Paul Douglas is a nationally respected meteorologist with 33 years of television and radio experience. A serial entrepreneur, Douglas is Senior Meteorologist for WeatherNation TV, a new, national 24/7 weather channel with studios in Denver and Minneapolis. Founder of Media Logic Group, Douglas and a team of meteorologists provide weather services for media at Broadcast Weather, and high-tech alerting and briefing services for companies via Alerts Broadcaster. His speaking engagements take him around the Midwest with a message of continuous experimentation and reinvention, no matter what business you’re in. He is the public face of “SAVE”, Suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. | Send Paul a question.

Posts about Super Bowl

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.

Happy February

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

Significant Snow Sails South

By Todd Nelson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

____________________________________________________________________________

Duluth Dogs

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

Frigid Forecast Into Early February

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

Winter Misery Index

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

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

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

See more from HERE:

It's Been a Cold January

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

Condition 1 Weather

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

See the video from Sun Gazing & FrozenSouth.com HERE:

Groundhog Day 2014

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

Here are some of the past predictions from groundhog.com:

See more from groundhog.com HERE:

(photo courtesy: groundhog.com)

Temperature Outlook

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

Upper Level Winds

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

Rare Cloudy Day in Phoenix, AZ

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

Precipitation Past 7 Days

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

Still Too Dry in California

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

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

See more from the U.S. Drought Monitor HERE

Precipitation Potential

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

Precipitation Outlook

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

Winter Weather Concerns

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

Winter Storm #1

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


...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THIS EVENING TO 6 PM CST SATURDAY...

* SNOW WILL DEVELOP LATE THIS EVENING AND INCREASE IN INTENSITY AFTER MIDNIGHT WITH A PERIOD OF HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE DURING THE MID TO LATE MORNING HOURS OF SATURDAY. THE SNOW WILL END BY EARLY SATURDAY EVENING. SOME SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN MAY MIX WITH THE SNOW SOUTH OF A LINE FROM OTTAWA TO JOLIET TO MIDWAY AIRPORT.

* STORM TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATION 6 TO 10 INCHES. STORM TOTAL ICE ACCUMULATION UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH...SOUTH OF A LINE FROM OTTAWA TO JOLIET TO MIDWAY AIRPORT.

* SNOWFALL RATES OF ONE TO TWO INCHES PER HOUR ARE POSSIBLE MID MORNING SATURDAY.

* SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LOW VISIBILITIES WILL MAKE TRAVEL HAZARDOUS FROM LATE THIS EVENING THROUGH EARLY SATURDAY EVENING.

* TRAVEL THROUGH CHICAGO O`HARE AND MIDWAY AIRPORTS COULD ALSO BE SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACTED.
 

Winter Storm #2

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

Snowfall Potential With Storm #1 & Storm #2

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

Winter Storm #3

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

Super Super Bowl Forecast?

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

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

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

Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend ahead!

Twitter: @TNelsonWNTV

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

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


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

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

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

To quote Dan Rather: COURAGE.

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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


28 F. high yesterday in the Twin Cities.

25 F. average high on January 30.

26 F. high on January 30, 2013.

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


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

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

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy - probably dry. High: 13

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

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

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

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

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


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


Climate Stories....

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


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


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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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

Photo credit above: The White House.


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


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


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

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

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

Winter Storm Warning: 3-6" This Morning (most midwinter subzero lows since 1982)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: January 30, 2014 - 8:15 AM

The Real Story

The Hard Minnesota Winter of 2014, sponsored by the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce. Our motto: "We're living in a desert - we may run out of water - but today our weather is so much nicer!"

I read this on the Internet so it must be true.

No, I'm not really blaming Arizona or Florida. The real culprit is far more sinister - our subversive neighbor to the north, quietly engaging in atmospheric extremism.

That's right, blame Canada.

Why isn't FEMA taking this threat seriously? Can't we build a really tall wall? Politicians will shrug and chalk it up to long nights & deep snow cover, but I suspect this silent, brittle invasion has been in the works for some time. We're already paying more for Canadian crude! Coincidence? I don't think so.

