55 F. average high for April 10.
76 F. high temperature on April 10, 2011.
Hard freeze likely this morning, even in the close-in suburbs.
25 states east of the Rockies experienced their warmest March on record.
15 additional states: March was in the Top 10 Warmest List.
Warming Trend. As you scrape the frost off your windshield, daffodils and favorite pet keep in mind that we'll probably hit 60 tomorrow, again Friday and Saturday - followed by a cooling trend the first half of next week.
"It blew the doors off any existing records," Carbin said. "I think everybody is quite shocked at how warm a month March was across the continental U.S." - from a Yahoo News story; details below.
"Every state in the nation experienced at least one record warm daily temperature during March. According to preliminary data, there were 15,272 warm temperature records broken (7,755 daytime records, 7,517 nighttime records). Hundreds of locations across the country broke their all-time March records. There were 21 instances of the nighttime temperatures being as warm, or warmer, than the existing record daytime temperature for a given date." - Twin Cities NWS office, details below.
82 million metric tons of carbon dioxide was pumped into the atmosphere in 2010, worldwide - a new record.
"The researchers estimated that greater summer temperature variability, a predicted consequence of climate change, is causing 10,000 additional deaths per year in the United States, a figure that is likely to rise along with the mercury." - from a story at boston.com; details below.
"The researchers found that long-term warming resulted in loss of native species and encroachment of species typical of warmer environments, pushing the plant community toward less productive species. - from a story at cattlenetwork.com.
U.S. Records Warmest March; More Than 15,000 Records. Here's an amazing post from the local Twin Cities NWS: "Record and near-record breaking temperatures dominated the eastern two-thirds of the nation and contributed to the warmest March on record for the contiguous United States, a record that dates back to 1895. More than 15,000 warm temperature records were broken during the month. The average temperature of 51.1 F. was 8.6 degrees above the 20th century average for March and .5 F. warmer than the previous warmest March in 1910. Of the more than 1,400 months (117+ years) that have passed since the U.S. climate record began, only one month, January 2006 has seen a larger departure from its average temperature than March 2012."
Second Week of April: 2008 to 2012. Quite a difference from one year to the next. Animation courtesy of the MSP National Weather Service and NASA's MODIS satellite.
April 9: 2007 - 2012. No, spring flooding won't be a problem this year. Map courtesy of NOAA.
Small-Grain Planting. Check out this post from the Twin Cities NWS: "Small grain planting continued at a strong pace aided by warm, dry conditions, according to the USDA, NASS, Minnesota Field Office. For the week ending April 8, spring wheat advanced 22 percentage points to 25 percent planted, compared to 0 percent last year and 1 percent for the five-year average." - Excerpt from Minnesota Ag News/Crop Weather (USDA)
not to be forgotten....dueling weather/climate pieces at network level:
Two Opportunities For Rain. I'm not terribly impressed with the potential for significant rain, maybe a quarter inch late Thursday night into Friday, another .2 to .4" rain late Monday and Tuesday as colder air arrives. We need about 3-7" just to get back up to "normal". That won't happen anytime soon.
Plan B For Friday Activities. I still don't think we'll see a steady, all-day rain on Friday, no wash-outs, but a few showers and T-storms are possible late Thursday into Friday, a stray shower or T-storm may spill over into Saturday. Sunday still appears to be the drier day of the weekend.
One More Frost? Then More 60s. Tuesday I was hassled, in a good-natured way, in downtown Minneapolis. "Where are the 70s Paul!" Man, are we spoiled. The GFS hints at a touch of frost the middle of next week - can't rule out another freeze, especially outlying suburbs, then a run of 60s, maybe some 70s by April 23-24. Yes, this is payback for the warmest March on record.
Photo credit above: "In this July 18, 2011 file photo, Tiffany Carrels, of Lake City, Minn. wipes the sweat from her face with a towel as she sells sweet corn at the side of the road in Northfield, Minn. during the sweltering heat. Workers and residents are contending with highest temperatures of the summer season as a prolonged stretch of hot, humid weather takes hold on the upper midwest region of the United States. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Renee Jones Schneider, File)."
Photo credit above: "The air was thick with black smoke on the East End. (Courtesy Photo: Local Fire Department Personnel)."
A long portion of Interstate 64 has been closed west of Lexington, VA - due to rapidly moving forest fires:
* thanks to James Aman from Earth Networks for passing this along to me.
Combating Tornado Fatigue: A Proposal For "Tornado Alerts" and "Tornado Emergencies". I wrote this article for Huffington Post on Tuesday because of a growing sense of apathy about generic tornado warnings. With Doppler we're seeing tornadic circulations we never saw before; the number of small EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes has spiked, and so have subsequent tornado warnings. In fact every time there's a strongly rotating storm the NWS usually issues a tornado warning, just in case. I get it - nobody wants to hear "there was no warning!" But as a result many people don't take the tornado warnings seriously - they hear the sirens, turn on the TV, look at their phones or iPads, waiting to see if "the threat is real". I wrote an article for the Huffington Post with a humble suggestion: 2 different flavors of tornado warnings: a "Tornado Alert" for rotation-based storms that are ripe to drop a tornado, and "Tornado Emergencies" for CONFIRMED tornadoes on the ground. Here's an excerpt: ".... Be honest. The last time a tornado warning was issued for your neighborhood did you immediately make a run for the basement (or bathtub)? Or did you flip around the TV dial, maybe call up radar on your laptop or an app on your iPad? Did you wander to the window, or check the film in your camera and consider running outside to get that award-winning photo that would catapult you to instant fame (if not fortune?) It's a real problem. We've become a nation of second-guessing arm-chair meteorologists. Recent studies confirm that most of us don't do the right thing until we have multiple confirmations, from different sources, that the threat is real, and relevant. Meanwhile, an EF-4 is churning toward your house at 40 mph, and you're sitting there wondering why you have a weak WIFI signal. It's an accident waiting to happen, and I'm as guilty as the next guy.
