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.
One Shade of Grey
How was I to know "50 Shades of Grey" isn't about drab, stormy winters in England? I think I got some bad advice.
What a strange winter. In Glencoe Saturday I talked to corn and soybean farmers, already concerned about another drought setting up in 2015. While Chicago digs out from a 20 inch blizzard; 5th biggest storm in Windy City history. Detroit picked up nearly 17", the 3rd largest snowstorm in Motor City history. Crews in Boston don't know where to put all the snow; 35 inches from 2 storms in one week, an all-time record. And here we sit, staring out at brown yards and fields, wondering what comes next.
The groundhog saw his shadow, meaning 6 more weeks of wintry spam from Canada. Big surprise.
But daylight is increasing rapidly now. Since December 21 we've seen an additional 65 minutes of light, at the rate of 2-3 minutes every day.
Any sun quickly fades; today's clipper dropping a coating to an inch of snow by evening. Arctic air sideswipes Minnesota tomorrow with a wind chill dipping to -10. The ECMWF (Euro) hints at a more potent clipper next weekend, even a couple inches, but I'm not holding my breath. No big storms or subzero smacks are brewing into the second week of February.
Out east it's a different story: another snowy nor'easter next Monday? At this rate Boston may turn into the Super Bowl of Snow.
An Historic Storm for Chicago. Yes, if it was up to me (it's not) temperatures would range from 25-30F (above zero) with non-stop snowstorms. No, that wouldn't make commuters happy, but that's not my job. It would, however, make me happy. Which means I've pretty jealous of friends and colleagues in Chicago, still digging out from nearly 20" of snow. Here's an excerpt from a great review from the Chicago National Weather Service: "...The 16.2 inches recorded at O'Hare just during the hours of February 1st (out of 19.3 inches total) were the most ever for any February day in Chicago. The 10.5 inches recorded on February 1st at Rockford (out of 11.9 inches total) ranked #2 all time for the date and #3 all time for any February day in Rockford. For the event as a whole, the 19.3 inches at O'Hare ranks as #5 out of all snow events in Chicago, while the 11.9 inches at Rockford ranks as #10 overall for that city..."
6 Things To Know About Groundhog Day. TIME has a story with interesting factoids; here's an excerpt: "...The tradition has ancient roots. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Groundhogs Day’s origins are linked to “ancient European weather lore,” in which a badger or sacred bear made the prediction..."
Another Clipper. Not quite the same as 20" of snow (Chicago) or 35" (Boston, from 2 storms in the last week) but we'll take what we can get; models hinting at a coating to an inch this afternoon and evening. Roads may be greasy for the drive home. NOAA's NAM guidance: Aeris Weather.
Colder Than Average. After a milder than average January temperatures relapse over the next week to 10 days, tens into Thursday before slight recovery by late week. The best chance of a couple inches of snow comes Saturday into Sunday morning from a more impressive Alberta Clipper; the pattern not ripe for southern moisture reaching Minnesota into mid-February.
What A Difference A Year Makes. Planalytics compares January 2015 with January 2014, when TV meteorologists were being paid under the table to hype the "polar vortex". Here are a few January highlights from the latest report:
Brazil Farmers Deal With Worst Drought In 80 Years. I have relatives in Brazil, who are telling tales of water supplies being suspended for days on end in large cities, people filling bathtubs trying to save as much water as possible. Not good. Reuters has a video report here.
Photo credit above: "A water system station pumps water from the Atibainha reservoir, part of the Cantareira System that provides water to the Sao Paulo metropolitan area, in Nazare Paulista, Brazil, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. Southeastern Brazil is suffering the worst drought in more than eight decades and authorities put Sao Paulo in a state of alarm when the water utility director said that rationing could be implemented in a dramatic five days-off, two days-on." (AP Photo/Andre Penner).
Meteorologist Gary Dobbs on Living Through a Tornado. Check out the interview from Marketplace to get a better understanding of the trauma experienced by tornado-survivors, even a weather expert trained to talk about tornadoes. Here's an excerpt: "A traumatic crash can be a very personal, deeply transformative moment, an event where life's momentum stops and your reality is changed. How do you move forward? How does it affect the way you look at things? Gary Dobbs dealt with that firsthand. For 31 years, Dobbs worked as a meteorologist at ABC's affiliate in Huntsville, Alabama. In April of 2011, Gary had just gotten home after a long day of covering a tornado outbreak. With storm warnings still in effect, he laid down to take a nap ... and everything changed..."
File photo above: "In this April 27, 2011 file photo, a tornado moves through Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Tuscaloosa News won a Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News Reporting for their coverage of the April 27, 2011 tornado that destroyed much of Tuscaloosa. A year after the Pulitzer judges found no entry worthy of the prize for breaking news, The Tuscaloosa News of Alabama won the award for coverage of a deadly tornado." (AP Photo/The Tuscaloosa News, Dusty Compton, File)
The Anxiety Of Dangerous Weather: What Happens When Climate Change Drops In For A Visit. What are increasingly turbocharged storms doing to our mental health, and how do we avoid a sense of apathy or hopelessness? Here's an excerpt of a post at Forbes that caught my eye: "...But a residue of anxiety remains. The so-called “natural world” we encounter through mediated weather events became seemingly more random, more chaotic, less understandable—in short, more anxious. And anxiety about weather is a psychological issue of significant importance because weather is how we experience moments of climate. You see, severe weather is climate coming by for a visit. It's like the crazy, drunk uncle whose visits disrupt everything..."
Amish Donuts. Not those kind of donuts, the kind you do in a vehicle, or a horse and buggy, whatever's handy. Check out this YouTube clip from Ohio in the aftermath of Sunday's heavy snow - there's a first time for everything!
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” – Henry Van Dyke.
0 F. morning low Monday in the Twin Cities.
16 F. afternoon high yesterday at MSP.
25 F. average high on February 2.
14 F. high on February 2, 2014, after waking up to -7 F.
February 2, 1989: Severe cold across Minnesota with lows in the 40-below-zero range in the north.
February 2, 1947: Strong dust storm hits Crookston with winds near 50 mph. Visibility was reduced down to 300 feet.
TODAY: Clouds increase. Coating to 1" snow PM hours. Winds: East 5. High: 21
TUESDAY NIGHT: Flurries taper, chilly. Low: 7
WEDNESDAY: Slow clearing, cold wind. Wind chill: -10. High: 15
THURSDAY: Fading sun, stiff breeze. Wake-up: 5. High: 23
FRIDAY: Mostly gray, thawing out! Wake-up: 18. High: 34
SATURDAY: Stronger clipper, couple inches? Wake-up: 25. High: 31
SUNDAY: Flurries taper early. Some PM sun. Wake-up: 19. High: near 30
MONDAY: Blue sky, not bad at all. Wake-up: 12. High: 29
An Urban Climate Double Whammy: More Heat, Less Wind. The Washington Post summarized new research into the implications of a changing climate; here's the introduction: "It is hardly news that in a warming world, there is a greater risk of increased hot temperatures, including truly extreme heat days that push the boundaries of what people are used to experiencing. But according to new research, most major cities across the world are not only experiencing more days and nights with extreme heat; they’re also seeing less overall strong wind. That’s a potential double whammy, in that on extremely hot days, you need breeze to help cool the body down..."
