December 31, 1937: Damage is done by a flood at Grand Marais, while 18 inches of snow is dumped on Grand Portage.
December 31, 1913: New Ulm has its fortieth consecutive day without precipitation.
Farewell to 2016 - A Numbing Start to 2017
Live long enough and you'll see almost everything. 2016 was a fascinating, vaguely troubling year in the weather department. A 222 day growing season? Typical for northern Texas. There were boats in the water from late March thru early November.
For the first time on record two separate "mega-rain" events, defined as 6 inches or more of rain over 1,000 square miles. Dr. Mark Seeley says that, statewide, 2016 was the 3rd warmest and 2nd wettest year on record for Minnesota. Only 1977 was wetter.
Nationwide it was a year of historic floods from Louisiana & Texas to the Carolinas, Maryland and West Virginia. Historic warming of the arctic in recent months.
The grand experiment continues.
Flurries today give way to 30s New Year's Day and Monday, when a light mix may slush up a few roads, but I don't see a heavy accumulation right now.
Next week will be one of the coldest weeks of winter with lows dipping below zero by late week. Not record territory, but models show 1-2 weeks of numbing cold before milder, Pacific breezes kick in the third week of January. Embrace the burn!
Two Waves of Arctic Air Coming. Some of the coldest air of the winter drains out of Canada next week, pushing from west to east across the USA. The harshest, subzero air temperatures push across the Rockies and Plains into the Midwest and Great Lakes, but bitter air penetates to the Gulf Coast by late next week. 2-meter GFS temperature outlook: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.
Missing El Nino Right About Now. Wind chills are forecast to dip into the -20F range by Thursday and Friday of next week, cold enough to get your attention.
10-Day Snowfall Potentiall. GFS guidance prints out over 10" snow for parts of northern Minnesota and the Arrowhead Monday night into Tuesday; a second streak of accumulating snow within 2 weeks from north Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas into the Mid South, Carolinas and Mid Atlantic region. Big eastern cities may finally have some snow to play in (or whine about) within 2 weeks. Source: Tropicaltidbits.com.
* Minnesota reported 37 tornadoes in 2016, the first on May 25th in Pope County, and the last on September 9th in Beltrami County. The majority were short-lived and EF-0 rated ( winds 65-85 mph), and there were four storms rated EF-2 (winds 111-135 mph).
* Early planting for Minnesota farmers, followed by a generally favorable growing season with mostly excellent crop yields around the state.
* 2016 was the first year ever to bring two mega-rain events (1000 square miles covered by 6 inches or greater) to the state: one in east-central counties over July 11-12; and one in west-central counties August 10-11. Widespread flash flooding resulted.
* Latest ever autumn killing frost in the Twin Cities on November 18th
* Tied for warmest ever autumn season (September-November) on a statewide basis with 1963.
* Overall on a statewide basis 2016 delivered the 3rd warmest year in history to Minnesota (only 1987 and 2012 were warmer) and the 2nd wettest year (only 1977 was wetter)...
Fire Weather Outlook. This seems out-of-character for the last day of the year - critical fire danger from Oklahoma City and Tulsa to Wichita, according to NOAA.
Tracking Trends in U.S. Flood Risk. Eos connects the dots: "For 16 consecutive months in 2015 and 2016, Earth’s climate repeatedly broke global temperature records, in keeping with global warming trends observed over the past century and counting. During that period, there were major floods across the United States, including events in Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Maryland, and Louisiana. Warmer temperatures are associated with more frequent extreme precipitation events, and they increase the atmosphere’s water-holding capacity, suggesting that flooding across the globe will become more frequent in coming decades. Such an increase would have costly consequences for agriculture, water resources management, ecology, insurance, and transportation and navigation industries, as well as for civilians living in flood-affected areas. In light of this, hydrologists and atmospheric scientists are working to develop a more nuanced understanding of projected flooding changes to accurately communicate risks to the public..."
Photo credit: "Flooding near Houston, Texas, in April 2016." Credit: Tom Pistillo, USGS
Map credit: "A University of Iowa study has found that the risk of flooding is changing in the United States, and the changes vary regionally. The threat of moderate flooding is generally increasing in the northern U.S. (red areas) and decreasing in the southern U.S. (blue areas), while some regions remain mostly unchanged (gray areas). The findings come from comparing river heights at 2,042 locations with NASA satellite information showing the amount of water stored in the ground. The study was published in the journal “Geophysical Research Letters.” Image courtesy of the American Geophysical Union.
Photo credit: " " Photo: Casey Woods for The Wall Street Journal.
Photo credit: "Jim Stefkovich has led the Birmingham office of the National Weather Service for more than 11 years. He will retire after 35 years with the weather service on Dec. 30." (Photo courtesy of Jim Stefkovich),
1) Global carbon emissions appear to have stopped increasing. A picture is beginning to emerge of a world where the increase in emissions of carbon dioxide seems to be flattening, despite countries’ continuing use of fossil fuels. In the United States, emissions are actually going down. Data from the Global Carbon Project suggests that global emissions have not changed for three years straight. Moreover, the cause has not been a global recession — growth has continued. What appears to be happening is a “decoupling” of economic growth from carbon emissions, thanks to more clean energy and other lower-emitting sources of energy like natural gas..."
