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

Fast-Forward-May. Importance of Situational Awareness

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: April 27, 2015 - 10:34 PM

Situational Awareness

"Don't push the weather" I remind my Navy son, ad nauseum. He flies helicopters, which don't have weather radar on their multiple displays, I was surprised to learn.

But there's no need to fly blind, not with the proliferation of web sites and apps out there today, many of them free. Why did Dauphin Island Regatta officials go forward with a sailboat race as a line of storms approached on Saturday? I have no idea and I won't second-guess. But these deadly storms strengthened over Mobile Bay, Alabama, and this intense squall line showed up on hundreds of radar apps available for iOS and Android.

Doppler in your pocket is more than a convenience; it might even save your life. But many days we're so anxious to get an event in or reach our destination on time that we ignore the warning signs.

Clouds increase today with an isolated shower; a better chance of thunder Friday with potentially soaking showers and T-storms Saturday night into Sunday as a sticky warm front approaches.

I do like the sound of that. Warm front.

According to NOAA there's a 70 percent chance that El Nino will linger into the summer. Odds favor a warmer, drier summer than recent years.

Place your bets.


* Screen shots above: RadarScope (left image) and Aeris Pulse (middle and right), which was created by developers at my company, AerisWeather.


* More information on the aftermath of Alabama's Regatta disaster here, courtesy of AL.com.


70% Chance of El Nino Lingering into Summer. NOAA CPC is also predicting a 60% chance of El Nino warming conditions spilling over into autumn. Some of the models (above) show temperature anomalies of 1.5 to 2.0C later in 2015.


Looks Like May. Temperatures trend as much as 5-15F warmer than average into the first half of next week, 60s giving way to 70s. An isolated shower can't be ruled out later today, a slight thunder chance Friday. The best chance of more widespread showers and T-storms comes late Saturday into Sunday as a sticky warm front approaches. Remember those?


Accumulated Rainfall. NOAA.s .25 degree GFS data shows flooding rains from the Gulf Coast into Florida, another surge of heavy rain pushing into the Midwest and Great Lakes Sunday and Monday, but the heaviest rainfall amounts are forecast to stay south/east of Minnesota. Source: AerisWeather.


Warmer Than Average May? With a strong El Nino continuing to strengthen there's evidence on the weather maps of a warm bias from May into much of the summer. Long range forecasting is always a hand-waving exercise, but there is a correlation between substantive El Nino warming phases in the Pacific and warm temperature anomalies downwind, over North America. 500 mb forecast winds for the evening of May 11 courtesy of GrADS:COLA/IGES.


"Explosive" Wildfires Are Already Out of Control Months Before Fire Season. ThinkProgress has the latest; here's the intro: "Wildfire season” seems to be a thing of the past for drought-stricken California, with fires now raging throughout the year. There have already been nearly 850 wildfires this year — 70 percent above the average, according to CAL FIRE data. High temperatures and low precipitation, both related to climate change, have dried out forests and scrublands across the western United States, allowing fires to spread faster and farther than usual, any time during the year..."

File photo credit above: "In this Saturday, April 18, 2015 photo provided by Daniel Cole, flames burn in the Prado Dam Flood Control Basin adjacent to homes, foreground, as seen from Corona, Calif. Cooperative weather and the efforts of firefighters helped beat back flames Sunday that had threatened hundreds of homes near the Southern California dam. Evacuation orders were lifted just before dawn for about 300 homes in an area along the border of the cities of Norco and Corona, about 35 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles." (Daniel Cole via AP).


Import Our Water From Wetter Climes? It's A Pipe Dream. As California enters the 4th year of a debilitating drought some of the proposed solutions are becoming more....creative. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Los Angeles Times: "If it only were this simple: Build a pipeline to Seattle and solve California's water problems. Better yet: Lay pipe to the Great Lakes. Or sink pipe on the ocean floor and siphon water from Alaska. While we're at it, tow an iceberg down from the Arctic. All these ideas and more have been suggested over the decades. Let's get right to the point: They're all nutty. Politically and financially unfeasible..." (photo courtesy of WIRED.com).


Hurricanes of Terror: Why Two Names Were Dropped From Storm List. No, there will be no Hurricane Isis this year; Live Science explains: "...Two hurricane names linked with terror and death were dropped from the Pacific storm list, the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced Friday (April 17). The first, "Isis," was booted from the 2016 list of hurricane names because of its association with the brutal Islamic State militant group, the WMO said. Isis, the name of an ancient Egyptian goddess, was replaced with "Ivette..." (Image of Hurricane Arthur: NASA).


A Rare and Devastating F5. The photo above shows what was left of Rochester after the 1883 tornado roared across the city, leaving 37 dead and over 200 injured. Wikipedia has more details.


Seasonal Tornado Forecasts Could Soon Be A Reality, Researchers Say. Here's an excerpt of an interesting story at The Oklahoman: "...But weather researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Severe Storms Laboratory and elsewhere are working on a new method they hope will allow emergency responders to prepare weeks ahead of time when tornadoes are likely. Harold Brooks, senior research scientist at the Norman-based laboratory, said scientists could be a few years away from being able to release seasonal forecasts for tornadoes. Rather than predicting individual outbreaks, those forecasts would predict how likely tornadoes were over the course of a few weeks or an entire season, he said..."


Floods More Frequent in Midwest. Here's an excerpt from The Gazette-Democrat: "...The findings likely come as no surprise to millions of people in the Midwest and bordering states.  During the past several decades, large floods have plagued the region in 1993, 2008, 2011, 2013 and again in 2014.  The floods have caused agricultural and economic losses in the billions of dollars, displaced people and led to loss of life. “There is a pattern with increasing frequency of flood events from North Dakota south to Iowa and Missouri and east into Illinois, Indiana and Ohio,” says Iman Mallakpour, a UI graduate student in civil and environmental engineering and lead author on the paper..."


Why Your Next Home Might Be Battery-Powered. At least part of the time, and that's the challenge: making sure there's still a viable grid for the times when clean, renewable, solar or wind power isn't available. Here's an excerpt from The Washington Post: "...Only a few hundred U.S. homeowners — frustrated by their utility or seeking to go green — have worked with a small corps of battery makers to reduce their reliance on the national grid. But improving technology, falling prices and backing from electric-car giant Tesla could soon make the battery-powered home cheaper and easier than ever, challenging the long-held utility model of dependence on outside energy — and revolutionizing how America flicks on its lights..." (Photo credit: Fresh Energy).


