30 F. average high on December 5.
32 F. high on December 5, 2014.
1" of snow on the ground at KMSP
December 6, 1950: A snowstorm hits Duluth with 23.2 inches of snow in 24 hours, and a storm total of 35.2 inches.
December 6, 1939: Warm weather occurs over parts of Minnesota. The high temperature hits 62 at New London.
Green Lawns & Open Water
What is Going On?
The symptoms of a warming climate are becoming harder to deny. Like 4 separate thousand-year floods in Minnesota since 2004. Or 50F and rain in December. This is "weather" but all weather is being flavored by warming now underway.
"All of our current weather is impacted by human emissions of heat-trapping gases" St. Thomas climate scientist John Abraham e-mailed. "What that means is every drought, storm, and heat wave is made stronger because of humans. That means they cost more in terms of lives and destruction."
More CO2 is adding 400,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs worth of heat to Earth's system daily; 93 percent of that warmth is going into the oceans. Now that heat is coming out of the Pacific in the form of a turbocharged El Nino, maybe the biggest ever recorded.
Today will be gray and foggy but 40s linger most of this week; a few newly snowless towns may report 50F midweek. Rain showers are possible late Tuesday; again Thursday as a puff of Canadian air arrives. More mid-March than mid-December.
The chance of a big rain storm next weekend has diminished; ECMWF (European) guidance pulls seasonably cold air back into the Midwest next week. Keep the coats handy.
But in the meantime I'm tempted to put my dock back in and do a little waterskiing. In Minnesota. In December.
Graphic credit above: "The gray line on this graph shows observed surface temperatures from 1880 to 2015. The red line shows the effective temperature forcing of greenhouse gases and aerosols (converted to CO2), and the blue line shows the forcing from both those manmade sources and natural factors, like solar radiation. Early on in the temperature record, the red and blue lines diverge because natural factors meant the full impact of greenhouse gases on temperatures wasn't being felt, but in recent years, the two lines match closely, showing how much greenhouse gases are dominating global temperatures. 2015 is slightly above the red line because of a small push from El Niño as well as even smaller contributions from solar radiation and random weather variations."
Photo credit above: "A residential area is seen surrounded by floodwaters in Chennai, India, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015. Although floodwaters have begun to recede, vast swaths of Chennai and neighboring districts were still under 2 1/2 to 3 meters (8 to 10 feet) of water, with tens of thousands of people in state-run relief camps." (AP Photo/Arun Sankar K).
Graphic credit above: "Tornado deaths are far below the levels observed prior to the advent of the National Weather Service watch/warning system in the 1950s, although the catastrophic tornadoes of 2011 produced the biggest spike in fatalities in more than 80 years." Data provided courtesy Harold Brooks, NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory; data sources are NWS (1950 – 2015) and Thomas Grazulis (1875 – 1949).
Alarming Research Finds Humans Are Using Up Far More of Earth's Water than Previously Thought. Here's an overview and summary of a new research study at The Washington Post: "Freshwater is one of the planet’s most precious resources — and as the global population grows and our demand for water rises, so does the need to carefully monitor its use and availability. Numerous studies have attempted to calculate the amount of freshwater humans consume globally from year to year. But in a worrying new study in the journal Science, scientists argue that we’ve been significantly underestimating our water footprint — in fact, their research raises the estimate of our global water consumption by nearly 20 percent and suggests that we may have crossed an unsustainable threshold in our water use..."
Photo credit above:
Photo credit above: "A build rate of 61 new reactors per year could entirely replace current fossil fuel electricity generation by 2050." Photograph: Tracey Nearmy/AAPIMAGE.
TODAY: Clouds and fog - skies may brighten by late afternoon. Winds: NW 5-10. High: 39
SUNDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy, milder than the average high for December 6. Patchy fog. Low: 30
MONDAY: Intervals of sun, October flashback. High: 45
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, few sprinkles? Wake-up: 31. High: 44
WEDNESDAY: Winter in Tulsa. Few clouds, mild. Wake-up: 32. High: 44
THURSDAY: Cool frontal passage. Few rain showers. Wake-up: 36. High: 46
FRIDAY: More clouds than sun. Wake-up: 29. Winds: NW 10-15. High: near 40
SATURDAY: Overcast, sloppy mix late? Wake-up: 28. High: 39
* Photo credit above: Timothy Butz.
Gird your loins, folks: the Season of Audi has arrived.
The deep introspection, the "Emmanuel, God with us" soul-searching can wait until January, when all the hubbub has passed and the bills start arriving.