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

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.







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 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 "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

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.


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.


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 "...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:

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:

Possible Break in the Pattern Within 2 Weeks (December-January: 20th coldest since 1873; coldest since 1984 at MSP)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: February 2, 2014 - 12:31 AM

Winter Misery Index

The mad crush of people jamming The Minneapolis Boat Show yesterday was yet another tip-off that we're enjoying a Real Winter. Our portable space heater has been on since early December, and it's getting harder to see traffic and stray polar bears over the chin-deep-drifts at the end of the driveway. 34 subzero nights in the Twin Cities!

And yet the Minnesota Climate Office has put our pain into stark perspective. Assigning points for snowfall, snow depth and cold weather this winter ranks a 103, qualifying as "kind of miserable". 2 years ago we had no winter (that was a 15). But heavy snow in 2011 made that winter a 161 (seriously miserable). Winters of the late 70s & early 80s were much worse, while 3 of the 5 easiest winters came since 1987. The blog has details below.

Yes, it's been cold, and we've experienced a monotonous parade of Alberta Clippers for the last 60+ days, but the biggest snowstorms have detoured to our south; a trend which continues this week. Cold but quiet weather lingers - subzero nights the rule rather than the exception into mid-February. I do see a milder shift in the pattern by the third week of the month, as we finally pull out of this icy rut.

Expect 40F and a rain shower for today's Super Bowl. Washington D.C. may pick up 6-8" snow Monday.

Winter Misery Index. I found this nugget very interesting, courtesy of the Minnesota Climatology Office. The 5 toughest winters, based on snowfall, snow depth and the duration/intensity of cold: 1917, 1936, 1979 1982 and 1984. Three of the five easiest winters at MSP have come since 1987.

Putting This Winter's Subzero Cold Into Perspective. Here's an informative, timely post from The Minnesota Climatology Working Group: "How does the winter of 2013-14 stack up for counts of minimum temperatures at or below zero in the Twin Cities? As of January 31st there have been 33 minimum temperatures of zero or colder: 13 in December, and 20 in January. This is the most number of minimums below zero so early in a winter since the winter of 81-82 when the total through January 31 was 33. The most in a winter through January 31 is 44 from the winter of 1976-77. If the forecast holds, 2014 will be in a four way tie for the 13th most lows of zero or colder going back to the winter of 1872-1873. Excluding the 19th century winters, this winter would tie for 7th place, an impressive feat given the heat island of the modern Twin Cities Metro Area. The highest number of at or below zero temperatures in an entire winter is 68 for the winter of 1874-75. The last time there were over 50 minimums of zero or colder was the winter of 1974-75 with 53."

December - January: 20th Coldest Since 1873, Coldest Since 1984. Data courtesy of The Twin Cities National Weather Service.

Cold Weather Nuggets. Here's an excerpt from Dr. Mark Seeley's latest installment of Minnesota WeatherTalk: "...Some of the windchill readings compiled by Pete Boulay of the State Climatology Office included:

-63 degrees F at Grand Marais Airport on the 6th (-48 F in the Twin Cities)
-50 degrees F at Duluth on the 7th
-51 degrees F at Park Rapids on the 23rd (-37 F in the Twin Cities)
-53 degrees F at Grand Marais Airport on the 27th (-39 F in the Twin Cities)
-52 degrees F at Fosston on the 28th

According to the State Climatology Office the median number of days each winter when the windchill warning criteria (-35 F or colder) is reached is three times. The National Weather Service had to issue four windchill warnings for the Twin Cities so far this winter..."

Great Lakes Have Most Ice In Decades Thanks To Bitter Winter. Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel has the story - 60% of the Great Lakes have ice cover - the most in 25 years.

Super Bowl Will Be Far From A Winter Apocalypse. Clouds, 40F, maybe a passing (rain) shower or sprinkle? Not bad, considering the weather-alternatives on Groundhog Day. Here's a clip from a story at Climate Central: "...So, ever since the NFL announced Super Bowl XLVIII would be played in MetLife Stadium, everyone predicted winter doom for the Big Apple's big game: driving snowstorms, hopelessly gridlocked traffic on icy roads, fans frozen into meat popsicles. But while no one is going to mistake MetLife Stadium, located in East Rutherford, N.J., for the Orange Bowl, it doesn’t even crack the top 5 coldest NFL stadiums. And if the current forecast holds true, the game will be far from a winter apocalypse..."

Graphic credit above: "The 10 coldest stadiums in the NFL during the first week of February. While this year's Super Bowl is in a cold-weather locale, it's hardly the coldest place the game could be played."

Hard To Believe: Another Subzero Morning. NAM model temperatures show 7 AM temperatures ranging from -8 to -20F across the metro, the coldest pocket of air just north of the Twin Cities. Map: Ham Weather.

Another Cold Week. Although not reaching Breaking News/School-closing levels, the next 7-10 days will run 10-15F colder than average, at least 5 more subzero lows in the next week or so. ECMWF forecast for MSP above from Weatherspark.

Snowy Stripes. A Pacific storm regenerates over the Lower Mississippi Valley, pushing a band of snow across the Mid South into the Virginias Tuesday and Wednesday. Farther north as much as 5-1-" may fell near Chicago late Tuesday into Wednesday morning of this week. Travelers beware.

GFS Surface Pressure - Wind Speeds. Here is GFS data showing a Pacific storm tracking over south Texas, pushing across the Tennessee Valley by midweek, putting down another carpet of heavy, wet snow. Animation: NOAA and Ham Weather.

Cold Into Mid-February. I don't see much in the way of relief looking out the next 10 days; NOAA NAEFS model guidance valid February 9-15 shows a cold bias lingering over the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, with warmer than average temperatures for the southwest USA.

Hints Of A Real Recovery. This cheered me up a little, GFS long-range guidance showing a possible shift in the pattern after February 12. Finally. It's too early for party hats and confetti, but at some point we have to climb out of this rut. Give it 10-14 days.

