57 F. average high on April 13.
44 F. high on April 13, 2014.
.01" rain fell yesterday.
1.82" rain so far in April, about .80" wetter than average, to date.
April 13, 1949: Snowstorm dumps over 9 inches at the Twin Cities.
All or nothing, flood or drought - our climate has become more volatile - and this trend includes tornadoes too. At Saturday's Minnesota Severe Storm Conference Dr. Harold Brooks, from NOAA's NSSL division, confirmed that days with 1 or more EF-1 tornado have dropped by a third. But we're seeing far more tornadoes on the big days, clumped up in major and often deadly outbreaks.
We've had four quiet tornado seasons in a row; the same ridiculously resilient ridge sparking epic drought for California has limited moisture and instability east of the Rockies, putting a lid on tornado formation.
This is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota, which sees an average of 40 twisters every year. In 2010 we saw 104 tornadoes, the most in the nation! With a bias toward heat/drought I expect a relatively quiet 2015.
Then again, all it takes is one.
No atmospheric tantrums are imminent; a stray shower is possible Wednesday night - a better chance of rain next Monday, but the biggest storms will still detour south of Minnesota. We brush 70F today, again Friday before a cool-down early next week.
No snow. Minnesotans lose their stoic sense of humor when it snows on their green, freshly-mowed lawns.
- Monday — Alerts and Warnings
- Tuesday — Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail
- Wednesday — Floods
- Thursday — Tornadoes (with statewide tornado drills)
- Friday — Extreme Heat
1). Multiple Safety Nets (e-mails and apps). Don't rely on any one source of severe weather information. There are hundreds of apps that can transmit the latest (NOAA) warnings for your county. You should also invest in a $20-30 NOAA Weather Radio that will send the warning, even if the power goes out.
2). Doppler on your smartphone. My favorite is RadarScope, although our new app, Aeris Pulse, is powerful as well, more of a general interest weather app with extensive mapping capabilities.
3). Don’t rely on outdoor sirens. They were designed for outdoor use only. If you depend on the sirens you're setting yourself up for trouble.
4). Football/bike helmets can avoid injury! It sounds crazy but many people have avoided head injuries by putting on helmets before seeking shelter in a basement or small, windowless room on the ground floor. The greatest source of tornado death and injury is blunt head trauma. A helmet can help lower the odds.
5). Tornado drills for your family. Much like a mock fire drill you should consider a tornado drill, so your kids know exactly where to go and what to do if it was the real thing.
California's History of Drought Repeats. The New York Times has the story - here's a link and excerpt: "...The drought, now in its fourth year, is by many measures the worst since the state began keeping records of temperature and precipitation in the 1800s. And with a population now close to 39 million and a thirsty, $50 billion agricultural industry, California has been affected more by this drought than by any previous one. But scientists say that in the more ancient past, California and the Southwest occasionally had even worse droughts — so-called megadroughts — that lasted decades..."
Rochelle Tornado "Stuck Out Like A Sore Thumb" for Meteorologists. Journal Standard in Freeport, Illinois takes a look at best practices for tornado warnings, and whether there is such a thing as too much lead time; here's an excerpt: "...
"I’m not sure we need more warning time for some tornadoes," Sebenste said. "Psychological studies have shown that once you get more than 13 minutes of warning and nothing has happened, people will come out of their basements and look around. That has actually killed some people.""A researcher in Texas has established pretty convincingly that 15 minutes is the ideal amount of notice for a tornado," Smith said, "and if you have more than 18 minutes, deaths go up. ... People either lose the sense of urgency to take cover or try to flee instead of immediately taking shelter, which is what we want them to do..."
Photo credit above: "In this Thursday, April 9, 2015 photo provided by Northern Illinois University meteorology professor Walker Ashley, a funnel cloud moves through near Rochelle, Ill. The National Weather Service says at least two tornadoes churned through six north-central Illinois counties on Thursday evening." (AP Photo/Walker Ashley)
TODAY: Plenty of sun, hard to concentrate. Wind: S 10-15. High: 71
TUESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy and pleasant. Low: 45
WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, stray shower Wednesday night? High: 67
THURSDAY: More clouds than sun. Wake-up: 48. High: 65
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, lukewarm. Wake-up: 49. High: near 70
SATURDAY: Sunny, pretty spectacular. Wake-up: 47. High: 66
SUNDAY: Fading sun, probably dry. Wake-up: 48. High: 64
MONDAY: Cold rain, fairly unpleasant. Wake-up: 44. High: 54