A Sharp, Concentrated Cold Wave Coming Next Week
My recent ankle injury (watch the ice!) has me recalibrating my New Year's resolutions: spend more time and effort getting healthy. More time on relationships, experiences and making memories, less time accumulating (crap) that winds up in a landfill within a few years.
No, winter hasn't been canceled, although one of the things I hear on a routine basis is how Minnesota doesn't experience as many long-duration cold waves: night after night, week after week below zero. The stories your parents told you, growing up. The wild weather-war stories that fill visitors with wide-eyed wonder.
A slushy mix is possible Wednesday, maybe an inch or two Friday as a weak storm spins up along the leading edge of arctic air.
Sunday's Vikings play-off game may be one for the ages: 0F with a wind chill of 25 below? The Seahawks won't know what hit 'em. A reinforcing lobe of subzero air arrives Tuesday, but temperatures moderate late next week; a Pacific breeze thaws us out by the 3rd week of January.
Next week will be a numbing reminder that MSP is a distant southern suburb of Winnipeg.
What North America Can Expect From El Nino. Every El Nino has a different "flavor" and slightly different symptoms, no two events are identical, according to a good overview at The Conversation; here's an excerpt: "...During the coming months, climate scientists expect that El Niño will pull the east Pacific Northern Hemisphere jet stream and its associated storm track southward. Normally these storms veer to the north toward the Gulf of Alaska or enter North America near British Columbia and Washington, where they often link up with cold Arctic and Canadian air masses and bring them down into the United States. Instead, with the jet stream following an altered path, the northern states are likely to experience relatively mild and drier-than-normal weather. Storms tracking across the continent further to the south will likely create wet conditions in California and across the South as far east as Florida..."
Photo credit above: " " Dave Gatley/FEMA.
Image credit above: "Typhoon Kilo, Tropical Storm Ignacio, and Hurricane Jimena in the Pacific Ocean are captured by Japan's Himawari satellite on Sept. 2." JMA/NOAA.
Photo credit above: "Destroyed cars and homes at Plantation Place RV Park on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, in Sunnyvale, Texas. A total of 12 officially declared tornados swept through North Texas recently, killing 11 and damaging at least 2,000 homes and buildings in multiple communities." (Rachel Woolf/Dallas Morning News/TNS)
Image credit above: "Hurricane Wilma, the last major hurricane to hit the U.S., departs Florida to the east in October 2005." (Photo By: NASA).
First Known Hacker-Caused Power Outage Signals Troubling Escalation. Ars Technica has the worrying details; here's the intro: "Highly destructive malware that infected at least three regional power authorities in Ukraine led to a power failure that left hundreds of thousands of homes without electricity last week, researchers said. The outage left about half of the homes in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine without electricity, Ukrainian news service TSN reported in an article posted a day after the December 23 failure. The report went on to say that the outage was the result of malware that disconnected electrical substations. On Monday, researchers from security firm iSIGHT Partners said they had obtained samples of the malicious code that infected at least three regional operators. They said the malware led to "destructive events" that in turn caused the blackout. If confirmed it would be the first known instance of someone using malware to generate a power outage..." Photo credit: Krzysztof Lasoń
WEDNESDAY: Light snow or icy mix, slushy on the roads. Inch or two can't be ruled out. High: 32
THURSDAY: Overcast, few flurries. Wake-up: 30. High: 33
FRIDAY: Period of wet snow, another light accumulation? Wake-up: 31. High: 33
SATURDAY: Snow tapers to flurries, colder. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 26. High: 28 (falling)
SUNDAY: Vikings "Ice Bowl" feels like -25F. Some feeble sun, frigid. Winds: W 10-15. Wake-up: -5. High: 0F
MONDAY: Quick shot of snow - icy roads possible. Wake-up: -3. High: 15
Image credit above: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters / Zak Bickel / The Atlantic.
Strange Weather Points to the Potential Impact of Global Warming. The concern is amplifying and intensifying the weather that would have happened anyway - wetter storms, deeper, longer droughts, more intense heat spikes. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from The News and Observer: "Climate scientists stress that isolated weather events and short-term trends do not necessarily have a relation to the Earth’s overall climate. But even cautious scientists and people skeptical about climate change might feel a stab of worry about the weather of 2015. If the planet is getting warmer, as an overwhelming majority of scientists agree, then the year just past gave a stark preview of what may be in store if the nations of the world cannot halt or slow the trend. Some of the most vivid evidence of altered weather patterns came at year’s end. Storms with hurricane-force winds lashed and flooded Northern Europe. Tornadoes typical of spring came through the South’s tornado alley in early winter. The Mississippi River, usually low in winter, is so swollen from relentless rain that it is flooding parts of the Mississippi Valley..."
The finding: We could be entering an era of warming unseen in at least 1,000 years.
Why it made the list: The rate of global warming has increased with each passing decade. A couple of studies published this year show that the rate will not only continue to rise, but soon be one the earth hasn’t seen since the Vikings found their way to Greenland (and possibly longer than that). Warming will be fastest in the northern hemisphere, which just so happens to be where most humans live..."