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 Bears

Friday Chill, Saturday Snow and Puddles Next Week

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: February 13, 2014 - 9:42 PM

"I thought you said it was supposed to be warmer, Todd!" Yes, I did... be patient!

Yes, I know it's a bit on the chilly today, but it was expected. We're seeing cold exhaust on the back side of that fast moving clipper system that kicked out a few wind whipped snow flakes yesterday. There is yet again another clipper system that will blow through our neck of the woods tomorrow. Don't be surprised if you find yourself doing a little light shoveling on Saturday, but let it melt. The onset of the warming will take place into early next week. Our first +30F day is on deck for Monday with another +30F in the hole for Tuesday!

Old Man winter is tired and we should get a few more cracks at +30F next week before his relief arrives. There is a slight indication of additional cooling late next weekend, so don't get too excited.

This is normal... It's still February and we'll likely see a few more wintry spats before this extra inning game is over. Don't forget, we saw 30s and 0.5" of snow into May of last year; It was enough to make my parents move to Phoenix! I might still have to book a flight this year to take the edge off this wintry sting.

-TODD NELSON

_______________________________________________________________________

FRIDAY: Minor setback in the temperature department. More sun. High: 14. Winds: NW 5-15.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Another cold night. Low: -1.

SATURDAY: Another clipper arrives. Snow likely. Dusting up to 2" possible. High: 22.

SUNDAY: Bright start. Increasing clouds with a light wintry mix developing late/overnight. Wake-up: 7. High: 23.

MONDAY: Wintry mix possible early, then gradual clearing and warmer! Wake-up: 21. High: 35.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny, continued thaw. Wake-up: 20. High: 36.

WEDNESDAY: Puddles continue to grow. Wake-up: 22. High: 34.

THURSDAY: More clouds, light mix possible. Wake-up: 21. High: 35.

___________________________________________________________________________

MSP Temp Trend

After a brief cool down on Friday, temperatures warm into the 30s for an extended period next week. There are some indications that it chill down a bit by the end of the month... stay tuned!

FutureRadar

Watch the blue streaks moving southeast through the Upper Midwest. We had one AM Thursday, another one snakes through on Friday morning and yet another one (not picture shown here) will slide through on Saturday.

Snow Potential

Here's the snow potential through midday Sunday, which shows 2 snow streaks. The one over much of Minnesota is the Saturday snow chance, which could bring a dusting up to 2" to parts of the state.

Snowy DC

Thanks to @uplandcounty for this picture out of Washington D.C. where they tallied over a foot of snow!

Philadelphia

Thanks to @BearsJState for this image from the Philadelphia Airport

New York

Thanks to @jhowardpr for this picture out of New York. It's a very snowy Union Square!

Bronx Accident

Thanks to Tri-State Weather for this image out of the Bronx from yesterday. Interestingly, schools were NOT closed yesterday in New York. By the way, New York City public schools have only been closed 11 times since 1978!

Pilot, VA

WOW! Thanks to Earl Shortridge for this image out of Pilot, VA where he measured 20" !!

Snow Tallies

NOAA's Weather Prediction Center has a huge list of snow tallies from the latest storm system. As of 4pm EST, there were several reports exceeding 18" and a few nearing 2ft.! Maryland, Virgina and West Virginia seemed to be the two states where some of the heaviest tallies were found.

See the full list HERE:

Snow Map

Here's a map of snowfall amounts from Midday Tuesday into Midday Wednesday. Note the extreme snowfall amounts from the northern portions of the Gulf Coast States to near New York.

Winter Storm Warning Continues

The Winter Storm Warning in the Northeast will begin to fade on Friday as the storm system pulls away from the coastline. Total snowfall tallies on the high end could be 12" to 18" or more in isolated spots. Blowing snow will be an issue through Friday as strong winds surround the low pressure system.

August, GA Ice Damage

Thanks to Jason Nappi from WJBF TV showing more ice damage from Augusta, GA

August, GA

Thanks to @Weatherman319 for this image out of August, GA where a tree fell on this Augusta National Golf Club sign.

SupportiveSnowman

Thanks to Madison Tank out of Woodstock, GA for this image who is showing her support during the Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia. GO USA!!

Active Pattern Continues

The forecast looks quite active into the upcoming weekend. A near continuous fountain on moisture continues to wring itself out over the Pacific Northwest. Pieces of these storms will move through the nation quite frequently, each will bring some rain and snow to parts of the eastern U.S.

Wet in the Pacific Northwest

Heavy precipitation continues to fall in the Pacific Northwest. The image below shows NOAA's 5 day precipitation forecast, where 5" to 10" or more can't be ruled out by early next week!

Atmospheric River

The plume of tropical moisture in the Eastern Pacific continues. The Atmospheric River has been responsible for copious amount of moisture lately. Hopefull we can see this wobble a little farther south into California as well.

February Precipitation So Far

This is an interesting map, it shows the radar estimated precipitation over the last 7 days. Note how much precipitation we've seen in the western U.S. since the start of the month. This certainly is nice to see, but we still need a lot more, especially in California.

Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend ahead!

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV

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. Politico.com 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 scienceblogs.com; 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.

Christmas on the Tundra (another 1-3" later today & tonight)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: December 24, 2013 - 11:05 AM


Ah, Christmas memories circa 2013. Wearing the stockings that should be hanging in front of the fireplace. Using a credit card to chip away the ice on the INSIDE of my windshield. Shooing the polar bears out of my yard. Belting out Christmas carols through gritted teeth. Every nerve ending clenching as I crunch through icy snow to pick up the mail.

No brown, lukewarm tidings of joy this year. Welcome to a Pioneer Christmas: Fort Snelling with flush toilets and Netflix. A subtle (yet blunt) reminder that we all live in a distant suburb of Winnipeg.

The approach of slightly milder air sets off another burst of powder today; 2-4 inches of fluff likely this afternoon & tonight. Get your last-last minute shopping done early.

This is as cold as it gets looking out 1-2 weeks; 20s will feel absurdly good Christmas Day - luxurious 30s Saturday before chilling down again early next week. There's every indication we'll be flirting with zero into the first week of 2014.

I see hints of a thaw mid-January, but a cold bias lingers as far ahead as I care to look.<p>I'm grateful for an amazing family, great friends and thoughtful readers.

A very merry Christmas is predicted for you & yours.


Severe Chilly. Here are the actual low temperatures reported Tuesday morning across the great state of Minnesota. Yes, it's cold enough. Map: WeatherNation TV.


Misery Loves Company. -2F at Chicago and Kansas City, a record -34F up at International Falls? It helps to know much of the northern tier of the USA is shivering right along with us.


Next Snow Burst. When it's this cold the flakes are small, air puffing up snowfall like the feathers in a down comforter. I expect fairly rapid accumulation of snow this afternoon and evening, slowly tapering late tonight. By then, 1-3" for much of Minnesota and Wisconsin, pushing across the Great Lakes into northern New England. 84-hour NAM Future Radar courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather.


Probably Plowable. With a rain:snow ration closer to 1:20 and .20" liquid expected I could easily see some 4" amounts of Minnesota powder by tonight. Roads will get icier as the day goes on. Map: Ham Weather.


Waterfall Of Hurt. Those blue/aqua temperatures pushing into the Upper Mississippi Valley show subzero chill pushing south of the border via Canadian Air Mail, brushing the Great Lakes before retreating north. Temperatures moderate by the end of the week. 84-hour 2-meter temperature outlook: NOAA and Ham Weather.