Calling Glenn Beck. Or Jesse Ventura.

Anyone?

32 subzero nights since December 1; the most since 1982. Today's clipper whips up 3-6 inches of fresh powder, followed by yet another jolt of (Canadian!) air by Friday.

I see very slight moderation next week - single digits and teens. Longer range models are hinting at a reprieve the latter half of February. Won't that be nice.

Be glad you don't live in Atlanta: 30-40 sanding trucks for the entire city. Melting snow refroze into glaze ice, sparking an unimaginable traffic jam. Details below.


One Beefy Clipper. Most clippers drop a quick inch or two of fluff, fast-moving storms approaching from western Canada unable to tap moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. Today's clipper may be a little more formidable, capable of 3-7" amounts, with the heaviest amounts from near Alexandria and St. Cloud to Taylors Falls. Model data above: 4 km. HopWRF.


Winter Storm Warning. Today's clipper will put down a carpet of plowable snow, the best chance of 3-6" by midday coming north of MSP. Ham Weather has the latest NOAA advisories, watches and warnings here.


84-Hour Snowfall Projections. Upslope winds along the Colorado Front Range may dump as much as 4-7" for Denver tonight and Friday, a clipper producing plowable snowfall amounts from the Twin Cities to Wausau and Green Bay, Friday's storm dropping a few inches of snow from Chicago to Detroit, South Bend and Toledo. The southern USA thaws out - highs near 60 in Birmingham and Atlanta this weekend.


Little House On The Tundra. A higher sun angle should begin to put a dent in the leftovers of the Polar Vortex by mid or late February. No rapid thaws shaping up anytime soon, in fact the latter half of next week looks plenty cold. Although if I had to guess I'd wager a small bet schools will remain open until further notice. Graphic: Weatherspark.


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

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


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


Snow Storms Hit The South. Seeing is believing, and some of the photos in this story from In Focus at The Atlantic are truly gawk-worthy; here's an excerpt: "A rare winter storm swept across most of the Deep South yesterday, turning roads into sheets of ice, dropping several inches of snow in places, snarling highways, and causing at least five deaths. Unaccustomed to the weather, drivers slid into ditches, abandoned vehicles on highways, and became trapped in miles-long traffic jams for many hours. The National Guard was out, extracting stranded motorists and transporting them to shelters - thousands remain trapped on Interstates around Atlanta today.."

Photo credit above: "Traffic at a standstill on Interstate 65 northbound as officials work to clear abandoned vehicles in Hoover, Alabama, on January 29, 2014." (AP Photo/Hal Yeager).


Atlanta's Hell Commute Is Still Going On. Business Insider has a series of photos that really capture the surreal nature of Atlanta's historic ice storm - here's an excerpt: "Atlanta is in the midst of one of what will likely go down as one of the worst traffic jams in American history. It started with snow yesterday that snarled roads all across the city, and it's still going on, now into the 16th hour. Here are a series of images that show what's still going on..."


Snowed Out Atlanta. If you want to get a better sense of what's really going on in Atlanta check out some of the urgent Facebook posts - it's almost surreal.


Atlanta Snow Snarls Commute For CNN Staffers. Here's an excerpt from TVNewser: "Atlanta-based CNN staffers ran into some traffic problems caused by the winter storm during their commute yesterday. On Twitter, Carol Costello detailed the experience of being stuck in the CNN parking lot for an hour before finally giving up and going back inside..."


This Is The Best Explanation We've Seen For Why All Of Atlanta Is Stuck In Traffic. To be honest, traffic in Atlanta is a mess on a dry, sunny day. Add a half inch of glaze ice and it becomes a nightmare. This explanation, captured in an article at Business Insider, strikes me as being pretty close to the truth of what really happened; here's an excerpt: "...The City knew the storm was coming, and has a new fleet of snowplows and vehicles to spread sand. So what went wrong? Atlanta-based designer Thomas Strickland spent eight hours in traffic, and offered up a great explanation of the problem on Metafilter. He gave us permission to publish his take..."

