46 F. average high for March 26.
51 F. high temperature on March 26, 2010.
81 F. record high set on March 26, 2007
3" snow left on the ground in the Twin Cities.
* Nighttime lows rise above freezing by Thursday - snow melt accelerates late in the week with highs topping 50, slight chance of highs near 60 next Saturday.
* Storm track stays well south of Minnesota - stormier, wetter pattern returns the first week of April.
Dueling Tornadoes. This unusual sight shows a pair of waterspouts near Surgut, Russia. The YouTube footage is here.
Guilty Dog. O.K. This YouTube clip is all over the Internet, but if you somehow missed this video it's worth watching - one of the funnier things I've seen recently. Who says man's best friend doesn't have human-like feelings (and expressions?) The look on that (poor) dog's face at the end of the clip is priceless. You might want to watch it with your favorite pet. Video courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel Live.
This Is Late March? Saturday's high of 30 in the Twin Cities is the average high for February 15. In spite of bright sun temperatures were 15 degrees cooler than average. In spite of sub-freezing temperatures the amount of snow on the ground shrank an inch, down to 3" at MSP (the result of some melting and compaction of snow). Eau Claire residents woke up to a chilly 7 F. Saturday morning.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Blue sky, feels like early March. Winds: E 10. High: 32 (average high is 46).
SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, unusually chilly for late March. Low: 18
Northeast Snowfall Trends. Climate Central has an article focused on the question: "has snowfall in the northeast truly increased in recent years?" Here's an excerpt: "The past two winters have been extraordinarily snowy in parts of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. But exactly how snowy has it been? And how much snow can the region expect in future decades if the climate continues to warm? You can use the (interactive map) to find out. The first is an (graphic) with weather stations represented by snowflakes. Click on one to see the total winter snowfall for that location for each of the past 31 years. The average yearly snowfall during the past three decades at each location is shown by the gray line, and projected average annual snowfall at the end of the century by the red. (See the caveats on this calculation further down in this post)."
Antarctic Icebergs Play Key Role In Climate Change. Here's a recent article from the Business Standard: "Scientists have discovered that when Antarctic icebergs cool and dilute the seas through which they pass for days, they also raise chlorophyll levels in water, thus increasing carbon dioxide absorption in ocean. An interdisciplinary research team supported, by the National Science Foundation, claims the finding has global implications for climate research, the 'Nature Geoscience' journal reported. The research indicates that ordinary icebergs are likely to be more prevalent in Southern Ocean, particularly as the Antarctic Peninsula continues a well-documented warming trend and ice shelves disintegrate. It also shows that these ordinary icebergs are important features of not only marine ecosystems, but even of global carbon cycling. "These new findings amplify the team's previous discoveries about icebergs and confirm that icebergs contribute yet another, previously unsuspected, dimension of physical and biological complexity to polar ecosystems," said Roberta L Marinelli, Director of the NSF's Antarctic Program. The latest findings document a persistent change in physical and biological characteristics of surface waters after the transit of an iceberg, which has important effects on phytoplankton populations, clearly demonstrating "that icebergs influence oceanic surface waters and mixing to greater extents than previously realised, said Ronald Kaufmann of University of San Diego. The researchers studied the effects by sampling the area around a large iceberg more than 32 kilometers (20 miles) long; the same area was surveyed again ten days later, after the iceberg had drifted away."
Climate Change Can't Be Stopped, But We Will Adapt. Chris Berg tackles the topic of adaptation in this story in the Sydney Morning Herald: "Julia Gillard is half-right. The world is acting on climate change. But not acting to stop it - to adapt to it. In the 1920s, an average of 240 people out of every million died every year from extreme weather events: drought, flood, windstorm, landslide, earthquake, extreme temperatures and wildfire. According to data from the International Disaster Database, last decade that figure dropped to just three per million. Actually, the numbers are even better than they first look. The 20th century saw a 99.9 per cent reduction in the risk of death from drought. And the risk of death from floods came down almost as much: 89 per cent. Floods and drought - two of the most commonly mentioned consequences of climate change. We're getting much better at managing and surviving them. The causes of this remarkable decline in mortality are many. Better transport and communications help move food to where it's needed, quicker. Globalised trade gives producers an incentive to do so. Hardy modern agriculture can survive not just long-term climatic shifts, but the more pressing problem of bad growing seasons. Better flood control and prevention, weather forecasting and more responsive emergency services all help reduce the damage from floods. Never have we been better at protecting ourselves against nature."