March 6, 1950: Snow and ice storm across Minnesota. The heaviest ice was in northwest and west central Minnesota. The heaviest ice was found in Norman County near Twin Valley. 52 electrical poles were down in this area with ice up to 1.5 inches on wires. All communication lines out of Fargo were out with wind gusts estimated up to 60 mph. In order to provide temporary long distance service to and from isolated communities short wave radio equipment was used to bridge the gaps. In Pipestone, several plate glass windows were blown in. During the snowstorm that followed later in the day, Northwest Airline plane crashed into three homes in Minneapolis killing all 13 on the plane and two on the ground. The left wing of the plane struck a flagpole at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery as it circled to land. Source: Twin Cities NWS.
Time to Exhale
The days of face-clenching cold are behind us now. No more subzero soliloquies. Fewer fender-bending headlines of ice, pain and woe. How can a temperature be "negative" anyway?
The atmosphere is shifting gears rather dramatically; 50s next week will feel like a cheap vacation.
And it's baaack. El Nino! NOAA just made it official: the equatorial Pacific is running a low-grade fever and some of that warmth will flavor our weather throughout 2015. I suspect we'll see more heat (and more severe thunderstorms) than recent summers; more drowsy neighbors complaining about the dew point.
Just a hunch.
Soil moisture and SWE (snow water equivalent) are low for March. And our perpetual dry rut may continue into spring. El Nino tends to keep Minnesota drier into May. I'm not yet convinced of a debilitating drought spilling over into summer, but if I had to go out on a limb I'd predict greater odds of a hot/dry summer than a cool/wet one. Place your bets.
Precious little snow on the ground means a statisically lower threat of spring flooding along Minnesota's rivers and streams. I still don't see a legitimate storm looking out 2 weeks.
ECMWF guidance hints at a few 60s by mid-March!
Animation credit: "Animation of subsurface temperature anomalies in the tropical Pacific Ocean." Credit: NOAA.
Image credit: "Average sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific for the week of 25th Feb. Anomalies are relative to 1981-2010 weekly average." Source: NOAA Climate Prediction Center.
File photo credit above: "In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, boat slips sit on the dry lake bed at Brown's Marina at Folsom Lake, near Folsom Calif." AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File.
* The Aqueduct Global Flood Analyzer from WRI, World Resources Institute, is here.
TODAY: Some sun, nice to be "average". Winds: NW 15. High: 39
SATURDAY NIGHT: Clouds, a few snow flurries or snow showers late. Low: 26
SUNDAY: Patchy clouds, few flakes? High: 41
MONDAY: Intervals of sun, feels like spring. Wake-up: 25. HIgh: 49
TUESDAY: Blue sky, chirping birds. Nice. Wake-up: 28. High: 53
WEDNESDAY: Mix of clouds and sun. Most of the snow is gone. Wake-up: 31. High: 54
THURSDAY: Grilling weather. Touch of April. Wake-up: 34. High: 57
FRIDAY: Still quiet, milder than average. Wake-up: 35. High: 55
GFS jet stream forecast above courtesy of Climate Reanalyzer.
* The New York Times has a movie review here. The YouTube trailer is here.
* NPR talks to the director of the documentary, Robert Kenner.