Photo credit above: Twitter/@WCL_Shawn.


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

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


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


Alerts Broadcaster Special Briefing: Issued Wednesday afternoon, January 29, 2014.

Here is what has changed since yesterday:

* latest model solutions a little milder for Super Bowl Sunday: highs may peak in low 40s AM hours before falling thru the 30s during the PM.

* I still don't see widespread or heavy rain or snow - but an isolated rain/snow shower, or a few flurries/sprinkles, can't be ruled out during the game.

* Winds are slightly lighter: west to northwest at gametime, average of 7-12 mph with higher gusts.

* Meteorologists and various pundits will be at a rare (and welcome) loss for words. No BREAKING WEATHER in East Rutherford, New Jersey Sunday.


Sunday Evening Weather Map. The (usually) more reliable ECMWF (European) solution shows a weak cold frontal passage for the Tri-State Area, lot's of clouds, a west/northwest wind, but the heaviest precipitation well out into the Atlantic. Again, I wouldn't be surprised to see a passing shower or rain or wet snow - but nothing that should result in traffic problems with temperatures above 32F until about 9-10 PM Sunday night. Model guidance: WSI Corporation.


High-Resolution Analysis. Here are projected temperatures, wind direction and speed for Sunday, showing a high in the mid-40s around midday, with a slow, steady drop in temperature during the PM hours; a gametime temperature falling from 43 in Q1 to 33 by the end of Q4. Winds turn from the west to northwest, averaging 7-12 mph, with gusts to 15 mph.


Model Continuity. Our confidence levels rise (and blood pressure falls) when all the various models converge on the same solution. That appears to be the case Sunday with GFS guidance (above) also showing a high in the low to mid 40s, then falling to 27F by 9 PM, a slight chance of a rain or snow shower, but no steady/widespread precipitation.


Super Bowl Weather Planner. Temperatures thaw out across metro New York City in the coming days, rising above freezing Friday, low to mid 40s possible both Saturday and Sunday. The approach of a cooler front may set off a stray (isolated) shower or rain or even wet snow Sunday, but temperatures should be warm enough for (mostly) wet roads, parking lots (and runways). A dry Monday gives way to a rain/snow mix Tuesday, changing to mostly rain (heavy at times) Wednesday. Graphic: Weatherspark.

Summary: meteorologists live in a state of perpetual paranoia. I keep analyzing the maps and models, wondering (out loud) what can possibly go wrong. Confidence levels are very high that there won't be a major storm for the Super Bowl, certainly no blizzards or coastal storms that would impact operations, safety or comfort of fans, players and officials. My confidence level is high that temperatures will fall thru the 30s, with a light to moderate west/northwest wind. So windchill won't be a huge factor. There is a risk of a (nuisance) shower or rain or snow, but no meteorological show-stoppers. I'll keep starting at the maps and have another update tomorrow.

Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster


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


Norway: Rare Winter Brush Fire Burns Numerous Structures. Shouldn't Norway be smothered in snow and ice right about now? I can't remember the last time I heard of major fires - in Norway - in late January. Wildfire Today has more details and video: "...A rare January brush fire has burned scores of structures in the Norway villages of Hasvag and Smavaeret. Police believe the fire started Monday when strong winds blew two powerlines together. The reports on the number of homes and other structures that have burned vary greatly. There could be as many as 95 that are damaged or destroyed..."

Photo credit by Crews RS Harlald V.


Hundreds Evacuated From Blaze In Norway. Here is the Wall Street Journal's take on the fires.


Popular Flood Insurance Law Is Target Of Both Political Parties. In light of Superstorm Sandy major overhauls to insurance laws were proposed, but now many politicians are getting cold feet. Here's an excerpt of an explanation from The New York Times: "A major flood insurance bill was a rarity when it passed what is widely derided as a do-nothing Congress in 2012, but a year and a half later, there is now an enthusiastic bipartisan effort to gut it. This week the Senate is expected to approve a measure that would block, repeal or delay many of the key provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was sponsored by Representative Judy Biggert, an Illinois Republican, and Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat..."


