39 F. average high on November 19.
37 F. high on November 19, 2015.
November 20, 1996: Heavy snowfall accumulations of four to eight inches blanket much of Central Minnesota. Some of the heavier amounts included 8 inches at Montevideo and Gaylord, along with 7 inches at St. James, Mankato, Madison and Stewart. Six inches was reported in the Twin Cities and Glenwood.
November 20, 1953: Freezing rain hits parts of Minnesota. 3 inches of ice accumulates on wires at telephone wires at Lake Benton.
It's Not The Snow or Cold - It's Fear of ICE
"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water" said Carl Reiner. It took me 30 years living in Minnesota to figure this out: kids adore snow (snow days!) while older residents tolerate the flakes. It isn't so much fear of snow, but "Pagophobia", an irrational fear of ice.
Having broken my ankle last winter slipping on ice (walking the dog - ugh) I get it now.
With cold and snow you can take countermeasures. Ice? Good luck.
This year the first flakes arrived before the first 32-degree low, which is unusual. According to Pete Boulay at the State Climate Office the latest first flakes on record at MSP came November 21, 1953. That winter only 25.7 inches fell. Then again you can prove anything with statistics.
My gut: in spite of a shorter, more compressed winter we'll pick up more than the 37 inches that fell last winter at MSP.
No worries today, but a light icy mix is possible Tuesday. That said, I expect mostly rain with a dry sky on Thanksgiving.
I'd wager a stale bagel we'll have snow on the ground for Christmas this year. Santa is pumped!
Lake Effect Season Has Arrived. A significant temperature differential will whip up strong instability snow showers and squalls over the next 36 hours, dumping some 1-2 foot amounts near Rochester and Watertown, New York. No big snows for the big city centers from Boston to Washington D.C. yet.
Photo credit: Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post. "Victor Muffat-Jeandet of France races in the first run of the giant slalom FIS World Cup Birds of Prey race in Beaver Creek on Dec. 6, 2015."
Winter Travel Tips. Here's an excerpt of a pretty good list of things to consider as we head into snow and ice season, courtesy of The Twin Cities National Weather Service:
Out on the Road
- Before increasing your speed, get a feel for the traction. Remember that bridges and overpasses can be more slippery than other parts of the road. Do not brake suddenly. If you have anti-lock brakes, apply steady and firm pressure to the pedal. Do not pump anti-lock brakes
- If you begin to skid, remain calm. Ease your foot off of the gas and turn the wheel in the direction you want the front of the car to go
- When driving near snowplows, remember: Stay Back, Stay Alive. Reduce your speed. Never drive into a snow cloud. An average snowplow weighs 17 times more than an average car. If you are in a collision with a snowplow, you will lose. Be patient; follow eight seconds behind snowplows
- Check the latest weather information as you drive
- If severe winter weather is expected, consider postponing travel
- Avoid traveling alone during a winter storm
- Always fill the gas tank before entering open country, even for a short distance
- Stock your vehicle with a winter storm safety kit
- If the storm begins to be too much for you to handle, seek refuge
Photo credit: U.S. Forest Service. "Dead pine trees dominate a hillside in the Los Padres National Forest, north of Frazier Park."
This year there have been 36 lightning deaths in the U.S., the most since 2007 when there were 45 fatalities. On average there have been about 30 lightning deaths in the U.S. in recent years.
More information on the Geostationary Lightning Mapper can be found at:
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-noaa-goes-r-satellite.html#jCp
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-noaa-goes-r-satellite.html#jCp
We Really Need To Figure Out How To Stop a Killer Asteroid, Scientists Say. Here's a clip from The Washington Post: "...NASA has discovered some 17,000 potentially hazardous near-Earth objects, but none of them is projected to come close to Earth in the next hundred years. No human that we know of has been killed by a meteorite or the effects of an impact, and the likelihood that this could happen to any of us is very, very slim. The chance of an impact big enough to destroy our planet is even smaller. Remember that Earth has suffered only one mass extinction-inducing impact that we know of in its 4.6 billion-year history, and even that asteroid didn't end life entirely. Our planet is pretty resilient. Still, plenty of researchers don't want to simply wait around and see what happens..."
Image credit: "
Stephen Hawking Just Gave Humanity a Due Date For Finding Another Planet. The Washington Post has the story: "If humanity survives the rise of artificial intelligence, the ravages of climate change and the threat of nuclear terrorism in the next century, it doesn't mean we're home free, according to Stephen Hawking. The renowned theoretical physicist has gone as far as providing humanity with a deadline for finding another planet to colonize: We have 1,000 years. Remaining on Earth any longer, Hawking believes, places humanity at great risk of encountering another mass extinction. “We must ... continue to go into space for the future of humanity,” the 74-year-old Cambridge professor said during a speech Tuesday at Oxford University Union, according to the Daily Express..." (File image: NASA).
Dancing in a Hurricane. Thomas Friedman explains our collective angst and paranoia in an Op-Ed at The New York Times: "...So no wonder many in the West feel unmoored. The two things that anchored them in the world — their community and their job — are feeling destabilized. They go to the grocery store and someone there speaks to them in a different language or is wearing a head covering. They go into the men’s room and there is someone next to them who looks to be of a different gender. They go to work and there’s now a robot sitting next to them who seems to be studying their job. I celebrate this diversity of people and ideas — but for many others they’ve come faster than they can adapt..." (Image: GE Reports)
TODAY: Sunny and brisk. Winds: SE 5-10. High: 35
SUNDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear and chilly. Low: 26
MONDAY: Partly sunny, still dry. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 39
TUESDAY: Icy mix, then mostly rain. Winds: E 10-20. Wake-up: 30. High: 38
WEDNESDAY: Light snow tapers to flurries. Coating? Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 32. High: 36
THURSDAY: Nervous turkeys. Mostly cloudy. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 29. High: 41
FRIDAY: More clouds than sun, risk of shopping. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 28. High: 40
SATURDAY: Lot's of clouds, no weather drama. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 26. High: 38
President Trump Might Be Exactly What The Climate Movement Needs. Here's an excerpt from an analysis at Slate: "...His decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement could incite international backlash with adverse U.S. economic consequences—for instance, it could cause France to impose a carbon tax on imported American goods. Such moves by a Trump administration could trigger broad populist support for climate policy that, to date, has yet to emerge. There are hints that this is already happening. In the week since Trump’s election, many environmental organizations have received record-breaking numbers of donations. Many came from first-time donors; in fact, in just the past week, one group received gifts from as many new donors as it usually gets in an entire year. Indeed, the passion shown in Sanders rallies does not appear to be withering. Rather, it could gather strength in the coming months as people rally around Trump’s anti-environmental policies..." (File photo: AP)
Greenland's Getting Warmer, But Farmers There Are Struggling More Than Ever. Here's an snippet of an NPR story: "...Since Greenland's 60,000 citizens rely almost entirely on food imports from Denmark and other European countries, farmers and officials have hoped that steadily rising temperatures, and shorter winters, would spur a growth in agriculture here. (Summer temperatures have risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit in southern Greenland since 1975, increasing the growing season by two weeks.) And media stories about Arctic gardening in greenhouses or the warming temperatures have hyped the possibilities. Instead, says Aqalooraq Frederiksen, a third-generation farmer who works at a regional farmer assistance bureau, the dry summers are diminishing the prospects for Greenlandic farming..."