Climate Change May Cause Extreme Storms To Strengthen And Weak Ones To Abate. Science World Report has the article; here's a clip: "...In other words, they found that powerful storms are strengthened at the expense of weaker storms. However, there were the same number of storms overall. These findings may tell us exactly what we may be in for in terms of weather in the future as our climate continues to warm. The findings are published in the journal Science...." (Hurricane Denny image: NASA).
KU Team Helps Chart Climate Change With 3-D Map of Greenland Ice Sheet. The Kansas City Star has a story that got my full, undivided attention; here's the intro: "To get a better look at Greenland, climate scientists turned to Kansas. A team of engineers from the University of Kansas developed ice-penetrating radar that helped create the first comprehensive 3-D map of the receding Greenland Ice Sheet. And the picture they produced is scary. The data reveal that the last time the Earth’s climate was roughly as warm as now, the ice sheet retreated to a fraction of what it is today..."
Is The Pentagon Hyping Climate Change? Here, Take A Look. Here's an excerpt from a story at The Washington Post: "...David Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University and a former rear admiral in the Navy, said the Pentagon does deserve credit for taking “tangible, discrete actions … to address some of the impacts of climate change,” though few of them are “as exciting as buildings collapsing in the permafrost.” In particular, he said, planning is well underway for one of the most immediate threats: rising tides at Naval Station Norfolk. Still, “overhyping is just as bad as ignoring or denying,” Titley said. “This is a challenge, not necessarily a crisis.”
Image credit: Department of Defense.
Scientists Much More Certain Than Lawmakers on Climate Change. Here's a snippet from a story at omaha.com: "...Scientists in Nebraska and Iowa are among those sounding the alarm about climate change. For example, climate scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln advised the state last year that the effect of humans on Earth’s climate is “very real and very large” and that projected changes are unprecedented. “The evidence is overwhelming,” their report states. In Iowa, some 150 of the state’s instructors and professors of climate science have signed a joint statement saying that humans are the major cause of warming now underway..."
The Grand Illusion
With apologies to the rock band Styx - I'm talking about a different illusion here. Recent years have brought a meteorological arms race: new weather models, higher resolution, more petaflops! Here is what I hear all the time:
"Paul, you blinking meathead, you have access to supercomputer and Doppler radar. You SHOULD be able to tell me exactly how many inches of snow will fall in my yard!"
In theory, yes. In reality, not even close.
Private and government (NOAA) forecasters in New York and Boston are under siege for overestimating Monday night's snowfall amounts. In their defense even the ECMWF (European) model busted. Total amounts ranged from 8 inches at Central Park to 21 at Sayville, Long Island, only 50 miles due east. I'm not sure weather models will ever able to effectively pinpoint such extremes over such a small geographical area.
Weather isn't an exact science, like economics or foreign policy.
After brushing 40F today we cool off Thursday; weekend snow passing south of Minnesota. A whiff of subzero air is expected on Groundhog Day, an even colder slap by the end of next week.
But no sign of polar air stalling nearby. Another Pacific thaw is shaping up for the second week of February.
20-30" snow for metro Boston. The forecast verified for Bean Town; details from CBS Boston. Photo credit: "Cars are buried by drifted snow along Marlborough Street, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Boston. A howling blizzard with wind gusts over 70 mph heaped snow on Boston along with other stretches of lower New England." (AP Photo/Dwayne Desaulniers).
Snowstorm's Forecast Was Mostly Right, Even If It Felt Wrong In New York. Manhattan was on the western edge of the heaviest snow bands; 40 miles made the difference between 8" and 21". Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...One of the difficulties with forecasting major storms, Dr. Sobel said, is that a small error in predicting the path of the storm can cause a much larger error in impact. “The bigger the event, the bigger the bust potential,” he said. In this storm, the predicted snowfall gradients — charts showing how much would accumulate where — were very steep. “So a little bit of track error means a big snowfall error,” he said..."
Photo credit above: "Snow swirls into the air as Ted Diamond operates a snow blower to clear out his driveway on Greenvale Drive in East Northport on Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in New York. Long Island was one of several areas throughout the state to be hit by a blizzard overnight into this morning." (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek).
Partly Wrong With A Chance of Being Right: Weather Forecast. Why do weather models fail? In light of the Big Bust out east I wanted to include a link to a storyy at ScienceDaily; here's an excerpt: "...For example, they found that in the eastern Mediterranean, particles in the atmosphere were the most important cause of forecast fallacies, followed by land cover change. They also found topography to be the most influential factor affecting weather around the world. "The only tool the weather forecaster has is his model, and the only choice he or she has is to look at different models, each of which has strengths and weaknesses," said Prof. Alpert..."
What Exactly Is A Nor'easter? Newsweek has a good description; here's an excerpt: "...A classic nor’easter results when an existing low-pressure system moves across the country from west to east and then spawns a new storm off the East Coast, usually between the Carolinas and New Jersey, explains Keith Seitter, executive director of the American Meteorological Society. The initial storm may not have produced a huge amount of precipitation as it moved over land, but the new storm goes through an “explosive development,” says Seitter, and becomes a “monster storm” that absorbs the original one..."
Image credit above: " NOAA/Reuters.
Snow Scary. The New Yorker has a terrific article that helps to explain why the USA is a nation of extreme-weather junkies; here's a clip: "...Edgework” is precisely what extreme weather is. A winter storm—or any storm, really—approximates this thrill. It’s powerful, and even dangerous. But safely ensconced inside, and in front of our computer screens, we don’t think that it will really hurt us. The power might go out, but then we would be able to share a picture of a car buried in a snowdrift. And then, soon, it will be over. You will have had the thrill, and you might have gained control over it by capturing a moment of “danger,” but, in all, it seems a relatively minor risk. We satisfy our inner risk-seeker without going into dangerous territory..."
7 Chilling Stories Of Snow Storms Throughout American History. TIME Magazine takes a numbing walk down memory lane; here's a clip: "...It was Jan. 31, 1977, when this poor freezing man appeared on the cover of TIME. The story inside, which detailed the effects on the United States of what the publisher’s letter called “the bitterest cold spell in memory.” The first-ever reported snow fall in West Palm Beat, Fla., had shocked residents. Buffalo had been buried under more than 120 in. of the white stuff that season. And, ironically, areas that needed snow — the ski resorts of Idaho, for example — had to rely on snow-making machines despite the cold temperatures...
Photo credit: Bill Koch, North Dakota State Highway Department. Credit: Collection of Fr. Herbert Kroehl, NGDC.
"Snowstorms Then And Now". McSweeney's Internet Tendency has a look at how adults have ruined snowstorms. It's a worthy (and funny) read.
Cold Start to February - Not Polar Yet. I keep waiting for the other shoe (boot) to drop, and it may the end of next week; ECMWF guidance hinting at subzero weather in about 8-10 days. We'll see - we've had a few false alarms in the last few weeks so confidence levels are low about any kind of sustained cold waves. Highs may brush 40F today before cooling off tomorrow; the mercury nicking freezing again Saturday and Wednesday of next week. Big storms? Get serious. Graphic: Weatherspark.
GFS Numbers. GFS guidance also confirms that the first week of February may be colder than average with a few nights dipping below zero. Most models show another puff of Pacific air sparking another thaw by the second week of February.
