dreaded Top 10 list, courtesy of NOAA and the Minnesota Climatology Office. I'm somewhat relieved we won't make this list.

Coldest Daytime Highs At MSP. We may come close to making this Top 10 List, with a predicted "high" of -13 to 15F today, the coldest day of the winter, possibly the coldest day since the mid 90s.


Early Morning Air Temperatures. You may spot a few polar bear if you're out and about this morning, wake-up temperatures ranging from -16 to -27 across the metro (the urban heat island will keep the immediate downtowns a few degrees warmer). Up north some -30s are expected. Map: NOAA NAM guidance and Ham Weather.


Slow Moderation By Midweek. Then again temperatures have nowhere to go but up. The solid green line marks the 0F isotherm, solid red shows readings colder than -20F, pushing into the western suburbs of the Twin Cities this morning. The core of the coldest arctic air begins to lift north by Wednesday. Animation: NOAA and Ham Weather.


Ridiculously Cold For Much Of America. On average temperatures bottom out the third week of January, so this rude blast of Siberian air is coming 1-2 weeks earlier than usual. I still believe this will be the coldest of winter, possibly the coldest in nearly 2 decades from the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes, subzero readings as far south as the mountains of northern Georgia, as far east as Baltimore and Worcester.


Record Territory. We'll come close to setting the all-time record low this morning, January 6 - a better chance of setting a record for the coldest maximum temperature tomorrow (previous record is -14F set in 1909). Data: NOAA.


Historic Wind Chill Temperatures In Minnesota. Details from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group: "What is the coldest windchill ever seen in the Twin Cities or Minnesota? The answer can be a little tricky because on November 2001 the formula on how to calculate the windchill was changed. Perhaps the coldest windchill the Twin Cities has ever seen was -67 degrees F with the new formula (-87 degrees F with the old formula) back on January 22nd 1936. The temperature was -34 degrees F with a wind speed of 20mph. All traffic in the Twin Cities was severely hampered and a number of fatalities were caused by the cold. Without a lengthy state-wide wind record, it is difficult to say when was the coldest statewide windchill. There are some candidate dates though besides January 22, 1936. On January 9th and 10th, 1982 temperatures of -30 degrees F and winds of around 40mph were reported in Northern Minnesota. This would translate to -71 degrees F by the new formula (-100 degrees F by the old formula.)..."

* more details on how the wind chill is derived from NOAA here.


Extended Period Of Zero Or Below In The Twin Cities: 1873-2014. Here's an excerpt of an interesting post from the Twin Cities National Weather Service: "The mercury has stayed at or below zero for at least four consecutive days on 27 occasions in the Twin Cities from 1873 to 2014. The longest streak is seven days from January 1-7, 1912. For the number of consecutive hours that the temperature has stayed at or below zero, the 1912 stretch is the longest at 186 hours. The last time there was a stretch that lasted longer than 4 days was 142 hours in 1994. More recent stretches include 86 hours from 11pm January 12, 2009 to 1pm January 16, 2009 and 93 hours from 5pm January 31, 1996 to 1pm February 4, 1996. How long would a stretch of zero or below weather be to make the top ten list? The mercury would have to stay at or below zero for at least FOUR full calendar days to have a chance of making the list..."


Flurries For The Florida Panhandle? I vividly remember enough flurries in Miami Beach, Florida to build a small snow man back during the winter of 1976. Locals were stunned, shocked, horrified. This time around enough cold air may pour south for a few flurries as far south as Pensacola and Mobile. Heavier snow, enough to shovel and plow, is expected from near Indianapolis to Detroit as this rush of record-breaking cold arrives. Map: NOAA's NAM guidance, courtesy of Ham Weather.


Weekend Correction. As fast as we tumbled over a temperature cliff temperatures are forecast to moderate by the weekend; ECMWF guidance shows high temperatures near or just above freezing Friday into Monday, relatively mild weather and a Pacific-influenced breeze spilling over into much of next week. Graphic: Weatherspark.


Coldest Modern-Day Highs In The Twin Cities. The all-time record for coldest maximum temperatures is -20F in 1888. In 1996 MSP experienced a high of -17F. We may come close to these extreme values on Monday. Graphic: WeatherNation TV.


Coldest Days In Chicago. The Windy City will come very close to setting a record for one of the 3 coldest days every observed in modern-day records, according to NOAA records. Graphic: WeatherNation TV.


Subzero Streaks In Chicago. This may wind up being a Top 10 Subzero Event for Chicago, possibly the longest streak below zero since 1996. Source: NOAA.


Windchill, Temperature, And The Coldest Games In NFL History. Here's a timely recap of some of the coldest NFL games every played, courtesy of the Green Bay office of the National Weather Service: "Let's briefly take a look at some of the coldest games in NFL History with respect to temperature and wind chill values. The chart (above) shows the top 15 coldest NFL games based on the actual air temperature (degrees F) around game time.  As you can see, based on the actual air temperature, the top two coldest games were the 1967 Ice Bowl (Cowboys vs Packers) and the 1982 Freezer Bowl (Chargers vs Bengals). Although the 1967 Ice Bowl was colder based on the actual temperature, some have argued that the 1982 Freezer Bowl was actually the colder of the two games because the winds were stronger during the game, thereby creating lower windchill values.  Let's take a closer look at these two nasty weather playoff games with respect to temperature and wind chill..."


-12 F. low Sunday morning. Record low was -28 F. in 1924

-2 F. high on Sunday in the Twin Cities.

24 F. average high on January 5.

26 F. high on January 5, 2013.


TODAY: Windchill Warning. Dangerously cold. Coldest Jan. 6 on record for much of Minnesota? Feels like -40 to 50F early. Winds: NW 15-25. High: -15

MONDAY NIGHT: Windchill Warning. Partly cloudy - still frigid. Low: -20

TUESDAY: Windchill Warning until noon. More sun, less wind. Feels like -35F. High: -3

WEDNESDAY: Blue sky. Hello zero! Wake-up: -12. High: 4

THURSDAY: Some sun, not nearly as harsh. Wake-up: -3. High: 17

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, risk of a thaw. Wake-up: 13. High: 32

SATURDAY: Dripping icicles. Much better. Wake-up: 20. High: 34

SUNDAY: Cloudy, above average temps. Wake-up: 26. High: 32

* photo courtesy of Steve Burns.


Polar Vortex Reaches Minnesota (dangerously cold into Tuesday morning - greatest frostbite risk since mid-90s)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: January 4, 2014 - 8:51 PM

-67F. coldest wind chill ever observed in the Twin Cities: January 22, 1936 (new formula). This would have been a wind chill of -87F using the wind chill formula in use before 2001. Details below.


Polar Displacement

To be fair, we don't have to worry about hurricanes, earthquakes or volcanoes. But once every decade or two the North Pole shifts south, temporarily, leaving all of us scrambling for cover and a warm, safe place to hibernate for a few days.

All those tales of frigid hardship your grandparents scared you with growing up will come true over the next 36 hours as the "polar vortex" - air that should be over the Arctic Circle - sails over our heads.

