Are we getting soft? Closing schools for cold fronts that would have triggered apathetic shrugs back in the 70s? No shortage of opinions and fine whines. Some days I wonder.
The paradox: as our winters slowly warm over time when we do get whacked it feels much worse.
And our weather patterns in recent years? The reassuring Symphony of the Seasons has been replaced by a hyperactive, second- grade band after binging on candy; playing very much out of tune.
For the record: 29 subzero lows at MSP since December 1; the most for Dec. 1 - Jan. 31 since 1982 and roughly the number of subzero lows we experience in an entire winter. During the same period in 1976-77 we saw 39 subzero lows. We've enjoyed 4 days of subzero highs so far. For a typical winter: 3 days with highs below 0F.
20s may leave you deliriously happy later today (how far we've fallen) - before the next clipper sparks an inch of fluff Thursday; maybe another 2 inches Friday night as a reinforcing smack of cold approaches.
Although not quite as frigid, more subzero air arrives by the middle of next week.
Allow me to change the subject & remind you of the Boat Show this weekend!
Hard to believe those lakes will ever thaw.
* image above courtesy of the Minneapolis Boat Show, going on at the Convention Center this weekend. No, summer hasn't been cancelled. Not yet.
"Polar Vortex" Costs Billions. Open Next Fuel Bill With Care. No kidding. Details from The Christian Science Monitor - here's an excerpt: "...The polar vortex that swept through much of the United States earlier this month may have cost the economy as much as $5 billion, according to Planalytics, a research firm in Berwyn, Pa., and London that tracks the effect of weather on the economy. In addition to damaged crops, grounded airline flights, disrupted deliveries, and lost work hours, cold weather can also diminish consumer spending and stress household utility budgets..."
* I still don't see any major storms, certainly no blizzards or newscast-leading weather events for the Super Bowl on Sunday.
* Right now odds favor partly to mostly cloudy skies, dry weather for most or all of the game, with temperatures falling through the mid 30s into the upper 20s by Q4. Expect a northwest breeze around 8-12 mph, with a wind chill in the low to mid 20s. Cold but not debilitating.
* Models hint at a few rain/snow showers or flurries during the morning hours Sunday in East Rutherford, but odds still favor partial clearing by late afternoon and evening. It will look and feel (surprise!) like winter, but I still don't see any meteorological show-stoppers.
Summary: With each passing day our confidence levels continue to grow. The odds of being gob-smacked by a blizzard, ice storm, soaking rain or snow blitz dwindle with each passing day. If the front pushing across New York City Saturday night were to slow, or even stall, the forecast would change, and that's still a possibility (1 in 4 shot). Although spring fever will be nowhere to be found in or near MetLife Stadium, if people are dressed for typical mid-winter conditions it should be a very enjoyable game, with air temperatures in the low to mid 30s, reaching the upper 20s by the end of the 4th quarter.
We're monitoring 4 new model runs daily, and running our own models - we'll keep you posted.
Paul Douglas - Senior Meteorologist - Alerts Broadcaster
Photo credit above: "Snow is cleared from the parking lot of MetLife Stadium, which will host the Super Bowl, in East Rutherford, N.J., Jan. 22, 2014. On Jan. 26, a meteorologist hired by the NFL made his first presentation to some two-dozen executives who are looking to him to tell them what to expect on Super Bowl Sunday." (Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times).
Photo credit above: "In this Jan. 9, 2014 file photo, a visitor to Folsom Lake, Calif., walks his dog down a boat ramp that is now several hundred yards away from the waters' edge. Gov. Jerry Brown formally proclaimed California in a drought Friday Jan. 17, 2014, saying the state is in the midst of perhaps its worst dry spell in a century and the conditions are putting residents and their property in "extreme peril." (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File).
- Heavy precipitation and floods
- Heat waves
- Tropical storms combined with sea-level rise
- Severe thunderstorms..."
Photo credit: Shutterstock.
- Over 400 people died in the United States last year from falling out of bed.
- Over 300 people drown in bathtubs every year.
- About 2,900 people are killed by hippos in the average year..."
TODAY: Partly sunny, windy & milder. Winds: SW 20. High: 23
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Windy - still cold. Low: 14
THURSDAY: Another clipper, 1-3" snow possible High: 19
FRIDAY: Cold start with sun giving way to clouds. Snowy coating Friday night. Wake-up: -11. High: 5
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, cold wind, more flurries. Wake-up: 2. High: 13
SUNDAY: Partly sunny. Try to hibernate. Wake-up: -6. High: 12
MONDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Wake-up: -3. High: near 10
TUESDAY: More arctic air approaching. Help. Wake-up: -6. High: 12
* photo above taken in Navarre, Florida Tuesday courtesy of Mandy Hansen.
The end of January, when the temperature measurements of the previous year are in, is always the time to take a look at the global temperature trend. (And, as the Guardian noted aptly, also the time where the “climate science denialists feverishly yell [...] that global warming stopped in 1998.”) Here is the ranking of the warmest years in the four available data sets of the global near-surface temperatures
- See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/01/global-temperature-2013/#sthash.wHOYD4UM.dpuf
File photo credit above: "The sun set over the Bakken Oil Formation, behind an oil well near Williston, North Dakota." Jim Gehrz - Star Tribune.