31 F. average high on December 4.
32 F. high on December 4, 2013.
2" snow on the ground at KMSP.
9.4" snow so far this winter season.
11.5" average snowfall in the Twin Cities as of December 4.
5.7" fell as of December 4, 2013.
"Less sunshine, more caffeine!" I babbled yesterday, meditating in front of the urinal. The stranger nodded, pointing to my Caribou coffee cup. "Be careful" he said before walking out.
Careful of what? To much coffee, sunshine.... or making awkward restroom small talk with strangers?
Most Minnesotans crave sunlight even more than warmth. That's why we decorate our homes and trees with little white lights - a touch of artificial radiance. For the record we'll enjoy a meager 8 hours, 57 minutes of daylight today. That compares with 15 hours, 27 minutes on June 21. We lose another 11 minutes of daylight before climbing out of a dark rut by late December & January.
Forget the calendar - Old Man Winter will be temporarily AWOL from next week into Christmas, as a bubble of March-like air, direct from the Pacific, surges into the Plains. 40s, even a few 50s are possible late next week into the following week.
Most of the metro snow will be gone within 10 days and the odds of a brown Christmas are greater than 50-50. After November's cold crunch that's hard to accept.Slush arrives Sunday but no big storms are brewing.
Who knows what January will bring, but mid-December should feel like mid-March. No complaints here.
* photo above courtesy of Steve Burns Photography.
Gradual Warming Trend. Earlier runs of the European model were hinting at 50F by the end of next week, which could still happen, depending on how rapidly we melt snow and whether thick clouds/fog will form as mild, Pacific air surges north. A little rain/snow mix is possible late Sunday into Monday morning; maybe a nuisance accumulation. By the end of next week the atmosphere will be warm enough for rain-only.
Ohio Valley Soaking - Another Pacific Surge. 60-hour NAM accumulated precipitation products from NOAA print out some 2"+ rainfall amounts from near Little Rock to Louisville and Cincinnati; another sloppy Pacific storm spreading 2-4" rains into the Pacific Northwest with flash flooding possible from near Portland to Seattle. Animation: NOAA and HAMweather.
Warm Phase. How long will it last? Great question, but guidance suggests unusual warmth east of the Rockies the second and third week of December, possibly spilling over into Christmas. 500 mb forecast winds from December 10-14 show a long, cold, stormy trough stretching from Hawaii to the west coast. The Pineapple Express will continue to push flooding rains into California and the Pacific Northwest, keeping winds blowing from the west to southwest much of December. I still think this month will wind up being milder than November across most of Minnesota.
- Average monthly temperatures for November
in Minnesota were well below historical averages, ranging from six to
ten degrees below normal. Numerous records for all-time minimum high
daily temperatures were set during the month. Extremes for November
ranged from a high of 60 degrees F at a number of locales on the 2nd, to
a low of -25 degrees F at Camp Norris (Lake of the Woods County) on the
[see: November 2014 Climate Summary Table]
- Snow depths
across Minnesota vary from zero to eight inches. Little or no snow
cover is on the ground in southwest Minnesota. Whereas, some areas of
south central, west central, and northeast Minnesota report six to eight
inches of snow depth in early December.
[see: NWS Snow Depth Estimation Map]
- The U. S. Drought Monitor, released on December 4, indicated that Abnormally Dry conditions exist over large sections of Minnesota, the result of a dry late summer and autumn. A small area of west central Minnesota is placed in the Moderate Drought category. The Drought Monitor index is a blend of science and subjectivity where drought categories (Moderate, Severe, etc.) are based on several indicators.
Thursday visible image courtesy of NOAA RAMMB.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File.
The Golden Quarter. Aeon has a terrific article focusing on the golden age of innovation and technological breakthroughs (1945-1971). We have fancy phones, but where are the flying cars? Here's an excerpt that caught my eye: "...In the energy sector, civilian nuclear technology was hobbled by a series of mega-profile ‘disasters’, including Three Mile Island (which killed no one) and Chernobyl (which killed only dozens). These incidents caused a global hiatus into research that could, by now, have given us safe, cheap and low-carbon energy. The climate change crisis, which might kill millions, is one of the prices we are paying for 40 years of risk-aversion. Apollo almost certainly couldn’t happen today. That’s not because people aren’t interested in going to the Moon any more, but because the risk – calculated at a couple-of-per-cent chance of astronauts dying – would be unacceptable..." (Photo credit: NASA).
TODAY: Partly sunny, thawing out. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 34
FRIDAY NIGHT: Patchy clouds, turning colder. Low: 16
SATURDAY: Sunny and cooler. Good travel weather. High: 28
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Light mix develops, rain mixing with snow. A little late PM slush? Wake-up: 18. High: 33
MONDAY: Partial clearing, drying out. Wake-up: 27. High: 32
TUESDAY: More sun, close to average. Wake-up: 19. High: 33
WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, still quiet. Wake-up: 24. High: 35
THURSDAY: Peeks of sun, pleasantly mild! Wake-up: 30. High: 43
* Some models are hinting at highs in the 40s to near 50F by the end of next week.
That conclusion would be wrong – it would simply be a misunderstanding of the meaning of the confidence intervals. They are not confidence intervals on whether a warming has taken place – it certainly has. These confidence intervals have nothing to do with measurement uncertainties, which are far smaller.
- See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/12/recent-global-warming-trends-significant-or-paused-or-what/#sthash.vijqTxcP.dpuf
Animation credit: "Spring atmospheric CO2 concentrations, when they're usually at their peak." Credit: NASA
Cartoon credit: Tom Toles, Washington Post.
Economists from right to left agree that taxing carbon is the most efficient way to cut emissions. A rising, predictable carbon price would unleash the power of the market against climate change, giving both producers and consumers an incentive to shift to lower-carbon energy choices.
- See more at: http://businessweekme.com/Bloomberg/newsmid/190/newsid/297#cnttop
* Graph above courtesy of The U.K. Met Office.