27 F. high temperature in the Twin Cities Monday.
34 F. average high on March 1.
28 F. high on March 1, 2015.
March 2, 1913: A record low of 24 degrees below zero is set at the St. Cloud Regional Airport.
My Fading Film Career – April Returns Next Week
Life is absurd. Martha Stewart owes me a dollar (for a can of pop). Phil Mickelson broke our toilet. Steven Spielberg told me how he nearly drowned in Kauai during the filming of “Jurassic Park”.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of “Twister”, the movie. A previous company provided special effects for the film. I drove to Iowa to help out, only to be offered a line in the flick. “Hey Bryce, you better come here and take a look at this!” I nailed it – after only 8 takes. My last residual check from Warner Brothers? One cent. God has a way of keeping us humble, right?
No twisters in the 7-Day, but a rumble of thunder is possible by Tuesday as another spurt of April-like air arrives. Expect 50s by Sunday, an outside shot of 60F Tuesday.
Tournament puddles this year, with temperatures 15-20F warmer than average into mid-March. A few more slush-events are possible into April, but NOAA CPC’s new 3-month outlook calls for a warmer, drier bias into May.
Do you have a NOAA weather radio and a few warning apps on your phone? I expect a busy severe storm season.
Snow Drought Continues. Models bring a little snow across Minnesota tonight and early Thursday, but the MSP metro will see little or no accumulation. By the time we do see precipitation (Friday PM hours) it may be warm enough aloft for a light rain-snow mix. 84 hour NAM accumulated snow: NOAA and AerisWeather.
February Was Earth’s Warmest Month in the Satellite Record. It didn’t just break the record – it blew it away. Meteorologist Jason Samenow reports at The Capital Weather Gang; here’s the intro: “The temperature of the lowest section of the atmosphere hit its highest level on record in February, as estimated by weather satellites. The planet was 0.83 degrees Celsius warmer than the long-term average, according to Roy Spencer, research scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, who worked with John Christy to develop the original analysis of satellite-derived global temperatures. The February reading is remarkable in that it rose almost 0.3 degrees from the warmest level in January on record, established last month…”
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More Whispers of an Ongoing Warm Signal. Our internal model ensemble shows a steady rise in temperature into next week; the best chance of upper 50s to near 60F next Tuesday, again the end of next week. My confidence level isn’t terribly high that we’ll see 60 degrees, but there is now little doubt that temperatures will run well above normal next week. Graphic: Aeris Enterprise.
Milder Than Average. Forecast 500mb (GFS) winds in mid-March continue to favor a stormy trough for the Pacific Northwest and New England, a relatively mild ridge of high pressure over the central USA with temperatures as much as 20F warmer than average. There may be a correction the latter half of March, but with a higher sun angle, shorter nights and diminishing snow cover it can’t get nearly as cold in late March as it can in late January.
Spring Outlook from NOAA. Continuing the trend we’ve seen in recent months NOAA CPC is predicting a better than 50% probability of warmer than average temperatures into May; a slight dry bias for the Great Lakes, Wisconsin and Minnesota. That sounds about right.
An Active Spring Severe Season? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to connect the dots and realize that this may be much more severe spring season. Between a fading El Nino energizing the southern branch of the jet stream and a recent flurry of tornado outbreaks for the Gulf Coast and Florida February was more damaging and deadly than average, a trend that may continue into May. Here’s an excerpt from NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation: “Tornadoes, lightning, floods, rip currents and early season heat – spring is three months of danger that can imperil the unprepared. It roars in like a lion, rampaging across the United States throughout March, April and May. And there’s one hazard that can strike the coasts at any time: tsunamis. Spring hazards include:
- Severe Weather/Tornadoes
- Rip Currents/Beach Hazards
Nobody knows the hazards of this dynamic season more than NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). We ask that you get weather-ready for spring with just a few simple steps...”
Thunder and Lightning: What To Do When You’re Outside. Thunder season may come earlier this year the way the maps are looking; here’s a clip from fishing.about.com: “…When a thunderstorm threatens, getting inside a home, large building, or enclosed vehicle (not a convertible or the bed of a truck) is the best course of action. This is usually not possible for anglers unless they act well in advance of a storm. Many people put themselves in unnecessary danger by waiting too long to take action when a thunderstorm approaches. Anglers who are wading or who are along the bank or shore need to get out of and away from the water. Anglers in boats should quickly get to a safe place on land whenever possible. If not possible, they may be able to get out of the storm’s path by moving, but only if they act well ahead of its arrival. You cannot outrun a thunderstorm that is close…”
Instead of Record Rains, L.A. Gets the Hottest February on Record. Rains have hit northern California and the Pacific Northwest, but it’s been unusually hot and dry for an El Nino winter in SoCal. Here’s an excerpt from The Los Angeles Times: “…The atmosphere is chaotic and has a certain randomness to it,” said Nicholas A. Bond, a research meteorologist at the University of Washington. In that regard, the no-show of the El Niño rains was no more surprising than the summer heat. “All this is kind of — in mathematical terms — a probabilistic thing,” Bond said. “It’s not like El Niño dictates these weather patterns. It just favors certain types rather than other types.” As might be expected, more historic temperatures fall in the latter half of the 20th century, reflecting the warming of the climate. The 1980s and the 1990s have the highest number of record hot days…” (File image credit here).
