* 50+ temperatures possible by Wednesday and Thursday across portions of central and southern Minnesota.
* GFS model hinting at temperatures close to 60 F. on Sunday, March 20, again Sunday, March 27. We'll see. I suspect there's still too much snow on the ground for readings that mild, but the more snow we lose the more of the sun's energy that can go into heating up the air, vs. melting snow cover.
* Light showers possible Tuesday, more significant rain late Saturday into Sunday, possibly ending as wet snow a week from today.
* Stormier pattern shaping up for the last week of March.
* More information on the Japan earthquake, tsunami, partial nuclear meltdown and volcanic eruption.
HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN 549 PM CDT SUN MAR 13 2011 ...WARM TEMPERATURES THIS WEEK ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE MELTING AND POTENTIALLY LEAD TO RIVER FLOODING AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEKEND... A CHANGE IN THE WEATHER PATTERN WILL BRING WARMER TEMPERATURES TO CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AS WELL AS WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN TUESDAY AND ESPECIALLY INTO WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL BE IN THE LOWER AND MID 40S ON TUESDAY AND IN THE UPPER 40S AND LOWER 50S ON WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. HIGHS ON FRIDAY WILL BE COOLER...BUT STILL IN THE MID 30S IN WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA TO THE LOWER AND MID 40S IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND INTO WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN. LOWS WEDNESDAY MORNING ARE EXPECTED TO BE IN THE MID TO UPPER 20S WHICH WILL HELP SLOW THE MELTING PROCESS FROM TUESDAY. BUT FOR OVERNIGHT WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND INTO THURSDAY MORNING...TEMPERATURES ARE NOT EXPECTED TO DROP BELOW FREEZING ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL AND EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA. PARTS OF WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN WILL ONLY DROP TO AROUND 40 DEGREES. LOWS FRIDAY MORNING WILL RANGE FROM THE MID 20S IN CENTRAL MINNESOTA TO THE LOWER 30S IN SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA. LOWS IN WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN WILL DROP INTO THE UPPER 20S. HENCE THE MELTING PROCESS WILL CONTINUE FROM WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT. SO A GOOD 36 HOURS OF STRAIGHT MELTING IS LIKELY. WE ARE ALSO LOOKING AT A COUPLE OF CHANCES OF LIGHT RAIN IN THE NEXT 7 TO 10 DAYS. THE FIRST CHANCE WILL BE ON TUESDAY. AT THIS TIME THE SYSTEM DOES NOT TAP INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO FOR A MOISTURE SOURCE...SO PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS WILL BE LIGHT AND AROUND A TENTH OF AN INCH OR LESS. ANOTHER SYSTEM WILL MOVE ACROSS THE AREA ON THURSDAY. AS WITH THE TUESDAY SYSTEM PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS ALSO LOOK LIGHT. WE ARE WATCHING ANOTHER STRONGER STORM SYSTEM FOR LATE NEXT WEEKEND AND INTO PART OF NEXT WEEK. THIS ONE MAY BE ABLE TO TAP INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO. THIS SYSTEM IS STILL AT LEAST 7 DAYS OUT IN THE FORECAST SO PATTERNS MAY CHANGE BUT IT IS WORTH WATCHING FOR A RAIN EVENT. THE WARMING TEMPERATURES FOR THE MIDDLE PART OF THE WEEK ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN MELTING THE SNOW. AT THIS POINT...WE ARE EXPECTING RISES IN THE MAIN STEM RIVERS BEGINNING...INTO THE LATER PART OF THE WEEK. HOW WARM WE ACTUALLY GET DURING THE DAY...AND HOW WARM WE REMAIN OVERNIGHT AS WELL AS OUR MOISTURE LEVELS AND WINDS...WILL BE THE MAIN DRIVERS FOR THE MELT. AT THIS POINT WE COULD SEE SIGNIFICANT RISES ESPECIALLY FOR THE COTTONWOOD...REDWOOD...MINNESOTA...CROW AND MISSISSIPPI FOR ST PAUL AND DOWNSTREAM...AND THE ST CROIX RIVER BASINS OVER THE NEXT FIVE TO TEN DAYS. FOR THESE RIVER BASINS...WE COULD POSSIBLY SEE FLOOD STAGE LEVELS AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEKEND. FOR THE LONG PRAIRE...SAUK...THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER FOR MINNEAPOLIS AND UPSTREAM...EAU CLAIRE AND CHIPPEWA RIVER IN WISCONSIN BASINS...WE ARE LOOKING FOR RISES BUT AT THIS POINT INDICATIONS ARE THAT THEY WILL REMAIN BELOW FLOOD STAGE FOR THE NEXT WEEK. AS CONFIDENCE INCREASES ON THE MELT AND IMPACTS ON THE RIVERS...RIVER FLOOD WATCHES AND...OR WARNINGS WILL LIKELY BE ISSUED BY WEDNESDAY.