California Drought Could Force Key Water System To Cut Deliveries. Snow pack over the Sierra Nevada is 12% of normal. Stating the obvious: not good. Here's an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: "Officials Friday said that for the first time ever, the State Water Project that helps supply a majority of Californians may be unable to make any deliveries except to maintain public health and safety. The prospect of no deliveries from one of the state's key water systems underscores the depth of a drought that threatens to be the worst in California's modern history. But the practical effect is less stark because most water districts have other sources, such as local storage and groundwater, to turn to. Officials stressed that the cut did not mean faucets would run dry..."

Photo credit above: "The water level in Lake Cachuma is dropping, in part because of sustained drought conditions across the state."  (Brian van der Brug, Los Angeles Times / January 14, 2014).

California's Devastating Drought Isn't Going To Get Better Any Time Soon. Slate advances the drought narrative for California with a few statistics that made me do a double-take; here's an excerpt: "...It’s the first time that any part of California has registered an exceptional drought in the 14-year history of the NDMC drought monitor. Now, 14 years is an admittedly short period of time. But thanks to the magic of science (and tree rings), we can now safely say that California hasn’t been this dry since around the time of Columbus, more than 500 years ago. What’s more, much of the state’s development over the last 150 years came during an abnormally wet era, which scientists say could come to a quick end with the help of human-induced climate change..."

* the latest U.S. Drought Monitor information for California is here.

Severe Drought Has U.S. West Fearing Worst. The New York Times has the story - here's a clip: "...This latest development has underscored the urgency of a drought that has already produced parched fields, starving livestock, and pockets of smog. “We are on track for having the worst drought in 500 years,” said B. Lynn Ingram, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Already the drought, technically in its third year, is forcing big shifts in behavior..."

Image credit above: Max Whittaker for The New York Times.

If You Like To Eat, You Should Really Be Worried About California's Drought. Huffington Post has the story (and impressive infographic that may leave you with an urge to rush out to the grocery store to buy fresh produce); here's a clip: "California had record low rainfall in 2013. It was potentially the driest year in the last 500 years, according to tree rings, and dry weather is expected to last through 2014. The state's $44.7 billion agriculture industry may take a significant hit, and prices for foods that are water-intensive to produce -- such as beef, milk, and tomatoes -- might start reflecting California's water woes."

5 Ways To Bust California's Drought. A series of slow-moving Pacific storms would probably be at the top of the list - the beloved "Pineapple Express", a conga-line of storms stretching from Honolulu to Los Angeles would look pretty good right about now. That isn't happening, so what can Californians do to avoid a worst-case scenario? Here's a clip from Time Magazine: "...How Californians use water—or more importantly, don’t use it—will have an enormous impact on just how bad this drought becomes, and on whether the Golden State can prepare for a climate that is likely to be even hotter and drier. Here are five ways California could beat the drought.

Drip Irrigation: Agriculture in California uses about 80% of the state’s developed water supply, but without irrigation, fertile farmland like the Central Valley—which alone produces about 8% of the country’s farm product—would go barren..."

Photo credit above: "A once-submerged car exposed at the Almaden Reservoir in San Jose, Calif., Jan. 31, 2014. A punishing drought is sweeping California and much of the West, confronting authorities with the worst water shortage the region has faced in more than a century, with near-empty reservoirs, parched fields, starving livestock, clouds of smog and outbreaks of wildfires." (Jim Wilson/The New York Times).

The Hard Realities Of Life In Paradise: Surviving A Wildfire! In light of record drought and the potential for devastating wildfires across California and much of the western USA, here's an excerpt from a post at Topanga Messenger: "...With record drought in California, 2014 could be one of the most dangerous years for wildfire on record. The recent, unseasonable fire weather this January and the fire on Old Topanga should serve as a wake-up call for us all. It’s time to take proactive steps to make our homes and neighborhoods less vulnerable to wildfire. Given our fire history we know that it’s not a matter of if wildfire will come to Topanga, but when. The bad news is that the Los Angeles County Fire Department estimates that embers caused the ignition of 80 to 90 percent of the homes that burned in recent wildfires..."

When Next Hurricane Hits, Storm Surge Will Be Mapped. Forecasting surge levels is as much an art as a science, as Sandy proved. Here's an excerpt of a post from meteorologist Andrew Freedman at Climate Central: "The next time a hurricane hits the Gulf or Atlantic coast, the National Weather Service will be ready with a new map that it hopes will more effectively communicate the threat of deadly storm surge flooding to the public.The NWS plans to issue "potential storm surge flooding maps" together with tropical storm and hurricane watches beginning with the 2014 hurricane season, the agency announced Friday..." (Map credit: NOAA).

* more details on the upcoming hurricane storm surge forecasts from NOAA NHC.

Dear America: I Saw You Naked. has a story that will make you think twice the next time you go through a TSA full-body scanner. Here's an excerpt: "...Just as the long-suffering American public waiting on those security lines suspected, jokes about the passengers ran rampant among my TSA colleagues: Many of the images we gawked at were of overweight people, their every fold and dimple on full awful display. Piercings of every kind were visible. Women who’d had mastectomies were easy to discern—their chests showed up on our screens as dull, pixelated regions..."

* Harrington's TSA (Taking Sense Away) blog is here.

The Prophet Of No Profit. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jeff Bezos and what he's built at Amazon, short-term profits be damned. Frankly, that's one of the few companies I'd really miss, if it went away. Here's a guy who's looking out 5-10 years, not just the next quarter. Slate has the reveal - here's a clip: "...The prevailing theory in Silicon Valley is that it’s a mistake for new companies to focus too much on developing revenue. People use a social service such as Pinterest in part because many other people are using it. Under the circumstances, it makes sense for a company to focus first and foremost on building a great product and getting people to use it. Once you’ve reached a critical mass of users, then comes the time to think about revenue strategies..."