Flood Potential Grows for West Coast. Heavy rains are already pushing into the Pacific Northwest; another wave of heavy rain pushes into California by Saturday with more soggy fronts lined up next week. Some 4-8″ rainfall amounts are possible – I could see flash flooding and mudslides by next week. GFS 10-day rainfall forecast: NOAA and AerisWeather.
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A search of the internet already shows policyholder counsel are advertising for El Niño-related claims. One such site states:
First-party claims will certainly be on the rise. Some will be covered by property coverage forms, and some will not. Coverage issues will depend upon the forms and the specific claim being made…”
Ambitious Tornado Study Launches as Florida’s Tally Hits 28 This Year. Florida has already experienced 28 confirmed tornadoes in 2016, five times the normal number, to date? Here’s a clip from a story at PalmBeachPost.com: “…The so-called Dixie alley, which includes areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee, has more deaths on average per year than the more well-known tornado alley of the great plains where massive cyclones are often caught on camera. Florida, which has the third highest number of tornadoes on average per year nationally, will also be included in the study as researchers examine how tropical storms and hurricanes spawn tornadoes. The $5 million project, dubbed Vortex SE, comes following a tragic tornado outbreak last week that killed seven people along the Gulf Coast and in Virginia…”
“Are We Now The New Tornado Alley?” asks a writer at The Pensacola NewsJournal.
Move Over Snow Day. Is This The Era of “Tornado Days” for School Systems? Dr. Marshall Shepherd takes a look at what may be a growing trend, especially in southern states. Is it even a good idea? Here’s an excerpt of a story at Forbes: “During the last week of February, one of my University of Georgia doctoral students (also a meteorologist), Bradford Johnson, said,
They closed schools in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (his hometown) in advance of severe weather. I don’t remember that happening before.
An article from NOLA.com wrote,
Numerous schools and school systems in southeast Louisiana have canceled or curtailed classes Tuesday (Feb. 23) in advance of forecasted severe weather.
Are we in the era of the “Tornado Day” for school systems?…”
FedEx Driver Narrowly Swept Away by Tornado. Kyra deserves a raise. Here’s an excerpt from Huffington Post: “A Louisiana FedEx driver is lucky to be alive after harrowing surveillance video captured her narrowly being swept away by a powerful tornado while trying to seek shelter. Video taken outside of Saigon’s True Value Hardware in Paincourtville Tuesday shows Kyra Johnson running up to the store’s locked doors and frantically tugging on them to no avail. Seconds after she disappears off screen, the building’s roof and walls are seen flying into the parking lot like cardboard. The screen then goes black…”
Humans Can’t Keep Trashing the Oceans Forever. Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Japan Times: “The importance of the world’s oceans cannot be overstated. They supply 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe, feed billions of people and provide livelihoods for millions more. They are the great biological pump of global atmospheric and thermal regulation, and the driver of the water and nutrient cycles. And they are among the most powerful tools for mitigating the effects of climate change. In short, the oceans are a critical ally, and we must do everything in our power to safeguard them. This is all the more important, given the unprecedented and unpredictable threats that we currently face. Though the ocean has been integral to slowing climate change, absorbing over 30 percent of the greenhouse-gas emissions and 90 percent of the excess heat generated since the Industrial Revolution, the cost has been huge…”
File image: NASA ISS.
Best Pictures from #YearInSpace. Check out some amazing photos taken by NASA astronaut Scott Kelly on the International Space Station, courtesty of Flickr.
