* “This magnitude places the earthquake as the fourth largest in the world since 1900 and the largest in Japan since modern instrumental recordings began 130 years ago." source: USGS
* Death toll likely to rise into the tens of thousands.
* Worse than a nuclear meltdown?
* Japan faces potential nuclear disaster as radiation levels rise. (New York Times)
* Flood threat accelerates with rapidly warming temperatures this week - temperatures may stay above 32 F. from Wednesday morning through at least Monday of next week.
* "One inch of rain anytime from here on out will be problematic." Dan Luna, Meteorologist in Charge of the Chanhassen National Weather Service office in an e-mail Monday evening.
* Highs approach or top 50 as early as Wednesday, some mid 50s possible late week, again Sunday.
* Light, showery rains possible Thursday & Friday; heavier rain possible Sunday, as much as .25-.50" rain may fall.
* Peak flood potential (on major rivers): first half of April, but precise timing is impossible to pin down. Ultimate flooding will depend on daytime highs, whether nighttime lows stay above freezing, and the exact amount of rain we receive over the next few weeks. Residents living near Minnesota's streams and rivers should stay alert.
* Some smaller streams and rivers may approach flood stage as early as next week.
* Showery and mild weather lingers through March 26, turning colder (and drier) the last few days of March.
* U.S. Nuclear Industry Faces New Uncertainty. Just as nuclear power was staging something of a comeback in the USA with numerous projects awaiting approval, the disaster(s) in Japan are causing industry and government regulators to take a hard look at the inherent problems and challenges, especially reactors near active fault lines on the west coast (and near the New Madrid fault, which threatens St. Louis and Memphis). The New York Times has the story here.
Q: You mean there were no hints at all?
A: Brian Atwater, a USGS seismologist based in Seattle, said that Japanese GPS data collected since the 1990s showed that the coast of Japan was being pulled inland at a rate of about 25 feet per century, another indication that the plates were stuck and energy was building between them."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TUESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, not as cold. Low: 30