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.

Posts about Super Bowl

2014 Twin Cities Precipitation Nearly Double Long-Term Average - More Storms Brewing

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: June 17, 2014 - 9:06 AM

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 Stories...

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..."

2014 Twin Cities Precipitation Nearly Double Long-Term Average - More Storms Brewing

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: June 16, 2014 - 10:56 PM

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.


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.


TODAY: Sticky sun, few T-storms. Dew point: 69. Winds: SE 10. High: 86

TUESDAY NIGHT: More T-storms, 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 Stories...

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..."

April Wind Chill (second wettest April on record; 60s return next week)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: April 29, 2014 - 11:05 PM


"Keep your expectations low. That way you may be pleasantly surprised from time to time."

Good advice, especially for a meteorologist. Especially this "spring". Goldilocks had a point: rarely is our weather "just right". It's usually too hot-cold-wet-dry. The 7-Day Outlook should come with a 7-Day supply of Zoloft.

But here's what I've discovered: the weather has an uncanny way of evening things out. It may not happen next week or next month, but this cold, foul, puddle-infested FAIL of a spring will be balanced by an extended spell of gloriously lukewarm blue-sky postcard-worthy days.

Then again I have been standing way too close to the Doppler.

Any unwanted slush in your yard gives way to rain showers today as temperatures aloft begin to mellow. Puddles shrink tomorrow as skies brighten; 50s will feel like sweet relief this weekend as the sun makes a rare cameo appearance. Next week will feel like spring again; consistent 60s and even a few low 70s by the second week of May.

Like a cruel meteorological mirage spring keeps getting pushed back.

And as much as I'm rooting for warm fronts to reach our lofty latitude, my hope is that we have a quiet tornado year in Minnesota. Stay tuned.

* photograph of a new lake in a farmer's field near Cologne, Minnesota courtesy of WeatherNation meteorologist Bryan Karrick.

** Second wettest April on record in the Twin Cities. The Star Tribune has details. More data from NOAA here.


Unstuck. The stormy pinwheel of moisture that has stalled out over the Ohio Valley much of this week, sparking tornado outbreaks in the south and soaking rains from the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes into the Upper MIdwest, will finally get kicked out to sea by late week. Another clipper-like system may push a few scattered instability showers into Minnesota on Friday. NAM Future Radar: NOAA and HAMweather.


East Coast Soaking. Some 2-3"+ rainfall amounts are likely from Washington D.C. to Albany today and early Thursday, capable of minor flooding problems over the Mid Atlantic and New England. Data: 84 hour NAM model, courtesy of NOAA and HAMweather.


Severe Threat Lingers - Not As Extreme. I'm happy to see a lack of "Moderate Risk" from NOAA SPC, a slight risk from Washington D.C. to Charlotte, Atlanta and Orlando later today with hail, straight-line winds and a few isolated tornadoes possible.


Another Springy Mirage? Probably not. The ECMWF model is fairly consistent pulling 60-degree air back into Minnesota next week. You may even be able to lose the jacket for a couple of days. Today will be raw, but spring returns in all it's glory by Tuesday. Graphic: Weatherspark.


Cheering On The 45-Day Wish-Cast. Confidence levels remain low on details, but the sun is climbing higher in the sky; at some point it WILL warm up. NOAA's 45-day CFS (Climate Forecast System) trend shows fairly consistent 60s in May, with 80s surging into Minnesota in June. Better late than never. Source: HAMweather.


72 Hour Rainfall Amounts. Most parts of the Twin Cities metro just picked up an April's worth of rain since Saturday. Check out some of the amounts, courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service:

Location County, ST     Provider 72 Hr Pcpn
N SAINT PAUL 1 NW  Ramsey EC MN COCORAHS 4.97
FALCON HEIGHTS 2 SSE  Ramsey EC MN COCORAHS 4.11
VICTORIA 2 ENE  Hennepin EC MN COCORAHS 4.07
COLUMBIA HEIGHTS 1 S  Hennepin EC MN CoCoRaHS 3.87
CHANHASSEN NWS Carver EC MN COOP 3.72
BUFFALO Wright C MN AWOS 3.64
ANOKA 2 SE  Anoka EC MN COCORAHS 3.60
ST CLOUD AP  Sherburne C MN ASOS 3.58
CHANHASSEN 1 SE  Carver EC MN COCORAHS 3.51
FOREST LAKE 5NE Chisago EC MN COOP 3.49
ST CLOUD SCSU Stearns C MN UCOOP 3.48
JORDAN 1SW Scott EC MN COOP 3.47
CRYSTAL AP  Hennepin EC MN ASOS 3.44
DELANO Wright C MN COOP 3.38
KIMBALL 3N Stearns C MN COOP 3.34
MPLS LWR ST ANTHONY FALLS Hennepin EC MN COOP 3.31
MANKATO 4E Blue Earth SC MN UCOOP 3.20
ST PAUL DWNTN AP Ramsey EC MN ASOS

3.14

 

Mississippi Weatherman Evacuates On Air As More Tornadoes Hit The South. Everyone wants to err on the side of caution, even the local meteorologist in the path of a large, violent tornado. At least this station in Tupelo has a basement, which came in handy Monday afternoon. New York Magazine reports (check out the video clip): "...A video from NBC affiliate WTVA offers a dramatic illustration of that point. On Monday afternoon chief meteorologist Matt Laubhan was reporting on the storm live on air when a tornado touched down near the station in Tupelo, Miss. After the feed stalls for a moment, Laubhan yells "Basement, now!" to other employees, then runs off camera. Later, the station tweeted "We are safe here..." 


