Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Coldest Thanksgiving In Recent Memory?

* No big storms brewing through the weekend.

* Better chance of seeing the sun peek through today, again Thursday.

* Sunday drizzle - wet roads expected.

* Accumulating snow possible next Tuesday & Wednesday, a few inches possible.

* One of the coldest Thanksgivings in recent memory? Highs range from teens to 20s.

Ready For Thanksgiving? Can't we all just get along? The Big Day is fast approaching - a few minor snowfalls possible between now and next Thursday, but no epic (Saturday-like) snowstorms brewing.

Close Encounter With "The Donald". It's been over 2 1/2 years since I've done the weather for WCCO-TV. Tonight I get one last chance to get it right. Don't hold your breath. I'm stopping in for the 10 PM newscast - not to find Minnesota on a USA map so much as to (formally) say goodbye to Don Shelby on the air. It was an honor to have been asked. Pat Miles, Colleen Stewart and I are joining Don for his last week on the air at 'CCO. What do you say to an iconic 30-year local legend, the local equivalent of Ted Koppel, Joe Paterno (and Ted Baxter) rolled into one amazing (slightly intimidating) figure? Not sure. but I'll think of something. Looking forward to joining Amelia, "Rosey", Chris and the rest of the gang tonight. What's the worst thing that can happen? 3 minutes of dead air? A tear-filled 3-D, HD, on-air meltdown? I know how nervous Don must be at the moment. Moving away from your daily routine can be daunting and stressful - I'm sure Don is wondering "what's next"?  I've been blessed to be able to turn a passion (the weather) into a series of businesses. Don is equally passionate about journalism, renewable energy, the outdoors, the environment and sustainabiity issues - I'm trying to encourage him to keep pushing forward, to find new ways to remain relevant and needed - and to be open to (new), amazing things that fall into his lap in the years to come. Don has some great ideas - I know he's going to be successful with whatever comes next. A book? A political run? A consulting gig? With The Donald we should probably expect the unexpected. I think he still has a few surprises up his sleeve. (PS: this olc photo with his mentor and personal hero, Dave Moore, really sums up Don for me - that sly, mischievous grin. Hey, is that a "Shelby Knot?")

C-C-C-Cold Thanksgiving 2010. Much of the nation east of the Rockies is forecast to see a colder, drier spell of weather immediately after Thanksgiving, according to Planalytics.com. The arrival of this cold shot may set off some accumulating snow next Wednesday and Thursday - potentially a few inches. Yes, I have an increasingly strong hunch it's going to be a "white Thanksgiving".

More Like Mid December. Nights are nearly as long now as they are in late January - plenty of time for temperatures to cool down across Canada. Here were the Tuesday evening temperatures to our north - this numbing airmass will moderate slightly over the next week, but by the end of next week temperatures may be in the teens and 20s, as much as 10-20 degrees colder than average.

A Few Complications Getting "Over The River & Through The Woods" Next Week? The GFS model valid around breakfasttime next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, shows an area of low pressure over the Great Lakes, a shield of "wrap-around" snow across much of Wisconsin and Minnesota. It's conceivable there could be enough snow to shovel and plow from next Tuesday and Wednesday, with skies clearing Thanksgiving Day as arctic air pushes south. Odds favor dry (but COLD) weather for "Black Friday" and the following weekend (when many of us will be trying  to get back home. Highs may be stuck in the teens and 20s, with lows dipping below zero up north - one of the colder Thanksgiving holidays in recent memory.

Extended Outlook For Thanksgiving Holiday

Wednesday (24th): Chance of light snow, couple of inches possible Low: 15. High: 30

Thanksgiving Day (25th): Winds ease up, very cold with blue sky, wind chills dipping to 10 above. Low: 13. High: 26

Friday (26th): Cold sun (more like January!) Low: 8. High: 21

Saturday (27th): Clouds increase, still very cold. Low: 10. High: 24

Sunday (28th): More clouds than sun - no sign of Indian Summer. Low: 14. High: 26

Definition Of A "Flash Flood". Click here to see amazing footage taken by a security camera at the Amazonian port of Manaus, Brazil. The security camera footage shows the torrential flows of mud that swept through the riverside container terminal in the late morning of Sunday 17 October as maintenance work was being carried out. It shows, in no uncertain terms, the sheer power of moving water.
More Extreme Weather. A month's worth of rain soaked portions of Belgium in a day - resulting in extensive flooding, according to the BBC.