Sunday Thunder? The GFS brings a strong warm front northward into Minnesota over the weekend - I wouldn't be surprised to see heavy showers, even a few embedded thunderstorms close to home by Sunday. Hope I'm wrong - any downpours would present a worst-case scenario for flood potential.
The month opened with a humongous blizzard paralyzing the Midwest of the United States. Chicago reported its third greatest snowfall on record with 20.2” measured at O’Hare Airport on February 1-2. Tulsa, Oklahoma’s 14.0” accumulation was the greatest on record for that city."
* The New York Daily News reports that hundreds of local residents have fled the volcanic eruption.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
"In a little-heeded warning issued at a 2009 conference on the subject, experts outlined a range of mechanisms by which climate change could already be causing more earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity. "When the ice is lost, the earth's crust bounces back up again and that triggers earthquakes, which trigger submarine landslides, which cause tsunamis," Bill McGuire, professor at University College London, told Reuters. Melting ice masses change the pressures on the underlying earth, which can lead to earthquakes and tsunamis, but that's just the beginning. Rising seas also change the balance of mass across earth's surface, putting new strain on old earthquake faults, and may have been partly to blame for the devastating 2004 tsunami that struck Southeast Asia, according to experts from the China Meteorological Administration."
Global Warming May Severely Impact U.S. Naval Forces. I have a son at the Naval Academy, so this article caught my eye more than others. Rising sea levels are on factor, but thinning Arctic ice has other implications for oil exploration; countries scrambling to find (and tap) new reserves for thirsty consumers. From sify.com: "The report brings to the attention of U.S. naval leadership areas that need attention in future planning and that will prepare the Navy for a warmer world." Kennicutt points out that if the polar icecaps in Greenland and Antarctica continue to melt, sea levels around the world will dramatically rise. Rising sea levels could have wide ranging detrimental impacts on naval facilities now and in the future, the report says. "Arctic sea ice is melting much faster than predicted just a few years ago, so much so that there could be a summer, ice-free Arctic Ocean in a matter of years," he explained. He adds that conflict over new national boundaries in the Arctic has already strained our relations with Canada, since much of Canada's territory is in the Arctic and their claims overlap with U.S. claims. The U.S. considers the Northwest Passage international waters, whereas Canada sees them as within its national boundaries. "How this will affect U.S. national and homeland security is open to debate, but it is clear that an ice-free summer Arctic will dramatically change the politics and military strategies of the north for the foreseeable future," Kennicutt said.
"Sen. James Inhofe and some other politicians are claiming climate change is a hoax. In doing so they exhibit a striking disconnect with the vast majority of climate scientists who have devoted their lives to the subject.
For decades now those scientists have been warning us of damaging environmental consequences due to unrestrained emissions of greenhouse gases. Prestigious scientific bodies like the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society and the National Academy of Sciences have issued public statements to this effect. On the other hand, how many established scientific bodies have issued statements backing up Sen. Inhofe’s side of this “controversy?” Zero.
But the indefatigable Sen. Inhofe, who has no scientific background whatsoever, seems unfazed. Rather than deferring to the people who actually know something about the subject, he accuses them of perpetrating a vast hoax. Think of just how preposterous this is. Are we to believe that thousands of climate scientists have suddenly decided to abandon their professional integrity and throw their careers into jeopardy by engaging in an enormous conspiracy of lies designed to sabotage the American economy?
It is shameful to treat a scientific topic as a political football. Mother Nature neither knows nor cares about politics. The Arctic Sea ice will not stop shrinking, the glaciers will not stop receding, the ocean levels will not stop rising, and the atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will not stop increasing merely because it is inconvenient to someone’s political philosophy.
It would be the height of irresponsibility to gamble with the fate of the planet by disregarding the vast majority of climate scientists. If we allow this to happen, the future generations who are left to deal with the consequences of our folly will rightly hold us in contempt."
James J. Amato
(reproduced from the Duluth News Tribune)