Photo credit: "
Solar Looks to Outpace Natural Gas and Wind. Scientific American reports: "2016 is shaping up to be a milestone year for energy, and when the final accounting is done, one of the biggest winners is likely to be solar power. For the first time, more electricity-generating capacity from solar power plants is expected to have been built in the U.S. than from natural gas and wind, U.S. Department of Energy data show. Though the final tally won’t be in until March, enough new solar power plants were expected to be built in 2016 to total 9.5 gigawatts of solar power generating capacity, tripling the new solar capacity built in 2015. That’s enough to light up more than 1.8 million homes..."
NEW YEAR'S DAY: Relatively mild start to 2017 with some sunshine. Dry. Winds: S 10-15. High: 36
MONDAY: Sloppy mix, mainly wet roads. Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 28. High: 35
TUESDAY: Colder wind, coating of flurries. Winds: NW 15-30+ Wake-up: 18. High: 20 (falling rapidly)
WEDNESDAY: Some sun, feels like -10F. Winds: W 10-15. Wake-up: 3. High: 10
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, slap on another layer. Winds: W 7-12. Wake-up: -4. High: 7
FRIDAY: Bright sun, windchill near -15F. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: -9. High: 5
Photo credit: "Stephen Hadley said climate change will be one of the top national security issues for the next administration." | RODNEY LAMKEY JR. for POLITICO.
Europeans Ask: Where's The Snow? Ski Resorts Severely Impacted. The Daily Mail Online has a photo essay showing area ski resorts; a lack of snow has left an estimated 45,000 people unemployed. Here's an excerpt: "...Unusually high temperatures and a lack of snow is threatening the ski season as popular resorts in Europe have completely shut down. Some resorts in France have not seen so much as a snowflake in almost a month, leaving pistes completely bare. An estimated 45,000 workers have been left temporarily unemployed, lifts remain stationary and nobody is skiing on the slopes in the worst-hit areas in Massif Central, The Vosges and The Jura in France as well as Charmey in Switzerland..."
Photo credit: "A closed ski slope in Charmey, Switzerland on Boxing Day where the resort is closed due to the lack of snow." EPA.
7 Places That Will Change Because of Global Warming in Our Lifetimes. Here's an excerpt from Bustle: "As we're selfish creatures, however, it's often difficult to make clear how intensely bad this is without talking about how it affects us: our cities, our food, our holiday destinations, our ability to stay safe from conflict and natural disaster. The real nature of global warming is, unfortunately, global. And the impacts will be devastating: a study released this year noted that some places will likely see ocean rises of six meters or more as ice sheets collapse and melt, and by 2050 it's estimated that areas currently inhabited by 150 million people will be either flooding regularly or underwater. That's a lot of humans with nowhere to go and a lot of land that can't produce food. We're headed for a very bumpy ride; here are seven of the places that will be hit particularly hard by global warming in our lifetimes..."
File photo of Miami Beach: Daniel Chudosov, Flickr.
Which Cities Will Climate Change Flood First? Here's an except from Inverse: "...For some places, the reality of climate change and sea level rise is already here. Climate change was partly to blame for record flooding in Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma in 2016, and as sea levels rise, we can expect to see a lot more waterlogged areas close to the coast. People around the world, including in the Pacific Ocean and coastal Louisiana, are seeing their land disappear under water and have been forced to relocate. Scientists are predicting a global sea level rise of one to four feet by 2100, while some areas may see even more water thanks to differences in plate tectonics. Other places are are starting to experience more severe flooding, and the future is looking considerably more damp. Here are a few major cities where sea level rise will force us to rewrite maps well before 2100..." (File photo of 2016 Lousiana flooding: Coast Guard).
Photo credit: BillMoyers.com.
Graphic credit: "High Arctic Temp.s over the past 12 months. The black line is the average from 1981-2010. Red shows above normal temps. Note the incredible warmth all year that goes even to greater extremes in the last two months."
Photo credit: "The Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site at Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, is among a growing number of U.S. military installations threatened by the effects of climate change, a recent report said." Courtesy of the U.S. Army.
Photo credit: "Former US Representative Bob Inglis was awarded the 2015 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for changing his position on climate change at big political cost." Credit: Brian Snyder/Reuters.
Migrating birds are responding to the effects of climate change by arriving at their breeding grounds earlier as global temperatures rise, research has found. The University of Edinburgh study, which looked at hundreds of species across five continents, found that birds are reaching their summer breeding grounds on average about one day earlier per degree of increasing global temperature. The main reason birds take flight is changing seasonal temperatures and food availability. The time they reach their summer breeding grounds is significant, because arriving at the wrong time, even by a few days, may cause them to miss out on vital resources such as food and nesting places. This in turn affects the timing of offspring hatching and their chances of survival..." (File photo: Wikipedia).