The Pleasure And Pain Of Speed. The world is speeding up - more stimuli, a daily data dump. Are we hard-wired, genetically, to keep up? Here's a snippet of a fascinating story at Nautilus: "...As life has sped up, we humans have not, at least in our core functioning: Your reaction to stimuli is no faster than your great-grandfather’s. What is changing is the amount of things the world can bring to us, in our perpetual now. But is our ever-quickening life an uncontrolled juggernaut, driven by a self-reinforcing cycle of commerce and innovation, and forcing us to cope with a new social and psychological condition? Or is it, instead, a reflection of our intrinsic desire for speed, a transformation of the external world into the rapid-fire stream of events that is closest to the way our consciousness perceives reality to begin with?..."

Thwarted By The FAA. Yes, there's too much government regulation - of beer deliveries via drone. After this YouTube video went viral the FAA shut down "airmail" deliveries of Lakemaid Beer to thirsty fishermen on Lake Mille Lacs. If you haven't seen the video - it really is pretty amazing.

University of Beyonce. Sign me up. Huffington Post has the blurb - here's an excerpt: "Beyonce is one of the world's most scrutinized pop stars, and now that study is moving to academia. The Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University is offering a course called "Politicizing Beyonce..."

For Those Who Can't Get Nearly Enough Bacon. Yep, they're lined up for The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival - "Baconfest" - at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. If you look carefully you can see a few heart surgeons handing out business cards. Why am I hungry all of a sudden?

22 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday (1:08 PM).

25 F. average high on February 1.

4 F. high on February 1, 2013.

Trace of snow fell at KMSP International Yesterday.

100% odds we'll see 6 more weeks of winter, no matter what the groundhog says.

Minnesota Weather History on February 1. Source: Twin Cities NWS.

1996: State record low temperature set in Minnesota. With numerous media folk present, the low dipped to -60 three miles south of Tower. Governor Arne Carlson cancelled school statewide due to the cold.

1988: Temperature bottoms out at -43 at Embarrass.

1927: Spring-like temperatures on Groundhog's day. Tracy is 57 and Fairmont reaches 56.

TODAY: Windchill Advisory. 6 more weeks of winter? Yep. Bright sun. AM chill factor: -20F. High: 11

SUNDAY NIGHT: Clear and chilly. Low: -2

MONDAY: A few clouds, no-groan commute. High: 17

TUESDAY: Clouds increase. Snow over Iowa. Wake-up: 4. High: 15

WEDNESDAY: Another puff of fresh air. Wake-up: 1. High: 5

THURSDAY: Cold start. At least the sun's out. Wake-up: -11. High: 3

FRIDAY: Brushed by flurries, coating? Wake-up: -8. High: 8

SATURDAY: Shocker: windy, turning colder. Wake-up: -3. High: 12

* photo above courtesy of Ann Karrick.

Climate Stories....

Can Backyard Hockey Reveal Global Warming? Here's an excerpt from a story at Fox News: "...McLeman and Robertson created RinkWatch, an online citizen science initiative to track the condition of outdoor rinks across North America. Anyone with a backyard rink or frozen pond can sign up and mark the location of their rink on a map. Then all they are asked to do is record, day by day throughout the winter, whether their rink is skateable or not..."

Leading Climate Scientists Explain How Climate Change Is Worsening California's Epic Drought. Here's an excerpt of a must-read story from Joe Romm at ThinkProgress: "Scientists have long predicted that climate change would bring on ever-worsening droughts, especially in semi-arid regions like the U.S. Southwest. As climatologist James Hansen, who co-authored one of the earliest studies on this subject back in 1990, told me this week, “Increasingly intense droughts in California, all of the Southwest, and even into the Midwest have everything to do with human-made climate change.” Why does it matter if climate change is playing a role in the Western drought? As one top researcher on the climate-drought link reconfirmed with me this week, “The U.S. may never again return to the relatively wet conditions experienced from 1977 to 1999.” If his and other projections are correct, then there may be no greater tasks facing humanity than 1) working to slash carbon pollution and avoid the worst climate impact scenarios and 2) figuring out how to feed nine billion people by mid-century in a Dust-Bowl-ifying world..."

Photo credit above: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli.

There Are Two Sochis. I thought Minnesota climate scientist Greg Laden made an important distinction in this post at; here's an excerpt: "...Sochi is a is a resort city on the Black Sea coast with a subtropical climate, including rather mild winters. In February, the average low is 36.5 F, and the average high is 50.7 F. There will be no snow there. In fact, it may rain for part of the Olympics. Krasnaya Polyana is inland, in the Caucasus Mountains. The base elevation there, where we find the Rosa Khutor ski resort, is 1,840 feet, with higher elevations along the ski slopes reaching over 7,600 feet. Indoor events such as hockey will be held in Sochi, outdoor snow events will be held at the resort in Krasnaya Polyana. This has caused some confusion in the on-line discussion of the games..."

Keystone XL Pipeline Closer To Reality After State Department Review. The Guardian has the latest - here's an excerpt: "The Keystone XL, a mundane pipeline project that escalated into a bitter proxy war over climate change and North America's energy future, moved one important step closer to reality on Friday. The State Department, in its final environmental review of the project, concluded that the pipeline, which would carry crude from the Alberta tar sands in Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf coast, would not – on its own – have a “significant” effect on carbon pollution..."

Photo credit above: "Crews work on construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline east of Winona, Texas." Photograph: Sarah A Miller/AP.

State Department: "Keystone XL Would Have Little Impact On Climate Change." Climate scientists aren't so sure, estimating that the additional crude would eventually represent 1/2 to 1% of global carbon emissions. Here's an excerpt of the official government line from The Los Angeles Times: "A long-awaited environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline released Friday by the State Department found the project would have a negligible impact on climate change, bolstering the case for the controversial project as it heads to the White House for a decision on its construction. During a sweeping speech on climate change last June, President Obama said his main criterion for approving the pipeline was that it not significantly worsen the problem of carbon pollution..."