No Major Break In The Pattern. Temperatures continue to trend well below average through at least the first week of 2014, the only short-term shot at freezing coming Saturday. January came early - maybe February will too. Temperature meteogram: Weatherspark.


Toronto Hit By Ice Storm, Hundreds Of Thousands Without Power. Treehugger has an update on an extreme ice event; here's the intro: "The second climate disaster of the year hit Toronto, Canada (here was the first) yesterday as an ice storm took down thousands of trees and power lines, leaving roads blocked and 300,000 customers and up to a million people without power in freezing weather. The head of the local power utility says that it is the worst they have ever seen..."

Photo credit above: CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter.


No Cable? No Problem. More Residents Cut The Cord, Opt For Streaming TV. I have DirecTV, Mediacom cable, as well as Apple TV and Roku, and I find I too am watching more streaming television via WiFi. How did I ever get by without Netflix? Here's a clip from The St. Cloud Times: "...Wall Street media analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson recently released a report that shows cable operators lost 687,000 subscribers nationally during the third quarter of this year — a much steeper decline than in 2011-12. The cable industry still controls about 55 percent of the pay-TV market in the United States, according to an SNL Kagan report, down from 65 percent in 2006. Like many of the contingent known as cord cutters, the Jonaks’ entertainment now comes online..."

Photo credit above: "Joe and Susie Jonak and their children Lily, 3, and Aidan, 5, use tablets, computers, and their BluRay player to stream video in their home Dec. 11. The family, like many others, got rid of cable or satellite television to stream content on the internet and Netflix." / Jason Wachter, jwachter@stcloudtimes.com.


The 100 Most Astonishing Images Of 2013. Gizmodo has an eye-popping, mind-boggling collection of photos from 2013; definitely worth a look: "We post tons of great images on Gizmodo, from space to science to art to design. Here's a treasure trove of our very favorites that proves that 2013 was, if nothing else, eye-catching."

Image credit above: massive hurricane on Saturday, via NASA.


12 Sexiest Ideas For Wasting Crazy Amounts Of Energy At Christmastime. With tongue implanted firmly in cheek, the Energy Blog at seattlepi.com has a few ideas; here's an excerpt: "..There are so many easy and amazing ways to enhance energy waste around the house during the holidays. How many can you find? Get the whole family to search together and make a game of it! Here are twelve ideas to get you started:

1. String all your old lights on the house and in the yard, then leave them on 24/7.

Untangling that wad of fading, failing incandescent light strands is part of the joy of the holidays. Why change? LED light strands would use 70 percent less energy than traditional bulbs, and they’re brighter so you would use fewer of them.

2. Leave the fireplace flue open.

Santa needs unimpeded access through your chimney..."


One-Off Fat Trike Attempts World Record Antarctic Trip. You think THIS is cold? This is Club Med compared to Antarctica, and one very ambitous biker. Good grief, I have nightmares that start out like this. Gizmag has more details: "Last winter, polar explorer Eric Larsen attempted to become the first person to cycle to the South Pole. Continually stymied by deep, unrideable snow, Larsen fell behind schedule and was forced to abandon the attempt. This year, several others are taking up the challenge. Thirty-five year-old British adventurer Maria Leijerstam is hoping the ticket to success is a fat-tired recumbent trike built to task..."



5 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.

25 F. average high on December 23.

19 F. high on December 23, 2012.

7" snow on the ground at KMSP.

Weather History on December 23 - courtesy of the Twin Cities National Weather Service:

1996: Strong winds of 20 to 30 mph, combined with over a foot of new snowfall, resulted in restricted visibilities from blowing snow. As a result, several highways closed, including highway 19 west of Redwood Falls, highways 7 and 40 at Madison, and highways 67 and 23 out of Granite Falls.

1982: Heavy rain over the state with slushy snow over southwest Minnesota. Twin Cities gets 2.61 inches of precipitation through Christmas. Some lightning and thunder with the heavy rain on Christmas Eve.


CHRISTMAS EVE: Windchill Advisory. Feels like -25F early. Nanook with fading sun this morning. More snow this afternoon and evening, 1-3" expected by tonight. Icy PM hours. High: 13

TONIGHT: Snow tapers to flurries - slippery travel. Santa sightings. Low: 12

CHRISTMAS DAY: Mostly cloudy, better travel conditions. High: 24

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, few flurries. Wake-up: 8. high: 17

FRIDAY: Partly sunny, not as harsh. Wake-up: 5. High: 27

SATURDAY: A welcome thaw. Grilling weather. Wake-up: 18. High: 32

SUNDAY: Windy and colder with more clouds than sun. Wake-up: 2. High: 7

MONDAY: Flurries. Eye-watering winds. Wake-up: -5. High: 4


Climate Stories...

"...Despite new discoveries and increasing reliance on unconventional oil and gas, 37 countries are already post-peak, and global oil production is declining at about 4.1% per year, or 3.5 million barrels a day (b/d) per year:

"We need new production equal to a new Saudi Arabia every 3 to 4 years to maintain and grow supply... New discoveries have not matched consumption since 1986. We are drawing down on our reserves, even though reserves are apparently climbing every year. Reserves are growing due to better technology in old fields, raising the amount we can recover – but production is still falling at 4.1% p.a. [per annum]."

- from a post at The Guardian, details below. Image above: Clean Technica.


Solar Activity Is Not A Key Contributor To Climate Change: Study. International Business Times has the story - here's an excerpt: "Variations in heat from the sun have not strongly influenced climate change, according to a new study conducted by scientists at the University of Edinburgh, which instead points the finger at volcanic activity and greenhouse gases for the planet's ever-changing climate patterns. The findings of the study, published in Nature GeoScience on Sunday, have overturned a widely-held scientific concept that long-lasting periods of warm and cold weather in the past might have been caused by periodic fluctuations in solar activity. The researchers examined causes of climate change in Earth’s northern hemisphere over the past 1,000 years and found that until the year 1800, the key driver of periodic changes in climate was volcanic activity..."

Photo credit above: "Solar flare on the sun. Climate change has not been strongly influenced by variations in heat from the sun, a new scientific study shows." NASA/SDO/AIA.


Annual Audubon Bird Count Is A Barometer For Climate Change. The Journal News has an interesting article and video; here's an excerpt: "...A 2009 report showed more than half the bird species seen during the first weeks of the winter season in North America had moved northward between 1966 and 2005. Not all that movement was a response to climate change, Audubon acknowledged, but the correlation between shifting ranges and increasing winter temperatures can’t be ignored. The new report, due out early next year, will be “powerful,” Audubon New York’s executive director Erin Crotty told The Journal News. “We’ll know which birds are threatened by climate change. It’s going to add urgency and clarity to our work,” Crotty said..."

Image credit above: "Counting birds at Christmas: Volunteers this holiday season are tallying birds as part of Audubon's 114th annual Christmas Bird Count, which helps scientists understand how birds are responding to various pressures, including climate change." (Michael Risinint/The Journal News).


Global Warming Will Intensify Drought, Says New Study. Not "trigger" drought, but when natural droughts do set in, make them more intense - faster; amplifying and potentially prolong their effects. Here's a summary of an interesting story at The Guardian: "...Overall, the study concludes,

"Increased heating from global warming may not cause droughts but it is expected that when droughts occur they are likely to set in quicker and be more intense."

