Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Warming Trend Into Monday (winter coping skills 101)

49 F. high in the Twin Cities Wednesday.

57 F. normal high for October 19.
November 1: average high in the Twin Cities on Nov. 1 is 49.
30 F. predicted low temperature for Friday morning.
May 3: last time the mercury hit 32 F. in the Twin Cities.

Next Chance Of Rain: Saturday Night. Models are pretty consistent - the next chance of rain showers comes Saturday night into Sunday morning. A few of the long-range models are hinting at a little wet snow mixing in with the rain by Wednesday of next week.

Don't Veer For Deer. "Deer-vehicle crashes peak in the autumn months, but Minnesota’s large deer population makes them a safety hazard on the road all year long. Deer crashes are especially dangerous for motorcyclists — a group which accounted for 16 of the 19 vehicle-deer related deaths over the last three years. An important safety tip for drivers is to never veer for deer — swerving can take a motorist into oncoming traffic or off the road." 
(thanks to the Chaska Police Department for passing this along!)

* Drive at safe speeds and always buckle up.
* Motorists: don’t swerve to avoid a deer. Swerving can cause motorists to lose control and travel off
the road or into oncoming traffic. The best defense is to buckle up and brake.
* Motorcyclists: a rider’s best response when encountering a deer is to slow down quickly and then
drive carefully around the animal at low speed. Riders are encouraged to wear helmets and other
high-visibility protective gear to prevent injury or death in a crash.
* Don’t count on deer whistles or deer fences to deter deer from crossing roads.
* Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road. If
anything looks slightly suspicious, slow down.
* Slow down in areas known to have a large deer population — where deer-crossing signs are
posted; places where deer commonly cross roads; areas where roads divide agricultural fields from
forest land; and whenever in forested areas between dusk and dawn.
* Deer do unpredictable things — they stop in the middle of the road when crossing; cross and
quickly re-cross back; and move toward an approaching vehicle. Blow horn to urge deer to leave
the road. Stop if the deer stays on the road, don’t try to go around it.
* Any Minnesota resident may claim a road-killed animal by contacting a law enforcement officer. An
authorization permit will be issued allowing the individual to lawfully possess the deer.
* If a deer is struck but not killed by a vehicle, keep a distance as deer may recover and move on. If a
deer does not move on, or poses a public safety risk, report the incident to a DNR conservation
officer or other local law enforcement agency.

EF-2 Tornado In Broward County. Details from the Sun-Sentinel: "A tornado left a 2-mile long trail of damage, peeling off roofs and tossing cars in a suburban South Florida neighborhood, officials said Wednesday. Minor injuries were reported. It’s been raining in South Florida since the weekend, and the rain was expected to continue throughout Wednesday. School officials in the Florida Keys canceled classes Wednesday due to possible flooding and lingering storms....Stunned residents were met with a grim vista Wednesday morning: a swath of debris-strewn destruction spanning a square mile across two cities, the brunt of tornado-fueled winds that may have reached up to 130 mph. The impact was staggering: about 25 single-family homes in two Sunrise developments, New Orleans Estates and Residences of Sawgrass Mills, were damaged — six uninhabitable because of smashed roofs, said city spokeswoman Christine Pfeffer. Fire Division Chief Jim Dixon said building officials were coordinating assistance and cataloging damage."

* more from the Miami office of the NWS on the EF-2 tornado here (pdf file).

Monster Waves. 60 mph gusts whipping up 20-22 foot waves? Check out this YouTube clip from Tim Scarpino at Grand Haven, Michigan.

Chicago Area Webcams: (Navy Pier) (downtown Chicago) (Loyola University)

Flood Warnings Issued In Chicago Due To High Winds, Huge Waves on Lake Michigan. Minnesota is just getting a glancing blow from a very powerful storm whipping up gale to storm force winds over the Great Lakes. Fox News has more details:

"The National Weather Service is warning of the possibility of flooding in Chicago on Wednesday as high winds create waves in Lake Michigan that could build up to 22 feet, MyFoxChicago reports. Large and “battering” waves will result in flooding of areas near the lake and more susceptible parts surrounding the area. A gale warning is in effect and expected to last through 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to the weather service. Forecasters predict the strongest winds will come from the northeast and clock in at nearly 52 mph."

