28 F. average high on February 20.
23 F. high on February 25, 2015.
Trace of snow on the ground at KSTC.
February 21, 1965: Strong winds occur, reaching speeds of up to 45 mph in the Twin Cities.
Winter on Training Wheels - Mild Bias Continues
On Friday snow cover at MSP International Airport shrank to a trace. 45 degrees and a third of an inch of rain had something to do with that. According to the National Weather Service that was the end of 56 straight days with at least an inch of snow on the ground. During an average winter an inch or more of snow is on the ground for 90.3 days, based on NOAA data from 1981-2010.
No, it wasn't a "tough winter".
30 inches so far this winter at MSP - we'll see more snow in March, but a higher sun angle and thawing temperatures mean a wetter, sloppier snow with rapid melting.
Wave at the big, moisture-laden storms passing well south of Minnesota this week; more echoes of El Nino. Daytime highs climb to near freezing all week; 40F next Saturday before a Sunday clipper drops an inch or two of slush. We could see 1-2 days in the teens early next week before another rapid thaw. The model solutions for early March look like something I'd expect to see in mid-April. Expect a mild bias to continue.
Meanwhile the strongest cyclone on record in the southern hemisphere just hit Fiji.
Average Snow Cover in the Twin Cities. 90 days a year with at least 1" or more on the ground? Here's an excerpt from Current Results: "For nearly all of winter along with some of early spring and late fall, Minneapolis has at least an inch of snow on the ground. A snowpack that gets to ten or more inches deep can cover the city anytime from November to April. The snow accumulates most during December, January and February. Typically, on six or seven days in January and in February plus another five days in December, the snow depth in Minneapolis tops ten inches..."
Every State's Temperature Trend for Every Season. Yes, Minnesota is warming, especially during the winter months, in fact no other state is warming faster. Here's an excerpt from Climate Central: "...If you look at all four seasons across all of the Lower 48 states — for a grand total of 192 state-season combinations — there are only three instances of cooling. The Dakotas and Iowa are cooling ever so slightly in summer. Otherwise, there’s only one direction temperatures have gone: up. Snow cover in particular plays a role in why winters are heating up so fast from Montana to North Carolina. Or more specifically, it’s a lack thereof. As temperatures rise, snow is decreasing — and in many cases being replaced by rain. Replacing light snow with dark ground means more of the sun’s energy is absorbed leading to a faster increase in warming..."
Decadal Warming Rate. Map above courtesy of WXshift.
March temperature anomaly credit: NOAA CFSv2 and WeatherBell.
Image credit above: "Cyclone Winston, near peak strength, as it made landfall in Fiji on Saturday." NOAA.
Photo credit above: "A farmer surveys her maize fields in Dowa, near the Malawi capital of Lilongwe, earlier this month. The country is experiencing its first maize shortage in a decade, causing prices to soar." Photograph: Mike Hutchings/Reuters.
Graphic credit: "The graph above shows Arctic sea ice extent as of February 3, 2016, along with daily ice extent data for four previous years. 2015 to 2016 is shown in blue, 2014 to 2015 in green, 2013 to 2014 in orange, 2012 to 2011 in brown, and 2011 to 2012 in purple. The 1981 to 2010 average is in dark gray. The gray area around the average line shows the two standard deviation range of the data. Sea Ice Index data." Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.
4 Billion People Face Severe Water Scarcity, New Research Finds. Water, not oil or natural gas, will be the most precious natural resource of the 21st century. Here's an excerpt at The Guardian: "At least two-thirds of the global population, over 4 billion people, live with severe water scarcity for at least one month every year, according to a major new analysis. The revelation shows water shortages, one of the most dangerous challenges the world faces, is far worse previously than thought. The new research also reveals that 500m people live in places where water consumption is double the amount replenished by rain for the entire year, leaving them extremely vulnerable as underground aquifers run down..."
Photo credit above: Giancarlo Zema Design Group.
Photo credit: "Interior of the nuclear fusion reactor JET." Photo: EFDA.
Americans May Think They'll Never, Ever Buy Electric SUVs or Pickups - But They Will. It's coming, and sooner than you might think. Here's an excerpt from Quartz: "...Such motorists may be surprised to hear that, when they go to replace their current vehicles in a few years, they’ll probably drive away in electrified SUVs and trucks. It’s not because they necessarily want them, nor even that automakers want to make them—after all, major car companies earned more than $50 billion in collective profit last year, a significant share of it from gas guzzlers. Perversely, the reason is the opposite—Americans love their big cars so much, they’ll have no choice but to go electric, experts say..."
Photo credit above: "Texas in the 2020s." (Mitsubishi).
Electric Vehicles Will Triumph Because They're Better, GM Veteran Says. Here's an excerpt from Forbes: "...Set aside all the motivations with climate change, oil dependence—it’s just a better way to do a car. It’s simple.” Electric vehicle sales have been tepid and may remain tepid in the short term. Internal combustion engines will continue to dominate until 2025, Burns predicted, as the nation’s automotive fleet slowly turns over. “It’s just arithmetic.” But as automakers strive to meet the 2025 fuel economy standard—54.5 miles per gallon—they will come to realize that reengineering traditional vehicles is more expensive and difficult than adopting an electric drive train that emits no carbon..."
Photo credit above: "
TODAY: Cooler, few flurries. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 36
SUNDAY NIGHT: Patchy clouds. Low: 24
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, above average temperatures. Winds: S 8-13. High: 35
TUESDAY: Overcast, light mix possible. Wake-up: 27. High: 37
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, seasonably cool. Wake-up: 24. High: 34
THURSDAY: Colder wind, few flakes in the air. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 27. High: 31
FRIDAY: More clouds than sun, brisk. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 19. High: near 30
SATURDAY: Some sun, another taste of March. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 28. High: 41
Image credit above: "January 2016 was Earth's hottest month yet, with the most unusually warm temperatures concentrated in the Arctic." NASA.
Zika Outbreak Could Be an Omen of the Global Warming Threat. Another coincidence? Is there a possible link? Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "The global public health emergency involving deformed babies emerged in 2015, the hottest year in the historical record, with an outbreak in Brazil of a disease transmitted by heat-loving mosquitoes. Can that be a coincidence? Scientists say it will take them years to figure that out, and pointed to other factors that may have played a larger role in starting the crisis. But these same experts added that the Zika epidemic, as well as the related spread of a disease called dengue that is sickening as many as 100 million people a year and killing thousands, should be interpreted as warnings..."
Meet the Continental U.S.'s First Official Climate Refugees. People have already been dislocated from coastal sections of Alaska, now it's showing up in Louisiana. Next up, Florida? Here's an excerpt from Atlas Obscura: "A slow-motion disaster is unfolding on the Isle de Jean Charles, deep in the Louisiana bayou, where a group of residents just received $48 million in federal funding to relocate. These are the first official climate refugees in the lower 48 states. The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians have lived in southern Louisiana for centuries, and, since 1880, a band of them inhabited the Isle. But several factors, including climate change, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and a series of destructive hurricanes have meant that the Isle de Jean Charles has lost 98 percent of its land since 1955..."
Photo credit above: "