In the end, climate change is important because it affects our lives, our societies, and our economies; impacts that are occurring because of extreme weather. It is critical to be able to accurately assess the trends in observed extreme weather so we can better plan our mitigation and adaptation strategies. The old adage of "you don't know where you are going unless you know where you've been" seems to apply pretty well here..."

Photo credit above: "A new study finds that global warming will probably cause droughts to set in quicker and be more intense." Photograph: David Gray/REUTERS.


Faux Pause: Climate Contrarians Lose Favorite Talking Point. Here's a clip from climate scientist Greg Laden at scienceblogs.com: "...To any objective observer, the Earth is now a world warmed. The decade 2001–2010 was the hottest decade on record, and every single month since March 1985 has been warmer than the 20th century average. The present year promises to be the sixth warmest year on record. Already this year, our fellow Americans out West have been confronted by record breaking wildfire, extreme drought, and devastating floods. All this in addition to the ongoing pine beetle epidemic ravaging our forests. All of these “natural” disasters are exactly what climate scientists expect from a world warmed by human emissions. Despite all these facts, the contrarians have been heavily (and somewhat successfully) asserting that the world isn’t warming, that global warming has paused..."


Climate Reality Project. Check out the video that links tobacco denial in the 70s with a new round of denial (on a much larger scale), designed to keep confusion alive and delay any kind of meaningful action: "For most people facing the impacts of climate change, including the majority of Americans, this reality is not controversial. But special interests, with exorbitant funding and support from Dirty Energy companies, have spent decades on well-coordinated campaigns to mislead and deceive us. They carefully planted the seeds of doubt and cynicism into the conversation … so they could slow down or stop the actions we need to solve this problem. Climate deniers are following the exact same playbook as the tobacco companies that once denied that smoking causes cancer. They’re doing all they can to make this confusing for us. But 97 percent of climate scientists understand that climate change is a reality. The scientists are not confused. And we shouldn’t be either."


Global Warming Fact Of The Day. For current headlines and research findings click here.


Are Utilities Wilting From Heat Of Solar Competition? National Journal has the story - here's a snippet: "...What we need to be talking about is what's the best way to allocate costs and how can we do this equitably and continue to enhance the grid," Owens said. "What we've seen this year is a recognition in various states that current rate-design structures are not working and they need to be revisited." For the solar industry, Miller took a somewhat similar line. "There are rate cases going on all over the country and right now what I think we're seeing is that regulators realize that you have to address these issues in the context of rate design," he said. "The main thing is that when we look at rate design as a whole, solar shouldn't be made a target."


Former BP Geologist: Peak Oil Is Here And It Will "Break Economies". The Guardian has the article - here's a clip: "A former British Petroleum (BP) geologist has warned that the age of cheap oil is long gone, bringing with it the danger of "continuous recession" and increased risk of conflict and hunger. At a lecture on 'Geohazards' earlier this month as part of the postgraduate Natural Hazards for Insurers course at University College London (UCL), Dr. Richard G. Miller, who worked for BP from 1985 before retiring in 2008, said that official data from the International Energy Agency (IEA), US Energy Information Administration (EIA), International Monetary Fund (IMF), among other sources, showed that conventional oil had most likely peaked around 2008..."

Thursday Night Snow Potential (Thanksgiving Day climatology in the Twin Cities)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: November 20, 2013 - 12:17 AM

Thanksgiving Daze

Cranky uncle Earl is counting down the days until Thanksgiving. Every family has an uncle Earl. He's the one who breaks the remote control, makes vaguely inappropriate comments at the dinner table, and doesn't have the good sense to know when to go home. I pray he's not reading.

Family drama is one thing, but will the weather cooperate? Probably. Thanksgiving weather can be all over the map: 60F or knee-deep snow drifts. Last year we had a high of 60F with a coating of snow at night. Statistically we're more likely to subzero lows than 50-degree highs. We've only seen 11 Thanksgiving Days above 50F in the last 141 years. It's been as cold as -18F (1880); the last subzero low was 1985 (-8F). Historically 1 in 3 Thanksgivings have at least 1 inch of snow on the ground.

Enjoy upper 40s today because we're about to enjoy a few glancing blows of arctic air. No extended periods of numbing pain, but cold enough to get your attention. Expect weekend highs in the 20s with a windchill near zero at times.

A Pacific breeze means highs in the 30s to near 40F on Thanksgiving. No big storms are brewing nearby, but a light, greasy coating of snow may arrive late tomorrow. Updates on the blog.


Thursday Night Snowfall? It doesn't look like a major pile of white, but some 1-2" amounts are possible around the Twin Cities as (much) colder air pushes into Minnesota, the best chance of some light, accumulating snow after the dinner hour tomorrow. Map: NOAA and Ham Weather.


A Wintry Swipe. It won't stay bitter for long, but by Saturday there should be no doubt in your mind that we're sliding into winter. After highs in the upper 40s today temperatures drop off tomorrow and Friday, possibly holding in the teens to near 20F Saturday in spite of sunshine. Highs return to the 30s much of next week, odds favor 30s for Thanksgiving Day.


Thanksgiving Day Weather Map. ECMWF data via WSI shows a mostly storm-free USA next Thursday, bitterly cold air pushing across New England; colder than average for the eastern half of America. Southern California may see some light to moderate rain, otherwise a dry sky prevails across much of the nation.


More Pacific Than Yukon. 500 mb (18,000 foot) steering winds aloft are forecast to blow from the west-northwest between November 25-29, meaning glancing blows of cold air from the Upper Midwest to New England, but milder than normal conditions over the western half of the USA much of next week. Map: NOAA.


A November Tornado Outbreak For The Record Books. Meteorologist Jason Samenow has some timely details on Sunday's head-shaking outbreak of violent tornadoes at The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang; here's a clip: "...Sunday’s outbreak should rank among the three biggest of 2013. Although the total number of tornadoes this year is well below average, the number of violent tornadoes (EF-4 or higher) is above average, with 9 total, compared to the 30-year average of 7.7.

The cause

A very strong cold front sliced across the central and eastern U.S., clashing with warm, mild air out ahead of it. A strengthening area of low pressure along the front, helped to generate large amounts of low level spin. At high altitudes, an extremely powerful jet stream – roaring along at around 140 mph – energized the storm system..."

Photo credit above: "Homeowners and helpers dig out what they can from a mountain of debris in Washington, Ill., Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 after more than 1,000 homes were devastated by an F4 tornado that passed through Sunday. The twister was the most powerful to hit Illinois since 1885 with wind speeds greater than 200 mph." (AP Photo/Journal Star, Fred Zwicky)


Tornado Forecasts, Alerts Credited For Low Death Toll In Midwest. The Spokesman has an interesting story; here's the intro: "When a cluster of violent thunderstorms began marching across the Midwest, forecasters were able to draw a bright line on a map showing where the worst of the weather would go. Their uncannily accurate predictions – combined with television and radio warnings, text message alerts and storm sirens – almost certainly saved lives as rare late-season tornadoes dropped out of a dark autumn sky. Although the storms howled through 12 states and flattened entire neighborhoods within a matter of minutes, the number of dead stood at just eight..."

Photo credit above: Associated Press photo. "This aerial view on Monday shows the path of a tornado that hit the Illinois town of Washington on Sunday."


