53 F. average high for October 27.
2.6" snow fell on the Twin Cities on October 27, 1919.
Saturday: sunnier, nicer day of the weekend, mid 50s with fading sun, a south breeze at 10-15 mph.
Sunday: .18" rain predicted (NAM model). Mostly cloudy, highs holding in the upper 40s, a raw breeze (NW 10-20).
Halloween Superstorm Facts. The 20 year anniversary is coming up - and some of the all-time Twin Cities records are listed above. We all have our own Halloween 1991 memories (and horror stories). In the coming days we'll review one of Minnesota's most remarkable snowstorms....ever. Data above courtesy of the MN State Climate Office.
2.5" snow at Amarillo, Texas Thursday morning.
4-8" snow reported in downtown Denver and close-in suburbs; most of that snow will be gone by this evening.
57.68" precipitation at Cincinnati, Ohio: wettest year on record (old record: 57.58" in 1990).
* Is it time to have two types of tornado alerts, 1). Tornado Warnings and 2). Tornado Emergencies? I try to make the case below.
Freak October Snowstorm? The latest guidance is in, and I almost fell off my couch last night. Models consistently print out a second, coastal storm Friday night into Saturday, and there may be enough cold air in place for mostly snow. It's hard to believe, but there's a potential for a heavy, wet ("plowable") snowfall from Richmond to D.C., Baltimre and Philadelphia. A few of the computer models are hinting at a foot of snow for some of the major population centers in the Mid Atlantic states. Good grief - this is all happening a little too quickly...
Saturday Snow Blitz? Man, I hope the models are wrong. This is pretty incredible - models now suggesting that enough cold air will be in place for mostly snow as a coastal storm pushes north Friday night into Saturday, a fast-moving shield of snow falling at the rate of 1"/hour, from near Richmond to Washington D.C. to Philadelphia, the suburbs of New York City, to Hartford. The Twin Cities has yet to see a flake of snow, and our nation's capital and the Big Apple may be digging out from at least 10" snow by Saturday evening.
Surreal. Let's see if the models are on the right track. Stay tuned.
Rina's Track. There's a good chance Rina will weaken into a tropical depression and do a U-turn, soaking the Yucatan Peninsula, but sparing Florida in the process. Too much wind shear, too much dry air being entrained into the storm's circulation.
Some people will rightfully point out that having 2 different kinds of tornado alerts will be confusing, and it's hard to argue with that. Some people may hear a (rotation-based) tornado warning and sit on their hands, do nothing until or unless it turns into a full-blown tornado emergency with circulation reaching the ground. I'm not sure if there's a perfect solution here - but the more I think about this the more I believe there should probably be some way of distinguishing between rotation-based tornado warnings, and more urgent situations where rotation is accompanied by reports of a tornado on the ground from SKYWARN and law enforcement. To me the notion of a Tornado Emergency makes sense, and imparts an additional level of urgency the public probably needs to do the right thing.
"On the evening of April 27, in the midst of a massive tornado outbreak in Alabama, Lee Schaffer felt he would have plenty of time to get his family out of their mobile home and to their safe area -- his parents' house -- if a twister struck. He was wrong. When the tornado warning went out for Elmore County, the Santuck resident gathered his wife and four children, all younger than 5, and went next door. "We had been under tornado warnings several times before and had never been hit by a tornado," he said. "I wouldn't say we were ignoring that warning that night, but you think you would hear the tornado coming and you would have time to get someplace safe."But it was at night, you couldn't see it coming. It didn't make a freight train like sound, just a low, eerie hum."
Poodle + Zombie = Zoodle. With Halloween fast approaching here's a timely nugget, courtesy of Neatorama.com: "What do you get when you cross a poodle with a zombie? A Zoodle! Via Daily Dawdle"
Classic October Day. Early morning showers gave way to blue sky and a gentle breeze, temperatures very close to average for the 27th day of October, ranging from 49 at Alexandria to 52 at St. Cloud and 53 in the Twin Cities.
Paul's ConservationMinnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Plenty of sun, breezy. Winds: NW 10-20. High: 54
FRIDAY NIGHT: Dry for evening football games. Partly cloudy and chilly. Low: 32
Jon Stewart Rips Media For Ignoring "Climategate" Debunking, Covering McRib Instead. This is classic. Thank God for Jon Stewart - doing what CBS, NBC and ABC SHOULD be doing. Who would have thought that some of our best journalism would come from a cable comedy show, but you have to give credit where credit is due. Huffington Post, Hulu and Comedy Central bring you the story (and must-see video clip): "On Wednesday night's "Daily Show," Jon Stewart picked up on a story that rocked the science world in 2009: the email hacking that exposed hundreds of exchanges between global warming scientists known as Climategate. If you remember, the emails weren't a big deal because they proved anything, but because they suggested irregularities in data which in turn encouraged climate change skeptics to continue to deny global warming. As Stewart reminisced with a series of clips, Fox News pundits and conservative analysts on all the 24-hour news networks had a field day proclaiming that these emails proved global warming was a fraud. And it worked, too. As Stewart pointed out, studies show the amount of people who acknowledge global warming dropped nearly 20% since the emails were leaked. Given the media circus that was Climategate, Stewart was shocked to learn that a study done by a noted climate change skeptic AND funded by Tea Party oil tycoons the Koch brothers which intended to disprove global warming recently reaffirmed the science behind it. What shocked him even more? How little coverage the findings, printed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, received compared to that of McDonald's "McRib."
Getting Angry And Going Right. Here's an Op-Ed from The Economist: "GIVEN the broad scientific consensus that climate change is happening, based on data showing that climate change is happening, climate scepticism must be predicated on a belief that the data is flawed. The paper has a look at climate data to date and the methodological limitations that have given rise to what Richard Muller, an astrophysicist, characterise as "legitimate scepticism". As the article explains, Dr Muller, being somewhat sceptical himself in the wake of the 2009 "Climategate" scandal, convened the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature group to examine the data and existing analyses using a methodology designed to incorporate some of the concerns of the legitimate sceptics. On October 20th, the group released four papers that corroborate the climate consensus: "The group estimates that over the past 50 years the land surface warmed by 0.911°C: a mere 2% less than NOAA’s estimate." The corroboration should comfort people who are concerned about climate change, although the data are not comforting in the grand scheme of things. No doubt a lot of climate sceptics are stubborn and will not be moved by new methodological approaches. Some, however, will. And although American environmentalists are regrouping after a series of setbacks, they're hardly going to abandon the issue of climate change. Reinforced data may help as they retool their strategies."