27 F. high in the Twin Cities Friday; coldest day of the winter season so far.
37 F. average high for November 23.
52 F. high on November 23, 2011.
.5″ snow fell yesterday at Twin Cities International Airport.
Relative Weather Risk. There have been 3-4 times more billion dollar weather and climate disasters across the southern USA since 1980 than Minnesota or Wisconsin. Why? Hurricanes. From Texas to the Carolinas, floods and tornadoes are prevalent, but these states, close to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic, are also in “Hurricane Alley” – compounding the relative risk and odds of weather-related disasters. Source NOAA.
2012: Off-The-Scale Warm. NOAA released the latest data for the lower 48 states, showing that it’s pretty much a sure bet that this year will be the warmest ever observed in the USA, warmer than 1998, 1999 and 2006.
More Hints Of Indian Summer (Lite). Not sure we’ll see 60 again, but can I interest you in 50s? The ECMWF map above is valid next Saturday evening, showing another ridge of high pressure expanding northward across the Plains. In fact we’ll probably see a few days above 50 the first week of December. Map above: WSI.
December…Rain? The GFS forecast for a week from Tuesday (December 4) shows the “540 line”, the approximate rain/snow line, slicing across the Dakotas – the atmosphere potentially mild enough for rain. On December 4. The way this year is going nothing much surprises me anymore.
Thanksgiving Climatology. Here’s an excerpt from the always-informative WeatherTalk blog from Dr. Mark Seeley: ”…The mild temperatures of the recent holiday were a significant anomaly. Many locations saw afternoon highs in the 50s F. For the Twin Cities it was only the 11th time in past 141 years that Thanksgiving Day has brought a temperature of 50 degrees F or greater. It is interesting to note that 5 of those years have come since 1998. For southern Minnesota communities it was another dry Thanksgiving which is typical historically, as over 70 percent of the time the holiday brings a trace or no precipitation….”
A Hybrid Tank? Why not. Reducing dependence on traditional fuel sources only increases resiliency and lowers overall risk. Gizmag.com has more details: ”…The GCV carries three crew and nine squad members inside its steel-core hull and boasts an integrated electronic network capability and embedded intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment. However, the centerpiece of the vehicle is its simplified drive train. The GCV is propelled by an Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) developed by the partnership. It puts out 1,100 kW of electricity, has fewer components, and lower volume and weight than current power plants. Being an electric drive, it generates high torque at start, smoother low-speed operation and can run silently – an advantage in night operations….”
Instant Winter. Was it really 60 on Thanksgiving Day (before the arctic front arrived?) Good grief. In spite of a little PM sunshine highs were stuck in the teens and 20s, ranging from 19 at Alexandria to 25 St. Cloud (where 1.4″ snow fell) to 27 in the Twin Cities.
Paul’s Conservation Minnesota Outlook for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota:
* upper 40s are possible a week from today; long range guidance hinting at a few 50-degree highs the first week of December.
Chasing Ice: A New Documentary Melts a Climate Change Skeptic’s Heart. I’ve heard reports that this is a remarkable movie – hoping it comes to Minnesota soon. Here is an excerpt from a Huffington Post story: “…Going to the world’s most remote places and taking photographs was second nature to James Balog, who developed a career with assignments for National Geographic and others. But he was a climate change skeptic. “It was hard for me to believe that people could affect something so vast as the whole planet,” he said. But he has a 24-year-old and an 11-year-old daughter and “I want to offer them, in my own way, a better future,” he said. He worried that he wouldn’t have a good answer for them if climate change turned out to be true and they asked him “what did you do to stop it?” He decided to couple his “privilege as an artist,” with “his duty as a human being” by documenting the changes occurring to glaciers…”
* more on the documentary “Chasing Ice” here.
Grand Old Planet. Yes, you can be fiscally conservative and still have some modicum of respect for the scientific method. It is stll theoretically possible. Here’s an excerpt from a Paul Krugman Op-Ed at The New York Times: ”…The most obvious example other than evolution is man-made climate change. As the evidence for a warming planet becomes ever stronger — and ever scarier — the G.O.P. has buried deeper into denial, into assertions that the whole thing is a hoax concocted by a vast conspiracy of scientists. And this denial has been accompanied by frantic efforts to silence and punish anyone reporting the inconvenient facts.…” Image above: NASA.