Pluto, with lakes.

According to NOAA the mercury has stayed at or below zero for at least four consecutive days on 27 occasions in the Twin Cities from 1873 to 2014. The record? 1 week below zero in 1912.

What makes this cold wave notable and potentially historic is a strong pressure gradient whipping up a stubbornly evil wind of 15-25 mph. With air temperatures near -25F early Monday that will make for an otherworldly wind chill of -55F.

Exposed skin can become frostbitten in 5 minutes.

Closing down Minnesota schools Monday was a good idea. And if your car stalls or breaks down call 911 or AAA. Wait for help to reach you.

We top zero on Wednesday; 30s this weekend will feel toasty. For the record, this is the worst of winter, possibly the coldest air since 1996.

Think warm thoughts. Be careful out there.


Record Territory. We'll come close to setting the all-time record low for Monday, January 6 - a better chance of setting a record for the coldest maximum temperature tomorrow (previous record is -14F set in 1909). Data: NOAA.


Sunday Morning Temperatures. NOAA's NAM model shows readings ranging from -15 to -22F in the Twin Cities metro, with readings as cold as -35 to -38F over the Red River Valley. These are projected air temperatures. A stubborn 20 mph wind will create wind chill values in the -35 to -60 range. Map: Ham Weather.


Morning Morning - Pluto With Lakes. Temperatures bottom out across the Twin Cities metro Monday morning in the -20 to -25F range, some of the coldest temperatures since the mid-90s. Factor in a 20 mph wind and you have a chill factor of -50 to -55F. Frostbite is possible in under 5 minutes.


A Serious Arctic Outbreak. Subzero readings are likely as far south as the Ohio River, as far east as Philadelphia and Albany. Sub-freezing temperatures (solid red line is 32F isother) penetrate as far south as Brownsville and the suburbs of Orlando, Florida. Animation: NOAA 2-meter temperatures, courtesy of Ham Weather.


Historic Wind Chill Temperatures In Minnesota. Details from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group: "What is the coldest windchill ever seen in the Twin Cities or Minnesota? The answer can be a little tricky because on November 2001 the formula on how to calculate the windchill was changed. Perhaps the coldest windchill the Twin Cities has ever seen was -67 degrees F with the new formula (-87 degrees F with the old formula) back on January 22nd 1936. The temperature was -34 degrees F with a wind speed of 20mph. All traffic in the Twin Cities was severely hampered and a number of fatalities were caused by the cold. Without a lengthy state-wide wind record, it is difficult to say when was the coldest statewide windchill. There are some candidate dates though besides January 22, 1936. On January 9th and 10th, 1982 temperatures of -30 degrees F and winds of around 40mph were reported in Northern Minnesota. This would translate to -71 degrees F by the new formula (-100 degrees F by the old formula.)..."

* more details on how the wind chill is derived from NOAA here.


90+ Consecutive Hours Below Zero. We'll go 3-4 days in a row below zero, the first chance of rising above 0F coming during the afternoon hours on Wednesday. It will warm up as fast as it cooled down; highs in the 30s by the weekend. Graph: Weatherspark.


Extended Period Of Zero Or Below In The Twin Cities: 1873-2014. Here's an excerpt of an interesting post from the Twin Cities National Weather Service: "The mercury has stayed at or below zero for at least four consecutive days on 27 occasions in the Twin Cities from 1873 to 2014. The longest streak is seven days from January 1-7, 1912. For the number of consecutive hours that the temperature has stayed at or below zero, the 1912 stretch is the longest at 186 hours. The last time there was a stretch that lasted longer than 4 days was 142 hours in 1994. More recent stretches include 86 hours from 11pm January 12, 2009 to 1pm January 16, 2009 and 93 hours from 5pm January 31, 1996 to 1pm February 4, 1996. How long would a stretch of zero or below weather be to make the top ten list? The mercury would have to stay at or below zero for at least FOUR full calendar days to have a chance of making the list..."


Coldest Modern-Day Highs In The Twin Cities. The all-time record for coldest maximum temperatures is -20F in 1888. In 1996 MSP experienced a high of -17F. We may come close to these extreme values on Monday. Graphic: WeatherNation TV.


Coldest Days In Chicago. The Windy City will come very close to setting a record for one of the 3 coldest days every observed in modern-day records, according to NOAA records. Graphic: WeatherNation TV.


Subzero Streaks In Chicago. This may wind up being a Top 10 Subzero Event for Chicago, possibly the longest streak below zero since 1996. Source: NOAA.


Tundra-Bowl. Although not the coldest NFL game ever played, Sunday's game should be entertaining (to watch), with wind chills in Green Bay forecast to drop as low as -35. Expect both Green Bay and the 49'ers to focus on their running game.


Windchill, Temperature, And The Coldest Games In NFL History. Here's a timely recap of some of the coldest NFL games every played, courtesy of the Green Bay office of the National Weather Service: "Let's briefly take a look at some of the coldest games in NFL History with respect to temperature and wind chill values. The chart (above) shows the top 15 coldest NFL games based on the actual air temperature (degrees F) around game time.  As you can see, based on the actual air temperature, the top two coldest games were the 1967 Ice Bowl (Cowboys vs Packers) and the 1982 Freezer Bowl (Chargers vs Bengals). Although the 1967 Ice Bowl was colder based on the actual temperature, some have argued that the 1982 Freezer Bowl was actually the colder of the two games because the winds were stronger during the game, thereby creating lower windchill values.  Let's take a closer look at these two nasty weather playoff games with respect to temperature and wind chill..."


35 F. high early Saturday in the Twin Cities.

24 F. average high on January 4.

30 F. high on January 4, 2013.

Trace of snow fell yesterday.

6" snow on the ground at MSP.


TODAY: Windchill Warning. Dangerously cold with some sun. Feels like -35F. High: -10

SUNDAY NIGHT: Windchill Warning. Frigid - high risk of frostbite and hypothermia. Low: -26

MONDAY: Windchill Warning. Records break. Feels like -55F. High: -15

TUESDAY: More sun, not quite as brutal. Wake-up: -21. High: -5

WEDNESDAY: Happy to see zero. Few flakes. Wake-up: -14. High: 3

THURSDAY: Blue sky, emerge from hibernation. Wake-up: -6. High: 12

FRIDAY: Patchy clouds, above average. Wake-up: 8. High: 25

SATURDAY: January Thaw. Dripping icicles! Wake-up: 17. High: 33

Mild Bias Into Next Week (21" rain reported in South Boulder, Colorado - more details on an historic flood)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: September 16, 2013 - 10:42 PM
 

Hot Tea Alert

"Man plans, God laughs".

That's especially true when traveling by air, but I have a solution: only fly on sunny days.

Last week my flight to Baltimore was delayed 3 hours when lightning struck the control tower at BWI. Flying home yesterday I was dozing contently when clear air turbulence dumped hot tea into my crotch. Pain, then an oddly refreshing sensation.

Sorry for the visual.

