Weekend Temperature Depression: -35F Wind Chills?
Much will be made of our upcoming subzero weekend. It will lead local TV news - show up on the front page of the newspaper. Neighbors will gasp in feigned astonishment. But it's a pale imitation of the cold waves that routinely gripped Minnesota as recently as the 70s and early 80s. A generation ago the mercury would stay below zero for extended periods of time; even a week or two. The trend is for shorter winters, with fewer subzero flings and record lows.
That won't matter much as aerobic shivering overtakes Minnesota this weekend; air temperatures may stay below 0F the better part of 3 to 4 days. Sunday looks like the coldest day with the greatest risk of frostbite & hypothermia. Morning wind chills may dip into the -35 to -45F range. Seriously cold.
At least the sun will be out. Our coldest days pull clear, dry Canadian air southward, which helps to remove SOME of the sting. Cold comfort.
Temperatures moderate next week. A thaw is 8 days away; a mild bias into February. But for the better part of 4 days Minnesota's weather lives up to it's cruel, jaw-dropping reputation.
* 12z Sunday predicted ECMWF (European) wind chill values courtesy of WeatherBell.
Alex, First January Hurricane Since 1938, Forms in Atlantic. Let me check my calendar. No, it's still not summer yet. Then why are hurricanes forming in the Atlantic. Could it be (insert dramatic pause here) supernaturally mild ocean water? Here's an excerpt from USA TODAY: "...Alex is only the third hurricane ever recorded in January in the Atlantic Ocean, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach. It is the first hurricane to form in January since an unnamed storm in 1938. The last storm to occur in January was Alice in 1955. That storm formed in December 1954. Hurricane records began in 1851. Typically, the season's first hurricane occurs in early August..." (Image: NASA MODIS).
Graphic credit above: "Spring tornado and hail forecasts for the south-central U.S." Credit: John Allen.
- Wind and solar’s capacity share rises. The 122GW of wind and solar installed in 2015 made up about 50% of the net capacity added in all generation technologies (fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable) globally.
- No impact from low fossil fuel prices. Neither the 67% plunge in the oil price in the 18 months, nor continuing low prices for coal globally and natural gas in the US restrained the boom in clean energy investment....
Lowering the Risk of Slips and Falls. Although none of us can lower the risk to zero, there are some things you can do to manage the risk and lower the potential for a painful and dangerous fall on ice. Check your medications, consider exercises to help you with strength and balance (yoga?) and check with your doctor on preventative steps you can take. Here's an excerpt from The National Safety Council with some good advice: "...Falls are preventable and aging, itself, does not cause falls. Some of the underlying causes of older-adult falls, such as muscle weakness, medications that cause dizziness, improper footwear, impaired vision, slick floors, poor lighting, loose rugs, clutter and uneven surfaces, can be improved. While falls can happen anywhere, they most often occur at home. What can you do to make your home or the home of someone you love safer?
- Remove clutter, small furniture, pet gear, electrical cords, throw rugs and anything else that might cause someone to trip
- Arrange or remove furniture so there is plenty of room for walking
- Secure carpets to the floor
- Wipe up spills immediately
- Make sure outdoor areas are well lit and walkways are smooth and free from ice..."
What's So Significant About Oil Prices at $30 per Barrel? The Washington Post provides analysis; here's a clip: "...“The starting point is the oversupply in the world market and the battle for market share among the exporters,” says Daniel Yergin, a longtime energy expert and the vice chairman of IHS. “But the oil price is also being pounded down by the geopolitical rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran in the Middle East, and the imminent return of Iranian oil under the nuclear agreement, and at the same time, by the increasingly big worries about the Chinese economy...”
Photo credit above: "
Photo credit above: "Camelina seeds." (Courtesy of Agragen)
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"...A healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meats; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains.Image credit above: Healthy Food Team.
Additional strong evidence shows that it is not necessary to eliminate food groups or conform to a single dietary pattern to achieve healthy dietary patterns. Rather, individuals can combine foods in a variety of flexible ways to achieve healthy dietary patterns, and these strategies should be tailored to meet the individual’s health needs, dietary preferences and cultural traditions..."
SATURDAY: Sunny peeks, feels like -25F Winds: NW 10-20. High: -1
SUNDAY: Windchill Alert. Sunny, dangerously cold. Feels like -35F. Wake-up: 16. High: -8
MONDAY: Arctic sunlight. Less wind. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: -17. High: -1
TUESDAY: Clouds increase, few flurries. Wake-up: -9. High: 9
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy, not as harsh. Wake-up: 3. High: 19
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, more seasonable. Wake-up: 11. High: 23
Migration and Climate Change Top Risks Facing Global Economy. Here's the intro to a story at Financial Times: "Forced migration and climate change are the biggest risks facing the global economy this decade, according to 750 experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum. The warning was published in the 11th edition of WEF’s Global Risks Report and in advance of the annual gathering of global leaders at Davos next week. More than 60m people are displaced worldwide, compared with 40m at the end of the second world war. Last year 1m migrated to Europe. The majority of the world’s forced migrants are internally displaced within Africa and the Middle East..." (Photo credit: AFP).
* The report from WEP, The World Economic Forum, is here.
Photo credit above: "An ice core from west Greenland shows a line marking what scientists call a shift from the Holocene epoch to the Anthropocene with glacial sediments giving way to nonglacial organic matter."
I'm looking forward to facilitating a discussion with Minnesota business leaders on how resilience, sustainability and innovation can turn a potential negative into a positive, for shareholders, investors and all Minnesotans as we transition to a clean-energy economy while preserving the Minnesota we've come to know and love for our kids and future generations.
From protecting precious water resources to the growing impact on Minnesota's agricultural economy to tribal preparation to communication challenges and emergency management, there's something at this conference for everyone. Attached you'll find the draft agenda, which hopefully will assist you in making your decision to attend. Please follow this link to register for the conference!
Scientists Say Greenhouse Gas Emissions Have Canceled the Next Ice Age. Well here's some truly good news, courtesy of The Washington Post: "...Moreover, the study says, massive human greenhouse gas emissions since that time have likely “postponed” what might otherwise be another ice age “by at least 100,000 years.” The new research is based on the idea that there are two key factors that shape whether the Earth goes into an ice age (or glacial period) or not. There’s one that humans can influence, as well as one they really can’t. The factor out of our control is the Earth’s Milankovitch cycles, which describe the erratic way in which the planet orbits the sun and spins on its axis over vast time periods..."
Image credit: Williams College.