35 F. normal high for March 3.
32 F. high temperature a year ago, March 3, 2011.
69 F. predicted high temperature in the Twin Cities on March 18 (GFS)
2" snow on the ground in the metro area.
9" snow on the ground a year ago in the Twin Cities, on March 3, 2011
8.2" snow fell during March, 2011. Average March snowfall at KMSP is 10.4" (no longer snowiest month of the year). Now January has that distinction.
2:32. Today the sun will be out 2 hours and 32 minutes longer than it was back on December 21.
11 hours, 18 minutes of daylight today.
6:46 am sunrise in the Twin Cities. Sunset is 6:04 pm.
October 8. Today the sun overhead will be as high in the sky as it was on October 8.
791 separate reports of severe weather Friday (hail, straight-line winds and tornadoes).
38 tornado-related fatalities from Friday's storms. 19 in Kentucky, 14 Indiana, 1 each in Alabama and Georgia. Source: AP.
“The Henryville, Indiana tornado (Clark County) rated an EF-4 Major Tornado – just spoke with the NWS office in Louisville. The damage surveys for other areas including Chelsea and Marysville will be tomorrow.” - Chikage Windler
99 Federal Disasters declared in 2011, a new USA record.
"Public discourse has been polluted now for decades by corporate-funded disinformation – not just with climate change but with a host of health, environmental and societal threats. The implications for the planet are grim." - climate scientist Michael Mann, in a Guardian story below.
"A warming climate will only add to this trend of increasing losses, which is why action is needed now," said Mark Way, head of Swiss Re's sustainability and climate change activities in the Americas, who spoke at yesterday's press conference". - from a Huffington Post article below.
2011-2012: New York's Second Warmest Winter In History; Warmest February Ever. The Huffington Post has more specifics: "Yup, it's official: February was the warmest New York February since people started keeping track back in 1870. At a balmy average of 40.9 degrees, this February ties the 1984 record and caps off a remarkably warm three months, the "second warmest climatological winter on record, trailing only 2001-02," according to Gothamist. By contrast, the coldest February occurred in 1934, when temperatures averaged only 19.9 degrees, a staggering 21 degree difference."
324 months in a row. February was the 324th consecutive month of global temperatures above the 20th century average. Source: NOAA NCDC.
Eerily Similar. Check out the remarkable similarities between the tornado warnings (red) and severe storm warnings (blue) from Friday's outbreak with the deadly outbreak on April 27-28, 2011. I keep saying that Friday's outbreak was more typical for late April, and this comparison seems to prove that claim. Graphic courtesy of SPC.
2012 (229) * 2011 (1709) 2010 (1282)
Tornado Nation. America experiences more tornadoes than any other nation on Earth. Why? It's a function of our geography. The same features that make our nation spectacularly beautiful can result in extreme contrasts in temperature and moisture. Throw in an unstable airmass and high winds howling high overhead, and you can brew up the atmospheric ingredients necessary for tornadoes. The Storm Prediction Center maps above show locations of tornado touchdowns for 2010, 2011 and 2012 (as of February 29). The map in the upper left does not reflect Friday's major outbreak. According to SPC the 3-year average for tornado touchdowns in the USA is 1382; the long-term average is closer to 1,000 tornadoes/year. Are we really seeing more tornadoes, or doing a better job of spotting the tornadoes that have always been there. Or both? There is some controversy in the meteorological community, but my perception is that, even though we have new and better tools to spot and track tornadoes (including Dual Polarization Doppler and well-trained storm spotters and chasers) something else is going on - that we may be, in fact, experiencing an uptick in tornadoes.
* preliminary number.
Couple of Feeble Clippers. The pattern isn't ripe for accumulating snow anytime soon (looking out 2 weeks). A weak clipper may squeeze out a dusting or coating of flurries today in the metro, a better chance of a quick inch, maybe 2", over southwestern Minnesota.
February: What Happened To "Normal". The normal high/low range is the green-shaded area above. As you can see, February temperatures were consistently warmer than average in the Twin Cities. Only 5 nights saw lows colder than average. More from the local office of the National Weather Service: "February of 2012 continued one trend that has been in place since this past summer and that is continued above normal temperatures. As with December and January, February featured yet another month this winter where the entire area saw temperatures between 4 and 8 degrees above normal. One trend that did end (in February) was that of experiencing below normal precipitation. A very wet storm at the end of the month saw most locations nearly double the normal precipitation observed in February in just 2 days. However, much of the precipitation that did fall (last) month came in the form of rain, which resulted in February having below normal snowfall for all but northern sections of the Chanhassen forecast area (central MN and northwest WI). February marked the first time since July that the Twin Cities had above normal precipitation for a month.
Outlook: Rapid Meltdown. If you like snow (and who among us doesn't?) get out and take a few photos - it'll be pretty much gone by next Tuesday as highs surge into the 40s to near 50. Nothing approximating a "cold front" in sight.
- Build a TV set that is much cooler and easier to use than anything else out there
- Charge twice as much for it
- Assemble a "virtual cable company" with boatloads of great content by cutting deals with content providers
Taking The Long View: How Amazon's Jeff Bezos Owes Much Of His Success To His Ability To Look Beyond The Short-Term View Of Things. A fascinating article from The Economist: "INSIDE a remote mountain in Texas, a gargantuan clock is being pieced together, capable of telling the time for the next 10,000 years. Once the clock is finished, people willing to make the difficult trek will be able to visit the vast chamber housing it, along with displays marking various anniversaries of its operation. On a website set up to track the progress of this “10,000-year clock”, Jeff Bezos, who has invested $42m of his own money in the project, describes this impressive feat of engineering as “an icon for long-term thinking”. Photo above courtesy of zimbio.com.
* photo above is from Boca Grande, where we rented a place at vrbo.com (where I have never been disappointed). It must be nice to actually own a place in Florida, but not having to worry about renters, taxes, insurance (and hurricanes) counts for something.No, the sun hasn't gone to my head - the weather blog isn't mutating into a tired travelogue. My wife and I set out to find two quiet (sane), relatively affordable and undiscovered areas of Florida that might appeal to us. Is there a "perfect spot" left in Florida that hasn't been overdeveloped or condominium-ized? My (highly subjective) conclusion: Seaside and the Florida Panhandle was more interesting - more stuff to do and see, but Boca Grande was more relaxing, more isolated and private. Sarasota was nearby (if you wanted to brave traffic and explore shopping and night life), but I can't imagine a better Florida retreat. If you really want to get off the grid and sink your toes into hot, white (perfect) sugar sand for a few days you might want to check out "Boca" one of these days. You won't regret it. And no, I don't get a spiff from the Chamber of Commerce. I should be so lucky...
Shocking News: A Cooler-Than-Average Day. Those clouds and flurries kept temperatures a few degrees cooler than average across most of Minnesota, Saturday highs ranging from 16 at Alexandria to 25 St. Cloud, 27 in the Twin Cities and 29 at Eau Clairie. It was only the third day of below average temperatures at MSP since February 11. Just over half an inch of snow fell in the Twin Cities; 7" reported on the ground at St. Cloud.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Mostly cloudy with flurries. 1"+ southwest MN. Winds: N 7-12. High: near 30
SUNDAY NIGHT: Flurries taper, seasonably chilly. Low: 18