My point: in spite of all our computers, gizmos & redundancies you can't push the weather. Summer T-storms trigger more airline delays than winter snow & ice, especially over southern and eastern states. The only thing you can do to lower the risk of getting delayed or cancelled is fly in the morning, before instability T-storms have a chance to pop up and wreak havoc.

Fall is in the air, but summer isn't through with us yet. Highs may hit 80F tomorrow, again early next week. Midweek dew points reach the sticky upper 60s before a cleansing breath of cooler, drier, Canadian air arrives by Friday & Saturday.

And yes, it's perfectly acceptable to wear a light jacket over your shorts. Expect more wardrobe confusion ahead.

The best chance of rain comes Thursday, followed by a dry, lukewarm weekend. Models show a few more 80s into early October.


A Little Close For Comfort. Morning temperatures dipped into the upper 20s over much of northern Minnesota and Wisconsin Monday morning - another frost is possible early today. If you missed a frost the past couple of nights odds are you'll stay frost-free thru the end of the week. Map above from the Twin Cities National Weather Service.


Above Average. ECMWF guidance shows 70s the next 3 days, followed by a brief late week cooling trend - Friday the coolest day in sight. Highs may approach 80F again by Sunday, a mild bias into much of next week as well. Showery rains, even some thunder, is possible Thursday, but no soakings are in sight yet. Graph: weatherspark.com.


Tracking Ingrid - And A Showery Swirl Into The Midwest. The 4 km. NAM shows showers and possible T-showers sprouting along the leading edge of warmer air pushing north across the Plains into the Midwest. Colorado (finally) dries out a bit, while the soggy remains of Hurricane Ingrid push into Mexico, a few heavy rain bands brushing far southern Texas. Animation: NOAA and Ham Weather.


Historic Flooding Across Colorado. You only get so much from the written word, statistics and numbers. After seeing some of the photos in this piece from The Atlantic you get a much better sense of the scope of this flooding disaster: "Over the past few days, a 4,500-square-mile area across Colorado's Front Range has been hit by devastating floods, leaving at least six dead, forcing thousands to evacuate, and destroying thousands of homes and farms. Record amounts of rainfall generated flash floods that tore up roads and lines of communication, leaving many stranded, and hundreds still listed as missing. Evacuations are still underway as weather conditions have improved slightly. Forecasters predict drier weather by mid-week. Gathered here are recent images of the devastation in Colorado."

Photo credit above: "A raging waterfall destroys a bridge along Highway 34 toward Estes Park, Colorado, as flooding devastates the Front Range and thousands were forced to evacuate, on September 13, 2013." (AP Photo/Colorado Heli-Ops, Dennis Pierce).

* In Longmont, Colorado they're already calling this a 1 in 500 year flood.


Flood Transforms Colorado's "Gore-Tex Vortex". Here's a clip from The AP and KUSA-TV in Denver: "The cars that normally clog Main Street in Lyons on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park have been replaced by military supply trucks. Shop owners in Estes Park hurriedly cleared their wares in fear that the Big Thompson River will rise again. A plywood sign encouraged residents mucking out their homes to "Hang in there."Days of rain and floods have transformed the outdoorsy mountain communities in Colorado's Rocky Mountain foothills affectionately known "The Gore-Tex Vortex" from a paradise into a disaster area with little in the way of supplies or services - and more rain falling Sunday. The string of communities from Boulder to Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, is a base for backpackers and nature lovers where blue-collar and yuppie sensibilities exist side by side. Now, roadways have crumbled, scenic bridges are destroyed, the site of the bluegrass festival is washed out and most shops are closed..."

* Map above, courtesy of NOAA, shows 21.13" of rain in the last 7 days in falling on South Boulder.


Historic Flooding Continues To Ravage Colorado. It was the Perfect Storm for the Front Range. Stalled synoptic-scale storm near Salt Lake City, turning on an extended 5-6 day "fetch" of tropical moisture originating from the eastern Pacific with record precipitable water values - combined with a stubborn upslope flow that created wave after wave of heavy rain. "Atmospheric Rivers" are thought to pose the greatest risk to California, but there's no reason why a river of excessive moisture can't set up from southwest to northeast, as it did late last week. Today's Climate Matters segment looks at the Colorado Flood; natural weather enhanced by strange twists and turns in the jet stream (and more water vapor) that may be a direct result of a slowly warming climate.


Flood-Ravaged Boulder, Colorado Sets Annual Rainfall Record. This takes weather whiplash to a whole new extreme. Here's a clip of Climate Central story from meteorologist Andrew Freedman, with some remarkable rainfall statistics: "...With 30.12 inches of rain and counting, more than half of which fell since Sept. 9, the city has already eclipsed its previous mark of 29.93 inches, set in 1995. Boulder's average yearly precipitation (rain and melted frozen precipitation) is 20.68 inches. The record is especially noteworthy since before Sept. 9, Boulder, along with much of eastern Colorado, was still mired in long-term drought conditions..."

Graphic credit above: "So much rain fell since Sept. 9 that Boulder, Colo., went from having one of its driest years on record to its wettest." Credit: Dennis Adams-Smith/Climate Central.


5-Day Rainfall. NOAA HPC prints out heavy rains for coastal Texas, a 1-2"+ smear of rain from near Kansas City to Davenport, more heavy showers and T-storms for south Florida. The Pacific Northwest sees a healthy soaking, while much of the Southwest stays dry.


Colorado Floods: Death Toll Climbs As Hundreds Still Stuck. The Denver Post has a town by town update on historic flooding still underway - it will take months, if not years for some of these communities to return to some sense of normalcy. Here's an excerpt: "As many as 1,000 Larimer County residents remain trapped by washed-out roads in mountain canyons after helicopters set to rescue them were grounded by rain and fog Sunday. "Mother Nature is not cooperating," said Shane DelGrosso, one of two Type II incident commanders who are assisting the county with coordination of local, state and federal rescue efforts. Saturday, 475 people were evacuated by air and taken to shelters in the county. Two 80-person urban search and rescue teams will arrive Monday and begin house-to-house searches around Estes Park, where the only passable route in and out of town is Colorado 7..."

Photo credit above: "The eastbound lane of 9th Ave collapsed near Fordham St in Longmont, CO September 15, 2013. Evacuations are underway Sunday morning in some Longmont neighborhoods because the St. Vrain River is rising quickly." (Photo By Craig F. Walker / The Denver Post).

* Only 22,000 homes and businesses in Colorado have flood insurance, roughly 10-25% of people living in high risk flood zones have coverage. This will compound the disaster for survivors according to USA Today.


NWS Says Flooding "Historically Significant". No kidding. Here are more details from The Boulder County Business Report: "Is this week's flooding in Boulder County a 100-year event? Five hundred? One thousand? Jim Keeney, weather program manager for the National Weather Service's Central Region, said the NWS hasn't made a determination because flooding is still rampant along Colorado's Front Range. But he did offer one comparison to lend some perspective on Friday. The Big Thompson River flood of 1976 has long been a sort of benchmark for flooding in the region. That flood crested at 9.31 feet in the town of Drake. The flooding that slammed the foothills and Front Range this year crested at 10.55' Friday morning..."