Four Things That Turn America Into The "Tornado Super Bowl". Where have you heard that before? NBC News has an explainer, focused on why the USA experiences (far) more tornadoes than any other nation on Earth; here's a clip: "A one-of-a-kind combination of weather factors make the United States the twister capital of the world, with the ominous funnels 10 times more common in the states than anywhere else on the planet, scientists say. The four main ingredients all are geographical, all unique to America's borders: a massive mountain wall to the west, a warm ocean to the southeast, a cold-air “shield” to the north – and above these particular latitudes, a narrow river of wind, the jet stream, that surges eastward at hundreds of miles per hour..."


Little Rock Outbreak Details. Here is additional information on the Sunday evening outbreak that leveled parts of Vilonia and Mayflower, courtesy of the Little Rock, Arkansas National Weather Service: "In the picture: Rotation associated with the parent storm on 04/27/2014 was persistent for roughly 40 miles (Tornado #1) before weakening (where the gap is indicated). Another tornado (Tornado #2) was likely spawned a short time later by the same storm and tracked through White, Jackson, and Independence Counties. Note: Tornado #2 may actually be several tornadoes. This will be determined through damage surveys. The graphic is courtesy of the National Severe Storms Laboratory..."

• This is the strongest tornado to hit the state since the Denning tornado on May 24-25, 2011. That tornado was rated EF4, with a path length of 45.71 miles. Four were killed, 27 injured. The fatalities were at Etna and Denning in Franklin County, and Bethlehem in Johnson County, all in mobile homes.

• This is the second time in three years that Vilonia has been hit by a tornado. The last time was April 25, 2011, when a long-tracked EF2 tornado hit, killing four.

• Since reliable records began in 1950, Vilonia has seen five tornado tracks within the present-day city limits. Aside from 4/27/2014, there was 4/25/2011 (EF2), 12/24/1982 (F3), 12/23/1982 (F2), and 03/12/1961 (F2). Source: National Weather Service, Little Rock.

* 2 confirmed deaths from Sunday's tornado outbreak in Iowa. Details here.


Preliminary Tornado Ratings:

EF-4: Louisville, MS

EF-3: Mayflower/Vilonia AR, Limestone County, AL (at least), Tupelo, MS

EF-2 : Union City, TN, Heard/Troup County, GA

EF-1 : Kimberly, AL (north Jefferson County)


Storm Chaser Says He's Retiring After Deadly Arkansas Tornado. CNN has a remarkable interview with a storm chaser who's apparently had enough; here's the description: "Deadly tornadoes have left a path of death and destruction for miles in the south. Our Ed Lavandera is in Mayflower, Arkansas where he caught up with a storm chaser who came dangerously close to it all. He tells us why his experience on Sunday will be his last."


Tornado "Scar". Chris Dolce points out a comparison of high-resolution NASA MODIS images taken before and after the Mayflower-Vilonia tornado. You can see the damage swath left behind in the top image, taken April 28.


Most Tornado Watches? Looking at data from 1999-2008 the most tornado watches issued by NOAA SPC weren't in traditional Tornado Alley, but southern Alabama and Mississippi; an average of 16 tornado watches every year. Not quite what I was expecting.


Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due. Meteorologists take a lot of flak for missing forecasts, but the folks at NOAA SPC in Norman, Oklahoma nailed the tornado prediction Sunday, again on Monday. That's the topic of today's first Climate Matters segment: "WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas goes over the factors that went into the historic tornado outbreak that dropped large destructive tornadoes over Alabama and Mississippi. What has to happen to make a situation like this occur?"


Dome It! Schools Can Affordably Survive Tornadoes. Yes, tornadoes are a threat, and an opportunity to make our communities more resilient and storm-prooof. Here's an excerpt of a timely, interesting article from Andrew Revkin at The New York Times: "... I spoke Monday with David B. South, the co-inventor of a dome manufacturing process 37 years ago whose company, Monolithic Dome, has been erecting storm-safe domed school buildings from Sarasota, Fla., through Geronimo, Okla., and Lumberton, Tex., and even west to Payson, Ariz. (where the benefits include the big energy savings that come with thick insulation and concrete). There are ways to build a safe haven into a conventional school design, as well. But old building codes, tight budgets and simple inertia continue to get in the way of change..."

Photo credit above: Monolithic Dome. "A domed building at the Dale, Okla., elementary school doubles as a tornado shelter and cafeteria."


Supercell. Check out the timelapse footage of a supercell thunderstorm passing over Des Moines, courtesy of meteorologist Jason Parkin. Great animation.


Why It's Hard To Outsmart A Tornado (And How Scientists Are Trying). NBC News has an interesting story about the difficulty in determining which supercell thunderstorms will go on to spawn large/deadly tornadoes. As a nation we over-warn for twisters, which is probably better than the alternative. Here's an excerpt: "...As a result, Wurman said forecasters tend to "overwarn" about tornadoes. The false-alarm rate for tornado warnings is about 75 percent. But Brooks said it's better to sound a false alarm than to risk missing a killer tornado. "That 75 percent number is a result of the fact that deciding whether this is a tornado-making storm is a fundamentally hard problem," he said..." (Image: Gene Blevins, Reuters).


Tornado Tip-Offs. Meet the new starting pitcher for the Twins. There's a sign of The Apocalypse. No, I'm using visual aids to remind you about hail and tornadoes. Most large, violent tornadoes are preceded or accompanied by large hail. The larger the hail, the stronger the thunderstorm updraft. The stronger the updraft the higher the probability of a supercell powerful enough to tornado. That's the subject of this Climate Matters segment: "Large destructive storms capable of dropping baseball sized hail and damaging tornadoes don't happen where you think. WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas shows just where most of these powerful storms are witnessed."


Tornadoes: The Science Behind The Destruction. National Geographic has more good information and background on tornadogenesis - here's a clip: "...Even then, "we still don't know why some thunderstorms create tornadoes while others don't," tornado-chaser Tim Samaras said in early 2013. Samaras was a scientist and National Geographic grantee who was killed by a twister on May 31, 2013, in El Reno, Oklahoma. (Read "The Last Chase" in National Geographic magazine.) Brooks says scientists believe strong changes in winds in the first kilometer of the atmosphere and high relative humidity are important for the formation of tornadoes. He adds that there also needs to be a downdraft in just the right part of the storm..."