Storm Surge: Amid Questions About Delay In Chicago, NFL Maintains Stance To Put Fans First. Severe storms, lightning and tornadoes are routine summer risks for baseball games, but football? The Washington Post has a good look at the issues NFL officials had to grapple with in Chicago on Sunday, meteorological and financial: "...Instead, many wondered why Sunday’s NFL game kicked off at its scheduled noon start time, with the threat of lightning, high winds and a torrential downpour bearing down on the city’s lakefront stadium. “Hindsight being 20-20, it’s easy to say they should have waited,” said Steve Woltmann, a freelance photographer who has covered games at Soldier Field for nearly three decades. “And honestly, I got a few texts from home long before kickoff warning some crazy stuff was headed right at us..."

Photo credit above: Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press. "Fans are warned to take cover as a severe storm moves through Soldier Field during the first half of an NFL football game between the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, in Chicago."


The Critical Importance Of Situational Awareness. I tell people not to put their safety or the safety of their families into the hands of of others when it comes to severe weather. Take the time and the personal responsibility to monitor the weather yourself, with that nifty computer in your pocket or purse, your smart phone. Some of the lessons of Sunday's tornado outbreak and near-miss in Chicago at Climate Matters: "WeatherNationTV Chief Meteorologist Paul Douglas goes over more of the data from Sunday's devastating tornado outbreak. 6 states saw tornadoes, including monster EF4 tornadoes in Illinois. How can you stay connected and weather aware? Paul Douglas has details."


Boy's Tornado Warnings Helped Save Family. Weather wisdom comes in all shapes, sizes (and ages). Yahoo News has the video and story - here's an excerpt: "When 6-year-old Brevin Hunter heard the tornado siren begin to wail out its warnings, he knew exactly what to do: Put his video game down and head to the basement. More challenging was convincing his family that he was right. "Please, Mom. This is what they teach us in school. When you hear the siren, you need to go somewhere safe," Brevin told his mom, Lisa, according to the Chicago Tribune.  But when Lisa Hunter looked outside, she saw that the skies looked calm. She thought it was a drill..."


Losses From Extreme Weather Rise To $200 Billion A Year Over Past Decade. Reuters has the story; here's an excerpt: "Global economic losses caused by extreme weather events have risen to nearly $200 billion a year over the last decade and look set to increase further as climate change worsens, a report by the World Bank showed on Monday. A United Nations' panel of scientists has warned that floods, droughts and storms are likely to become more severe over the next century as greenhouse gas emissions warm the world's climate. "Economic losses are rising - from $50 billion each year in the 1980s to just under $200 billion each year in the last decade and about three quarters of those losses are a result of extreme weather," said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development...


"Apocalyptic" Storm Floods Sardinia, 17 Dead. The flooding in parts of Italy has been historic; here's a clip from sfgate.com: "The Mediterranean island of Sardinia, prized by the jet-set for its white sand beaches and crystal-clear seas, was a flood-ravaged mud bath Tuesday after a freak torrential rainstorm killed at least 17 people, downed bridges and swept away cars. Italian Premier Enrico Letta declared a state of emergency and set aside 20 million euros ($27 million) for emergency relief, saying the priority was reaching remote areas, saving the lives of those still unaccounted for and providing for those left homeless. Letta later traveled to the island, where he met with people hit by the floods.The island, which draws royals, entrepreneurs and ordinary tourists alike during the dry, peak summer months, received more than 44 centimeters (17.3 inches) of rain in 24 hours Monday — half the amount it normally receives in a year, officials said..."

Photo credit above: "This picture taken from a video released by the Italian Police Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, shows a wrecked police car recouped from a crack in a bridge caused by torrential rains, in Dorgali, Sardinia. A policeman helping to escort an ambulance died when the car he was traveling in was submerged in the collapse of the bridge. The Mediterranean island of Sardinia, prized by the jet-set for its white sand beaches and crystal-clear seas, was a flood-ravaged mud bath Tuesday after a freak torrential rainstorm killed at least 17 people, downed bridges and swept away cars. Olbia Mayor Gianni Giovannelli said the city had been destroyed by the "apocalyptic" storm, with bridges felled and water levels reaching 10 feet in some places. He described the ferocity of the storm's rains as a "water bomb." Photo: Polizia Di Stato, AP.

* more details on the extreme flooding in Sardinia, Italy from The BBC.


Cut-Off Low. The 15-20" rains reported in Sardinia were the result of weather systems stalling, a persistent cut-off low over the Mediterranean Sea. At one point this was a "warm core" system, vaguely resembling a weak tropical storm, tapping significant moisture from the Mediterranean and converting it into relentless rains. Map: Florida State University.


Which Countries Are Most At Risk From Super Storms And Extreme Weather? AlterNet has the story - here's an excerpt: "...All ten of the countries most at risk from extreme events in the 1993 to 2012 period were developing countries, emphasising the message in Warsaw that poor countries cannot cope with the increasing number of catastrophes by themselves. The major issue at the conference in the wake of the current Philippine disaster is how to finance “loss and damage” caused by an increasingly unstable climate. The index, compiled by a think tank called Germanwatch from figures supplied by the giant re-insurance company Munich Re, lists ten countries most affected in 2012 and the long-term climate risk from loss of life and damage from 1993 to 2012..." (Image: NASA).


Incredible Footage Of Super Typhoon Haiyan's Storm Surge. I've never (ever) seen the water come up this rapidly - I can now see how many observers compared Haiyan's storm surge with a tsunami. The YouTube footage is here.


October Weather Highlights. From record blizzards in the Dakotas to historic flooding in the Austin, Texas area, to an EF-4 tornado near Wayne, Nebraska - October had something for everyone. Map: NOAA NCDC.


Scientists Brave Old Man Winter To Dig Out Secrets Of Lake Effect Snows. The NSF (National Science Foundation) has the story - here's a clip: "'Tis the season...for snow. Thundersnow. Rare anywhere, thundersnow is sometimes heard during the lake-effect snowstorms of the Great Lakes. The interaction of clouds and ice pellets inside these storms generates a charge, with lightning and thunder the result. How to catch thundersnow in action? This winter, stalwart veterans of tornadoes, hurricanes and other severe storms will be watching. One is known as the Doppler-on-Wheels (DOW), a National Science Foundation (NSF) national facility used by NSF-supported and other researchers. Joining it is a University of Wyoming instrumented aircraft, the King Air, also an NSF-funded national facility..."

Photo credit above: "During the OWLeS project, scientists will dash through the snow in the Doppler-on-Wheels." Credit: CSWR.


Residents Of Most Polluted Cities - New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles And Miami - Have Increased Risk Of Dry Eye Syndrome. This one made me do a double-take; here's an excerpt from Red Orbit: "Residents of major cities with high levels of air pollution have an increased risk of dry eye syndrome, according to a study presented at the world’s largest ophthalmic conference, the 117th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, in New Orleans. Study subjects in and around Chicago and New York City were found to be three to four times more likely to be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome compared to less urban areas with relatively little air pollution. As a result of this study, researchers suggest that environmental manipulations should be considered as part of the overall control and management of patients with dry eye syndrome..."


Starbucks Puts A Coffee Shop On Rails. Just when you thought they couldn't jam in another Starbucks on your block - let's put them on rails! Here's a clip from Gizmag: "Apparently not content with putting a coffee shop on every second street corner, Starbucks has teamed with Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to expand into rail travel with the unveiling of the first railway carriage converted into a Starbucks. The double-decker car uses a design that combines design elements based on coffee with Swiss detailing in what Starbucks calls the smallest bar it has ever designed..."


