45 F. average high on March 24.
38 F. high on March 24, 2015.
3" snow on the ground at 7 PM Thursday evening at MSP International Airport.
March 25, 2007: Record warmth stretches from southern Minnesota to western Wisconsin with 72 at Owatonna, 77 at Menomonie, WI, and 80 at Eau Claire, WI.
March 25, 1981: An F2 tornado hits Morrison county and does $25,000 worth of damage.
Saturday Showers - Spring Returns Next Week
All weather, like politics, is local. "Paul, don't give me a snowfall range. Tell me precisely how many inches of slush will fall in MY YARD!" I hear you.
On Wednesday, had I predicted 0-12" of snow for the metro area, the nice men in white lab coats would have whisked me away to the Weather Sanitarium. I would have been forcibly medicated. But that's exactly what happened: not a flake in Maple Grove, 1-3" for the downtowns and close-in suburbs, but a whopping FOOT of slush in Savage and Rosemount.
Meteorologists forecast the big picture, the macro view, but weather is inherently micro: neighborhood-level. When you're on the edge of a snowstorm the gradient, the variations, can be extreme. New GPS-specific smartphone apps are a step in the right direction catching these wild variations in snow and rain.
The atmosphere should be warm enough aloft for rain showers tonight into Saturday; 50s will feel good next week.
NOAA's GFS model hints at teens within 7-8 days, then 70s to near 80F in about 2 weeks. Serious weather whiplash.
Nothing beats spring on the prairie huh?
Winter Precipitation: More Rain, Less Snow. Climate Central takes a look a larger trends - here's an excerpt: "...Even in a warming world, snow will fall. However, the amount of snow and when it falls will likely change as greenhouse gases build up in the atmosphere. We examined cold season precipitation at stations across the country, specifically looking at how much snow is falling compared to rain. Our analysis is consistent with earlier EPA findings. The Northwest and the Upper Midwest are the climate regions seeing the largest decreases in precipitation falling as snow over the past 66 years..."
Photo credit above: "Some of the cloud photographs shown to study participants. (A) A supercell thunderstorm with a "cauliflower-like", hard-textured appearance. (B) A wall cloud. (C) A shelf cloud. (D) Blue skies, with a few cirrus clouds. (E) and (F) Tornadoes, with their funnel clouds clearly visible. Photos courtesy of NOAA ((A), (C), (E), (F)), Roger Edwards ((D)), and Marko Korošec (B)." Image credit ERL.
Scientists Crown the Lightning Capital of the World. And here I thought it was Africa's Congo - here's an excerpt from CityLab: "Astraphobes who dive under their beds at the first rumblings of a storm should stay away from Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo, as it’s just been verified as the most lightning-cursed place on the planet. Researchers from Brazil’s Universidade de São Paulo, NASA, and elsewhere poured through 16 years of space observations to give this honorific to what some call South America’s biggest lake (technically, it’s more of a bay or lagoon). Thunderstorms occur an average of 297 nights a year, triggered by a “deep nocturnal convection driven by locally forced convergent flow,” according to a study in this month’s Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society..."
Photo credit above: "Lightning crackles over Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela in this long-exposure shot from 2014." (Jorge Silva/Reuters).
TODAY: Sunny start, clouds increase PM hours. Winds: S 10-20. High: 45
FRIDAY NIGHT: Rain showers likely. Low: 35
SATURDAY: Sloppy and raw, rain showers likely. Winds: N 8-13. High: 42
SUNDAY: Brighter, drier day of the weekend. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 29. High: 47
MONDAY: Sunny intervals, feels like spring again. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 33. High: 52
TUESDAY: Mix of clouds & sun, slightly feverish. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 37. High: 57
WEDNESDAY: Showers, possible T-storms. Winds: S 15-25. Wake-up: 44. High: 56
THURSDAY: Damp start, then slow clearing. Winds: N 8-13. Wake-up: 41. High: near 50
James Hansen's Apocalyptic Sea Level Study Lands to Mixed Reviews. Climate Home has the update.
Defense Department Redefines Climate Change. Here's a clip from The New York Times: "...Specifically, the department anticipates “increased need for air, sea and land capabilities and capacity in the Arctic region,” and “damage from thawing permafrost and sea ice in Alaska and the Arctic region,” Mr. Osial wrote. Some additional risks they associate with climate change portend a grim future. Those risks include “disruption to and competition for reliable energy and fresh water supplies” and “changed disease vector distribution, increasing the complexity and cost of ongoing disease-management efforts,” among others, he added..."
U.S. Faces Rising Tide of Climate Refugees. It's already started: coastal Alaska and Louisiana, and the pace of resettlement inland will increase in the years to come as seas continue to rise. Here's an excerpt at Climate Home: "A study of US counties vulnerable to sea level rise warns that if the coasts are not protected, the movement of people could match the scale of the 20th-century “Great Migration” of African-Americans from the south to the northern states. Altogether, the new research concludes, more than 13 million people could be affected by a sea level rise of 1.8 metres. This is the high end of climate science projections for sea level rise, but even at the low end a rise of 0.9 metres will put more than 4 million people at risk. And another study of vulnerability worldwide suggests that, everywhere, the chance of being affected by sea level rise has been underestimated. What matters in such calculations are the concentrations of population in the coastal zones..."
Photo credit above: "Sgt. Lee Savoy from the, Lousiana National Guard evacuates a child from the flood waters caused by Hurricane Isaac in 2012." (Pic: US Army/Flickr)
The Downside of Warming Winters. Fewer subzero nights is a pleasant silver lining (for most people). But early springs may come with consequences as well. Here's a clip from ThinkProgress: "...A warming climate will likely lead to more early springs and “false’’ springs, the latter prompted by unusual temperature spikes followed by cold snaps. “In some regions, living things get fooled into think spring has arrived, trees sprout, eggs hatch, etc., only to suffer another winter-like cold outbreak, potentially damaging or killing the ‘fooled’ organisms,’’ Mann said. In one study, for example, a false spring in 2012 caused $500 million in damages to fruit and vegetables in Michigan. And in the Washington, D.C. region, where cherry blossoms are an annual tourist draw, a predicted drop to freezing temperatures and snow this weekend — soon after an exceptionally early burst of warm temperatures — threatens the vulnerable blossoms as they enter a delicate growth stage..."