Photo credit above: "A house lays completely demolished in what was the path of the recent floods that have destroyed the town of Jamestown, Colo., on Sunday Sept. 14, 2013. No one has been able to access the town until late Sunday afternoon when crews finalized repairs of the upper portion of the road for emergency traffic only. The town has no infrastructure or running water. Some parts of town amazingly enough have electricity. A dozen or so residents stayed as most of the town was evacuated by helicopters." (AP Photo/ The Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)


What We Learned From Vermont's Epic Flood. CNN has the story - here's a snippet: "...From that emergency response, we learned a few critical lessons that I offer for our counterparts in Colorado:

Sleep and eat. This flood emergency response will continue for many weeks. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and you and your staff can only be helpful if you take care of your own basic needs.

Ask for help. Many folks want to help, including experts who are prepared to pitch in at a moment's notice. Take some time to think carefully about where you could use the extra boots on the ground and ask for assistance.

Communicate. The first casualty of a crisis is information. Make sure you have the facts before you act. Talk to the folks in the field. Share relevant information with the emergency response directors. Let the public know what you know through updates and guidance from your experts. You cannot communicate too much..."

File photo credit above: "Water from the Connecticut River floods Route 5 in Westminster, Vt. Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, after Tropical Storm Irene moved through the area over the weekend." (AP Photo/The Brattleboro Reformer, Zachary P. Stephens).


Ingrid Fizzles. Once-hurricane Ingrid should weaken rapidly today as it pushes into Mexico; some of the outer bands brushing far southern Texas (Brownsville area) with heavy rain and 30 mph wind gusts. More details from NOAA: "Monday morning (9/16/2013), the NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center indicated that Tropical Storm Ingrid continues to move farther inland from the eastern coast of Mexico, centered at midday about 25 miles west of La Pesco. A Tropical Storm Warning continues along the coast of Mexico from La Cruz northward to Rio San Fernando. Maximum sustained winds are 60 mph. Ingrid is forecast to weaken to a depression later today and dissipate on Tuesday. These rains are likely to produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides."


Fogbow. When it's time to graduate from just-another-rainbow. Details from WeatherNation TV: "Here's a cool weather phenomenon! This photo was taken in Cloquet, MN. Fog bows are similar to rainbows, except due to a smaller droplet size, white is the color reflected to the eye instead of the normal ROYGBIV. Photo from Jason Hollinday via NWS Duluth, MN."


From Crankstarting To Charging: Why Tesla's Model S Is The Model T Of Our Time. Here's a clip from a long and excellent article about Tesla, redefining the meaning of disruptive innovation, courtesy of Digital Trends: "What is the future of the automobile? One hundred years ago, America was in the midst of a mobility revolution as the Ford Model T put the nation on wheels for the first time. Today, we’re seeing the next era of mobility begin to unfold, and much of the credit goes to that EV icon, the Tesla Model S. After more than a century of driving gasoline and diesel-powered cars, hybrids and fully electric vehicles are finally beginning to chip away at the market share of their fossil-fueled forefathers. So what has a century of progress wrought? I recently had the chance to get two revolutionary cars – a 1913 Ford Model T and a 2013 Tesla Model S – together at the same time to see where we’ve been and where we’re headed. While electric vehicles today seem like something from a science fiction future, the truth is they’re as old as cars themselves..."


The iPhone's Secret Flights From China To Your Local Apple Store. Apple flies chartered 777's from China, each one loaded with 400,000+ iPhones. Who knew? Here's an excerpt of a fascinating tale from Bloomberg: "As Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled new iPhones yesterday, a complex operation had already kicked into gear behind the scenes to send millions of the handsets to store shelves worldwide. The process starts in China, where pallets of iPhones are moved from factories in unmarked containers accompanied by a security detail. The containers are then loaded onto trucks and shipped via pre-bought airfreight space, including on old Russian military transports. The journey ends in stores where the world's biggest technology company makes constant adjustments based on demand, said people who have worked on Apple's logistics and asked not to be identified because the process is secret..."

Photo credit above: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg. "Boxes of Apple Inc. iPhones are stacked in a London store."


Texas A&M - Alabama: Inside College Football's Supercharged Economy. If you had any doubt that college football is BIG business, check out this story at TIME Magazine's Keeping Score Blog; here's an excerpt: "...Still, no scene captured the perks of college football quite like College Station on Saturday. Games like Bama-A&M deliver psychic benefits to guys like Robinson, publicity benefits to Texas A&M, economic benefits to everyone from sponsors to shirt-sellers to the port-o-potty operators. Thanks to Manziel, a polarizing figure who was accused of accepting money for signing autographs — Texas A&M and the NCAA cleared him — this was one of the most highly anticipated regular season games in years. According to one study, a season’s worth of Texas A&M home games delivers $86 million in sales to Brazos County, where College Station sits.  The people who deliver the actual product everyone is all excited about — the players — deserve the right to earn more. An athletic scholarship, no doubt, is sweet. But College Station on Saturday resembled any insane NFL game, rock concert or NASCAR event in size and scope. It’s a commercialized carnival. In a fairer world, the college entertainers — just like the NFL players, the rock stars, and the NASCAR drivers — get a fairer cut..."

Photo credit above: Todd Spoth for TIME. "Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel walks with his teammates onto the field for warm ups prior to an NCAA football game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the University of Alabama Crimson Tide."

67 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday, after a morning low of 44 F.

72 F. average high on September 16.

80 F. high on September 16, 2012.

+1.6 F Meteorological summer (June thru August) was 1.6 F. warmer than average at MSP.

+3.5 F. Temperature anomaly during meteorological summer, 2012.


 
 

TODAY: Partly sunny, high and mid level clouds increase during the afternoon. Winds: S 15. High: 71

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy and milder - chance of a shower or T-shower. Low: 60

 

WEDNESDAY: Warmer, stray shower or T-shower possible. Dew point: 64. High: 79

 

THURSDAY: Sticky, few T-storms. Dew point: 68. Wake-up: 67. High: 77

 

FRIDAY: Partly sunny, breezy and less humid. Dew point: 43. Wake-up: 55. High: 69

 

SATURDAY: Cool start. Sunny and pleasant.. Wake-up: 47. High: 73

 

SUNDAY: Sunny and warmer. Hit the lake? Wake-up: 58. High: near 80

 

MONDAY: Fading sun, late T-showers possible. Wake-up: 60. High: 79

Climate Stories...

Why Did Colorado See Historic Flooding? Natural weather patterns, turbocharged by an unusual jet stream feature that caused a storm to stall for the better part of 5-6 days + record amounts of tropical moisture flowing from the eastern Pacific across Mexico into Colorado. Did climate change make the floods worse? Probably. Here's a clip from Peter Sinclair at Climate Denial Crock Of The Week: "...blocking pattern has set up over the western United States, drawing a conveyor belt of tropical moisture north from coastal Mexico. Blocking patterns form when the jet stream slows to a crawl, and weather patterns get stuck in place. When all that warm, wet air hit the Rocky Mountains, it had nowhere to go but up, pushed further skyward by the mountains themselves. By some measurements, the atmosphere at the time of the heaviest rains was the among most soaked it has ever been in Colorado. Gauge measurements show floodwaters in Colorado have now exceeded the legendary Big Thompson Canyon Flood of 1976, the flood of record for the region. In downtown Boulder, a meandering creek expanded 40-fold in just a few hours..."

