26 F. average high on February 5.
29 F. high on February 5, 2016.
February 6, 1994: The national low is at Tower, dropping down to -41.
The Weather Pattern is Deja Vu - All Over Again
Last year the metro area saw a 219 day growing season. That's typical for southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. Fishing boats were in the water for 9 months. In Minnesota. A fluke? Perhaps.
But weather models are consistently pulling 40s and even a few 50s into Minnesota within 2 weeks with rain, even a few T-storms. Typical for early April. Will this be another supernaturally early spring like 2012, when flowers were in bloom by late March? I'm starting to wonder.
There's little doubt this month will be the 18th month in a row of warmer than normal temperatures statewide; unprecedented in the historical record, according to the Minnesota DNR.
Weather whiplash is brewing this week: a thaw today, a couple sloppy inches of snow Tuesday (heaviest bands stay north/east of MSP), then colder Wednesday with a wind chill dipping to -10 F. Mild air comes roaring back Friday with highs in the 40s to near 50F.
I expect a more active year for tornadoes. 130 tornadoes touched down last month, second most (and second deadliest) since 1950. I suspect America's tornado drought is over.
Photo credit: Gooseberry Falls, Minnesota photo courtesy of AerisWeather meteorologist D.J. Kayser.
More March Than February. There's a lot of green (rain) showing up on the future radar/isobar animation from NOAA's 12 KM NAM model, at least for the first week of February. More storms push innto the west coast with ice and wet snow mixing with the rain from Portland to Seattle; flooding rains possible for the Bay Area. A little snow spreads across northern Minnesota and Wisconsin ahead of a cold jab, but any numbing wind chill values will be fleeting. Meanwhile rain showers spread across the Ohio Valley with a freak rain for places like Cleveland and Buffalo by midweek. Winter is on life support. Animation: Tropicaltidbits.com.
Plowable Snow Seattle Area? A few inches of snow is forecast to fall from Tacoma and Olympia into Seattle in the coming days, enough to shovel and plow for many suburbs as a series of storms sweep in from the Pacific.
Snow Potential Fizzles Upper Midwest. Latest models aren't nearly as impressive for snowfall amounts from the Twin Cities to Green Bay and Marquette; a period of ice and rain helping to keep amounts down, and no deep layer of cold air or sustained flow from the Gulf of Mexico capable of racking up significant amounts. Over the next 84 hours the best chance of heavy snow comes across interior New England and out west, from the Colorado Rockies to the Cascade Range of Washington State.
File photo from Fargo in 2009. Image courtesy of Brian Petersen, Star Tribune.
TODAY: Cloudy and milder. Winds: SE 5-10. High: 37
MONDAY NIGHT: Light snow or mix late. Low: 29
TUESDAY: Turning colder, mix ends as a coating to 1" of slush. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 32
WEDNESDAY: Chilled sunshine, feels like 0 to -10F. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 6. High: 12
THURSDAY: Plenty of sun, temps. moderate. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 2. High: 26
FRIDAY: Windy, hints of spring in the air. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 23. High: 47
SATURDAY: Light rain or a mix. Winds: E 8-13. Wake-up: 31. High: 36
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy, slightly cooler. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 23. High: 32
How the World Passed a Carbon Threshold and Why It Matters. Yale E360 has the article; here's an excerpt: "...The last time the planet had a concentration of 300 to 400 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere was during the mid-Pliocene, 3 million years ago — recently enough for the planet to be not radically different than it is today. Back then, temperatures were 2 degrees C to 3 degrees C (3.6 to 5.4°F) above pre-industrial temperatures (though more than 10 degrees C hotter in the Arctic), and sea levels were at least 15-25 meters higher. Forest grew in the Canadian north and grasslands abounded worldwide; the Sahara was probably covered in vegetation. Homo habilis (aka “handy man”), the first species in the Homo line and probably the first stone-tool users, got a taste of this climate as they arrived on the scene 2.8 million years ago. (Homo sapiens didn’t show up until 400,000 years ago at the earliest.)..."
Photo credit: "An Argo float being raised out of the Bellingshausen Sea is shown here. Argo floats are robotic instruments that measure ocean data and transmit it to satellites." Credit: fruchtzwerg's world/Flickr
Photo credit: "Not that long ago, the Republican Party had a presidential nominee who supported action to combat global warming. Above, candidate Sen. John McCain of Arizona talks about the issue in 2008 in North Bend, Wash., (flanked by former Washington Gov. Dan Evans). Polls show that many Republicans support climate action." Elaine Thompson/AP/File.
Photo credit: windonthewires.com.