Image credit above: "The State Department says in a report released Friday that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would have little effect on climate change."

Extreme Weather Is A Reality - The Insurance Industry Must Adapt. Here's the intro to a story at The Guardian: "The atmosphere is heating up and becoming more humid, we can say this with great certainty. This is likely to lead to an increase in extreme weather and more flooding. Recent major catastrophes are entirely consistent with this. Climate change might not cause such events – but it can make them much worse. Since 1980, the cost of natural catastrophes has grown by $870bn in real terms and 2011 was the second costliest year on record for natural catastrophes including devastating floods in Thailand and Australia. Sea levels are rising, most probably at an accelerating rate, and this surely made the impact of Superstorm Sandy worse than it might otherwise have been..." (Image: NASA).

A Change In The Legal Climate. Newsweek reports - here's a snippet: "...For months before those articles, Mann and other climatologists had been speaking among themselves about the need to start fighting back against the attacks on their work and their character. The science is on their side, they argue, and by not responding aggressively against the skeptics, they have allowed the discussion to become derailed. And if critics have slandered or libeled them, they shouldn't stand for it. "If we don't step up to the plate, we leave a vacuum [for] those with an ax to grind," Mann says, while cautioning that he would not specifically address the lawsuit..."

Photo credit above: "As a nasty libel suit moves closer to trial, it’s suddenly getting very hot for some prominent global-warming skeptics." Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters.

Heed The Warnings In Extreme Weather - Or Risk Losing Earth. Or at the very least "business as usual". The Guardian has the story - here's an excerpt: "...Societies do not need to be brought to the verge of starvation to slide into crisis. The social unrests we have seen in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina or more recently in Greece as a result of the financial crisis suggest that also seemingly stable countries are vulnerable to abrupt perturbations. It is the unanticipated impacts on fragile infrastructures and supply networks that constitute the largest threat of global warming. While climate change is often considered to be a problem for the global poor and for fragile ecosystems, the impact of extreme events on the global economic network will test the stability of America as much as that of Europe..."

"I'm A Republican, And I Agree With Obama On Climate Change". Not my words (although they could be), but from Reverend Mitchell Hescox at EEN (full disclosure: I'm on their board of directors). Here's an excerpt from Salon: "...Rev. Mitch Hescox, the president and CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network and a self-identified Republican, finds himself in the middle of that bipartisan divide. In the spirit of evangelical environmentalism, his ideology comes from an interpretation of Christianity that preaches protection of the natural world. But he also argues that a strong Republican history of environmental protection goes along with that. Hexcox writes in Patheos..."

Photo credit: NOAA.

Happy February

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: January 31, 2014 - 8:51 PM

Significant Snow Sails South

By Todd Nelson

Happy February! Does it feel like a new month? Yea, I'm with you... It doesn't feel like anything new. If fact, this winter has worn it's welcome already. According to NWS NOWData, Minneapolis typically sees around 24 overnight lows of 0F or colder each winter; this year we've already seen 33! Unfortunately, we'll continue to tack onto this number over the next several days as temperatures dip into the sub-zero range through much of next week. Extended forecasts from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center suggests below average temperatures through the middle of February... Oh goodie!

With the cold weather sticking around into the early part of February, the main storm track will sit just to our south. Two big storm systems with heavy snow will sail into the Great Lakes with plowable snow potential. The first one hits Chicago and Detroit Saturday; the second big snow event hits those same areas by Tuesday. The two systems could dump over a foot of snow in the Great Lakes region by midweek.

It's worth keeping an eye on that second snow event as a jog north in it's track could mean snow for us. For the long range forecast, I'll be consulting the groundhog Sunday.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds with light snow possible late. Low: 2. Feels Like: -10F

SATURDAY: A little light snow possible early. Clearing and turning colder. High: 17. Winds: Turning NW 10-15.

SATURDAY NIGHT: Clear and cold. Low: -6. Feels Like: -10F to -20F

SUNDAY: Groundhog Day! Super sunshine. PM football watching likely. High: 7.

MONDAY: Feels like February. Wake-up: -2. High: 14

TUESDAY: Increasing clouds, light snow late? Big winter storm looks to stay mainly south of us. Stay tuned! Wake-up: 0. High: 10

WEDNESDAY: Arctic sun. Harsh winds return. Wake-up: -6. High: 2

THURSDAY: Character building cold continues. Wake-up: -13. High: 4.

Friday: Thinking warm thoughts. Wake-up: -8. High: 14.


Duluth Dogs

Thanks to my good friend Amanda Granning for this picture out of Duluth, MN.

Frigid Forecast Into Early February

Well this is certainly not what I wanted to see into February considering that we've already had to deal with an abundance of cold weather so far this winter season. According to NWS NOWData, Minneapolis typically sees around 24 overnight lows of 0F or colder and we've already seen 33! It appears that we'll continue to add to that number into early February as the colder than average weather continues.

Winter Misery Index

Here's an interesting product from the Minnesota State Climatology Office, which tries to put our winter of 2013-2014 into perspective so far.

"The Winter Misery Index (WMI) is an attempt to weigh the relative severity of winters. The index assigns points for daily counts of maximum temperatures 10 degrees or colder and daily minimums of 0 or colder. If the minimum temperature is -20 or colder greater weight is assigned to the value times 8. For snowfall, one inch is assigned a point per calendar day. A four inch snowfall is times 4, and an 8 inch snowfall is times 8. The duration of a winter is noted by the number of days the snow depth is 12 inches or greater. All current measurements are at the Twin Cities International Airport."

According to the Minnesota State Climatology Office in coorperation with Climatology volunteer Brandon Fudali, the current WMI is "Kind of Miserable". Yes, I'm sure that most of us can attest that it has been worse than just "Kind of miserable" but we still have all of February to go! I'm sure we'll be tacking to the final number before the winter us up. Stay tuned!

