31 F. average high for the metro area on February 22.
35 F. high temperature on February 22, 2016.
February 23, 1981: Warmth returns to Minnesota with a high of 55 at Pipestone and a high of 52 at Luverne.
Biggest Snowstorm of the Winter Possible Friday
"The weather never repeats, but sometimes it rhymes." After 60s, golf, convertibles and gawking at Minnesotans in shorts, in February, are you really shocked the other shoe (boot) is about to drop? Me neither.
Every storm is different, uniquely baffling. An area of low pressure may be similar to a previous storm, but never identical. That's humbling and challenging, since weather models only go so far.
The days leading up to a big weather event feel like your first drivers exam. You try to be confident but there's just so much that can go wrong. Models still disagree on who will see the most snow, but plowable amounts seem likely. It may be a blizzard just south and west of MSP tonight and early Friday. Winds gusting over 40 mph at MSP on Friday may whip up white-out conditions here as well.
The metro area could still be in the axis of heaviest snow; as much as 6-12 inches of sloppy wet snow (especially southern suburbs) - capable of spin-outs, even power outages tomorrow. If you have a comp day coming I'd take it tomorrow. Avoid the travel mess altogether.
No more 60s, just 30s and 40s into mid-March. You know, 'average'?
AerisWeather Briefing: Issued Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
* After days of record highs across the Plains and upper Midwest, a system tracking in from the Rockies will bring heavy snow with it for the second half of the week.
* Snow will start off in Wyoming and Nebraska, spreading east throughout the day Thursday, then linger in the upper Midwest on Friday. This will bring the potential of 6-12”+ of snow with it from Nebraska to Wisconsin.
* Due to the heavy snow threat, Winter Storm Watches have been issued from Wyoming to Wisconsin for the second half of the week.
* We will also be watching the potential for strong winds, which will cause blizzard/white-out conditions throughout the storm as well, especially in the upper Midwest.
Local Weather Service Additional Snow Forecasts:
Cheyenne, WY Area:
Rapid City, SD Area:
North Platte, NE Area:
Sioux Falls, SD Area:
Twin Cities, MN Area:
Blizzard Potential. There will also be strong winds associated with this heavy snow threat across the upper Midwest as we go into the end of the week. We could see wind gusts over 35 mph at times, creating blizzard/white-out conditions. This is a look at the track of our Blizzard Potential Index over the past four runs of the model. While there has been movement in the where blizzard conditions are possible, the signal is there for white-out conditions from Wyoming to the upper Midwest during the storm. This would be able to cause significant travel issues.
Summary: Heavy snow will be possible across the northern Plains and upper Midwest during the second half of the week as a storm system emerges from the Rockies and moves east. This snow will be impactful to the region, with the potential of 6-12”+ of snow from Nebraska to Wisconsin, including the Twin Cities of Minnesota. In some areas totals will likely top a foot, as snowfall rates at times will be on the order of 1-2” per hour. This will make travel difficult across parts of the region. Add on top of that strong winds that will cause blizzard/white-out conditions and travel could become nearly impossible, especially on Friday in parts of South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, AerisWeather
Photo credit: Kevin Rivoli/AP Photo. "Steve Meier, right, and John Bellavia dig out Bellavia's car in Osewgo, N.Y., Friday, Feb. 9, 2007. New York's Governor Eliot Spitzer declared a disaster in Oswego County, where five straight days of lake-effect squalls have dumped nearly 100 inches (254cm) of snow, with even more snow forecast through the weekend."
"1-in-100 Year Flood Event" for Northern California. The Los Angeles Times has more details.
14,000 in San Jose Flee High Water. KQED News has the story.
Photo credit: "Lake Mead reservoir and the Hoover Dam show a "bath tub ring" from low water levels in 2015." (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Why We Need the EPA. Rivers are no longer catching on fire - that's probably a good thing, right? Here's an excerpt from NRDC: "...A collective memory lapse seems to have descended on lawmakers who seek to dismantle an agency that has transformed American life for the better. Since the EPA’s founding in 1970, concentrations of common air pollutants, like sulfur dioxide, have dropped as much as 67 percent. The EPA helped mitigate catastrophes like acid rain, leaded gasoline, and DDT. The agency bravely classified secondhand smoke as a known carcinogen in 1993, paving the way for successful litigation against the tobacco industry and an incredible reduction in U.S. smoking rates...."
