39 F. average high for March 12.
31 F. high temperature 1 year ago, March 12, 2011.
66 F. record high for today at KMSP (2007)
.28" rain fell yesterday in the metro area.
3 days already at or above 60 in the Twin Cities this month.
12-14 days above 60? In March? Model guidance from the GFS (Global Forecast System) and ECMWF (European) models are suggesting almost 2 straight weeks above 60, maybe 3-5 days above 70, more typical of mid-May than mid-March. We may see a handful of 50-degree days - nothing I would call a "cold front" through the end of March.
3-5 days above 70 in March...in the Twin Cities? I'm checking to see if that has ever happened in March.
3 Only 3 days at or above 50 during March of 2011.
* Gardeners Beware: although I don't see any sub-freezing temperatures until March 28 (at the earliest) the odds of going through the rest of spring with no more freezing weather is less than 1 in 3. I address this specifically below.
62 F. record high at Bangor, Maine Monday.
63 F. record at Burlington, Vermont.
65 F. high at Islip, New York.
68 F. high at Syracuse, New York.
69 F. high at Buffalo, New York yesterday, a record.
69 F. record high at Albany, New York.
69 F. high at LaGuardia Airport, in New York City.
71 F. high in Boston Monday, a new all-time record for March 12.
71 F. high in New York City (Central Park), another record.
72 F. high at Providence.
73 F. high at Newark, New Jersey.
74 F. high at Hartford, Connecticut.
2000: 5 days in the 60s and 70s during the first half of March.
1968: 60+ temperatures for 9 days, from March 21 to March 29.
1872: 9 days of 60+ warmth. Source: Pete Boulay. Minnesota Climatology Working Group.
* there's a good chance we're about to experience the most significant March warmth in 12 years, possibly the warmest March since modern-day records were first kept in 1891.
** photos of a bumper crop of crocus and daffodils courtesy of Joan Kruhoeffer, in Lancaster, PA.
Photo credit above: "The planets Venus (top left), Jupiter (top right) and the crescent moon were captured in this photo from Dec. 1, 2008. (Bullit Marquez/Associated Press)."
No. 6: Minneapolis
Snowfall, in inches, 2011–12 (departure from normal): 17 (-11)
Heating degrees below average: -843
What Just Happened? The core of the jet stream should be howling above Iowa in mid-March. Instead it's about 600-700 miles farther north, flowing above central Manitoba, keeping the coldest cold fronts well north of the U.S. border. A strongly positive AO (Arctic Oscillation) - a signal we've seen most of the winter - will continue to mean unusually strong westerly winds from the Pacific, any bitter air dammed up well to our north. The NAM 84 hour temperature outlook (above) shows unseasonable, May-like warmth building through the end of the week.
No Real Cold Fronts In Sight. Our on-again, off-again storm is on again; the GFS model showing well over 1" rain around March 21-22, as a slow-moving cool front pushes eastward across the state. Ahead of the front: 70s early next week, behind the front we may see a day or two of 50s or low 60s toward the end of next week. My kind of cold front.
Photo credit above: "
"Ask Paul". Weather-related Q&A.
"I am wondering if this is truly it for winter? I have spring bulbs pushing up, I am eager to uncover the mulch around them and to uncover the perennial beds... is it safe to do so?"
I asked Chanhassen Master Gardener Tricia Frostad, and here was her response:
"Remove winter mulch in late winte or early spring when you observe new growth under the mulch. If you see mold developing on the plants, it's time to pull back the mulch. Remember that winter mulch protects plants from sudden temperature changes, so it's best to acclimate your plants by pulling the mulch off gradually over a period of days. This allows light and air to reach the new growth slowly, eliminating the chance of shock to your plants. Do keep some of the mulch handy, just in case frost is predicted and you need to protect the tender new growth."
* Tricia adds that she's not removing all the mulch from her garden yet, because "I don't seriously trust that it's over yet." Neither do I, for the record. I'd be shocked if we don't see another night or more below freezing for the rest of spring. That would be truly unprecedented.
For Paul Douglas
"Does your weather/climate change research indicate any possible correlation between our out-of-season warm days and the recent solar flares?"
"There could be an indirect effect on cloud nucleation. Perhaps these storms (on the surface of the sun) are deflecting cosmic rays, which could, in theory, reduce cloud coverage because cosmic rays nucleate clouds."
"Saw something very interesting the evening of Mar 10. We were at our cabin in Burnett County WI and around 10 or 11 pm I was outside on the deck enjoying a vibrant view of the night sky, looking to the south / east I clearly saw what looked like a beam of light starting at the horizon and moving skyward, like the remains of a jet trail but with sharp lines of a search light. Going back out to look again about a half hour later it was still there and also noticed a moon rise thru the tree tops. An hour later the beam of light was gone and the moon showing all it's colors had moved slightly across the sky.
Can you explain what I had witnessed? Oh, I made my wife come out to verify it wasn't to many "Lienies" and she confirmed the sighting and called it my birthday present."
Morning Injustice. I'm not too indignant about Daylight Saving Time - I kind of like having it brighter, longer into the evening hours. But I keep bumping into people who are TICKED OFF about DST! Here's a post from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet: "Today begins the scam that is daylight saving time with an hour of morning sunlight stolen until this fall. The IEM has previously exposed the time change as a means for business to save money. Today's feature shows the local sunrise time along with the number of days it takes until the sun rises at the same time again later in April. It is just over a month with the process going faster the further north you go. If you look at this plot closely, you may notice the sun rising earlier at Saint Louis than Ames in mid June even though Ames is much further north. The reason for this is simple, but do you know why?"
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
TODAY: Foggy start. Mild sun. Winds: S 8-13. High: 66
TUESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy - more patchy fog late. Low: 50
* long-range models suggest a better chance of showers and T-storms by next Tuesday. Both the GFS and the ECMWF models keep high temperatures consistently in the 60s and 70s through March 27. Amazing.
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belong to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." - Aldo Leopolid, "A Sand County Almanac". Source: quotegarden.com.
* Rethink vital to meet cross-sector, cross-border claims
* Tripling of groundwater use raises reserve fears
* 6th World Water Forum starts in Marseille on Monday
PARIS, March 12 (Reuters) - The world's water supply is being strained by climate change and the growing food, energy and sanitary needs of a fast-growing population, according to a United Nations study that calls for a radical rethink of policies to manage competing claims. "Freshwater is not being used sustainably," UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement. "Accurate information remains disparate, and management is fragmented ... the future is increasingly uncertain and risks are set to deepen."
Santorum Bashes "Pseudo-Religion" Of Global Warming Embraced By Rivals. The story from International Business Times: "Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum sought to distance himself from his GOP opponents Monday with an op-ed tying Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney to "radical environmentalists" sounding the alarm on climate change. In a post on the conservative website Red State, Santorum accused Gingrich and Romney of supporting limits on carbon emissions and thereby buying into a doctrine of "trendy liberal elites." Santorum denied any link between human activity and fluctuating temperatures, pointing to an "absence of conclusive, verifiable scientific evidence." "Global warming is the wrong war for America to fight," Santorum wrote. "While millions of Americans are suffering unemployment, their American dream is being blocked by the government rules Romney and Gingrich advocated."
Photo credit above: "(Photo: REUTERS / Billy Weeks) Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum speaks during a campaign rally at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, March 8, 2012."