37 F. average high on March 12.
61 F. high on March 12, 2015.
March 13, 2006: A March snowstorm dumps 9.9 inches at the Twin Cities.
March 13, 1851: Before the spring green-up, dry grassy areas are a fire risk. On this date prairie fires blazed in Minnesota.
Premature April Showers - Then Cooling Off
There's a first time for everything. On Saturday, at our cabin north of Brainerd, I was wandering the beach in shorts and a T-shirt, fiddling with the A/C in my truck, wondering out loud what month it was. March or May?
Weather never repeats but sometimes it rhymes. 2016 is looking more and more like 2012, when flowers were blooming in late March and Minnesotans enjoyed a 7-month boating season. The reptilian side of my brain is enjoying this immensely - my analytic side has nagging doubts.
The premature ripple of warmth that triggered a new record high in the Twin Cities Saturday pulls enough moisture north for spotty rain showers today; steadier rain Tuesday may end as a mix late Wednesday. The ECMWF model hints at wet snow or a sloppy mix next weekend, a raw reminder that it's still March. Slush is possible.
Temperatures cool off into the upper 30s next weekend (average!) but GFS guidance hints at 50s and heavy rain returning by the end of next week.
Shrinking winters, super-sized summers, May showers in March? I'm sorry, where are we living again?
Animation credit above: "Animation rains measured by NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement satellite." Credit: NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce.
Map credit above: "500-mb map for 00Z (7:00 pm EST) Thursday, March 10, 2016, as initialized in the GFS model." Image credit: NOAA/NCEP.
Parade of Storms from Space. High-resolution visible satellite imagery from Friday shows the nearly stationary storm over Mexico responsible for historic flooding across Louisiana - a conga-line of storms lined up for the west coast. Source: CIMSS, University of Wisconsin.
Here's What Climate Change Has Done To The Season Formerly Known as Winter. This winter El Nino amplified the warmth, but keep in mind that flowers blooming in Minnesota in March, 2012 had nothing to do with El Nino. These glimpses of unusual warmth will become more frequent, especially during the winter months. Here's an excerpt from Vice News: "...While scientists hesitate to pin any one event on climate change, the pattern over the past few decades has been for winters to get warmer and warmer, said Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. "We're still going to have cold weather, cold temperatures, snow and ice," Hayhoe said. "But what we're used to is changing. So nowadays, when we get a winter that was the typical winter when we were little, we say 'Oh my goodness, what an unusual winter.' Well, that used to be the normal winter. "Winters like this winter that are so far above average are reminders that things really are changing and we are seeing things that are different than they used to be before," she said..."
Image credit: Photo by Laurent Gillieron/EPA.
February temperature anomalies above: ECMWF. Graphic credit: NASA GISS.
The Global Solution to Extinction. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...But today the dream is at risk. Civilization is at last turning green, albeit only pale green. Our attention remains focused on the physical environment — on pollution, the shortage of fresh water, the shrinkage of arable land and, of course, the great, wrathful demon that threatens all our lives, human-forced climate change. But Earth’s living environment, including all its species and all the ecosystems they compose, has continued to receive relatively little attention. This is a huge strategic mistake. If we save the living environment of Earth, we will also save the physical, nonliving environment, because each depends on the other. But if we work to save only the physical environment, as we seem bent on doing, we will lose them both..."
Photo credit: Fogcat5/Flickr
Photo credit above: "Here’s an aerial view of the solar plant of Ouarzazate, in central Morocco. The world’s biggest solar plant using photovoltaics (PV), it takes advantage of the Sahara sunshine." Photo: Abdeljahil Bounhar/AP.
Republican businessman Jay Faison is searching for the middle ground. His organization, ClearPath, aims to convince conservative politicians that clean energy is a winning cause. This week, ClearPath opened offices in Washington and launched a $1 million digital ad campaign to promote conservative clean-energy principles. It’s part of a broader multi-million-dollar foundation and super PAC aimed at driving GOP support for “common-sense” solutions to energy and climate problems. Winning over his fellow party members may not be easy, but Mr. Faison says embracing clean energy is critical to the future of both his party and his country..."
Photo credit: "This May 6, 2013 file photo shows a wind turbine farm near Glenrock, Wyo." Matt Young/AP/File.
Computers Will Overtake Us When They Learn to Love, Says Futurist Ray Kurzweil. I'll be happy if I can get my computer to work - without pleading, swearing and shrugging. CNN Money has an interesting story; here's a clip: "Ray Kurzweil, the celebrated American inventor who keeps predicting the future with scary accuracy, says computers will match -- and possibly beat -- human intelligence by 2029. Here's the trick: By then, computers will possess emotions and personality. "When I talk about computers reaching human levels of intelligence, I'm not talking about logical intelligence," Kurzweil said at an event in New York on Monday night. "It is being funny, and expressing a loving sentiment... That is the cutting edge of human intelligence..." (File image: CNN).
Photo credit: Metacrotex (photograph by Kenneth Pinto)
TODAY: Showers taper, cooler - still well above average. Winds: SE 10-15. High: 56
SUNDAY NIGHT: Cloudy with drizzle. Low: 48
MONDAY: Damp, a few showers possible. Winds: SE 5-10. High: 58
TUESDAY: Windy. Steadier, heavier rain expected. Winds: NW 15-30. High: 59 (falling rapidly)
WEDNESDAY: Light mix tapers - wet roads. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 40. High: 44
THURSDAY: Jackets return, few flurries. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 32. High: near 40
FRIDAY: Gray, few sprinkles or flurries. Winds: 7-12. Wake-up: 31. High: 42
SATURDAY: Chance of snow or sloppy mix. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 33. High: 38
File photo: Tim Wimborne, Reuters.
Truth in Advertising. Here's an excerpt of an interesting article from EnergyDesk at Greenpeace: "...Across the Atlantic and in complete contrast, North Vancouver is implementing compulsory anti-smoking-style warning stickers for fuel pumps at petrol (or ‘gas’) stations. These ads will use text and images to remind customers of the climate impact of the fuel they’re buying, in the hopes that drivers will consider their fuel consumption more carefully and perhaps drive more fuel-efficiently. Or just drive less. Do it for the moose, Canada."
* More perspective on the new NAS study from Chris Mooney at The Washington Post.
Image credit: National Academy of Sciences, 2016.
Graphic credit: NOAA ESRL.
Map credit: "
Marco Rubio and John Kasich Illustrate Divide on Climate Change. Memo to Marco: we are already - inadvertently - flavoring the weather, and rising seas will encroach farther into your hometown in the coming years. When you need a kayak or gondola to get around Miami Beach will you finally acknowledge the obvious? Here's an excerpt at The New York Times: "Mayor Tomás Pedro Regalado of Miami asked a question, through Jake Tapper, about climate change, fearing that rising sea levels as a result of climate change would cause flooding in the streets of low-lying cities, like his own. Mr. Rubio, saying he shared the concern of South Florida’s future, gave an answer many on the Republican side agree with: that while the climate may be changing, there is no evidence that it is from humans, and there is no way to enforce the other countries of the world to comply with climate regulations. But Gov. John Kasich of Ohio didn’t see them as mutually exclusive..."