Forecast Dilemmas - Maps Look Like Late March
The forecast is rarely simple, cut and dry. Unless you're a comatose weather dude in Phoenix or San Diego during the summer months.
Predicting temperature is more straightforward than precipitation. Timing is easier with fall, winter and spring storms, when rain and snow is "stratiform" - widespread smears of moisture, as opposed to random, hit or miss "convective" summer thundershowers.
And do you predict the forecast high/low at MSP International Airport, where the official recordings are taken? Downtown temperatures can be 3-8F warmer than outlying suburbs due to the urban heat island.
One of many meteorological quandaries we deal with on a daily basis.
There's little doubt temperatures will mellow into next week; probably an extended run of 50s with a 1 in 3 chance of 60F on Tuesday. That's 20F warmer than average, coming after a February 4F warmer than normal. I detect a trend.
No mega-storms brewing, maybe a light mix Friday night; the atmosphere warm enough for generic rain showers by Monday - thunder by Tuesday.
On the blog below: are extreme tornado outbreaks becoming more common - and February was the warmest month in the satellite record.
Image credit above: "
Most death and destruction inflicted by tornadoes in North America occurs during outbreaks—large-scale weather events that can last one to three days and span huge regions. The largest outbreak ever recorded happened in 2011. It spawned 363 tornadoes across the United States and Canada, killing more than 350 people and causing $11 billion in damage. Now, a new study shows that the average number of tornadoes in these outbreaks has risen since 1954, and that the chance of extreme outbreaks —tornado factories like the one in 2011—has also increased. The study’s authors said they do not know what is driving the changes. “The science is still open,” said lead author Michael Tippett, a climate and weather researcher at Columbia University’s School of Applied Science and Engineering and Columbia’s Data Science Institute..." (The paper below is available at Nature Communications).
Photo credit above: Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer, minnyapple.com.
Isotopes in water molecules act like a “chemical fingerprint,” said Jeff Welker, a UAA biology professor involved in the project. Analysis by Welker, UAA postdoctoral fellow Eric Klein and their research partners at the State University of New York and other institutions parsed out the isotopes associated with the Arctic -- considered a cold, dry source of water -- and matched them to the heavy precipitation events at the New Hampshire location. The analysis also tracked increasing incidences of Arctic-marked rain and snowfall over time with reduced Arctic sea ice -- and with polar vortex events like the one that warmed Alaska but chilled the U.S. East Coast in the winter of 2013-14. The chemical evidence backs up the emerging theory that the rapid warming of the Arctic is slowing the jet stream, causing a wavy pattern that brings warm weather to the far north and cold weather to the middle latitudes, Welker and Klein said..."
Photo credit above: " Elise Amendola / Associated Press file photo
El Nino Eases to Moderate Levels. Reuters has the story.
Photo credit: "A Syrian refugee camp in Turkey." Credit: European Parliament.
Photo credit above: "A man feeds shrimps at a farm in Vietnam's Mekong delta province of Ben Tre August 22, 2015." REUTERS/Kham.
Listen Up Candidates: Science Matters, and Here's Why. Scientific American has a link to a good explainer video: "Because researchers work on solving problems that every politician should care about—including climate risks, clean energy, new materials, emerging diseases and a wide range of technologies that can fuel economic growth—the Science Coalition, a group of universities that lobbies for federal investments in research, is sponsoring an event called Super Science Tuesday. It's a video compilation in which scientists tell the candidates why they need to pay attention..."
Image credit: National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health.
File image: NASA ISS.
Wind on Track to Top Hydro as the Leading U.S. Renewable After 2017. Here's the intro to a story at Utility Dive: "Hydropower, long the leading source of renewable energy in the United States, is slated to be overtaken by wind generation by the end of 2017, Generation Hub reports. At the end of 2015, wind accounted for 6.33% of the U.S. power mix and hydro made up 8.41%. There are 12,329 MW of wind in construction or planning but only 317 MW of hydropower capacity in construction or planning at present, according to recent FERC numbers. By the end of 2017, wind is likely to account for about 8.4% of the U.S. electricity supply and challenge hydro for the U.S. renewables lead..."
Best Pictures from #YearInSpace. Check out some amazing photos taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on the International Space Station, courtesty of Flickr.
FRIDAY: Light mix possible, wet roads. Winds: S 10-15. High: 38
SATURDAY: Blue sky, warmer than average. Winds: W 7-12. Wake-up: 29. High: 41
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy, milder and gusty. Winds: S 15-25. Wake-up: 31. High: 53
MONDAY: Feels like late March, few showers. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 36. High: 54
TUESDAY: Some sun, risk of a T-shower. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 47. High: 58
WEDNESDAY: Intervals of sun, no sign of winter. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 32. High: 48
Pending Prosecution of Fossil Fuel Companies Over Climate Denial? Here's an excerpt from Bloomberg BNA: "...I'm confident the U.S. Department of Justice will also do an investigation, and they in fact may be doing one now. In my experience, they typically don't say they're doing investigations. Same with the Securities and Exchange Commission—they may not say they're doing an investigation. If you look at what the fossil fuel companies—and I specifically say companies because now there's evidence that it wasn't just Exxon Mobil who knew about climate change—planned for it and then denied it. Shell also knew about climate change, planned for it and then publicly denied it. That set back the fight against climate change for decades, which is unfortunate because [the necessary action] is not just merely taking carbon, methane and other greenhouse gases out of the air. It's taking it out of the air within a certain amount of time..." (File image: LM Otero, AP).
Graphic credit: Yale Program on Climate Change Communication Get the data. Created with Datawrapper.
Photo credit above: Nati Harnik, AP.
Image Credit: Leaflet via a Wiki CC BY-SA 3.0 License