Living in a Land of Low Weather Expectations
You move to San Diego because you want consistently lukewarm, sunny weather. Florida is balmy much of the year, but a miserable sauna during the summer. Arizona? A fine choice, if you don't mind living in a DESERT.
Minnesota? We're relieved if the mosquitoes are small, if the hail is only pea-size or less - and December temperatures reach freezing. Yesterday, with bright sun, light winds and mid-30s it felt pretty good out there. Admit it.
2016 was the wettest year on record for the Twin Cities. Accurate, reliable data goes back to 1871. Every month was milder than average, and in spite of -20F a few Sundays ago this month should be no exception. We end 2016 on a relatively mild note, with 30s into Monday.
Models hint at a few inches of snow, possibly plowable, Monday into Tuesday, followed by single-digit highs and subzero lows the latter half of next week. Pretty typical for January. Next month may be partial payback for a 9-month boating season in 2016. Partly Nanook.
But no drama is brewing for New Year's weekend festivities. It can always be worse. Trust me.
New Year's Eve Map. The map above shows 12 KM NAM guidance valid 7 PM Saturday evening. Rain is likely over the Mid South and Ohio River Valley with a little wet snow for Columbus, Cleveland and Buffalo. More heavy showers push across southern California with a rain/snow mix pushing ashore over Washington State. Otherwise the weather looks quiet and seasonably chilly Saturday night.
10-Day Snowfall Forecast. This is GFS data, showing the heavy snow falling on interior New England today (Boston may see wind gusts over 50 mph); lake effect downwind of the Great Lakes, and more heavy snow from the Pacific Northwest into the highest peaks of the Rockies. Accumulating snow for San Antonio, Texas by January 5-6? At this point I wouldn't rule anything out. Source: Tropicaltidbits.com.
One Week From Today. Although not as harsh as December 18, when the Twin Cities woke up to -20F, temperatures will be very January-like the latter half of next week with subzero lows for the northern Plains and Upper Mississippi Valley. The rest of the USA: chilly, but certainly not ridiculously cold.
- Dress in layers
- Wrap up well when going outside in the cold.
- Avoid breezes and drafts indoors.
- Eat nutritious food and wear warm clothes to ward off winter chill.
- Wear a warm hat in the winter.
- Eat hot foods and drink warm drinks several times during the day.
- If you live alone, ask a family member of neighbor to check on you daily or have a camera installed that a family member can view on their computer.
- Ask your doctor if any medicine you're taking increases your risk of hypothermia. Drugs that may cause a problem include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, chlorpromazine, reserpine, and tricyclic antidepressants..."
Map credit: "This is the NOAA GFS Ensemble. It’s an average of many model runs, and the ECMWF Model run in the UK is also showing much the same. This adds confidence to the forecast. Note the rising pressures over Greenland as well. This would correspond to a slight negative in the NAO."
Map credit: 1059 preliminary tornadoes in 2016, according to NOAA SPC.
Severe Thunderstorms Down Under. Check out a severe thunderstorm warning; a 60 minutes "Nowcast" issued for Melbourne, Australia, last night. The graphics come from the Australia Bureau of Meteorology.
Photo credit: "
Doppler radar loop: Hurricane Matthew on October 6, 2016.
A Celebration of Clouds: From Space, Earth Has an Elegant Atmosphere. Here's an excerpt of a good read at NASA's Earth Observatory: "Earth has been referred to as "the blue planet” due to its abundance of water. "The cloudy planet” would be equally appropriate. At any given time, about two-thirds of Earth’s surface is covered by these masses of water and ice particles suspended in the atmosphere. Clouds can be a nuisance for scientists trying to use satellites to observe features on the surface—such as volcanic eruptions, floods, or phytoplankton blooms. But for some scientists, clouds are exactly what they want to see. Clouds help make the weather and affect Earth’s climate, and they can make a difference in the success or failure of efforts to simulate both. (Correctly representing clouds in climate models, it turns out, is really hard to do). But sometimes, clouds manifest in such a way that they simply inspire awe..."
Image credit: "Nearly 70 percent of Earth's surface is covered by clouds at any given time. While cloud cover can obscure the surface and frustrate satellite imagery of land and sea, clouds offer a beautiful glimpse of our atmosphere and its processes." (NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Blue Marble imagery.)
FRIDAY: More clouds than sun. Winds: S 7-12. High: 32
NEW YEAR'S EVE: Windy, turning colder. Slow clearing. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 19. High: 26
NEW YEAR'S DAY: Partly sunny, good travel day. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 18. High: 34
MONDAY: Wet snow or mix develops. Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 26. High: 33
TUESDAY: Few inches of snow? Slick roads. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 17. High: near 20 (falling)
WEDNESDAY: Flurries taper - feels like -15F. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 3. High: 8
Graphic credit: "An Arctic iceberg, pictured in 2015. This year, ice coverage has reached record lows for the early northern winter." AWeith/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY
Nobody who knows Arctic sea ice was surprised by this. It has been on the decline, overall, for decades, so it’s no surprise that this year’s levels would be at or near their lowest. It’s part and parcel of the ongoing trend of the loss of sea ice in the Arctic. Nor was it a surprise that, even with an ongoing trend, it wasn’t always at its lowest-ever. Most everything in nature, including sea ice, doesn’t just follow a trend, it also constantly fluctuates. Added to the overall tendency, there are ups and downs and downs and ups that make it different from day to day, month to month, even year to year. But over the long haul, the fluctuations — even though they never stop — never really get anywhere. What does, what keeps on going and accumulates until we can’t ignore it any more, is the trend — and for sea ice in the Arctic, that means there’s less and less of it..."
Image credit: "The disappearance of Lake Poopó has not only destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of fishing families, but also added to a new category of climate refugees." Josh Haner/The New York Times
Map credit: Climate Reanalyzer.
Photo credit: "Waves crash over a sea wall at Naval Base Ventura County." Courtesy of Naval Base Ventura County.