6 F. high temperature yesterday.
25 F. average high on December 13.
38 F. high on December 13, 2015.
December 14, 1996: Snowfall exceeding one foot is reported from south central Minnesota through portions of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Some of the higher snow totals include 15 inches at Rockford, 14 inches at Cedar and North Branch, 13 inches at Stewart and 7 to 10 inches across the central and southern parts of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
December 14, 1933: A severe ice storm hits southeast and central Minnesota.
January Comes Early This Winter - Will It Last?
"Winter winds sweep away the dead leaves of our lives" wrote Terri Guillemets.
Welcome to the joyously stressful month of December: an impossible month of malls, Christmas cards & company parties; trying desperately to keep all the people in our lives happy - all the time.
Good luck with that.
Winter is an apt metaphor for life: cold, occasionally soul-crushing obstacles in your way, but even the most bitter of times eventually fade. That and less yard work.
The next few days will be character-building; some of the coldest weather of winter is brewing. Wave number one arrives today with single-digit "highs" and a subzero windchill all day. Sunday morning still appears to be the coldest air temperature; waking up to -15F in the metro. Plan on a brisk walk to U.S. Bank Stadium for the Vikings game.
Models still bring another plowable snow into Minnesota Friday - some towns picking up a half foot of powder with blowing and drifting into Saturday. Remember, cold storms are far more dangerous on the highways. When it's this cold MnDOT chemicals have a very tough time melting ice.
22 degree halo photo: Steve Burns.
Tracking Decembers The Last 5 Years. The winter 3 years ago was the one that was like something out of the 1970s, a harsh "polar vortex" winter. Which is an oversimplification of what really happened. Sunday may bring the coldest daytime highs and lows in 20+ years for parts of Minnesota. MSP graphics: AerisWeather meteorologist D.J. Kayser.
Late Week Midwestern Travel Woes? NOAA's NAM model, among otherrs, brings a storm across the Plains into the Midwest Friday into Saturday with a shield of snow pushing from the Dakotas into Minnesota and Iowa; tapering to flurries Saturday as northwest winds increase. As the storm pushes heavy snow into the Great Lakes and New England a counterclockwise wind flow will bring a shot of frigid air, possibly the coldest of the winter into the Upper Midwest by Sunday. Hourly NAM Future Radar: TropicalTidbits.com.
This Is Not a Test. The bad news: Sunday's blast won't be any ordinary, garden-variety Canadian cold front. GFS data shows minus teens and minus 20s (air temperature) across the Upper Midwest - dangerously cold. The good news: bitter air won't last for long; a rapid warming trend sets in next week.
What Is The Polar Vortex? NOAA has a very good explainer, separating fact from hype: "...The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. It ALWAYS exists near the poles, but weakens in summer and strengthens in winter. The term "vortex" refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air near the Poles. Many times during winter in the northern hemisphere, the polar vortex will expand, sending cold air southward with the jet stream (see graphic above). This occurs fairly regularly during wintertime and is often associated with large outbreaks of Arctic air in the United States. The one that occurred January 2014 is similar to many other cold outbreaks that have occurred in the past, including several notable colder outbreaks in 1977, 1982, 1985 and 1989. There are several things the polar vortex is NOT. Polar vortexes are not something new. The term “polar vortex” has only recently been popularized, bringing attention to a weather feature that has always been present..."
File photo credit: "A Waffle House on the beach in Gulfport, Mississippi, after Hurricane Katrina passed through the area." AP.
More "Mega-Rains", Tick Diseases On Tap for Minnesota, Report Says. Details via twincities.com: "...The report card singled out climate-related issues for the lowest marks, saying Minnesota is warming more quickly than either the U.S. or the global average. That’s meant more frequent extreme weather events, it said, particularly “mega-rains,” when at least 6 inches of rain affects more than 1,000 square miles. Minnesota has experienced seven of them in the past 17 years, compared with four in the previous 27. Minnesota had two of these events this year for the first time since records were kept. “With more warming expected, Minnesota should be prepared for a continued increase in these devastating storms,” the report said..." (File photo: NOAA).