Photo credit: "
Map credit: US Department of Energy | Graphic: Jan Diehm/The Guardian.
TODAY: Cooler as clouds thicken. Winds: NE 10-15. High: near 40
THURSDAY NIGHT: Winter Storm Watch. Mix changes over to heavy wet snow. Low: 30
FRIDAY: Winter Storm Watch. Windy with snow. 4-8" possible, more southern MN. Winds: NE 20-40. High: 32
SATURDAY: Travel improves. Slow clearing late. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 17. High: 30
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy, flurries north. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 20. High: 32
MONDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, quiet. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 21. High: 36
TUESDAY: Icy mix, slick roads possible early. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 25. High: 39
WEDNESDAY: Wet snow tapers to flurries. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 27. High: 35
What Your TV Meteorologist Likely Thinks of Climate Change. Dr. Marshall Shepherd has a post at Forbes: "...One of the issues that always comes up is the assumption that all meteorologists are on TV. The Boston Globe article went on to talk primarily about broadcast meteorologists, which represent less than 10% of meteorologists yet the title said "many meteorologists." It is very common for the public to assume meteorologists are just on TV. I get the question, "what channel are you on?" all of the time. The AMS in conjunction with George Mason University recently surveyed its membership, which is far broader than just the small sample of broadcast meteorologists. According to a summary of the report on the AMS website,
The vast majority of members of the American Meteorological Society agree that recent climate change stems at least in part from human causes, and the agreement has been growing significantly in the last five years. According to a new survey of AMS members, 67% say climate change over the last 50 years is mostly to entirely caused by human activity, and more than 4 in 5 (80%) respondents attributed at least some of the climate change to human activity..."
Do You Know Someone Who Should Be Recognized for Climate Adaptation Efforts? The Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership (MCAP) will be recognizing outstanding climate adaptation work in Minnesota with awards to be presented on May 8, 2017, as part of the National Adaptation Forum. MCAP is joining the National Adaptation Forum in offering a conference that will present a range of practitioners who have experience with climate smart strategies for adapting to our changing climate. The conference titled Action today for a better tomorrow, will be held at the St. Paul River Centre, May 8-11, 2017. Awards will honor individuals, organizations, institutions and businesses that have provided exceptional leadership in education, research, policies, and practices to improve resilience and develop, advance, or implement climate adaptation strategies. Anyone may submit a nomination, which is very simple. The award nomination deadline is March 1, 2017, and nomination details are available on the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center web site:
Graphic credit: "Northern California Sierra precipitation - average, previous wettest year, and 2016-2017." Illustration: California Department of Water Resources.
Graphic credit: "Air temperature 2 meters above the surface for the Arctic north of 80 degrees latitude for 2017 (red), compared to 2016 (yellow), and the long-term average (blue)." Credit: Zack Labe/ Danish Meteorological Institute
The Problems with Winter Warming. I'm enjoying the extended streak of spring fever in February (!) as much as everyone else, but at the risk of being Debby Downer there are some downsides to spring coming extra-early. Here's a post from Climate Central: "The decrease in winter cold effectively makes the winter shorter. While that might sound good at first, it comes with consequences for recreation, farming, and the environment. In colder climates, winter-based recreational activities, like skiing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling will become less prevalent. More disease-carrying insects, like mosquitoes and ticks, will survive through a milder winter. Declining snow pack leads to lower reservoir levels, providing less water for irrigation of crops. Fruit trees, which need to become dormant in the winter to blossom in the spring, may produce smaller yields. Pollen counts will rise, which can trigger respiratory illnesses for allergy sufferers."
Humans Changing Climate 170 Times Faster than Natural Forces. Yale Environment360 has a summary of new research: "Humans are changing the climate 170 times faster than natural forces, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed journal The Anthropocene Review. The research is the first mathematical equation to compare the impact of human activity on current climate to naturally occurring changes. For 4 billion-plus years, astronomical and geophysical factors, such as solar heat output and volcanic eruptions, were the dominating influences on Earth’s climate, argue study authors Owen Gaffney and Will Steffan, climate scientists at Stockholm University and Australian National University, respectively. But over the past six decades, human activities like the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation “have driven exceptionally rapid rates of change,” the study says..."