Beware the (Rainy) Ides of March: 1-3" Rain, Ending as Slush
Beware the Ides of March. With a rapidly rising sun angle and huge north-south temperature extremes March can brew up wicked extremes: blizzards, floods, even tornadoes.
Any other March we might be looking at a cool foot of slushy, sloppy snow. Not this year. Temperatures are 15-20 degrees too warm. A rapidly intensifying storm tracking from Wichita to Madison will throw a shield of moderate rain into town today and tonight; the NAM model prints out 1.3" of precipitation - all rain.
By the time it's cold enough for snow the moisture will be long gone; maybe a fistful of flurries by Thursday. By late week it should actually feel like March, with upper 30s and low 40s - closer to average for this time of year.
Except "average" keeps changing over time.
Seasonably chilly weather spills into early next week, but long-range GFS guidance pulls a few more 50-degree days into Minnesota the last week of March. Nothing arctic brewing.
Our fast-forward spring means frost is leaving the ground quickly, but rapid run-off may flood a few roads later today. I predict a tricky commute later today.
March 15, 1941: The 'Ides of March Blizzard' occurs. Winds reached hurricane force at Twin Cities. 32 people died. Source: Twin Cities National Weather Service.
A Swing to La Nina Later in 2016? Not so fast - Miriam O'Brien at HotWhopper sent me this nugget from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology: "Based on the 26 El Niño events since 1900, around 50% have been followed by a neutral year, and 40% have been followed by La Niña. International climate models suggest neutral is most likely for the second half of the year. However, La Niña in 2016 cannot be ruled out, and a repeat El Niño appears unlikely."
Graphic credit: Guardian graphic | Source: NASA.
Image credit: NASA GISS, Mashable.
Photo credit above: "This is a road in French Settlement. It's hard to tell where the line of separation is between it and the Amite River." Source: Gerron Jordan.
Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership Receiving National Recognition. Kudos to Xcel Energy, CenterPoint Energy and the city of Minneapolis. Here's an excerpt at Midwest Energy News: "Now into its second year, a unique partnership between the city of Minneapolis and two utilities is receiving national recognition and praise from clean energy advocates. On Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Clean Energy Partnership a Climate Leadership Award in the “Innovative Partnerships” category. That followed a January event at the White House where officials from the city and Xcel Energy were recognized by the Department of Energy for a software program that helps building owners to better understand their energy use. The partnership – the first of its kind in the country – brings together the city of Minneapolis, Xcel and the natural gas company CenterPoint Energy in an effort reduce greenhouse gas emissions through efficiency programs, renewable energy options and other approaches..."
United Airlines is Flying on Biofuels. Here's Why That's a Really Big Deal. The Washington Post has details; here's a clip: "...Friday’s launch will be the first application of that agreement. The flights will use a mixture of 30 percent biofuel and 70 percent traditional fuel, and United says that the biofuel will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 60 percent compared with regular fuel. In general, the idea behind renewable fuels is to use a biological source — for example, plant or animal matter — rather than a geological one, like oil. The Honeywell UOP technology that’s being applied at the AltAir refinery can utilize a range of difference sources, from used cooking oil to algae..."
Photo credit: "
Governor of Oregon Signs Contentious Anti-Coal Bill. Here's an excerpt from OregonLive.com: "...Gov. Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 1547 on Tuesday, handing Democrats a coveted political victory that comes despite lingering concerns the legislation might raise costs for utility customers. Brown's office announced the signature in a statement Thursday. The measure requires Oregon's two largest utilities, Portland General Electric and Pacific Power, to stop paying for out-of-state coal power by 2030. It also says utilities must serve half their customers' demand with renewable sources such as wind and solar by 2040..."
File photo credit: " Andrew J. Russell/Library of Congress.
Photo credit above: "
TODAY: Rain, heavy at times. Clap of thunder? Winds: SE 10-20. High: 57
TUESDAY NIGHT: Very Windy with heavy rain - potential for flooding. Winds: NW 20-45. Low: 39
WEDNESDAY: Rain tapers to showers, gusty and colder. Winds: W 15-30. High: 41
THURSDAY: A little wet snow - slushy coating possible. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 34. High: 38
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, jacket-worthy. Winds: N 8-13. Wake-up: 29. High: 39
SATURDAY: Still chilly, sprinkles and flurries. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 28. High: 39
SUNDAY: No sign of spring fever, flurries. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 29. High: near 40
MONDAY: More sun, a bit more mellow. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 30. High: 45
The More We Learn About Antarctica's Past, The Scarier the Present Looks. Chris Mooney has the results of new research at The Washington Post; here's a snippet: "For the second time in a month, leading scientists have closely tied the ancient history of the vast Antarctic ice sheet to a key planetary parameter that humans are now controlling — the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Last month, new research showed that during the Miocene era, some 14 to 23 million years ago, Antarctica gave up huge volumes of ice, equivalent to tens of meters of sea level rise, when levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are thought to have been around 500 parts per million. We’re at a little over 400 parts per million now..."
Photo credit above: "