40.5" normal snowfall as of February 22.
40.6" snow as of February 22, 2010.
15" snow on the ground.
MSP has seen more snow this winter than Duluth and International Falls. Really.
.9" amount of additional snow we need to pick up to be experiencing the snowiest winter since 1992.
"Very high potential for widespread major flooding in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota." (NOAA)
Weather Highlights: today will bring a welcome (but fleeting) thaw, highs reaching the mid 30s as south winds return, along with a few showers of rain and wet snow. An inch or two of slushy snow may fall on Brainerd and Duluth - just wet roads for the metro today, the mildest day shaping up for at least the next 10 days to two weeks. And that's a problem (as I'll get to later). We cool off Thursday, the next, weak, clipper-like system capable of an inch or two of powdery snow Friday and Saturday, highs stuck in the teens to low 20s. Whereas today roads will be wet, I could see some icy problems returning Friday PM into a portion of Saturday as a weak storm passes south of Minnesota. Highs return to the 20s Sunday, another shot at 30 by Tuesday of next week.
Snowfall So Far This Winter:
Twin Cities: 74.9"
International Falls: 74.8"
(Thanks to weather enthusiast Ken Rosen for pointing out the fact that MSP has seen more snow so far this winter than both northern cities - checking to see if this has ever happened before in modern-day records Wow!)
#1). 13.4" February 20-21, 2011
#2). 12.4" February 1-3, 2004
#3). 10.5" February 19-20, 1952
#4). 8.8" February 22, 1913
Red River of the North in North Dakota and Minnesota
- Fargo, N.D., has about a 95 percent chance of exceeding major flood stage of 30 feet where portions of downtown Fargo begin flooding and temporary dike construction is necessary; and a greater than 20 percent chance of reaching or exceeding the 40.84-foot record set in 2009;
- Grand Forks, N.D., has a greater than 95 percent chance of exceeding major flood stage of 46 feet and near a 10 percent chance of exceeding the 54.35-foot record set in 1997.
Upper Mississippi River in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri
- St. Paul, Minn., has about a 95 percent chance of exceeding major flood stage of 17 feet where secondary flood walls are deployed to protect St. Paul airport; and a 15 percent chance of exceeding the record 26.4 feet set in 1965.
“Excessive precipitation, mainly in the form of snow, coupled with continuously frigid temperatures has yielded a thick snowpack in much of the upper Midwest. We expect significant flooding when this snow begins to melt,” said Lynn Maximuk, central region director of the National Weather Service. “We urge residents in risk areas to closely monitor NOAA’s river forecasts and warnings, and prepare now for flooding.”
The Extraordinary Face Of The Moon. When the moon is full, you never see the shadows, the contrasts visible in this image, which is really a compilation of 1,300 separate images. From an illuminating article at Discover: "This is actually a mosaic of about 1300 separate images taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Wide-Angle Camera — the total size is a whopping 24,000 x 24,000 pixels, producing a resolution of about 145 meters/pixel. The full-size version is a monster 550 Mb TIF file (seriously, don’t grab that one unless you need it!), and you can get a more palatable 1400 x 1400 pixel version with labels, too. The images were taken over the course of two weeks in December 2010. LRO is in a polar orbit around the Moon — think of it as moving in a north/south direction over the surface instead of east/west. Over time, as the Moon rotates underneath it, LRO can see the entire surface of the Moon. As it does this, the angle of sunlight changes, so care had to be taken when creating this mosaic to make it appear seamless; otherwise shadows would appear to jump suddenly from point to point. If you look carefully you’ll see where shadows point in different directions, but it still looks pretty natural."
NASA Launching "Glory" Satellite Today, Part of $424 Million Mission To Measure Aerosols. An article from treehugger.com: "Last month, we reported on the Glory Satellite from NASA. Intended to measure airborn grit from volcanoes, forest fires, smokestacks and tailpipes, the satellite, named Glory, is part of a $424 million mission to discover more about the health of our atmosphere. NASA will launch Glory at Vandenberg Air Force Base early tomorrow morning. The scientists behind the mission state that we need to get much more familiar with these aerosols in order to know what and who they affect, and how.According to the article in Physorg, aerosols have been studied with the help of satellites for the last 50 years, but this new satellite will hopefully take the most accurate measurements thus far. As TreeHugger Mike reported last month, "After a 30-day period of tests and calibrations, it should be able to gather data for at least three years."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Milder, passing rain/snow shower? Winds: SW 15. High: near 35
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Flurries taper - a little slush possible, turning windy and colder. Low: 18
"Climategate" Underminded Belief In Global Warming Among Many TV Meteorologists. A recent survey suggested that 1 in 3 TV meteorologists falls into the denier camp. I'm sure they would consider themselves skeptics, but in light of the depth and breadth of climate science, denier is probably the correct term to use. It's more about ideology than science, concern about "big government", a disdain for Al Gore, a belief that this is a "liberal issue", etc. An article from NewsRoomAmerica: "A new paper by George Mason University researchers shows that 'Climategate'—the unauthorized release in late 2009 of stolen e-mails between climate scientists in the U.S. and United Kingdom—undermined belief in global warming and possibly also trust in climate scientists among TV meteorologists in the United States, at least temporarily. In the largest and most representative survey of television weathercasters to date, George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication and Center for Social Science Research asked these meteorologists early in 2010, when news stories about the climate e-mails were breaking, several questions about their awareness of the issue, attention to the story and impact of the story on their beliefs about climate change. A large majority (82 percent) of the respondents indicated they had heard of Climategate, and nearly all followed the story at least "a little." Among the respondents who indicated that they had followed the story, 42 percent indicated the story made them somewhat or much more skeptical that global warming is occurring. These results stand in stark contrast to the findings of several independent investigations of the emails, conducted later, that concluded no scientific misconduct had occurred and nothing in the emails should cause doubts about the fact which show that global warming is occurring."
* It might be helpful to read Kevin Trenberth's response to the so-called "Climategate" during a recent AMS presentation. You can find the pdf of his speech here.