Another challenge: unlike hurricanes, which are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, meteorologists still don't have the tools to be able to estimate, in real-time, how severe a developing tornado might be. Running hyper-local weather models from coast to coast might help, but the plain truth: we simply don't know if a spinning storm on Doppler will go on to spin up a minor EF-0, capable of minor roof damage and broken tree limbs, or an awe-inspiring EF-5, capable of steam-rolling homes into oblivion, turning towns into instant war-zones. We may get there in our lifetime, but this is a huge meteorological problem."
* photo above taken by WeatherNation TV meteorologist Aaron Shaffer during the June 17, 2010 Albert Lea tornado.
Photo credit above: "Charles Paige stands amongst tornado debris as he surveys the damage to his home Wednesday, April 4, 2012, in Forney, Texas. The mayor of Forney, Texas, says it's "a real blessing" that nobody was killed in the community by the tornadoes that ripped through parts of the Dallas area yesterday (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)."
Photo credit above: "Iowa State University's Tornado/Microburst Simulator runs over a 3-D model of a 2-mile by 3-mile section of rough Alabama countryside. (Credit: Photo courtesy of Christopher Karstens/Iowa State University)."
40th Anniversary Of Great Vancouver Tornado. Meteorologist Steve Pierce has a very interesting read at The Columbian; here's an excerpt: "The Vancouver tornado of 1972 stands alone in the record books. It is the holy grail of Pacific Northwest tornadoes. Even now, 40 years later, the April 5th 1972 Vancouver tornado is the single deadliest tornado to strike west of the Rocky Mountains in modern history, killing six people and injuring more than 300 in Vancouver, Washington alone. Those who lived through that day witnessed the fury of mother nature to a degree that is not likely to be matched again anytime soon. The 1972 tornado was similar in atmospheric structure to that of the Hazel Dell tornado of January 2008. However, the 1972 tornado was much stronger. The 2008 Hazel Dell tornado was an EF1 on the newer Enhanced Fujita scale that became operational in 2007. Winds were likely between 90-110 MPH in the 2008 Hazel Dell tornado. The Vancouver tornado of 1972 was rated an F3 under the original Fujita scale which came online in 1971. Winds on the older Fujita scale were estimated between 158–206 MPH if rated as an F3, as was the case in the Vancouver tornado of 1972." Photo credit above from seattle-tourist.com.
* Wikipedia has a good summary of this tornado, the deadliest since 1871 for the west coast, here.
Photo credit above: June 17, 2010 Albert Lea tornado, courtesy of WeatherNation TV meteorologist Aaron Shaffer.
** USA Today has an excellent article on the "new, wider" tornado alley, the apparent eastward shift in where the most violent tornadoes are touching down here.
Map credit above: "STRONGER HURRICANES?: Some scientists wonder if a new category is needed to describe the strongest hurricanes. Image: Courtesy of NOAA."
"Weinkle et al. 2012 is now online at the Journal of Climate. I provided a summary of the paper a few months ago when it was accepted, including these factoids:
- Over 1970 to 2010 the globe averaged about 15 TC landfalls per year
- Of those 15, about 5 are intense (Category 3, 4 or 5)
- 1971 had the most global landfalls with 32, far exceeding the second place, 25 in 1996
- 1978 had the fewest with 7
- 2011 tied for second place for the fewest global landfalls with 10 (and 3 were intense, tying 1973, 1981 and 2002)"
The Internet Is Ruining Your Brain. No kidding. And here I thought it was the Kirin frozen beer foam or too much obesity-fighting red wine. I'm so confused. Mashable.com (and a great infographic) sets me straight: "Admit it: As you’re reading this, you have tunnel vision — that feeling that the world is closing in on you after surfing the Internet for eight straight hours. Web dead head (yes, I made that up) is a growing concern for today’s connected generation, which collectively spends 35 billion hours on the Internet every month. But we’re not just talking one online shopping experience at a time. Often, we have four tabs open, cycling between emails and shopping, tweeting and word processing. Such multi-tasking actually raises stress levels and lowers creative thinking overall, according to the research compiled by ForensicPsychology.net."
Chilly Tuesday. Temperatures yesterday were about 8-12 degrees colder than average. A cold front, yes. The problem: we've been hopelessly spoiled in recent weeks with 60s, 70s, even a few 80s. Under a blue sky highs ranged from a brisk 36 at International Falls (with a trace of flurries) to 40 at Duluth, 43 St. Cloud, 44 Twin Cities and 46 at Rochester and Redwood Falls.
Aurora From Space. Oh, to be able to get this view outside your family room window. Image courtesy of NASA's International Space Station (ISS).
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Photo credit above: "Meridian United Methodist Church Rev. John McCorkell delivers the sunrise message during the 92 annual Sutter Buttes Sunrise Easter Service Sunday, April 8, 2012 in Sutter, Calif. An estimated 750 people attended the hilltop worship service. (AP Photo/Appeal-Democrat, Chris Kaufman)."