Why So Many Global Temperature Records? NASA Earth Observatory has a good explainer focused on 2014 being the warmest year ever observed, as well as providing perspective of recent trends; here's a clip: "...But let’s get back to the original question: why are there so many temperature records? One of the hallmarks of good science is that observations should be independently confirmed by separate research groups using separate methods when possible. And in the case of global temperatures, that’s exactly what is happening. Despite some differences in the year-to-year rankings, the trends observed by all the groups are roughly the same. They all show warming. They all find the most recent decade to be warmer than previous decades..."
Millions of GMO Insects Could Be Released in Florida Keys. The Associated Press has the story - here's the introduction: "Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood..."
Patriots Say Study Proves Ball Deflation "Not Human Caused". Where have you heard this before? Here's the intro to a tongue-in-cheek look from Daily Kos: "The New England Patriots pointed to a study released today which they say shows that the alleged deflation of footballs in recent games was not due to human causes. "It's just natural variation," explains the executive summary of the study. "Footballs have had different inflation pressures for thousands of years." The study was released today by the Edelman research firm, which usually focuses on swatting away the damaging efforts of environmentalists to impede progress..."
Is It OK To Eat Snow? I know this has been on your mind; here's an answer from Popular Science: "...Once the snow is on the ground, it stays clean until other things land on top of it. Everyone knows you shouldn’t eat yellow snow. Brown snow is off limits, too. That’s because as snow sits around, it goes through a process called dry deposition, in which dust and dirt particles stick to the snow. And Nolin says to steer clear of watermelon snow: It might look pretty and very pink, but it’s filled with algae that don’t do great things for digestion..."
36 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.
24 F. average high on January 27.
-6 F. high on January 27, 2014.
-16 F. morning low on January 27, 2014.
Trace of snow on the ground in the Twin Cities.
January 27, 1914: A very rare thunderstorm observed at Maple Plain during the evening. Heavy thunder and vivid lightning was observed.
January 27, 1846: Not too shabby for a January day. The high in the Twin Cities was 50, which is the normal high for the beginning of March.
“You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.” – Malcolm Forbes“You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.” – Malcolm Forbes
TODAY: Mostly cloudy and mild. Winds: Southeast 10. High: 40
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Clouds, still unseasonably mild for late January. Low: 30
THURSDAY: Windy, turning cooler with more clouds than sun. High: 33
FRIDAY: Fading sun, average temperatures. Wake-up: 18. High: 27
SATURDAY: Gray with flurries possible south. Heavier snow should stay south of MN. Wake-up: 19. High: 30
SUNDAY: Brisk Super Bowl Sunday. Dry with plenty of sun. Wake-up: 15. High: 18
MONDAY: Blue sky. Groundhog's shadow may freeze off. Wake-up: 3. High: 12
TUESDAY: Not as cold, flurries possible. Wake-up: 10. High: 25
Why Bigger Snowstorms Come With Global Warming. Warmer air and ocean water is increasing water vapor, more fuel for flash floods in the summer months, and extreme snow events in the winter. In fact 5 of New York City's biggest blizzards on record have all occurred in the last 12 years. Here's an excerpt from a timely story at InsideClimate News: "...As the oceans warm due to the burning of fossil fuels, the atmosphere above can hold more moisture, which in turn fuels the creation of the most intense precipitation events. The mid-Atlantic is currently 2 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. In the spring, summer and fall, that translates into more of the most intense rainstorms. In the winter, when that moisture-rich air hits cold temperatures on the continent, heavier snowfall results. The amount of rain and snow falling in the heaviest precipitation events in the Northeast has jumped 71 percent in the last half-century, according to the 2014 National Climate Assessment...."
Is Climate Change To Blame For The Northeast Snow Storm? The short answer is no, the storm would have formed, with or without warmer air and sea surface temperatures. Did significantly warmer water in the Gulf Stream just east of New Jersey help to spike some of the winds and snowfall amounts? Probably. Here's an excerpt from Huffington Post: "...Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist in the climate analysis section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said that in winter, temperatures are generally colder on land than over the oceans. Climate change is raising ocean temperatures, however, and current sea surface temperatures are more the 2 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal over much of the area off the East Coast of the United States, he explained to The Huffington Post. Trenberth also said that water vapor in the atmosphere is about 10 percent higher than normal, and about half of this change can be attributed to climate change..."
Photo credit: "A snow-entombed car in Cambridge, Mass., Jan 27, 2015. The first major storm of the winter blasted across eastern New England on Tuesday, unleashing whiteout conditions driven by gale-force winds." (Katherine Taylor/The New York Times).
Climate Change Expected To Bring More Extreme La Ninas. Here's an excerpt from a story at CBS News: "...A new study concludes that extreme La Nina events like this will become twice as likely in the future due to climate change. The study in Nature Climate Change found that the La Nina extreme weather -- which happens about once every 23 years -- will occur every 13 years by the end of this century, based on an analysis of 21 climate models. Three-quarters of those increased La Nina events would follow extreme El Nino events "thus projecting more frequent swings between opposite extremes from year to the next..."
The United States of Denial. Which states send the most climate-science-deniers to Washington D.C.? Here's an excerpt of a story and interactive graphic from onEarth: "...An analysis by the Center for American Progress, a public policy think tank, found that 53 percent of Republicans in the House and 70 percent in the Senate deny humanity’s role in climate change. (As the map shows, deniers also tend to receive a pretty penny from the fossil fuel industry.)..."
Climate-Change Consensus Is Reached Everywhere But In Washington. Here's a snippet from an Op-Ed that resonated at The Globe and Mail: "...This is less like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic than looking over the railing and debating whether the giant white thing is an iceberg or a marshmallow. The consensus has been reached, gentlemen, everywhere but in Washington. Even the plutocrats at Davos are sweating through their Zegna suits: The World Economic Forum spent a day debating climate change and its disruptive effects, and listed climate-related chaos among the greatest threats facing the planet..."
I stepped outside on Sunday and was struck by the lack of snow on the ground in my yard. There sure are a lot of bare spots out there, especially since it's still January! There was 1" of snow on the ground (officially) at the Minneapolis Airport on Sunday morning. At this time last year, there was 13" of snow on the ground! Interestingly, there was no snow on the ground (officially) on January 26th, 2013.
By Paul Douglas
Here's a poorly guarded secret. Meteorologists tend to hype storms. Why? Well, it makes us feel important - and it gives us something to point to on our colorful maps. And (most) people are more forgiving if there's less snow than predicted. God help you if you predict a dusting and the town wakes up to a foot of flurries. That's the original meteorological sin. Sadly, if you added up all the PREDICTED snow over the years we'd be tunneling out from under another ice age by now.
14 of the 15 warmest years on record have been observed since 2000. An estimated 93 percent of the extra warmth is going into the world's oceans. Gulf stream water east of New Jersey is 10-15F warmer than normal for late January, adding fuel to an historic blizzard winding up from New York to Boston. 1-3 feet of snow, 50 mph winds, 5 to 10 foot drifts, power outages and coastal flooding; this will be an epic storm.
While we stare out at brown lawns and dripping icicles: 40s into midweek, then 30 degrees colder Super Bowl Sunday. But mild, Pacific air dominates into early February.
The last time we saw 40s in January? 2012. That was the year flowers were blooming by late March. Will history repeat?