See more from HERE:

It's Been a Cold January

Thanks to for the image below, which shows the temperature anomaly for the month of January. Note how cold it was for the eastern half of the country, while the western half of the country and Alaska was well above average for the month!

Condition 1 Weather

It could be worse! This is from Antartica last April 2013 and it has been making the rounds on Facebook. I guess I've never heard of this until now... "Conditions 1 Weather" in Antarctica where travel outside in not permitted when these conditions are in place! Check it out, it's CRAZY!

See the video from Sun Gazing & HERE:

Groundhog Day 2014

The time has come for the famous groundhog from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to work his magic. At 7:20am EST on Sunday, Phil will emerge from his heated den and give us a forecast regarding our winter fate. Here's to hoping he knows something we don't & for an early Spring!

Here are some of the past predictions from

See more from HERE:

(photo courtesy:

Temperature Outlook

According to NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, the 6 to 10 day temperature outlook into early/mid February shows a good chance of much below average temperatures spreading throughout much of the Midwest. Cooler than average temperatures will also be possible for most of the nation as well during this time frame.

Upper Level Winds

Here is the upper level wind pattern for Monday. Note the circular pattern just east of the Hudson Bay, this is still an area of low pressure helping to churn down Arctic air into the Lower 48. The good news is that the strong upper level winds have shifted a bit to become more "Zonal" or more west to east, which is not only helping to moderate temperatures across the southern half of the country, but it is also helping to bring in moisture to the western half of the country!

Rare Cloudy Day in Phoenix, AZ

Thanks to Jody Musil for this image out of Surprise, AZ where on Friday, there was a fairly substantial cloud deck in place, but still no rain.

Precipitation Past 7 Days

This is sure nice to see. Take a look at all the precipitation that we've seen over the past 7 days in the western U.S.. This is certainly more than we've seen over the past several weeks!

Still Too Dry in California

This is the first time in recorded history that any part of the state of California has entered a state of EXPETIONAL DROUGHT and nearly 9% of the state is considered to be in this classification.

"Drought and relatively mild temperatures continue to prevail across the state. In the northwestern part of California, a 1-category degradation from severe to extreme drought (D2 to D3) was made across Humboldt and Trinity Counties. The Central Sierra Snow Lab near the Donner Summit reports 8 inches of snow on the ground, the lowest for this time in January since at least 1946. In the general vicinity of Monterey to Bakersfield, conditions warranted a 1-category downgrade, from extreme to exceptional drought (D3 to D4). A few of the impacts within the D4 area include fallowing of land, wells running dry, municipalities considering drilling deeper wells, and little to no rangeland grasses for cattle to graze on, prompting significant livestock sell off."

See more from the U.S. Drought Monitor HERE

Precipitation Potential

According to NOAA's HPC 5 day precipitation forecast, there's still a decent chance of moisture across the western part of the country, but note the more substantial moisture across the nation's mid section. The precipitation on the northern flank of this moisture swath is going to be a mixed bag of wintry precipitation, some of which will be in the form of heavy snow.

Precipitation Outlook

Take a look at the futurecast radar from AM Friday into Sunday. Note Saturday appears to be the most significant day for heavy snow potential across parts of the Central Plains to the Great Lakes Region.

Winter Weather Concerns

Here's a national look at the winter weather headlines; note the winter weather headlines from Central Plains to the Great Lakes. This is where heavy snow will be possible through the early weekend.

Winter Storm #1

Yes, this will be a significant winter storm for areas shown below... interestingly, there could be another big winter storm early next week! Here are the winter storm warnings (pink) through Saturday. Here's the latest winter weather update from the National Weather Service in Chicago.







Winter Storm #2

Another storm will quickly develop from late weekend into early next week. Snowfall potential with this particular storm will sag a little farther south than the first one.

Snowfall Potential With Storm #1 & Storm #2

Here's an outlook on snowfall potential through early next week, which includes the snowfall potential from the first two snow events.

Winter Storm #3

Here's a brief update on the potential winter storm for the early/middle part of next week. Note the near same track that storm #1 will be taking. This particular storm system will also bring the potential of heavy snowfall to some of the same areas seeing snow with storm #1. The important thing to note is that this particular storm system isn't even over land yet, so exact precipitaton amounts/type and placement of the storm are still uncertain... Stay tuned for more

Super Super Bowl Forecast?

It's not quite the doom and gloom forecast that may have been portrayed premature forecasts from late last fall/early this winter, but we certainly have dodged a bullet. With the winter storm that unfolded in the eastern half of the nation last weekend and with the seemingly more active pattern now, the forecast could have been worse no doubt! The forecast image below from 1pm Sunday to 1am Monday suggests that we may just skip away with a mostly dry Sunday evening.

While there is a little a little rain in the forecast for Sunday morning and a little rain/snow mix for overnight Sunday/early Monday morning, the Sunday evening forecast appears to be mostly dry.

Here's the official forecast from the National Weather Service from New York, NY for East Rutherford, NJ on Sunday.

Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend ahead!

Twitter: @TNelsonWNTV

A Polar Rut (windchill advisory - no extended thaws looking out at least 2 weeks)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: January 31, 2014 - 1:46 AM

We all have our own unique coping skills, ways of weathering a super-sized Minnesota winter. I have no desire to buy a boat, but I'll be at the Boat Show this weekend, gawking at photos of summer fun. Lately I've been watching the Golf Channel, just to see the color green. Browsing warm weather rentals at I miss whining about the heat & humidity.

Models suggest 2 more weeks of cold, followed by moderation the latter half of February.

We've already picked up nearly an hour of daylight since December 21. A higher sun angle will take the edge off the coldest jabs of Canadian air within a couple of weeks.

To quote Dan Rather: COURAGE.

