Winter's Last Gasp Tonight Into Sunday? Probably
Just for the record, you won't be mowing the lawn anytime soon. Yes, many lakes are experiencing the earliest ice-out on record. Birds are chirping, spring break so close you can taste it. But keep your (weather) expectations low.
It seems like Tropical Storm Flo has stalled out over Minnesota with wind gusts over 60 mph yesterday; a tip-off of what's coming: from shorts & tornadoes on Monday to subzero wind chills just 4 days later.
The same blistering airmass that set record lows from Alaska into the Yukon will brush Minnesota tonight into the weekend. In spite of a higher sun angle temperatures struggle to reach 20F Friday; readings 10-15F colder than average into early next week. Dig out the coats one more time.
A Sunday clipper may leave behind a cosmetic snowfall, even an inch or two of slush - a friendly reminder that winter won't go away willingly. Every year it's a struggle. 40s return late next week; the latter half of March dominated by a mild, Pacific wind flow.
A Minnesota spring is always 2 steps forward, one big step back. Sadly 2017 will be no exception.
2-meter temperature forecast for the next 84 hours. NOAA NAM model and Tropicaltidbits.com.
Minor Canadian Invasion. The same airmass that set records from Alaska into western Canada will brush the northern USA in the coming days, the core of this numbing air aimed at New England, where weekend temperatures may be 20-25 F. colder than average for mid-march. Stormy weather continues with heavy rain and mountain snows from the Pacific Northwest into the Northern Rockies. A series of Alberta Clippers puts down a few snowy streaks across the Plains and Midwest into Sunday.
Record Warmth for Meteorological Winter. Yes, it was a top 3 warmest December though February for muh of America east of the Rockies. Here's an excerpt from NOAA NCEI: "The stations shown on the map below had one of their three warmest, coolest, wettest or driest winters on record this year. Stations with a bold white circle saw values that exceed any previous December-through-February value at the station's current location. The smaller circles indicate year-to-date outcomes that were 2nd or 3rd place among a station's history..."
Earliest Ice-Outs on Minnesota Lakes. Ice out on Lake Calhoun already? That's nearly a month ahead of schedule. Check out the stats on your favorite lake at the Minnesota DNR.
Earliest Ice-Out On Record for Lake Minnetonka? If the ice comes off before March 11 we may have a new record on 'Tonka. Data courtesy of The Freshwater Society.
Earliest Known Tornado in Minnesota History. The previous record is March 18, 1968. We broke the record by nearly 2 weeks. Here's an excerpt from the Twin Cities National Weather Service: "On March 06, 2017, an early spring severe weather outbreak produced large hail and damaging wind in Wisconsin, and even tornadoes across Minnesota. This marks the earliest date in Minnesota history that a tornado was ever recorded. The previous record was March 18, 1968. The loop to the right shows a comparison of visible and infrared satellite imagery from the GOES16 satellite, along with radar reflectivity, lightning, and warnings at 5:00 PM March 06, 2017. The line of thunderstorms was located across Central Minnesota and extends southward into Iowa..."
Hundreds of Homes Damaged as Storms, Tornadoes Batter Midwest. Here's an excerpt of a good overview from USA TODAY: "...A severe storm system pummeled parts of the Midwest overnight with tornadoes, huge hailstones and powerful winds, damaging nearly 500 buildings and injuring a dozen people in one Missouri city. The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., received reports of more than 30 tornadoes in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois late Monday and early Tuesday. Powerful winds extended as far south as the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, where a post office and church were damaged, and as far north as Wisconsin, where trees were downed. In Oak Grove, Mo., 483 homes sustained some type of damage, along with 10 to 12 commercial buildings, said Sni Valley Fire Protection District Chief Carl Scarborough..."
Image credit: WKRN; Image: Chris Gullikson.
Photo credit: " Photo: jim urquhart/Reuters.
Climate Scientists and Weather Forecasters Outraged by Proposed Cuts to NOAA. Jason Samenow reports at Capital Weather Gang: "...NOAA, which is part of the Department of Commerce, houses the National Weather Service and the divisions responsible for weather satellites and atmospheric research. The weather satellite division, known as the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, would be hardest hit by the proposed cuts. The administration proposes slashing its budget by $513 million in the 2018 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. Data from weather satellites are indispensable for models used to predict the weather. NOAA has conducted experiments that show that forecasts for costly and deadly storms would be far less accurate without such information..."
Image credit: "Visualizations of Hurricane Sandy in 2012." (Mel Shapiro, NCAR).
8 Fossil Fuel Majors Seen Polluting as Much as U.S. Bloomberg has the story: "Eight of the world’s largest oil companies are responsible for as much of the climate-damaging pollution spewed into the atmosphere as the entire U.S., according to a study by a London-based researcher. Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil Corp., OAO Gazprom, the National Iranian Oil Co., BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc were among the eight companies whose fuel was responsible for a third of emissions from oil and gas, according to the non-profit group CDP. The companies released a fifth of all greenhouse gases outside of farming and forestry since 1988, the year most governments acknowledged man-made climate change as a risk..."
“God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love.” - Augustine
TODAY: Early flakes, colder. Winds: N 8-13. High: 33
THURSDAY NIGHT: Clearing and very cold, subzero wind chills late. Low: 7
FRIDAY: Comfortably numb with blue sky. Feels like -8 F. early. Winds: N 8-13. High: 21
SATURDAY: Clouds linger, colder than average. Winds: N 5-10. Wake-up: 6. High: 25
SUNDAY: Clipper potential. Light accumulation? Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 14. High: 28
MONDAY: Flurries taper, slow clearing. Winds: N 10-15. Wake-up: 19. High: 29
TUESDAY: Sunny, feeling better about March. Winds: SW 8-13. Wake-up: 10. High: 33
WEDNESDAY: Gray, freezing drizzle early? Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 18. High: 38
Trees Might Not Be Able to Store as Much Carbon As We Thought, New Study Suggests. An article at CNBC highlights new research raising concerns that soil nutrients may not be sufficient for plants to process increasing CO2 efficiently: "Researchers at Western Sydney University (WSU) in Australia have found that "common" Australian trees do not store as much carbon as had been previously assumed, a discovery that could have big implications on how we tackle climate change. According to a news release from the university, the study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that Eucalyptus forests may require extra soil nutrients to grow and "take advantage" of additional carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Large areas of "remnant native eucalypt forest" were exposed to heightened levels of CO2 at a WSU facility. Researchers found that while the extra CO2 increased levels of photosynthesis, it did not result in increases in leaves, stems and wood..."
Arctic Sea Ice May Vanish Even If World Achieves Climate Goal: Study. Here's a story excerpt from Reuters: "Arctic sea ice may vanish in summers this century even if governments achieve a core target for limiting global warming set by almost 200 nations in 2015, scientists said on Monday. Arctic sea ice has been shrinking steadily in recent decades, damaging the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and wildlife such as polar bears while opening the region to more shipping and oil and gas exploration. Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, governments set a goal of limiting the rise in average world temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, with an aspiration of just 1.5C (2.7F). "The 2 degrees Celsius target may be insufficient to prevent an ice-free Arctic," James Screen and Daniel Williamson of Exeter University in Britain wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change after a statistical review of ice projections..."
Image credit: Difference in September ice from 1984 to 2016. NOAA and NASA.