From "Gale" To "Inconceivable". Ranking Tornado Strength. Here's a good explanation of the new enhanced Fujita (EF) scale, courtesy of an article at Time Magazine: "...The Enhanced Fujita scale was adopted in 2007. It was designed to more accurately reflect the actual damage a tornado had done on the ground. The EF scale uses 28 different damage indicators, ranging from small barns to hardwood trees to shopping malls—and each of those indicators is assessed based on several different points of possible damage..."


61 Facts About Tornadoes. Here are just a few from abc15.com in Phoenix:

- "A tornado emergency is enhanced wording in a tornado warning indicating a large tornado is moving into a heavily populated area. Significant widespread damage and numerous fatalities are likely. The term was coined by forecasters in May 1999 and is used sparingly.

- Enhanced Fujita Scale: The Fujita scale is used to estimate the wind speed of a tornado by the damage the tornado causes."

* details on the 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak, featured above, from Wikipedia.


Yes, Tornadoes Are Getting Stronger. To be fair and balanced, there is still no widely accepted scientific gun that can directly connect the dots, to the point we can say "climate change absolutely produces more numerous or more powerful tornadoes". But this story out of Wired just made me do a double-take; here's a clip: "...A tornado-power equation that actually gauges a twister’s kinetic energy would be more useful to scientists who are also examining the effects of climate change, so that’s what Elsner built. He looked at the length and width of a storm’s damage path, correlated that to the amount of damage, and then used the result to estimate wind 1.0 speed. A little more crunching and bam!—integrated kinetic energy of a storm. Non-linear upward trend estimated values of kinetic energy Elsner’s analysis suggests that since the turn of the century, tornadoes have packed a more powerful punch..."


Researchers Develop Model To Correct Tornado Records. With Doppler (and a proliferation of storm chasers after the movie "Twister" was released in the early 90s) we've seen an apparent uptick in tornadoes. More people and technology looking for them. But are tornadoes becoming more intense over time? Here's a clip from a story posted by Florida State University: "...The increase in reports has diminished the population bias somewhat, but it introduced a second problem: There are more reports, but are there also, in fact, more tornadoes? In other words, is the risk actually increasing? To address these issues, the FSU researchers first made the assumption that the frequency of tornadoes is the same in cities as in rural areas. They also operated on the assumption that the reported number of tornadoes in rural areas is low relative to the actual number of tornadoes. Their model calls for the reported number in rural areas to be adjusted upward by a factor that depends on the number of tornadoes in the nearest city and the distance from the nearest city. The model shows that it is likely that tornadoes are not occurring with greater frequency, but there is some evidence to suggest that tornadoes are, in fact, getting stronger..."


100-Degree Heat Brewing For Los Angeles Area - Records May Fall. 100F in late April? Here's an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: "A heat wave this week is expected to send temperatures soaring to 20 degrees above normal for much of the Southland, potentially breaking records with triple digits in some areas, forecasters say. Building high pressure is also expected to bring gusty Santa Ana winds to the region, prompting warnings of high fire danger, particularly Tuesday through Thursday, when temperatures could hit 100 degrees in some inland areas, the National Weather Service said..."

* forecast graphic above: NOAA and HAMweather.


 

Phones Are Giving Away Your Location, Regardless Of Your Privacy Settings. No, you're not paranoid - you are being tracked until further notice. Maybe if I start using my old brick phone...? Quartz has the story; here's an excerpt: "...A new study has found evidence that accelerometers—which sense motion in your smartphone and are used for applications from pedometers to gaming—leave “unique, trackable fingerprints” that can be used to identify you and monitor your phone. Here’s how it works, according to University of Illinois electrical and computer engineering professor Romit Roy Choudhury and his team: Tiny imperfections during the manufacturing process make a unique fingerprint on your accelerometer data..."


Confirming Our Suspicions: Oreos Are As Addictive As Crack. Here's a clip from a story at Huffington Post: "...Thanks for telling us what we already knew, science! Just last year, a team at Connecticut College got a bunch of lab rats, Oreos, and cocaine, and set off for Vegas. Actually, they set up two mazes. The first maze had Oreos at one end and rice cakes on the other; the second promised an injection of saline on one side and an injection of morphine/cocaine at the other. After they had received their prize, the rats could choose to linger as long as they liked, presumably in the hopes of seconds they would never get..."


Best TV News Bloopers Of April. There are some really good ones in here - video courtesy of TVNewsCheck. (PG rated).


42 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.

64 F. average high on April 29.

75 F. high on April 29, 2013.

.56" rain fell yesterday at MSP International Airport.

6.2" rain so far this month, second wettest April on record.

Trace of snow fell yesterday.

69.8" snow so far this winter/spring season. Not sure what to call this anymore.


 

TODAY: Slushy start in some towns? Light rain. Still foul. Winds: NW 15. High: 43

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Light rain or drizzle. Wet roads. Low: 39

THURSDAY: Showers taper, skies brighten late in the day. High: 49

FRIDAY: Some sun, passing shower. Wake-up: 40. High: 55

SATURDAY: More clouds than sun. Wake-up: 42. High: 57

SUNDAY: More sun, nicer day of weekend. Wake-up: 39. High: 56

MONDAY: Unsettled. Risk of a shower. Wake-up: 44. High: 57

TUESDAY: Stray T-storm. Finally feels like spring. Wake-up: 43. High: 61


Climate Stories...

* cartoon courtesy of David Horsey at The Los Angeles Times.


