March 30, 1938: Springtime flooding hits Warroad and Grand Marais.
April Showers Come Early This Year
Yes, it's a little early to plant your annuals. The old rule of thumb was "wait until after Mother's Day to be safe from frost". Now? Good question. As winters shrink and the growing season expands there will be a temptation for farmers to sneak in an early planting. A longer frost-free season sounds good on paper, but it may be accompanied by more pests, allergens and invasive species.
There's always a catch.
At least we're not grappling with spring flooding this year, one benefit of a Peoria Winter. A temperature relapse is likely; nothing shocking or headline-grabbing, but temperatures run 5-10F below average Friday into Monday, with daytime highs near 40.
My hosta plants are poking little fingers of green through the topsoil, some 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule. Yesterday I had my first powerboat sighting on the lake. Boating in Minnesota - in March?
Showery rains are likely today and Thursday; jackets stage a comeback by late week with a few frosty nights expected. 50s return late next week; GFS models even hinting at 60F.
No rude April Fools jokes brewing just yet.
Image credit: Mike Hall Photography.
Graphic credit above: "This NASA Blue Marble image shows Arctic sea ice extent on March 24, 2016." Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center/NASA Earth Observatory
History of Climate Change, As Seen in Frost Maps From 1916. Here's an excerpt from Slate: "...On a website charting indicators of climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency offers a few graphs showing how the growing season in the continental United States has lengthened between 1895 and 2015, with most of the upswing taking place in the past 30 years. While stipulating that a lengthening growing season could have positive effects on yield for some farmers, the EPA notes that "overall, warming is expected to have negative effects on yields of major crops." A long season "could limit the types of crops grown, encourage invasive species or weed growth, or increase demand for irrigation..."
Map credit: EPA.
GOES-R test loop from February 24, 2016 courtesy of CIMSS Satellite Blog at the University of Wisconsin.
Predicting Severe Hailstorms. Phys.org examines new, higher-resolution models (500 meter) trying to isolate favorable regions for extreme hail; here's an excerpt: "...Because of the wide range of spatial and temporal scales that numerical weather predictions must cover and the fast turnaround required, they are almost always run on powerful supercomputers. The finer the resolution of the grid used to simulate the phenomena, the more accurate the forecast, but the more accurate the forecast, the more computation required. The highest-resolution National Weather Service's official forecasts have grid spacing of one point for every 3 kilometers. The model the Oklahoma team is using in the SHARP project, on the other hand, uses one grid point for every 500 miles - six times more resolved in the horizontal directions..."
Image credit above: "Radar imagery from 6:56 p.m. shows a close-up of the Mayfest supercell centered west of Benbrook, Texas. The pink and darkest red colors represent radar indications of large hail with this storm. The storm impacted the Mayfest festival at 7:10 pm." Credit: National Weather Service.
The highest-resolution National Weather Service's official forecasts have grid spacing of one point for every three kilometers. The model the Oklahoma team is using in the SHARP project, on the other hand, uses one grid point for every 500 meters—six times more resolved in the horizontal directions.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-03-severe-hail-storms.html#jCp
Largest Wildfire in State History Ravages Kansas. Here's an excerpt of an update at ThinkProgress: "...Still Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed a State of Disaster Emergency declaration for at least five Kansas counties. Brownback said Thursday that the fire was largely contained in Kansas except in Barber County, southwest of Wichita, the state’s largest city. “Things really appear to be going pretty well so far today,” he told the Associated Press. The Barber County fire is about 31 percent contained, according to authorities. Meanwhile, smaller fires were reported in Clark, Meade, Harvey and Reno counties, The Wichita Eagle reported Saturday. Kansas has been suffering from abnormal weather in recent years. And while some recent reports note that Kansas won’t be as affected by climate change as other states, recent temperatures have been unusually warm, making the region suceptible to wildfires..."
Photo credit: "The Crystal Serenity at sea".
TODAY: Periods of rain likely. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 50
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: More rain. Low: 38
THURSDAY: Showers taper, a bit raw out there. Winds: N 10-15. High: 46
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, few flakes around. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 33. High: near 40
SATURDAY: Clipper. Gusty winds, flurries. Winds: NW 15-30. Wake-up: 31. High: 39
SUNDAY: Light mix possible, no accumulation. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 30. High: 38
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, still chilly. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 28. High: 39
TUESDAY: Vague hints of spring return. Milder under partly sunny skies. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 30. High: near 50
Photo credit above: Kevin Wolf/AP. Images for the Weather Channel. "Jim Cantore, The Weather Channel on-camera meteorologist and storm tracker, reports on Winter Storm Jonas in Washington, D.C."
New Survey Finds a Growing Climate Consensus Among Meteorologists. Here's a snippet from Dr. John Abraham at The Guardian: "...Another important finding is that most meteorologists feel that some of the change can be averted, based on how we react. Small minorities felt that a large amount of change can be averted or that climate change cannot be averted. These views have changed over the years. For instance, almost 20% of meteorologists say their opinion on climate has changed over the past five years. Of that group, the vast majority are more convinced that the climate is changing and they cite a variety of reasons including new research, seeing first-hand evidence, the consensus amongst climate scientists, or from interactions with climate scientists. A final important result is that only 37% of the AMS respondents consider themselves climate experts..."
Photo credit above: "Cars drive through flooded streets behind a High Water sign in Hammond, Louisiana, USA, 11 March 2016. As climate change leads to more extreme weather, more meteorologists will likely take notice." Photograph: Dan Anderson/EPA.
Graphic above courtesy of The National Snow and Ice Data Center, which has more details on the record winter ice minimum in the arctic.
How To Talk Global Warming in Plain English. Some good advice from ClimateWire and Scientific American; here's an excerpt: "...It’s time, many of its past authors say, to consider shifting the assessment away from being a document that tells people what scientists do and do not know about climate change and its risks, and toward something more interactive. Something, many scientists said last week, that explicitly lays out how much time people have to plan, prepare and even pay for the inevitable adaptation. “We could make the goal that it should change the public discourse,” said Susanne Moser, a California-based scientist who worked on the coastal chapter of the last assessment and who studies ways of helping people understand the challenges and risks of climate change. “Do not tell me just how high the sea-level rise is going to get. Tell me how much time I have to solve a very tough problem...”