47 F. average high on March 26.
40 F. high on March 26, 2014.
0" snow on the ground in the Twin Cities (at MSP International Airport).
March 27, 1946: A record of 78 is set at Redwood Falls.
An Easier Spring
We all get lost in our bubbles, our personal travails, indignities and daily dramas. Weather perception often trumps reality, it seems worse than it is.
This past winter was a bargain compared to last year. Early March 2014 MSP saw as much as 21 inches of snow on the ground. This year: 2 inches. A year ago 3 feet of frost was in the ground. This year: less than a foot. Snowfall of 32.1 inches is roughly half the 62.7 inches that fell last winter, to date.
Tim Elrod asks "Does a double El Nino mean an extra hot drought in the Midwest this summer?" If I had the definitive answer to that question I'd be hanging out with Sir Richard Branson. My sketchy, semi-educated, almost reliable hunch? 2015 may bring a warmer, drier bias, based on a persistent El Nino warm phase in the Pacific and an apparent southward shift to the jet stream. I fear we'll be talking about drought much of the year. My confidence level is low - I hope I'm wrong.
Today will be a fine day (for mid-February) with a hint of spring returning by Saturday. No snow in sight; the atmosphere mild enough for rain Sunday, again next Wednesday. A few 60s are likely early next week.
Spring is coming, slowly but surely.
Graph credit above: "EF-1 Tornado Days and Active Tornado Says. Number of days each year with at least one (E)F1 tornado (black squares) and more than 30 (E)F1 tornadoes (gray triangles) from 1954-2013. Average over each decade indicated by large dots and line plots." (Brooks et al. 2014)
Photo credit above: "Exotic mosquitoes like this ‘Asian tiger’ are heading to the UK." Australian government, CC BY
TODAY: Cold sun, touch of February. Winds: N 5-10. High: 36
FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 23
SATURDAY: Windy, turning milder with more clouds than sun. High: 44
SUNDAY: Mild breeze, rain showers likely. Wake-up: 34. High: 53
MONDAY: Intervals of sun, springy. Wake-up: 31. High: 57
TUESDAY: Partly sunny, pleasantly mild. Wake-up: 41. High: 62
WEDNESDAY: Balmy, few T-storms possible. Wake-up: 48. High: 63
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy and cooler. Wake-up: 43. High: 52
Photo credit above: "Steve Beebe, leader of CIAT's Bean Program, in a field of experimental bush beans at CIAT's headquarters in Colombia." Courtesy of CIAT/Neil Palmer.
Tropics Getting Warmer: Sign of Warming Times? Discovery News has the research, which mirrors what we're seeing in northern latitudes: fewer storms during the warm months, but the storms that do form tend to be larger with more intense rainfall: "...Tan's group, along with NASA, published the study. Thunderstorms play a key role in tropical weather. Thought they occur just 5 percent of the time, researchers said, they account for about half of the rainfall in the tropics. "What we are seeing is more big and organized storms and fewer small and disorganized storms," Tan said..."
Image credit above: "Large thunderstoms in the tropics are becoming more common -- and small storms less so -- increasing total rainfall." Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center.
How American Journalists Deal With Climate Deniers. Grist has the story.