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


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

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


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


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


Deport Justin Bieber? Hey, the kid is just going through a phase. Cut him some slack. Or better yet toss him out of the country. Here's an excerpt from Politico: "Washington may be buzzing about Tuesday’s State of the Union, but many Americans are concerned about another issue facing the nation: the immigration status of Justin Bieber. A petition to deport Bieber and revoke his visa on the White House’s citizen portal reached 100,000 signatures Wednesday morning, the threshold needed for the White House to be required to respond..."


-6 F. low Wednesday morning.
 
29 F. high Wednesday in the Twin Cities. Felt pretty good, huh?
 
25 F. average high on January 29.
 
33 F. high on January 29, 2013 in the Twin Cities.

Minnesota Weather History on January 29. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service.

1994: Duluth has a record low of -35.

1893: Blizzard hits the state with temperatures falling 40 degrees in five hours at Park Rapids.


TODAY: Winter Storm Warning. Snow likely morning and midday, 3-6 inches early with slippery roads.  Winds: N 10-15. High: 17

THURSDAY NIGHT: Flurries taper, a cold wind returns. Low: -8

FRIDAY: What a shock: cold again. At least the sun is out. High: 4

SATURDAY: Check out the Boat Show. Mostly cloudy. Happy to be above 0F. Wake-up: -4. High: 13

SUNDAY: Partly sunny for Winter Carnival. Wake-up: -10. High: 6

MONDAY: Plenty of ineffective sunshine. Wake-up: -3. High: 10

TUESDAY: Blue sky, less wind. Wake-up: -7. High: 9

WEDNESDAY: Mix of clouds & sun. Still numb. Wake-up: -9. High: 6


Climate Stories....

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

Photo credit above: The White House.


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


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


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

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

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


Climate Change May Lead To More Wars. As seas rise, and water becomes more rare and precious, don't be surprised if a more volatile climate leads to more skirmishes between countries, struggling over dwindling resources. The Pentagon is taking climate change as a "force multiplier" very seriously. Here's an excerpt from Discover Magazine: "...Agricultural economist Marshall Burke and his colleagues conducted a meta analysis of 60 previous studies that looked at climatic events and their link to human conflict, including the fall of the Mayan Empire, civil conflicts in Africa, ethnic clashes in India, road rage in the U.S. and even the type of pitches thrown during Major League Baseball games when temperatures rise..."


The Dead Forests Of Antarctica. Here's a clip of a fascinating article from Atlas Obscura: "...Despite being the most inhospitable place on the planet however, recent scientific discoveries suggest that this forgotten continent – sometimes nicknamed the “Great White Desert” – may in fact have once been carpeted in forest. The discovery has come in the form of fossilized impressions of wood and leaves in the region of Antarctica's Mount Achernar. Even the stumps of ancient tree trunks have been uncovered, believed to date back to prehistoric times..."

Photo credit above: "Snowfields of Antarctica (photograph by Stephen Hudson, via Wikimedia)"

Cryogenically Preserved (Windchill Warning - nearly as cold as January 6)

Posted by: Paul Douglas Updated: January 27, 2014 - 8:11 AM

Well Preserved

Almost anywhere else in America, with the possible exception of Fairbanks, the National Guard would be called out by now. FEMA would be advising us to shelter in place. Local TV stations would be droning on with continuous coverage.

No matter how many schools close today life goes on. Most of us will trudge to work or the local store. You may even see a few crazies jogging and cross country skiing, in spite of a -45F wind chill early today.

Canada launches another full-frontal assault, another artillery blast of numb to rival January 6-7. For all intents and purposes it will be just as cold. At the rate we're going kids may still be in school on the 4th of July.

I know, not funny.

After bottoming out near -22F Tuesday morning the mercury rebounds into the 20s Wednesday; the first week of February still colder than average, but not as polar.

Why so much wind this winter? The sharper the temperature contrasts the stronger winds have to blow to keep the atmosphere in a state of equilibrium, however uncomfortable.