Typhoon Haiyan Was Just The Start - Prepare For An Even Stormier Future. As oceans continue to warm will hurricanes and typhoons become more intense over time? Here's an excerpt from The Guardian: "...The damage Haiyan caused outstripped any storm the typhoon-prone islands had experienced before. Reibl says typhoon Bopha in 2012 had already redefined ideas on how big a typhoon could get, and yet "just a year later, Haiyan made Bopha seem like just a little wind … When Bopha happened we didn't envisage a Haiyan. Can we envisage something more than Haiyan?" Reibl says that in the past the Philippines were considered the 7-11 of natural disasters – small but open all hours. Indonesia, with its large but infrequent disasters, was more like a mega mall. He says the scale of devastation wrought by Haiyan meant the Philippines had become "a mega mall that is now also open 24/7"...

Photo credit above: "An aerial photograph of a coastal town in Samar province in central Philippines, taken on 11 November 2013." Photograph: Erik De Castro/REUTERS.


Top Military Commanders Have Declared Our Biggest Threat, And It's One We're All Ignoring. I have a son in the Navy and I can assure you that Navy brass take climate change very seriously. Seas are rising; that will impact Navy ports in the years and decades to come. Anything that potentially destabilizes economies and can spark conflict is of great interest to the Pentagon. Here's an excerpt from PolicyMic: "...For the U.S. military, climate change isn't just about sad-looking polar bears and declining biodiversity. It's a real challenge that has the potential to seriously destabilize nations and throw entire regions into conflict, potentially escalating into wars that will require new strategies and new technologies to win. In a recent interview with the Responding to Climate Change blog, retired Army Brig. Gen. Chris King said that the military is extremely concerned about climate change. "This is like getting embroiled in a war that lasts 100 years..."


Supreme Court Backs EPA Rules For Coal Pollution. The New York Times has an update - here's an excerpt: "The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate coal-plant pollution that wafts across state lines from 27 Midwestern and Appalachian states to eastern states. The 6-to-2 ruling is a major environmental victory for the Obama administration, which has instituted several new E.P.A. regulations under the Clean Air Act in an effort to crack down on coal pollution. Republicans and the coal industry have criticized the effort as a “war on coal...”

File photo: Matt Brown, AP.


Climate Scientist Katherine Hayhoe On Time Magazine's Most Influential People of 2014 List. Here's an excerpt of an interview with Dr. Hayhoe from The University of Toronto: "... I’m encouraged when international relief and development organizations like World Vision put climate change at the forefront of their concerns. I’m inspired by faith leaders from Pope Francis to the U.S. National Association of Evangelicals who emphasize how the Christian faith demands a response to climate change. With 97 per cent of climate scientists agreeing that climate change is happening due to the choices people make every day, the simple truth is that the scientific debate is over, and now it’s time for all of us, from every walk of life and part of society, to take action..."

Stubborn Cold Continues; Much Needed Moisture in the West

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: February 5, 2014 - 6:14 PM

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder" - Thomas Haynes Bayly; 1844.

At this point in the winter season, it's hard to imaging what 70F would feel like. The more and more I think about it, the more and more I yearn for it. Has anybody invented a winter blinder that you can install in January or February? Let me know... In the meantime, take those well timed vacations to get you through the 'darker' days of winter. We deserve it, right? Tell that to my back account!

Our eye-stinging, bright white landscape isn't going anywhere anytime soon. As of midday Wednesday, the MSP Airport reported 14" of snow on the ground with nearly 2.3" of water locked in that snow pack. That stat will come in handy in several more weeks during the spring flooding season.

I hate to sound like such a Debbie Downer. This cold and snowy weather is great news for folks that make a living during this time of the year. Hey, snowmobile and ice fishing sales are up! I hear the bite on certain lakes has been quite good this year too. We call ourselves "hardy" in Minnesota, why not live it up? I guess it's just a little hard to get used to an old fashioned winter. Maybe it's just me - wimp.

-Todd Nelson

______________________________________________________________________

THURSDAY: Bitter sun. Brisk wind chill. High: 4. Feels Like: -20F early. Winds: West 10.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Clear, cold and quiet. Low: -8. Feels Like: -15F

FRIDAY: Stubborn cold continues. High: 12

SATURDAY: Light snow, mainly southern MN. Wake-up: 0. High: 13

SUNDAY: Clearing, turning colder. Wake-up: -8. High: 3

MONDAY:Old Man Winter receives threats. Wake-up: -10. High: 3

TUESDAY:  What else, but more cold sun. Wake-up: -5. High: 10.

WEDNESDAY: More clouds, light snow late? Wake-up: 2. High: 16.

_____________________________________________________________________

MSP Temp Trend

For those of you looking for any light at the end of the tunnel, unfortunately, our colder than normal weather will likely stick around through the middle of February. Here's our temperature trend into early next week.

Stubborn Cold Continues

I've definitely seen enough pink and purple on weather maps this winter season... I wish it would ease up some. Here's the chilly outlook through Saturday.

Cold Pushes Snow South

Thanks to the recent cold air invasion across the Upper Mississppi Valley, we've seen the storm track settle south just a bit. This unfortunately has been bringing round after round of wintry weather to the middle and eastern part of the country. We've actually seen 3 different winter storm since late last week and 2 seperate systems since Super Bowl Sunday. Here's the snowfall analysis over the past 72 hours. The last one on Tuesday/Wednesday was a doozy. There were several reports of 6" to 12" from the Central Plains to the Northeast. There were even a few reports exceeding a foot!

No Grilling Zone

Thanks to my good friend Matt Dux for this image near Kansas City, MO after nearly 10" fell! It laments that it's going to be a little hard to get to the grill.

Snowy in New York

Here was the scene from midday Wednesday as my good friend and colleague Addison Green drove up to the La Guardia Airport. His flight was originally delayed several hours due to the storm on Wednesday and eventually canceled. Addison was one of several thousand people that had traveling issues at some of the major hubs on Tuesday & Wednesday.

