Saturday, September 4, 2010

Minnesota: A Future Migration Magnet?

Global Warming's Silver Lining: Northern Countries Will Thrive And Grow. The Sunbelt is so 1980s. Get ready for a mass migration northward, as the climate continues to warm and weather patterns shift northward, population trends may shift northward as well, at least that's the prediction of one researcher, Laurence Smith, in his soon to be released book, "The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future." The author argues that a thawing arctic and the warming of Canada, Russia, Scandanavia and even the northern U.S. (MSP included) will become "formidable economic powers and migration magnets." Minnesota, a migration magnet? We'll see, but it's a compelling argument. When Minnesota is no longer the butt of cold weather jokes, anything could happen, right?

The Arctic Ocean will never be ice-free in the winter, but summer shipping lanes -- depicted here in this 2004 map -- will last longer and penetrate more deeply in the future.

Brisk Saturday. It felt pretty good out there yesterday - plenty of fresh air draining out of Canada, highs mostly in the upper 60s, about 5-10 degrees cooler than average statewide. No rain reported at any of the regular reporting stations, just a trace of sprinkles at Eau Claire, WI.

* "Meteorological Summer" really ended on September 1. In spite of what your calendar is telling you we're already experiencing fall. National Weather Service data shows that, historically, the warmest 90-day period runs from roughly June 1 to September 1.

* Dry weather hangs on into much of Labor Day - most of us won't see rain until Monday night and Tuesday morning.

* Keep the shorts handy: more 80s possible the end of this week, a few 80-degree highs possible next week as well.

Sunshine-On-A-Stick. Yesterday was comfortably cool, a high of only 69 F (6 degrees below average). Today will be 3-5 degrees warmer with a bit less wind - sun scuffed up by a few high cirrus clouds but still a BEAUTIFUL Sunday overall. Fine weather should linger into much of Labor Day - the next chance of rain Monday night into Tuesday.

Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

Today: Plenty of sun, breezy and pleasant. Winds: SE 10-15. High: 75

Sunday night: Partly cloudy and dry, not as chilly. Low: 57

Labor Day: Sun giving way to increasing clouds, a bit milder. Winds: SE 10-20. High: 76

Monday Night: Growing chance of rain showers, thunder possible. Low: 58

Tuesday: Showers early, then partial clearing, windy and cooler. High: 67

Wednesday: Lot's of sunshine - comfortable. High: 75

Thursday Mostly cloudy with showers developing. High: 77

Friday: Summer-like humidity returns, showers and heavy T-storms likely. High: 83

Saturday: Clouds giving way to partly sunny skies - getting better as the day goes on. High: 76

I'm weary, spent - drained. You see I spent much of Saturday wandering the Minnesota State Fair, grazing ("sampling" sounds better). You see it would have been rude ignoring all those varieties of food-on-a-stick. So I did my duty, imbibed - indulged - ate like there was no tomorrow. And now I'm facing the consequences: a State Fair Hangover. All that heart-healthy food, the fresh air (and what may have been the biggest throng of Minnesotans I've ever seen in one area). The fair was PACKED with people yesterday, it was hard getting around the fairgrounds, there were so many people. I was on a double-fisted food mission. Hot turkey sandwich, can't turn down the sweet corn, how 'bout a Nutella crepe, the cheese curds beckoned, wouldn't be right to walk past the Pronto Pup stand - all washed down with Sweet Martha's chocolate chip cookies.

Ugh. I ate so much I think I'm actually showing up on Doppler radar. Not a pretty sight. Hey, I have to get up to my winter weight, right? Two more chances to check out the State Fair, in fact today should be even nicer than yesterday, a few degrees warmer, still plenty of sun, slightly less wind (swinging around to the east/southeast as the day wears on). Today will be a reminder of how spectacular September can be here in Minnesota.

The latest computer run is drier, holding off most of the showers/T-showers until Monday night and Tuesday morning. The heaviest rains are forecast for the Dakotas and the northwestern third of Minnesota, where some .5 to 1" rainfall amounts are possible. From St. Cloud to the Twin Cities rainfall amounts should be closer to a tenth of an inch or so.

Here's the good news: most of Labor Day should be just fine, fading sun as mid and high level clouds increase, a stiff southeast breeze, highs well up into the 70s (time to lose the jackets and sweatshirts). An isolated shower can't be ruled out late Monday over far southern Minnesota, but most of us will go through the entire Labor Day Weekend without a drop of rain. Remarkable.

Red River Soaking? The heaviest rains over the next 84 hours are predicted for far northern and western MN, where some 1"+ rainfall amounts are possible. From St. Cloud to the Twin Cities: closer to .10 to .25" rain, the best chance of puddles Monday night into Tuesday morning.

The next frontal system shoves a few showers into town Monday night into early Tuesday, but again - the heaviest, steadiest rains fall over northern and northwestern Minnesota, before we dry out later Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures dropping off 10-15 degrees behind the next cool front. We warm back into the low 80s by Friday of this week, another run of 80s about 7-10 days from now. Hard to believe that summer is winding down, but winter is hardly around the corner. September is an amazing month here in Minnesota. Exhibit A: today and Labor Day. Yes, we lucked out this year.

New Zealand Quake Toll. Damage from the recent 7.0 quake that hit near Christchurch, NZ may run into the BILLIONS of dollars. The latest here.

Is A Sweltering Summer "Proof" of Global Warming? The 5 hottest years since accurate records were first kept have taken place in the last decade. It was the hottest summer on record for New York City and Washington D.C. June marked the 304th consecutive month with a global surface temperature above the 20th century average. Floods, droughts, temperatures extremes, new all-time heat records in 15 countries this summer? How much evidence constitutes "proof"? The National Audubon Society has an interesting article here.

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