34 F. average high on March 7.
40 F. high on March 7, 2015.
March 8, 2004: A vigorous Alberta Clipper brings an intense snow burst across the Twin Cities from 9:30 am to noon. 2.5 inches fell, with most of it accumulating in an hour at the State Climatology Office on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus. Numerous crashes were reported across the metro area with I-94 closed at Highway 280 and also at White Bear Avenue. In a rare scene, television programming was interrupted to report on the snow situation. By early afternoon most of the snow had moved into Wisconsin and road conditions rapidly improved.
March 8, 1892: A blizzard hits Minnesota, with 70 mph winds recorded at Easton. Duluth was hit especially hard with 60 mph winds causing large drifts. Residents were able to walk out of their second story windows.
Feeling Feverish - Another April Daydream
Considering we could be hip-deep in snow drifts, battling subzero wind chill and agonizing commutes, we should be counting our atmospheric blessings.
Today will be another soothing tonic for the soul with more 60s - more than 25F warmer than average.
We shouldn't be too shocked. According to the Twin Cities office of NOAA, meteorological winter was the 6th warmest since 1895. Not quite as balmy as 2012, when flowers were blooming in late March, but nothing like the Polar Vortex Winter of 2014, when we had 16 inches of snow on the ground on March 8.
If scientists are right, and I suspect they're on the right track, we'll see more mild, slushy winters than forbidding pioneer winters in the years ahead. Then again, there are exceptions to every rule, even slow and steady warming trends.
A shower is possible today; just enough rain to settle the dust. Slight midweek cooling gives way to more 50s by late week, even a shot at 60F by Friday.
Models hint at Sunday showers; possibly a bigger, wetter storm in 2 weeks. Mostly rain, but don't rule out a slushy March surprise. It's a little early for complacency - at this point nothing would surprise me.
Nowhere to Go Amid Alaska's Melting Ice. Here are a couple of brief excerpts from a New York Times story, focused on the rapid changes already underway in Alaska: "...A recent study noted that Alaska’s glaciers have lost some 75 gigatons of ice every year from 1994 to 2013. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Alaska has been heating up twice as fast as the national average over the last 50 years, and the rising temperatures melt sea ice and thaw permafrost along the coast...“We hear about climate change and we hear about foreign countries like Moldova or some such island that is sinking and it’s all very remote and nebulous,” Mr. Taradji said. “The Alaska folks are here in the United States. They are folks on our team that are immediately threatened. It’s not something that is going to happen in several generations, it is something that is happening to them right now as we speak...” (Image: Nima Taradji).
Image credit above: Blackrock
Photo credit above: "Construction on the Victoria Square precinct in the inner city suburb of Zetland in Sydney." Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAP.
How Conservative Policy Can Harness Clean Energy. Here's an excerpt of an effective, thought-provoking Op-Ed at The Star Tribune: "...Top-down management, mandates and subsidies are just wildly inefficient at achieving our policy goals. From the “moral equivalent of war” to innumerable climate-change conferences, a crisis mentality goes off in search of once-and-for-all, single-shot solutions. This is not how progress works. Technological change moves incrementally, ideas coming together and begetting other ideas, one the byproduct of another, each causing improvement over time. That progress is happening in renewables now. Renewables will expand for another reason: They offer people freedom from the current centralized system of power generation. Utilities aren’t creatures of the free market, but a response of government to old cost models that created natural monopolies. Government regulators thought there could be only one electricity provider and needed to keep it whole..." (Image credit: Chris Van Es; NewsArt).
Photo credit above: "Christopher Ingraham is greeted by a dairy cow during his tour of Red Lake County, "the ugliest county in the country" , on Thursday, August 27, 2015, in Red Lake Falls, Minn." (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald).
TODAY: Balmy, passing shower AM hours. Winds: SW 15-25. High: 63
TUESDAY NIGHT: Partial clearing, cooler. Low: 36
WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny and cooler - still well above average. Winds: NW 7-12. High: 48
THURSDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, quiet. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 35. High: 50
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, feverish again. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 39. High: near 60
SATURDAY: Mild, Sunny start, late showers. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 43. High: 55
SUNDAY: Few showers, mainly AM hours. Winds: W 5-10. Wake-up: 45. High: 54
MONDAY: Partly sunny and pleasant. Wake-up: 43. High: 57
Photo credit above: "Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich pose together at the start of the U.S. Republican presidential candidates debate in Detroit, Michigan, March 3, 2016." Reuters/Jim Young.
During the Most Important Year for Climate News, TV Coverage Fell. Following up on the Media Matters report here's an excerpt of a story at The Guardian: "...Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) reacted to the Media Matters report:
These findings may help explain why Americans aren’t concerned about climate change. We rely on the media to inform the public, and on the most important issue of our time, the US broadcast news media are failing to adequately inform Americans. As Rep. Israel notes, they’re moving in the wrong direction and need to do much better."As the co-founder of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, I read Media Matters’ new study and it’s a wake up call to the news networks. The most important long term global and national issue shouldn’t be getting short-thrift. People need more information, not less.
Image credit above: "Satellite images show Lake Poopó still held water in April 2013 (left), but was dry by January 2016 (right)." Jesse Allen/NASA.