Why Do I Always Wake Up 5 Minutes Before My Alarm Clock Goes Off? Great question - here's a clip of an explanation at Mental Floss: "Because your body’s internal clock is just as good, if not better, than the contraption shrieking atop your nightstand. At the center of your brain, a clump of nerves—called the suprachiasmatic nucleus—oversees your body’s clock: the circadian rhythm. It determines when you feel sleepy and when you feel bright-eyed. It controls your blood pressure, your body temperature, and your sense of time. It turns your body into a finely tuned machine. That machine happens to love predictability. Your body is most efficient when there’s a routine to follow. So if you hit the hay the same time each night and awake the same time each morning, your body locks that behavior in. And that’s where things get sciency..."


Everyone In The World Hates Their Jobs - But Americans Hate Theirs The Most. Fast Company has results of a recent survey - here is a clip from an interesting story: "We suppose this survey of 8,000 workers across the United States, Canada, India, and Europe makes it somewhat official: America is number one! Number one in the percentage of employees who hate their jobs, that is. Monster.com and market research company GfK conducted the study, which revealed that only 53% of Americans actively enjoy their jobs, and 15% actively dislike them. Canadians, meanwhile, took top prize for having the cheeriest workforce: 64% of Canadians like their jobs, while only 7% hate what they do..."


I Stop Breathing When I Type, And You Probably Do, Too. And yes, I do to, although I didn't realize it until I confronted this article from Gizmodo; here's a clip: "...It turns out this is a thing. It's called "email apnea." According to one (very unscientific) estimate, about 80 percent of us do it. That includes you. To quell any immediate anxiety this new diagnosis might cause, I should say that I think I've suffered from email apnea ever since my family bought our first Packard Bell desktop, and I'm a relatively healthy person. Email apnea also isn't really a medical condition, at least not one that a doctor will give you medicine for. It does have medical effects, though—so listen up. The term "email apnea" was coined in 2008 on the Huffington Post by Linda Stone, a former Apple executive who's done extensive work on the physiology of our relationship with technology..."


47 F. high in the Twin Cities Tuesday.

39 F. average high on November 19.

59 F. high on November 19, 2012.

Minnesota Weather History on November 19 (from the Twin Cities National Weather Service)

2006: Lake effect snow occurred on the larger lakes in Minnesota. Northwest winds from 8 to 12 mph accompanied an air mass in the single digits. This moved over lakes with water temperatures near 40 degrees. A cloud plume from Mille Lacs stretched all the way Siren Wisconsin. Snow from Ottertail and Lake Lida reduced visibilities at Alexandia to a few miles. Even some low clouds formed from Lake Minnetonka and were observed at Flying Cloud Airport.

1996: Heavy snowfall accumulations of four to eight inches occurred over much of Central Minnesota. Some of the heavier amounts included 8 inches at Montevideo and Gaylord, 7 inches at St. James, Mankato, Madison and Stewart. Six inches was reported in the Twin Cities and Glenwood.

1953: Freezing rain hits parts of Minnesota. 3 inches of ice on wires at telephone wires at Lake Benton


TODAY: Mostly cloudy, still mild. Winds: South 15. High: 48

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Turning windy and colder. Low: 30

THURSDAY: Clouds increase. Light snow nighttime hours. Slick late with 1" of snow possible. High: 33

FRIDAY: Early slush, partial clearing. Wake-up: 26. High: near 30

SATURDAY: Cold, scrappy clouds and sun. Windchill: 5. Wake-up: 13. High: near 20

SUNDAY: Not as numb. Clouds increase. Wake-up: 12. High: near 30

MONDAY: Mix of clouds & sun, average temperatures. Wake-up: 27. High: 35

TUESDAY: Patchy clouds, cold wind. Wake-up: 22. High: 28


Climate Stories...

Conversations of Climate Change Deniers. Credit here.


Global Carbon Emissions Rise To New Record In 2013 - Report. Reuters has the story; here's the introduction: "Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels will rise to a record 36 billion tonnes this year, a report by 49 researchers from 10 countries said, showing the failure of governments to rein in the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. The report by the Global Carbon Project, which compiles data from research institutes worldwide each year, was published in the journal Earth Systems Data Discussions on Tuesday. Its 2013 estimate represents a 2.1 percent gain versus 2012 and a 61 percent increase since 1990, the baseline year for the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol, the only global agreement that places binding limits on national CO2 emission levels..."

Photo credit above: "A man rides his bicycle past the cooling tower and chimneys from a coal-burning power station in Beijing June 1, 2012." Credit: Reuters/David Gray/Files.


Haiyan Is An Example Of Climate Change Making Things Worse. Here's a clip from climate scientist Greg Laden at scienceblogs.com: "...The exact nature of future storms is uncertain, but there are four lines of scientific evidence that hurricanes will be more of a problem in the future than they were in the past. First, sea levels continue to rise, so the same storm ten years from now vs. ten years ago will have significantly greater impact.  Sea level rise was a significant factor with Superstorm Sandy and Katrina, and was likely a factor in the high death toll and extensive damage caused by Haiyan. Second, large storms are likely to produce more rain over a broader area because a warmer atmosphere contains more moisture; large storms will bring increased inland flooding, a major cause of damage, injury, and death in tropical storms and cyclones. Third, increased sea temperatures may generate more intense storms..."


The New Normal? Is a warmer atmosphere, with more water vapor (especially over and near the world's oceans) flavoring all weather, and making weather extremes more numerous and severe? Here's a clip from a story at The Economist: "...In theory, a warmer world should indeed produce more potent cyclones. Such storms are fuelled by evaporation from the ocean. Warmer water means faster evaporation, which means more energy to power the storm. A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, which means more rain. But other factors complicate things. Tropical cyclones cannot form when wind speeds in the upper and lower atmosphere differ too much. Climate models suggest, in the North Atlantic at least, that such divergent winds may be more common in a warmer world. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reckons that the frequency of cyclones will stay the same or decrease while their average intensity goes up..."


Why Disasters Like The Typhoon In The Philippines Will Keep Getting Worse. According to this article at Pacific Standard, climate change is only part of the story; here's an excerpt: "Basically, as the world's population continues to grow, more and more people are heading for the most economically attractive places, which tend to be cities, which tend to be along coastlines. That's why the number of people living in Tacloban has tripled in recent decades, from 76,000 in 1970 to more than 220,000 when the storm hit. Obviously, that puts three times as many people at risk of being killed when disaster strikes. But population growth compounds risk in other ways. All those people drawing water from underground aquifers can cause the already low-lying land to sink further. That's probably part of the reason so much of Tacloban sits below sea level, a fact which makes the city even more vulnerable to flooding. Shoddily-constructed buildings thrown up in a hurry to house all those newcomers also tend to fall down when the going gets rough..."

Photo credit above: "Debris littering the streets of Tacloban on November 14, nearly a week after the storm struck." (PHOTO: TROCAIRE/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS).


Rotterdam: Designing A Flood-Proof City To Withstand Climate Change. Here's a snippet of a story dealing with adaptation from The Guardian: "...Surrounded by water on four sides, this delta city of some 600,000 people can't flush the sudden stormwater away. Instead, it has embarked on a climate change adaptation strategy that turns every conceivable area into water storage. "We have squares that are set lower than the surrounding streets and pavements that will function as water plazas and fill themselves up with water", explains van Huffelen. "We've also built water storage facilities, for example an underground parking garage with a basin the size of four Olympic swimming pools. And we've introduced more green areas, including green roofs and green facades, that will be able to absorb water as well..."


