January 6, 1942: The temperature rises from 32 below zero to 41 above in 24 hours in Pipestone.
Ice Bowl 2016? Subzero Sunday - Windchill: -30F
We had just gotten a new color (!) TV and I vaguely remember watching the Packers battle the Cowboys on December 31, 1967, in what came to be known as the "Ice Bowl". It was -15F at Lambeau Field, with a wind chill of -44F.
Whistles froze onto the lips of referees. Members of the band were hospitalized for hypothermia. Cars wouldn't start; one Green Bay player had to hitchhike to the stadium.
It won't be quite that cold on Sunday at TCF Stadium as the Vikes take on the Seahawks, but the risk of frostbite & hypothermia will be high. I expect game time temperatures of -5F, a wind chill of -30 to -35F. The "no exposed skin" rule will definitely apply Sunday, again Tuesday as a second spoke of subzero fun rotates across Minnesota.
It's rare to get this cold without some snow. I see two chances to freshen up our snow cover: an inch of slush later today, maybe a couple inches Friday into early Saturday as a weak storm spins up along the leading edge of truly polar air.
Next week should be the coldest of the winter. I predict Sunday's game may rival the legendary 1967 Ice Bowl.
Map credit: ECMWF-predicted wind chills at 18z (1 PM) Sunday, in the -30 to -35F range in the Twin Cities. Source: WeatherBell.
Photo credit above: "Small birds like this European robin puff up their feathers in order to trap more air in them, which is then warmed by their body heat and keeps the bird toasty on a cold winter morning." (Flickr photo by Theirry Marysael).
Graphic Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Fine particulate matter data are geographically aggregated daily measures of fine particulate matter in the outdoor air per cubic meter, spanning the years 2003-2011. PM2.5 particles are air pollutants with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 micrometers."
Map credit above: "The high cost of flooding. NRDC found that FEMA spent $48.6 billion 1998 to 2014, predominantly to repair or replace public buildings ($12.6 billion), public utilities ($7.4 billion), roads and bridges ($5.5 billion), and water-control facilities like levees, dams, and pumps ($1 billion)."
This Year's El Nino Is On Track to Rival the Worst on Record. Here's the intro to a story at Huffington Post: "The El Niño of 1997-98 was the worst on record. It caused an estimated 23,000 deaths worldwide as widespread drought, flooding and other natural disasters rocked the globe. The catastrophic weather system also caused the most devastating coral bleaching in recorded history, killing off about 16 percent of the world’s reef systems. In the U.S., the total economic impact of that year’s El Niño was between $10 billion and $25 billion. Sounds bad? Well, according to NASA, we may now be facing an equally-destructive El Niño; one that's poised to only worsen in the first few months of 2016..."
What North America Can Expect From El Nino. Every El Nino has a different "flavor" and slightly different symptoms, no two events are identical, according to a good overview at The Conversation; here's an excerpt: "...During the coming months, climate scientists expect that El Niño will pull the east Pacific Northern Hemisphere jet stream and its associated storm track southward. Normally these storms veer to the north toward the Gulf of Alaska or enter North America near British Columbia and Washington, where they often link up with cold Arctic and Canadian air masses and bring them down into the United States. Instead, with the jet stream following an altered path, the northern states are likely to experience relatively mild and drier-than-normal weather. Storms tracking across the continent further to the south will likely create wet conditions in California and across the South as far east as Florida..."
Photo credit above: " " Dave Gatley/FEMA.
Wettest and Warmest December "Won't Become Norm for Decades". The BBC recaps a springlike December across the United Kingdom, complete with record warmth and record rains; a preview of winters to come? "...Storms propelled by the jet stream were mainly to blame, it says, with contributions from the El Nino weather phenomenon and man-made climate change. December was something of a freak month, it acknowledges. It says climate change has raised UK temperatures by around 1C (1.8F) so far, so it will be many decades before this level of extreme weather becomes the new winter norm. Other scientists say that with climate change, there will be no "normal" weather..."
Photo credit above: "An abandoned car is submerged near the River Isla near Meikleour, Scotland Monday Jan, 4, 2016. Many parts of Britain are still suffering from the recent floods that have struck the country in the last 2 weeks." (Hilary Leverton Duncanson /PA via AP.