Chicago Wind Gusts. Thanks to the Chicago Weather Center for the updated information:
O’Hare Airport operations have been affected by the winds, low clouds and rain resulting in 148 canceled flights and 662 delays.
Here are a few of the more recent wind gusts:
58 mph Chicago- Harrison-Dever Crib
52 mph Chicago- Soldier Field
48 mph Gary, IN
47 mph Chicago- West Loop
47 mph Chicago- Rogers Park
45 mph Highland Park, IL
45 mph East Chicago, IN

Take Cover: Another Satellite Is Plunging To Earth. We know the drill - there's nothing to worry about, right? Right? USA Today has the details: "It's déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra might have put it. This month, another defunct satellite is expected to plunge to Earth — offering us another welcome respite from worrying about our real problems. Instead, we can worry about the fantastically slim odds of being killed by some of the debris that will be shed by Germany's ROentgen SATellite (ROSAT) X-Ray telescope on its fiery uncontrolled re-entry to Earth just before Halloween. "It will not be possible to make any kind of reliable forecast about where the satellite will actually come down until about one or two hours before the fact," says the European Space Agency's Heiner Klinkrad, in a statement on the re-entry. "In the final phase, ROSAT will be 'caught' by the atmosphere at which point it will not even complete an orbit around the Earth: Instead, it will go into 'free fall'."

Tennessee Hail Storm. Check out this YouTube video of a severe hail storm that hit Murfreesboro, Tennessee late Tuesday - hail up to tennis ball size left roads icy, enough hail to shovel and plow!

Snow? No - Hail. Here's another perspective of the wild hail storm that swept across Tennessee Tuesday. Severe storm warnings were in effect, reports of 1-3" diameter hail. There was so much ice that storm sewers became clogged, resulting in serious flash flooding. The YouTube footage is here.

Second Severe Weather "Spike". The Nashville National Weather Service office has an explanation of how severe storms tend to increase (again) come November, as colder air pushes south out of Canada, setting the stage for more rotating, tornadic thunderstorms: "Although severe weather and tornadoes are more common across Tennessee during the spring, a secondary peak of severe weather occurs during the fall and winter seasons - especially during the month of November.  In fact, fall and winter season tornadoes have been some of the deadliest weather events in Tennessee history."

Site Of The Day: WeatherNation meteorologist Todd Nelson found this site, which shows where (large) ship traffic is at any given time. The site is Nelson writes: "You can actually view ships in their current locations and details about where they're going. Nothing special, but kind of fun! Might be interesting to see where ships are located during the strong wind event over Lake Michigan in the nest 24-48 hours."

Purdue Studies Behavior In Hurricane Evacuations. Here's an interesting story from the Miami Herald: " Scientists at Purdue University and two other schools are developing detailed computer models intended to predict how people behave in the panic-filled hours after local officials issue hurricane evacuation orders. The scientists at Purdue, Florida International University and Virginia Tech say they hope the models help public safety officials better plan for storm disasters by giving them insights into human behavior as hurricanes approach populated areas. The engineering and social science researchers said they are particularly interested in answering the question of who will actually evacuate as a hurricane approaches, and who will stay put. These models will be tested in the Miami-Dade and Houston areas."

5 Ways To Keep Your Rockstar Employees Happy. Here's some good advice from LinkedIn and "The Googleplex, Google’s corporate headquarters in Mountain View California, is legendary for its perks. Employees have access to unlimited free meals, haircuts, dry cleaning, massages, and even onsite medical care. Yet earlier this year, when Google interviewed its employees about what they valued most at work, none of these extravagant benefits made the top of the list. Neither did salary. Instead, employees cited access to “even-keeled bosses who made time for one-on-one meetings, who helped people puzzle through problems by asking questions, not dictating answers, and who took an interest in employees’ lives and careers.” Tangibles like salary and benefits aren’t enough to guarantee that your best and brightest creatives will remain engaged. Indeed, a recent landmark study by Arnold Worldwide of 3,000 employees and 500 executive leaders across a range of communication and advertising firms found that 30 percent of the advertising workforce say they’ll be gone from their job within 12 months."

The Mother Of All RV's? Now I've seen everything - a self-described mansion on wheels. has the details for all those handful of people who have more money than taste. More info: "Marchi Mobile has launched its eleMMent series of ultra-luxurious recreational vehicles. Designed to offer a mansion away from the mansion, the series comes in three, fully configurable flavors and offers everything you'll never need on the road, including automatic boarding stairs, a flybridge and an operational fireplace. The eleMMent PALAZZO is a four wheel luxury mansion. The fully automatic, pop-up flybridge lounge with multiple bars towers over two floors that contain, among other things, a kitchen, a master bedroom with an integrated bathroom and a couch that can be converted into bar furniture at the push of a button."