If you're curious odds favor clearing skies and 30s for Super Bowl Sunday. Meanwhile a couple inches of slushy snow may coat the Florida Panhandle by Wednesday.

Yes, we feel their pain.

* 60 mph wind gusts Sunday at Redwood Falls. NOAA has a city-by-city list of peak wind gusts here.


Still Waiting For Winter In Alaska. 60s with no snow in Alaska's Kenai Peninsula. Freakishly springlike, while much of the north central USA shiver into Tuesday. Details below.


7 AM Today. We should be waking up to temperatures in the -14 to -18F range across most of the metro, some -20F readings far northern suburbs. A strong, lingering wind will make it feel like -40F at times, colder up north. Map: NOAA and Ham Weather.


Scraping Bottom? It appears the core of the coldest surface temperatures passes over Minnesota late Monday night and early Tuesday, with wake-up readings ranging from -18 to -24F in the metro (mildest lows in the immediate downtowns, where the urban heat island will keep readings milder). Winds ease a bit, with a chill factor of -30 to -40F. No weather bargain by a longshot, but it'll keep us honest.


Ski Savannah? The leading edge of one of the two coldest airmasses of winter may spin up a storm capable of rain changing to snow from near Pensacola to Augusta, Savannah, Charleston and Wilmington, even a few inches of slush - enough to snow and shovel. Do people living there even own shovels. NAM guidance: NOAA and Ham Weather.


A Cold Kink In The Jet Stream. Instead of seeing a "progressive" weather pattern, where the jet stream varies over time, pulling in a mix of mild and cold, weather systems have stalled, the steering winds aloft temporarily locked in a pattern favoring record warmth and drought from the western USA to Alaska, and polar air vectoring due south, invading much of the central and eastern USA. 2-meter NAM temperatures out 84 hours from NOAA and Ham Weather.


A Faint White Light At The End Of A Very Cold Tunnel? Naw - I'm just messing with you! At some point Canada will run out of cold air. They'll make more, of course, because that's what they do. It's barbaric - weather terrorism if you ask me. We are all under attack. Write your Congressperson. Temperatures hold below 0F until Wednesday morning; 20s will heal your brittle soul by Wednesday, again next weekend. Not great, but better. ECMWF data: Weatherspark.


Alerts Broadcaster Special Briefing: Issued Sunday afternoon, January 26, 2014.

* I still don't see a major storm, certainly no blizzard for Super Bowl Sunday on February 2, 2014.

* Latest models hint at a possible rain/snow shower Sunday morning, with clouds lingering most of the day - but I expect a drying trend during the PM hours Sunday at MetLife Stadium, temperatures falling through the 30s with west winds at 10-15 mph.

* New York City will get a taste of the polar cold, but temperatures moderate somewhat by next weekend, closer to average.

* Right now I don't expect any major transportation challenges the Friday before the big game, but a light rain/snow mix may create some (minor) slushy issues Saturday. What has changed since yesterday? Models bring a rain/snow mix into metro New York during the day Monday. Getting out late Sunday or first thing Monday might be a prudent plan, reducing the risk of delays, until the pattern crystallizes we want to err on the side of safety and caution.


Sunday Evening Weather Map. This is ECMWF (European) model guidance, showing a cold rain offshore by Sunday evening, clouds lingering over East Rutherford, New Jersey, with a drying/cooling west to northwest breeze. It's a little close for comfort, but assuming this guidance verifies I wouldn't see any steady rain or snow for the game itself. Map above: WSI.


GFS Solution. NOAA's GFS model suggests temperatures in the upper 30s midday Sunday, falling to near 30F by 8 PM Sunday evening, with a west breeze (and no steady/heavy precipitation).


