* 57 F. record (warm) low Tuesday morning at KMSP. Old record: 41 F. in 1938.
43 F. average high for March 20.
44 F. high temperature a year ago, March 20, 2011.
15 records in the Twin Cities since March 10. Details below.
7" snow fell on March 20, 1886.
.56" of rain predicted between today and Friday morning (NAM model).
March 29: small chance of a frost in the Twin Cities metro. It's probably the only risk of sub-freezing temperatures looking out the next 2 weeks. No, it's not "safe" to plant annuals yet.
They Lost That Bet: Average Date Of The First 80-Degree Day?
March 16: Las Vegas
April 21: Chicago
May 1: Twin Cities
* Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul have already reached 80 this year. Las Vegas has not. Details below. Photo: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." - Sir Rannulph Fiennes
82 F. in Milwaukee Tuesday. This ties the all time record for highest temperature in March, and is the earliest 80+ temp in March on record! Source: NOAA.
"If the weather wasn't changing over the long term, then each year would have about a 50-50 chance of being warmer than average. It is like tossing a coin. Now imagine that you tossed 35 heads in a row." - Michael Ashley
50% of Americans alive today have never lived through a "below average" year, temperature-wise. Source: census.gov.
Wait, Minneapolis Reaches 80 Before Las Vegas? I can't remember the last time I saw a nugget like this, courtesy of the Las Vegas office of the National Weather Service. It isn't often MSP has warm weather boasting rights. We're enjoying our (fleeting) moment in the sun: "Record setting warmth in the Midwest over the past week has resulted in some rather interesting statistics for warmth. Take a look at how early it has reached 80 degrees this year in Chicago and Minneapolis compared to Las Vegas."
* map above shows a week's worth of records from Ham Weather for just the Upper Midwest. Here's a breakdown:
|Low Max Temp:||57|
|High Min Temp:||627|
Photo credit above: "Thunderstorms announce the coming of spring on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)."
80 – Pittsburgh, PA. Breaks Old Record of 79 set in 1948.
84 – Zanesville, OH. Breaks Old Record of 76 set in 1976.
82 – Morgantown, WV. Breaks Old Record of 79 set in 1984.
73 – DuBois, PA. Ties Old Record of 73 set in 1976.
80 – Wheeling, WV. Breaks Old Record of 69 set in 1952.
82 – New Philadelphia, OH. Breaks Old Record of 73 set in 2003.
Photo credit above: AP/Keith Srakocic.
Farmers Market: What Does Warm Weather In March Mean To Our Gardeners? Some interesting details from The Austin Post Bulletin:
• Climate change will affect crop yields and irrigation demands.
• Water resources will be affected: water supply, quality and competition for water.
• Moderately warmer weather and increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may help some crop growth (up 30 percent in the case of rice, soy and wheat), but with increased temperatures, the grain yield drops 10 percent for every degree Celsius rise above 26ËšC.
• Agricultural areas may suffer erosion from increased wind and water from short term changes in weather.
• The growth of agricultural pests (weeds, insects and pathogens) under climate change is being studied with varying results.
Photo credit above: AP/Bloomington Herald-Times, David Snodgress.
Photo credit above: "Contents are emptied from a home in Huron Farms in Dexter Monday." Annarbor.com.
Photo credit above: "Sierra Gaines, 8, sifts through the remains of her family's mobile home Thursday, March 1, 2012. Gaines was trapped under the rubble when a tornado overturned the trailer Wednesday morning, but escaped with only minor scratches. (AP Photo/Daily American Republic, Paul Davis)."
• Have a designated place to go. The best place is a specially built storm shelter. Next best solution is in a central room (like a bathroom or a closet) in the basement. If you don’t have a basement, the next best place is a central room in the lowest level of the house. Avoid windows, and try to have as many walls between you and the tornado as possible!
• If you locate in a bathroom, get in the bathtub and throw cushions on top of you. Out of the many tornado ravaged areas I visited, the bathtub was always the last thing standing.
• Put together an emergency supply kit, including items such as a battery operated weather radio, flashlight, batteries, first aid items, and bottled water. Keep it in a place you can easily grab it (preferably your designated shelter). Make sure cell phones are fully charged.
• If you have a whistle, have it on you. If you end up being trapped in debris, a whistle could let others know you are alive and need assistance.
Photo Credit Above: "The plume from a lateral blast at Pinatubo in the Philippines seen on June 15, 1991. The eruption may have helped stifle hurricane activity in the Atlantic for three years afterwards." Photo: USGS, Wired.
John's Weather Forecasting Stone. Hey, don't knock it. It probably works pretty well. Photo: Rene0101, ifunny.mobi.
Paul's Star Tribune Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
"We have to shift our emphasis from economic efficiency and materialism towards a sustainable quality of life and to healing of our society, of our people and our ecological systems." - Hanet Holmes a Court
Tornado Frequency In 2012: Global Warming, Climate Change To Blame? A few surprising answers from The International Business Times: "Does global warming lead to an increase in deadly twisters? "No," says the SPC in a statement on the FAQ section of their website. "Thunderstorms do. The harder question may be, 'Will climate change influence tornado occurrence?' The best answer is: We don't know." They go on to explain that since tornadoes are so small and quick, it's hard to make broad assumptions about what causes their frequency. There are disagreements among researchers. Weather is complicated; warmer global temperatures can lead to a myriad of consequences. As Reuters explained, "The scientific challenge is this: the two conditions necessary to spawn a twister are expected to be affected in opposite ways. A warmer climate will likely boost the intensity of thunderstorms but could dampen wind shear, the increase of wind speed at higher altitudes."
Photo credit above: Reuters/Rebecca Cook. "Katie Clifford carries her son as she looks at her home destroyed by a tornado in Dexter, Michigan, March 16, 2012."
UM Study Finds Increase In Global Warming Belief. The story from Michigan Radio: "The number of Americans who believe in global warming is once again on the rise, moving from 58 percent in 2010 to 62 percent last year. That's according to survey results released last month by U of M's Ford School of Public Policy. The survey, conducted in conjunction with the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion and published by the Brookings Institute, shows that a higher percentage of Americans accepted the science of climate change in 2011 than anytime since the fall of 2009. A University of Michigan press release says that the survey has been conducted for the past four years and until this year's results, researchers had seen a consistent drop in belief starting from a high of 72 percent in fall 2008."
Confidence In Climate Data: Using 3 Million Year Old Records. An interesting story from USGS: "Scientists are looking at what climate conditions were like 3.3 to 3 million years ago, during a geologic period known as the Pliocene, and they are confident in the accuracy of their data. The Pliocene is the most recent period of sustained global warmth similar to what is projected for the 21st century. Climate during this time period offers one of the closest analogs to estimate future climate conditions. "The litmus test of whether a climate model has any predictive power to tell us what future conditions might be on planet Earth in response to both natural and human climate drivers is the ability of that model to accurately predict past climate conditions as preserved in the geologic record," explained U.S. Geological Survey director Marcia McNutt. "Finally we have a paleoclimate dataset against which to test models with accuracy comparable to the accuracy that we need in the models for future planning and decision making." Image above: Wikipedia.