* Normal December snowfall at MSP: 10" Last December (2009) 20.9" snow fell. The all-time record? 33.2" in 1969.
Snowfall totals from the National Weather Service:
WeatherTalk. From Mark Seeley's excellent weekly blog, which touches on weather, climate and interesting stories around the world, "Soils are now frozen to variable depths depending on snow cover. Frozen soil depth appears to vary from 2 inches to as much as 8 inches. Soil freezing will continue to deepen with colder temperatures expected over the weekend. Only areas that receive significant snowfall from the winter storm over Friday and Saturday may see soil freezing stabilize as a result of the insulting effect of the added snow cover. Elsewhere if snow cover is thin, soil freezing depth will continue to plummet with very cold temperatures over the weekend and into next week."
* Smart TV's Expand On-Demand World. A good follow-up story from the New York Times here.
Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
SUNDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and "cold enough for me." Low: -3
"Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow, filling the sky and earth below, over the housetops, over the street, over the heads of the people you meet. Dancing, flirting, skimming along" wrote poet Thomas Jackson.
Two words: mea culpa. Meteorologists give snow a bad name. We talk about a RISK of snow, a THREAT of a storm. Travel headaches on the Crosstown trump the sheer wonder of a fresh snow; it's democratic and miraculous, bringing families and friends together. Commuters groan but snow enthusiasts can't believe their good luck: 4-10" of perfect, Aspen-like powder. Support local ski resorts, hit the trails - at this rate we may surpass last December's 20.9", but the all-time December snow record of 33.2" in '69 is probably not in danger.
The sun shines today, resembling a street lamp , it's so low in the sky (and incapable of warming us up). The winter solstice is little more than 2 weeks away, long nights brewing up a fresh batch of Yukon Delight into midweek.
More clippers squeeze out snow Thursday, again Saturday; a very active pattern indeed. Finally, 6" fell on the downtowns, but Paul's coveted (?) "Golden Snow Shovel Award" goes to Lakeville: 11.7" of fluff. Wow!
Canada Having Its Warmest Year. According to the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) Canada is experiencing its warmest year on record, national temperatures running close to 7-8 F. above long-term averages. More details from Canada's Chronicle Herald newspaper here.
Signs That Show Man-Made Global Warming is Definitely Still Happening. From the U.K's Telegraph: "As your boiler breaks down, your pipes freeze, your car won’t start, your Ocado delivery fails to arrive, your train is cancelled, your neck is broken after slipping on black ice and you lie in an emergency ward waiting for a doctor to turn up only to learn that they’re all off today because of the weather, you might be forgiven for thinking that all this has something to do with global cooling, changes in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and the decline in sunspot activity perhaps auguring a new Maunder minimum.
But you couldn’t be more wrong.
“It’s all actually a sign that man made global warming is very much a live issue and that there’s more of it happening than ever,” says a top scientist, who holds the British record for securing grant-funding for global warming research projects so he must know what he’s talking about.
“Look at the Met office,” the scientist goes on. “They’ve just told us that 2010 is the hottest year since records began in 1850 and even though the stupid Central England Temperature record tells us something quite different and even though the year hasn’t actually finished yet they must know what they’re talking about and they definitely can’t have fiddled the data because the Met office is part of the government and they wouldn’t lie or get things wrong which is why that barbecue summer was such a scorcher.” The big problem is, the scientist said, is that the public are really stupid. They think just because Dr David Viner of the Climatic Research Unit said in the Independent in 2000 that soon there’d be no snow because of global warming, when what he actually meant was that soon there’d be lots of snow and that this would be “proof” of global warming. The interviewer just missed out the word “proof” that’s all because journalists are lazy that way." The complete story is here.
Americans Fail The Climate Quiz. An excerpt from Ira Flatow who moderates Science Friday at NPR: "The heated discussions over global warming are about to be turned up a notch as the new Congress takes over next month, composed of many more global warming skeptics or non-believers. Many on Capitol Hill like to say they are merely a reflection of their constituents. Is that true? How much do you know about climate change? Here's a pop quiz, questions from a recent survey by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communications to find out how much Americans know about climate change. We're going to - just three questions from that quiz. Here we go. Question number one. True or false: The Earth's climate is warmer now than it's ever been. Is it warmer now than it's ever been? The majority of the 2,000 people surveyed said true, but that's false. Number two. True or false: Banning aerosol spray cans worldwide will help reduce global warming. Most people thought so, but the answer is no. (Unintelligible) Number three. What's contributed more to rising sea levels so far? Is it A) melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean; or B) warmer ocean temperatures. Sea ice, melting sea ice, or warmer ocean temperatures. Most people said it was melting sea ice, but the answer is warmer ocean temperatures."