Photo credit above: occuworld.org.


Temperature Chart For The Last 11,000 Years. Here's an excerpt from a post at kottke.org: "For the first time, researchers have put together all the climate data they have (from ice cores, coral, sediment drilling) into one chart that shows the "global temperature reconstruction for the last 11,000 years" The climate curve looks like a "hump". At the beginning of the Holocene - after the end of the last Ice Age - global temperature increased, and subsequently it decreased again by 0.7 ° C over the past 5000 years. The well-known transition from the relatively warm Medieval into the "little ice age" turns out to be part of a much longer-term cooling, which ended abruptly with the rapid warming of the 20th Century. Within a hundred years, the cooling of the previous 5000 years was undone..."


Environmental Consequences Of Fracking. If you're interested in learning more about fracking and the impact on the environment I encourage you to attend this evening's meeting of the Minnehaha Chapter of the Izaak Walton League at 7 PM this evening. The presenter is Matt Norton, Campaign Director at the Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP). The location: Linden Hills Recreation Center, 3100 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408.


Encouraging Results Seen In First Nationwide Look At Gas Leaks From Drilling Boom. There are still many unanswered questions about the long-term environmental safety of hydraulic fracture, or "fracking", including possible negative impacts on groundwater and a potential link between injecting water and chemicals deep underground, as well as a rash of recent (small) earth tremors near drilling sites. But recent papers suggest methane leakage from fracking may not be as bad as previously thought. The jury is still out, but the process is still considerably cleaner than coal. Here's an excerpt of an Andrew Revkin post at The New York Time's Dot Earth: "...The analysis, led by David T. Allen and other energy and environment researchers at the University of Texas, finds that estimates of methane escaping from gas drilling made by the Environmental Protection Agency are fairly accurate, over all, while those from industry critics and some indirect studies of leakage (from aerial measurements, for example) appear far too high. A comprehensive package of background on the research has been posted by the university. While the researchers found that emissions from a critical stage of well construction — “completions” — are far lower than regulators had estimated, they pinpointed an important under-appreciated source of escaping gas — pneumatic devices powered by the pressure of the extracted natural gas..."


The 5 Stages Of Climate Denial Are On Display Ahead Of The IPCC Report. The Guardian has the story - here's a clip: "...Just in the past week we've seen:

Interestingly, these pieces spanned nearly the full spectrum of the 5 stages of global warming denial.

Stage 1: Deny the Problem Exists

Often when people are first faced with an inconvenient problem, the immediate reaction involves denying its existence. For a long time climate contrarians denied that the planet was warming. Usually this involves disputing the accuracy of the surface temperature record, given that the data clearly indicate rapid warming..."

50s in December?

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: December 2, 2012 - 5:54 PM

No December For You

By Todd Nelson

Are you as weirded out by this weather as I am? I mean, come on... 50s in December, what gives?

A nearly stationary and powerful Pacific storm is responsible for our late October/early November like weather as of late. The record high for today's date is 62F and we should fall short of that mark, but looking back through past Decembers, since 2000, I could only count a +50F high only 3 times; 2011, 2006 and 2004.

Upper level winds have been consistently blowing in from the west. This mild Pacific or zonal flow will get a little nudge north today as an approaching storm system rides along the international border. Even after the cold front passes later today, Tuesday's 'colder' temperatures will still be warmer than normal average high. In fact, I don't see us going below average until maybe the end of the week.

I, probably like many other, have the shovels at the ready and the snow blower all gased up. Though I still don't see whopper storm system brewing, models are hinting at a little more substantial shot at something by the end of the week/weekend ahead. Until then, enjoy winter-lite. Minnesota weather will likely return soon! -Todd Nelson

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Todd's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin CIties and all of Minnesota:

 

MONDAY: Brief shower?Turning colder later. High: 54 (by midday, then falling) Winds: S, then WNW 10-20

MONDAY: Breezy and cooler. Low: 32

TUESDAY: Cool breezy, more PM sun. High: 41

WEDNESDAY: Jacket weather. Clouds increase, light wintry mix late? Low: 21. High: 36

THURSDAY: AM wintry mix, more PM sun. Low: 31. High: 43

FRIDAY: Fading PM sun, PM flurries?. Low: 26. High: 33

SATURDAY: Cloudy with light snow late. Low: 18. High: 31.

SUNDAY: Sun/cloud mix with light snow. Low: 24. High: 30.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Somewhat Soggy and Foggy Sunday

I had to work the early shift on Sunday, so the drive into work at 4am wasn't the greatest... in fact, it was a bit nerve wracking. I wasn't a big fan of driving on the highway with extremely low visibility. It was almost hypnotic, staring into the abyss, watching the white lines whizz past. I snapped this shot earlier Sunday... the low fog layer opened up enough to get a quick glimpse of the near full moon.

 

 

 

Sunday Sunshine or No Sunshine

Look at how close the clearing line was to the Twin Cities Sunday afternoon... If you were northeast of the yellow through the day Sunday, you more than likely had a pretty gloomy day. Southwest of that line, the sun popped out and temperatures warmed close to 60F... remind me what month it is again.

 

 

 

Sunday Afternoon Temperatures

It's hard to see in the map below, but temperatures across southwest Minnesota on Sunday afternoon warmed into the low 60s. Marshall, MN reported a 61F temp by 2pm, while temperatures in the Twin Cities were only in the 30s.

 

 
 
Classic Warm Front
 
This is a pretty classic warm front setup... cool, cloudy and foggy north of the warm front and warm/sunny south of the warm front. Unfortunately that setup right over the Twin Cities so folks in the metro didn't see much sun.
 
 
 
December Rain?
 
As a storm system slides along/north of the international border today, it'll drag Pacific moisture along with it. Doesn't it seem weird to be talking about the potential for rain on the 3rd of December? Even though the graphic below looks pretty wild, Monday isn't expected to be a washout. However, there could be a few isolated t-storms near Chicago, which could beef up rainfall just a little bit.
 
 
Monday Rainfall Potential
 
NOAA's HPC 1 day precipitation across the nation shows this weak disturbance across the Upper Mississippi Valley with light precipitation potential, but it also shows addtional precipitation potential across the West Coast.
 
 
 
5 Day Precipitation Forecast
 
For those along the West Coast, the constant barrage of heavy Pacific moisture isn't over just yet. The 5 day precipitation forecst brings in another +5" for some... some of which may be in the form of snow across the higher elevations.
 
 
 
Heavy California Rain
 
 
"Grass Valley, Brunswick Basin. The area was formerly known as Olympia Lake. Photo by Daniel Swartzendruber"
 
 
California Rainfall Totals
 
Here are some of the NWS Mesonet observations of precipitation totals over northern California. See more HERE:
 
 
 
Atmospheric River - California Flooding?
 
