59 F. average high on April 17.
79 F. high on April 17, 2016.
April 18, 2004: A strong cold front whips up winds of up to 55 miles an hour over southern Minnesota. The wind causes black clouds of soil to lift into the air, creating soil erosion and reduced visibility. Some old-timers remarked that it reminded them of the dust storms from the 1930's Dust Bowl era.
April 18, 2002: Baseball-sized hail falls in Eagan, creating small craters in the soft ground and broken windows in apartments.
April 18, 1977: A tornado touches down at the mouth of the Minnesota River.
Severe Weather Myths, Misses and Misconceptions
Every spring I hear the same stuff from bright, high-functioning adults. "Tornadoes can't hit cities or cross lakes & rivers!" Wrong. "If it's not raining I can't be hit by lightning." Wrong. "It's just "heat lightning" Paul, not a threat!" No such thing as heat lightning; it's just lightning from a distant T-storm, too far away to hear the thunder.
554 tornadoes have already touched down in 2017 (preliminary count), on track to rival record seasons in 2011 and 2008. Fact: 44 percent of Americans killed by tornadoes since 1985 were in mobile homes. Make sure there's a shelter nearby - consider moving to a safer location (office building or a store) when a "watch" is issued. It pays to be perpetually paranoid; you may live long enough to enjoy great grandchildren.
Over an inch of additional rain may fall this week; the best chance of showers today and Wednesday. Any severe storms should track well south of Minnesota, in the sticky "warm sector". Expect sunshine next weekend with highs close to 60F.
Minnesota has been trending wetter for 30 years. My gut (nausea?) is no drought this summer.
File photo: NOAA.
Graphic credit: NOAA SPC.
Wednesday Severe Storm Risk. NOAA SPC has outlined an area from Rockford and Des Moines to Kansas City and Wichita for large hail and a few isolated tornadoes Wednesday.
More Green (rain) - Less Blue (snow). Warm air can't just push cold air out of the way. Wintry air has to retreat on its own, and that's happening, although probably not fast enough for residents of the northern USA. More showers and T-storms push across the Upper Midwest today; garden-variety thundershowers sprouting from Houston to Nashville with more rain for the western USA, where the sun is now on the endangered species list. 84-hour NAM Future Radar: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.
Lightning Factoids. Every thunderstorm, by definition, is potentially deadly, with cloud to ground lightning, striking the U.S. roughly 25 million times a year. An average of 75 to 100 Americans are killed by lightning every year; hundreds injured; many with lifelong disabilities. Most of these injuries are ultimately avoidable. The first growl of thunder signals it's time to move inside: a home or vehicle offers the best protection. Avoid fields, golf courses and lakes. Remember the "30-30 Rule"; if you count 30 seconds between the flash and the bang, it's time to race indoors. Wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder to resume outdoor plans. Don't push your luck.
Going Green Will Leave More Green In Your Wallet I drive a Tesla, which I charge at home. Our electric rates have not gone up. Thank you Xcel Energy. My insurance premium fell, and there's little maintenance. "Bring it in once a year and we'll check the tires" their service guy told me. "But you don't have to." There's a real ROI, a return on investment. New Tesla Model 3's and Chevy Bolts are priced in the mid- 30s and prices will continue to plummet. My electric car has 150 moving parts; a typical gas-powered vehicle: 10,000 moving parts. There is simply less that can go wrong. They are cheaper to maintain and cheaper to manufacture. Installing solar shingles and energy storage (a big battery) will allow me to drive for free, and even power my home for extended periods of time - for free. Free has a nice ring.
Image credit: "Sleep today is a measure of success, a skill to be cultivated and nourished." Tim Robinson.
Spring Comes Reluctantly To The North Shore. Praedictix meteorologist D.J. Kayser sent this photo from Gooseberry Falls, where a dusting of snow was observed early Monday. What spring?
TODAY: Mild and windy with showers, possible T-storm. Winds: SW 15-30. High: 68
TUESDAY NIGHT: Showers taper off. Low: 43
WEDNESDAY: Dry start, then more rain arrives. Winds: NE 8-13. High: 54
THURSDAY: Showers taper to sprinkles. Raw breeze. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 40. High: 49
FRIDAY: Sunshine returns, feels like spring by afternoon. Winds: NE 5-10. Wake-up: 37. High: 60
SATURDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, nicer day of the weekend. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 41. High: 61
SUNDAY: More clouds than sun, no drama. Winds: E 5-10. Wake-up: 43. High: 59
MONDAY: More clouds, passing shower. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 45. High: 57
Graphic credit: "Global temperature anomalies for each month since 1880. March 2017 was the second warmest March, behind only 2016." Credit: NASA
Quora Question: How is Climate Change Affecting Us Now? Here's an excerpt from Newsweek: "...Climate change is already being felt in innumerable ways today. Climate change is one of the underlying contributors to some of the most major stories of the past decade and is being felt broadly and mostly negatively....
- Regional conflicts: Climate change has increased drought in the middle east, and has contributed to the rise of ISIS and the destabilization of the middle east playing out now. This in turn has led to the millions of Syrian and other refugees in temporary refugee camps in countries outside of the worst impacted areas and the hundreds of thousands of refugees attempting to get to Europe and often drowning.
- Miami is sinking: Many parts of Miami are already experiencing sea water welling up from under foot at king tides and some are experiencing regular flooding at merely high tides. This is with the relatively small amount of sea level rise already experienced. This is an indicator of what is to come.
To These Pastors, Saving the Colorado River is a Divine Command. The New York Times reports.