42 F. afternoon high in the cities.
47 F. average high for March 26 at KMSP.
30 F. high temperature a year ago, on March 26, 2011. We woke up to 16 F, with 4" snow on the ground. Ah, the memories...
+17.2 F. The first 25 days of March are running over 17 F. warmer than average in the metro area.
April 3-5: potential for a major storm, mostly rain - with potentially high winds for the Upper Midwest. Details below.
18 warm weather records so far in March at KMSP.
61 F. warmest nighttime low ever observed in March, recorded on March 19 and 19.
80 F. on March 17; earliest 80-degree reading ever recorded in the Twin Cities. Previous record was 83 on March 23, 1910.
8 days above 70 in the Twin Cities so far this month, breaking the old record of 5 days in 1910. Source: Minnesota Climatology Working Group.
10,000+ daily weather records across the USA since March 1. Source: NOAA.
40 mph wind gusts possible today. Wind Advisory in effect.
.53" rain predicted for Thursday night (NAM model).
3 tropical cyclone landfalls in the U.S. in 2011 (average). Strongest was Hurricane Irene, the first hurricane to make landfall on the U.S. mainland since "Ike" in 2008. Details below.
"A warming tropical Pacific and a cooling tropical Atlantic are leading us to think that the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season will have less activity" than average, meteorologists Philip Klotzbach and William Gray wrote in an online report." - from a KETK-TV story below.
MSP Airport: Avg Temp: 48.6° (+17.2° Above Avg.) (+3.6° Above Warmest March on Record)
Warmest March on Record 45.0° in 1910
STC Airport: Avg Temp: 43.3° (+15.2° Above Avg.) (+0.3° Above Warmest March on Record)
Warmest March on Record 43.0° in 1910
A Very Bad Hair Day. An intensifying storm tracking into northern Minnesota will create a strong pressure gradient today, southwest winds gusting to 45 mph in the metro, as high as 60 mph across the Dakotas. A Red Flag Warning is posted from eastern South Dakota to Denver for a very high fire risk. More from NOAA here.
$20 trillion. A rough estimate of the value of carbon resources (coal, gas and oil) still in the ground in the USA. Experts estimated 80% of this carbon will need to be "stranded" (not mined, drilled or ultimately burned) to prevent a worst-case climate scenario. Details from Think Progress below. Photo: EPA.
Rank Year Final Spring Frost Date
1 1910 April 25
2 1878 April 6
3 1946 May 12
4 2000 April 21
5 2010 May 9
6 1973 May 17
7 1945 May 10
8 1918 April 30
9 1968 May 5
10 1987 April 23
"Using the past as our window to the future, it is apparent that a warm March offers us no obvious indication about when the final spring frost will occur. 139 years of Twin Cities temperature data were reviewed." - Greg Spoden
March Records Since March 10. 18 and counting, although I suspect we may set a few more records (for warm nighttime lows) by Saturday, March 31. Chart above courtesy of the Twin Cities office of the National Weather Service.
PERIOD OF RECORD: 1874 - PRESENT
1) 59.8 2012 THROUGH 3/25 (60.7)
2) 57.5 1910
3) 56.3 1946
4) 54.3 1878
5) 54.0 1938/1921
7) 53.6 2007
8) 53.4 1945
9) 52.9 1907
10) 52.6 1918
* photo above: flickr.
Major Early-April Storm? Here is the April 3 GFS outlook for 12z April 3, showing a very powerful cyclone spinning up over the Upper Midwest, with a potential for heavy rain (ending as wet snow?) and winds topping 50 mph. Image courtesy of NOAA and policlimate.com. I don't believe it, at least not yet. The GFS has been very unreliable lately, latest runs kill the early April storm.
Hundreds Forced To Evacuate Because Of Jefferson County (Colorado) Wildfire. Fire season is coming early this year, because of a lack of significant snow, bright sun and gusty winds. 9news.com has more details: "JEFFERSON COUNTY - Residents are being evacuated to Conifer High School in Jefferson County because of a fire moving north toward Pleasant Park. The fire is burning out of control southeast of Aspen Park and is one of several that broke out on Monday afternoon as high wind gusts swept over the Front Range. Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jacki Kelley says the Lower North Fork Fire is now more than 200 acres and is burning in an area near Conifer on Buffalo Creek Road near Foxton and River roads." Smoke plume on Doppler radar courtesy of NOAA.
