A Confusing Time of The Year to Get Dressed
"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade" wrote Charles Dickens in 'Great Expectations'.
March is winter's "EVERYTHING MUST GO!" sale. Everything is half off. Cold fronts are half as cold and last half as long as they do in January. It can snow hard, and then it's gone, in half the time.
Winter is in retreat.
My plodding preamble is a disclaimer, a chance for me to cover my, uh, Doppler. Because we will see a couple more arctic swipes as early as next weekend. A few days in the 20s and 30s and nights near 0F? I wouldn't rule it out.
But the big weather story is a return of April: highs may top 60F Sunday, again Monday with a chance of T-storms. Keep in mind today's average high is 35. Wait, what is average anymore?
With recent spasms of severe weather (tornadoes as far north as Massachusetts) I suspect our 6 year tornado drought is over. 2017 should be the most severe year since 2011.
In the meantime you'll need umbrellas, sunglasses, ice scrapers, parkas & shorts. Yep, that covers it.
Cue the Next West Coast Storm. Just like clockwork, here we go again. A shield of heavy precipitation pushes into the Pacific Northwest, dragging another atmospheric river of moisture into California over the weekend. A little lake-effect snow falls downwind of the Great Lakes; heavy showers and T-storms breaking out by Monday as far north as Minnesota and Wisconsin. NAM guidance: Tropicaltidbits.com.
What's Dangerous About an Early Spring. The growing season is getting longer, but the average date of the last frost isn't moving in some cases, so the potential for frost-related damage increases with our new super-sized summer seasons. Here's an excerpt from a story at The Atlantic: "...Often when people talk about climate change, they talk about how the world will change in the future. But an early spring is happening now. The same study that revealed how national parks are facing seasonal shift included a special warning for park rangers: “Managers who have worked in these parks for the past one to three decades are already working under anomalous conditions.” But that warning applies many of us: The springs of the past 30 years have been “anomalous.” The national parks are not the only thing that have already changed. The natural calendar that guides all of our lives has already changed, too."
Photo credit: Student Conservation Association.
Early Bird Special: Spring Pops Up Super-Early in Much of U.S. Here's an update from AP: "Spring has sprung early — potentially record early — in much of the United States, bringing celebrations of shorts weather mixed with unease about a climate gone askew. Crocuses, tulips and other plants are popping up earlier than usual from Arizona to New Jersey and down to Florida. Washington is dotted with premature pink blossoming trees. Grackles, red-winged blackbirds and woodpeckers are just plain early birds this year. The unseasonably warm weather has the natural world getting ahead of — even defying — the calendar, scientists said Tuesday. In cities like Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio, spring has arrived about a month earlier than the 30-year average...."
Graphic credit: NOAA. "Snow cover across North America has been diminishing during March and April for the past 30 years."
Highest Recorded Temperatures in Antarctica Announced and They May Surprise You. A couple years ago 60s were reported (above zero) on the coldest continent on Earth (by far). Here's an excerpt from Dr. Marshall Shepherd at Forbes: "...WMO announced in a press release,
The highest temperature for the “Antarctic region” (defined by the WMO and the United Nations as all land and ice south of 60-deg S) of 67.6 F (19.8 C) , which was observed on Jan. 30, 1982 at Signy Research Station, Borge Bay on Signy Island. The highest temperature for the Antarctic Continent, defined as the main continental landmass and adjoining islands, is the temperature extreme of 63.5 F (17.5 C) recorded on Mar. 24, 2015 at the Argentine Research Base Esperanza located near the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The highest temperature for the Antarctic Plateau (at or above 2,500 meters, or 8,200 feet) was 19.4 F (-7 C) made on Dec. 28, 1989 at an automatic weather station site D-80 located inland of the Adelie Coast.
Minnesota Bipartisan Effort Would Double Renewables Mandate to 50% by 2030. Here's an excerpt of a good summary from Utility Dive: "...Minnesota is currently aiming for 25% renewable power by 2030, a goal the state appears on track to hit. So, the thinking goes, raising the standard should renew efforts in the state, boosting the economy. The state passed its Next Generation Energy Act a decade ago, resulting in 21% renewable power today. "If we redouble our efforts, and raise Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard to 50 percent by 2030, we will improve air quality, continue to drive down the cost of renewable energy, and generate thousands of new energy jobs," Smith said in a statement..."
Graphic credit: "Note: Share of electricity output by major energy source, trailing 12-month averages."
Photo credit: "U.S. Republican Representative Darrell Issa enters Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 14, 2016." REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
Illustration credit: Gary Clement for The Boston Globe.
SATURDAY: Partly sunny and milder. Winds: SE 10-15. High: 48
SUNDAY: Cue April. Intervals of mild sunshine. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 38. High: 61
MONDAY: New word: "humid". Risk of T-shower? Winds: S 15-30. Wake-up: 49. High: 65
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, chilly again. Winds: W 15-25. Wake-up: 33. High: 40
WEDNESDAY: More sun, winds gradually ease. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 22. High: 41
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, trending milder. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 31. High: 54
Photo credit: "Arctic cotton grass grows on Greenland’s seashore. Sedge is almost four weeks ahead of its timetable 10 years ago." Photograph: Pearl Bucknall/Alamy
Image credit: What Shell knew about climate change in 1991