It's hard to get a foot of snow from a sloppy, southern storm when winds aloft are locked from the northwest, howling from the Yukon. What we've lacked in Gulf moisture we've more than made up for with a parade of clippers. Thursday's burst of snow was more significant than predicted, and roads were a mess. Why?

Sand & chemicals aren't nearly as effective at 15F as 25F. The colder the storm the greater the odds of a white-knuckle commute shouting at the car in front of you.

That said, I do see a light at the end of our polar tunnel.

Why We All Need To Slow Down. THis is incredible footage, courtesy of MnDOT's traffic camera up in Forest Lake, focused in on I-35 South. The chain-reaction accident happened Thursday morning - many drivers unable to slow down in time. Video clip courtesy of MnDOT.

An Especially Fickle Clipper. 1.4" at St. Cloud, 1.5" Elk River, with over 6" at Maple Grove, Minneapolis and Maplewood, only an inch west of Shakopee. Clippers are always hard to predict, but yesterday's burst of snow was very tough to pin down, the stripe of heaviest snow setting up right over the downtowns. The Twin Cities National Weather Service has an interactive map with more snowfall amounts here.

No Relief - Yet. Highs reach the teens (woo-hoo!) Saturday, again Monday and Tuesday, before dropping off again the latter half of next week. Another polar swipe, but not as numbing as last week - probably not school-closing cold. We've had enough of that. Graph: Weatherspark.

Flirting With Zero. Although not as cold as last week, temperatures slip below zero the next couple of mornings across the Upper Mississippi Valley, while the Deep South thaws into the 50s; 40s pushing as far north as metro New York City this weekend. 2-meter NAM temperatures: NOAA and Ham Weather.

Winter Coping Skills. In addition to taking a look at the latest Super Bowl weather forecast, today's edition of Climate Matters tackles the Midwinter Blues, and how some viewers are keeping a positive mental attitude, in spite of snow, ice and nagging wind chill. We want to hear more of your comments and suggestions via Facebook: "WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas goes over some of the Facebook comments shared with us. How do you cope with the cold? Also, what (climatologically speaking) were some of the most extreme Superbowls? And the question we are all asking, what is the game time forecast?"

Stuck In A Rut. Temperature anomalies across the Northern Hemisphere next Thursday continue to show an "upside-down" pattern, temperatures well above average from northern Canada into the Arctic, Greenland and Scandanavia, with a lingering stain of the Polar Vortex from southern Canada into the central USA. No significant moderation until the third week of February. Climate Reanalyzer graphic courtesy of the University of Maine.

Minimum Temperatures Of Zero Or Colder In The Twin Cities. Pete Boulay, from the Minnesota Climatology Working Group, passed this nugget along to me - the most subzero lows since December 1 since 1982. Here's an excerpt of the post: "The Twin Cities will most likely have the mercury dip to zero or colder 32 times this winter by January 31, the most though January 31 since the winter of 1981-82. How does the winter of 2013-14 stack up for counts of minimum temperatures at or below zero in the Twin Cities? As of January 28th there have been 30 minimum temperatures of zero or colder: 13 in December, and 17 so far in January. Including the forecast for the rest of the month it looks like January will wind up with 19 minimum temperatures of zero or colder for a total of 32 so far for the season. This is the most number of minimums below zero so early in a winter since the winter of 81-82 when the total through January 31 was 33..."

Graphic credit: Courtesy: Minnesota State Climatology Office. "Minimum Temperatures of zero or colder in the Twin Cities Through Jan 31."

Number Of Minimum Temperatures Below Zero As Of January 31. This takes into account data from 144 winters in the Twin Cities, and forecast (subzero) lows through Friday of this week; a grand total of 32, the most since 1982, according to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group.

California Drought: Communities At Risk Of Running Dry. The San Francisco Chronicle has the details - here's a clip: "It is a bleak roadmap of the deepening crisis brought on by one of California's worst droughts - a list of 17 communities and water districts that within 100 days could run dry of the state's most precious commodity. The threatened towns and districts, identified this week by state health officials, are mostly small and in rural areas. They get their water in a variety of ways, from reservoirs to wells to rivers. But, in all cases, a largely rainless winter has left their supplies near empty..."

Photo credit above: "A pedestrian walks near the underpass that connects Old Sacramento with Downtown Sacramento during the first day of rain in 52 days on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 in Sacramento, Calif. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Web site is predicting a tenth of an inch of rain in San Francisco over the next two days and more than 2 inches in parts of Sacramento." (AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Hector Amezcua).

Drought Forces California Farmers To Cut Back On Planting. You can listen to the story from NPR.

Mea Culpa. Every storm is different, and it doesn't take much of a jog in a storm's track or intensity to throw the forecast off-track. The snow and ice came in 4-7 hours earlier than predicted, which contributed to the problem. I have a lot of respect for meteorologist James Spann, in Birmingham. He doesn't try to spin the truth - he tells it like it is, and when he's wrong, he owns up to it. He is the exception to the rule. Here's a snippet from "Birmingham meteorologist James Spann, who was called just about every name in the book as an unexpected snow shut down most of Central Alabama, has apologized for what he called his worst "forecast bust" since the winter storm of 1982. Here's what the Spann wrote on his ABC 33/40 weather blog today:

"In terms of human impact, yesterday's forecast 'bust' was the most significant for me since January 1982, when we had a timing error of about six hours on the arrival of freezing rain and snow..."

What Really Happened in Atlanta? My Take. Based on what I know of the storm, predictings, onset and impact, I recorded a segment for WeatherNation TV explaining why 2" of snow, coming at precisely the wrong time and temperature, coupled with decisions to close school early and send many office workers home prematurely, created a cascade of unintended consequences. That, and how traditional (chemical) snow removal and spinning tires can turn snow into a sheet of glaze ice: "WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas goes over just what went wrong in the historic snow and ice storm that blanketed the Southeast. Cars were abandoned, people slept in grocery stores, kids were stuck on buses, and a 16 hour commute home. What what wrong?"