This is kind of a timely story from scientificamerican.com, read more HERE:
 
"DROWNED: A 43-day atmospheric-river storm in 1861 turned California’s Central Valley region into an inland sea, simulated here on a current-day map."
 
"Geologic evidence shows that truly massive floods, caused by rainfall alone, have occurred in California about every 200 years. The most recent was in 1861, and it bankrupted the state.
Such floods were most likely caused by atmospheric rivers: narrow bands of water vapor about a mile above the ocean that extend for thousands of miles. Much smaller forms of these rivers regularly hit California, as well as the western coasts of other countries."
 
 
 
Vikings Lose at Lambeau
 
WNTV meteorologist Bryan Karrick made his annual trip to Lambeau field for the "Border Battle" (Vikings vs. Packers) on Sunday. We happened to corrdinate and capture Bryan on the Lambeau tailgate webcam.
 
 
 
Extended Snowfall Potential
 
The long range "192 hour fantasyland" GFS forecast suggests a better potential of light snow accumulations by some point late week/weekend.
 
 
Highs Monday - Very Warm December 3rd
 
Take a look at the forecast highs across the nation on Monday.... much of the central part of the country will be nearly 15F to 25F warmer than normal and near records in spots!
 
 
Highs From Normal Monday
 
It's pretty remarkable to see much of the nation well above average...
 
 
 
Thanks for checking in, have a great week ahead.
 
Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV
 

 

Driest September since 1882 (blue sky, no rain thru Sunday)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: September 25, 2012 - 10:23 PM

68 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.

68 F. average high for September 25.

67 F. high on September 25, 2011.

No rain predicted thru Sunday.

 

107 days above 70 F. in Duluth in 2012, a new record. Monday's high of 73 F. broke the old record of 106 days above 70, set in 1955. Source: Duluth News Tribune. Average number of days above 70 for KDLH? 85. Image: Wikipedia.

 

$1 billion. The amount of money that reportedly changed hands (legal gambling) as a result of Monday night's blown call against the Green Bay Packers. Source: ESPN. Photo credit: wrapupp.com.

 

Driest September Since 1882. We've picked up a paltry .30" rain so far this month, nearly 2.5" less than average, to date. Only 1882 was drier (.27" for the month). So unless something changes between now and Sunday this should wind up being the second driest September in modern day records. Source: Minnesota Climate Office.

 

Supernaturally Dry. Second driest September on record for the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota, and it looks like October will at least get off to a dry start. 60s today and Thursday, then back into the 70s from Friday into next Tuesday, the ECMWF model hinting at a stray shower Monday from a passing clipper (better chance of showers over Wisconsin).

 

Drier Than Normal. The 84-hour NAM model prints out a narrow band of showers across the Ohio River Valley into Pennsylvania, spreading into southern New England by Thursday morning.  Scattered T-showers pop up frm Florida into Texas by the end of the week, while the west stays dry and hot.

 

"...Climate change is accelerating. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) has risen by 31% since 1750 and is now at the highest concentration seen in the last 420,000 years..." - from a Huffington Post story below.

 

"...The future points to intense, less frequent precipitation; and wetter winters and springs, along with drier summers, Jarchow said. “We are seeing more events like 3 inches (of precipitation) followed by long periods of no rain, compared to spread-out rainfalls. That requires much adjustment,” she said..." - from a story at The Yankton Press & Dakotan; details and links below.

 

How Hot Was It? (part 2). If a picture tells a thousands words, then I've just run out of reasons to keep typing. Here is a collection of photos that sum up the relentless, at times unbearable heat of the Summer of 2012. Thanks to Gary Botzek from capitolconnections.com.

 

NOAA's Main Weather Satellite Goes Offline Amidst Hurricane Season. GOES-13 began vibrating and then went dead. Another geosynchronous weather satellite is being positioned to take its place - forecasters hoping there are no big hurricanes in the Atlantic in the interim. Here's a good summary of where things stand from Think Progress: "In the midst of the very active North Atlantic hurricane season, the main weather satellite scientists use for keeping tabs on the weather across eastern North America and the Atlantic Ocean has gone offline. [Climate Central] A San Diego County brush fire that has already destroyed 20 homes and damaged 10 others continued to threaten an additional 80 homes, officials said. [Los Angeles Times] Forty-seven Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing Speaker John Boehner to eliminate the wind production tax credit, a tax break that has split Republicans and drawn criticism from presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. [Reuters]"

 

Using Polar-Orbiting Satellite Data To Help Fill In The Gaps During A GOES-13 Outage. Yes, satellite data has been wonky in recent days; there's an explanation - here's an excerpt from the CIMSS Satellite Blog from The University of Wisconsin: "The GOES-13 (GOES-East) satellite suffered anomalies that forced it to be placed into standby mode late in the day (at 21:22 UTC) on 23 September 2012 (NOAA NESDIS notification message). The GOES-15 (GOES-West) satellite was then placed into Full Disk scan mode, supplying images to cover as much of the eastern US and adjacent offshore waters as possible at 30-minute intervals. During the GOES-13 outage, satellite imagery viewed in AWIPS on the “CONUS” scale did not display the complete full disk scan information from GOES-15, resulting in large areas with no data over the southeastern and eastern US (note: the full GOES-15 scan sector is available when viewed on the AWIPS “North America” scale, but the data resolution is degraded due to the very large satellite viewing angle)."

 

Weather Service Warns That 1938-Type Hurricane Could Someday Devastate Massachusetts. Meteorologists are concerned about a growing sense of apathy, an "it can't happen here" mentality, especially over coastal New England. Here's an excerpt of an ominous article at boston.com: "If a storm similar to the Great New England Hurricane of 1938 were to strike again, communities in Buzzards Bay could be devastated, according to a computerized model developed by the National Weather Service. “It’s beautiful to live at the coast, that’s for sure, but one of these days it’s going to get us,” said Glenn Field, warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service in Taunton. The SLOSH, or Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes, model was used to simulate a Category 3 hurricane traveling at 60 miles per hour, similar to the 1938 storm, moving through Narragansett Bay, just west of Buzzards Bay, Field said."

Photo credit above: "Could this happen again someday? The 1938 hurricane left the heart of Providence…" (Associated Press )

 

Concerns Grow As Tsunami Debris Continues To Arrive In U.S. The forecast calls for...debris? Here's an excerpt from Stars and Stripes: "HONOLULU — Concern is growing about the potential effects on the environment and on boating as more tsunami debris from Japan reaches Hawaii and the western coast of Canada and the United States. Japanese officials confirmed Friday that a container fished out of the ocean Wednesday off Windward Oahu between the Makai Research Pier and Rabbit Island was tsunami debris. The 4-foot-tall blue bin was spotted floating 150 yards offshore. It was encrusted with crabs and barnacles and contained dead birds. In addition, officials continued to look Friday for a floating concrete dock, about 50 by 30 feet, reported by Maui fishermen and last seen Wednesday afternoon about 15 miles northwest of Molokai."

