42 F. high on March 9, 2016.
March 10, 2012: The record high of 66 degrees at the Twin Cities is the first of 8 record highs in a 10-day span.
March 10, 1948: Bitterly cold conditions, especially for March, occur in Minnesota. A low of -44 is reported at Itasca.
February Relapse, but 50 Degrees Is A Week Away
Legendary Minnesota winters have been partially defanged. They've lost some of their bite. Today zero is the new 20 below. Snow day? Dream on. Since 1970 meteorological winters in the Twin Cities have warmed 5.4 F. According to Dr. Mark Seeley 15 of the last 20 winters have been warmer than normal.
I explain that roughly 1 in 4 winters now are "old fashioned", with average snow (50 inches or more) and the kind of polar pain that once made Americans wince at the thought of spending a winter here.
Spring has arrived 3 weeks early over the southern half of the USA but a wintry relapse will grip the Midwest to New England into early next week. Today is the coldest day for Minnesota; a chill factor of -10 F at the bus stop this morning. A couple of super-sized clippers will drop plowable snow (3 inches or more) from the Dakotas to Des Moines, Nashville and the Carolinas. Both GFS and ECMWF are printing out 1-2 FEET of snow for the Northeast, including major coastal urban areas, late Monday into Wednesday. Next week may be wild from Boston and New York to D.C.
Once of these clippers will spread light snow into much of Minnesota Sunday PM into midday Monday, and I could see a couple inches of slush. Whatever falls will melt within 36 hours or so. The beauty of a mid-March snowfall. We get off relatively easy with a couple inches late sunday.
Winter's last gasp? Probably. A mild, Pacific flow returns within 4-5 days. Highs nudge 50 F. in the metro in about a week or so.
Enjoy the cold front!
Short-Term Snow Potential. Clipper #1 takes a more southerly track, spreading accumulating snow from the Dakotas into St. Louis, Chattanooga and the Carolinas - plowable amounts of snow are possible across the Mid South and Carolinas; one of the bigger potential snowfalls of a fairly tame winter season. 84-hour NAM snowfall product: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.
Nor'Easter Risk Grows Early Next Week. Both GFS (above) and ECMWF spin up a major coastal storm capable of 1-2 foot snowfall amounts from near Washington D.C. and Philadelphia and New York. The heaviest amounts may pile up west of I-95 and it's still very early to talk amounts and timing. But it looks ripe, and there should be sufficient cold air in place for a major dumping - possibly the biggest of the winter.
46 Confirmed Tornadoes in March 6-7 Outbreak. U.S. Tornadoes confirms 63 reports, 90 warnings and 6 watches. Here's an excerpt from a post detailing the biggest tornado outbreaks of 2017, nationally, to date: "...Another in a late-winter and early-spring volley of storm systems, this one was the farthest west outbreak so far this year. While many of the tornadoes were QLCS-type, spinning up within lines and broken lines, several supercells dropped tornadoes as well. The Kansas City area was particularly hard hit as an EF3 struck east of town. Fortunately, no one was killed despite relatively high impact..."
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..."
Tech Tornado Researchers Return to Southeast for VORTEX-SE. Another round of in-the-field research is scheduled for mid-May. Here's an excerpt from Plainview Daily Herald: "...Associate professors Chris Weiss and Eric Bruning and graduate research assistants Aaron Hill and Vanna Chmielewski – all from the atmospheric science group within the Department of Geosciences – arrived in Alabama early last week to deploy equipment for the second year of the Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment-Southeast (VORTEX-SE), which runs March 8 through May 8. Team members are now stationed in Huntsville to await signs of potentially dangerous storms. Their equipment includes lightning mapping array sensors that will be deployed ahead of storms to map characteristics of lightning strikes, including size and channel length; dozens of weather balloons to measure changes in temperature, wind and moisture content at different heights; and 24 StickNet platforms that measure temperature, pressure, humidity and wind to understand how atmospheric states change around developing tornadoes. Sixteen StickNets are already in place to gather long-range data while the other eight will be deployed directly in the path of oncoming storms..."
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..."
File photo credit: Vivek Prakash, Reuters.
Graphic credit: Guardian graphic | Source: SolarPower Europe.
TODAY: Cold sun. -10 W.C. early. Winds: N 8-13. High: 22
FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 7
SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, few flakes possible. Winds: N 7-12. High: 26
SUNDAY: Clipper, light accumulation PM hours, 1-2" possible. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 13. High: 28
MONDAY: Light snow tapers to flurries, icy roads. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 18. High: 27
TUESDAY: Sunny, better travel conditions. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 13. High: 34
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny and milder. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 20. High: 43
THURSDAY: Intervals of sun, feels like March. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 27. High: 47
Map credit: "February temperature anomalies over North America. ECMWF analysis compared to ERA-interim 1981-2010."
What Keeps Global Security Academics Awake at Night? Here's an excerpt from The Interpreter: "...By a factor of three, the key threat to global security identified was climate change. For many, climate change constituted the most fundamental existential threat, especially if our focus is the global rather than the national. As one respondent put it, ‘the globe can survive most other things’. At second place was poverty and inequality. Respondents noted the ongoing devastating effects of poverty and the effects of growing inequality on both life choices and the surge of destructive ideologies. On this score, nationalism finished a close third, with respondents pointing to the dangers of a world of states turning inward even while global action to address global problems (like climate change) seems more necessary than ever..."
File photo: AFP.
Chronology of Military and Intelligence Concerns About Climate Change. Here's an excerpt of a story at The Center for Climate & Security: "...This concern didn’t happen overnight, or under a single administration. Rather, it’s the culmination of decades of assessments stretching back to the end of the Cold War. In popular discourse, it’s often assumed that climate change is a brand new issue for the national security world – an interloping latecomer. The truth is that it’s not. The U.S. military has been concerned about climate change since the George W. Bush Administration, at the latest, but military institutions such as the Naval War College have been warning policy-makers since 1990, during the first Bush Administration. The intelligence community has also been in the game since the early 1990s, with the establishment of the MEDEA program – a structured collaboration between climate scientists and U.S. intelligence agencies – and has been releasing intelligence estimates on the national security implications of climate change since 2008, under the direction of then Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Dr. Thomas Fingar..."
Image credit: "Scientist-hackers are saving data from NASA, NOAA, and EPA. (MIT Lincoln Laboratory)."
Illustration credit: Yann Kebbi.
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..."