Super Bowl Weather Climatology. Rutgers University has a terrific site devoted to Super Bowl Weather, not only the forecast, but climatology - what has happened on Ground Hog Day in years gone by, focused on Newark, the closest regularly reporting weather station in the area. Check out the latest at

Good Odds. Here is one of the graphics at that caught my eye, February 2 precipitation at Neward since 1931. The 70s and 80s were much wetter (and snowier), with fewer storms since 1990, at least on February 2. I still don't see any blizzards of mega-storms. What can go wrong?

Would Snow Be A Good Thing At The Super Bowl. Call me crazy, but I suspect the short answer is "no". The Washington Post takes a look with a video forecast from Capital Weather Gang; here's an excerpt: "The Post Sports Live crew debates whether it’s good or bad that a cold-weather city is hosting the Super Bowl. The Capital Weather Gang’s latest forecast seems to indicate that dry weather is likely. The best thought I’ve heard on it was that snow during the game would be scenic and fun, but snow leading up to it could cause a real mess..."

Super Bowl Weather Conditions Since 1967. I thought this document (PDF) from NOAA was interesting, highlighting the coldest, warmest, snowiest and wettest Super Bowls. Sunday's game may go down as the coldest (for a game played without a dome).

Sochi Temperature Trends Since 1900. NASA has an interesting graph showing mean annual temperature trends for the city about to host the Winter Olympics.

Melting Snow. The forecast from Weather Underground shows highs within a few degrees of 50F almost every day next week at Sochi, nighttime temperatures staying above freezing (in the city). It's a good thing they saved/stockpiled snow from last winter. Smart move.

Photo credit above: "A Russian Cossack walks across the bridge, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana outside the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, where the snow and sliding sports venues for the 2014 Winter Olympics are located." (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong).

Record Wet January For Parts Of Southern Britain. Here's an excerpt of a summary from the UK Met Office: "Early Met Office statistics for January 2014 show that the southeast and central southern England region has already had its wettest January in records going back to 1910, with three days still to go. A large area of southern England from East Devon to Kent and inland across parts of the midlands has already seen twice the average rainfall for the month..."

Talking About The Weather: The Next Level. The Atlantic provides some good resources for weather nerds (um, enthusiasts) to track the weather on their own; here's an excerpt: "...The data keeps going. NOAA can give you surface temperatures from 9,000 weather stations, some of which have data stretching back to the beginning of the 1900s. In certain local areas, like San Francisco, people have made this history easier to access. Perhaps the coolest of these projects is @datapointed's look at rainfall patterns in the Bay before and after Valentine's Day.  Or if you prefer a more visual interface, brings you Quicksilver..."

Oil Boom: See A Modern-Day Gold Rush In Motion. Yes, what's happening in North Dakota is awe-inspiring. NPR takes a look - here's a clip: "If you've seen any coverage of North Dakota's oil boom, you've seen the images — oil rigs, truck traffic, "man camps," miles of temporary housing. But there is something about this place that just can't be captured by a still photograph. It's a feeling you get when you cruise down an endless highway under a vast, big sky — until suddenly: BOOM. You're wedged between semitrucks dwarfing what was once a quiet farm town..."

Image credit: "Ritter Brothers, a jewelry and gift store in Williston, N.D., sells miniature oil rigs and other oil-related novelties." (Annie Flanagan for NPR)

The 2013 NFL Season In 160 Seconds. Because you're in a hurry. Check out the video clip from ESPN and "If you haven't been watching the NFL at all this season but are planning on tuning into the Super Bowl, this video by ESPN will prepare you by recapping the entire season in under three minutes..."

If You Can't Wait For Super Bowl Ads. The Wire has a run-down on many of the spots, some of which are already online; here's a clip: "You have wait until Sunday to see the Super Bowl, and as usual, you won't have to wait that long to see the famous commericals. Many of the big advertisers will be unveiling their commercials online during the week, to build buzz and get a little extra mileage out of their very expensive, celebrity-studded production. Others prefer to keep you in suspense. Here is a collection of the ads that have been released so far, but keep checking back as we'll update this post as the week goes on and new ones arrive..." (Image credit: YouTube and Budweiser). Why am I thirsty all of a sudden?

28 F. high yesterday in the Twin Cities.

25 F. average high on January 30.

26 F. high on January 30, 2013.

6.4" snow fell Thursday at MSP International, a new 24-hour snowfall record for January 30.

TODAY: Windchill Advisory Sunny and cold. West 8. Feels like -20F this morning. High: 7

FRIDAY NIGHT: Clear, severe chilly. Low: -4

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy - probably dry. High: 13

SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Opposite of spring. Wake-up: -9. High: 8

MONDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Wake-up: 2. High: 13

TUESDAY: Storm stay well south of Minnesota. Some sun. Wake-up: -3. High: 12

WEDNESDAY: Sunny and cold, but not school-closing-cold. Wake-up: -10. High: 4

THURSDAY: Hey, the sun's out. Still numb. Wake-up: -11. High: 3

* thanks to Ham Weather uber-developer Lee Huffman, who used Google Glass to capture the video clip above when it was -24F. No, it's not a gadget, it's a productivity tool. At least that's what I tell my wife. I need one of those...

Climate Stories....

Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. AR5 WG1 results are now available from IPCC: "The Twelfth Session of Working Group I (WGI-12) was held from 23 to 26 September 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden. At the Session, the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (WGI AR5) was approved and the underlying scientific and technical assessment accepted..."

10 American Cities Will Lead The Nation On Energy Efficiency. Here's a clip from a story at Huffington Post: "...Making buildings more efficient presents a major opportunity for cities to save money, improve air quality, and become more resilient. Many efficiency measures pay for themselves within three to five years. That's why 10 mayors of American cities announced today that they'll be partnering with NRDC and the Institute for Market Transformation in the new City Energy Project. By working to transform energy-sucking buildings into energy sippers, these cities will slash energy use, cut pollution, and save residents and businesses combined $1 billion a year on their bills..."