Colorado To Tighten Drilling Rules. In addition to ongoing concerns about contamination of ground water supplies, there is growing apprehension about methane leakage around these hydraulic fracture (fracking) wells. Here's a clip from The Wall Street Journal: "...The state's proposed rules include first-in-the-nation regulations to force energy companies to reduce the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas linked to global warming that is the major ingredient in natural gas. The rules also attempt to cut emissions of volatile organic compounds, which some scientists say raise ozone levels and contain cancer-causing pollutants..."


What Farmers Think About Climate Change In One Great Quote. Here's a clip from a story at Business Insider: "...Here is what Climate Corporation founder Dave Friedberg said about how most farmers view climate change (emphasis ours):   

"You don't need to talk about climate change per se ... Statistically, you are looking at a series of numbers. If it were a roulette wheel, you could say, 'It's coming up black more and more frequently.' Can I attribute that to black being overweighted by the croupier? Or to the pit boss, or the machine being broken? It doesn't matter. Some people will argue that ice ages have waxed and waned for tens of millennia and that this is part of a natural cycle. That doesn't change the fact that black is coming up more frequently and you will get less out of an acre of corn than you used to. The price for that land simply cannot be justified by the income it can generate." 

In other words, it doesn't matter what's causing it, but something's definitely not right, and investing in protection from that uncertainty now seems a must..."


Global Climate Events In October. Data courtesy of NOAA NCDC.


All Over The World, Hurricane Records Keep Breaking. A symptom of warmer seas or a statistical fluke? Chris Mooney takes a look at Mother Jones; here's an excerpt: "...But here's the thing: Haiyan isn't the globe's only record-breaking hurricane in recent years. Even as scientists continue to study and debate whether global warming is making hurricanes worse, hurricanes have continued to set new intensity records. Indeed, a Climate Desk analysis of official hurricane records finds that many of the globe's hurricane basins—including the Atlantic, the Northwest Pacific, the North Indian, the South Indian, and the South Pacific—have witnessed (or, in the case of Haiyan and the Northwest Pacific, arguably witnessed) some type of new hurricane intensity record since the year 2000. What's more, a few regions that aren't usually considered major hurricane basis have also seen mammoth storms of late..." (Image: NOAA).


Haiyan, Sandy And Climate Change. Jeff Nesbit has the story at U.S. News; here's the introduction: "Is climate change responsible for the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan – the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history? Was it responsible for Superstorm Sandy, which caused billions of dollars of damage to New York City and New Jersey? More broadly, is climate change starting to have an impact today on such extreme weather events? The answer to those questions is a complicated one, but it starts with the word "yes". Scientists have spent years researching climate change's role in specific, extreme events such as Haiyan and Sandy. But what climate scientists know today, with a high degree of certainty, is that all extreme weather events are now occurring in a world where the oceans are warmer, sea levels are higher and temperatures are rising. So the odds of more intense, devastating storms like Haiyan and Sandy are increasing every year..."

Photo credit above: "A resident bikes past the devastation in Tacloban, central Philippines."


Gaps In Data On Arctic Temperatures Account For The "Pause" In Global Warming. Here's more information on the recent discovery, courtesy of The Independent: "...That much-vaunted “pause” in global warming can be largely explained by a failure to record an unprecedented rise in Arctic temperatures over the past 15 years, a study has found. Two independent scientists have found that global temperatures over the past decade have almost certainly risen two-and-half times faster than Met Office scientists had conservatively assumed when they estimated Arctic warming because of a lack of surface temperature records in the remote region. Moreover, when the latest estimates of Arctic temperatures are included in the global temperatures, the so-called “pause” in global warming all but disappears and temperatures over the past 15 or so years continue to increase as they have done since the 1980s, the scientists said..."


Surviving Climate Change: Is A Green Energy Revolution On The Global Agenda? Here's a clip from a story at Huffington Post that made me do a double-take. Will it really come to this? I hope we come to our senses long before there are protests on the streets, but some days I wonder: "...Nobody can say that a green energy revolution is a sure thing, but who can deny that energy-oriented environmental protests in the U.S. and elsewhere have the potential to expand into something far greater?  Like China, the United States will experience genuine damage from climate change and its unwavering commitment to fossil fuels in the years ahead.  Americans are not, for the most part, passive people.  Expect them, like the Chinese, to respond to these perils with increased ire and a determination to alter government policy. So don’t be surprised if that green energy revolution erupts in your neighborhood as part of humanity’s response to the greatest danger we’ve ever faced.  If governments won’t take the lead on an imperiled planet, someone will..."

Thanksgiving Weather Preview (more on Sunday's historic tornado outbreak)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: November 18, 2013 - 11:04 PM

Tornado Take-aways

Sunday's surreal outbreak of tornadoes, some as strong as EF-4, may have been the most violent seen so far north, coming so late in the season. Tornadoes aren't exactly top-of-mind in Illinois in November.

Two thoughts: you can retrofit any ground-floor closet into a "safe room" for a few thousand dollars. If you don't have a basement this is a good option, for the price of a family vacation to Disneyworld. The slow, uncertain evacuation of Soldier Field during Sunday's Bears game was a reminder that you can't depend on anyone else for your family's safety. It all comes down to personal responsibility & being "weather-aware".

My best advice: load up a few radar and warning apps on your phone and be proactive. Head inside LONG before you get the official order. Stay ahead of the severe weather curve.

The pattern favors a series of glancing blows of arctic air for Minnesota, with the biggest storms spinning up over the southern and eastern USA. After peaking near 50F today temperatures cool off later this week. A period of light snow may brush the state late Friday; by Saturday it'll feel like January.

Thanksgiving weather? Highs in the 30s; no mega-storms brewing into late next week. Winter mayhem may well be postponed until December.

Photo credit above: "Aerial pictures of the tornado damage at Washington, Illinois, near Peoria is seen on Monday, Nov. 18, 2013." (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT).




Governor Quinn Declares 7 Counties State Disaster Areas. Illinois was hit hardest by Sunday's tornado outbreak; here's an excerpt of a press release from illinois.gov: "Governor Pat Quinn today declared seven counties state disaster areas after severe storms generating tornadoes and high winds ripped across Illinois. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged or destroyed, hundreds of thousands of people are without power, and numerous roads throughout the state have been closed by fallen trees and downed power lines. At least six people are reported dead and dozens more injured. Later today, Governor Quinn will inspect damage on the ground in some of Illinois' hardest hit communities: Washington, Diamond, Gifford, Brookport and New Minden. Counties included in the Governor’s declaration are: Champaign, Grundy, LaSalle, Massac, Tazewell, Washington and Woodford counties...


Photo credit: "Linda Gonia sifts through debris left from her home after a tornado that swept through Washington, Ill, Nov. 18, 2013. Severe storms moved through the Midwest on Sunday, leveling towns, killing at least six people in Illinois and injuring dozens more, and causing thousands of power failures across the region." (Daniel Acker/The New York Times)

Hardest Hit Communities:

Washington, IL - 1 death, extreme damage (outside of Peoria)

Washington County, IL - 2 additional deaths near New Minden (southeast of St. Louis)

Brookport, IL - 2 trailer parks destroyed, at least 2 deaths

Massac County - 1 death, just outside Brookport

*these deaths confirmed by multiple news sources, see NY Times below*

6 deaths total so far (all in Illinois), 12 states reporting damage

150-200 reports of injuries in Illinois alone

Pekin, IL - one of the first large tornadoes of the day

Kokomo, IN - additional extensive damage

NWS Preliminary tornado ratings:

EF-4 : New Minden, IL

EF-4 : Washington, IL

EF-2 : Coal City, IL


Total Devastation. Ben Fiedler sent in this photo of what's left of an auto parts store in Washington, Illinois, one of the towns hardest hit by Sunday's historic tornado outbreak.