Unprecedented Scientific Report Says Bees and Other Pollinators Are In Dire Need of Help. The Washington Post reports; here’s a clip: “…An increasing number of pollinator species are thought to be in decline, threatened by a variety of mostly human pressures, and their struggles could pose significant risks for global food security and public health. Until now, most assessments of pollinator health have been conducted on a regional basis, focusing on certain countries or parts of the world. But this week, a United Nations organization has released the first-ever global assessment of pollinators, highlighting their importance for worldwide food and nutrition, describing the threats they currently face and outlining strategies to protect them…”
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swelling deficits and shrinking foreign-exchange piles, a number of countries with generous subsidies have now made them less so, and in some cases have removed them altogether…”In more than a few countries, though, consumers regularly enjoyed low gasoline prices even before the oil market crashed, thanks to government subsidies. Trouble is, these subsidies typically are paid for with revenue brought in by the oil sector, either through taxes or state-ownership outright. Now that fuel has gotten so cheap, the oil revenue available to petro-states like Saudia Arabia and Venezuela is scarcer, meaning the subsidies themselves are getting a lot less affordable. Against
Photo credit above: “It’s going to get a bit more painful at pumps around the globe.” (Reuters/Darren Whiteside)
Architect Turns Bicycle Into Full, Rolling Weather Station. I suspect I need one of these – at least it doesn’t look too dorky. Here’s an excerpt from GrindTV.com: “While in recent months we’ve seen inventors build everything from bamboo bicycles to 100-foot bike frames, an architect in New York may have created the most unique, if odd, cycling invention yet by turning a bike into a full weather station. University at Buffalo architect Nicholas Rajkovich spent a summer pedaling through northern Ohio with his strange-looking contraption. While he said more than a few people were in disbelief at the weird appearance of his bike, he’s adamant that the microclimate data, such as solar radiation, sky view, surface temperature and air temperature, that he’s collecting from riding the bike will be crucial to city planning going forward…”
THURSDAY: Slushy AM dusting, then slow clearing. Winds: NE 7-12. High: 34
FRIDAY: PM rain/snow mix; roads should be wet. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 25. High: 38
SATURDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 28. High: 42
SUNDAY: Fever returns. Mild sun, windy. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 31. High: 52
MONDAY: Clouds increase PM showers. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 40. High: 54
TUESDAY: Hints of April. Stray T-shower? Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: 47. High: near 60.
Bernie Sanders Highlights Climate Change During Minnesota Stop. Here’s a clip from USA TODAY: “…Our moral responsibility is to make sure that we leave this planet in a way that is healthy and inhabitable for future generations,” he said at the rally. “Fossil fuel companies cannot wreck our planet for their short term profits.” Sanders highlighted his leadership role in opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, which his rival Hillary Clinton came out against in September. As president, he said he would direct the State Department to review whether approval of the projects would make climate change worse, just as President Obama did when he rejected the pipeline…”
Photo credit above: “Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters during a campaign appearance in Minneapolis on Feb. 29, 2016.” (Photo: Craig Lassig, EPA).
Large Group of Pro-Life Christians in Texas Campaigning for 100% Clean Energy by 2030. Here’s an excerpt from Clean Technica: “…It is time to stop poisoning the womb and our environment and create a cleaner, brighter future for our children, free from pollution,” explained the Reverend Mitch Hescox, President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network. “Over 638,000 kids in Texas have asthma, and pollution makes it hard for them to breath [sic]. That’s not right.” “The Holy Bible testifies to God’s mandate on all Believers to care for Creation. Industrial pollution is clearly harmful to the environment and threatens to harm human lives. That is why Christians in Texas are asking policy makers to make creation care a priority,” stated Reverend Dr Daniel Flores, The Hispanic Wesleyan Society, Fort Worth, Texas…”
Image Credit: Leaflet via a Wiki CC BY-SA 3.0 License.
Can Miami Beach Survive Climate Change? Or will it morph into Venice, or the Lost City of Atlantis by the 22nd century? Here’s a clip from a CNN story: “…Pull up a map of projected sea level rise, and it’s easy to see why. At even 2 to 4 feet of sea level rise, the island will be considerably flooded. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 6 feet of sea level increase is possible by century’s end. These are long-term trends — measured in decades and generations — but they’re certainly frightening. Others in Miami Beach, however, are vowing to stay and fight. The city is regarded by many as a proactive leader in efforts to hold back the threats of rising tides. How are they doing it? And what are the limits of engineering fixes to climate change and rising seas?...” (File image credit: Wikipedia).
Are Climate Change Adaptations Tied to Protecting Property or People? Study Follows the Money. Here’s an excerpt from The Orlando Sentinel: “As climate change continues, scientists have observed a disturbing trend: The money that megacities spend to adapt to climate change seems to be linked more to protecting valuable capital, and less to protecting vulnerable people. The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, reveals that cities in developing nations may be even less equipped to protect residents against future health, environmental and economic effects than those in developed countries. “Current adaptation activities are insufficient in major population centers in developing and emerging economies,” the study authors wrote...”
