-4 F. afternoon "high" yesterday.
21 F. average high on January 17.
36 F. high on January 17, 2015.
January 18, 1996: A blizzard begins across the upper midwest. The Twin Cities Airport was spared the heavy snow, but received nearly one inch of rain. Heavy ice coating in the northwest metro area caused thousands of power outages. Wind chills were as low as -88 (on the old windchill scale) at Crookston. Snow totals were 18 inches at Ely and 12 inches at St. Cloud. Mail delivery was stopped for the day in Duluth and I-94 was closed all day from Rothsay and Moorhead. Flooding problems were caused in the Twin Cities due to backed up water.
January 18, 1994: Governor Arne Carlson orders all Minnesota public schools closed due to the extreme cold and severe winter weather. Morning readings were in the 30-below-zero range. The biggest problem was from high winds that came with the cold.
The Good News: Temperatures Can Only Go Up
I'm having my annual (fleeting) "where the heck am I living?" moment. It will pass, along with the core of the coldest air. Temperatures return to "average" by midweek; approaching freezing next weekend.
We shouldn't be too surprised or indignant about this latest cold sting. The coldest weather of the year comes, on average, the third week of January. Which is counter-intuitive. Why not on December 21, the Winter Solstice? A higher sun angle doesn't compensate for long nights and Canadian snow cover until today, when long-term averages begin to rise again - for the first time since late July.
No, spring is not right around the corner, but the odds of extended subzero streaks drop off fairly rapidly during February. We'll see more cold frontal passages, but odds are what we just muddled through was the coldest of winter.
A snowy coating is possible Tuesday night, but an El Nino-spiked pattern whisks the biggest, wettest storms well south of Minnesota. The GFS model prints out 40s and rain (or ice) as we sail into February.
Winter is about half over. At least on paper.
Graphic credit: "Water levels at Naples, FL. January 17th, 2016." Courtesy of National Weather Service via www.nbc29.com Website.
Map credit: "The typical number of winter days with low temperatures below those in Anchorage, Alaska, across the U.S." Credit: Brian Brettschneider
Photo credit above: "
I define the American Deep State as a hybrid association of elements of government and top-level finance and industry that is able, through campaign financing of elected officials, influence networks and co-option via the promise of lucrative post-government careers, to govern the United States in spite of elections and without reference to the consent of the governed. These operatives use their proximity to power and ability to offer high-paying jobs to government officials to achieve outcomes foreclosed to ordinary citizens..."
Image credit above: "The calculus of the Deep State has been upset by Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders." Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters.
TODAY: Wind Chill Advisory. Sunny, feels like -30F. Winds: NW 7-12. High: near 0
MONDAY NIGHT: Mostly clear, still too cold. Low: -11
TUESDAY: Sunny start, snowy coating late? High: 8
WEDNESDAY: Mostly cloudy, average temps. Wake-up: 7. High: 23
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, not bad. Wake-up: 17. High: 22
FRIDAY: Sunny skies, almost pleasant. Winds: NE 3-8. Wake-up: 11. High: 21
SATURDAY: Dim sun, breezy and milder. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 12. High: 29
SUNDAY: Overcast, good travel weather. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 25. High: 32
Photo credit above: " EMILY MICHOT MIAMI HERALD STAFF.
Why Climate Change is a Moral Concern for the Religious Community. An Op-Ed at NJ.com resonated; here's a clip: "...This is to say that our current commitments to reduce carbon emissions fall short, and we continue to accelerate our consumption of natural resources. God calls his people to be stewards of all natural creation. Therefore, we must protect the Earth in any way we can and push towards a more sustainable future. As humans, we are deeply interconnected and dependent on the Earth. Climate change is not an isolated phenomenon and is more than rising sea levels or droughts. Climate change has social, health, urban, and agricultural implications. Thus, it is crucial for everyone to play a part in tackling this for the well-being of others and of the world..."
Image credit above: Lauren Walker/Truthout.
Farmers Hold the Key to Climate Change Action in the United States. Turns out many of the farming practices that encourage resilience to drought and flood may also help to soak up excess CO2. Here's an excerpt of an interesting interview at Grist: "...But you do see more people in agriculture talking about it in different ways. Greg Page, chairman of Cargill, is talking about the business imperative of making some changes [see Grist’s story on Cargill and General Mills]. Just the other day Monsanto announced that it was pushing on its supply chain to create a carbon-neutral environment for the company. You have the retailers and food companies demanding changes in the carbon footprint as well, demanding changes in fertilizer practices. During cap and trade, Monsanto and all these major ag companies largely stayed back. They had statements on their websites about their concerns about climate change, but they were not politically engaged. Now here they are out there making public commitments. Hopefully, long-term, we’ll see these industry demands leading to some shift in the politics..." (Image credit: Shutterstock).