SUNDAY NIGHT: Clouds thicken again, light snow chance late. Low: 21. Winds: Turning S 5-10.
MONDAY: Light wintry mix early. Mostly cloudy, mild again. High: 41. Winds: SSW 10-15.
MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy. Low: 27. Winds: NW 5-10.
TUESDAY: Partly sunny, feels like March. High: 42
WEDNESDAY: What January? Mild spike. Late day rain shower possible Wake-up: 29. High: 43
THURSDAY: Passing flurries, turning colder. Wake-up: 28. High: 33
FRIDAY: Fading sun, closer to average. Wake-up: 21. High: 28
SATURDAY: Arctic winds, sharply colder! Wake-up: 16. High: 18.
SUNDAY: Super blue sky. Deflated temps. Wake-up: -2. High: 9
This Day in Weather History
1916: Severe ice storm hits Mower County. Hundreds of birds killed.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
Average High: 24F (Record: 47F set in 1934)
Average Low: 8F (Record: -23F set in 1950)
Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
Moon Phase for January 26th at Midnight
Minneapolis Temperature Trend
Weather conditions close to home will stay on the mild side over the next several days. In fact, temperatures may sneak up into the 40s a couple of times this week! We're still getting indications of a bigger cool down by the end of the week/weekend...
Monday Weather Outlook
Temperatures on Monday will be a little warmer than Sunday. Readings will get back to near 40F in the Twin Cities with a few locations in southwest MN nearing 50F! A slight breeze will make it feel a little cooler (image on right).
Monday Weather Outlook
Another clipper system will slide through the region late Sunday through Monday. The best chance of snow accumulations will be across the Arrowhead of Minnesota and into northern Wisconsin.
Another Day Another Clipper
Another fast moving clipper is set to move through the region late Sunday/Monday with a light wintry mix and a light snow accumulation. The best chance for snow accumulations would be across the Arrowhead of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin.
Clipper Snow Potential
Here's a look the snow potential through early next week... There may be some light shoveling duties across the Arrowhead and northern Wisconsin. The Twin Cities looks to miss out on anything substantial.
National Weather Outlook
The clipper system that missed us (Twin Cities) on Saturday night/early Sunday is set to become a major winter storm on the East Coast! Watch how the system transitions from a clipper to a full blown mature storm in the Northeast.
National Weather Outlook
Here's another animation of the storm system that will be rapidly intensifying near the Northern New England States.
The accumulating snow potential turns from a shovelable event to a crippling event as the storm curls northeast towards the Northern New England States. There's a fairly large swath of 1ft to nearly 2ft. from Long Island, NY to northern Maine!
Winter Weather Headlines
There are a number of winter weather headlines that have been issued from the Ohio Valley to the Northern New England States. Note the strip of red (blizzard warnings) that have been issued from eastern New Jersey to eastern Maine... The blizzard warning includes New York and Boston!
Blizzard Potential Index
Here's a look at the Blizzard Potential Index... It takes a look at the blizzard criteria (snow and winds of 35mph for at least 3 hours) and puts it into a color scheme. Anything that is orange/red is quite impressive. Note that these colors become more intense over Long Island to Boston to Maine... it could get pretty interesting!
BPI: Hour by Hour
Here's what the Blizzard Potential Index looks like hour by hour...
Boston: Calm Before the Storm...
This was the view from Boston Colleges' O'Neill Plaza from Sunday afternoon. This was after the 5.1" that fell (officially) in Boston on Saturday... Weather conditions will sour through the day on Monday with the worst of the upcoming winter storm heading in Monday Night/Tuesday.
Boston Snow Potential
According to the National Weather Service out of Boston, this is the most likely snow scenario for the region. Note that many locations could see 1ft. to 3ft !
...A CRIPPLING AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC BLIZZARD TO IMPACT THE AREA MAINLY FROM LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY...LINGERING INTO EARLY WEDNESDAY...
...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM MONDAY TO 1 AM EST WEDNESDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM MONDAY TO 1 AM EST WEDNESDAY. THE BLIZZARD WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * LOCATIONS...EASTERN AND SOUTHEASTERN MASSACHUSETTS AS WELL AS ALL OF RHODE ISLAND. * HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW...STRONG WINDS AND BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. CONSIDERABLE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. STRONG TO DAMAGING WINDS. * ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AROUND 20 TO 30 INCHES... WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. SNOWFALL RATES OF 2 TO 4 INCHES AN HOUR AT TIMES. * TIMING...WHILE THE STORM IS EXPECTED LATE MONDAY LINGERING INTO EARLY WEDNESDAY...THE WORST OF THE STORM WILL BE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON. * IMPACTS...HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS WILL RESULT IN WHITE-OUT / BLIZZARD CONDITIONS WITH NEAR ZERO VISIBILITY. TRAVEL WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE AND LIFE THREATENING ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION. ALSO SNOW MAY BE WET ENOUGH TO RESULT IN DOWNED TREE LIMBS AND POWER OUTAGES IN ADDITION TO THE WINDS. * WINDS...NORTH-NORTHEAST 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS AROUND 65 TO 75 MPH. THE HEIGHT OF THE WINDS WILL BE LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY. THE STRONGEST WINDS WILL BE ACROSS THE COASTAL AREAS. * VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES.
New York: Calm Before the Storm
Thanks to EarthCam.com for the picture/webcam below. Here's Lady Liberty on a late Sunday afternoon before the storm. Things could get a little wild early this week!
NYC Snow Potential
2ft to 3ft?? According to the NWS out of New York, this is the 'most likely scenario' - YIKES!!
Here's the latest from the NWS New York:
...CRIPPLING AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC BLIZZARD TO IMPACT THE AREA FROM LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY...
...BLIZZARD WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW YORK HAS ISSUED A BLIZZARD WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT. THE BLIZZARD WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * LOCATIONS...NEW YORK CITY AND SURROUNDING IMMEDIATE SUBURBS...LONG ISLAND...AND MOST OF SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT. * HAZARD TYPES...HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW...WITH BLIZZARD CONDITIONS. * ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATION OF 20 TO 30 INCHES...WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS POSSIBLE. SNOWFALL RATES OF 2 TO 4 INCHES PER HOUR EXPECTED LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY MORNING. * WINDS...NORTH 30 TO 40 MPH WITH GUSTS 55 TO 65 MPH...STRONGEST ACROSS EASTERN LONG ISLAND. * VISIBILITIES...ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS AT TIMES. * TEMPERATURES...IN THE LOWER 20S. * TIMING...LIGHT SNOW WILL BEGIN MONDAY MORNING...WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 3 INCHES POSSIBLE BY THE EVENING RUSH. SNOW WILL PICK UP IN INTENSITY MONDAY EVENING...WITH THE HEAVIEST SNOW AND STRONGEST WINDS FROM ABOUT MIDNIGHT MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY AFTERNOON. * IMPACTS...LIFE-THREATENING CONDITIONS AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS TRAVEL DUE TO HEAVY SNOWFALL AND STRONG WINDS...WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS. SECONDARY AND TERTIARY ROADS MAY BECOME IMPASSABLE. STRONG WINDS MAY DOWN POWER LINES AND TREE LIMBS.
Blizzard Potential for the Northeast Remains High!