Like Shale Oil, Solar Power Is Shaking Up Global Energy. Here's a snippet of an interesting article from Reuters: "...A crash in the prices of photovoltaic panels and improved technology that harnesses more power from the sun has placed solar on the cusp of a global boom, analysts say, who compare its rise to shale oil. "Just as shale extraction reconfigured oil and gas, no other technology is closer to transforming power markets than distributed and utility scale solar," said consultancy Wood Mackenzie, which has a focus on the oil and gas industry. Oil major Exxon Mobil says that "solar capacity is expected to grow by more than 20 times from 2010 to 2040..." (Photo credit: Solar City).


Apple Won't Always Rule. Just Look At IBM. I'm a fan of Apple, always will be, but how long can they sustain their run? Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...Now it’s Apple’s world. Apple is the most widely held stock in American mutual fund portfolios. IBM, the former undisputed heavyweight champion, isn’t even in the running anymore. It ranks 62nd, according to a Morningstar analysis performed at my request. IBM is still an important company, but it is struggling. Investors judge it to be worth less than one-quarter of Apple’s market value today. What happened to IBM — how it became this small, in comparison with Apple — is worth remembering..."


The Full-Size Lego Car. Because some people have entirely too much free time. That said, it is pretty cool. Here's a clip from kottke.org: "Raul Oaida built a full-sized car out of half-a-million Lego pieces that actually drives. The 256-cylinder engine is powered by compressed air. Top speed is 20 mph..."


69 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.

63 F. average high on April 27.

45 F. high on April 27, 2014.

April 27 in Minnesota Weather History. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service.

2002: Heavy snow over the Twin Cities and central Minnesota. Chanhassen got half a foot. Vivid lightning seen with the snow during the evening.

1996: Low of 9 degrees at Embarrass. Ice was still on some central and most northern Minnesota lakes.

1921: Late season blizzard at Hibbing. The temperature was 75 degrees three days before.


TODAY: Clouds increase, stray shower possible. Winds: N 5-10. High: 66

TUESDAY NIGHT: Patchy clouds. Low: 45

WEDNESDAY: Sunnier and milder. High: 68

THURSDAY: Warm sunshine. Still amazing. Wake-up: 44. High: 67

FRIDAY: Unsettled, passing T-shower possible. Wake-up: 45. High: near 70

SATURDAY: Some sun, drier day of weekend. Wake-up: 51. High: 74

SUNDAY: Humid, scattered heavy T-showers. Wake-up: 56. High: 73

MONDAY: Gray, but drier and slightly cooler. Wake-up: 53. High: 68


Climate Stories...

Extreme Weather Already On The Increase Due To Climate Change, Study Says. Here's an excerpt from The Guardian: "...Extreme heatwaves and heavy rain storms are already happening with increasing regularity worldwide because of manmade climate change, according to new research. Global warming over the last century means heat extremes that previously only occurred once every 1,000 days are happening four to five times more often, the study published in Nature Climate Change said. It found that one in five extreme rain events experienced globally are a result of the 0.85C global rise in temperatre since the Industrial Revolution, as power plants, factories and cars continue to pump out greenhouse gas emissions..."


New Study Links Weather Extremes to Global Warming. Here is additional perspective via Justin Gillis at The New York Times: "The moderate global warming that has already occurred as a result of human emissions is responsible for about 75 percent of daily heat extremes, and about 18 percent of precipitation extremes, scientists reported Monday. Especially hot days of a sort that occurred only once every 30 years or so before the Industrial Revolution are now occurring every six or seven years, the scientists found..."


* The paper referenced above is here.


How The U.S. Plans To Combat Arctic Climate Change. Here's the intro to a story from The Washington Post: "The United States and seven other Arctic nations vowed Friday to work together to combat climate change at the top of the world and put aside tensions over Ukraine and Russian military activities. As the United States assumed chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a multinational group formed to address environmental and economic issues, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said that the Arctic is undergoing profound climate change at an alarming pace that will affect northern coastal communities and, eventually, the world..."


U.S. Takes Reins of Arctic Council Amid Geopolitical Tension, Rapid Warming. Andrew Freedman has the article for Mashable; here's an excerpt: "...The Arctic is one of the most rapidly warming places on the planet, with warming air and sea temperatures and melting ice rapidly transforming places from Fairbanks, Alaska to Svalbard, Norway from a forbidden, frozen landscape to a seasonally accessible area. Arctic sea ice has declined precipitously in recent years, with September sea ice extent falling 13% per decade since 1979. Projections show the Arctic Ocean is likely to become seasonally sea-ice free sometime between the next few years and 2050. Sea ice extent in March was the lowest on record for the month..." (File image: Jeremy Potter, NOAA).


China Is Building A Great Wall of Trees to Fight Climate Change and the Encroaching Gobi Desert. Is it just me or is this the rough nationalistic, ultimately futile equivalent of sticking your finger in a dike? Quartz has the story; here's a clip: "China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, but it is also engaged in a massive tree-planting program that has helped to offset tropical deforestation, and suck some of the climate-changing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Reforestation efforts in China, combined with regrowth on abandoned farmland in Russia, have helped offset 81% of the loss in above-ground biomass carbon lost to tropical deforestation since 2003, according to a new study in the academic journal Nature Climate Change..."

Photo credit above: "China's other Great Wall." (Reuter/Aly Song)


Obama Finally Gets Angry At Climate Science Deniers And It's Hilarious. ThinkProgress has a review of President Obama's performance at the White House Correspondent's Gala; here's an excerpt: "...But this was not only Obama’s best “speech” on climate change to date, it was delivered to the perfect audience — the DC elite and the panjandrums of the media. The “not-so-intelligentsia” have been wildly underplaying the story of the century for a long, long time. They should have called “Bull–” on deniers a long time ago. Kudos to the President for finally doing so."

* A YouTube clip of Saturday night's commentary is here, courtesy of The Daily Conversation.

Spring Fever Alert - The F5 Tornado That Launched the Mayo Clinic

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: April 26, 2015 - 10:54 PM

Tornadic Silver Lining

“I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe" said the Dalai Lama. Terrible events often spark good outcomes.

On Sunday I spoke at Earthfest, in Rochester, driving past the Mayo Clinic, arguably the best hospital in the world. There's a reason why Saudi sheiks fly to Minnesota for treatment, right?