Filtered Tornado Count: 76. The raw number was 91 as of late Monday night. But after NOAA analyzed each tornado sighting it determined that some of these reports were the same tornado, seen from different vantagepoints. It may be the 3rd or 4th biggest November outbreak in U.S. history - possibly the most severe so far north, so late in the season. Map above: NOAA SPC.


Sunday's Historic Tornado Outbreak - Ways To Lower Overall Risk. Sunday's swarm of tornadoes was well predicted. There were no big surprises here - even though there was no way to know, in advance, which towns would be hit the hardest. For me it reinforced a few ideas: don't trust officials to protect you or your family - take steps to make sure you're in the weather loop wherever you go, 24/7, including Doppler radar and GPS-centric warnings. That, and if you don't have a basement consider a safe room. For the price of a family vacation you can reinforce a closet and lower the risk of becoming a tornado statistic. More details in today's edition of Climate Matters.



SPC Nailed Sunday's Tornado Outbreak. As early as 4 days before the event SPC was highlighting the Ohio Valley and talking about a major outbreak. On Saturday the risk was elevated to "moderate", then "high" early Sunday morning, meaning it was going to be a very active and violent day. You can see where the tornadoes actually touched down (red dots). That's about as good a severe weather forecast as you'll ever see.


Third November SPC "High Risk" Since 1998. This may have been the most violent tornado outbreak ever recorded so far north (central Illinois into central Indiana). Source: NOAA SPC.




Why Every Home Should Have A Basement (Or Safe Room). In light of more tornado-related tragedy I wanted to post a video from FEMA highlighting the merits of a safe room, which can be installed in nearly any home or apartment, costing a few thousand dollars to reinforce a closet: "In May 2008, Tom Cook and his teenage daughter Ryanne survived a catastrophic tornado in Racine, MO, that leveled their home. But Tom's wife of 19 years and Ryanne's mother did not survive. Following this tragic event, Tom vowed to be prepared for disasters in the future. Tom and Ryanne moved to nearby Joplin, Missouri, to rebuild--this time with a safe room in their garage. This decision proved fortuitous when an EF-5 tornado touched down just three years later on May 22, 2011. The storm leveled their home; however, Tom and Ryanne were safe and unharmed. "It was blown away completely - again," Tom said. "The only thing standing was that storm room." - Location: Joplin, MO.


Peoria Anchors Scramble For Shelter When Tornadic Storm Hits Station. Here's the video clip and an explanation from TVSpy: "A tornado tearing through East Peoria pushed two anchors for the local NBC station WEEK off the air after the twister hit part of the station’s property yesterday morning. Meteorologists Chuck Collins and Sandy Gallant were giving viewers on-air updates about the approaching tornado when they said they heard something. They scrambled for shelter at 11:00 a.m., leaving the anchor desk while the station went to a break. Seven minutes later, they were back on. “OK, guys. We just had a very scary situation to report. WEEK’s TV studios was hit by…it appears to be a tornado,” said Gallant. “We were on the air just a few minutes ago. You may have seen us go off the air rather quickly and that is because, obviously, we could hear the sound of a train right outside of our station...”


Indianapolis TV Station Trolled With Doctored Photo Of Tornado, A UFO, and Bigfoot. The joys and perils of the Internet/Photoshop Age; here's a cautionary tale from TVSpy: "WTHR appears to have been trolled during its coverage of the storms that rumbled across the state when an image of a fake tornado that included a UFO and bigfoot was uploaded to its viewer photo iwitness site. Jim Romenesko reported that Indianapolis Star reporter Eric Weddle found the mistake and tweeted about it..."


Pacific Air Next 36 Hours - Canadian Breeze Returns By Late Week. ECMWF guidance shows highs within a few degrees of 50F today and Wednesday, then a gradual temperature tumble by late week. Highs may not climb out of the mid 20s Saturday, moderating again next week. A storm spinning up along the leading edge of this glancing blow of arctic air may squeeze out a little light snow late Friday. Graph: Weatherspark.


Cold Air Building. Although not the "Mother Lode", not yet - cold air is forecast to push south of the border the latter half of this week. The dark red line marks the predicted 32F isotherm, the green line shows temperatures below 0F. 84 hour NAM model data courtesy of NOAA and Ham Weather.


Serious Late Week Lake Effect. Our modeling guru has created a new product called the BPI, or Blizzard Potential Index, which calculates the probability of low visibility and heavy snow. Although not a true blizzard, lake effect snows may produce local white-out conditions near the Great Lakes later this week into the weekend, another region of snow from north of Denver into Nebraska. Map: Ham Weather.


Negative Phase Of AO and NAO By Early December? A negative phase usually correlates with a jet stream configuration that favors much colder conditions east of the Rockies. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a numbing start to December, especially Upper Midwest and Great Lakes to New England. Graphs: NOAA.


Implications Of A Negative Arctic Oscillation. The GFS seems to confirm a turn to much colder weather after December 2 or so, maybe a few days of single-digit highs and subzero nights the first week of December? We'll see.


Pre-Thanksgiving Travel Headaches? Although I don't see any major snowstorms next week, ECMWF guidance shows a significant coastal storm next week for the eastern USA, a cold, windswept rain possible. This may cause some travel delays, by land and air. European solution valid midday Wednesday, via WSI.


Early Look At Thanksgiving Weather Map. Rain is forecast to taper over New England on Thanksgiving, some sun due to downslope (sinking air in the lee of the Appalachians) from D.C. to Charlotte. Dry weather is predicted for much of the southern and central USA on Thanksgiving Day, snow for the northern Rockies and a cold rain from Seattle to Portland. Map above valid 12z Thanksgiving morning, courtesy of WSI.


Incredible Footage Of Super Typhoon Haiyan's Storm Surge. I've never (ever) seen the water come up this rapidly - I can now see how many observers compared Haiyan's storm surge with a tsunami. The YouTube footage is here.


October Weather Highlights. From record blizzards in the Dakotas to historic flooding in the Austin, Texas area, to an EF-4 tornado near Wayne, Nebraska - October had something for everyone. Map: NOAA NCDC.


Starbucks Puts A Coffee Shop On Rails. Just when you thought they couldn't jam in another Starbucks on your block - let's put them on rails! Here's a clip from Gizmag: "Apparently not content with putting a coffee shop on every second street corner, Starbucks has teamed with Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to expand into rail travel with the unveiling of the first railway carriage converted into a Starbucks. The double-decker car uses a design that combines design elements based on coffee with Swiss detailing in what Starbucks calls the smallest bar it has ever designed..."


Health-Care Apps That Doctors Use. I found this Wall Street Journal article interesting; here's an excerpt: "...Mobile apps for smartphones and tablets are changing the way doctors and patients approach health care. Many are designed for the doctors themselves, ranging from handy databases about drugs and diseases to sophisticated monitors that read a person's blood pressure, glucose levels or asthma symptoms. Others are for the patients - at their doctor's recommendation - to gather diagnostic data, for example, or simply to help coordinate care, giving patients an easy way to keep track of their conditions and treatments..." (screen shot above: iScrub and Wall Street Journal).