Ice Accumulations

Thanks to the National Weather Service Eastern Region for the image below, which suggests the ice accumulations from our latest storms system for folks in the Northeast. According to the map below, there were several locations that had 0.25" to nearly 0.50" of ice! One report out of Marion, KY boasted 0.75"! Keep in mind that just 0.50" of ice can add up to 500lbs. of extra weight to a span of power lines (pole to pole). No surprise power outages are a big concern during ice storms!

Significant Ice in Louisville, KY

Thanks to Drew Cooks via CN2 for this image out of Louisville, KY.

Brambleton, MD

Here's another icy shot from my good friend Amy Bettwy out of Brambleton, MD

Ice Storm Damage

Thanks to Kelly Heil out of Forest Hill, MD for this picture, which looks unpleasant. Unfortunately, this was a common scene for the recent ice storm on the southern edge of the heavy snow swath. At one point on Wednesday, there were more than 1 million customers without power across the nation from the snow and ice.

Here were some of the reports from AM Wednesday:

Pennsylvania: 701,215
Maryland: 135,567
Arkansas: 49,506
Kentucky: 43,889
New Jersey: 28,098
West Virginia: 23,633
Tennessee: 11,005
Ohio: 12,798
New York: 4,540

Colder Behind the Storm

Take a look at the 24 hour temperature change from yesterday afternoon across the country. Note the significant drops across the southern part of the country.

Widespread Wind Chill Concerns

WOW! Take a look at how widespread the wind chill concerns will be through midday Thursday. Withing these areas, we could see feels like temps from -10F to -35F!

Cold Thursday Ahead

Brrr... Here's the chilly outlook for the nation on Thursday.

Highs From Normal Thursday

Much of the nation will below average with the exception of the far southern tip of Florida. However, a large chunk of the nation with be significantly below average.

6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, there's still a good chance that the eastern half of the nation will see below average temperatures, while the southwestern part of the country could see warming temperatures. Also note Alaska could see a temperature drop by mid February.

Goodbye Storm - Hello Next Storm

As we say goodbye to one storm, our attention shift once again to the west. It appears the western part of the country will stay quite active through the upcoming weekend.

Much Needed Precipitation

Well this is good timing! Just after parts of California were added to the highest drought classification for the state in recorded history, well timed moisture has moved in. Even though we're seeing moisture, we are still well behind normal and need several more of these systems before we can even think about peering out of the woods. According to NOAA's HPC 5 day precipitation forecast, some areas across northern California could see 5" to 7" of precipitation by Monday evening.

Western Warnings

The National Weather Service has issued several winter weather headlines for the incoming storm(s). Here are some of the latest headlines.


THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SACRAMENTO HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY ABOVE 4000 FEET FOR SNOW... WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 10 PM PST THURSDAY.

* IMPACTS: EXPECT PERIODS OF HAZARDOUS TRAVEL, CHAIN REQUIREMENTS AND TRAVEL DELAYS OVER THE NORTHERN SIERRA PASSES.

* CONFIDENCE: MODERATE.

* TIMING: MODERATE SNOW FROM EARLY THURSDAY THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING. HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY. SNOW LEVELS WILL RISE TO ABOVE 6000 FEET THROUGH THE DAY SATURDAY.

* LOCATIONS INCLUDE: BLUE CANYON...DONNER PASS...ECHO SUMMIT... CARSON PASS.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: 4 TO 8 INCHES OF SNOW POSSIBLE ABOVE 4000 FEET THURSDAY. 1 TO 2 INCHES OF SNOW POSSIBLE DOWN TO 3000 FEET THURSDAY. 1 TO 2 FEET OF SNOW POSSIBLE ALONG THE SIERRA CREST FRIDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY.
 

What About That Weekend Storm in the Northeast?

It's still something to watch as weather models have been fluctuating a bit, but we may be seeing a slight shift east in the storm track, which would mean that the storm would be as intense... stay tuned!

Surfer Tackles World Record Wave?

This is crazy! It's hard to grasp how BIG this wave REALLY is, but estimates have this thing around 80ft. and could certainly be worthy of a world record!

"Andrew Cotton, a 34-year-old surfer from England, took on one of the biggest waves of all time on Sunday despite harsh weather conditions in Portugal. When the crest of the 80-foot wave caught up with him, he tumbled, disappearing beneath the water's surface for a brief moment.

Cotton told the BBC his fall was "pretty bad" and described the windy conditions as "bordering on unsurfable." He was wearing an inflatable vest which shot him up to the surface of the water."

See the full story & VIDEO from mashable.com HERE:

Thanks for checking in and have a great rest of your week!

Twitter: @TNelsonWNTV

Cold and Quiet (parade of major snowstorms tracks well south)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: February 3, 2014 - 10:08 PM

A Real Winter

15 inches of snow on the ground. No grumpy e-mails from snow lovers this winter, for a change. So far MSP has picked up nearly 40 inches of powder; 5 inches more than average, to date - and almost 17 inches more than last winter as of February 4. And just about all of it came from a cold conga-line of clippers. Each new reinforcing blast of Canadian chill was preceded by a few inches of fluff.

It adds up, especially when steering winds direct from the Arctic Circle prevent any extended thaws.

If anyone asks (doubtful) we just topped 5,000 heating degree days since July 1, 2013. That means we've spent about 7.5 percent more heating our homes & businesses than during an average winter. Whatever "average" is.

While a parade of shovel-worthy storms pass south - Minnesota enjoys cold and quiet weather into next week; 5 more subzero lows between Thursday & Monday, followed by a thaw the middle of next week.

At some point a higher sun angle will start to make a dent in this stubborn, nagging whirlpool of cold air, what's left of the much-maligned Polar Vortex.<p>Right now I see an extended spell of 30s, even a few 40s the 3rd week of February.