Here's a look at what folks along the Eastern Seaboard could be dealing with late Monday/early Tuesday... At this time, the center of the storm is expected to be offshore (just south of Cape Cod). This will help to keep temperatures colder inland and likely in the form of snow. Note the lines of equal air pressure (black lines) - due to a VERY tight pressure gradient, the winds are expected to be quite extreme with some wind gusts up to 60mph! Heavy snow and strong winds will create blizzard conditions for a large area!
As the storm system intensifies offshore, wind speeds will begin to increase significantly. Note that by 10am Tuesday, winds along the coast could be gusting upwards of 40mph to 60mph! With heavy snow and strong winds, blizzard conditions will be a major concern!
Thanks for checking in, have a great week ahead! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TnelsonWX.
I always wanted to open up a drive-thru barber shop for busy commuters - call it The Alberta Clipper. Sadly I now have hair where I just don't need it, like some Transylvania science experiment gone wrong. TMI. And not one of my better business ideas.
Fast-moving vortices of low pressure sailing out of Canada are notoriously fickle; snow amounts hard to predict. A jog of 50 miles in the storm track can make the difference between flurries - and 6 inches of flurries.
We study half a dozen models looking at the trends (north/south/wetter/drier) but in the end it comes down to a coin flip whether we'll be in the heaviest snow band. The humbling reality: every clipper is different and every weather map is maddeningly unique. The models help, but they're far from foolproof.
We may still wind up with a plowable snow early Sunday from Alexandria and St. Cloud to the Twin Cities, something in the 1 to 3 inch range. Snow lovers are increasingly desperate; we'll take what we can get
Expect 30s for highs thru Friday (mid-40s Wednesday!) but 6 subzero lows in a row arrive the first week of February.
I know it doesn't look like January out there but do NOT write winter off just yet.
Clippers and Nor'Easters. Tonight's clipper may drop 1-3" of snow from near Alexandria and Wadena to Little Falls, St. Cloud and the Twin Cities, most of this snowy burst over by breakfast Sunday. Meanwhile a southern storm pushes up the east coast, dropping the heaviest snow from the suburbs of New York City to Boston.
Clipped Again. You can see the system pushing up the eastern seaboard into New England, a fast-moving clipper painting a narrow carpet of white from the Dakotas and Minnesota into the Ohio Valley by Sunday night. Source: NOAA.
Hints of March Into Next Friday, Then An Arctic Relapse. We've been spoiled, and the mild spell continues most of next week with a streak of days in the 30s, even low to mid 40s Wednesday. Tonight's clipper drops a couple inches of slushy snow; another snow event possible Friday as sharply colder air approaches. By Super Bowl Sunday there will be no doubt in your mind it's still the dead of winter.
F-F-February. The first week of February will bring back memories of mid-November and early January, as many as 5 or 6 nights in a row below zero possible in the metro area. Temperatures should rebound the second week of February - no substantial snow predicted between January 31 and February 8. GFS data courtesy of NOAA.
Cities That Have Seen More Snow This Winter Than The Twin Cities. Thanks to D.J. Kayser at Media Logic Group for passing this on. More snow in Dalhart, Texas than Minneapolis/St. Paul? That's just wrong. Check out the running snowfall totals, to date below:
Total (Oct 1-Jan 22)
Average To Date
Rapid City, SD
Colorado Springs, CO
Dribs And Drabs of Snow. Dr. Mark Seeley has more on Minnesota's growing snow drought at WeatherTalk: "...This week brought a light dusting of snow to many Minnesota communities. Most received less than an inch, although a few observers reported 1-2 inches. This trend is disconcerting for snow lovers as the seasonal snowfall totals continue to lag behind normal, and especially when compared to the numbers from the past two winters. So far this month only a few places have seen over 10 inches of snowfall, and when considering the seasonal snowfall totals going back to last November most places in the state have seen less than 25 inches..."
Climate Models: February into April. All but one of NOAA CPC (Climate Prediction Center) models show a mild bias February into April. Global ocean temperatures are literally off the scale, and some of this warm water coupled with a persistently zonal west to east flow should keep us from experiencing a persistently bitter late winter similar to last winter. Famous last words.
The Economic Impact of 2014's Severe Weather Events. Here's a link to an interesting infographic, courtesy of Quartz.
MIT Study Finds Carbon Sequestration May Not Be As Effective As Expected. Pumping CO2 deep underground, where it will remain (forever)? Sounds like a tall order. Gizmag has the details of a new study; here's a clip: "Carbon sequestration may not, according to researchers at MIT, be the panacea that some had hoped. A recent study, partially funded by the United States Department of Energy, has found that far less carbon dioxide than the ideal prediction of 90 percent may be turned into rock when sequestered. This means much might eventually escape back into the atmosphere..."
Here Are The Most Expensive Countries In The World To Live In. Unless money is falling out of your pockets you might want to avoid relocating to Norway or Switzerland, according to Huffington Post: "You might think life here in America is expensive. But it turns out that when compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. doesn't even make the list of the 20 most expensive countries to live in. Thanks to a new infographic from Movehub, a site that provides information to those looking to move abroad, we can see clearly whose wallets have it worst off. The graphic includes a number of maps showing which nations have the highest cost of living, based on the average price of consumer goods in each country..."
Why You Feel There's Too Much TV To Watch, In One Graph. Vulture has a fascinating story, an explanation of why your DVR is smoking; here's a clip: "...Using Nielsen data, Landgraf’s research department at FX Networks determined that in 2014, at least 328 scripted first-run prime-time programs aired on ad-supported or subscription-based broadcast, cable, and streaming networks in the U.S. (PBS wasn’t included.) Broadcasters still churn out plenty of programming (124 scripted shows), while streaming players such as Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu are now very much a factor (24 shows)..."
39 F. high in the Twin Cities Friday (3:40 pm).
24 F. average high on January 23.
2 F. high on January 23, 2014.
-17 F. morning low on January 23, 2014.
2" snow on the ground at MSP International Airport.
January 23, 1968: A rare severe thunderstorm hits the Twin Cities and left a coating of ice an inch thick. 10 thousand homes were without power.
January 23, 1950: Ice storm over southwest Minnesota. Ice on telephone wires from 1/3 to 1.5 inches. Bismarck, North Dakota had 17 inches of snow. A Northern Pacific passenger train derailed at Detroit Lakes with no injuries.
January 23, 1925: Solar eclipse seen across northern Minnesota during the morning. The Duluth Herald reported that chickens were "puzzled by the dark morning" and didn't leave their roosts. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service.
TODAY: Clouds increase, dry and mild during the day. Winds: West 5-10. High: 37
SATURDAY NIGHT: Light snow and flurries. Low: 26
SUNDAY: Snow tapers. Coating to 1" early with slippery travel. More snow over southwest MN. High: 30
MONDAY: Quick clipper, another inch? Wake-up: 19. High: 33
TUESDAY: Partly sunny, feels like March. Wake-up: 27. High: 37
WEDNESDAY: What January? Mild spike. Late day rain shower possible Wake-up: 29. High: 43
THURSDAY: Intervals of sun, cooler. Wake-up: 28. High: 33
FRIDAY: Couple inches late. Sharply colder. Wake-up: 24. High: 31
* Waking up to temperatures near 0F one week from today.