Super Bowl Planner. Highs hold in the teens Tuesday and Wednesday, rebounding by the end of the week. Odds favor generally dry weather Friday, with a light rain/snow mix spreading into north Jersey Saturday. With surface temperatures in the low to mid 30s I expect most roads (and runways) to be wet, possibly slushy in spots, but no widespread travel headaches that I can see. An early shower Sunday should give way to drier conditions by afternoon and evening, although clouds will linger. High humidity levels will create a wind chill in the low to mid 20s, a bit raw at MetLife Stadium, but tolerable. The big unknown is whether the precipitation forecast for Monday, February 3, is real, or a computer artifact. I could see a better chance of traffic delays with wet snow the Monday after the Super Bowl. Graph: Weatherspark.

Summary: Although not quite as mild as yesterday's solution, I have high confidence that temperatures will be in the 30s for the Super Bowl, with moderate confidence of no steady/heavy rain or snow. A snow shower can't be ruled out during the morning and midday hours next Sunday, but skies will probably dry out during the afternoon and evening hours. Getting in Friday shouldn't be a problem, some delays possible Saturday with a light mix of rain/snow pushing into metro New York, another chance of (mostly) snow the Monday after the game.

This is still a 7-Day forecast, so overall confidence levels remain low. I want to be transparent about setting weather expectations, knowing the forecast will invariably change as new data comes in. But right now I do not see any blizzards or major storms on February 2 in the New York City area that would have a high impact on travel or events. Stay tuned...

Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster


New York Area Weather Has A History With The Super Bowl. Check out weather for previous games in the NYC area in early February. From the sublime to the horrific, as reported by The New York Times; here's an excerpt: "In the countdowns to each of the previous 47 Super Bowls, the primary question was, quite simply, Which team will win? But as Denver and Seattle await XLVIII next Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., questions about the weather for the first outdoor cold-climate Super Bowl have upstaged even the point spread. How cold will it be? How windy? If it snows or rains, how much and when? Before the game? During the game?...."


The Alaskan Winter That Never Was? Greg Laden takes a look at historic warmth (and lack of snow) across portions of Alaska at scienceblogs.com: "...I had heard it was warm in Alaska, but holy moly, I didn’t know it was THIS warm. Above is an anomaly map showing the Drunken Arctic Air in central and eastern Canada and the US in contrast with the very (relatively) warm air over western Canada and Alaska. Remember, these are anomalies, not absolute temperatures. But still, it is warm enough in at least parts of Alaska that lakes that are normally well frozen by now are not frozen at all and may not even freeze this winter. Here are photographs taken by A.M.Mueller on January 25th 2014 in Skilak Lake, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, and passed on for posting, with some commentary...."


California's Drought, Time Three. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Los Angeles Times: "...Because these three droughts are interconnected, we rarely suffer from one without dealing with the others, and this year's situation is no different. The vast majority of Californians rely on water that falls in other parts of the state, or even outside the state, and although the multiple sources make water more secure for all of us, shortages usually come all at once. Southern California must prepare for the future by recapturing more of the rainwater that in wetter years still runs, unused, to the sea. It must do even more than is already being done to clean and reuse urban water..."

Photo credit above: "Seen above on Tuesday, a tree that is usually at the banks of Folsom Lake outside Sacramento is now several hundred feet away from the water. In his drought emergency declaration, Gov. Jerry Brown asked Californians to cut their water usage by 20%." (John G. Mabanglo / EPA).


Better Setting Tornadic Expectations: From "Slight" to "Enhanced" Risk. The take-away; a "slight risk" day, as defined by NOAA SPC, can still generate significant, life-threatening tornadoes. Here's a clip from a story at The Christian Science Monitor: "...For several years, the National Weather Service has been working with social scientists to find better ways of communicating the contents of its forecasts in ways meaningful to emergency managers, radio and TV weathercasters, and the general public, not just experienced forecasters, notes John Ferree, the SPC's severe-storms services leader. But the "slight" category for severe storms and for tornadoes actually spans a threefold increase in risk, from a 5 percent chance of severe weather to a 15 percent chance, he notes. At 15 percent, the risk for severe weather is considered moderate..."

Photo credit above: "Shuqualak, Miss. residents clean up debris after a tornado plowed through rural sections of eastern Mississippi in April 2013. The Storm Prediction Center plans to broaden its warning system for severe weather after finding the days labeled as “Slight Risk” turned out to have storms that could be deadly." Rogelio V. Solis/AP.