On August 21, 1883 a massive F-5 tornado leveled much of Rochester. There were no hospitals nearby so Dr. William Mayo, his sons and the Sisters of St. Francis converted a dance hall into an emergency room. This became St. Mary's Hospital, which ultimately transformed into the Mayo Clinic. The 1883 tornado claimed 37 lives. How many lives have been saved by the Mayo Clinic over the years? A poetic ending to a random tragedy.

Sunday's sky was so blue it almost hurt the eyes, and atmospheric oohs & aahs continue this week with a streak of 60s and 70s. An isolated shower may sprout Tuesday; heavier T-storms by Sunday, but probably nothing severe. We need more rain to put a substantive dent in Minnesota's drought.

Oh, the forecast calls for angry ice; The Blues will soon extend to The Blackhawks. How 'bout that Minnesota Wild?


A Rare and Devastating F5. The photo above shows what was left of Rochester after the 1883 tornado roared across the city, leaving 37 dead and over 200 injured. Wikipedia has more details.


Spring Sticks This Time? No more wintry relapses in sight, at least looking out 2 weeks. Highs reach the 60s all week, a few 70s by the weekend with the best chance of heavy showers and T-storms on Sunday. With most of the state in moderate drought let it rain...


Windy April. Here's an excerpt from this week's edition of Minnesota WeatherTalk, courtesy of Mark Seeley (who has a new book out on Minnesota weather and climate). "As we have reported before, April is generally the windiest month of the year based on climate history from most Minnesota communities.  But, April of this year has been particularly windy, with average wind speeds above the historical average, as well as a high frequency of wind gusts over 30 mph.  Here is a list of average wind speeds and frequency of gusts over 30 mph for selected cities across the state:


Location        Ave Wind Speed for April 2015     Number of days wind has gusted above 30mph
MSP                        12.3 mph                           9 days (peak of 46 mph on the 2nd)
Rochester                 14.4 mph                          14 days (peak of 47 mph on the 1st)
St Cloud                   11.5 mph                           8 days (peak of 49 mph on the 2nd)


50th Anniversary of 1965 Tornado Super-Outbreak: The Twin Cities National Weather Service Wants To Hear From You. Do you have memories, photos (videos) from the swarm of F-4 tornadoes that descended on the MSP metro area the evening of May 6, 1965. The MPX office of the National Weather Service wants to hear from you: " The 50th anniversary of the 1965 Twin Cities tornadoes is right around the corner and we want to hear from you! May 6, 1965 is a date that many people in the Twin Cities remember as tone of the worst weather days in Minnesota history. Six tornadoes carved a path of destruction across the western and northern Twin Cities metro. We are seeking your personal account of the events of that day. We are also interested in any photos you wouldn't mind sharing with us...."

Photo credit above: "A photo taken by Minnetonka resident H.B. Milligan of a tornado crossing to the west of the junction of Hwy 7 and 101 on May 6, 1965. It is believed that this was the tornado that touched down in Chanhassen at 6:27 PM and dissipated in Deephaven at 6:43 PM."


Seasonal Tornado Forecasts Could Soon Be A Reality, Researchers Say. Here's an excerpt of an interesting story at The Oklahoman: "...But weather researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Severe Storms Laboratory and elsewhere are working on a new method they hope will allow emergency responders to prepare weeks ahead of time when tornadoes are likely. Harold Brooks, senior research scientist at the Norman-based laboratory, said scientists could be a few years away from being able to release seasonal forecasts for tornadoes. Rather than predicting individual outbreaks, those forecasts would predict how likely tornadoes were over the course of a few weeks or an entire season, he said..."


Tornado-Free U.S. Zip Codes Since 1950 On One Cool Map. Here's an excerpt of an interesting article at weather.com, although as financial planners like to say, past performance is not an indicator of future returns: "Jordan Tessler, a geographer/amateur meteorologist in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, tweeted the interesting map you see above, showing the U.S. ZIP codes without a confirmed tornado from 1950-2013, using data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. There are a couple of caveats. The map does not imply the areas in green above have never seen a tornado, since it dates to only 1950. In decades past, some tornadoes in areas of lower population have gone undetected. Today, advanced radar technology, smartphones, social media and dense spotter networks make it increasingly rare a tornado is not documented..."

Map credit above: "Zip codes in the Lower 48 states without a confirmed tornado from 1950-2013, shaded in green." (Jordan Tessler/@TerpWeather).


Tornadoes By Zip Code. The University of Michigan has a pretty cool tool that allows you to plug in a zip code to find all the tornadoes that have passed nearby. Worth a look.


Apple Won't Always Rule. Just Look At IBM. I'm a fan of Apple, always will be, but how long can they sustain their run? Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...Now it’s Apple’s world. Apple is the most widely held stock in American mutual fund portfolios. IBM, the former undisputed heavyweight champion, isn’t even in the running anymore. It ranks 62nd, according to a Morningstar analysis performed at my request. IBM is still an important company, but it is struggling. Investors judge it to be worth less than one-quarter of Apple’s market value today. What happened to IBM — how it became this small, in comparison with Apple — is worth remembering..."


Bentleys Don't Float: Exhibit A. Greg Hardy of the Cowboys got a weather lesson on Friday; here's an excerpt from USA TODAY Sports: "Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy was suspended 10 games by the NFL, and his week keeps getting worse. Hardy was involved in a “verbal altercation” with a teammate Friday at a Cowboys facility, and also ran into trouble while trying to drive along a flooded road. Severe storms in the area left thousands without power, and many roads and highways were covered in several inches of water. Hardy left his Bentley near Interstate 35 in Dallas, and it was later towed away..."


64 F. high in the Twin Cities Sunday.

63 F. average high on April 26.

55 F. high on April 26, 2014.

April 26, 1954: Downpour in Mora, where nearly 7 inches of rain fell in a little over 10 hours.


TODAY: Plenty of sun, very nice. Winds: North 5-10. High: 68

MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 47

TUESDAY: More clouds, isolated shower. High: 66

WEDNESDAY: Plenty of sunshine. Wake-up: 46. High: 68

THURSDAY: Warm sunshine. Just about perfect. Wake-up: 48. High: 72

FRIDAY: Less sun, stray T-shower. Wake-up: 51. High: 71

SATURDAY: Fading sun, feels like May. Wake-up: 53. High: 76

SUNDAY: Humid, heavy showers & T-storms. Wake-up: 55. High: 74


Climate Stories...

