29 F. average high for February 16.
41 F. high on February 16, 2012.
Trace of snow flurries yesterday.
Thaw possible today, likely Monday.
Subzero low expected Wednesday morning.
Plowable snowfall increasing in probability Thursday into Friday.
- Overall U.S. drought coverage decreased to 55.73% of the contiguous U.S., down 1.11% from last week and down 5.36% since the beginning of the year. The decrease came on the strength of heavy rain across the South and some snow in the upper Midwest.
- The portion of the contiguous U.S. in the worst category D4, or exceptional drought dipped nearly one-quarter of a percentage point (0.24%) to 6.61%. D4 coverage has ranged from 5 to 7% for 27 consecutive weeks (August 14, 2012 February 12, 2013).
- The percent of hay in drought (57%) fell two percentage points, while winter wheat in drought was unchanged at 59%. Cattle in drought (67%) fell one percentage point."
Graphic above: NCDC, National Climatic Data Center.
We've now experienced 335 consecutive months with global temperatures exceeding the 20th century average. According to Bill McKibben, who's coming to Minnesota next week the odds of this occurring by simple chance are less than 3.7 x 10 (-99) - "a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe."
"Paul - is each month during a nearly 28 year period over the 20th century average? I've looked for the source of this analysis and can't find it on the Douglas Weather Blog or anywhere else. Could you provide a link for further information? In addition, the number of stars in the unverse is a large positive number. The column suggests that the probability of this temperatures observation occurring is a very small number. This doesn't make sense. I'd appreciate some clarification or further information."
Elliot - you are correct. The number in question is a very large positive number. It should have been written 3.7 x 10-99. There were some limitations (in print) in expressing that number accurately; putting in the parentheses was my (bad) idea - but it's definitely 10 +99 and not -99. McKibben did the calculations as of May 2012 - at that point we were 327 months/row with global temperatures above the 20th century average. By my admittedly poor math we're now up to 335 months/row.
Here is his original quote in the July, 2012 Rolling Stone article referenced in the column: "....That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe..."
Here are links for calculating global average temperatures from 3 sources from environmental scientist, Dana Nuccitelli.
(Dana Nuccitelli is an environmental scientist at a private environmental consulting firm in the Sacramento, California area. He has a Bachelor's Degree in astrophysics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master's Degree in physics from the University of California at Davis. He has been researching climate science, economics, and solutions as a hobby since 2006, and has contributed to the climate science blog Skeptical Science since September, 2010.)
Urgent Advisory: Immediate actions to be taken regarding CAP EAS device security.
"All EAS Participants are required to take immediate action to secure their CAP EAS equipment, including resetting passwords, and ensuring CAP EAS equipment is secured behind properly configured firewalls and other defensive measures. All CAP EAS equipment manufacturer models are included in this advisory..."
Paul's Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
* photo above: Heidi Rusch in Minnetonka.
Here is what Bill is saying about the Birkebeiner Ski Marathon and his efforts to preserve winter for future generations:
"The Birkie is one of the temporary and unofficial - but completely wonderful - capitols of North American Winter. So it's the perfect place to talk about what we have to do to keep this season skiable forever!"
In McKibben's presentations at the University of St. Thomas (2/20, 7 pm) and Macalaster College (2/21, noon) he'll talk about the current state of climate science, and the necessary scale and pace of our efforts to do something about global warming. In particular, Bill will discuss the leading role colleges can play now as fossil fuel divestment has become the hottest student movement in several decades.
More details and ticket information at www.coolplanetmn.org.
Photo credit above: "A dashboard camera caught the meteorite soaring over Chelyabinsk, Russia on Friday."
Photo credit above: "A still from the 'Exxon Hates Your Children' ad, which was ordered off the air just hours before it was supposed to be broadcast on Fox News during the State of the Union." (photo credit: The Other 98%)
Photo credit above: " ".
Photo credit above: "Climate change has increased the likelihood of severe weather events such as storms, heat waves, and droughts." Photograph by Greta Rybus, Sipa/AP
Photo credit above: "Looking south from the Empire State Building." Credit: Dan Klotz
Photo credit above: "Crack patterns in Arctic permafrost as viewed from a helicopter." Credit: Brocken Inaglory/cc by 3.0
Photo credit: "Human-emitted greenhouse gases are a leading cause of global warming."