More Tornadoes In Unusual Places. Check out this waterspout captured on YouTube off the coast of Italy. Unusual for mid November.

More Record Warmth For Russia. After a scorching, record-smashing summer of extreme heat, drought and brushfires, much of Russia continues to experience record warmth during November (Monday the high in Moscow was a relatively balmy 53.6 F). The average temperatures is closer to 34 for mid November. According to the BBC, "the high temperatures have caused problems for wildlife according to ecologists. Hedgehogs and badgers have been unable to go into hibernation, while some species of red squirrel have not changed into their white winter coats." The entire article is here.

Sledding - No Snow Required. No snow? No worries. With the "Year 'Round Sled" you can go sledding in August, if you care to. Gizmodo.com has more here.

"Nuisance Snow". Tuesday was the definition of a nuisance snowfall, a whopping tenth of an inch of slush in the Twin Cities, just enough to coat some lawns and fields. Highs ranged from 40 at Eau Claire, WI to 35 in St. Cloud and the Twin Cities to 33 at Alexandria.

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

WEDNESDAY:: Mostly cloudy, damp breeze. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 36
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and chily. Low: 22

THURSDAY: More sun, breezy, a few degrees cooler. High: 33

FRIDAY: Nice to see the sun out, still dry. High: 35

SATURDAY: Cold start. Sun begins to fade - good travel conditions. High: 32

SUNDAY: Gray & milder. Drizzle possible, maybe a little icing up north early. High: 39

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, few flakes in the air. High: 34

TUESDAY: Chance of snow, light accumulation possible (maybe a couple inches into Wednesday?) High: 33

Saying Goodbye

He's a local legend. An icon. The face that instantly comes to mind when you think "excellence in local journalism." Don Shelby is about to retire after 3 decades. Tonight I get to say goodbye to my friend on the 10pm news. I'll tell him the truth: to be positive, open to new opportunities. There will always be a need for passionate story-tellers, for people who ask tough questions and try to effect change. A tell-all book deal? Run for Governor? Launching a timely renewable-energy company? With "The Donald" I wouldn't rule anything out.

Welcome to the doldrums of winter, a slate-gray sky spitting flakes, but no cringe-worthy weather is expected until next week. The storm track whisks sloppy storms well south (& north) of Minnesota, keeping us gray but quiet through the weekend.

We're tracking some bitterly cold air across Canada. The leading edge of this arctic smack may whip up a few inches of snow next Tuesday & Wednesday (timing & amounts still unclear), but right now it looks like any snow will taper in time for a VERY cold, sun-filled Thanksgiving Day. Shopping on "Black Friday" and getting home the following weekend? Cold, but probably storm-free. Stay tuned.

Paper Airplane Captures Images Of Space. 3 British aerospace enthusiasts used a weather balloon to lift a camera-equipped (paper) airplane into the stratosphere - reaching an altitude of 89,000 feet above the Earth. The plane then glided back to the ground - intact - with a series of amazing photos of space. Pretty cool. Details at Gizmag.com here.

Out Of This World View. Tracy Caldwell Dyson is an astronomer on board the ISS, the International Space Station, orbiting 217 miles above the Earth. She snapped this amazing photo of Italy on a recent orbit - and has quite a story to tell, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail

Colder Winters Possible Due To Climate Change. I know it sounds countertuitive, and it's another reason why there's such a huge disconnect (and sheer confusion) in the minds of so many consumers today. How can a gradually warming atmosphere result in more frequent and intense arctic outbreaks over northern latitudes. Headlines from a Reuters story:

* Colder winters possible in northern regions
* Shrinking sea ice causes airstream anomalies
* Finding does not conflict with global warming

"Climate change could lead to colder winters in northern regions, according to a study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research on Tuesday. Vladimir Petoukhov, lead author of the study, said a shrinking of sea ice in the eastern Arctic causes some regional warming of lower air levels and may lead to anomalies in atmospheric airstreams, triggering an overall cooling of the northern continents. "These anomalies could triple the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and northern Asia," he said. "Recent severe winters like last year's or the one of 2005/06 do not conflict with the global warming picture but rather supplement it."