Obama Finally Gets Angry At Climate Science Deniers And It's Hilarious. ThinkProgress has a review of President Obama's performance at the White House Correspondent's Gala; here's an excerpt: "...But this was not only Obama’s best “speech” on climate change to date, it was delivered to the perfect audience — the DC elite and the panjandrums of the media. The “not-so-intelligentsia” have been wildly underplaying the story of the century for a long, long time. They should have called “Bull–” on deniers a long time ago. Kudos to the President for finally doing so."

* A YouTube clip of Saturday night's commentary is here, courtesy of The Daily Conversation.


Arnold Schwarzenegger Insists He's Not Turning Into a Democrat; Explains GOP Skepticism of Global Warming. Here's a clip from Huffington Post: "...I don't see the environment as a Democratic issue or as a Republican issue."Schwarzenegger pointed to Theodore Roosevelt, who protected public land and created the U.S. Forest Service, and Richard Nixon, who created the Environmental Protection Agency, as notable Republicans with a strong history of conservation. The former governor added that the widespread denial of global warming among Republicans comes down to "a matter of communicating..."

Photo credit above: "Arnold Schwarzenegger attends the Tribeca Film Festival world premiere of "Maggie" at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, in New York." (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)


2 Degrees: The Most Important Number You've Never Heard Of.  CNN has the story - here's a snippet: "...But here's why it matters: If we humans warm the world more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), we greatly up the odds of climate catastrophes. Think super droughts, rising seas, mass extinctions and acidifying oceans. We don't want to cross that mark. Humans never have lived in post-2-degree world, said Carlo Jaeger, chair of the Global Climate Forum, based in Germany, and author of a paper on this history of 2 degrees. "If we start warming the planet way beyond what humans have ever experienced, God knows what will wait for us," he told me. Good news, though. If we drastically cut carbon emissions, we can stay below the 2-degree threshold. As part of this series, I'll be exploring exactly what it would take to do so..."

Spring Fling This Week - Blustery April - Tornado Touchdowns Near Your Zip Code

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: April 25, 2015 - 10:39 PM

Slightly Windblown

April is, historically, the windiest month of the year for most Minnesota communities. According to climate historian Mark Seeley April 2015 has been particularly breezy: at least 9 days in the Twin Cities with winds gusting over 30 mph.

What does it mean? I'm not convinced we can read too much into this. Evidence of climate volatility or weather whiplash? Not necessarily.

The greater the swings in temperature the faster winds have to blow to keep the atmosphere in a state of equilibrium. We've seen sharp frontal passages, thus the uptick in wind speed.

The transition from winter to summer is always awkward, sometimes violent. As eager as we are for 80s and sticky, lake-worthy humidity levels, I'm not looking forward to curling up with a hot Doppler and tracking severe storms.

This is the calm before the (inevitable) storm.

Our big weather story: a warming trend is imminent. 60s give way to late-week 70s. The mercury may brush 80F next weekend before a cooler front sparks heavier rain early next week. A shower is possible Tuesday; heavier T-storms Friday & Saturday as warm, sticky air surges north. The atmosphere is shifting gears. Spring is finally here. No, really!


Progress. The fact that I'm now highlighting 70s and 80s means temperatures are (finally) lurching in the right direction. A good-looking week is shaping up as temperatures mellow; a few showers Tuesday with a better chance of T-storms Friday and Saturday as a surge of warmth pushes north. European guidance suggests heavier rain and strong T-storms early next week. Source: Weatherspark.


Jet Stream Buckles Into A Warm Ridge. Longer-range GFS guidance from NOAA shows a tongue of warm air pushing north as the week goes on, the best chance of 70s and even low 80s next weekend. Meanwhile unusually chilly weather lingers over New England. Source: AerisWeather.


Windy April. Here's an excerpt from this week's edition of Minnesota WeatherTalk, courtesy of Mark Seeley (who has a new book out on Minnesota weather and climate). "As we have reported before, April is generally the windiest month of the year based on climate history from most Minnesota communities.  But, April of this year has been particularly windy, with average wind speeds above the historical average, as well as a high frequency of wind gusts over 30 mph.  Here is a list of average wind speeds and frequency of gusts over 30 mph for selected cities across the state:


Location        Ave Wind Speed for April 2015     Number of days wind has gusted above 30mph
MSP                        12.3 mph                           9 days (peak of 46 mph on the 2nd)
Rochester                 14.4 mph                          14 days (peak of 47 mph on the 1st)
St Cloud                   11.5 mph                           8 days (peak of 49 mph on the 2nd)


Tornado-Free U.S. Zip Codes Since 1950 On One Cool Map. Here's an excerpt of an interesting article at weather.com, although as financial planners like to say, past performance is not an indicator of future returns: "Jordan Tessler, a geographer/amateur meteorologist in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area, tweeted the interesting map you see above, showing the U.S. ZIP codes without a confirmed tornado from 1950-2013, using data from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center. There are a couple of caveats. The map does not imply the areas in green above have never seen a tornado, since it dates to only 1950. In decades past, some tornadoes in areas of lower population have gone undetected. Today, advanced radar technology, smartphones, social media and dense spotter networks make it increasingly rare a tornado is not documented..."

Map credit above: "Zip codes in the Lower 48 states without a confirmed tornado from 1950-2013, shaded in green." (Jordan Tessler/@TerpWeather).


Tornadoes By Zip Code. The University of Michigan has a pretty cool tool that allows you to plug in a zip code to find all the tornadoes that have passed nearby. Worth a look.


May 6, 1965 Super-Outbreak In The Twin Cities. The local Twin Cities National Weather Service has a link to a page with more details of the remarkable tornado outbreak of 1965. There hasn't been anything like it since, which has created a misleading sense of apathy among some local residents. "Big tornadoes can't hit here - it's too urban, too built-up". That's simply not the case. A large tornado has warm, moist inflow from a 20 mile radius. A few parking lots and high-rise buildings won't slow it down. Here's an excerpt from a good NWS summary: "The worst tornadoes in Twin Cities history occurred in 1965, with five tornadoes sweeping across the western and northern portions of the 7-county region, and a sixth tornado just outside the metropolitan area. Four tornadoes were rated F4, one was an F3, and the other produced F2 damage. Thirteen people were killed and 683 injured. Many more would have been killed had it not been for the warnings of the U.S. Weather Bureau, local officials, and the outstanding communications by local radio and television stations. Many credit the announcers of WCCO-AM with saving countless lives. It was also the first time in Twin Cities history that civil defense sirens were used for severe weather..."
 