Image credit above: "Typhoon Kilo, Tropical Storm Ignacio, and Hurricane Jimena in the Pacific Ocean are captured by Japan's Himawari satellite on Sept. 2." JMA/NOAA.
Photo credit above: "
TODAY: Overcast. wet snow arrives PM hours, maybe an inch late. Winds: S 8-13. High: 33
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Wet snow tapers to flurries, slushy roads. Low: 30
THURSDAY: Flurries taper, mainly wet roads. High: 34
FRIDAY: Couple inches of slushy snow? Winds: N 10-15. Wake-up: 30. High: 33
SATURDAY: Flurries taper, colder wind kicks in. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 17. High: 19 (falling)
SUNDAY: Frostbite risk, feels like -30F. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: -8. High: -3
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, still frozen. Wake-up: -10. High: 5
TUESDAY: Touch of the polar vortex. Ouch. Wake-up: -4. High: 1
An Investment Strategy to Save the Planet. The New York Times reports on new investment vehicles that chase solid returns, with a real ROI for the environment as well; here's an excerpt: "If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to do your part against climate change, keep reading. Now you can — with your investments. You’d be following New York State’s example. At the Paris climate change talks last month, the state’s comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, announced that the state’s Common Retirement Fund, for public employee pensions, will put $2 billion into a new investment fund created by Goldman Sachs that prioritizes companies with smaller carbon footprints. If that goes well, the retirement fund will put in more..."
Photo credit: J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times.
2 Questions Every Investor Should Ask About Climate Risk. Forbes reports; here's a clip: "It’s not just fossil fuel companies that will find themselves with stranded assets in a low-carbon economy, but any company that depends on carbon-intensive products or processes that are about to get more expensive. Investors can ask companies two simple questions to assess how ready they are to transition to the low-carbon economy...."
Manufactured Misinformation. Here's a portion of an abstract focused on new research on the organized movement to muddy the waters on climate science: "Climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that the Earth is getting warmer and that the rise in average global temperature is predominantly due to human activity. Yet a significant proportion of the American public, as well as a considerable number of legislators in the U.S. Congress, continue to reject the “consensus view.” While the source of the disagreement is varied, one prominent explanation centres on the activities of a coordinated and well-funded countermovement of climate sceptics. This study contributes to the literature on organized climate scepticism by providing the first systematic overview of conservative think tank sceptical discourse in nearly 15 years..."
How Tackling Climate Change Will Pay Off. Here's an excerpt of an Op-Ed from Tina Smith, Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor, at The Star Tribune: "...What many people don’t realize is that tackling climate change will help Minnesota’s economy grow and contribute to our global competitiveness. Minnesota has already seen the economic benefits of taking action, after setting aggressive renewable-energy and energy-efficiency standards and bold goals to reduce greenhouse gases. Today, Minnesota is a clean-energy leader, with more than 15,000 clean-energy jobs, which contribute more than $1 billion in wages to our economy. Our coal use has dropped 33 percent since 2005 — something that seemed impossible a decade ago. Renewable-energy sources now account for 20 percent of the state’s annual electricity generation, up from 5.8 percent in 2000. Minnesota wind energy is reducing carbon emissions by more than 5.4 million metric tons each year, the equivalent of taking 1 million cars off the road. Today, wind energy is providing over 16 percent of our state’s electricity — that’s the equivalent of 1 in 6 Minnesota homes, businesses and community institutions..."
95% Consensus of Expert Economists: Cut Carbon Pollution. The Guardian has news of the study and implications; here's an excerpt: "The Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University (NYU) School of Law recently published a report summarizing a survey of economists with climate expertise. The report was a follow-up and expansion of a similar survey conducted in 2009 by the same institute. The key finding: there’s a strong consensus among climate economics experts that we should put a price on carbon pollution to curb the expensive costs of climate change..."
Climate Change and Consensus. Following up on the growing consensus among the world's leading economists to address carbon pollution here's a clip from a story at TheHill: "..These economists believe that bolder action on climate will be economically beneficial for Americans. When asked which sectors of the U.S. economy will be harmed by climate change, a large majority predicted negative impacts on agriculture, fishing, utilities, forestry, tourism, insurance, and health services. Perhaps due to these risks, more than three-quarters of respondents believe the United States shoudl commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions regardless of the actions taken by other countries..."