57 F. average high for April 14.
48 F. high a year ago - April 14, 2011.
1.54" rain predicted for the Twin Cities by Monday morning (00z NAM model)
Slight severe threat from the Twin Cities south/east (moderate risk over Wisconsin). As many as 3-6 tornadoes may drop between La Crosse, Madison, The Dells, Wausau and Appleton.
30-40 mph winds possible later tonight as temperatures drop nearly 30 degrees.
36 F. predicted temperature at 7 am Monday (very slight chance of flurries, mainly north metro).
70s likely again between April 24-30.
"Wedge." This was the scene Saturday evening near Salina, Kansas - hit by two tornadoes in the same day! Thanks to Matt Unruh from Lawrence, Kansas for sharing this. He was southeast of Salina when he took this pic - that's probably an EF-3 tornado over the ridge, winds 120-145 mph?
Moderate Severe Threat Today. Although not as widespread and severe as yesterday, I expect a few more tornadoes today, as close as far southeastern Minnesota and central and southern Wisconsin, where the wind, moisture and instability field is ripe for more "supercell" thunderstorms, capable of large hail and a few tornadoes. If you're driving east on I-94 or southeast down Highway 61 toward Winona and La Crosse, the risk of severe weather will increase the farther south/east you travel. Stay alert (local media, e-mail alerts, smartphone apps, etc). Do NOT rely on the sirens. Map courtesy of SPC.
Tornado Risk Over Southeastern MN? This is the "Tornado Composite" Field for the morning hours today, showing a significant risk over southeastern Minnesota through midday, sufficient low-level wind shear and instability (and a vigorous frontal boundary) capable of spinning up a few tornadoes. Graphic courtesy of Earl Barker's excellent Wxcaster site - thanks to Randy Peterson for bringing this to my attention.
Nagging Severe Risk. Although the best dynamics will stay south/east of MSP, vertical velocities, a measure of upward motion overhead, are forecast to reach +21.1 this evening with a lifted index of -4, sufficient wind shear and instability for a few severe storms again by late afternoon/evening as a vigorous cold front approaches. Stay alert today. Total rainfall amounts are forecast to reach 1.54" by Monday morning.
118 Tornado Reports...And Counting. O.K. I posted this at 12:15 am Sunday. SPC reported 118 (preliminary) reports on Saturday, but that count will probably rise. You can instantly see the tracks of long-lasting, violent EF-2 to EF-4 strength tornadoes from Oklahoma northward to Iowa. SPC did an amazingly good job pin-pointing where these tornadoes would touch down. Everyone is so quick to criticize - let's give credit where credit is due.
Wichita Nightmare. I was running around like a crazy-man Saturday (along with most of my staff at WeatherNation TV), covering what may have been the biggest, or at the very least the Top 2-3 tornado outbreaks of 2012. I took a few pics (from GR2 Analyst) of the supercell moving into Wichita: reflectivity upper left, velocity field upper right. There were reports of a 1/4 to 1/2 mile wide wedge moving across the south side of Wichita, hitting Wichita's main airport and McConnell Air Force Base. Authorities won't know the full extent of damage, injuries and possible fatalities until this morning.
* The New York Times has a story about Saturday's outbreak here.
European Solution. The ECMWF (which often does a - much - better job than the GFS model) shows highs near 60 Tuesday and Wednesday, again next Sunday - readings approaching 70 a week from tomorrow.
Lukewarm Last Week Of April. The GFS shows a run of 70s, even a shot at 80, during the last week of April, over half an inch of rain possible between April 25-28. We need 3-6" of additional rain to pull out of our long-term drought.
13 minutes. Average lead time for a tornado in the USA (time from when a warning is issued until arrival).
6-7 minutes. Average lead time in 1975.
+2.5 F. Water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico were 2.5F warmer than average in March, the mildest ever observed. Meteorologists are concerned that this added warmth and moisture over the Gulf may be a factor in what is turning into an especially severe tornado season across the USA. Details below.
* photo above of the April 11, 1965 Palm Sunday tornado outbreak courtesy of NOAA. Details from Wikipedia.
"According to the Mayo Clinic, "If you're in denial, you're not being realistic about something that's happening in your life -- something that might be obvious to those around you." ... But like the Mayo Clinic writes, "(D)enial has a dark side. Being in denial for too long can prevent you from effectively dealing with issues that require action." - from a blog post at redding.com; details below.
Map credit above: "Departure of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) from average for April 12, 2012, as computed by NOAA/NESDIS. SSTs in the Gulf of Mexico are at their warmest levels on record for this time of year. Follow Weather Underground on twitter for the latest on this potential severe weather outbreak."