Photo credit above: "In this Sept. 19, 2012 file photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, a worker removes barnacles and other marine life from the bottom of a large blue plastic bin in Honolulu. There were no foreign plant or animal species on the bin, the first confirmed piece of marine debris from last year's tsunamis in Japan to arrive in Hawaii." (AP Photo/Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources, File)

 

This School-Bus-Sized-Satellite Will Deliver Insanely Accurate Weather Reports. The data may be insanely accurate - let's hope it leads to a noticeable improvement in forecast accuracy. It's not always a direct line from A to B. And any improvements will probably be limited to Europe, but having better "eyes in the sky" benefits a global community of weather consumers, no question. Here's an excerpt of a story at Gizmodo.com: "Europe will receive nearly infallible weather data thanks to this trio of school bus-sized spacecraft, and the EU saves £4.5 billion in weather-related damage annually. This is what the atmosphere will look like in HD. The satellite MetOp-B, which launched yesterday, is part of a 3.2 billion Euro joint venture between the European Space Agency and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT)."

 

Dropsondes - Work Horses In Hurricane Forecasting. These little instruments that drop (via parachute) into hurricanes send back vital data to NHC forecasters. The National Science Foundation (NSF) has a good article about how they work; here's an excerpt: "Small cylinders dropped from airplanes gather atmospheric data on their way down. Inside a cylinder that is about the size of a roll of paper towels lives a circuit board filled with sensors. It's called a dropsonde, or "sonde" for short. It's a work horse of hurricane forecasting, dropping out of "Hurricane Hunter" airplanes right into raging storms. As the sonde falls through the air, its sensors gather data about the atmosphere to help us better understand climate and other atmospheric conditions. "Dropsondes have a huge impact on our understanding of hurricanes and our ability to predict hurricanes," explains electrical engineer Terry Hock at the Earth Observing Laboratory in the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), located in Boulder, Colo." Photo: NCAR.

 

Curiosity's Weather Report From Mars Reveals "Truly Enormous" Daily Atmospheric Pressure Swings. Oh, to be a weatherguy on Mars. Here's a snippet from a fascinating story about weather extremes on the surface of Mars from phys.org: "...Over the last 35 years, a total of four NASA probes had reached the Martian surface and returned weather data. "These earlier observations had shown a large daily cycle in temperature and air pressure on Mars. The atmospheric temperature near the surface of Mars generally varies by more than 100 F. between day and night because of the overall thinner Martian atmosphere and lack of oceans and their moderating influence," says Hamilton."

Photo credit above: "Image of a dust storm on Mars from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter." Credit: Jet Propulsion Lab.

 

WeatherTalk: Russian Research Station In Antarctica Records Minus 129 F. Good grief. Remind me not to complain about -20 F. ever again. Details from Fargo/Moorhead's inforum.com: "Antarctica is by far the coldest area on the planet. The coldest temperature recorded on Earth was recorded at Vostok, the Russian Antarctica research station in July 1983, when the temperature plunged to minus 129 degrees. That same station, just last week, recorded a low temperature of minus 119 degrees on Sept. 16. That was very close to the coldest temperature recorded on earth during the month of September of minus 122 degrees at that very same site."

 

A Finger In The Wind: Forecasters Of Yesteryear. Yes, I have my bootleg copy of the Farmers' Almanac in my (locked) desk drawer - always fun and informative to see their predictions for the upcoming season. Hey, I'm not ruling anything out - and neither should you. The more data points the better. Here's an excerpt of an article that provides some historical context with weather forecasting thru the ages: "From the beginning of time, weather and the forecasting of it have affected the course of history. Accordingly, the quest to understand, forecast, and adequately communicate conditions in a timely manner has consumed civilization in one form or another for hundreds and even thousands of years. Based on Aristotle’s treatise on earth sciences Meteorologica, the name “meteorology” has come to mean the science of the atmosphere and weather. But long before the Greeks delved into the tenuous world of weather observation and prognostication, ancient Babylonians—among the earliest weather forecasters—had learned enough about the subject to write “when a cloud grows dark in heaven, a wind will blow,” opening the door to exploration and discovery."

 

"Ask Paul". Weather-related Q&A:

Paul - 

Just took a look at the Fall Colors map on the DNR site and it seems like they've actually bumped the Ft. Snelling percentages back down to 25-50%. This essentially has removed all portions of the metro from that 50-75% back down to the 25-50%. Not sure why the 'downgrade' in percentage. 

You can really see the 'spotchiness' on the map now as a handful of state parks are reporting 75-100% color.

Jon deJong

Weather Data Performance Manager @ Telvent

 

Jon - I see what you mean. Baffling. The latest Minnesota DNR fall foliage map is here. Colors are peaking north of St. Cloud and from Crosby to Aitkin - more intense color along the North Shore of Lake Superior and the International Falls area. Thanks for the note.

 

 

Another Perfect Day. Getting sick of this? Me neither. Although a little rain would be nice to break the San Diego-like monotony. Under a sunny sky with a few cirrus clouds streaking overhead highs ranged from 53 at International Falls to 67 St. Cloud, 68 Twin Cities to 73 at Redwood Falls.

 

 

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


TODAY: What else? Sunny, comfortable. Winds: N 10. High: 65

 

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clear and cool. Low: 44

 

THURSDAY: Blue sky, beautiful. High: 69

 

FRIDAY: Lot's of sun, a bit milder. Low: 48. High: 72

 

SATURDAY: We're in a drought. Still sunny - still dry. Low: 51. High: 75

 

SUNDAY: Yawn. Yep, still sunny. Light winds. Low: 53. High: 74

 

MONDAY: A few clouds? Wisconsin shower possible. Low: 54. High: 75

 

TUESDAY: One more time Paul: "sunny & mild". Low: 57. high: 78

 

 

Only 1882 Was Drier

Let's review state capitals and fantasy football pics...and give thanks we didn't take a part-time NFL referee gig. Ouch. There's no "weather" out there, and won't be looking out more than a week.

This is why I plead with atmospherically-challenged June brides to consider late September for that "little outdoor wedding for 350 people". The odds are in your favor.

The Force is with you.

Spring comes earlier (most years), and autumns tend to be super-sized now; weather since 2000 consistently warm enough for golf as late as November. If you need dry weather for an outdoor bash, odds of quiet, dry, sunny weather are much higher in autumn than spring or summer. Especially during a drought.

I'm enjoying a lukewarm blue sky just as much as the next guy, but I agree with NOAA: our drought will, in all probability, get worse in the months to come. I don't see a drop of rain for most towns thru the end of next week.

Cool 60s today give way to 70s from Friday into Tuesday of next week.

Sketchy long-range model guidance is hinting at some rain the first weekend of October. At .30 inches, this will be the driest September since 1882; second driest on record.

Let it rain.

 

Climate Stories...

