24 F. average high for January 20.
9 F. high temperature one year ago, on January 20, 2011.
1.1" snow fell at MSP International Airport Friday.
2.2" snow so far in January, 2012
10.8" had fallen as of January 20, 2011.
.13" liquid precipitation predicted for Sunday (NAM). With surface temperatures close to 30 F. and a snow/rain ratio closer to 10/1 that may translate into an inch of slush Sunday PM hours.
500+ traffic accidents across Minnesota Friday, mostly minor fender-benders.
-53 F. wind chill at Grand Marais Thursday morning.
6 Minnesota towns saw -26 F. Thursday morning, coldest in the USA. -27 reported at Cook Friday morning.
7.1" snow at Waterloo, Iowa Friday, a new 24 hour snowfall record.
7.1" snow at Midway Airport in Chicago as of 7:35 pm Friday. Source: Tom Skilling, WGN-TV.
2011: 35th year in a row of warmer than average temperatures, worldwide. Source: NOAA.
2011: average global temperature was 57.9 F. That's .9 F warmer than average. Last year was the 11th warmest year on record, in spite of a moderate La Nina cooling phase of the Pacific, warmer than any year of the 20th century, except for 1998. Source: NOAA.
27% of U.S. TV meteorologists think global warming is a "scam".
"The issue of climate change denial among television weather reporters has gained increasing attention of late, especially with the release of a national study by George Mason University in March 2010. The study found that 63% of T.V. meteorologists think climate change is due to natural causes, and a full 27% think global warming is a scam."
- from a post below about ongoing climate change denial among some TV meteorologists around the USA.
"We've got the most prosperous culture in human history and we've also got the biggest spiritual hole in human history." - Mark Victor Hansen
L.A. Paper Calls Seattle "Snow Wimps" As SoCal Warns About 1/3" Rain. The "Partly to Mostly Cloudy Blog" at KOMOnews.com has news of a meteorological smack-down: "There is a saying about people in glass houses... Amidst one of the worst winter storms to strike the greater Seattle area in decades, the Los Angeles Times put out a blog chastising Seattle citizens' reaction to snow, with this actual headline: "Snow wimps: Seattle is shut down by first real snow of the season." Yes, you read that correctly. Los Angeles. Which has about as much authority in chastising Seattle about snow reaction as it does about the state of our National Football League franchise."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
SATURDAY NIGHT: Clouds increase, not as cold. Low: 19
* I'm not advocating a meteorological witch-hunt, but there needs to be some accountability when it comes to scientific inaccuracies and half-truths. Local TV meteorologists, like it or not, are the local science authorities in their markets, and should be accurately representing the state of science, including climate science. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation. I know (and respect) many of the people quoted for the Think Progress story above. They're at the top of their game, some of the best meteorologists in the nation, specializing in weather prediction looking out days, even weeks.
But when it comes to the long (long) range outlook (years and decades) I defer to climate scientists, 97.4% of whom have produced convincing, compelling scientific evidence that a). the atmosphere is warming, and b). much of that warming is probably tied to a nearly 40% increase in greenhouse gases. Actions have consequences. Why is that such a hard concept for some people to grasp? It's far easier to ignore the topic (because it makes some people uncomfortable), or believe in conspiracy theories ("Al Gore is getting rich off this, those money-grubbing climate scientists are just in it for the money, the grants!"). Yes, because I've seen so many climate scientists driving shiny new Porsches and Ferraris to their beachside villas. Of course.
Look, these TV meteorologists aren't bad people, they're not evil. Confused...misguided? Maybe. I was skeptical in the late 80s when Dr. James Hansen was testifying before Congress about this issue. But during the 1990s I began to see noticeable changes, shifts in the weather patterns I was tracking here in Minnesota. Something had changed, the patterns had shifted - and climate change was the most likely explanation. It was no overnight epiphany, and it had nothing to do with Al Gore. I don't pretend to have the answers, but when it comes to the climate, I defer to the experts, the PhD specialists who've been studying this subject their entire careers. It's sad that climate change has become a political football, an ideological litmus test ("you can't be a good conservative if you believe what the climate scientists are saying.") Really?
People can change, and faced with a growing mountain of evidence, I suspect many professional TV meteorologists will gradually change their minds in the coming years and realize that the climate scientists are probably correct. That's my long-range forecast.
Global Warming And Severe Weather: Is There A Link? The story from Huffington Post: "The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that:
- the number of severe weather events in the United States costing a minimum of $1 billion increased from about 1.2 per year in the early 1980s to about 5 in the 2000s, and
- 2011 saw a record high of 14 such events.