53 F. average high for April 6.
58 F. high temperatures on April 6, 2011.
+13.3 F. The first 5 days of April are running over 13 F. warmer than normal at KMSP.
.04" rain predicted for today (NAM model). Easter Sunday should be a bit sunnier and 1-3 F. milder: low to mid 60s.
16 separate confirmed tornadoes from Tuesday's Texas tornado outbreak. Source: Ft. Worth NWS office. Details below.
Growing Fire Danger. Here is the latest fire threat map, courtesy of the Minnesota DNR. There is now an extreme fire danger over roughly the western half of Minnesota, meaning "the fire situation is explosive and can result in extensive property damage."
A FIRE WEATHER WATCH MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE FORECAST TO OCCUR. LISTEN FOR LATER FORECASTS AND POSSIBLE RED FLAG WARNINGS.
Soil Moisture Still Short, But Improving In Some Places. Here's a snippet from this week's WeatherTalk blog, courtesy of Dr. Mark Seeley: "University of Minnesota Research and Outreach Centers monitor soil moisture conditions for Minnesota's major crops. Last fall's (2011) measurements made it obvious that soil moisture storage was well below normal going into the winter season. For many areas over winter and early spring precipitation has been inadequate to help fully restore soil moisture to near normal levels for the spring. At Lamberton the final measurements from last fall showed 2.95 inches of stored soil moisture in the top 5 feet of the soil profile. Measurements made earlier this week showed that the profile moisture content had only "improved" to 3.09 inches of stored moisture, still roughly 2.5 inches less than average for this time of year. Further much of this moisture lies well below 3 feet and is out of the reach of crop rooting systems early in the growing season. So additional spring rains in April and early May are needed to recharge the upper layers of the soil for good germination and early development of corn and soybean crops."
* The latest U.S. Drought Monitor, zoomed in on Minnesota, is here - courtesy of NOAA.
"Tornado Alert": rotation on Doppler radar - conditions ripe for a tornado to form. Stay alert and stay tuned to (multiple) different forms of media to monitor the situation. Be ready to move to a place of safety.
"Tornado Emergency": More emphasis than a garden-variety "Tornado Warning", an "Emergency" would only be issued for a confirmed tornado on the ground, based on SKYWARN spotters, law enforcement, or dual-polarization Doppler detecting a "debris ball", the actual signature of a tornado on the ground. Word the warnings to warn of "catastrophic damage" and "an immediate threat to life and property" to instill a sense of imminent danger to the public.
It's just a thought. The problem: most tornado warnings are "rotation-based", and more than 70% prove to be false alarms. That breeds apathy and cynicism. "They're always issuing warnings - we never see anything." That mindset can prove deadly when a real tornado does touch down, and people in the path don't take the warnings seriously.
Photo credit above: "Friends and family of homeowner Brad Smith help salvage what they can from Smith's destroyed kitchen , Wednesday, April 4, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. Preliminary findings indicate one of the tornadoes that struck North Texas had wind gusts ranging from 136 to 165 mph. As many as a dozen twisters touched down across Dallas-Fort Worth. Thousands remained without power Wednesday and hundreds of homes were severely damaged. Officials reported more than 20 injuries, but no deaths. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Paul Moseley)."
Photo credit above: "A home totally destroyed by the tornado on Haverford Dr. in west Arlington, Texas on Thursday Apr. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis)."
Graphic credit above: "The 3-D profile reveals heavy precipitation."
Photo credit above: "Flood waters from the nearby Missouri River cover a county highway, Wednesday, June 15, 2011, in Hamburg, Iowa. The water level continues to rise and officials say that it should crest sometime later this week. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)."
Q: How does a new product come about at Apple?
A: What I love about the creative process, and this may sound naive, but it is this idea that one day there is no idea, and no solution, but then the next day there is an idea. I find that incredibly exciting and conceptually actually remarkable.
The nature of having ideas and creativity is incredibly inspiring. There is an idea which is solitary, fragile and tentative and doesn’t have form.
What we’ve found here is that it then becomes a conversation, although remains very fragile.
When you see the most dramatic shift is when you transition from an abstract idea to a slightly more material conversation. But when you made a 3D model, however crude, you bring form to a nebulous idea, and everything changes - the entire process shifts. It galvanises and brings focus from a broad group of people. It’s a remarkable process.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
It's payback time.
Photo credit above: "In this Sept. 13, 2011 file photo, smoke rises from a fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. The U.S. Forest Service currently expects 76 campsites will still be closed because of safety concerns when the 2012 season opens in a popular part of the area that was blackened by the huge forest fire. (AP Photo/The Duluth News-Tribune, Clint Austin, File)."
"TRENBERTH: Spring has been moving up. It has been generally the case, but - this year especially so. And the tornado season seems to have moved up as well.
CONAN: And that means there are going to be more of these storms, no?
TRENBERTH: Well, you know, tornadoes vary quite a lot from year to year, and they depend on other factors, as to whether the jet stream is in just the right location and certainly the warm moist air coming out of the Gulf. And, you know, that's part of the climate change aspect, is that the air coming out of the Gulf is a bit warmer and moister. And so it helps to invigorate the thunderstorms that host these tornadoes. So that is one factor that's underplayed, but there is a lot of variability, of course, from year to year."
Photo credit above: "Changed patterns of deep sea circulation resulted in less sea ice around Antarctica at the end of the last ice age, part of a broader process that led to an influx of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This photo shows Antarctic sea ice today. Alister Doyle/REUTERS/File."
Photo credit above: "Prof Jim Hansen: 'We’re handing future generations a climate system which is potentially out of their control'. Photograph: Melanie Patterson/AP."
Photo credit above: "Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe delivers her Faith Based Response to Climate Change talk to students and faculty during chapel at Hardin-Simmons University Tuesday, April 3, 2012, in Abilene, Texas. (AP Photo, Abilene Reporter-News/Nellie Doneva)."
Video credit above: "Spring" in Moscow (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich).
Photo credit above: Scott Gries/PictureGroup.
Photo credit above: "US President Barack Obama delivers remarks urging Congress to vote on the 'Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act', as supporters look on, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington D.C. (Michael Reynolds / EPA / March 29, 2012)."