Climate Change Is Already Causing Mass Human Migration. has the story - here's their introduction: "There are a lot of reasons people move: for work, for love, for the draw of the big city or the quiet of nature. But as the world continues to warm, it's expected that global climate change will become another factor driving people to move: to dodge coastal erosion and sea level rise, to follow changes in rainfall, to avoid strengthening storms. Climate change is already inducing marine animals to migrate, and according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, it's starting to make people move, too..."

Warming Oceans Consistent With Rising Sea Level & Global Energy Imbalance. Here are some key bullet points of new research, a good summary of which can be found at Skeptical Science:

  • The ocean is quickly accumulating heat and is doing so at an increased rate at depth during the so-called “hiatus” – a period over the last 16 years during which average global surface temperatures have risen at a slower rate than previous years.
  • This continued accumulation of heat is apparent in ocean temperature observations, as well as reanalysis and modeling experiments, and is now supported by up-to-date assessments of Earth's energy imbalance. 
  • Another key piece of evidence is rising global sea level. The expansion of the oceans (as they warm) has contributed to 35–40% of sea level rise over the last two decades - providing independent corroboration of the increase in ocean temperatures.

Foundations Band Together To Get Rid Of Fossil-Fuel Investments. The New York Times reports - here's an excerpt: "Seventeen foundations controlling nearly $1.8 billion in investments have united to commit to pulling their money out of companies that do business in fossil fuels, the group plans to announce on Thursday. The move is a victory for a developing divestiture campaign that has found success largely among small colleges and environmentally conscious cities, but has not yet won over the wealthiest institutions like Harvard, Brown and Swarthmore..."

Cosmic Coincidence Or Trend? Seeing is believing, but keeping a global perspective is critical. The timelapse above is from NASA, courtesy of a story at; here's a clip: "...The GIF above is a consolidated version of NASA’s full animation that helps illustrate just how drastic the change has been since 1950. Temperatures in some regions have swung by as much as 4 degrees Celsius in the past 60 years alone..."

If There's Global Warming, Why Is It So Cold? Peter Sinclair posts a video at Climate Denial Crock Of The Week that describes climate volatility, how changes in the Arctic may be creating more extremes: cold and heat, not to mention droughts and floods. Here's a link to the video and excerpt: "I did one of these years ago, during the “Snowmageddon” events of 2009, and have been meaning to update. The current situation lends itself perfectly. I continued the tradition of interviewing Jeff Masters at Dunham Lake, near his pastoral southeastern Michigan home, and by serendipity, caught up with Jennifer Francis at the nearby University of Michigan for a quick update/interview."

Just Because It's Cold Doesn't Mean Global Warming Isn't Real. It Is. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed that caught my eye at "...Even if conservative politicians refuse to concede the evidence for climate change, insurance companies have already done so.  Last year, Peter Hoeppe, who heads Geo Risks Research at a huge reinsurance firm called Munich Re, told The New York Times: "Numerous studies assume a rise in summer drought periods in North America in the future and an increasing probability of severe cyclones relatively far north along the U.S. East Coast in the long term. The rise in sea level caused by climate change will further increase the risk of storm surge..."

The Flip-Side Of The Polar Vortex. Depending on what channel our media outlet you turn to for weather news you may be getting only half the story - shocked? Me neither. Here's an excerpt from Media Matters: "Right-wing media are laughing about President Barack Obama mentioning climate change in his fifth State of the Union address because it is cold in D.C. But the wobbly polar vortex bringing cold air to much of the contiguous United States is simultaneously causing record warmth in Alaska, a state often seen as the nation's "ground zero" for climate change. On January 28, Alaska's largest newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, ran this remarkable headline: "Record warmth, confused plants: An Alaska January to remember." The article noted that it was 62 degrees in one town, tying the January state record, but did not allude to the long-term warming trend..."

6 Things Obama Can Do On Climate Without Congress. Grist has the story - here's an excerpt: "... last week, the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University released a report, coauthored by former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, that details 200 climate actions Obama could take without Congress.

So what options does the president have? Here are a few ideas:

1. Continue the crackdown on coal pollution: This month the Environmental Protection Agency released a new draft of rules that would strictly curtail emissions of carbon dioxide from new coal-fired power plants; a second set of rules that would apply to existing plants is expected later this year..."

Photo credit above: The White House.

Jekyll And Hyde: The Two Sides Of Obama's Energy Strategy. ThinkProgress has the post; here's an excerpt: "...America’s contribution to the global problem of ever-rising carbon production and consumption grows unabated. I applaud Obama’s commitment to EPA standards on carbon pollution from power plants. But his continued embrace of “all of the above” energy reflects a true Jekyll and Hyde split personality. Let’s hope that unlike the progression of the Robert Louis Stevenson novella, Obama’s “Hyde” side doesn’t take over..."

Entrepreneurs Looking For "Windfall' Cash In On Climate Change. NPR has the audio clip and text; here's a clip: "In 2008, as scientists documented a record melt in the Arctic ice and Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth was in theaters, a half dozen major investment houses launched mutual funds designed to take advantage of financial opportunities offered by climate change. In Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming, journalist McKenzie Funk looks into how some entrepreneurs and even some nations stand to benefit from a changing climate..."

Climate Change "Could Be Making Fish Smaller" Say Aberdeen Researchers. That explains my lake of luck on Pelican Lake. The BBC reports: "A decline in the length of fish in the North Sea could be linked to climate change, according to researchers at the University of Aberdeen. Their findings suggest edthe maximum body length of fish including haddock, whiting, herring, plaice and sole has fallen by as much as 29% over 38 years. They said that coincides with an increase in water temperatures of between 1C and 2C. Food availability and fishing pressure was also assessed..."

Photo credit: "Researchers looked at fish including North Sea herring."

The Guardian's perspective on the research referenced above is here.