Risky Business: Agriculture, Labor and Manufacturing Industries Face Economic Risk from Climate Change. I had a chance to attend yesterday's luncheon presentation at the Hilton with Greg Page and Hank Paulson (thanks to Department of Economics at the University of Minnesota). Former Treasury Secretary Paulson mentioned that climate change is usually discussed in the context of science and the environment, when it's also a significant business story, presenting new risks (and opportunities) for existing business models. The solution revolves around adaptation, resilience, encouraging local, homegrown solutions and not waiting for Congressional science Luddites in Washington D. C. (my words, not his) to take action. Here's an excerpt from Friday's press release: "...The Midwestern United States faces potential disruptions to its agricultural economy, and dangerous levels of heat in many of its largest cities, if climate change continues unabated, according to a new report released today by the Risky Business Project. Heat in the Heartland: Climate Change and Economic Risk in the Midwest details how extreme heat - the signature impact of a changing climate - could transform the Midwest's economy. Absent significant adaptation, overall crop yields will likely decline, potentially shifting growing patterns for major commodity crops to the north and putting individual farming communities at risk. Left unchecked, a changing climate will also increase the incidence of extreme heat, particularly in the Midwest's southernmost cities like St. Louis, Des Moines and Indianapolis, leading to significant public health and safety risks..."
Study: Climate Change Could Hammer Iowa Ag, Manufacturing. Here's an excerpt of an important story at The Des Moines Register: "...Greg Page, chairman of Minneapolis-based Cargill Inc., and one of the business leaders on the Risky Business advisory committee, said Thursday the report is a "wake-up call to begin having a conversation" on the impact of climate change. "If we stand still, and fail to be thoughtful in building resilience, we could see a weather scenario that would produce an outcome that's dire," Page said. "But it's our job to make sure that isn't what happens." One thing the report doesn't reflect, he said, is changes farmers may make to offset changes to growing conditions — through seed genetics, irrigation and other approaches..."
Climate Change Impact on America's Heartland. Think farmers are nervous about the weather today? Give it a few more years. Here's an excerpt of a story at The Washington Post: "...Kate Gordon, lead author of the new Risky Business report, and head of the energy and climate change program at Next Generation, explains that if Midwestern agriculture sustains such losses, food production may move north. “But for those people, in those states, that’s their economy, it’s a pretty severe impact,” she says. The new report also says the Midwest could experience more heat deaths, costlier electricity, and a decline in overall workforce productivity..."
13 Of The 15 Hottest Years Have Happened Since 2000 - What Are The Odds Of That Happening Without Global Warming? Here's a Salon link to a Climate Central video and excerpt: "...So, the people at Climate Central made an animation in which they examine just how likely it is for us to have experienced so many record-breaking years in such a short period of time if human-influenced global warming isn’t to blame. The odds? 1-in-27 million. Here’s how they got to that number..."
Mitt Romney Has Been Talking A Lot About Climate Change Lately. I give him a lot of credit for looking at the data and making an informed decision, even if it means losing support of some on the right. Here's a clip from NationalJournal: "...The former Massachusetts governor affirmed his belief that man-made climate change is real in a series of public appearances this week and highlighted global warming as a key challenge that the next president will need to address. "I'm one of those Republicans who thinks we are getting warmer and that we contribute to that," Romney said at an event on Wednesday in Salt Lake City. Romney added that "real leadership" is needed to rein in air pollution created from coal-fired power generation..." (Photo credit: AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File.)
Mitt Romney and Rand Paul Are Going To Make Climate Change a 2016 GOP Issue. Here's the intro to a story at The New Republic: "It took one day for the party of climate change denial to rediscover science—a few of them, anyway. Mitt Romney, who is considering his third presidential run, told a Utah audience, “I’m one of those Republicans who thinks we are getting warmer and that we contribute to that,” arguing for “real leadership” to tackle rising carbon pollution. Then, 15 Republican senators voted in favor of a conservative climate amendment that said "human activity contributes to climate change." One of those senators was Rand Paul..."
Sea Level Rise Faster Than Feared, Say Scientists. Here's an excerpt from a story at RTCC: "...Earlier estimates put mean sea level rise in the 20th century at between 1.5 and 1.8 millimeters a year. Dr. Hay and her colleagues now think that, between 1901 and 1990, the true figure was probably closer to 1.2 mm a year. But since 1990, global sea level has risen by 3 mm a year on average. So, in fact, the acceleration since then has been faster than anybody expected - and this in turn could affect future projections..."
Earlier estimates put mean sea level rise in the 20th century at between 1.5 and 1.8 millimetres a year. Dr Hay and her colleagues now think that, between 1901 and 1990, the true figure was probably closer to 1.2mm a year.
But since 1990, global sea level has risen by 3mm a year on average. So, in fact, the acceleration since then has been faster than anybody expected – and this in turn could affect future projections.- See more at: http://www.rtcc.org/2015/01/22/sea-level-rise-faster-than-feared-say-scientists/#sthash.LHpuhH1P.dpuf
The Oceans Are Warming So Fast, They Keep Breaking Scientists' Charts. Most of the excess heating is going into the world's oceans, and it's still unclear what the long term implications are of this. Dr. John Abraham at St. Thomas University has an article at The Guardian; here's a snippet that made me do a double-take: "...So what do the new data show? Well, it turns out that the energy stored within the ocean (which is 90% or more of the total “global warming” heat), increased significantly. A plot from NOAA is shown above. You can see that the last data point (the red curve), is, literally off the chart. The folks at NOAA do a great job updating this graph every three months or so. We can now say that the 2014 Earth had more heat (thermal energy) than any year ever recorded by humans..."
Image credit: "Ocean heat content data to a depth of 2,000 meters, from NOAA." Photograph: NOAA. You can find more data on ocean heating from NOAA here.
"Hottest Year" Story Obscures Bigger News: Ocean Warming Now Off The Charts. ThinkProgress has more perspective on the rapid warming of the world's oceans; here's a clip: "...Remember, more than 90 percent of human induced planetary warming goes into the oceans, while only 2 percent goes into the atmosphere, so small changes in ocean uptake can have huge impact on surface temperatures. That’s a key reason surface temperatures haven’t appeared to warm as fast as many had expected in the past ten years — although ocean warming has sped up, and sea level rise has accelerated more than we thought , and Arctic sea ice has melted much faster than the models expected, as have the great ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica..."
This Animation of Shrinking Sea Ice Is A Startling Illustration of Climate Change. The Washington Post has the story; here's a snippet: "More than any other region on Earth, you can see the effects of climate change in the Arctic, where the amount of perennial ice continues to decline. This new animation released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a startling illustration of the toll climate change is taking on our planet..."
Image credit above: "The animation above shows Arctic ice melt from 1987 to 1990, left, and 2010 to 2014, right."
We Need Sharper Questions For A Broken Climate Debate. Aaron Huertas has a story at The Union of Concerned Scientists; here's an excerpt: "...What may be surprising, however, is that Republican citizens have diverse views on climate science and related policy. Further, Zack Colman at the Washington Examiner just broke a story about Congressional Republicans mulling ways to reformulate their approach to climate issues. Still, journalists have their work cut out for them when they interview politicians who reject mainstream climate science. Can they do more to move our political dialogue past scientifically inaccurate talking points? I think so..."
