22 F. average high on January 27.
40 F. high on January 27, 2016.
January 28, 1914: A very rare thunderstorm (for this time of year) is observed at Maple Plain during the evening. Heavy thunder and vivid lightning was observed.
January 28, 1846: Temperatures are not too shabby for a January day. The high in the Twin Cities was 50, which is the normal high for the beginning of March.
Midwinter Weather Siesta - Happy to be "Average"
"Lucky at love, well maybe so. There's still a lot of things you'll never know. Like why each time the sky begins to snow, you cry" sang the late, great Dan Fogelberg.
I've been known to quietly weep when the sky begins to snow - during rush hour - on 494 - on the drive home. Think of how much time we waste commuting, to do work we could probably do at home.
Dr. Mark Seeley reports January temperatures are running 5-7F warmer than average, in spite of that crunchy subzero shuffle a few weeks back. 17 consecutive months warmer than average at MSP - 9 months in a row, statewide.
For the next week or two tracking Minnesota's weather will be the rough meteorological equivalent of watching paint dry. I'm OK with that. Any big storms track south, a rag-tag parade of weak Alberta Clippers for us. Starved for moisture, they may spark an occasional coating. Models hint at plowable, 4-inch amounts on Monday from Bemidji to Duluth. That's as exciting as it gets. Slightly warmer than normal temperatures prevail the next 2 weeks.
I suspect the worst of winter's chill is behind us now.
January 2017: Another Warmer than Average Month for Minnesota. Here's an excerpt of Mark Seeley's Minnesota WeatherTalk: "...As we end the month of January early next week most of Minnesota's climate observers are reporting mean monthly temperature values that are from 5 to 7 degrees F warmer than normal. For the Twin Cities January marks the 17th consecutive month with above normal temperatures, while on a statewide basis it is the 9th consecutive month of above normal temperatures. Extreme temperature values for the month ranged from -46°F at Cotton (St Louis County) on the 14th to a high of 48°F at several locations over the 18th and 19th. In terms of record-setting daily temperatures, 31 daily record maximum temperature records were tied or set over the warm period from the 17th to the 21st, while over the same period 90 daily warm minimum temperature records were tied or set..."
Lake Effect - Couple of Clippers. The pattern is (relatively) quiet and benign the next few days as lake effect snows slowly shut off downwind of the Great Lakes. A fairly impressive Alberta Clipper brush Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan by Monday and Tuesday. The western USA enjoys a rare spell of dry weather until the latter half of next week. 84-hour NAM guidance: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.
10-Day GFS Snowfall Guidance. Take all of this with a giant grain of (road) salt - the GFS tends to be overly generous with snowfall amounts. A plowable accumulation is quite possible Monday into Tuesday from northern Minnesota and Wisconsin into Michigan. Pacific storms return by Thursday of next week, adding to rainfall and already-outrageous mountain snows. The GFS is hinting at accumulating snow for the southeastern USA Super Bowl Sunday into Monday, February 7. No, I don't believe it yet, and neither should you.
Map credit: Aeris Maps Platform.
29 Weekend Tornadoes in Georgia Alone. Meteorologist Dan Lilledahl helped me count up the tornadoes just in Georgia, which is 29 at last report. It validates a total of 50-60 or more across the Deep South last weekend, including Florida. Here are Dan's comments: "Here's what I could gather from the other NWS offices that service Georgia:
22+ tornadoes in the Peachtree City, GA NWS service area - covers most of central and northern GA.
4 tornadoes in the Tallahassee, FL NWS service area (3 in GA, including one that killed 11 people, and 1 in AL) - they cover SW GA and west FL and far southeast AL.
0 tornadoes in the Jacksonville, FL NWS service area - covers far southeast GA and northeast FL
4 tornadoes in the Charleston, SC NWS service area - covers area around Savannah, GA and far south SC. So the total for GA alone is 29..."