Researchers Digging Into Data On Quiet Hurricane Season. Last year's hurricane prediction was a bust - it was the quietest year in the Atlantic since 1982. What happened, and can a long-range hurricane forecast even be trusted? Here's a clip from a story at The Coloradoan: "...Gray and Klotzbach believe a significant cooling of waters in the eastern Atlantic associated with a weakening of the thermohaline circulation -- or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation -- in the spring months was the primary reason for the inactivity. But there are significant disagreements between historical datasets about the conditions of the atmosphere during the June-November hurricane season..."

Graphic above: RMS.com.


What Drives Success? Everyone wants shortcuts and easy-to-digest TV-soundbite answers; it turns out the answer is a little more complex. Here's an excerpt of a fascinating read at The New York Times: "...It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control. Any individual, from any background, can have what we call this Triple Package of traits. But research shows that some groups are instilling them more frequently than others, and that they are enjoying greater success..." (Photo credit: Ji Lee).


China Installed More Solar Panels In 2013 Than Any Other Country Ever Has. Quartz has the story - here's the intro: "China is now home to more solar panels than any other country, after installing 12 gigawatts of solar panels in 2013, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. That’s equal to the total amount of panels in the entire United States, and more than any country has ever added in a single year. Greenpeace estimates the figure is a bit lower, but still record-breaking, at between 9.5 and 10.7 gigawatts..."

Photo credit above: "Harnessing the power of government subsidies." Reuters/Carlos Barria


Get Ready For A Shock: The World's Fastest Supercar Might Soon Be Electric. For a cool million and change this can be yours! CNN has the details on the Concept_One; here's a clip: "At full speed, the Rimac Concept_One is little more than a cherry red blur, flashing from one corner of the horizon to the other in the blink of an eye. If its projected performance figures prove to be true, this radical electric concept car -- the brainchild of an award-winning young Croatian designer -- could accelerate faster than all but two of the fastest supercars on earth. The Rimac Concept_One's figures are impressive. Not just for an electric car, but for traditional petrol-engine cars as well..."


18 F. high in the Twin Cities Sunday (12:41 PM).

24 F. average high on January 26.

23 F. high on January 26, 2013.

1.1" snow fell yesterday at KMSP.

13" snow on the ground at Twin Cities International Airport.

46 mph: peak wind gusts yesterday (mid-afternoon hours).

9.4 F average January temperature so far in the Twin Cities. If the average January temperature reaches 4.3F or colder this January would fall into the Top 15 Coldest Januaries at MSP. Details below:


TODAY: Windchill Warning. Partly sunny and sub-arctic. Feels like -45 early. High: -8

MONDAY NIGHT: Clear - one of the two coldest nights of winter. Low: -22

TUESDAY: Still polar with blue sky, slightly less wind. WC: -40. High: -3

WEDNESDAY: Fading sun, closer to average. Wake-up: -9. High: 25

THURSDAY" Snow near Iowa border. Colder. Wake-up: 13. High: 14

FRIDAY: Sunny, still nippy. Wake-up: -8. High: 9

SATURDAY: Clouds increase, not as harsh. Wake-up: 4. High: 22

SUNDAY: Intervals of sun. No sign of spring. Wake-up: 2. High: 21


Climate Stories...

5 Warmest Years, Worldwide. 4 different methadologies for making the global calculations - two of those have 2013 as a Top 5 Warmest Year. Credit: Stefan Rahmstorf.


No, Global Warming Isn't Suddenly A Myth Because It's Really Cold Out. Unless you can look out your window and see the entire planet, it's just "weather", not climate. Here's an excerpt from U.S. News and World Report: "...There appears to be a psychological basis for the way our collective concern about global warming tends to fall with the autumn leaves and rise whenever the mercury does. A 2011 study by researchers at Columbia University found that study participants who described the day they were surveyed as warmer than usual expressed more concern about global warming, and were willing to donate more money to a relevant charity. The opposite effects were observed in participants who described the day as colder than usual..."