Photo credit above: "An areal view of the destruction along Louisa Drive in Mounds View." Picture courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society, Photograph Collection.

How Alabama Made Tornado Helmets a Standard for Protection. My first choice is a form-fitted concrete-reinforced, form-fitted body cast that's bolted to the floor. My second choice would be a helmet, for a variety of good reasons. AL.com is doing some terrific reporting on what is considered state of the art; here's an excerpt: "...Earlier, AL.com, using the analysis of the UAB Injury Control Research Center that the best helmets for protection would be those that offer head, neck and face protection, listed the top helmets for protection:

1)    An American Motorcycle Association-approved helmet with a full face shield providing head and neck protection is the top helmet and is easily accessible. But a good motorcycle helmet can cost many hundreds of dollars.

2) Football helmet. A football helmet is designed to protect the head and face, including the sides of the head. It should be one approved for full contact. A good football helmet can cost more than $200..."

Photo credit above: "Motorcycle helmets with face guards offer best protection like this one. Mike Culberson credits this helmet with preventing injury, if not saving his life, when his home roof collapsed during tornado in Fultondale, Ala., on April 27, 2011." (Special/Michael Culberson).


Special Report: Are Tornado Sirens Outdated Technology? The short answer is yes. Here's a snippet from a story at wsaw.com: "...And the Langlade County Emergency Manager, Brad Henricks agrees. Because he said tornado sirens are not as reliable as you may think. “To mention if you can even hear it at 2 a.m. in the morning when severe weather approaches. Second problem, the sirens don't tell you exactly what the threat is, there are better ways to get informed,” said Henricks. He said a new technology called a “Wireless Alert System” on your cell phone could be even more effective. That system sends important messages through your cell phone. It's geographic specific. So if you are from Las Vegas visiting Wisconsin and if the activity is in range of your phone, you'll get a text message..."


Scientists Find Missing Link in Yellowstone Plumbing: This Giant Volcano Is Very Much Alive. To paraphrase George Carlin, don't sweat the thundershowers. And forget warming, if this baby goes of we're talking nuclear winter for an extended stretch. Pray we don't start issuing updates on Yellowstone anytime soon. Here's a clip from The Washington Post: "Yellowstone National Park is the home of one of the world's largest volcanoes, one that is quiescent for the moment but is capable of erupting with catastrophic violence at a scale never before witnessed by human beings. In a big eruption, Yellowstone would eject 1,000 times as much material as the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. This would be a disaster felt on a global scale, which is why scientists are looking at this thing closely..."

Photo credit above: "The gorgeous colors of Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic hot spring are among the national park’s myriad hydrothermal features created by the Yellowstone supervolcano. A new University of Utah study reports discovery of a huge magma reservoir beneath Yellowstone’s previously known magma chamber." (“Windows into the Earth,” Robert B. Smith and Lee J. Siegel).


The Army Is Testing Handheld Ray Guns. What was once science fiction is now scientific reality. Pretty amazing, and this new breakthrough makes your Taser look like a toy. Here's an excerpt from DefenseOne: "...The military, too, has been experimenting with so-called energy weapons for decades, including lasers. “Most of these are vehicle-towed and require a huge power system,” Burke noted. “The antennas are sometimes seven feet.” The Burke Pulser, meanwhile, fits onto an M4 rifle like a standard suppressor. Burke estimates that the cost to mass-produce them would be less than $1,000 each. What do you do with an energy gun? You don’t shoot people. The gun is intended for use against electronics, potentially giving dismounted soldiers an edge against the ever-wider range electronic and cyber threats that they might face on patrol..."

Photo credit above:  U.S. Army photo by Army Staff Sgt. Scott Griffin.


Bentleys Don't Float: Exhibit A. Greg Hardy of the Cowboys got a weather lesson on Friday; here's an excerpt from USA TODAY Sports: "Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy was suspended 10 games by the NFL, and his week keeps getting worse. Hardy was involved in a “verbal altercation” with a teammate Friday at a Cowboys facility, and also ran into trouble while trying to drive along a flooded road. Severe storms in the area left thousands without power, and many roads and highways were covered in several inches of water. Hardy left his Bentley near Interstate 35 in Dallas, and it was later towed away..."


62 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday.

63 F. average high on April 25.

64 F. high on April 25, 2014.

April 25, 1996: Heavy snow over northern Minnesota. 10 inches of snow at Baudette. The International Falls airport closed for only the second time in history.


TODAY: Sunny and spectacular. Winds: NE 5-10. High: 61

SUNDAY NIGHT: Clear and cool. Low: 40

MONDAY: Partly sunny and mild. High: 65

TUESDAY: More clouds, passing shower possible. Wake-up: 44. High: 63

WEDNESDAY: Lukewarm sunshine. Wake-up: 47. High: near 70

THURSDAY: Warm sun. Too nice to work. Wake-up: 52. High: 75

FRIDAY: Clouds increase, late T-storm. Wake-up: 57. High: 74

SATURDAY: Mild sun, nighttime T-storms? Wake-up: 54. High: 76


Climate Stories...

2 Degrees: The Most Important Number You've Never Heard Of.  CNN has the story - here's a snippet: "...But here's why it matters: If we humans warm the world more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), we greatly up the odds of climate catastrophes. Think super droughts, rising seas, mass extinctions and acidifying oceans. We don't want to cross that mark. Humans never have lived in post-2-degree world, said Carlo Jaeger, chair of the Global Climate Forum, based in Germany, and author of a paper on this history of 2 degrees. "If we start warming the planet way beyond what humans have ever experienced, God knows what will wait for us," he told me. Good news, though. If we drastically cut carbon emissions, we can stay below the 2-degree threshold. As part of this series, I'll be exploring exactly what it would take to do so..."


Warming Hiatus Will Not Stop Long-Term Global Climate Change. Factoring additional heat going into the oceans there hasn't been a true hiatus in warming; here's a clip from Sydney Morning Herald: "A recent hiatus in global temperature rises will not temper the ultimate impact of climate change by the end of the century, research by Australian climate scientists has found. In a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Thursday, the researchers compared different climate models – complex computer simulations used by scientists to project the impact of rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas..."