Yes, I'm ready for the Spring Vortex.


Lake Superior Ice Caves. This is beyond cool - details from Instagram and the U.S. Department of Interior: "For the first time in five years, the ice on Lake Superior is thick enough to visit the spectacular sea caves of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in #Wisconsin. Inside the caves awaits a fairyland of needlelike icicles. The formations change from chamber to chamber and from day to day. Apostle Islands is experiencing high volume of visitors right now, so we recommend that you visit the caves during the week..."


Storm Track Gets A Rude Southward Shove. As much as the cold weather is annoying (and it is) it's saving us from heavy-duty shoveling and even more painful commutes. When it's this cold it usually means the core of the storm track is too far south/east of Minnesota for significant snowfalls. That will be the case into at least the middle of next week. Map: Twin Cities National Weather Service.


Close Call. The Des Moines office of the National Weather Service has printed out expected snowfall amounts across Iowa, as much as 4-6" for metro Des Moines, with heavier amounts closer to the Missouri border.


One More Cold Week - Then Improvement. I can't promise blooming crocus or chirping robins anytime soon, but data suggests we'll pull out of the worst of the Deep Freeze by the third week of February. 30s will feel like sweet relief by the middle of next week. ECMWF (European) guidance: Weatherspark.

Coastal Storm Potential Early Next Week? It's still early (it always is), but many of the ingredients may converge for a significant coastal storm, even a full-fledged Nor'easter next Sunday and Monday, as the latest surge of Canadian air approaches the East Coast. Image above: Climate Reanalyzer.


2014: A Tale Of Meteorological Haves And Have-Nots. The drought continues to deepen in California, while snowfall amounts are trending well above average for many cities in the central and eastern USA. Today's Climate Matters looks at the extremes setting up, speculating on what the big weather story in 2014 may be: "WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas looks at the "conga line of storms" that keep moving across the United States, one right after another. A number of these systems have brought much above average snowfall to Philadelphia and parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. While the East is wetter than average, the West finally saw rain after a record setting 52 days without a drop in Sacramento. Will there be a break in the pattern? Or will the drought end up being the biggest weather story of 2014?"


Time Is Running Out For California Drought Relief. Considering the wet season on the west coast spills over into early March we still have a few weeks to make up for what some are calling the worst drought since 1977, possibly longer. Here's an excerpt of a Climate Central post from meteorologist Andrew Freedman: "The California drought, now reaching into its 13th month, grows more devastating with each passing day and there is no sign of significant relief in sight. More than halfway through the state's wet season and the Sierra Nevada snowcap all but non-existent, California's prospects for making up its precipitation deficit are slim. The snowcap will yield precious little water and the state would need to get an average of about a foot or more of rain in the next two months to make up the difference. Forecasts are not offering much hope of that..."

Graphic credit above: "Comparison of the water content in California's mountain snowpack so far this year, compared to the state's wettest and driest years." (The data is divided by region.) Climate Central using CDWR data.


A Drier California Than Ever? Pretty Much. The Los Angeles Times has the article - here's the introduction: "The last 12 months have been the driest on record in California, and this, on the heels of two below-normal years, prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare that the state is in a drought emergency. Ours is a state that relies heavily on the winter storms that bring us the vast majority of our water supply, and those storms have been blocked and diverted so we have received virtually no significant water in more than a year. The 2014 water year, which began Oct. 1, is on track to be even drier than the devastating drought of 1976-77..."

Photo credit above: "The 2014 water year, which began Oct. 1, is on track to be even drier than the devastating drought of 1976-77." (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press / January 31, 2014).


California Farmers Brace For Drought, Unemployment. We've quickly gone from inconvenience to crisis mode with California's drought - at this rate 2014 is going to be long, potentially historic year, and I don't even want to think about the wildfire season to come. Here's a clip from AP and ABC News: "Amid California's driest year on record, the nation's leading agricultural region is locked in drought and bracing for unemployment to soar, sending farm workers to food lines in a place famous for its abundance. One-third of the Central Valley's jobs are related to farming. Strains on water supplies are expected to force farmers to leave fields unplanted, creating a ripple effect on food processing plant workers, truck drivers and those who sell fertilizer, irrigation equipment and tractors..."

Photo credit above: "In this Thursday Jan. 30, 2014 photo, Mendota, Calif. Mayor Robert Silva, 72, explains how the state’s drought is sure to drive up unemployment in his rural farming town during an interview in Mendota. Five years ago, the last dry year and height of the national recession, farm workers lined up for free food as unemployment exceeding 40 percent in Mendota. Silva fears that this year the food lines will be even longer." (AP Photo/Scott Smith).


Alerts Broadcaster Briefing: Excerpt of a briefing issued Monday morning, February 3, 2014.

* America's Snow Machine revs into high gear again this week with 2 distinct storms, one already impacting the Mid Atlantic, Northeast and coastal New England; a second storm pushes across the Central Plains into the Midwest and Ohio Valley Tuesday into Wednesday.

* Second surge of snow spreads across Plains into Midwest today into Wednesday; Chicago forecast to pick up 2-4" with heaviest snow bands probably passing south of Windy City; greater potential for 6"+ amounts Kansas City to Peoria to Indianapolis, Toledo, Detroit and Cleveland.


Latest Watches & Warnings. NOAA has issued Winter Storm Warnings from West Virginia, northern Maryland and southern Pennsylvania into the metro New York City area for today. Additional warnings have been posted from northwest Oklahoma and eastern Kansas into metro Kansas City Tuesday and Wednesday as the second storm gets going.


Storm Overview. Today's storm puts down a heavy stripe of sloppy, wet snow from Altoona, York and Lancaster into New York City. The second swath of heavy snow (heaviest amounts in red and purple) sets up Tuesday PM into Wednesday as a second storm takes a more northerly track.


