38 F. average high for March 9 at KMSP.
36 F. high temperature one year ago, on March 9, 2011.
8.2 mph: average wind speed in the Twin Cities yesterday. Peak gust of 24 mph.
45% average relative humidity on Friday.
December 3: last day we had a true, "plowable" snowfall in the Twin Cities. 4.2" fell on MSP that day.
72 F. predicted high for next Friday.
May 26. 72 F. is the average high for May 26 in the Twin Cities. If you're a). curious, or b). bored out of your mind...check out the May Climate Calendar for yourself, courtesy of The Minnesota Climatology Working Group.
Daylight Saving Time. Don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour before turning in tonight. Yes, we lose a precious hour of sleep, but now it'll stay light up until at least 7:30 pm or so. While you're at it...
Check Your Batteries. I know it's cliche, but you never know when the Boy Scout motto of "Be Prepared" will save your life. This is a good opportunity to check the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors.
Like Turning On A Light Switch. So much for easing into spring this year. From wind chills in the upper teens and low 20s on Friday to a high near 60 today; 70 looks even more likely by Friday of next week. A 35 degree temperature bump in one week? Welcome to Minnesota. Graphic courtesy of Iowa State University.
The ECMWF Was Right. O.K. We haven't hit 70...yet, but it's looking more probable that we'll at least come close by the end of next week - typical weather for mid-May. A few days ago the European ECMWF was hinting at 70. I shared this in the blog, and a few people thought I had gone mad (quite plausible). But with no snow left on the ground the sun's radiation can go into heating up the air instead of melting snow. If you don't have spring fever yet...you will. Shortly.
"The patient's running a slight fever: rash-like temperature spikes and violent tornado-sneezes are are symptoms, perhaps, of a larger condition? We'll see." - from my column, details below.
"Last November nearly four in ten people interviewed by pollsters from Yale University said they had experienced climate change firsthand; possibly a sign, says Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, that the public has begun to see global warming as a problem here and now—not one awaiting action by future generations." “The most important thing for people to understand is that the planet has only warmed a little over 1 degree Fahrenheit in recent years,” Romm says. “We are on a path to warm five to 10 times that much this century. So if people think we’ve seen extreme weather, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” - information and quotes above courtesy of emagazine.com.
Photo credit above: Kent Nickell.
Photo credit above: "Warning signs at Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota, Feb. 16, 2012. The nation's unusually warm winter is causing officials in Lake Minnetonka, and other spots nationwide to cancel programs and impose bans on ice fishing. (Allen Brisson-Smith/The New York Times)."
Photo credit above: "The first edible plant to turn up on a foraging tour in early March was a surprise. Poor man's pepper doesn't typically show up this early in the year. Tour guide Steve Brill has seen the start of spring creep up by roughly three weeks in his 30 years leading tours in the New York area. Photo: Wynne Parry."
Going...Going...Soon To Be Gone. Get out this weekend if you have any hopes of hitting the trails; still plenty of snow over parts of northern Minnesota, especially the Arrowhead and North Shore, anywhere from 16-30" in a few spots. But there's precious little snow south of the Twin Cities. Data from NOAA.
Tournament Puddles? Not very dramatic, but your Monday morning commute may be slowed by rain. Models show anywhere from .15 to .35" of rain showers. The best chance of puddles: Monday morning - drying out later in the day.
Monday Blahs. The WRF forecast valid 12z Monday morning shows a storm centered over Minnesota, the rain-snow line pushed into southern Canada. A band of showery rains should stretch from the Twin Cities to Chicago and Detroit. Another (stronger) area of low pressure will lash Seattle and Portland with windswept rain.
Photo credit above: "Denise Isaac, from left, WSCV-Ch.51; Paola Elorza, Univision 23; Lissette Gonzalez; WFOR-Ch.4; Scott Padgett, WPLG-Ch. 10; Julie Durda, WSVN-Ch.7. (Jim Rassol, Sun Sentinel)."
Paul's Links. Favorite, bookmark-worthy web links:
1). NOAA Experimental Watches/Warnings. Here's another way to visualize rough weather around the USA, on a Google-map. More details from NOAA:
2). Midwestern Winter Road Conditions. Come to think of it - we may not be needing this anytime soon. Then again, accumulating snow is possible into late April. Thanks to the University of Wisconsin meteorology department (one of the best in the USA) for sharing this link.
3). NOAA Graphics. This is why so many private weather companies are upset with NOAA - they do a very good job creating the kinds of maps that private industry was generating (for a fee) for so many years. I don't happen to share that sentiment - I believe there are always (new/innovative) ways to add value and go beyond what NOAA is doing, but you have to give them credit. There is a wealth of free text and graphical data available to American consumers. This display allows you to click on a specific region, or drill down to state-level, and see predicted values of various weather parameters.