Learn About Extreme Weather's Local Impact. Based on the last 6-7 years I'm thinking of moving to northeastern Minnesota, where there have been NO major weather-related disasters. Why is this? All I can think is that a persistently chilly wind off Lake Superior innoculates much of the Northland for large, violent tornadoes and tends to dampen many of the most severe T-storms. Details from Environment Minnesota. "Click on your county to see a tally of weather-related disasters since 2006. Extreme weather is happening—and it's causing extremely big problems. To make matters worse, global warming increases the likelihood that we'll see even more extreme weather in the future. To tackle this threat, we must cut the carbon pollution from power plants, cars and trucks, and other sources that fuels global warming."
Location; Precipitation Total; Departure from Normal; Historical Rank
Lamberton; 5.35 inches; -7.51 inches; Driest of record
Winnebago; 8.03 inches; -7.17 inches; Driest of record
Marshall; 4.66 inches; -8.69 inches; 2nd Driest
Granite Falls; 4.89 inches; -7.82 inches; 3rd Driest
Latest Army Corps Analysis Says 2011 Flood Was "Beyond Control". Here's an excerpt of an interesting story from journalstar.com: "Even if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had released water at record levels from Gavins Point Dam for 365 consecutive days, it wouldn't have been enough to prevent serious flooding on the Missouri River in 2011. That was one of the findings in an analysis the corps released on Friday about possible adjustments in flood control storage. The size of the 2011 challenge begins with the 61 million acre feet of runoff in the basin, said Brig. Gen. John McMahon, commander of the corps' Northwest Division and a key figure in the operation of Gavins Point and five other main-stem dams."
Photo credit above: "Thai residents wade through floodwaters in Bangkok, Thailand, in this October 2011 file photo. Altaf Qadri/AP/File."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
SUNDAY NIGHT: Showers taper, turning gusty and sharply colder. Low: 35
Stopping Climate Change Is Much Cheaper Than You Think. An intriguing story in The Atlantic: "You've heard it before: politicians say they'd love to take action against climate change, but they're reeling from sticker shock. Today, a new report from the UK's leading climate change watchdog refutes this oft-cited argument that climate action will herald economic Armageddon. The Committee on Climate Change report, with the hairy-sounding title "Statutory Advice on Inclusion of International Aviation and Shipping," says that in 2050, the UK's emissions reductions across the whole economy will cost 1-2 percent of the total GDP. This updates, in greater detail, the range predicted half a decade ago by the watershed Stern Review."
Photo credit above: "CarbonQuilt/Flickr."
Overcoming Climate Change Denial. Here's an interesting post from Doug Craig at redding.com: "All of us are in denial about something some of the time. I know I am going to die someday and chances are I am going to suffer before that happens. Or it is possible people I love and care about might suffer or die. I really don't want to think about that too much. I like to pretend that bad stuff is so far away, that it's like it does not or will not ever exist. I know that the climate is changing and it is going to be bad and I blog about it an awful lot. I know I am obsessed about it and have been for over six years now. I know what is coming and yet like everyone else, sometimes I pretend it isn't coming. It's how I cope with the stuff I can't control."
How Green Are Electric Cars? Depends Where You Plug In. Here's an excerpt of a story at The New York Times: "The answer may be a surprise. According to a report that the Union of Concerned Scientists plans to release on Monday, there would be a considerable difference in the amount of greenhouse gases — primarily carbon dioxide — that result from charging the cars’ battery packs. By trapping heat, greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. The advocacy group’s report, titled “State of Charge: Electric Vehicles’ Global Warming Emissions and Fuel Cost Savings Across the United States,” uses the electric power requirements of the Nissan Leaf as a basis for comparison. The Leaf, on sale in the United States for more than a year and the most widely available electric model from a major automaker, sets a logical baseline."
NASA Climate Change Letter Belongs To Long Tradition Of Fake Expertise. More from Huffington Post: "WASHINGTON -- When former NASA administrators, astronauts and engineers released a letter earlier this week attacking the science of climate change, its veneer of legitimacy kicked off a media blitz. Yet none of the letter's 49 signatories are climate scientists, and with more than 18,000 people currently working for NASA, to say nothing of the tens of thousands more who are retired, the letter seems more than anything like a empty publicity stunt -- for which there's considerable precedent. "This is an old stunt," explained Michael Mann, a well-known climate scientist and Penn State professor. "When you have an area of the science where there is a consensus like in climate change, where the problem is real and the scientific implications are on a collision course with vested interests like the fossil fuel industry, you often see this."
* more from NASA Watch here.
Photo credit above: "WATERY CULPRIT: Seagulls standing on an iceberg in a fjord, near Ilulissat in Greenland, in 2007. The Greenland ice sheet is likely the source of rising waters in the Pacific Ocean. (Photo: Michael Kappeler/AFP)."