55 F. average high on October 20.
63 F. high temperature in St. Cloud on October 20, 2015.
October 21, 1916: A three-day blizzard ends. Also, a sharp temperature drop occurs at Bird Island, falling from 65 to 13.
Will Winter La Nina Trigger La Snowfall?
Every year people ask me what winter will bring. I take a deep breath, stare out the Amish Doppler (a window) and tell them the truth. "Colder...with some snow." I stand by that prediction.
NOAA just released their official winter preview; La Nina cooling of Pacific Ocean water favoring cooler, wetter weather for the northern tier states, including Minnesota. My gut: the upcoming winter will be colder and snowier than last winter.
There's a better chance of "average snowfall", which is close to 55 inches in the MSP metro area. But I doubt we'll see as much as 2010-2011, when a whopping 87 inches dazzled snow lovers. Keep your expectations low and you'll never be disappointed.
A stray shower is possible this evening but most towns stay dry through Monday night. The mercury brushes 60F on Saturday before cooling off early next week. There's a better chance of heavier/steadier rain by the middle of next week. The Halloween outlook is better: near 50F with a Severe Ghoul Advisory.
The coldest reading at MSP Airport so far this fall is 36F. The last (official) sub-freezing low temperature was April 12. Wow.
ENSO Model Plume: Earth Institute, Columbia University.
Map credit: "The year-to-date heat has the world on track for its hottest year on record."
Animation credit: "NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Ryan Fitzgibbons, producer."
Scientists Accidentally Discover Efficient Process To Turn CO2 Into Ethanol. These are the kinds of breakthroughs that will allow us to start removing CO2 from the atmosphere in the years to come. Popular Mechanics reports: "Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee have discovered a chemical reaction to turn CO2 into ethanol, potentially creating a new technology to help avert climate change. Their findings were published in the journal ChemistrySelect. The researchers were attempting to find a series of chemical reactions that could turn CO2 into a useful fuel, when they realized the first step in their process managed to do it all by itself. The reaction turns CO2 into ethanol, which could in turn be used to power generators and vehicles..."
Photo credit upper left: "Greensburg, Kansas is the second city in the U.S. to convert to 100 percent renewable energy after it was devastated by a powerful tornado in 2007." Wikimedia Commons.
Photo credit upper right: "A hospital turbine in Greensburg, Kansas." The City of Greensburg.
When Does an Artificial Intelligence Become a Person? How We Get To Next has another compelling, though-provoking, vaguely terrifying story; here's the intro: "The things that define something as someone — as a person — are complex, contested, and mutable. Thinking about the moral, legal, and philosophical arguments around who does and does not get to be a person is a crucial step as we move ever closer toward the birth of the first truly sentient machines, and the destruction of the most highly sentient, endangered animals. What level of sophistication will artificial intelligences need to attain before we consider them people — and all the rights that entails? And at what point on the spectrum of intelligence will we be creating machines that are as smart, and as deserving of legal rights, as the sentient animals we’re driving to extinction?..." (Image credit: Exosphere).
Let's Choose a New Name for "Indian Summer". Yes, the name is something of a head-scratcher. Here's more perspective from Atlas Obscura: "...In his extremely thorough research, though, Matthews never discovered a convincing explanation for what the phrase meant. Why associate Native Americans with warm days in fall? There were plenty of ideas floating around: Native Americans had predicted the warm spell to settlers; they used that time of the year to extend their harvest; a tribe's mythology connects the weather to the sigh of the personified southern wind. "Indian summer" may have had a tinge of colonial nostalgia to it, too. Some of the examples Matthews found argued that by the 1800s "Indian summer" had disappeared. "This short season of mild and serene weather, the halcyon period of autumn, has disappeared with the primitive rest," wrote one 19th century author. “It fled from our land before the progress of civilization; it has departed with the primitive forest..."