Projected Amounts. About 3-6" of slush will pile up in the New York City area by the time the storm winds down mid-afternoon today, with 2-4" for Boston, heavier amounts just inland. The second storm forecast to spin up Tuesday and Wednesday may dump a foot of snow on eastern Kansas, southeast Nebraska, northern Missouri into central Illinois. Although Chicago will miss the heaviest snow bands, Indianapolis may pick up 6" or more of snow, along with Terre Haute, South Bend, Toledo, Detroit and Cleveland.


BPI: 9 PM Tuesday. A burst of heavy snow and strong wind may create near-blizzard conditions from Champaign-Urbana to Indianapolis late Tuesday, capable of widespread travel delays (land and air). Right now it appears the worst conditions will pass just south of Chicago Tuesday PM hours, but it will be a close call, and travel into and out of O'Hare and Midway will be impacted by a domino effect of air delays.


4"+ Snowfall Potential Tuesday - Wednesday. The second storm pushes significant snow farther north tomorrow and Wednesday, impacting Indianapolis, Toledo, Cleveland, Williamsport, Elmira and Albany. The atmosphere should be warm enough for (mostly) rain Wednesday from D.C. and Philadelphia to New York City.


Probability of 4"+ Snows Tuesday - Wednesday. Here's a broader view of the second storm, and which metro areas stand the greatest chance of seeing a plowable, 4"+ accumulation. Lincoln may pick up 3-4", with the heaviest amounts from St. Joseph and Kansas City to near Des Moines, Burlington and Bloomington (IL), pushing toward Indianapolis and South Bend, reaching Toledo, Cleveland, Erie and Buffalo Tuesday night into Wednesday.


Weekend Preview and Summary: The groundhog's prediction of 6 more weeks of winter sounds about right, gazing at the maps and model predictions. No quick spring this year. Travel conditions improve dramatically Thursday and Friday, before another rain/snow event impacts the East Coast Saturday and Sunday (map above shows one early solution of next weekend's potential storm, hinting at a major Nor'easter with strong coastal winds and very heavy snows over interior New England). It's early to go into details, but realize that the upcoming weekend may be filled with more unwelcome weather drama across much of the Northeast, with the best chance of wind/snow/rain/coastal flooding issues next Sunday and Monday.

Long-range guidance shows a significant thaw east of the Rockies next week. The next 36-48 hours will bring the most delays/cancellations and overall weather headaches. Although I won't be referring to spring fever anytime soon, conditions do improve, nationwide, by next week.

Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster


Scientists Think Bubbles May Hold The Key To Understanding Storms (Video). Thanks to my buddy Mike Huang for passing this one along. No, we don't know what we don't know. Here's a clip from Mashable: "Bubbles might be fairly innocuous, but they may also hold a clue to understanding a more sinister natural phenomena — storms. French physicists at the University of Bordeaux are studying the behavior of the soapy substance to more accurately predict the intensity of large storms on the scale of Hurricane Sandy. The flow of liquid on the bubbles' membranes resembles the movements of weather systems that travel over the Earth, according to a report in the Daily Mail..."


China's Deceptively Weak (And Dangerous) Military. Here's an excerpt of an article at The Diplomat that caught my eye: "...The Chinese military is dangerous in another way as well. Recognizing that it will never be able to compete with the U.S. and its allies using traditional methods of war fighting, the PLA has turned to unconventional “asymmetric” first-strike weapons and capabilities to make up for its lack of conventional firepower, professionalism and experience. These weapons include more than 1,600 offensive ballistic and cruise missiles, whose very nature is so strategically destabilizing that the U.S. and Russia decided to outlaw them with the INF Treaty some 25 years ago..."

Image credit above: REUTERS/China Daily.


The Sochi Effect. Talk about over-budget. The 2014 Winter Olympics is an accountant's worst nightmare. Here's an excerpt from a mind-boggling story at The New Yorker: "Whatever happens on the ice and snow of Sochi in the next couple of weeks, one thing is certain: this Winter Olympics is the greatest financial boondoggle in the history of the Games. Back in 2007, Vladimir Putin said that Russia would spend twelve billion dollars on the Games. The actual amount is more than fifty billion. (By comparison, Vancouver’s Games, in 2010, cost seven billion dollars.)..."


The Ultimate Volvo Commercial. 3 million miles - on one vehicle? How is that even possible? Details from The Truth About Cars.


You Probably Didn't See The Best Super Bowl Commercial. This gives new meaning to OVER THE TOP. Details (and the surreal 2:00 commercial spot) courtesy of digg.com: "It's a shame that this Super Bowl commercial for a personal injury lawyer named Jamie Casino only aired in Georgia because it was absolutely insane... and awesome."


"Whoever Is Praying For Snow - Please Stop". This is from my sister, who lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where they've picked up as much snow this winter as the Twin Cities.


Master Of The Obvious. No kidding, Phil. Although not officially sanctioned by NOAA, Punxatawney Phil does have his own web site.


-1 F. low in the Twin Cities Monday.

16 F. high yesterday.

26 F. average high for February 3.

13 F. high on February 3, 2013.

14" snow on the ground.

1984: "Surprise Blizzard" across Minnesota and parts of the Dakotas. Meteorologists were caught off guard with its rapid movement. Persons described it as a "wall of white." Thousands of motorists were stranded in subzero weather. Only a few inches of snow fell, but was whipped by winds up to 80 mph. 16 people die in stranded cars and outside. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service.


TODAY: Clouds increase. Dry sky. Winds: N 10. High: 17

TUESDAY NIGHT: Mostly cloudy; snow stays well south, over Iowa. Low: -4

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, feels like -20F. High: 5

THURSDAY: Plenty of sun. Cold, but quiet. Wake-up: -14. High: 4

FRIDAY: Intervals of sun. What February? Wake-up: -9. High: 11

SATURDAY: More clouds than sun. Brisk. Wake-up: -7. High: 10

SUNDAY: East Coast storm. Blue sky here. Wake-up: -9. High: 13

MONDAY: Fading sun, warm-up begins. Wake-up: -3. High: 19

* 30s are likely by the middle of next week. Whoop Whoop!


