26 F. average high for December 19.
38 F. high on December 19, 2011 at KMSP.
8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight today
8 hours and 46 minutes of daylight in the cities on December 31.
December 25: We actually pick up one extra minute of daylight beginning on Christmas Day.
Anatomy of a Blizzard. The heaviest snow bands will set up just south and east of MSP, but I could see some 2-3" amounts from Burnsville and Eagan to Woodbury, Maplewood and Stillwater, enough to slow down the morning commute. Meanwhile the far western and northern suburbs may only see a coating to an inch or so, with virtually no snow from Monticello to St. Cloud. The latest NOAA high-res radar image is here.
...POWERFUL WINTER STORM WILL IMPACT SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN TONIGHT AND THURSDAY... .A MAJOR WINTER STORM WILL SPREAD SNOW ACROSS SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN BEGINNING TONIGHT...AND LASTING THROUGH THURSDAY. SNOWFALL TOTALS WILL RANGE FROM 5 TO 9 INCHES ALONG A LINE FROM ALBERT LEA...TO RED WING MINNESOTA...AND UP THROUGH EAU CLAIRE WISCONSIN...WITH LESSER AMOUNTS NORTH AND WEST OF THIS LINE. STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS OF 25 MPH...WITH GUSTS 30 TO 40 MPH WILL ACCOMPANY THE SNOW AND CAUSE SIGNIFICANT BLOWING AND DRIFTING ALONG I-90 IN MINNESOTA...AND I-94 IN WISCONSIN. TRAVEL WILL BECOME EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND IS NOT RECOMMENDED. ...BLIZZARD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CST THURSDAY... * TIMING...LIGHT SNOW IS BEGINNING...AND WILL INCREASE IN INTENSITY LATER TONIGHT. PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW ARE EXPECTED...WITH STRONG WINDS DEVELOPING EARLY THURSDAY MORNING. * WINDS/VISIBILITY...STRONG NORTHWEST WINDS OF 30 MPH WITH GUSTS NEAR 40 MPH ARE EXPECTED THURSDAY. THIS WILL CAUSE NEAR ZERO VISIBILITIES AT TIMES...ESPECIALLY IN OPEN AREAS. * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...5 TO 9 INCHES OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A BLIZZARD WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED. FALLING AND BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. THIS WILL LEAD TO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS... MAKING TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRAVEL. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...HAVE A WINTER SURVIVAL KIT WITH YOU. IF YOU GET STRANDED...STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE.
"Without abundant 2013 spring rains, the intensity and spatial extent of Minnesota's drought will become similar to, or surpass, the drought conditions of the late 1980s."
Photo credit above: "A New York Police Department van drives along a street soaked with rain and covered with debris in a Rockaway neighborhood of the borough of Queens as a nor'easter aggravates already bad conditions in the wake of Superstorm Sandy." (Photo by AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Graphic credit above: "Tsunami source locations in the Caribbean Sea. The symbols indicate the cause of the tsunami: Brown Square is a landslide, Red Triangle is a volcanic eruption, Question Mark is an unknown cause, and White Circle is an earthquake."
Image credit above: "NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using Suomi NPP VIIRS and DMSP OLS data provided courtesy of Chris Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center). Suomi NPP is the result of a partnership between NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Defense." Caption by Mike Carlowicz.
Calm Before The Flakes. Admit it, 32 felt pretty good yesterday. Where else (except for maybe Fairbanks or Fargo) would 32 F. qualify as a "warm front"? Highs were 5-10 degrees above average, statewide. St. Cloud only has 2" of snow on the ground.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota
Why Climate Change Denial Is Just Hot Air. Here's an excerpt of a story at Slate that tries to put climate skepticism into perspective: "I was thinking of writing a lengthy post about climate change denial being completely unscientific nonsense, but then geochemist and National Science Board member James Lawrence Powell wrote a post that is basically a slam-dunk of debunking. His premise was simple: If global warming isn’t real and there’s an actual scientific debate about it, that should be reflected in the scientific journals. He looked up how many peer-reviewed scientific papers were published in professional journals about global warming, and compared the ones supporting the idea that we’re heating up compared to those that don’t. What did he find?..."
Graphic credit: "The thin red wedge." Image credit: James Lawrence Powell
1. Flesh-Eating Fungi
This would rank near the top of my list of horrors if I could have even fathomed that such a thing exists. But it does. After a powerful tornado hit Joplin, Missouri last May, 13 people were infected with Apophysomyces — five of them died. Melissa Breyer reports for Treehugger that Apophysomyces is “a common fungus that resides in soil, wood or water and generally leaves people well enough alone. But when it finds it way into the body, say, through blunt trauma or a puncture wound, say, suffered in a tornado … it can grow quickly if the proper medical response is not immediately administered....”
1. Eat less meat and dairy, especially beef and lamb. Livestock are by far the biggest producers of greenhouse gases in the global food system. In the U.S., most livestock-related emissions come from the animals’ digestive systems and from the fertilizer used to grow their feed. If an American family of four ate no meat or cheese one day a week, it would be like taking a car off the road for five weeks a year, according to estimates by the Environmental Working Group. If we all did it, it would be like not driving 91 billion miles..."
Image credit above: "University of Tennessee researchers say the eastern U.S. can expect more heatwaves and increased precipitation in a warming world." Image courtesy NASA.