48 F. average high on March 28.
41 F. high on March 28, 2015.
March 29, 1986: Record warmth occurs with July-like temperatures. A monthly record high of 83 occurs at the Twin Cities.
The Case of the Disappearing Arctic Cold Front
March Madness is an apt metaphor for our increasingly goofy weather. By the way, how did you do with your brackets this year?
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Welcome to the sobering, humbling world of predicting the future. You can analyze statistics until you're blue in the face, but predicting injuries, which players will rise to the occasion when the pressure is on? Good luck. In spite of data, analytics and models there are still unknown unknowns - things beyond our capacity to predict in advance.
The last 12 months have been the warmest in Minnesota state history, by a considerable margin. A jolt of El Nino and sustained jaw-dropping warmth in the arctic - whatever the cause even the cold fronts have lost much of their oomph.
The much-advertised arctic front next weekend? Never mind. Every new computer run pushes the coldest air farther north and east. We'll see a glancing blow of chilly air, but I can live with low 40s.
In the meantime we hit 60F today. Showers arrive tonight, spiked with thunder Wednesday before we dry out and cool off Thursday. You may even need a jacket by late week, with temperatures a few degrees below normal.
March is 9F warmer than average, to date.
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..."
Vitamin D and Depression: Where Is All The Sunshine? Here's a relatively recent study into vitamin D deficiencies and a potential link to depression; hardly a surprise to anyone suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Here's an excerpt of a paper at The National Center for Biotechnology Information: "...Assessment of vitamin D status will need consideration of other factors, such as light therapy and sun exposure. Exposure to sunlight accounts for over 90% of the vitamin D requirement for most individuals (Holick, 2004). Amount of exposure to ultraviolet B radiation is affected by latitude, season, and time of the day. It has been reported that sun exposure is greatest in spring to early fall and during sunlight hours (Holick, 2004). Although places closer to the equator have greater sun exposure (Hawaii, Arizona, Florida), recently it has been reported that in even in these areas vitamin D insufficiency persists (Binkley et al., 2007; Jacobs et al., 2008; Levis et al., 2005). Since it is possible that persons who are outdoors may be more physically active, it is important to consider whether sunshine alone or in combination with physical activity is related to improved mood...."
Disaster-Ready. FEMA has a new app that seems like a good addition to your smartphone - like insurance you don't need it until you need it. You can load a few different locations and have all the information you need at your fingertips, even if the power goes out. The old Boy Scout motto comes to mind. Be Prepared.
Graphic credit above: "This graph shows how much wind, solar and natural gas electric power generating capacity was built in 2015 compared to the previous year." Credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration
Image credit above: "
Image credit: EIA and CNN.
TODAY: Mild sun, breezy and pleasant much of the day. Winds: S 10-20. High: 61
TUESDAY NIGHT: Showers, slight chance of thunder. Low: 47
WEDNESDAY: Showery rains, wettest day in sight. Winds: SE 10-15. High: 54
THURSDAY: Showers taper, slow PM clearing. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 38. High: 44
FRIDAY: Chilly, few sprinkles or flurries. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 34. High: near 40
SATURDAY: Intervals of sun, not bad. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 29. High: 46
SUNDAY: Overcast, chance of a light mix. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 31. High: 42
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, light jacket weather. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 28. High: 41
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...”
File image above: NASA.
Carbon Emissions Highest in 66 Million Years, Since Dinosaur Age. Here's the lead to a story at Reuters: "The rate of carbon emissions is higher than at any time in fossil records stretching back 66 million years to the age of the dinosaurs, according to a study on Monday that sounds an alarm about risks to nature from man-made global warming. Scientists wrote that the pace of emissions even eclipses the onset of the biggest-known natural surge in fossil records, 56 million years ago, that was perhaps driven by a release of frozen stores of greenhouse gases beneath the seabed..."
Photo credit above: "A chimney is seen in front of residential buildings during a polluted day in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China, January 21, 2016." Reuters/Stringer.