35 F. average high for March 2 at KMSP.
17 F. high temperature last year, on March 2, 2011.
10th warmest February on record for Minnesota. Source: Dr. Mark Seeley. Details below.
6 months in a row of warmer than normal temperatures in the Twin Cities.
+6.9 F. February temperatures were nearly 7 degrees warmer than normal in the Twin Cities metro.
81 separate tornadoes on Friday (as of 7 pm yesterday) from Alabama to Ohio. Details below. Photo: AP Photo/The Huntsville Times, Dave Dieter.
196 tornado warnings, 240 severe thunderstorm warnings, 432 severe storm reports as of 7 pm central on Friday (source: Alabama TV meteorologist James Spann).
2 small tornadoes were reported near Stapleton and Greeley, Nebraska on February 29 - the first February tornadoes ever reported in Nebraska. Source: WOWT-TV.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) was closed as of Mar 02 at 04:30 PM EST “Due to FOD ON RWY, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) was closed as of Mar 02 at 04:30 PM EST. The date/time when the airport is expected to reopen is not known.” Tornado debris?
300 million years. The world's oceans are thought to be acidifying faster than any time in the last 300 million years. Full article below.
Last Best Hope For Snow Lovers? I can't stress this enough - if you like snow, and want one more weekend to play in the snow (sledding, snowmobiling, cross country skiing) this weekend is probably your best bet, possibly for the rest of the winter season. Considering long-range guidance brings 40s and 50s into central and southern Minnesota as early as next week - I wouldn't be surprised to see 60 here by mid March - you might want to take advantage of chilly temperatures and excellent snow conditions this weekend. See the raw NOAA data for yourself here.
Chilly Weekend - Hints of April By Tuesday. All the models show a significant warming trend next week; there's a good chance we'll see low 50s by Tuesday afternoon, followed by slightly cooler weather the latter half of next week. No bitter fronts - certainly nothing subzero brewing looking out through March 20 or so.
No Major Storms (of any flavor) Brewing. A very persistent Alberta Clipper, putting down a narrow, 900-mile wide carpet of a couple of inches, may drop an inch of snow today, another coating of flurries on Sunday. That's about it in the snowfall department until further notice. 84 hour NAM snowfall prediction courtesy of NOAA and WeatherCaster.
A Deadly Friday. When I posted this update Friday evening 81 separate tornadoes had touched down from southern Alabama into southern Indiana and southern Ohio - a few of these were probably large, violent, long-lasting EF-3 and EF-4 tornadoes, possibly more than 1/2 mile wide. The latest count from SPC, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center here.
Weather Carnage. Friday was one of the most damaging and deadly days since April 27 of last year. A handful of small towns from southern Illinois and southern Indiana into Kentucky were literally wiped right off the map: "Damage is seen from above the Henryville, Ind., area, Friday, March 2, 2012. Powerful storms stretching from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes in the north wrecked two small towns, killed at least three people and bred anxiety across a wide swath of the country on Friday, in the second deadly tornado outbreak this week. (AP Photo/The Courier-Journal, Michael Clevenger)."
* Indiana Town "Completely Gone" After Tornado Kills At Least 3, Official Says. The Chicago Sun Times has more details on the destruction of Henryville, Indiana here.
** WISH-TV reports that schools in Henryville let out 20 minutes before the tornado struck.
Atmospheric Battering Ram. Weatherbug meteorologist Ben Michalak captured this photo in Indiana during a cross-country drive from Chicago to D.C.
Waiting Out The Storm. In a hurricane you want to get up, as high as possible, at least third or fourth floor of a well-constructed building (if you can't evacuate safely inland). In a hurricane the main concern is not the wind, but the storm surge, a sudden rise in tide levels in a matter of minutes. In a tornado the goal is to get below grade, under ground, to avoid flying debris, which is the biggest cause of death and injury: "Police, rescue workers, and other local media gather in a storm shelter to ride out another threatening storm as it approaches areas already damaged by an earlier tornado on Friday, March. 2, 2012, in Athens, Ala. Powerful storms stretching from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes in the north wrecked two small towns, killed at least three people and bred anxiety across a wide swath of the country on Friday, in the second deadly tornado outbreak this week. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)."
As Good As It's Going To Get For Minnesota Snow Lovers. 16" snow on the ground at International Falls, 10" up at Duluth, 7" St. Cloud and 2" in the Twin Cities. I have a hunch we've peaked in the snowfall department - those amounts will come down (rapidly) next week as highs reach the 40s; 50 possible south of the Twin Cities by Tuesday. Friday highs were close to average for early March, ranging from 28 at Alexandria to 33 in St. Cloud, 35 in the Twin Cities and 37 at Grand Marais.