Fargo - The Movie. Is it just me, or does much of Minnesota currently resemble the sweeping opening shot in one of my favorite movies - that opening panorama of snowy, lifeless desolation, like something from the Arctic Region? Hard to believe we'll ever green up again, but we will. Give it about 90 days, give or take.
* Delayed clipper. Peeks of sun today, no major travel complications expected.
* Next clipper arrives Friday with a chance of a coating to 1" of powder.
* Quiet weekend, 5-10 degrees or more colder than average with some sun possible, especially Saturday.
* Storm early next week expected to pass well south of Minnesota, probably storm-free through the end of next week.
* Potential for accumulating snow Saturday (Jan. 15), followed by much colder air the third week of January. Right now it looks like a relatively quick shot of Arctic air - no prolonged subzero weather expected (right now).
Encouraging Trends. Here is the graphic that will sustain me over the next couple of weeks, as temperatures bottom out. A rising sun won't be able to influence our temperature trends until the last week of January/first week of February, when that higher sun angle will finally trump long nights brewing up cold airmasses over central Canada. Average temperatures rise by more than 10 degrees/month from February into May. Spring is coming - and none of us will EVER take it for granted again. One other interesting fact that jumps out on this graphic: the warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold - our warmest temperatures correlate well with the heaviest rainfall amounts, close to 4" for June, July and August.
What The ??? Now there are new reports coming in....dead birds in Kentucky and Maryland. The Baltimore Sun reports millions of dead fish in the Chesapeake Bay. 100 tons of dead sardines, croaker and catfish washing up on the beaches of Brazil. Hundreds of dead snapper fish washing up in New Zealand. This is starting to sound like something out of a Stephen King novel. Are these animal deaths normal, and the media is just more sensitive to what's going on? It's one heckuva coincidence. Some sort of massive reaction to chemicals or toxins? I don't pretend to know - but it is starting to freak me out (a little). More details from Huffington Post here.
Paul's Conservation MN Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
THURSDAY NIGHT: Cloudy with flurries or light snow possible late. Low: -1 (rising toward morning).
Emanuel sees himself as a conservative. He believes marriage is between a man and a woman. He backs a strong military. He almost always votes Republican and admires Ronald Reagan. Emanuel is also a highly regarded professor of atmospheric science at MIT. And based on his work on hurricanes and the research of his peers, Emanuel has concluded that the scientific data show a powerful link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. "There was never a light-bulb moment but a gradual realization based on the evidence," Emanuel said. "I became convinced by the basic physics and by the better and better observation of the climate that it was changing and it was a risk that had to be considered."
* Call me crazy but I really identify with Professor Emanuel. For the record, I too consider myself to be a conservative (I was raised Baptist and Lutheran and have a record of voting Republican, although lately I've been incredibly frustrated with my party, and it's ideologically-driven desire to turn away from the science when the implications are unpleasant or potentially costly for the energy industry). I guess that makes me something of an anomaly. A freak. A Republican who believes climate change is real? Actions have consequences. You can't increase greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere by 37% and not have any consequences. I share Emanuel's concern for the environment and what a large and growing body of scientific evidence is telling us. Science should be a politically-agnostic endeavor, and yet (climate) science has recently seemed to split cleanly among party lines. I'm still hoping this apparent schism corrects itself. Over time truth and reason (however tenuous and changing) should win the day.