Thawing Permafrost: A Slow, Giant Carbon Release. InsideClimate News takes a look at what may wind up being the biggest climate tipping point: "...Kevin Schaefer, a permafrost scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder and an author of the article, calls the thawing of the permafrost a "true climatic tipping point." Scientists are still trying to pinpoint when it will happen, but Schaefer said that a likely point is around the middle of this century, when the Arctic changes from a carbon sink to a carbon source. When that happens, it will trigger a centuries-long, unstoppable feedback system, in which warming will release carbon, which will trigger more warming, which will release more carbon..."


Bob Inglis: Show Courage on Climate Change. Yes, finding ways to grow the economy and put more people to work, tapping more energy without relying on fossil fuels is America's Energy Moonshot for the 21st century. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from former South Carolina (Republican) Congressman Bob Inglis at GreenvilleOnline: "America has an exceptional opportunity to prove that accountable free enterprise can solve climate change. The Great Recession dealt a blow to our confidence, but we’re coming back. If we boldly end all subsidies for all fuels and attach all costs to all fuels, liberty and transparent markets will spark consumer-driven innovation. In order for America to lead on climate change, the unconvinced need to be persuaded that achievable solutions can be found that fit with their values. Climate doomsayers have incanted a future full of fear. Climate naysayers have counseled a clutch of the fuels that have worked for us in the past..." (File photo above: Richard Shiro, AP).

Clearing Trend - Spring Regains Its Bounce Next Week - Lessons from May 6, 1965 Super-Outbreak

Posted by: Paul Douglas under Lions Updated: April 25, 2015 - 10:25 AM

Too Much Warning?

There's a nagging, dangerous perception that big, Oklahoma-size tornadoes can't hit the Twin Cities. Although rare, violent, long-track tornadoes are possible, especially in May.

On May 6, 1965 a swarm of 6 major tornadoes, 4 of them EF-4 super-twisters, hit the metro area. Fridley experienced 2 EF-4's, just 85 minutes apart. WCCO-AM saved countless lives with their coverage, but 13 people died, 683 were injured. These were the last EF-4's to strike the metro.

Now comes new research suggesting that longer lead times, 30 or 40 minutes, compared to a national average of 13 minutes, may lead to poor, even reckless decisions; people try to drive away from the approaching instead of sheltering in place, which greatly increases the risk. You don't want to be sitting in a car or truck when a tornado crosses the interstate. Bad idea.

Live TV video of an approaching tornado gets people moving MUCH faster than hearing a tornado warning. Seeing is believing. And motorcycle helmets may offer the best protection from head and neck injuries. Details on my blog below.

Nothing violent in sight, just a gray Saturday with a warming trend later this week. 60s return tomorrow; 70s by next weekend as a ridge of warm high pressure stretches north across the Plains. I could see 80 degrees in about a week.

A growl of thunder is possible Tuesday, again Friday but nothing severe is brewing just yet. Give it a couple of weeks.


May 6, 1965 Super-Outbreak In The Twin Cities. The local Twin Cities National Weather Service has a link to a page with more details of the remarkable tornado outbreak of 1965. There hasn't been anything like it since, which has created a misleading sense of apathy among some local residents. "Big tornadoes can't hit here - it's too urban, too built-up". That's simply not the case. A large tornado has warm, moist inflow from a 20 mile radius. A few parking lots and high-rise buildings won't slow it down. Here's an excerpt from a good NWS summary: "The worst tornadoes in Twin Cities history occurred in 1965, with five tornadoes sweeping across the western and northern portions of the 7-county region, and a sixth tornado just outside the metropolitan area. Four tornadoes were rated F4, one was an F3, and the other produced F2 damage. Thirteen people were killed and 683 injured. Many more would have been killed had it not been for the warnings of the U.S. Weather Bureau, local officials, and the outstanding communications by local radio and television stations. Many credit the announcers of WCCO-AM with saving countless lives. It was also the first time in Twin Cities history that civil defense sirens were used for severe weather..."
 
Photo credit above: "An areal view of the destruction along Louisa Drive in Mounds View." Picture courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society, Photograph Collection.

This Week's Chilly, Snowy Relapse. Mark Seeley has more details on the cold snap earlier in the week. Flurries brushed the Twin Cities metro; but a plowable amount of flurries piled up over the Minnesota Arrowhead. Here's an excerpt from his latest report at Minnesota WeatherTalk: "Many places around the state reported at least a trace of snow on April 21st (Tuesday) and 22nd (Wednesday), and some places reported measurable amounts.  The following were new daily record snowfalls amounts for April 21st:

4.0" at Isabella
1.5" at Embarrass, Kabetogama, and Ely

In addition Orr reported 3.0", Tower 2.0", and International Falls 1.9" but these were not new record totals for the date.  Following the snow, the low temperature plunged to just 10°F at both Fosston and Embarrass, the coldest reading in the nation for April 23rd..." (Boundary Waters webcam courtesy of U.S. Forest Service).


Spring Regains Its Bounce. After a brief temperature relapse earlier this week, complete with obligatory snowflakes, milder air returns to Minnesota next week with highs in the 60s. European guidance suggests 70s, even 80s by next weekend. The best chance of a few showers and T-showers: Tuesday, again Friday of next week. Source: Weatherspark.


How Warm Weather Influences our Mood. Yes, warm fronts can be good for your state of mind; breaking news from the University of Duh. There's even science to back up (the obvious!) Here's an excerpt of a good summary at Huffington Post: "...The gold standard on this subject is a 2004 University of Michigan study that found people who spent at least 30 minutes outside in pleasant weather -- either by taking a trip to warmer climates in the winter months or by taking advantage of a newly warm spring day in the park -- had happier moods. And in corroborating research, a 2014 UM study found that being outside could lead to a better mindset and reduced stress..."


How Alabama Made Tornado Helmets a Standard for Protection. My first choice is a form-fitted concrete-reinforced, form-fitted body cast that's bolted to the floor. My second choice would be a helmet, for a variety of good reasons. AL.com is doing some terrific reporting on what is considered state of the art; here's an excerpt: "...Earlier, AL.com, using the analysis of the UAB Injury Control Research Center that the best helmets for protection would be those that offer head, neck and face protection, listed the top helmets for protection:

1)    An American Motorcycle Association-approved helmet with a full face shield providing head and neck protection is the top helmet and is easily accessible. But a good motorcycle helmet can cost many hundreds of dollars.

