March 13, 1851: Before the spring green-up, dry grassy areas are a fire risk. On this date prairie fires blazed in Minnesota.
Predicting a Milder, Springier 7-Day Outlook
"It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future" said Yogi Berra. When I was at WCCO-TV I encouraged Mark Rosen to predict final scores for Minnesota's teams; I politely implored Don Shelby to forecast what would lead the newscast tomorrow. "You can dress a monkey in a sport coat to report on what already happened!" I complained, to no avail. Predicting the future is an odd career choice.
And why do meteorologists consistently over-predict snow amounts? Shy of missing a tornado our biggest mortal fear is forecasting flurries, then waking up to a FOOT of flurries. People never forget a bust like that. So we overcompensate, as a profession.
Then again if I predict 2-5 inches people remember 5.
Snow tapers to flurries today; this same Alberta Clipper is about to unleash 1-2 feet of snow on the coastal northeast - a full-blown blizzard by Tuesday.
A higher sun angle melts most of our cosmetic snowfall by midweek as the sun returns. Expect 40s to 50F next weekend; your faith in a Minnesota spring partially restored.
Oh, the future is truly unknowable - but trending milder.
Classic Nor'easter. The biggest storm of the winter (which isn't saying much - it's been a very tame winter east of the Rockies) is shaping up from the Mid Atlantic into New England. Snow and ice breaks out near D.C. later today; a surge of wind-whipped snow spreading up the coast Tuesday, a 10-12 hour "burst" of heavy snow, ice, thunder and lightning as winds gust over 50 mph - a full blown atmospheric "bomb" spinning up off the coast of Cape Cod by Tuesday evening. Travel will be shut down Tuesday into much of Wednesday with conditions improving by late week. 84-hour Future Radar: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.
Blizzard Criteria for Boston. Sustained winds top 35 mph Tuesday midday and afternoon in Boston with gusts over 50 mph, creating white-out conditions. If you can't get into KBOS today you may have to wait until late Wednesday or Thursday. Predicted winds: NOAA and AerisWeather.
NAM Guidance. Both NAM and GFS print out 12-20" snowfall totals from Philadelphia to New York and Boston; an icy mix right along the coast and the D.C. area, where 6-12" of slush may pile up. The area forecast to be impacted by a foot or more is impressively large. Beware the Ides of March.
Praedictix Severe Weather Briefing: Issued Sunday afternoon, March 12, 2017.
* Clipper to drop 2-4" Twin Cities to Madison, 1-3" for Chicago and Des Moines - the storm that will fuel a big East Coast blizzard.
* Biggest storm of the winter season brewing for Midatlantic, Northeast and New England Monday night into Wednesday.
* 50 million+ Americans under Blizzard Watch or Winter Storm Warning.
* Tuesday will be the worst of the storm with heaviest snow and ice, strongest winds, lowest visibilities and most airline cancellations and treacherous driving conditions Philadelphia and New York to Boston.
* 5-10" Washington D.C., 8-12" Philadelphia, but as much as 1-2 feet from eastern Pennsylvania to New York City, Hartford and Boston by Wednesday.
* Nor'easter forecast to be a "bomb" with very rapid strengthening, capable of 30-60 mph winds. I could see coastal flooding ann power outages at the height of the storm, especially Long Island to Cape Cod.
Most Likely Snowfall Amounts. Based on NOAA guidance here are the most likely snowfall totals:
Summary: Big snowstorms in March aren't that unusual, but a relatively mild, quiet February lulled many of into thinking winter was over. Not. Quite. Accelerate preparations during the daylight hours Monday, because a surge of heavy snow and ice blossoms over the Mid Atlantic Monday night and surges up the coast late Monday night into Tuesday. Snow will fall at a rate of 1-3"/hour with thunder and lightning possible, due to intense upward motion in this strengthening blizzard. Heaviest snows are over by Tuesday night but travel may not return to normal until Thursday, especially New York to Boston. Good luck out there!
Paul Douglas, Senior Meteorologist, Praedictix
Meet the Teen Planting 150 Trees For Every Person on the Planet. One person can change the world - even an ambitious 9-year old. Inhabitat has the inspiring story: "Felix Finkbeiner is on a mission. Ten years ago, when he was just nine years old, he decided to fight climate change by planting one million trees. At the time he felt like adults just talk about the issues facing our planet without taking much action. With his initiative Plant for the Planet, the ambitious teenager surpassed his original goal together with the United Nations’ (UN) Billion Tree Campaign, planting over 14 billion trees in over 130 countries. And he is just getting started..."
Photo credit: "Finlay MacKay for Bloomberg Businessweek; Prop stylist: Peter Samuels; Groomer: Angela Di Carlo."
Illustration credit: "
TODAY: Icy start. Flurries taper off. Winds: NE 10-15. High: 27
MONDAY NIGHT: Slow clearing, cold. Low: 8
TUESDAY: Icy roads. Chilled sunshine, colder than average. Winds: NE 5-10. High: 27
WEDNESDAY: Sunny, a bit more Marchlike. Winds S 7-12. Wake-up: 13. High: 34
THURSDAY: Milder, few rain showers nearby. Winds: S 7-12. Wake-up: 20. High: 41
FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, stiff breeze. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 29. High: 43
SATURDAY: Sunny and very pleasant. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 30. High: 48
SUNDAY: Partly sunny, spring fever returns. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 32. High: 54
Global Climate Change Battles Increasingly Being Won in Court. Here are a couple of excerpts from a Newsweek article: "The South African government has lost the country’s first climate change lawsuit after the hight court ruled against its plans for a coal-fired power station, the latest in a rising tide of international climate litigation. Environmental NGO EarthLife Africa challenged the government’s approval of the proposed Thabametsi coal-fired power station on the grounds that it should have been preceded by an evaluation of its climate change impacts....The case comes shortly after a groundbreaking climate case decided last month in Austria. A federal court blocked the expansion of Vienna’s international airport because the increase in carbon emissions that a new runway would generate is inconsistent with Austria’s commitments to tackle climate change..." (File photo: NASA).
File photo: Barry Wilmore, NASA ISS.