Sunday, January 13, 2013

Coping Skills: Earmuffs, Undershirts & Remote Car Starters

2 F. low temperature Sunday morning in the Twin Cities.
9 F. high temperature yesterday.
23 F. average high for January 13.
13 F. high on January 13, 2012.

Trace of snow flurries yesterday

0" snow cover (officially at MSP International Airport in Richfield).

Earmuffs Optional

Unless you're a wayward snowbird, ready & willing to hop the next flight south, chances are you've developed defensive maneuvers, COPING SKILLS, when the coldest winds of winter howl into town.

Although it makes me look like Princess Leia (on a very bad day) earmuffs work wonders. When your ears, neck & toes are toasty - you're a step ahead. Undershirts, wearing socks to bed, and remote car starters are all a Godsend when the mercury flirts with zero.

Welcome to The Tundra: highs near 10 F. today, but a brief thaw is still expected midweek. Next weekend looks tolerable (20s), maybe a couple inches of snow late Sunday as Nanook air drills south of the border. A week from today we'll be feeling the burn again, a couple degrees colder than today, but not even close to record-setting.

Long range guidance shows the brunt of bitter air pouring into the Great Lakes and New England within 1-2 weeks, grazing Minnesota with a couple nights below zero. This may be the worst of it. Then again I am a naive optimist.

My blog includes freeze warnings for Phoenix (we feel their pain huh?) and mounting evidence that dry weather (low dew points) may be a factor in the spread of the flu.
Why Most People Are Scared Of Minnesota. Today should be the coldest day of the week, highs near 10 (but the sun should be out, thank God). We warm up into the low 30s Wednesday morning before another wave of Canadian air pushes south, but next weekend looks reasonable/tolerable, with highs in the 20s, pretty close to average for mid-January. A coating of snow is possible Wednesday into Friday; a stronger clipper marking the leading edge of what may be the coldest air of winter setting off a couple inches late Sunday? Stay tuned. ECMWF highs above in Celsius.
Snowfall By Midday Friday. A series of clippers may drop a few inches of new snow on northern and northeastern Minnesota and northern Wisconsin this week; maybe an inch for the north metro.

January Golf. My father sent me this photo from Bent Creek Golf Course in beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania yesterday. Golf on January 13? Check out how green the greens were. Highs were stuck near 50, with 60s just south over Maryland and Washington D.C. Big changes on the way later this week though. Thanks Dad.

Windchill In Los Angeles. We certainly feel their pain, don't we? Cue the crickets. The NWS map above shows observed daytime highs yesterday in the L.A. basin, mostly mid-50s, but 20s and 30s in the mountains north and east of the metro area. All those partially-frostbitten actors and actresses. Tragic.

Freeze Warnings For Phoenix. The Germans have a word for this: "schadenfreude". Many of us have friends and family in Arizona. Hmm. I realize the weather drifting over our heads is no treat, but today might be a great day to call, text, tweet or e-mail that special someone in Scottsdale - the one who's always bragging about how great the weather is down there. Do it.

Looks Like Winter. "Grandpa Wally" snapped this photo up in Crosby, North Dakota, where nearly a foot of wind-whipped snow fell Friday.

Snowy Work Of Art. Matt Dux, down at the Kansas City, Missouri office of the National Weather Service, captured this remarkable photo of snowflake over the weekend. Nicely done.

Sun Pillar. Thanks to WeatherNation TV meteorologist Todd Nelson who captured this shot of a "sun pillar" near his home in St. Michael.

Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:

TODAY: One of the colder days of winter. A cold blue sky. Winds: W 5-10. High: 10

MONDAY NIGHT: Clear to partly cloudy. Low: 6

TUESDAY: Partly sunny, average temps. High: 24

WEDNESDAY: Brief thaw, coating of flakes? Wake-up Low: 19. High: 33

THURSDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Wake-up Low: 11. High: 19

FRIDAY: Patchy clouds, few flurries. Wake-up Low: 10. High: 23

SATURDAY: Partly to mostly cloudy - better travel day. Wake-up Low: 13. High: 26

SUNDAY: Period of snow late? Some accumulation possible. Wake-up Low: 11. High: 21 Low Monday morning: 2

* my hunch is that the first few days of next week may wind up being the coldest of winter, with highs from 0 to 5 F, lows dipping into the -5 to -10 F. range for a few nights.

Climate Stories...

China, Mexico Leading Fight On Climate Change With New CO2 Laws. Bloomberg News has the story; here's an excerpt: "China, Mexico and other emerging economies are leading the fight against climate change by passing laws to cut carbon and raise energy efficiency, the Globe International alliance of lawmakers said today. A study of energy and climate laws in 33 economies showed 18 made “significant” progress in 2012, Globe said today in an e-mailed statement. The alliance, which brings together lawmakers from 70 nations, is meeting in London today and tomorrow to discuss ways in which governments can contribute to the international effort to contain global warming. “This is a game-changing development, driven by emerging economies,” said John Gummer, president of the group and a member of the U.K. upper chamber known as the House of Lords. “The tide is beginning to turn decisively on tackling climate change...”

Let's Do The Right Thing By Our Kids And Our Planet. Here's a portion of an Op-Ed at The Australian: "ATTEMPTS to link the frequency of extreme weather events such as this week's catastrophic bushfire conditions with climate change are usually greeted with derision. But this time it's highly reputable scientists who are making the link. We should take notice. Pointing out this week that Australia's heatwave is unprecedented since records have been kept, the Bureau of Meteorology has concluded that the climate system is responding to a background warming trend. It says it doesn't make sense to try to disentangle it from climate change. The US has just experienced its hottest year on record, with NASA concluding that "there is virtually no explanation other than climate change" for the extreme hot weather of America's recent past..."

Heatwave Exacerbated By Climate Change: Climate Commission. More fallout from historic levels of heat in Australia this month. Here's an excerpt of a story from ABC Radio Australia: "A new report from the Federal Government's Climate Commission says the heatwave and bushfires that have affected Australia this week have been exacerbated by global warming. The report - Off the Charts: Extreme Australian Summer Heat - warns of more extreme bushfires and hotter, longer, bigger and more frequent heatwaves, due to climate change. It says the number of record heat days across Australia has doubled since 1960 and more temperature records are likely to be broken as hot conditions continue this summer..."

Photo credit above: "In this Jan. 4, 2013, photo provided by the Holmes family, Tammy Holmes, second from left, and her grandchildren, two-year-old Charlotte Walker, left, four-year-old Esther Walker, third from left, nine-year-old Liam Walker, eleven-year-old Matilda, second from right, and six-year-old Caleb Walker, right, take refuge under a jetty as a wildfire rages near-by in the Tasmanian town of Dunalley, east of the state capital of Hobart, Australia. The family credits God with their survival from the fire that destroyed around 90 homes in Dunalley. Record temperatures across southern Australia cooled Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, reducing the danger from scores of raging wildfires but likely bringing only a brief reprieve from the summer’s extreme heat and fire risk." (AP Photo/Holmes Family, Tim Holmes)

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