New Sea-Ice Map Offers A Long-Term Look At Climate Change. Alaska Dispatch has a very interesting story - here's the introduction: "Mining more than a century of sea ice observations, including from 19th century Yankee whalers and 20th century Arctic wildcatters, researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have put together an expansive view of climate change that lets web surfers track the ice pack off Alaska for decades. The interactive digital map, dubbed the Sea Ice Atlas, allows viewers to watch the ice around Alaska shrink and grow -- but mostly shrink -- during a period of their choosing, month by month or year by year..."


What Hiatus? Here's a clip from a post by Minnesota climate scientist Greg Laden at scienceblogs.com: "First, there is no hiatus. Climate science skeptics claim that warming stopped in 1998. It didn’t. Stefan Rahmstorf has a nice post placing 2013 in context with the most recent data, HERE. Just click the “translate” button to read it in your favorite language.Stefan has a bunch of great graphics that you will enjoy. Following his lead I’ve decided to make a graphic or two myself. First, the data. NASA has this data to which people often refer when discussion global warming..."


North Dakota Recorded 300 Oil Spills In Two Years Without Notifying The Public. Here's an excerpt of an AP story, picked up by The Guardian: "North Dakota, the nation's No2 oil producer behind Texas, recorded nearly 300 oil pipeline spills in less than two years, state documents show. None was reported to the public, officials said. According to records obtained by the Associated Press, the pipeline spills, many of them small, are among some 750 "oil field incidents" that have occurred since January 2012 without public notification. "That's news to us," said Don Morrison, director of the Dakota Resource Council, an environmental-minded landowner group with more than 700 members in North Dakota..."

Photo credit above: "Diners at Kerry's Kitchen, a restaurant that sits near railroad tracks, in Casselton, N.D., Jan. 16, 2014. A fiery rail accident last month only a half mile down the tracks from the restaurant, which prompted residents to evacuate the town, has shattered people's confidence in the crude--oil convoys that rumble past seven times a day." (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)


Cost Of Climate Change High On Davos Agenda. Deutsche Welle has the story - here's a clip: "From within the Davos Congress Center, you can see skiers racing down the slopes outside of the World Economic Forum. Looking at the snow outside, some participants might wonder why there's so much talk about global warming. Not so Christiana Figueres. Standing in the snow, the UN climate chief said she is pleased the topic is so high on the agenda at Davos. "The risk of increased natural events is there, the risk of a water crisis and the risk for a food crisis," she told DW, adding that there was economic fallout associated with failing to deal with climate change and its effects..."


What Affect Does Cold Weather Have On People's Views On Climate Change? We're hard-wired to react to changes in weather, not the slow-motion, yet potentially profound, long-term impacts of climate change and climate volatility. Here's an excerpt from The Guardian: "If climate change means higher temperatures, then what are people to make of the brutal cold that continues to cause havoc across the US? Or the fact that only three years ago the UK experienced one of its coldest Decembers for decades, if not centuries? With public concern about climate change stalling in recent years, these might seem exactly the sorts of weather events likely to generate sceptical viewpoints, a sign that something is seriously amiss in the case for climate change. A study I have just had published in the journal Climatic Change suggests however that this way of interpreting extreme cold is actually quite rare..."

Photo credit above: "The US side of Niagara Falls has begun to thaw after being partially frozen from the recent "polar vortex" that affected millions in the US and Canada." Photograph: Nick LoVerde/AP.


Climate Change Awareness Increases With Extreme Weather Conditions. Is the velocity of extreme weather, worldwide, truly increasing? Is it our imagination - or better reporting? Here's an excerpt from Science World Report: "...Bill Gates also acknowledged the importance of the issue and believes that there is an awareness problem concerning climate change. Gates reiterated that since the issues of climate change and development are interlinked, the focus should not be more prevalent on either individual subject because it is a collective issue. He also warned of the dangers of growing prosperity, because as more people begin to afford new uses of energy, it is paramount that the energy is generated in a clean way or else the current state of affairs will worsen dramatically..."