Climate Stories....

Groundhog Decade: We're Stuck In A Movie Where It's Always The Hottest Decade On Record. Here's the intro to a Joe Romm article at ThinkProgress: "Somewhere on a Hollywood movie set for Groundhog Day, Part 2: Bill Murray wakes up to find he’s just lived through the hottest decade on record, just as he did in the 1990s, just as he did in the 1980s. And he keeps waking up in the hottest decade on record, until he gains the kind of maturity and wisdom that can only come from doing the same damn thing over and over and over again with no change in the result. Ah, if only life were like a movie. Somewhere in PA: Punxsutawney Phil saw the shadow of unrestricted fossil-fuel pollution from Homo “sapiens” today. That means global warming for another six thousand weeks — and then some (see NOAA: Climate change “largely irreversible for 1000 years”)..."


Earth Talk: Cold Weather Doesn't Mean Global Warming Doesn't Exist. Keeping a global perspective is difficult (we're all hard-wired to react to rapid weather changes, not slow changes in climate over time), but it's critical to keep a broad, global, long-term perspective. Here's an excerpt from The Santa Monica Daily Press: "It's tempting to think that the cold air and snow outside augur the end of global warming, but don't rejoice yet. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), weather and climate are two very different beasts: "Weather is what's happening outside the door right now, today a snowstorm or a thunderstorm is approaching. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades..."

Photo credit above: "The harsh winter we are having shouldn’t be viewed as a refutation of global warming, but rather as further evidence of a growing problem. Pictured: Trying to get around in Cortland, Ill. on Jan. 4, 2014." (Michael Kappel, courtesy Flickr).


An Imminent Transition To A More Arid Climate In Southwestern North America. In light of deepening drought across California and the southwestern USA I stumbled upon this research paper from Richard Seager at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. Here are a few take-aways from his research:

  1. Southwestern North America and other subtropical regions are going to become increasingly arid as a consequence of rising greenhouse gases.
  2. The transition to a drier climate should already be underway and will become well established in the coming years to decades, akin to permanent drought conditions.
  3. This is a robust result in climate model projections that has its source in well represented changes in the atmospheric hydrological cycle related to both rising humidity in a warmer atmosphere and poleward shifts of atmospheric circulation features.
Floating ice (light blue) and grounded ice (dark blue) in lakes of Alaska’s North Slope near Barrow, as seen by ESA’s ERS-2 satellite in 2011. Credit: Planetary Visions / University of Waterloo, Canada / ESA
Read more at http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113061766/winter-ice-is-on-the-decline-across-alaskan-lakes/#mUUJ2lR8DRBE3TAs.99

According to a new study from the European Space Agency, ice in northern Alaska’s lakes during winter months is on the decline. Twenty years of satellite radar images in the study, which was published in The Cryosphere, show how shifts in our climate are affecting high-latitude regions.

[ Watch the video: Monitoring Lake Ice ]

Alterations in air temperature and winter precipitation over the last 50 years have affected the timing, interval and density of the ice cover on lakes in the Arctic, the study said.


Read more at http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113061766/winter-ice-is-on-the-decline-across-alaskan-lakes/#mUUJ2lR8DRBE3TAs.99

According to a new study from the European Space Agency, ice in northern Alaska’s lakes during winter months is on the decline. Twenty years of satellite radar images in the study, which was published in The Cryosphere, show how shifts in our climate are affecting high-latitude regions.

[ Watch the video: Monitoring Lake Ice ]

Alterations in air temperature and winter precipitation over the last 50 years have affected the timing, interval and density of the ice cover on lakes in the Arctic, the study said.


Read more at http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1113061766/winter-ice-is-on-the-decline-across-alaskan-lakes/#mUUJ2lR8DRBE3TAs.99

The Psychology Of Climate Change. I see a fair amount of denial, but many people understand what's happening, and a percentage of them are impacted emotionally and psychologically. It's hard not to look at the trends and not get depressed, but I tell people the truth: we'll figure out solutions to adapt and hopefully mitigate carbon pollution. In the end we won't have much of a choice. Here's an excerpt from Doug Craig's always-excellent Climate of Change at redding.com: "...The article indicates that levels of depression and anxiety will increse as our climate becomes less stable. "According to a report released by the National Wildlife Federation's Climate Education Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2012, climate change-related events are expected to cause an increase in mental and social disorders. Such disorders as include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, suicide and violence. The report is entitled "The Psychological Effects of Global Warming on the United States: And Why the U.S. Mental Health Care System is not Adequately Prepared..."

The article indicates that levels of depression and anxiety will increase as our climate becomes less stable.

"According to a report released by the National Wildlife Federation's Climate Education Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2012, climate change-related events are expected to cause an increase in mental and social disorders. Such disorders include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, suicide and violence.

"The report is entitled 'The Psychological Effects of Global Warming on the United States: And Why the U.S. Mental Health Care System is not Adequately Prepared.'

- See more at: http://blogs.redding.com/dcraig/archives/2014/02/the-psychology.html#sthash.svVpAZKE.dpuf

It’s tempting to think that the cold air and snow outside augur the end of global warming, but don’t rejoice yet. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), weather and climate are two very different beasts: “Weather is what’s happening outside the door right now; today a snowstorm or a thunderstorm is approaching. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades.”

Isolated weather events and even seasonal trends are not an indication of global warming’s existence one way or another

- See more at: http://smdp.com/earth-talk-cold-weather-doesnt-mean-global-warming-doesnt-exist/131729#sthash.RZ6XmoLt.dpuf

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