Photo credit above: “Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks while United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon listens during a Jan. 27 event about climate change at the U.N. headquarters in New York.” (Justin Lane / EPA).
Extreme Cyclones Hitting the Philippines Are On The Rise – Study. Here’s the intro to a story at Climate Home: “Typhoons barrelling into the vulnerable Philippines have become more intense over the last 45 years and wrought rising damages, according to a study. While the total number of cyclones making landfall has decreased, the strongest classification of storm has become more frequent, analysts found. The average rate of storms with wind speeds of 150km/hr or more rose from 5.5 to 6 a year between 1971 and 2013, researchers at the Royal Meteorological Society wrote in the International Journal of Climatology...”
Photo credit above: “Houses destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.” (Flickr/ Asian Development Bank).
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscars Speech Was About Climate Change, Which Could Be Worse Than We Thought. Here’s an excerpt of a story from Chris Mooney at The Washington Post: “…Climate change is real. It is happening right now,” DiCaprio continued. “It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.” (You can watch the full speech here.) A little-noticed scientific study that emerged last week not only bears this out — but it also suggests that climate change could be a more urgent problem than we all assumed…”
How Leonardo DiCaprio Became One of the World’s Top Climate Champions. The Guardian reports.
Inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s Crusade to Save the World. I give DiCaprio a lot of credit; he’s putting his money, effort and passion where his mouth is – trying to get the word out. Here’s an excerpt at Rolling Stone: “…Halfway between mother and maker, Leonardo DiCaprio is not unhappily marooned between the bright light of his own life – a looming Oscar, a personal fossil collection, a chauffeured rental Tesla – and the bleakness of the overheated world he inhabits with denialist Republicans and a Bangladesh coastline that could be nearly a quarter underwater by 2050. He wants us to move off fossil fuels entirely and wonders where we would be if we had spent billions on finding renewable energy sources rather than on the Iraq War…”
Exxon Mobil’s Insane Argument Against Action on Climate Change. We can’t do anything about it so why bother? Sounds rational to me. Here’s an excerpt from Grist: “Exxon Mobil has devised a bizarre new argument to wriggle away from its shareholders’ demands: Humanity can’t fix the problem we created, so we shouldn’t even try. Yep — as it turns out, Exxon Mobil’s shareholders care a lot more about climate change than the company itself does. The planet’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company challenged a resolution about climate change regulations from its own shareholders on Friday, arguing that it’s a practical improbability that the emissions-restricting goals set forth by the recent climate accord in Paris will actually be achieved. Therefore, Exxon Mobil says, it shouldn’t have to address the impact that the regulations would have on its business…”
Photo credit above: Flickr/Mike Mozart.
Dear Republicans: Climate Change Is, In Fact, Real (And Not a Religious Issue). Here’s an excerpt of an Op-Ed at The Winona Daily News: “…Sea levels are rising sharply, faster than at any previous point in the last 28 centuries. In just one example, in Annapolis, Md., from 1955 to 1964, there were 32 days of tidal flooding. From 2005 to 2014, there were 394 days of flooding. In the United States, this already is causing immense problems. Americans in a number of coastal towns are dealing with fouled drinking water, neighborhoods cut off from arterial roads for days at a time, flooded, muddy, moldy basements, ruined yards and houses that can’t be sold. Someday in the not-too-distant future, people will be astonished and appalled that millions scoffed at the idea that manmade carbon emissions had built up to such an extent that we badly damaged the entire earth and possibly killed a lot of our fellow humans…”
The Many Signs of Climate Change in the Far North. Newsminer.com has an interesting article from Fairbanks, Alaska – here’s an excerpt: “…Alaska’s thousands of glaciers are the resting place of snows that fell yesterday and many years ago. Those ribbons of ice worm along in trenches between mountains all over Alaska. Almost all of them are shrinking fast. After a few decades of continued study, glaciologists say this: During the last 20 years or so, Alaska’s glaciers melted as much as all of Antarctica’s glaciers (Antarctica is as large as eight Alaskas). Alaska glaciers added one-third as much water to the ocean as did Greenland’s ice sheet from 2005 to 2010. This is despite Alaska’s ice having 1/20th the area of Greenland’s. UAF’s Chris Larsen and many colleagues have made these calculations by measuring glaciers each year with instruments mounted on aircraft and satellites. Alaska’s extreme weight loss is showing up as sea spray in a storm topping a levee in New Orleans...”
Photo credit: Ned Rozell. “The accelerated loss of ice in several forms is a well-documented story of change in Alaska.”