The Lesson Of The Hottest Year On Record: Climate Change Skeptics Will Never Believe The Science. The Week takes a look at something I'm encountering: a resistance to facts, data, trends and science in general. Thinking is hard, conspiracy theories are so much easier: "...Since last year was the hottest one ever recorded, and particularly given that it wasn’t even an El Nino year (as record-breakers usually are), then one might imagine this would be time for some soul-searching among the skeptics. Not remotely. If anything, the doubters are unusually worked up in their denunciations of climate hawks, climate scientists, and sympathetic media. It provides an interesting window into the reasoning process of such people. The pause has been memory hole’d for the moment, replaced with new arguments..."
Wet and Wild
What do I do for fun when I'm not handcuffed to the Doppler? I've been watching the World Cup for comic relief. But who to root for, other than the home team? I base my loyalty on two important factors: which country has the best climate and/or best cuisine? Sorry England. Not this year.
Anything to take our minds off the jumble of severe storms, sauna-worthy dew points and nagging flood risk. As I've been explaining (ad nauseum) for years when weather stalls bad things can happen. Droughts and heat waves can amplify suddenly. If you're stuck next to a storm or frontal boundary that's not moving the threat of flooding goes up exponentially.
Such is the case this week, with a warm front temporarily stalled over northern Iowa - a soggy runway for thunderstorms to keep blossoming and redeveloping along, resulting in another 2 to 4 inches of rain by the end of the week for some communities. You may want to check that sump pump in the basement.
Skies dry out a bit on Friday; the arrival of a slightly cooler, drier airmass may set off (isolated) weekend T-storms. If it's any consolation next week does look drier, statewide.
June rainfall is already more than 3 times the normal amount, to date. The record? 9.82 inches in 1990.
We may come close.
Photo credit above: "Luckman Nour fishes from the flooded shoreline at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday, June 15, 2014. Flood waters and strong winds overturned some sail boats and downed trees from Saturday's rain on Lake Nokomis." (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jerry Holt).
Monday Severe Outbreak. NOAA databases show an extensive swath of wind and hail damage across far southern Minnesota yesterday, wind gusts as high as 80-85 mph with numerous reports of flash flooding. Over 3" fell near Rochester with 3-5" amounts over far southwestern counties. Here's a complete list of weather-related damage.
Another Severe Soaking. The corn crop across southern Minnesota can't be in very good shape with the recent swarms of heavy rain storms. Yesterday as much as 2-5" of rain fell on far southern Minnesota, enough rain for serious flash flooding in a number of communities. NWS Doppler radar estimates show .5" of rain across most of the metro, closer to an inch over the southeastern suburbs.
From the Twin Cities National Weather Service:
...FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR WASECA...STEELE AND FREEBORN COUNTIES UNTIL 900 AM CDT... AT 445 AM CDT...LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS REPORTED THAT SEVERAL ROADS REMAINED CLOSED IN EACH OF THE THREE COUNTIES EITHER DUE TO BEING WASHED OUT OR THAT WATER REMAINED ACROSS THE ROAD. NO ADDITIONAL RAIN IS EXPECTED THIS MORNING. HOWEVER...SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MAY REDEVELOP OVER THE AREA LATE THIS AFTERNOON AND EVENING. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGERS OF FLOODING. IF FLOODING IS OBSERVED...ACT QUICKLY. DO NOT ENTER THE WATER. TURN AROUND AND MOVE UP TO HIGHER GROUND. DO NOT STAY IN AREAS SUBJECT TO FLOODING WHEN WATER BEGINS RISING.
FLOOD STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN 1100 PM CDT MON JUN 16 2014 ...THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN MINNESOTA... COTTONWOOD RIVER AT NEW ULM AFFECTING BROWN COUNTY MINNESOTA RIVER AT MONTEVIDEO AFFECTING CHIPPEWA...LAC QUI PARLE AND YELLOW MEDICINE COUNTIES SAUK RIVER AT ST CLOUD AFFECTING STEARNS COUNTY CROW RIVER AT ROCKFORD AFFECTING HENNEPIN AND WRIGHT COUNTIES REDWOOD RIVER NEAR REDWOOD FALLS AFFECTING REDWOOD COUNTY .OVERVIEW...THE FOLLOWING RIVER FORECASTS ARE BASED ON OBSERVED RAINFALL OF ONE TO FOUR INCHES LAST WEEKEND...AND AN ADDITIONAL QUARTER OF AN INCH...TO NEAR THREE INCHES OBSERVED ON MONDAY ...WITH HEAVIEST AMOUNTS ON MONDAY OVER SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA. THE FORECASTS ARE ALSO BASED ON FORECASTED RAINFALL OF BETWEEN FOUR TENTHS OF AN INCH...UP TO ONE INCH DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS.
Twins. Professional storm chaser Dustin Wilcox took this remarkable photo of dual tornadoes, roughly 1 mile apart, near Pilger, Nebraska on Monday.
Tornado Hits Pilger, Nebraska; Numerous Injuries, At Least One Dead. Here's a clip from a story at omaha.com: "...NWS meteorologist Barbara Mayes said the tornadoes that touched down were about a mile apart. The tornadoes did not hit Stanton, but they caused extensive damage in Pilger and some rural areas around that town of about 380. At least one of the tornadoes lifted off the ground several times before touching down again. "It was like God dragged two fingernails across the the land," said Gregg Moeller of Wisner..." (Photo credit above: Krisa3G).
Tornado spotted near Clear Lake, Iowa. Details here.
Ripe For More Soaking T-storms. Models show another 1 to 1.5" of rain between now and Thursday, but the official NWS forecast calls for a potential for as much as 2.7" of rain by Thursday as T-storms flare up along a stalled frontal boundary. Source: Iowa State.
Nagging Puddle Potential. 7-Day rainfall estimates from NOAA show very significant rains in excess of 3-5" possible from Montana into the Dakotas and much of the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley; repeated volleys of T-storms forming along thhe leading edge of hot, steamy air.
Swarms of Storms. NOAA's 12 km NAM Future Radar product shows numerous T-storms flaring up over the next 84 hours, heaviest rains from Minnesota into Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan, where flash flooding problems will persist.
Steamy Dew Points. Weatherspark data shows dew points in the upper 60s to nar 70F into Thursday, followed by a cooler, drier Canadian flow next week as dew points drop into the 50s, meaning nearly half as much water in the air. Thursday still appears to be the wettest day of the week.
Pressure Tendencies from Saturday's "Gravity Wave". My friend, Dan Lilledahl, who is a meteorologist at Delta Airlines in Atlanta, sent me this graph from MSP International Airport, showing Saturday's sudden dips and rises in atmospheric pressure. The sharp fall in barometric pressure created a partial vacuum near the surface - air rushing into that vacuum created several hours of powerful straight-line winds, peaking at 68 mph at the airport.
Risk of Storm Tide Topping NYC's Seawall Is 20 Times Greater Than 1800s. AccuWeather has a story that deserves a look; here's the intro: "An increased storm tide flowing high enough to exceed Manhattan's seawall defenses is 20 times greater today than it was 150 years ago, according to a new study published in a journal of the American Geophysical Union. The increased risk comes in large part to rising sea levels in New York Harbor, bringing with it the risk of extensive flooding on a more frequent basis, co-author Stefan Talke said..."