- About 100,000 people get their drinking water from utilities that discovered high lead but failed to treat the water to remove it. Dozens of utilities took more than a year to formulate a treatment plan and even longer to begin treatment.
- Some 4 million Americans get water from small operators who skipped required tests or did not conduct the tests properly, violating a cornerstone of federal safe drinking water laws. The testing is required because, without it, utilities, regulators and people drinking the water can't know if it's safe..." (File photo: ThinkStock).
Photo credit: "
...More than a dozen wind integration studies by US grid operators and others have found that wind energy can reliably supply at least 20%-30% of the nation’s electricity, with some studies analyzing wind providing 40% of total electricity on an annual basis. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Renewable Energy Futures study found no reliability problems for a case in which wind and solar provide nearly 50% of total electricity. If the recent records are any indication, these levels are a real possibility in the future..." (File photo: CCL).
The Block Island Wind Farm, a 30 megawatt (or million watt) installment off the Rhode Island coast, went into regular operation Monday – marking the beginning of a bonafide new source of electricity in the United States. Although countries like Britain and China have many of them, this is the first fully operational U.S. offshore wind farm installment. It comes just after the election of Donald Trump, who has tried to stop an offshore wind farm that he said obscured the view from one of his Scottish golf courses, and even as the Trump transition team at the Department of Energy posed a controversial list of 74 questions to the agency, including the following: “What is the Department’s role with respect to the development of offshore wind?...”
Photo credit: "The Deepwater Wind project, which sits off the coast of Rhode Island’s Block Island, went into regular operation on Monday." Photo courtesy of Deepwater Wind.
Photo credit: "Jean-Paul Pelissier / Reuters.
Experts: States and Cities Will Lead on Renewable Energy. Here's a clip from Midwest Energy News: "A study released Dec. 8 by the Brookings Institution furthers that argument by showing that a majority of states have “decoupled” their economies from carbon emissions, meaning their economies have continued to grow even when carbon emissions were reduced. This indicates that regulations, government programs and market forces that curb fossil fuel dependency are not necessarily harmful to the economy, as opponents frequently argue. And, the study authors say, state policymakers should take this to heart while charting their states’ energy futures — which may not, as previously expected, be driven by compliance with the federal Clean Power Plan..."
File photo credit: Alexandre Buisse via Wikimedia Commons
TODAY: Some sun, feels like -15F. Winds: NW 15-25. High: 6
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Patchy clouds, feels like winter. Low: -9
THURSDAY: Cold start, at least the sun is out. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 4
FRIDAY: Plowable snow, blowing and drifting. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 1. High: 15
SATURDAY: Snow slowly tapers, very icy roads. Winds: NW 15-25. Wake-up: 8. High: 12
SUNDAY: Bitter start, sunshine helps a little. Dangerously cold. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: -16. High: -3
MONDAY: Clouds increase, not quite as harsh. Winds: SW 10-15. Wake-up: -6. High: 18
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, milder Pacific breeze! Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 10. High: 31
Photo credit: "
The report from NOAA is available here.
climate change will lead to an increase in big storms that cause flash floods, landslides and other natural disasters. Now, a new study shows that such intense precipitation will most likely increase across the continental United States, but with important regional variations. The study by scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., published on Monday in Nature Climate Change, found that across the country, rainstorms may become more frequent and intense if greenhouse gas emissions remain at current levels. The biggest increase would be in the Northeast and the Gulf Coast..."Decades of research (and perhaps your own recent experiences on hot, humid days) have suggested that
Photo credit: Brad Birkholz.
Graphic credit: NOAA.
Photo credit: " " Credit Rex Features, via Associated Press.
Once an Oil Executive, Now a Crusader Against Fossil Fuel Stocks. The New York Times has the story.