 

NASA: Arctic Cyclone Breaks Up Sea Ice. A series of major storms accelerated Arctic ice loss during August and September; more details in this excerpt from Staple News: "Watch how the winds of a large Arctic cyclone broke up the thinning sea ice cover of the Arctic Ocean in early August 2012. The storm likely contributed to the ice cap's shrinking to the smallest recorded extent in the past three decades. The frozen cap of the Arctic Ocean likely reached its annual summertime minimum extent and broke a new record low on Sept. 16, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado in Boulder has reported. Analysis of satellite data by NASA and the NASA-supported NSIDC showed that the sea ice extent shrunk to 1.32 million square miles (3.41 million square kilometers), or 293,000 square miles less than the previous lowest extent in the satellite record, set in mid-September, 2007."

 

Ice-Free Arctic Is "Uncharted Territory." Here's an excerpt from Common Dreams: "UXBRIDGE, Canada - The melt of Arctic sea ice has reached its lowest point this year, shrinking 18 percent from last year’s near-record low. Summer ice this year is half what it was 30 years ago and is now affecting weather patterns. The massive declines in ice in recent summers have shocked scientists and Arctic experts. Some predict that in just a few years we will witness an event that hasn’t happened in millions of years: the complete loss of summer ice. “We are now in uncharted territory,” said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Colorado."

Graph above courtesy of JAXA: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Earth Observation Research Center.

 

Climate Change Adventure: The Arctic's Melting, So These Guys Sailed Across It. Amazing. The Atlantic has details of a cross-Arctic voyage that would not have been physically possible 10 years ago; here's an excerpt: "...For centuries European explorers searched for a passage unsuccessfully, until 1906 when an expedition led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen made it across. Since then, better boat and navigation technology have enabled more regular crossings, but the most northern routes have remained off-limits for all but the strongest, diesel-powered, extra-fortified, ice-breaking boats. Until this year, when three men made the complete Northwest crossing through the M'Clure strait (the northernmost of the direct routes) in the Belzebub II -- a sailboat with no fortification. Previously, the only boats that had made it through M'Clure were ice-breakers, and none had been able to complete the pass through Viscount Melville Sound after shooting through M'Clure. Usually only either the sound or the straight are open to boats, but not both at once..."

 

How To Relate Climate Extremes To Climate Change. Is there a connection? Here's a clip from a story at theenergycollective.com:

Trenberth: "The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be….

The air is on average warmer and moister than it was prior to about 1970 and in turn has likely led to a 5–10 % effect on precipitation and storms that is greatly amplified in extremes. The warm moist air is readily advected onto land and caught up in weather systems as part of the hydrological cycle, where it contributes to more intense precipitation events that are widely observed to be occurring."

Graphic credit above: "Seasonal Jun-Jul-Aug 2010 sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies relative to 1951–70. Record high SSTs were recorded in the locations and at the times indicated with record flooding nearby."

 

Undecided Voters Care About Global Warming, Report Finds. Here's an excerpt from Live Science: "Only about 7 percent of likely voters have not yet decided whether they will support Barack Obama or Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, a new national survey finds. But on the topic of climate change, at least, these undecideds look more like Obama supporters than Romney voters. Undecided voters are more likely than Romney voters to see climate change as an important issue, and their desire for government action approaches levels seen in Obama voters. What's more, undecideds are as likely as Obama supporters to believe that global warming is happening and that humans are causing it."

 

U.S. Needs Climate Change Plan, Carbon Tax, Says Sachs. Here's a clip from an article at bloomberg.com: "The U.S. needs a policy to address climate change and a plan to reduce emissions that may include a carbon tax and bonds, Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs said. “We have to make a technological transition that’s quite deep to new energy systems, new transport systems, more efficient buildings and that can be back loaded,” Sachs said to reporters today at Climate Week NYC in New York. The public needs a plan that isn’t just about electricity prices rising, said Sachs. “You can’t tell the public that our plan is cap-and-trade,” he said. “That’s not a plan, that’s frightening, that just means: our electricity prices are going up.”

 

USD Panel: "Climate Change Will Change Us." Here's another article that caught my eye, an excerpt of a story from The Yankton Press & Dakotan: "VERMILLION — At Monday’s forum, University of South Dakota panelists found global warming to be a very hot topic. “Global Warming: The Evidence Is In!” covered the scientific data pointing to global warming. But the panelists also acknowledged the political, social, economic and religious issues. Climate change will directly affect agriculture and the way an exploding world population is fed, according to Dr. Meghann Jarchow, assistant professor of Sustainability in the Department of Biology. The future points to intense, less frequent precipitation; and wetter winters and springs, along with drier summers, Jarchow said."

Photo credit above: "Dr. Meghann Jarchow, assistant professor of Sustainability, speaks about the challenges facing agriculture because of climate change during Monday’s international forum at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion." (Kelly Hertz/P&D)

 

"The Climate Clock Is Ticking". Bianca Jagger (yes, that Jagger) has a story at Huffington Post that caught my eye Tuesday; here's an excerpt: "...If you had told me twenty years ago that by 2012 global carbon emissions would have increased by around 50%, that 1 billion people in the world would be hungry, that fossil fuel subsidies would amount to $1 trillion a year, I would have been horrified. The science cannot be ignored. Climate change is accelerating. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) has risen by 31% since 1750 and is now at the highest concentration seen in the last 420,000 years. August 2012 was the fourth warmest such month on record worldwide. July 2012 was the hottest month on record for the continental US. In June 2012 monitoring stations in the Arctic showed the highest ever recorded concentrations of carbon dioxide, of over 400 ppm (parts per million). The rest of the world will soon follow suit. Between the 8th and the 12th of July 2012 the melted ice area in Greenland increased from the usual 40% to 97%: a 57% increase over the course of just four days. On 4 September, sea ice extent fell below four million sq km, a record low in the 33-year satellite record..."

 

"Utter Nonsense." 10 Scientists Who Have Criticized Fox's Climate Coverage. Media Matters has the story; here's the introduction: "An analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that 93 percent of Fox News' recent climate change coverage was misleading. Over the last two years, several leading scientists have told Media Matters the same thing, calling Fox's climate change stories "completely wrong," "patently false," and "utter nonsense." Here are ten scientists who have criticized Fox for distorting science to downplay the threat of climate change:

1. Scientist Called Fox's Global Warming Claims "Utter Nonsense."

Last summer, Fox News hosted global warming "expert" Joe Bastardi to claim that the human-induced climate change contradicts the 1st law of thermodynamics and Le Chatelier's Principle. Duke University scientist William Chameides called Bastardi's claims "utter nonsense," and the University of Chicago's David Archer said Fox is "wrong" to suggest that these basic principles negate the risks of climate change. Richard Muller, a physics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, agreed that Bastardi's claims are "completely wrong," adding that "even skeptics of global warming, if they know physics, would disagree with him." Even Judith Curry, a climatologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a frequent critic of the IPCC, said that Bastardi's statements imply that "he does not understand the very basics of the science." She added, "Fox News needs to find a more credible spokesperson."

* here is a long list of Bastardi's factual errors and persistent confusion about how science and physics really works. CO2 can't cause warming? In short, he is using hand-waving arguments and blog posts to try and invalidate 200 years of scientific discovery. Joe Bastardi is a gifted meteorologist and weather forecaster but on the subject of climate science? Not so much.