November Breeze. Under a gray, lumpy sky with gusty north winds temperatures held in the 40s across most of Minnesota. Highs ranged from 42 at International Falls to 47 St. Cloud, 49 Twin Cities and 51 at Grand Marais, where the sun peeked through for a few hours.

Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

TODAY: Mix of clouds and sun, breezy and cool. Winds: N 10-20. High: 49

THURSDAY NIGHT: Clear and cold - first official frost of the season at MSP International? Low: 30

FRIDAY: Blue sky, less wind, a few degrees warmer. High: 55

SATURDAY: Some sun - clouds increase during the afternoon/evening. Shower possible north. Winds; NW 5-10. Low: 39. High: 58

SUNDAY: Early shower, some PM sun. Low: 41. High: 57

MONDAY: More clouds than sun, warmer than average. Low: 42. High: 58

TUESDAY: Clouds increase, turning cooler. Low: 45. High: 54

WEDNESDAY: Chance of a cold rain (mainly south/east). Low: 38. High: 47

Winter Coping Skills

"There's no such thing as bad weather...just inappropriate clothing choices." Living in Minnesota for 28 (winters) that proverb rings true. How can you make it through a Minnesota winter and keep your sanity? Layers. Something as simple as wearing an undershirt will preserve precious body heat. Invest in a couple of space heaters for your office, family room and bedroom.

Our coldest days are usually sunny, which helps, psychologically. Buy a full spectrum light bulb, one that mimics the sun. A lack of sunlight can leave many of us in a blue funk - full spectrum light bulbs seem to help.

Plan a February getaway. The THOUGHT of a vacation can be just as good as the trip itself. The best remedy? Don't huddle indoors. Get out and ski, fish, snow shoe, snowmobile. It will change the way you think about winter.

For the record - in 3 1/2 months temperatures will start to trend upward again. Really!

A massive storm whipping up 20 foot seas and 60 mph winds on Lake Michigan will push east today; skies clear - a warming trend into Monday. I still don't see a real storm looking out roughly 2 weeks. After cooling into the 40s next week the mercury may bounce back to 60 on Halloween.

Why Censoring Climate Science Doesn't Make Sense. Fast Company has the story: "Rick Perry's administration has forced a report on the effects of climate change on Texas to remove all references to, well, climate change. But that doesn't change what's happening to the state's climate. Scientists associated with a major study of environmental changes in the low-lying coastal region around Galveston, Texas, have withdrawn their names from the final report after high-level officials appointed by Governor Rick Perry removed references to sea level rise and climate change from the document. According to an article in Mother Jones, the scientists had already tried to make their work more palatable to a wide audience by minimizing references to human impacts on climate, limiting most of their analyses to historical rates of local shoreline submergence, sediment deposition by rivers, land subsidence, and the like. Nonetheless, their findings were still unacceptable to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, in keeping with the Perry administration's claims that human-driven climate change is a hoax."

Study: Less Severe Great Lakes Water Loss. The Duluth News Tribune has more: "Global warming may not lower Great Lakes’ water levels as much as some studies have suggested, according to a new computer model. Using a new approach to modeling future water levels, researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory predict either a smaller drop or an actual rise in water levels. The researchers reported their work online in the Journal of Great Lakes Research. “Even small drops in lake water levels create problems for shipping and navigation, hydroelectric energy production and recreational boating,” said Brent Lofgren, lead author of “Effects of using air temperature as a proxy for potential evapotranspiration in climate change scenarios of Great Lakes basin hydrology.”

Cities Role In Global Warming Said Minor. The urban heat island's impact on overall warming of the troposphere appears to be far less than warming from greenhouse gases. has more details:
"Cities put more heat into the atmosphere than rural areas but U.S. researchers say it's modest compared with what greenhouse gases contribute to global warming. "Between 2 percent and 4 percent of the gross global warming since the Industrial Revolution may be due to urban heat islands," Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University professor of civil and environmental engineering, said. Greenhouse gas contributes about 79 percent to gross warming and black soot from burning fossil fuels accounts for about 18 percent of, a Stanford release said Wednesday."

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