TODAY: Clouds increase, light shower or sprinkle late. Winds: S 7-12. High: 55
FRIDAY NIGHT: Few sprinkles. Low: 42
SATURDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, milder. Winds: SE 7-12. High: 62
SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy, cooler breeze kicks in. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 47. High: 58
MONDAY: Bright sunshine, quite pleasant. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 39. High: 56
TUESDAY: Gray with light rain developing. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 45. High: 53
WEDNESDAY: Delightfully foul. Periods of rain. Wake-up: 43. High: near 50
THURSDAY: Scrappy clouds, few sprinkles. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 38. High: 54
9 Cities To Live In If You're Worried About Climate Change. I'm surprised the Twin Cities didn't make the cut. My theory, my hunch is that Minneapolis, St. Paul and all of Minnesota will be in relatively good shape for one big reason: an abundant supply of clean water. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "It’s hard to imagine that any city in North America will escape the effects of climate change within the next 25 years. But some will be better positioned than others to escape the brunt of “drought, wildfire, extreme heat, extreme precipitation, extreme weather and hurricanes.” Those were some of the climate change-related threats listed by Benjamin Strauss, who focuses on climate impacts at Climate Central, an independent nonprofit research collaboration of scientists and journalists. Dr. Strauss, 44, identified cities where people could settle in the next two decades if they are aiming to avoid those threats..."
Photo credit: "When water accumulates on the surface of an ice sheet, more sunlight gets absorbed, which results in more melt, in a cycle that builds on itself. This year’s melt season began so early that many scientists couldn’t believe the data they were seeing." Photograph by Daniel Beltrá.
Exxon Boss: Climate Change is "Real" and "Serious". Here's the story intro at ThinkProgress: "Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson said Wednesday the company backs a price on carbon and believes climate change brings “real” risks that require “serious” action. Speaking at the Oil & Money conference in London, Tillerson also noted that the Paris climate accord set to kick in this November is unlikely to limit near-term consumption of oil and gas, Climate Central reported..."
Photo credit: "ExxonMobil Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson." CREDIT: AP/Evan Vucci.
Image credit: NASA.
The Conservative Christian Case for Climate Change Action. My sincere thanks to Minnehaha Academy, which is hosting a book-launch event the evening of November 15.The first 500 people who RSVP will receive a complimentary copy of Caring for Creation. Details are here. Here's an excerpt of a Time Op-Ed written by "Caring for Creation" co-author, Methodist minister, former coal industry employee and EEN (Evangelical Environmental Network) President Mitch Hescox:"...Food and water scarcity are made worse across the developing world. Sea-level rise, increased asthma, and disease carrying insects across the U.S. are just a few of the other climate-related impacts. The good news is that overcoming climate change presents us with a tremendous opportunity to create a better world. In order to realize it, we must end the partisanship and dump the denial. The scientific debate about climate change is over. We might not know all the particulars about how quickly the oceans will rise, but the causation is clear. One only has to open a window to know that our environment has changed. We must honor our past, but we cannot live in it. Coal mining jobs continue to disappear. The blast furnaces of Pittsburgh and elsewhere won’t be rebuilt. We’re in the middle of an economic disruption..."
The West Is Burning, and Climate Change is Partly To Blame. Here's an excerpt of an analysis at FiveThirtyEight: "...With wildfire, such superlatives have, paradoxically, become normal. Records are routinely smashed — for acreage burned, homes destroyed, firefighter lives lost and money spent fighting back flames. A study published earlier this year found that, between 2003 and 2012, the average area burned each year in Western national forests was 1,271 percent greater than it was in the 1970s and early 1980s. Like the extreme hurricanes, heat waves and floods that have whipped, baked and soaked our landscape in recent years, such trends raise the question: Is this what climate change looks like? In the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science this month, two researchers took on the tricky task of apportioning blame..."
September An Exclamation Point on String of Hot Months - 2016 Will Be Warmest Year on Record. Here's a clip from a story at Climate Central: "...To say there’s never been a stretch like this may sound like stating the obvious, but let’s recap for the heck of it. The September mark comes a month after the world tied the record for the hottest month ever recorded in August (the month it tied was this July). As early as May, there was a 99 percent chance that 2016 was going to go down as the hottest year on record, besting 2015, which bested 2014, because the planet has been on a heat bender since last year. With September’s record, the odds crept a little higher still. NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt said on Twitter that 2016 “seems locked in” to set a record for hottest year with it likely to end somewhere around 2.25°F (1.25°C) above the late 19th century average..."