A Batmobile In Your Future? It would be fun to cruise down I-35 in one of these (might make it easier to merge too). Details via gizmag.com: "Historics auction house in Surrey, UK, is listing a fully road-legal Batmobile for sale. It’s not an original – the car is a replica of the vehicle used by Michael Keaton in Tim Burton’s 1989 and 1992 movies – but Historics lists the piece as an "extremely well conceived tribute." "BLACK, low mileage, excellent condition, bespoke chassis, automatic transmission, fuel injected Jaguar 3.2 liter engine, remote ignition, hydraulic suspension, smoke release mechanism, flame thrower. US$145,000."



36 F. high in the Twin Cities Monday.

40 F. average high on November 18.

56 F. high on November 18, 2012.

7.6" snow fell on the Twin Cities November 18, 1957.

1981: Heavy snow with near blizzard conditions resulted in over a foot of wet snow, which caused the inflated fabric of the Metrodome to collapse and rip.

1957: Snowstorm in Southeast Minnesota. A foot is dumped at Winona. Heavy crop losses.

* November 18 Minnesota weather history courtesy of the MPX office of the National Weather Service.


TODAY: Dim sun, breezy & milder. Winds: S 15+ High: 52

TUESDAY NIGHT: Patchy clouds, milder than average. Low: 40

WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, risk of a sprinkle or two. High: 49

THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, cooling off. Wake-up: 32. High: 34

FRIDAY: Light snow possible southern MN PM hours. Wake-up: 25. High: 31

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy. Feels like 5-10F. Wake-up: 15. High: 23

SUNDAY: More sun, less wind. Not as cold. Wake-up: 18. High: 34

MONDAY: Partly sunny, above average. Wake-up: 22. High: 39


Climate Stories...

What Farmers Think About Climate Change In One Great Quote. Here's a clip from a story at Business Insider: "...Here is what Climate Corporation founder Dave Friedberg said about how most farmers view climate change (emphasis ours):   

"You don't need to talk about climate change per se ... Statistically, you are looking at a series of numbers. If it were a roulette wheel, you could say, 'It's coming up black more and more frequently.' Can I attribute that to black being overweighted by the croupier? Or to the pit boss, or the machine being broken? It doesn't matter. Some people will argue that ice ages have waxed and waned for tens of millennia and that this is part of a natural cycle. That doesn't change the fact that black is coming up more frequently and you will get less out of an acre of corn than you used to. The price for that land simply cannot be justified by the income it can generate." 

In other words, it doesn't matter what's causing it, but something's definitely not right, and investing in protection from that uncertainty now seems a must..."


Global Climate Events In October. Data courtesy of NOAA NCDC.


All Over The World, Hurricane Records Keep Breaking. A symptom of warmer seas or a statistical fluke? Chris Mooney takes a look at Mother Jones; here's an excerpt: "...But here's the thing: Haiyan isn't the globe's only record-breaking hurricane in recent years. Even as scientists continue to study and debate whether global warming is making hurricanes worse, hurricanes have continued to set new intensity records. Indeed, a Climate Desk analysis of official hurricane records finds that many of the globe's hurricane basins—including the Atlantic, the Northwest Pacific, the North Indian, the South Indian, and the South Pacific—have witnessed (or, in the case of Haiyan and the Northwest Pacific, arguably witnessed) some type of new hurricane intensity record since the year 2000. What's more, a few regions that aren't usually considered major hurricane basis have also seen mammoth storms of late..." (Image: NOAA).


Haiyan, Sandy And Climate Change. Jeff Nesbit has the story at U.S. News; here's the introduction: "Is climate change responsible for the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan – the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history? Was it responsible for Superstorm Sandy, which caused billions of dollars of damage to New York City and New Jersey? More broadly, is climate change starting to have an impact today on such extreme weather events? The answer to those questions is a complicated one, but it starts with the word "yes". Scientists have spent years researching climate change's role in specific, extreme events such as Haiyan and Sandy. But what climate scientists know today, with a high degree of certainty, is that all extreme weather events are now occurring in a world where the oceans are warmer, sea levels are higher and temperatures are rising. So the odds of more intense, devastating storms like Haiyan and Sandy are increasing every year..."

Photo credit above: "A resident bikes past the devastation in Tacloban, central Philippines."


Gaps In Data On Arctic Temperatures Account For The "Pause" In Global Warming. Here's more information on the recent discovery, courtesy of The Independent: "...That much-vaunted “pause” in global warming can be largely explained by a failure to record an unprecedented rise in Arctic temperatures over the past 15 years, a study has found. Two independent scientists have found that global temperatures over the past decade have almost certainly risen two-and-half times faster than Met Office scientists had conservatively assumed when they estimated Arctic warming because of a lack of surface temperature records in the remote region. Moreover, when the latest estimates of Arctic temperatures are included in the global temperatures, the so-called “pause” in global warming all but disappears and temperatures over the past 15 or so years continue to increase as they have done since the 1980s, the scientists said..."


Surviving Climate Change: Is A Green Energy Revolution On The Global Agenda? Here's a clip from a story at Huffington Post that made me do a double-take. Will it really come to this? I hope we come to our senses long before there are protests on the streets, but some days I wonder: "...Nobody can say that a green energy revolution is a sure thing, but who can deny that energy-oriented environmental protests in the U.S. and elsewhere have the potential to expand into something far greater?  Like China, the United States will experience genuine damage from climate change and its unwavering commitment to fossil fuels in the years ahead.  Americans are not, for the most part, passive people.  Expect them, like the Chinese, to respond to these perils with increased ire and a determination to alter government policy. So don’t be surprised if that green energy revolution erupts in your neighborhood as part of humanity’s response to the greatest danger we’ve ever faced.  If governments won’t take the lead on an imperiled planet, someone will..."


Global Warming And Business Reporting - Can Business News Organizations Achieve Less Than Zero? No, wait, there's a scientific disinformation campaign underway? Could it be because some (specific) businesses feel that their business models and future earnings are at risk? Here's an excerpt from The Guardian: "Some of the most popular business news outlets are complete failures when it comes to climate reporting. If they get basic climate science this wrong, how can they be trusted on any other topic? Recently, news outlets such as Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and CNBC have been in misinformation overdrive. It's not like it's difficult to get real scientists to speak to journalists. In spite of this, these news organizations have their so-called experts wax ineloquently on climate change, all the while displaying enormous ignorance of the actual science..."



Acid Oceans Could Cost The World Billions Of Dollars. The forecast calls for more jellyfish. Here's an excerpt from a story at Quartz: "Ocean scientists fear that climate change is dramatically shifting the chemical balance of the ocean in ways that will kill fish, molluscs and coral, harming 540 million people who depend on fisheries for their livelihoods—and anyone who likes a cheap oysters. Oceanographers gathered for a summit in Monterey, California, last month, producing a new report warning policymakers of the need to act. The world’s oceans are basically a giant carbon sink, absorbing about a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions. Since the industrial revolution, the ocean has become increasingly acidic due to increased carbon emissions—and at a faster pace than ever before—but that saturation is making the ocean less effective at taking carbon out of the air.."

Photo credit above: "Fishing communities aren't looking forward to a pH drop." Reuters/Lou Dematteis.


Top U.N. Official Warns Of Coal Risks. Here's the introduction to a New York Times article: "Most of the world’s coal needs to stay in the ground if greenhouse gas emissions are to be held in check, the United Nations’ top climate change official said Monday in a speech to coal industry executives here in Poland, one of the most coal-dependent nations on Earth. Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change, told industry officials here that they were putting the global climate and their shareholders at risk by failing to support the search for alternative methods of producing energy..."