24 F. average high on January 21.
30 F. high on January 21, 2015.
January 22, 1982: The Twin Cities receive 21.1 inches of snow, with a total of nearly 40 inches on the ground.
January 22, 1936: Perhaps the coldest wind chill the Twin Cities has ever seen occurs on this day; it hits -67 with the new wind chill formula (-87 with the old formula). The temperature was -34 with a wind speed of 20mph. All traffic in the Twin Cities was severely hampered and a number of fatalities were caused by the cold.
"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water" quipped comedian Carl Reiner. Folks living near Washington D.C. may soon agree. Media spin is in overdrive and the hype may be warranted this time.
Coastal Flood Threat. NOAA has issued Coastal Flood Watches from the Virginia Tidewater north to Long Island Sound. The greatest risk of flooding comes close to high tide Saturday and Sunday. Although this won't rival "Sandy" for storm surge, this system is not your typical Nor'easter - water damage may be extensive, comparable to a strong tropical storm going up the coast. Map: AerisWeather.
Timing the Storm. The heaviest snows are shaded in purple, blue is ligher snow and green denotes rain. You can watch the evolution of heavy snow bands as the Nor'easter pushes up the coast late Friday into Sunday:
Image credit above: "Hurricane Joaquin is seen over the Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean in an image from the NOAA GOES West satellite, Oct. 1, 2015." REUTERS/NOAA/Handout via Reuters.
Animation credit: "A comparison of NASA satellite images of the Mississippi River on January 3, 2016, and January 10, 2015". (Photo: NASA)
15 Before-And-After Images That Show How We're Transforming the Planet. Vox has a terrific photo-essay; here's an excerpt: "...One of the most dramatic ways we're transforming the planet is through global warming. And a great place to see its effects is through the melting of glaciers and ice sheets around the world. The images above show the Columbia Glacier in Alaska, which flows directly into the sea. The glacier had stayed more or less fixed in place between its discovery in 1794 and 1980, but then suddenly began shrinking. Between 1986 and 2014, its nose had retreated 12 miles north, making it one of the fastest-receding glaciers in the world..."
Image credit above: "Alaska's Columbia Glacier, seen on July 28, 1986 and July 2, 2014." (NASA, Images of Change)
Amidst Drop in Oil Prices, U.S. Navy Deploys "Great Green Fleet". Reuters reports: "The U.S. Navy will formally deploy its so-called "Great Green Fleet" on Wednesday, sending warships to sea on biofuels even though oil prices have dropped 70 percent since congressional Republicans first criticized the high cost of alternative fuels. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told Reuters the deployment is the next step in a fleet-wide effort that has seen the Navy cut its oil consumption by 15 percent since he took charge in 2009 and the Marine Corps curb its use by 60 percent. A focus on energy and energy-saving technology gives the U.S. Navy a military advantage, Mabus said..."
Photo credit above: "A cyclist rides his bicycle during “No Car Day” in Bogota, 2015. The event was organized to encourage residents to use other modes of public transportation to help reduce the amount of pollution." Photograph: Jose Gomez/Reuters.
TODAY: Partly sunny, brisk. Winds: N 5-10. High: near 20
FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 10
SATURDAY: Fading sun, stiff breeze. Winds: S 10-20. High: 26
SUNDAY: Mostly gray, risk of a thaw. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 20. High: 32
MONDAY: Couple inches of snow possible. Wake-up: 26. High: 30
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, better travel day. Wake-up: 19. High: 23
WEDNESDAY: Dry start, burst of light snow late? Wake-up: 17. High: 27
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, milder than average. Wake-up: 21. High: 31
Global Warming in 2015 Made Weather More Extreme and It's Likely To Get Worse. Jason Samenow has an Op-Ed at The Washington Post; here's an excerpt: "...On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA jointly announced that 2015 was the warmest year on record for the planet. The previous record, set just 12 months ago in 2014, wasn’t merely broken, it was smashed. There’s a saying that numbers numb and stories sell, but the latest climate numbers tell a story that is stunning. Including 2015, 15 of the 16 warmest years in NOAA’s 136-year climate record have occurred since 2000. And 2015 marks the 39th consecutive year, dating to 1977, in which global temperatures have been above the 20th-century average..."
Photo credit above: Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo.
AP Fact Check: Ted Cruz Misstates Science of Climate Change. Why the double-speak? Follow the money, specifically the source of campaign contributions. Here's an excerpt from AP:"...CRUZ: "The satellites that actually measure the temperature, that we've launched into the air to measure the temperature, they have recorded no significant warming whatsoever for the last 18 years."
Photo credit above: "Wildfires devastated large parts of California and the West, which has been suffering from a historic drought." Max Whittaker/Reuters.
Photo credit above: "Exxon Mobil, which operates a refinery in Torrance, above, has issued statements denying news reports that it suppressed climate-change research." (Christina House / For The Times).
Pentagon Ordered to Address Climate Change. Here's the intro to story at The Washington Free Beacon: "A new directive issued by Pentagon leaders mandates that the agency work to “assess and manage risks associated with the impacts of climate change,” according to a copy of the Jan. 14 directive issued by Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work. As the Obama administration focuses on a larger effort to push its climate change agenda, the Pentagon will now “address the impacts of climate change.” This includes engaging in “deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planning” to “improve climate preparedness and resilience,” according to the directive..." (File photo: Wikipedia).
Climate Change and Minnesota Agribusiness: a Reason for Hope. I've personally witnessed much more attention being paid to climate volatility from General Mills, Cargill and other Minnesota-based companies. Here's another perspective in an Op-Ed at Minnpost: "Too often big business is written off as an environmental problem, without exploring its potential as a tool for progress. Agribusiness must be part of the solution for climate-change adaptation, especially for smallholder farmers in the global south. Right now, the fields in Minnesota may be covered with snow, but according to social responsibility reports, corporations like Cargill and General Mills are helping farmers in developing countries improve their livelihoods. Conscious consumers should demand more information about these programs to determine if they are creating the social impact they claim to generate..."
Photo credit above: CC/Flickr/David Wright. "Agribusiness is a leading contributor to climate change. The industry and lawmakers should do more to address this issue and support the farmers most affected by our carbon-intensive lifestyles."