Thursday, November 24, 2011

Warmest Thanksgiving Since 1939 (couple inches of slush Saturday night?)

59 F. high in the Twin Cities Thanksgiving Day, tying the all-time record set in 1990.

1939year we had a warmer Thanksgiving Day in the metro area (high was 60 F. on Nov. 30, 1939).
36 F. average high for November 24.
33 F. high temperature on November 24, 2010.
Low 50s today as clouds increase - no weather drama.
1-2" snow possible Saturday night in the metro area - more over western Wisconsin.

61 F. Eden Prairie (Flying Cloud Airport).
60 F. Crystal Airport Thursday afternoon.
65 F. reported at Canby and Redwood Falls.

Couple Inches of Slush? Yes, when the weather gets too nice (in late November) I expect the other shoe to drop. Some wet snow is possible by Saturday afternoon, and 1-2" may accumulate Saturday night, maybe more east of the St. Croix across western Wisconsin. We may wake up to a snowy couple of inches Sunday, but skies should clear out by afternoon.

Potentially Plowable (Especially East Metro). It's still too early to get specific about timing or amounts, but the 84 hour NAM model is hinting at a few inches of slushy snow late tomorrow into Sunday morning; something in the 1-3" range sounds reasonable right now. Parts of northern Wisconsin might see as much as 10" or more by midday Sunday.

How Much? More fun with dueling weather models. Predictions range from .5" to 3", but there seems to be some agreement, some continuity around 1.5 to 2". That may be a reasonable range for the MSP metro area late Saturday and Saturday night - enough to slush up some roads; not sure it will be plowable - unless you're driving into Wisconsin.

Saturday PM Weather Map. The WRF model, valid 3 pm tomorrow, shows an intensifying storm over the U.P. of Michigan, "wrap-around" moisture circulating into Minnesota (from the north and east). A brief period of rain should change to wet snow late Saturday and Saturday night. The east coast looks dry (and unseasonably mild) and the west should be quiet tomorrow. A trailing cold front will spark heavy showers from Chicago and Detroit to St. Louis and Houston.

Next Snow Event? The GFS model prints out a long-wave trough over the nation's midsection, a couple inches of snow possible next Wednesday-Thursday for the Upper Midwest.

La Nina Update. There is still a bias toward cooler than average water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, a mild La Nina event. Here's more from NOAA's CPC, the Climate Prediction Center: "A majority of the models now predict La Nina to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter and then gradually weaken after peaking during the November - January period. The models are roughly split between those that predict La Nina to remaind weak (3 month average less than -.9 C) and those that predict a stronger episode."

Winter Outlook: Probably Not As Harsh As Last Winter. Last winter was quite severe, with record snowfalls reported from the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes into much of New England and the Mid Atlantic Region. A strong La Nina may have been at least partially responsible, water temperature anomalies 1-2 C colder than average impacting the jet stream, favoring a persistent storm track that favored heavy snow for many northern cities. La Nina is forecast to be weaker this winter season - which COULD translate into lesser snowfall amounts, especially over the Upper Midwest. Wishful thinking? We'll see.

Groesbeck Mayor: Town Will Run Out Of Water In Two Weeks. The situation is increasingly dire across Texas, where many counties are wrestling with a drought even worse than the height of the Dust Bowl in 1936. AP and CBS Houston have the details: "A Central Texas town that the mayor says is two weeks away from running out of water has been given emergency approval to run three miles of pipeline through a state park to draw water from a rock quarry, town and state officials said Tuesday. Groesbeck Mayor Jackie Livingston said the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told town officials at a City Council meeting late Monday they could run the line through Fort Parker State Park. But she said construction on the line would not begin until the written contract is received, which should take less than a week. Towns throughout Texas have been struggling with dwindling reservoirs and water resources as a historic drought parches the state."

Solar Storms May Cause Large-Scale Power Outages, Allianz Says. Bloomberg has the story: "Solar storms may cause large-scale power outages in 2012 to 2013, according to Allianz SE (ALV), Europe’s biggest insurer. “Particularly in the northern hemisphere, space weather events could severely damage high-voltage transformers whose repair can take days or even weeks,” the company said in a report today. Increased use of renewable energy also threatens power- network stability, according to the report. “Companies in Europe and in the U.S. may face severe blackouts more often as grid stability will decrease without substantial investments in power supply infrastructure,” it said. “The existing energy infrastructure is not ready to cope with the rise in renewable energies such as wind or solar power which are volatile supply sources and often produced far from the centers of demand.” (image above courtesy of NASA).

A Thanksgiving Indian Summer. 60 degrees on the 24th day of November? Pretty remarkable. Temperatures were 20 to 25 degrees above average over much of central and southern Minnesota. A record-tying 59 in the Twin Cities, 53 at St. Cloud and 65 at Redwood Falls.