Photo credit above: "In this Oct. 29, 2012 file photo, streets in the Brooklyn borough of New York are flooded under the Manhattan Bridge as a surge of seawater is pushed into New York City by Superstorm Sandy." (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File).
The Future of Hurricanes, a $10 Trillion Question. That's the approximate dollar value of insured American properties in the potential path of hurricanes. It's been relatively quiet since 2005, but at some point - statistically - our luck will run out. Here's a clip from a story from the Philadelphia Enquirer at Florida Realtors: "...Experts say the lull represents the calm between the storms, and a bleak-or-bleaker debate continues over whether the Atlantic basin will be a busy tropical-storm brewery for perhaps the next two decades -- or in perpetuity. With an estimated $10 trillion worth of insured property in hurricane-target areas, the outcome is of importance not only for coastal residents and property owners, but for every U.S. taxpayer. From fiscal 2005 through 2013, hurricanes consumed more than $60 billion in federal disaster money, 75 percent of all Federal Emergency Management Agency aid, or about $500 per U.S. household. That doesn't capture the full tally for the hybrid storm Sandy, or the estimated 24 billion tax dollars all but lost to the U.S. Treasury by the National Flood Insurance Program..."
University of Alabama Researchers Show Small Changes Can Make Big Difference During Tornadoes. An article at Insurance Journal caught my eye - here are a few excepts focused on (building/construction) lessons learned in the wake of killer tornadoes from Oklahoma to Alabama: "...From the data collected in 2011, the researchers concluded that light-frame wood structures will not be able to withstand a direct hit from the forces of powerful EF4 or EF5 tornadoes which produce winds stronger than 166 mph. However, based off the three studies, it’s estimated 85 percent of the damage area left behind by an EF4 or EF5 tornado experience winds from EF0-EF2 tornadoes, or winds less than 135 mph....In the areas with lower wind speeds, the root for failure of residential structures was often the garage, according to the Moore damage assessments. When the garage door is breached during a tornado, it typically leads to pressurization of the garage, subsequent loss of roof over the garage and collapse of the garage walls..."
A Look at 2013 Flooding in Southern Alberta by the Numbers. A stalled rain-maker created serious weather havoc across southern Alberta, Canada last year at this time; here's a recap of some of the damage and displacement from The Province:
100,000: The estimated number of people affected by flooding. (Source: The Alberta Government)
985: Kilometres of road closed due to flood damage. (Source: The Alberta Government)
$70 million: The amount of money the government loaded onto 56,000 prepaid debit cards for flood evacuees. (Source: The Alberta Government)...
File photo above: Calgary Herald.
How Dad's Improve Their Kids' Lives, According To Science. Yes, my father looks younger than I do, which fills me with a wide range of emotions, mostly envy and admiration. I wish I got more of THOSE genes. I'm don't pretend to be a super-father - I'm still learning on the job, a job for which there is no manual or tutorial. Here's an excerpt from an interesting article at Vox: "We all think we know a lot about fathers and what they do for their kids, but what do we really know?" he told me in a recent interview. A science writer who'd published books on mental illness and space exploration, Raeburn did a comprehensive survey of scientific research on fatherhood. The result is his newest book, Do Fathers Matter? Raeburn found that fathers play a huge role in their children's lives, even before they're born. "Fathers have much more effect on children than even I would have guessed — and I was biased in favor of fathers to start with," he said..."
Rowing 2,400 Miles from Monterrey to Hawaii? This seems like a good idea on paper, but in reality? Check out the story at The San Francisco Chronicle.
Why You Should Only Spend $500 On Your Next TV. With 4K OLED right around the corner I'm feeling even more technologically inadequate than usual. 1080 HDTV is so 2007. Here's an excerpt from Wired: "Welcome to the awkward HDTV transitional phase. If you need to buy a new TV right now, what do you do? Bet big on an UltraHD TV and wait for 4K content to become as plentiful as HD? Splurge on an early-generation OLED, then kick yourself in two years when they become more affordable? Buy a massive, high-end 1080p set, then regret it when everybody flocks to your buddy’s house to watch Super Bowl 50 on his 4K OLED? At this moment, your smartest move is to go cheap..."
NFL May Track Footballs Using Magnetic Fields. Did the ball penetrate into the end zone? Sometimes it's tough to tell, even with instant-replay. Here's an excerpt of some new technology that may remove some of the guesswork, courtesy of Gizmag: "Have you ever wondered how game officials know if the football has passed the goal line, in situations where it's hidden under a pile-up of players? Well, sometimes they don't know, and they just have to hope that it isn't moved as the players get up. A team of researchers from North Carolina State University, Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research, however, may have a solution. They're developing a method of tracking a football via low-frequency magnetic fields..."
Sports-Loving Dog Watching The World Cup. Check out Georges on YouTube, who doesn't seem to mind who wins or loses. I wish I could get this excited.
85 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.
79 F. average high on June 16.
86 F. high on June 16, 2013.
.18" rain fell at KMSP International yesterday.
5.91" rain so far in June.
1.4" rain fell from June 1-16 last year.
20.38" precipitation so far in 2014.
11.77" average precipitation as of June 16.
June 16 in Minnesota Weather History. Source: Twin Cities NWS:
2010: The largest single-day tornado outbreak in Minnesota history occurred with 48 tornadoes across the state, and set the stage for a record breaking tornado year that finished with 113 tornadoes statewide. There were three EF-4 tornadoes and four EF-3 tornadoes in Minnesota on this day. Four tornado fatalities occurred, which was the highest number since July 5, 1978
1954: Hailstorm at St. Cloud injures many people.
TODAY: Sticky sun much of the day, few T-storms by evening. Dew point: 69. Winds: SE 10. High: 86
TUESDAY NIGHT: More T-storms likely, locally heavy rain. Low: 71
WEDNESDAY: Muggy, more T-storms pop up late. High: 87
THURSDAY: More numerous T-storms. Flash flooding? Wake-up: 70. High: 82
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, a bit drier. Wake-up: 69. High: 86
SATURDAY: Warm sun, isolated late-day storm. Wake-up: 68. High: 85
SUNDAY: Sunny start, late-day thunder. Wake-up: 66. High: near 80
MONDAY: Sunny, less humid. Dew point: 62. Wake-up: 63. High: 81
Climate Change and National Security: A House Divided. Buried deep in The National Defense Authorization Act (HR 4435 is an ammendment that specifically prevents the military from factoring climate change into future readiness plans and strategies. Here's a clip from The Houston Chronicle: "...Nestled in Title III, Subtitle B, Section 320A is a “prohibition on use of funds to implement certain climate change assessments and reports.” It reads:
None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to implement the United States Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation’s Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, or the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order No. 12866.
This amendment, in effect, keeps the Department of Defense from preparing for or performing any military activities that include any construction related to climate change. For example, it precludes protecting facilities such as the Norfolk Naval Base from changes in sea level..."
New Economic Model Shows Risks from Climate Change are Bigger Than Previously Estimated. Here's the introduction to a story at The London School of Economics and Political Science: "A new version of a standard economic model shows that the risks from unchecked climate change are bigger than previously estimated and strengthens the case for strong cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new paper by Simon Dietz and Nicholas Stern which is published today (16 June 2014). The paper, which has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication in a forthcoming issue of ‘The Economic Journal’, found that living standards could even start to decline later this century unless the growth in annual emissions of greenhouse gases is checked..."