30 F. average high on February 19.
44 F. high on February 19, 2012 - the big warming trend was already beginning (thanks to a mild Pacific flow and very little snow on the ground).
Trace of snow fell yesterday.
Plowable snowfall likely Thursday night into Friday.
Wet, slushy snow, probably plowable, expected next Monday and Tuesday.
55.4" average winter snowfall in the Twin Cities. We'll come very close at the rate we're going.
Photo credit above: "Associated Press.
- 67 percent of U.S. counties and 43 states were affected by “billion-dollar damage” extreme weather events in 2011 and 2012.
- 1,107 fatalities resulted from these 25 extreme weather events in 2011 and 2012.
- Up to $188 billion in damage was caused by these severe weather events in 2011 and 2012.
- $50,346.58 was the average household income in counties declared a disaster due to these weather events—3 percent below the U.S. median household income of $51,914. 
- 356 all-time high temperature records were broken in 2012.
- 34,008 daily high temperature records were set or tied throughout 2012, compared to just 6,664 daily record lows—a ratio of 5-to-1.
- 19 states had their warmest year ever in 2012.
Photo credit above: "The VIIRS sensor on the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite passed over the central eye of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 25, 2012. Without the satellite data, NOAA’s weather forecasts would become less reliable." Credit: JPSS/NOAA/NASA
Weather Satellites Could Miss The Next Hurricane Sandy. There may be a serious gap in coverage with the POES (polar orbiting) weather satellites; data which is fed into computer models, data which made a tangible difference forecasting major winter storms (and Sandy) during recent years. Here's a portion of a Yahoo Finance article that caught my eye: "...Since the 1970′s, America had two sets of polar-orbiting weather satellites, one operated by the government’s weather researchers, and the other by military. In 1994, it was decided that combining them into one operation would save a lot of money. After 16 years of unsuccessful attempts to do that, the government threw up its hands and decided to split the task, giving the weather agency the late afternoon orbit and the military the early morning, with the mid-day orbit shared with the European space agency. But even these separate plans have been plagued by delays, and the GAO warns that the gap in afternoon coverage by the weather researchers could last from 17 to 53 months. The defense department, meanwhile has decided to launch previously mothballed satellites. which may not have the technology to perform the kinds of observation needed for weather forecasting..."
* America's 20 Dirtiest Cities? 7 of them are in California. Forbes has the details here.
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
Photo credit above: "The new idea is that it's a more sustainted series of eruptions from volcanoes in strategic locations along the edge of continents that cause these long periods of warmth." Credit: flickr/NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.