$1 Billion Of TSA Nude Body Scanners Made Worthless By Blog - How Anyone Can Get Anything Past The Scanners. I thought long and hard about including this in my daily blog. Do I really want to reveal any secrets to various, assorted bad guys, and then I realized that it's already "out there". This was from an e-mail I received from an aviation web site that featured it as its top headline, so I'm not divulging any state secrets that aren't already circulating around the 'net. My hope is that TSA plugs up any chinks in the armor, and quickly. More details (and a video) from the web site, TSA Out Of Our Pants (yes, really): "This video is here to demonstrate that the TSA’s insistence that the nude body scanner program is effective and necessary is nothing but a fraud, just like their claims that the program is safe (radiation what?) and non-invasive (nude pictures who?). The scanners are now effectively worthless, as anyone can beat them with virtually no effort. The TSA has been provided this video in advance of it being made public to give them an opportunity to turn off the scanners and revert to the metal detectors. I personally believe they now have no choice but to turn them off. Please share this video with your family, friends, and most importantly, elected officials in federal government. Make sure they understand that your vote is contingent on them fixing the abuse that 200,000 passengers face from the TSA on a daily basis."
Photo credit above: Luke Aikins, Red Bull.
Friday Chill: Last Day Of Wind Chill This "Winter"? O.K. As far as the atmosphere is concerned it's no longer winter. Meteorological winter, marking the 90 coldest days of the year, on average, ended back on March 1. Our days of heavy jackets are numbered, it seems. Highs yesterday ranged from 26 at Duluth to 29 in St. Cloud, 34 in the Twin Cities and 35 at Redwood Falls. Folks up at International Falls (where 13" of snow is on the ground) woke up to a brisk -14 F.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Photo credit above: "At the St. Patrick's Day Parade,Raina Belleau,18, plays the bagpipes before the parade. She has been playing for four years and used to play with the Minnesota Police Pipe Band. Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatar, Star Tribune. File photo from 2007."
"Economic advance is not the same thing as human progress." - John Clapham, "A Concise Economic History of Britain, 1957.
Controversy Over Possible Link Between Climate Change And (Apparent) Spike In Tornadoes? I found this entry interesting, from tornado research veteran and prolific storm chaser Chuck Doswell. He believes the atmosphere is, in fact, warming, but doesn't see a direct link between a warmer, wetter atmosphere and tornadogenesis. Here is an excerpt of his post at Chuck's Chatter: "Amidst all the swirling controversy regarding anthropogenic global warming (AGW), a subplot has arisen that involves me rather more directly than most of the science regarding global climate change. In particular, some climate scientists (among them is Dr. Kevin Trenberth) have been making what I believe to be highly speculative claims about the climatology of severe weather in a world affected by AGW. The essence of the situation is that Trenberth has been claiming in various media that there will be more tornadoes in an AGW-influenced future, and that the "tornado season" will start earlier and be more violent than ever. In my studies of severe convection and tornadoes, I have not been willing to make any statement regarding the potential impact of AGW on the occurrence frequency of tornadoes. Why so cautious?"
Photo credit above: "Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, center, helps with post-tornado cleanup, Friday, March 9, 2012, in Moscow, Ohio. About 35 Bengals office personnel and a few players volunteered to help at the town that was heavily damaged last Friday by a tornado. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)."
Photo credit above: "A layer of cryoconite, dust which absorbs solar radiation, melting the snow, at the bottom of a Greenland Ice Sheet channel, July 2009. Credit: James Balog/Extreme Ice Survey. "
Inhofe: God Says Global Warming Is A Hoax. Not sure what to say to this. The article from Think Progress: "In a radio interview with Voice of Christian Youth America, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) argued that his belief that global warming is a hoax is biblically inspired. Promoting his book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, Inhofe told interviewer Vic Eliason on Wednesday that only God can change the climate, and the idea that manmade pollution could affect the seasons is “arrogance“: "Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous."
* Apparently Senator Inhofe is as adept at cherry-picking scripture as he is cherry-picking science....
"Man has been appointed as a steward for the management of God's property, and ultimately he will give account for his stewardship." - Luke
Photo credit above: .
Concern Over Greenland Warming. The story from The Oman Observer: "The Greenland ice sheet is more sensitive to global warming than thought, for just a relatively small — but very long term — temperature rise would melt it completely, according to a study published. Previous research has suggested it would need warming of at least 3.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, in a range of 1.9-5.1 C, to totally melt the ice sheet. But new estimates, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, put the threshold at 1.6 C, in a range of 0.8-3.2 C, although this would have to be sustained for tens of thousands of years. Greenland is second to Antarctica as the biggest source of locked-up water on land. If it melted completely, this would drive up sea levels by 7.2 metres, swamping deltas and low-lying islands."