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

TODAYClouds increase, still dry and mild. Mall Alert. Winds: SW 7-12. High: 52

FRIDAY NIGHTMostly cloudy - good travel conditions. Low: 35

SATURDAYOvercast and cooler with light rain changing to wet snow. Wet roads daylight hours. High: 39

SATURDAY NIGHTPeriod of wet snow or flurries. Potential for a slushy coating or inch (more over Wisconsin). Low: 23

SUNDAY1"+ slush early? Slow clearing during the day with a cold wind. High: 34

MONDAY: More sun, less wind. Low: 24. High: 41

TUESDAY: Next Alberta Clipper. Cold wind - few passing flakes. Low: 25. High: 36

WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, wet snow late? Low: 26. High: 39

THURSDAY: Blustery, gradual clearing. Low: 24. High: 38

Forecast: Leftovers

Pinch me. What a pattern. It's like late November (in Tulsa). Yesterday was the warmest Thanksgiving Day since 1939: a record-tying 59 degrees. That's impressive, considering we've lost 6 hours, 21 minutes of daylight since June 21, and the sun was as high in the sky as it was on January 17. It's a little surreal seeing golfers and convertibles on Thanksgiving. 

"What happened to the seasons, Dad?" my youngest son asked. Home for a few days from the Naval Academy, Brett expected to try his hand at snow boarding and a snowmobile adventure or two. Instead: touch football and grilling. Really?

No weather worries today; expect 50s as clouds increase. 

A surge of cold air spins up a Wisconsin storm capable of a rain-snow mix Saturday. Roads will probably stay wet, but 1-2" slush can't be ruled out Saturday night, especially over Wisconsin. The NAM prints out 1-3" snow, but the ECMWF model sweeps any snow rapidly east - it's not nearly as impressive. I doubt we'll see significant snow this weekend; a coating to 1" slush Saturday night gives way to gradual clearing. No big headaches getting home Sunday.

The first real jab of Arctic air may arrive Dec. 6-8. A little payback, right?

The Leaked Climate Science E-Mails, And What They MeanThe Guardian has the story: "Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous."

• Peter Thorne, research scientist, Met Office Hadley Centre, to Phil Jones, UEA, 4 February 2005 (email 1939)

Thorne's email repeatedly criticises the then-current draft of a report for the US Climate Change Science Programme (CCSP, now the Global Change Research Program) for over-simplifying or even dismissing the uncertainty about temperature rises in the atmosphere. This reflects badly on the authors, but also demonstrates that there are climate scientists who are critical of ignoring contradictory evidence and are not afraid to speak their minds."

The Science Of Climate Change. The Voice of America has the story: "Climate negotiators are meeting in Durban, South Africa beginning from November 28-December 9 to discuss the planet's changing climate. The first decade of this century was the hottest on record. Polar ice is melting. Global sea levels are rising. And the vast majority of scientists attribute the changes to greenhouse gases, both natural from water vapor and man-made from burning fossil fuels, that trap heat in the lower atmosphere. "Since roughly the 1850s or so, we've seen an increase globally of about eight-tenths of a degree Celsius, so that's roughly 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit," said Todd Sanford, a climate scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington. "

CLIMATE NEXUS HOT NEWS 11.24.11 Happy Thanksgiving

Economist Ed. Leaked climate-change e-mails, Climategate, part two
Forbes Oped (Mindy Lubber CERES) – IPCC Report Confirms What Businesses Already Know: Extreme Weather & Climate Change Has Economic Impacts
MinnPost Oped (Don Shelby) How will the media handle Climategate Version 2.0?
Daily Climate Oped (Jabraham) Opinion: We are smarter this time around.
ChiTrib Ltr (Madeleine Para) - Huntsman believes in global warming,0,735039.story
Forbes Oped (Wllm. Pentland) The Greatest Hoax in History: Eliot Spitzer, Climategate and the Art of the Email Con
Telegraph – Delingpole column - Climategate 2.0: the not nice and clueless Phil Jones
HuffPo NRDC Schmidt Oped - What Must Global Warming Negotiations in South Africa Accomplish?


CNN –New e-mail leak from UK climate research center

Guardian - Climate scientists defend work in wake of new leak of hacked emails
NYT Dot Earth - You're Driving a Bus Full of Kids With a Curve Ahead<>
Wired - Frigid Months Still to Come in a Warming World
Australian - Scientists's quest for influence in emails


China Daily – (Office of the State Council White Paper) China's Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change
Cape Times - Climate – there’s still time to make a change
Scotsman - Climate change ‘may be good for Scotland’

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