One-Way Trip To Mars? A handful of scientists are considering a more efficient way to get to Mars (probably 20 years down the road). Instead of trying to bring the astronauts home, send a couple of 60-somethings on a one-way trip to Mars. Cheaper, by an order of magnitude, but NASA has made it clear "they want to bring their people back." An interesting story here.

TV Catch-Phrase Mash-Up. If you're a "creature of TV" you might just enjoy this clip, which highlights the most memorable (signature) phrases since 1949, from the "Lone Wolf" to "The Big Bang Theory".  You have to see it to believe it, courtesy of Gawker. How many of these do you remember?
The Lone Ranger "Hi Ho Silver, Away!"
The Honeymooners "One of these days, pow! Right in the kisser."
I Love Lucy "Lucy, I'm home!"
Leave it to Beaver "Aw, gee mom!"
Dennis the Menace "Geepers Mr. Wilson!"
Hawaii Five-O "Book em, Dano."
A Tale of Two Kitties "I tawt I taw a putty tat!"
Yogi Bear "I'm smarter than the average bear."
Bugs Bunny Show "Ahhh, what's up doc?"
Get Smart "Missed it by that much."
Batman "Holy understatements, Batman."
Looney Toons "Beep, beep."
The Addams Family "You rang?"
Andy Griffith "Nip it in the bud!"
Star Trek "Live long and prosper."
The Waltons "Goodnight, Jim bob."
The Muppet Show "Wocka, wocka"
Lost in Space "Danger, Will Robinson."
Good Times "Dy-No-Miiiite!"
The Brady Bunch "Marsha, marsha, marsha!"
Sanford and Sons "Elizabeth, I'm coming honey!"
All in the Family "Stifle yourself."
Happy Days "Cause I'm the fonze, heyyy..."
Fantasy Island "De plane, de plane!"
Columbo "Just one more thing..."
Kojak "Who loves ya?"
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids "Hey hey hey."
Welcome Back Kotter "Up your nose with a rubber hose"
Mork and Mindy "Nanu nanu"
Scooby Doo "Zoinks!"
Charlie's Angels "Good morning angels."
The Incredible Hulk "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
Different Strokes "Whatchu talkin' bout, Willis?"
Alice "Kiss my grits!"
The A Team "I love it when a plan comes together."
Taxi "Thank you veddy much."
Alf "HA, yah. I kill me"
Inspector Gadget "Wowsers!"
Cheers "Afternoon everybody. Norm!"
Perfect Strangers "Don't be ridiculous"
Teenager Mutant Ninja Turtles "Cowabungaaaa!"
Full House "Have Mercy!"
Star Trek TNG "Make it so."
Saved by the Bell "Time out!"
Family Matters "Did I do that?"
The Simpsons "D'oh!"
Seinfeld "Get. Out!"
Blossom "Woah"
Home Improvement "Ugh ugh ugh."
Fraiser "I'm listening."
Bobby's World "I'm just too bust dontcha' know."
Rugrats "A baby's gottah do, what a baby's gottah do."
Friends "How you doin'?"
Beevis and Butthead "I am cornholio!"
Ren and Stimpy "You eeeeeeediots!"
Darkwing Duck "Let's. Get. Dangerous."
South Park "Oh my god, they killed Kenny! You bastards!"
Everybody Loves Raymond "Holy Crap."
That 70s Show "Burn!"
Pokémon "Pikachu, I choose you!"
Family Guy "Giggity giggity."
Futurama "Hooraay, I'm useful!"
Curb Your Enthusiasm "Prettyyyyyy, prettyyyy, prettyyyy, pretty good."
The Wire "Sheeeeeeeeeeeeet."
Arrested Development "Hey Brother."
Entourage "Let's hug it out, bitch."
How I Met Your Mother "Suit up!"
Big Bang Theory "Bazinga."
30 Rock "Blerg!"
The Office "That's what she said."

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