2) Football helmet. A football helmet is designed to protect the head and face, including the sides of the head. It should be one approved for full contact. A good football helmet can cost more than $200..."

Photo credit above: "Motorcycle helmets with face guards offer best protection like this one. Mike Culberson credits this helmet with preventing injury, if not saving his life, when his home roof collapsed during tornado in Fultondale, Ala., on April 27, 2011." (Special/Michael Culberson).


Special Report: Are Tornado Sirens Outdated Technology? The short answer is yes. Here's a snippet from a story at wsaw.com: "...And the Langlade County Emergency Manager, Brad Henricks agrees. Because he said tornado sirens are not as reliable as you may think. “To mention if you can even hear it at 2 a.m. in the morning when severe weather approaches. Second problem, the sirens don't tell you exactly what the threat is, there are better ways to get informed,” said Henricks. He said a new technology called a “Wireless Alert System” on your cell phone could be even more effective. That system sends important messages through your cell phone. It's geographic specific. So if you are from Las Vegas visiting Wisconsin and if the activity is in range of your phone, you'll get a text message..."


What If April 9th Tornado Had Taken A Different Path? Large cities have been particularly lucky when it comes to direct strikes from major tornadoes. So argues the author of this good post at Northern Illinois University Newsroom: "...And had it been closer to Chicago, the number of homes and people affected would have been immense. People have a false sense that tornadoes only happen in rural settings, but nothing could be further from truth,” he added. As evidence, he points to Minneapolis, Atlanta, Springfield, Mass., Huntsville, Ala. and Raleigh, N.C. Just within the last decade, tornadoes have struck downtown areas in those cities. In Illinois, the 1967 Oak Lawn tornado and the 1990 Plainfield tornado are reminders that the Chicago metropolitan region is not immune to tornado threats..."

Photo courtesy NIU meteorology professor Walker Ashley.


Radar Upgrade Has "Changed The Way We Do Business" At Weather Service. Al.com has an interesting article focusing on the advantages of dual-polarization Doppler radar, and for the first time, the ability to see debris lofted into the air by large tornadoes. Here's an excerpt: "...Dual-pol radar can help meteorologists better identify when a tornado has touched down. It's even more useful at night, when storm spotting becomes next to impossible. "It can tell us when a tornado is on the ground and that debris is being cast high into the air," said Jeffrey Medlin, the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office in Mobile. "We have several different data sets we can look at within the dual pol and see that..."

Image credit above: "Dual-polarization radar enables meteorologists to see when a tornado is on the ground and debris is being thrown into the air. It's working much better than many anticipated." (National Weather Service).


U.S. Maps Pinpoint Earthquakes Linked To Quest for Oil and Gas. The New York Times reports; here's the intro: "The United States Geological Survey on Thursday released its first comprehensive assessment of the link between thousands of earthquakes and oil and gas operations, identifying and mapping 17 regions where quakes have occurred. The report was the agency’s broadest statement yet on a danger that has grown along with the nation’s energy production. By far the hardest-hit state, the report said, is Oklahoma, where earthquakes are hundreds of times more common than they were until a few years ago because of the disposal of wastewater left over from extracting fuels and from drilling wells by injecting water into the earth..."

Map credit above: "The maps below show where there has been seismic activity, caused mostly by oil and gas operations. Northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas have been especially hard hit, with an exponential growth in the number of human-caused earthquakes." Source: U.S. Geological Survey.


Artificial Photosynthesis Breakthrough Turns CO2 Emissions Into Plastics and Biofuels. Ultimately innovation, not regulation, will take the edge of climate volatility. Here's another shining example, courtesy of Gizmag: "Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley have created a hybrid system of bacteria and semiconducting nanowires that mimics photosynthesis. According to the researchers, their versatile, high-yield system can take water, sunlight and carbon dioxide and turn them into the building blocks of biodegradable plastics, pharmaceutical drugs and even biofuel..." (File image credit: NASA).


What You Need To Know Before Investing In Solar Stocks. The Motley Fool has some advice; here's an excerpt: "There may not be an industry with greater potential for growth today than the solar industry. It's a $120 billion industry today that's upending an electricity industry that will be worth $4 trillion annually by 2035 -- and it could go on to upend transportation fuel as well. That's incredible growth potential for a solar industry that has already grown 30% compounded annually over the last 20 years...."

Photo credit above: "Entire communities are going solar, changing the energy landscape." Source: SolarCity.


Scientists Find Missing Link in Yellowstone Plumbing: This Giant Volcano Is Very Much Alive. To paraphrase George Carlin, don't sweat the thundershowers. And forget warming, if this baby goes of we're talking nuclear winter for an extended stretch. Pray we don't start issuing updates on Yellowstone anytime soon. Here's a clip from The Washington Post: "Yellowstone National Park is the home of one of the world's largest volcanoes, one that is quiescent for the moment but is capable of erupting with catastrophic violence at a scale never before witnessed by human beings. In a big eruption, Yellowstone would eject 1,000 times as much material as the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. This would be a disaster felt on a global scale, which is why scientists are looking at this thing closely..."

Photo credit above: "The gorgeous colors of Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic hot spring are among the national park’s myriad hydrothermal features created by the Yellowstone supervolcano. A new University of Utah study reports discovery of a huge magma reservoir beneath Yellowstone’s previously known magma chamber." (“Windows into the Earth,” Robert B. Smith and Lee J. Siegel).


The Army Is Testing Handheld Ray Guns. What was once science fiction is now scientific reality. Pretty amazing, and this new breakthrough makes your Taser look like a toy. Here's an excerpt from DefenseOne: "...The military, too, has been experimenting with so-called energy weapons for decades, including lasers. “Most of these are vehicle-towed and require a huge power system,” Burke noted. “The antennas are sometimes seven feet.” The Burke Pulser, meanwhile, fits onto an M4 rifle like a standard suppressor. Burke estimates that the cost to mass-produce them would be less than $1,000 each. What do you do with an energy gun? You don’t shoot people. The gun is intended for use against electronics, potentially giving dismounted soldiers an edge against the ever-wider range electronic and cyber threats that they might face on patrol..."