"Took a run over the ridge to check out the ice on Burntside Lake. It's very, very rotten on the west end and will probably go out tomorrow with some more wind. The cold is inconsequential. The ice is going out!. I'm planning a canoe trip to Quetico park via the BWCA and Stuart River on Thursday or Friday. Any idea how cold and how much wind to expect up here on the border from Thursday to Monday? I see the Cites gets warm on the weekend but what about us?"
"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time." - Mark Twain
Reality Check. What, you thought we wouldn't see any more cold fronts? Really? Monday was fairly miserable, a little wet snow mixing in with the rain as close to MSP as Lake Elmo and Mora - highs ranged from 33 at Grand Marais to 35 Duluth, 42 at St. Cloud and the Twin Cities and 51 at Redwood Falls.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Wind Advisory. Mild sun, gusty. SW 15-40 (Record high: 75F). High: 72
TUESDAY NIGHT: Still windy, a stray shower (best chance northern MN). Low: 44
Map credit above: "Land surface temperature departures from average from March 8-15. Click on the image for a larger version. Credit: NASA."
Photo credit above: "Extreme weather such as heat waves, heavy downpours and droughts are expected to accompany climate change. Recent research indicates this has begun happening. Credit: Dreamstime."
Photo credit above: "Bicyclist trudging past a stranded taxi on a New York City street flooded by the Tropical Storm Irene. The link between global warming and such storms was studied in the recent Nature: Climate Change paper." AP/Peter Morgan
Biology: Any One Still Doubt Climate Change? Here's an excerpt of an article from The Columbus Dispatch: "Are we there yet? If we haven’t entered a period of human-caused climate change yet, what will it take for us to agree that we have? Maybe events such as the following:
• Almost 1,500 U.S. high-temperature records fell in one week.
• Health-care specialists warn that Chagas’ disease, spread among humans by blood-sucking insects in tropical regions, might spread as temperatures rise in the United States.
• Biologists identify mechanisms by which earlier snow melts decrease populations of a rare Rocky Mountain butterfly.
• Agricultural specialists attribute global changes in crop maturation, for example early ripening of grapes, to increased global temperatures.
$20 Trillion Dollar Carbon Bubble: Interview With John Fullerton, Part 1. Brad Johnson at Think Progress has an eye-opening article about what the ongoing climate denial is all about. There's an estimated $20 trillion worth of coal, gas and oil still in the ground - the legacy energy industry is terrified of additional regulation (related to pollution and CO2 emissions) that might prevent them from digging and drilling and burning the remaining carbon reserves. After all, they answer to shareholders, right? If the major energy industries of the world are prevented from tapping these remaining reserves - share prices and valuations would utlimately tumble. This is why the gloves have come off, with professional deniers and ongoing roadblocks and paralysis in Washington D.C. "John Fullerton, the founder and president of the Capital Institute, sees the global economy facing the possibility of a crash that would dwarf the subprime crisis and the Great Depression. He also envisions a future where the economy is based not on consumption and competition for resources but on personal well-being. An essential finding that drives his work is what he calls the “stranded asset problem.” In an interview with ThinkProgress Green about this big choice, Fullerton explains the extraordinary challenge of the $20 trillion carbon bubble."
* the paper referenced in the story above is here, courtesy of Nature Geoscience.
Op-Ed: "There's No Politics In The Scientific Method". This commentary in The Holland Sentinel struck a chord: "Anyone who has actually worked as a scientist understands that the great success of modern science derives from the peer review process and its essentially adversarial nature. Errors are discovered and corrected by other scientists as they build their own careers, and eventually we arrive at the best possible explanations for natural phenomena. The notion that science is nothing more than a political philosophy is childish at best and dishonest at worst. Unfortunately, climate-change deniers like Goreham have been all too successful at convincing the willfully gullible."