2 F. morning low in the Twin Cities Saturday morning.
-26 F. record low, set on January 26, 1897.
23 F. high in the Twin Cities Saturday.
24 F. average high on January 26.
40 F. high on January 26, 2012.
Winter Weather Advisory today for a period of ice and rain, ending as 1"+ snow tonight.
Thaw likely Monday, then much colder the latter half of this week.
* photo above: U.S. Army.
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN 1118 PM CST SAT JAN 26 2013 ...WINTRY PRECIPITATION LIKELY SUNDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT... .A WINTRY MIX OF PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED TO MOVE INTO SOUTHERN MINNESOTA ON SUNDAY MORNING...AND THEN SPREAD NORTH AND EAST ACROSS CENTRAL AND EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN DURING THE LATE MORNING AND AFTERNOON HOURS. THE PRIMARY PRECIPITATION TYPE DURING THE DAYTIME IS EXPECTED TO BE FREEZING RAIN...POTENTIALLY MIXED WITH OR CHANGING OVER TO SNOW DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS. ICE ACCUMULATIONS APPEAR QUITE POSSIBLE...ESPECIALLY FROM SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA ON NORTH AND EAST TOWARD THE TWIN CITIES AND EAU CLAIRE. SNOW ACCUMULATIONS IN THE ONE TO THREE INCH RANGE ARE ALSO POSSIBLE... ESPECIALLY ACROSS WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN.
Graphic above shows 180 day precipitation departure from normal, courtesy of NOAA and Climate Central.
Seeley also points out that a lack of snow (a great insulator) means the frost level is going much deeper this winter:
"The absence of deep snow cover exposed the soil to the Arctic-like cold blast this week. As a result frost depths increased significantly, in some cases going from 4-6 inch depth down to 16 to 20 inches in depth. Actual soil temperatures plummeted as well, dropping into the low to mid 20s F at the 4 inch depth, and into the single digits and low teens F at the shallower 2 inch depth. These low soil temperatures can damage plants, and is one of the reasons so many gardeners use mulch or straw (insulation) to cover the soil in the winter. In agricultural pasture lands and alfalfa fields such low temperatures pose a risk of winter injury."
* Wolf Moon photo above courtesy of Ann Karrick.
From a cursory look at our state data base, I selected 8 northern Minnesota climate stations (Baudette, Roseau, International Falls, Big Falls, Itasca State Park, Warroad, Thorhult, and Waskish) with nearly complete histories of daily measurements from 1951 to present. Then I compared the frequency of -40 F or colder over the periods 1951-1980 versus 1981-2010. Seven of the eight climate stations showed a decrease in frequency ranging from 25 percent to over 60 percent fewer occurrences in the 1981-2010 period. The only one that showed an increase in frequency was Waskish, but that station may have moved at one time. Examples of the change in frequency: Itasca State Park recorded 17 nights of -40 F or colder from 1951-1980, and only 11 since 1981 (they have reported no such readings since 1997); Warroad recorded 16 nights of -40 F or colder from 1951-1980, but only 10 since 1981."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
SUNDAY NIGHT: Wet snow mixed with sleet and rain, maybe 1" of slush. Low: 27
* a few more days in the 30s are likely next week.
Photo credit above: John Gress / Reuters. "Chicago Fire Department Lieutenant Charley De Jesus walks around an ice-covered warehouse that caught fire Tuesday night in Chicago January 23, 2013."
Here's an eye-opening story that hasn't got much play in U.S. mainstream media. It's getting a lot of play in Europe press though. Maybe media outlets are afraid of antagonizing all those fossil fuel advertising dollars?
A secretive funding organisation in the United States that guarantees anonymity for its billionaire donors has emerged as a major operator in the climate “counter movement” to undermine the science of global warming…The Donors Trust, along with its sister group Donors Capital Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is funnelling millions of dollars into the effort to cast doubt on climate change without revealing the identities of its wealthy backers or that they have links to the fossil fuel industry.
Image credit above: "A map of current and projected Arctic conditions." IPCC
"...comprised of renowned space scientists with formal educational and decades career involvement in engineering, physics, chemistry, astrophysics, geophysics, geology and meteorology. Many of these scientists have Ph.Ds"
- Investments in hurricane resilience should be increased due to projected increases in storm intensity.
- In the long run, the world needs to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
- Investments in renewable energy technology R&D should be dramatically increased.