63 F. high temperature in the Twin Cities Sunday.
65 F. average high on May 1.
66 F. high on May 1, 2015.
May 2, 2013: A historic snowstorm dumps up to 18 inches of snow in southeast Minnesota and west central Wisconsin. Blooming Prairie receives 18 inches from this storm, and Eau Claire gets 9.3 inches.
The Weather Maps Are Looking Springy Again
“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours” said Mark Twain.
That number may be low. The transition from winter to summer is an tawdry affair. Warm air can’t push the last vestiges of Canadian chill out of the way; cold air has to retreat on its own – which just takes time.
Inevitable heat and humidity comes in waves, like increasingly towering breakers at the beach. One such prod of lukewarm air arrives later this week, with highs above 70F Thursday into Saturday as humidity levels rise; a chance of 80 degrees Friday afternoon. I don’t see any imminent outbreaks of severe weather, but a few heavier showers & T-storms may flare up Saturday, again next week as we slide back into a wetter pattern.
A brief hiccup of cool air may spark a shower late Tuesday but this week looks dry for spring planting and cleaning up the yard. Next week may be a bit sloppy. My gut: May will be wetter – and a couple degrees warmer than average.
Yesterday I overheard people chatting up the weather. “Still cool, but at least the sun is out” said one. “Makes a huge difference with one’s outlook on life.”
Looks Like May. Temperatures run fairly close to average for early May into the weekend; a few instability showers and T-showers late tomorrow, then dry Wednesday into Friday. European guidance pulls in showers and storms Saturday, with Sunday the drier day of the weekend. As warm air surges north again early next week another surge of rain and storms are possible next Monday and Tuesday as we slide into a wetter pattern again. Source: WeatherSpark.
Gusty Winds Tomorrow. The approach of a cold pool aloft coupled with temperatures near 70F at the surface spark 15-30 mph winds tomorrow afternoon; the atmosphere marginally unstable enough for a clap or two of thunder.
Better Chance of Tuesday Showers East of the St. Croix. 4 KM NAM model guidance shows the best chance of showers and embedded T-showers over Iowa and Wisconsin tomorrow afternoon and evening. Animation: AerisWeather.
Omega Block. NOAA’s GFS model prints out closed lows (nearly stationary) over Quebex and the west coast within 2 weeks; a bubble of relatively warm, dry air over the Plains and central Canada, keeping Minnesota a few degrees warmer than average. Nothing I’d qualify as hot brewing, but it’s coming.
Meteorological Spring Precipitation Departures from Average. No sign of emerging drought patterns, at least not yet. Our soaking earlier in the week came at a good time. Since March 1 rainfall is a little above average in the MSP metro, significantly wetter closer to Duluth.
Warm Signal Continues. El Nino is weakening rapidly, but a warm signal remains. Since March 1 temperatures are about 4F warmer than average in the Twin Cities, factoring in an abnormally mild March. April is about 1F warmer than average for KMSP, to date.
Supersized Growing Season for Minnesota Farmers. Here are a couple of timely, relevant nuggets in this week’s installment of Mark Seeley’s Minnesota WeatherTalk: “…A brief tornado touchdown occurred in Faribault County on April 24th near Bricelyn with no reported damage. As a result of no snow cover, absence of soil frost, and warm temperatures during mid-month Minnesota farmers accomplished earliest-ever planting of sugar beets, and a very early planting of corn, with over half of the 7 million acre crop planted by the last week of April…” (Graphic: USDA and AerisWeather).
7 Things You Should Never Forget When Tornadoes Strike. Some useful advice and reminders at weather.com; here’s an excerpt: “…Regardless of where you’re hunkering down, it should be as far away from windows as possible. Even if a tornado doesn’t hit, wind or hail could shatter windows, and if you’re nearby, you could get hurt. You should make every attempt to get underground during a severe storm, either in a basement or storm shelter. If neither is possible, head to the innermost room or hallway on the lowest floor of your home. The goal is to put as many walls between yourself and the outside world. The image below, taken following the 2011 EF5 tornado in Joplin, Missouri, shows why this method could save your life. In many of those homes, the outer walls have been destroyed, but a few inner rooms are somewhat intact…” (Image credit: Office of Homeland Security).
Is Houston America’s Flood Capital? The Weather Channel has the analysis.
