17 F. maximum temperature in the Twin Cities Thursday.
25 F. average high on February 2.
30 F. high on February 2, 2016.
February 3, 1989: Bitterly cold temperatures occur across Minnesota with lows in the 40-below-zero range in the north.
February 3, 1947: A strong dust storm hits Crookston with winds near 50 mph. Visibility was reduced down to 300 feet.
It took the better part of 50 years for cars to replace horses. Manure and bugs gave way to smog, congestion and sprawl - but for most this fit the definition of progress.
Photo credit: "-60 was Big News in February 1996." Courtesy: St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Future Radar. 12 KM NAM guidance shows a big bubble of high pressure over the central Plains pushing into the Mid Atlantic region by the weekend; lake effect snows slowly tapering with a little rain for Texas. Heaviest rains and mountain snows fall from northern California into the Pacific Northwest.
Snowy Possibilities. And that's all they are now - possibilities. Confidence levels are still low, but GFS data suggests a plowable snow from Minnesota into Wisconsin and the Great Lakes Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, then spreading into New England. Snow for the Mid South andn Carolinas late next week? I wouldn't put down any wagers just yet. Meanwhile a safe bet calls for a few more FEET of snow from the Colorado Rockies to the Sierra and Cascade Range. Animation: Tropicaltidbits.com
Winter Snowfall Totals, To Date. The Eastern office of the NWS compiled actual snowfall totals as of February 1, compared to normal and last winter. Lake effect has been more impressive, but there haven't been any big coastal storms, no snowy Nor'easters to speak of - yet.
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Photo credit: "January storms in the Sierra Nevadas reduced California's deficit in stored snow water by about 37 percent." Credit: Flickr user Perfect Zero, CC BY 2.0.
Map credit: "These maps show how much water was stored in the Sierra snowpack on Jan. 6 (left) and Jan. 24 (center), 2017. Darker colors indicate more water. The inset bar graph in the center figure shows the annual snowpack water storage relative to the pre-drought average as well as the cumulative snow-water deficit. The map on right shows snowpack water storage on Jan. 24 as a percentage of pre-drought average snowpack water storage at its greatest. Areas in green are over 100 percent of average." Credit: CU/NASA.
Photo credit: "Daniel Baggett will forever have a reminder of that incredible force in the form of a grade school drawing." (Photo source: WLOX)
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Lawmakers Could Find Common Ground on Energy Infrastructure Upgrade. Can Republicans and Democrats find common ground? Here's an excerpt from NexusMedia: "It’s pretty hard to identify any areas of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans right now, but one thing they both agree needs addressing is our nation’s infrastructure. It’s no secret that our many of nation’s roads, highways and power lines are out of date and in many places outright dangerous. America’s infrastructure earned a D+ on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 “Infrastructure Report Card.” The country’s dilapidated infrastructure costs households around $3,400 annually. Crumbling roads slow commutes and aging electricity grids make power bills more expensive. Notably, the nation’s energy system earned a lower grade than its bridges, ports and railways. Modernizing the electricity grid would improve resilience in the face extreme weather and cyber attacks, expand access to clean wind and solar energy, and shrink monthly power pills..." (Image credit: Pexel).
States Expected to Continue Course Toward Clean Energy Future. Here's an excerpt of a post at the PEW Charitable Trusts: "...The states have always led the country toward greater reliance on renewable energy sources, and they will continue to do so even if they don’t have the support of the incoming administration, said Gabe Pacyniak, a program manager at the Georgetown Climate Center, which helps states implement clean energy policies. Economic factors, such as the rapidly declining cost of wind and solar production, will help continue that trajectory, Pacyniak said. In the last two months alone, the Republican governors of Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio and Vermont have announced initiatives or signed bills that will push their states to increase their use of renewable energy. These are well-respected, “card-carrying conservatives who understand the benefits of the clean energy agenda,” said former Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter of Colorado, who is now director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University..."
Photo credit: "A worker installs solar panels on a roof in Honolulu. More states will encourage the use of renewable energy this year, seeing the economic benefits the industry brings." © The Associated Press.
- Housing — rental prices for a one-bedroom apartment, rounded to nearest dollar.
- Percentage of retirees — in the local population as of April 1, 2010.
- Walkability — scores ranging from 25 for Montgomery, Ala., to 65 for Allentown, Pa.
- Safety factors — scores ranging from 6 for Rochester, N.Y., and Louisville, Ky., to 30 for Boise, Idaho.
What On Earth is a "Tornado of Tuna"? You learn something every day - this nugget courtesy of Atlas Obscura: "A couple of times a year in the waters of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, a colossal column of tuna churns slowly in an underwater fish vortex. The tunnel of over 100,000 Jack Tuna, or bigeye trevally, is large enough to cast looming shadows across the ocean floor. The clip above gives us a rare glimpse of what it’s like to be under this huge “tuna tornado.” At the 19-second mark, the camera is swallowed by the swirling silver mass. Each tuna averages over three feet in length. This fantastic phenomenon is the result of the tuna’s mating behavior..."
TODAY: Sunny and cool. Winds: W 8-13. High: 23
FRIDAY NIGHT: Clouds increase. Low: 12
SATURDAY: Dusting of flurries, milder breeze. Winds: S 10-20. High: 33
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy. Atlanta by 3. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 21. High: 28
MONDAY: Overcast, still mild for early February. Winds: E 8-13. Wake-up: 22. High: 34
TUESDAY: Wet snow, few slushy inches possible. Winds: NE 10-20. Wake-up: 24. High: 29
WEDNESDAY: Sun returns, feels like 0F. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 10. High: 14
THURSDAY: Sunny, less wind. Feels like winter again. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: -3. High: 12
Global Warming Threatens Winter Sports. Climate Central reports: "...The number of days below 32°F in the U.S. has been declining. This trend is projected to continue, threatening many of the winter activities that rely on cold conditions, including skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and outdoor ice hockey. These winter recreational activities are an integral part of the economy in many states. Data from 2009-10 show that the ski, snowboard, and snowmobiling industries were directly and indirectly responsible for employing 211,900 people and adding an estimated $12.2 billion in economic value to the U.S. economy. As winter loses its chill, these winter tourism activities will be impacted and with them, people’s livelihoods..."
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"Beyond the Extreme": Scientists Marvel at 'Increasingly Non-Natural' Arctic Warmth. Are we close to a tipping point - or has the arctic already tipped over into a new state? Here's an excerpt from Jason Samenow at Capital Weather Gang: "...2016 was the warmest year on record in the Arctic, and 2017 has picked up right where it left off. “Arctic extreme (relative) warmth continues,” Ryan Maue, a meteorologist with WeatherBell Analytics, tweeted on Wednesday, referring to January’s temperatures. Veteran Arctic climate scientists are stunned. “[A]fter studying the Arctic and its climate for three and a half decades, I have concluded that what has happened over the last year goes beyond even the extreme,” wrote Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., in an essay for Earth magazine. At the North Pole, the mercury has rocketed to near the melting point twice since November, and another huge flux of warmth is projected by models next week. Their simulations predict some places in the high Arctic will rise over 50 degrees above normal..."
Photo credit: "Navigation channel amongst eroding wetlands in Coastal Louisiana southeast of Houma." IAN Image and Video Library.
File photo: Matt Brown, AP.