Photo credit above:  U.S. Army photo by Army Staff Sgt. Scott Griffin


Mission Possible. Can a 64-year-old guy with heart disease, emphysema (COPD), and missing half a lung, succeed at twelve of the most iconic climbs in America?  "Phil Huston climbed mountains, rock cliffs and ice walls in 5 countries. He climbed Mount Rainier 12 times; the last ascent just 3 months after losing half of his lung to cancer. “The Climb for Clear Lungs Adventure” proves that even the worst health crises can be overcome. Let’s show how strong older athletes really are!  35 days. 12 climbs. 7 destinations. 18,000 vertical feet. Goal: Promoting screening for millions with undiagnosed lung diseases."

Clear Lungs Adventure: Sunday, 4/26 at 3:30, Room 104 Hanson Hall, University of MN, West Bank.

* If you've smoked at least 100 cigarettes over the course of your life you are at increased risk of COPD. Phil is a dear friend of mine (we worked together at WLOL-FM). He isn't letting COPD slow him down, but his mission is to raise awareness among the general population. Many people have COPD and they don't even realize it yet. Take the screening test from the COPD Foundation; it takes a minute or two.


China Says Please Stop Hiring Funeral Strippers. My new favorite headline of the week, and potential proof that we may be, in fact, living in the End Times. Here's an excerpt from The Wall Street Journal: "In China, friends and family of the deceased may have to do without a special form of funereal entertainment: strippers. According to a statement from the Ministry of Culture on Thursday, the government plans to work closely with the police to eliminate such performances, which are held with the goal of drawing more mourners..."


52 F. high temperature in the Twin Cities Friday.

62 F. average high on April 24.

45 F. high on April 24, 2014.

.34" rain fell yesterday at MSP International Airport.

April 25, 1996: Heavy snow over northern Minnesota. 10 inches of snow at Baudette. The International Falls airport closed for only the second time in history.


TODAY: Clouds give way to partly sunny skies, cool breeze. Winds: E 10-20. High: 55

SATURDAY NIGHT: Clouds linger. Low: 39

SUNDAY: Partly sunny, a nicer day. High: near 60

MONDAY: Intervals of sun, lukewarm breeze. Wake-up: 42. High: 66

TUESDAY: Unsettled, passing T-shower. Wake-up: 48. High: 63

WEDNESDAY: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Wake-up: 50. High: 62

THURSDAY: Some sun, almost feels like spring. Wake-up: 48. High: 68

FRIDAY: Humid, risk of a few T-storms. Wake-up: 52. High: 69

* 70s are possible next weekend, even a shot at 80F. on Sunday, May 3.


Climate Stories...

Warming Hiatus Will Not Stop Long-Term Global Climate Change. Factoring additional heat going into the oceans there hasn't been a true hiatus in warming; here's a clip from Sydney Morning Herald: "A recent hiatus in global temperature rises will not temper the ultimate impact of climate change by the end of the century, research by Australian climate scientists has found. In a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Thursday, the researchers compared different climate models – complex computer simulations used by scientists to project the impact of rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gas – that showed a decade-long hiatus in surface temperature rises since 1995 to those that did not..."


Thawing Permafrost: A Slow, Giant Carbon Release. InsideClimate News takes a look at what may wind up being the biggest climate tipping point: "...Kevin Schaefer, a permafrost scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder and an author of the article, calls the thawing of the permafrost a "true climatic tipping point." Scientists are still trying to pinpoint when it will happen, but Schaefer said that a likely point is around the middle of this century, when the Arctic changes from a carbon sink to a carbon source. When that happens, it will trigger a centuries-long, unstoppable feedback system, in which warming will release carbon, which will trigger more warming, which will release more carbon..."


Bob Inglis: Show Courage on Climate Change. Yes, finding ways to grow the economy and put more people to work, tapping more energy without relying on fossil fuels is America's Energy Moonshot for the 21st century. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from former South Carolina (Republican) Congressman Bob Inglis at GreenvilleOnline: "America has an exceptional opportunity to prove that accountable free enterprise can solve climate change. The Great Recession dealt a blow to our confidence, but we’re coming back. If we boldly end all subsidies for all fuels and attach all costs to all fuels, liberty and transparent markets will spark consumer-driven innovation. In order for America to lead on climate change, the unconvinced need to be persuaded that achievable solutions can be found that fit with their values. Climate doomsayers have incanted a future full of fear. Climate naysayers have counseled a clutch of the fuels that have worked for us in the past..." (File photo above: Richard Shiro, AP).


Will Drought And Climate Change Kill the Winter Olympics? Vice Sports has a fascinating story about shifting patterns and which cities have the consistently cold winter weather and moisture to be able to support an Olympic bid; here's an excerpt: "...Even beyond 2022, the Winter Olympics appears to be in peril. As temperatures continue to rise as a result of climate change, the minimum temperature benchmark of 32F will be harder to meet. The table (above) lists the current daily minimum and maximum temperatures in February at all the previous host cities' alpine venues since Nagano, Japan, in 1998..."


Exclusive: Obama Tells Us What's To Come on Climate, Drought. National Geographic has the article; here's an excerpt that caught my eye: "...The president is more opaque, however, when asked directly about whether Americans should expect to sacrifice everyday activities that consume fossil fuels and water. Instead, he points to how far the country has come in recent decades, and to how much progress is under way. “In just 40 years, we’ve cut air pollution by nearly 70 percent while the economy has tripled,” he says. “By the middle of the next decade, our cars will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.” He adds that reducing climate-altering gases “represents one of the greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century...”


What Do Volcanic Eruptions Mean For The Climate? Carbon Brief does a good job summarizing the potential impact of the new volcano roaring to life in Chile; here's an excerpt: "...Volcanic eruptions can affect climate in  two main ways. First, they release the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, contributing to warming of the atmosphere. But the effect is very small. Emissions from volcanoes since 1750 are  thought to be at least 100 times smaller than those from fossil fuel burning. Second, sulphur dioxide contained in the ash cloud can produce a cooling effect, explains Prof Jim McQuaid, professor of atmospheric composition at the University of Leeds..."

Photo credit above: Calbuco volcano eruption. Credit: Philip Oyarzo Calisto


Changes in Water Vapor and Clouds are Amplifying Global Warming. The Guardian has the story - here's a snippet: "... If the cooling effect gets smaller, it means the Earth will warm more than expected. If the cooling effect of clouds gets bigger, it means the Earth will warm less than expected.
What the present paper shows is that future changes to clouds will cause slightly more warming. Scientists describe clouds as a “positive feedback” on global warming. This finding is consistent with the work of Dr. Andrew Dessler. He had published work here and here showing changes in clouds are making the Earth warm more than otherwise expected
..."

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