IRI ENSO Forecast. Models show a rapid transition from El Nino warm phase to a (weak) La Nina cooling phase in the Pacific in the months to come. Here’s an excerpt of an explanation at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society: “…The first plot (above) shows the ensemble mean predictions of each of the individual models, and also the average of the individual model predictions (the NMME). Here, the NMME average is not weighted by the number of ensemble members in the individual models. This plot is intended to provide some idea of the disagreement among the individual models. Corrections for systematic biases are not done. Predictions of ENSO are probabilistic. The ensemble mean prediction it is only a best single guess. On either side of that prediction, there is a substantial uncertainty distribution, or error tolerance…”
Why You Should Take Elon Musk’s 2018 Mars Shot Seriously. A lot of people have lost a lot of money underestimating Elon Musk. Here’s a clip from a story at TIME: “….That’s the problem when a government agency is in charge of your space program. You can go only as far as the people in Congress and the person in the Oval Office let you go—which hasn’t been very far since the last Apollo astronaut left the moon. For that reason and more, you should pay attention to the April 27 announcement from Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, that he intends to launch his first unmanned Mars mission in just two years and will beat NASA’s goal of putting astronauts on the surface in the 2030s by up to a decade…”
Photo credit: Space X.
TODAY: Perfectly sunny – light winds. Winds: N 3-8. High: 66
MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear skies. Low: 46
TUESDAY: Sunny start, late PM T-shower possible. Winds: W 10-20. High: 71
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, cooler breeze. Winds: N 10-20. Wake-up: 47. High: 61
THURSDAY: Winds ease, a milder day with a stray shower up north? Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 44. High: 70
FRIDAY: Best day in sight, feels like June. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 53. High: 77
SATURDAY: Sticky. Few showers & T-storms. Winds: SW/NW 10-15.Wake-up: 58. High: 75
SUNDAY: Sunnier, drier day of the weekend. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 43. High: 68
The Secret To Making Conservatives Care About Climate Change. How we frame the challenge is critical: this is not about polar bears; it’s about our kids, and their kids. Here’s the intro to a story at TakePart: “Environmentalists are, by and large, idiots when it comes to talking with the people who disagree with us. We go on (and on) about fairness, about injustice, about caring. We are outraged. We are gloomy. Everything is going extinct, and it’s because of that company you work for or that hamburger you’re eating. And, sure, everything does seem to be going extinct, and there is plenty of blame to go around. But people just tune us out. Is there a better way? A way that might persuade ranchers to think differently about wolves, for instance? Or that might persuade conservatives to acknowledge the reality of climate change? Is there a way that might intrigue our political counterparts instead of just antagonizing them?...”
This Is The Only Way to Fight Global Climate Change. Fortune has the Op-Ed; here’s an excerpt: “…Fourth, start rapidly ramping up investments in the energy infrastructure of the future. It’s poor planning to build more oil and gas pipelines when we clearly can’t be relying on them in 10, 20, or 30 years. Renewable energy infrastructure should be the sole focus for U.S., China, and India going forward and nations should support each other’s efforts, rather than undermining them within the WTO. The price point is behind us on this. There’s no good argument anymore for weak investments or laissez-faire strategies. This is where the economic growth opportunity is and it comes with an immediate health and climate co-benefit…”
Photo credit above: Carlos Barria — Reuters.
Climate Change Litigation: The Children Win in Court. Here is the introduction to an update at Forbes: “Against all odds, the 21 children, ages 8 to 19, who are suing the government to protect the environment against the harm of global warming in their future, have won in court. Again. In a surprise ruling on Friday from the bench in the ongoing climate case brought by these youths against the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology, King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill ordered the Department of Ecology to promulgate a carbon emissions reduction rule by the end of 2016 and make recommendations to the state legislature on science-based greenhouse gas reductions in the 2017 legislative session...”
Republican Attitudes on Climate Change Thaw. Here’s the intro to a story at MIT Technology Review: “Subtly but steadily, Republican attitudes on climate change have been changing. That evolution was confirmed this week by a Yale University/George Mason University poll that found that 56 percent of Republicans nationwide believe that the climate is warming (although many still dispute the idea that human activity is the cause). Five years ago that figure was less than 40 percent. These Republican voters disagree with the party’s likely presidential nominee, Donald Trump, who has dismissed the threat of climate change….”
The Top 10 Reasons to be Hopeful on Climate Change. Thanks to Jeff Masters at WunderBlog for an uplifting post; here’s an excerpt: “…My favorite talk today: “Barrier Busting: Leapfrogging Zombie Science Arguments to Get to Solutions,” by my favorite communications expert, Susan Hassol of climatecommunication.org. She argued that emphasizing the solutions to climate change rather than talking about the science, is a better way to communicate to the public. Talking about the science of climate change often leads to confusion, due to long-discredited arguments by climate change deniers that rise from the dead like zombies. But people are very supportive of actions to take action on climate change, regardless of their views on the science. For example, 72% of Republicans and 68% of conservative Republicans support efforts to develop clean energy, even though far fewer than half of them believe that the climate is warming and humans are responsible. Susan presented her top list of reasons to be hopeful about climate change:
10) President Obama has put climate change at the top of his agenda.
9) The Pope has framed climate change as a moral issue.
8) China has become highly motivated and engaged, and naysayers can no longer claim that we shouldn’t do anything because China is not...”