38 mph: peak wind gust on Tuesday in the metro area (reported at 4:53 pm at MSP International).
March 23, 2011: last "plowable" snowfall of 2" or more in the Twin Cities (4.1" fell at MSP).
7+ "plowable" snowfalls of 2" or more during an average winter season (MN State Climate Office).
11 plowable snowfalls (2" or more) fell last winter in the metro area.
Mostly rain expected in the metro area Saturday.
Plowable snow for parts of central and northern Minnesota, some 4-8"+ amounts are possible.
6.1" snow predicted for Brainerd on Saturday.
Fire Up The Sleds? Using the Cobb Method for estimating snowfall amounts (and GFS data) 6.1" of snow is predicted for the Brainerd area - the snow tapering off rapidly Saturday evening.
28,385 fires in Texas this year, which burned 3.97 million acres, destroying 2,909 homes, killing 10 people, including 4 firefighters. 38,000+ homes were saved, many by volunteer firefighters. Source: Star Telegraph.
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--
No road--no street--no "t'other side this way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!
No traveling at all--no locomotion--
No inkling of the way--no notion--
"No go" by land or ocean--
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--
- Thomas Hood
"Global warming is almost the story that’s too big to cover … and too big to absorb. It takes a long time for anyone who is not a climate scientist to really accept it and mentally assemble all the hard new realities we are learning about. For journalists, this means that each month, in effect, new waves of people show up saying, “OK, I guess it’s real. Now what was that again — what you reported five years ago?” - Bill Blakemore from ABC News in a story below.
Saturday Evening Weather Map. The latest GFS model prints out a storm near Waterloo, Iowa at 6 pm Saturday, tracking too close to the MSP metro for heavy snow here - but a band of moderate to heavy snow may set up from near Windom, Wadena, Detroit Lakes and Alexandria to Brainerd, Aitkin, Crosby and the Minnesota Arrowhead, perhaps 6-10 hours of significant snow over central and northern Minnesota before winds shift to the northwest and flurries taper off Saturday evening.
Historic Fire Season Ends This Week In Texas, But Officials Brace For Worse. The Star-Telegraph has a summary of the incredible drought and fire year Texas has endured: "The unprecedented Texas fire season that incinerated 3.97 million acres, destroyed 2,909 homes and killed 10 people, including four firefighters, officially ends Tuesday. The bad news is that the next burning season starts Wednesday and, with a historic drought expected to persist at least through May, state fire officials are already concerned about Round Two. "It's a very ominous future that we have out there. Things are bad, but they are forecast to get worse," said Tom Boggus, director of the Texas Forest Service, which coordinated the response to the 28,385 fires. State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon expects the drought to be exacerbated by a drier- and warmer-than-normal winter. "I think it will be hard for most of the state to recover from the drought since we are so far in the hole right now," he said. The drought depleted grass fuels, but dead trees, particularly junipers in West and Central Texas, will be a complicating factor next year, said Tom Spencer, director of predictive services for the Forest Service."
NASA Climate Satellite Takes First Pictures. Space.com has the article: "NASA's new climate and weather observing satellite is settling in to its new orbit high above the Earth and running through its instruments to make sure they all check out. During this process, it sent back its first science data: an image of water vapor in the lower atmosphere. The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NPP) carries five instruments that are aimed at improving day-to-day weather forecasting while extending the record of many long-term observations of Earth's climate. This record, which range from the ozone layer and land cover to atmospheric temperatures and ice cover, are critical for understanding and predicting changes in global climate."
Wind Energy Creating A Problem With Military And Weather Radar. This is (increasingly) an issue: turbulence around wind farms showing up on Doppler radar - which can be a real problem when strong/severe storm cells are passing over these areas - making it difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the wake effect from wind turbines from actual severe storms. Physorg.com has the story: "With the push for creating green energy, giant windmill farms are becoming more and more common for electricity production. However, the National Weather Service and the United States Air Force say these wind farms are creating much more than energy, and are making their jobs more difficult whhen it comes to detecting storms and keeping aircraft safe."
Protecting Houston From Hurricanes. The Cypress Times has an interesting story: "HOUSTON, TX - To protect Houston and Galveston from future hurricanes, a Rice University-led team of experts recommends building a floodgate across the Houston Ship Channel adding new levees to protect densely populated areas on Galveston Island and the developed west side of Galveston Bay. The team also recommends creating a 130-mile-long coastal recreation area to sustainably use wetlands that act as a natural flood barrier. The recommendations appear in a new report this month from Rice University's Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center. The report follows more than two years of research into lessons learned from Hurricane Ike, which made landfall at Galveston Island in September 2008. Ike caused 112 U.S. deaths and is the third-costliest storm in U.S. history, with damages estimated at $30 billion."
Disaster Prep For Pet Owners. Here's some useful information from zootoo.com: "If a natural disaster is coming your way – be it hurricane, tornado, or snow storm – do you have an emergency plan in place for you and your family, including your pets? More than one third of American cat and dog owners don't have any kind of disaster preparedness plan to fall back on, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But more than 85 percent of dog owners and 81 percent of cat owners intend to bring their pets along with them in an event of an evacuation, according to a recent study the ASPCA conducted. Following through on that plan might not always be possible, pet owners should know, since the American Red Cross does not allow companion animals – aside from service animals – to stay with their owners in its evacuation shelters. But there are certain preparatory measures and steps pet owners can take to ensure that their pet will be in the post possible position if a disaster does strike home."
"Another Lake". Somehow, in the Land of 10,000 Lakes seeing a Google Map showing "Another Lake" and "And Another Lake" strikes a (funny) cord. Now I've officially seen everything, thanks to failblog.org.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Cold, sunny start. Increasing PM clouds, breezy. Winds: W 10-20. High: 36
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy - feels like early December. Low: 19
This unique, 4-season montage photo is courtesy of funcram.com.
- A continued steady increase in carbon dioxide: Global carbon dioxide levels rose to an average of 389 parts per million in 2010, compared with 386 ppm in 2009, and 354 in the index or comparison year of 1990. Before the Industrial Revolution of the 1880s, carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere was about 280 ppm. Carbon dioxide levels swing up and down in natural seasonal cycles, but human activities – primarily the burning of coal, oil, and gas for transportation and power – have driven a consistent upward trend in concentration.
- A continued recent increase in methane: Methane levels rose in 2010 for the fourth consecutive year after remaining nearly constant for the preceding 10 years, up to 1799 parts per billion. Methane measured 1794 ppb in 2009, and 1714 ppb in 1990. Pound for pound, methane is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but there’s less of it in the atmosphere.