The Science Behind GOES-16's Color Composite Imagery. NOAA NESDIS explains why GOES-16 creates a superior "true color" image: "...The composite color images from GOES-16, however, are created by combining data from the satellite's 16-band Advanced Baseline Imager to produce a range of colors within visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum (think the colors of the rainbow, ROYGBIV). The end product is an image much closer to what a human eye would see from space. Yet, as mesmerizing as GOES-16's color images are, the fact is that meteorologists don't always want to view the Earth and its atmosphere this way. This explains why GOES-16 carries an imager with 16 spectral bands as opposed to a camera..."
Floods, Damaging Winds Most Destructive Natural Hazards in 2016. Claims Journal has some statistics about last year's storms I haven't seen anywhere else: "At $17 billion, total flood loss in 2016 was six times greater than the overall flood damage experienced in 2015. Five flood-related events in 2016 exceeded $1 billion in losses, including:
- The Louisiana flood in August with losses estimated at more than $10 billion.
- Hurricane Matthew in October with losses estimated at $3 billion.
- As of December 7, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) had received more the 10,000 claims and paid more than $70 million to policyholders and victims in the five-state area.
- The Sabine River Basin flood in East Texas and Louisiana in March with losses estimated at $1.3 billion.
- The Houston flood in April with losses estimated at $1.2 billion.
- West Virginia flash and riverine flooding in June with losses estimated at $1 billion..."
Only You Can Stop "Vacation Weather Shaming" I do the weather for free because I'm smitten by Mother Nature. They pay me to put up with the abuse. This is the time of year when friends, family and utter strangers share warm weather vacation taunts - there's more than a little gloating going on. "Paul, it's Tom in Scottsdale, where it's a balmy 66 degrees. How's the weather up in Minnesota?" Click. "Hi Paul, it's Joan in San Diego, where my 4-year old actually FORGOT how to put on a jacket. Isn't that PRECIOUS?" Uh huh. Heidi texted me from Cabo, complaining about high winds and rough seas for fishing. "Is your weather app right? Will winds die down?" God help me.My favorite is spring break trips in March. The greater the difference in temperature between Minnesota and the destination - the happier they are. Sad! Hey, we're thrilled you're going on a warm weather vacation. Just....keep it to yourself.
Photo credit: " " Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times.
Map credit: "Earthquake probabilities for the Bay Area. The USGS estimates that there is a 72% chance that a M=6.7+ will strike the region by 2043. Such a quake poses significant threats to the San Francisco Seawall." (Figure from 2016 USGS Fact Sheet on the “Earthquake Outlook for the San Francisco Bay Region 2014–2043”)
3 Republican Governors Embrace Clean Energy's Economic Promise. Here's an excerpt from EDF, Environmental Defense Fund: "Last week, the U.S. inaugurated a new president who has vowed to abandon the landmark Paris climate agreement and roll back bedrock American environmental protections.But turn to the states and you’ll find a different story, even in the red states that elected President Trump. In fact, Republican governors in the Midwest are prioritizing economic growth and job creation by accelerating investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. In the few weeks after the election, leaders in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan have adopted new policies that help tackle climate change and grow the clean energy economy..."
Photo credit: "Which do you back?" (Reuters/Brian Snyder).
Tentative Infrastructure Priority List is here.
Illustration credit: Jonathan Bartlett.
Photo credit: "Boeing's new spacesuit will be worn on missions to the International Space Station beginning in 2018." Boeing.
TODAY: Peeks of sun, milder than average. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 31
SATURDAY NIGHT: Clouds increase. Low: 23
SUNDAY: Clouds and flurries. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 29
MONDAY: Milder with metro flurries, light accumulation possible - plowable snows up north. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 22. High: 36
TUESDAY: Mostly cloudy, few passing flakes. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 27. High: 32
WEDNESDAY: Hello February! Patchy clouds. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 18. High: 26
THURSDAY: Rare sunshine sighting possible. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 12. High: 24
FRIDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, "average" temperatures. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 10. High: 25
Image credit: " Credit Seasteading Institute
Photo credit: "" Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg.
We May Be Closer Than We Thought to Dangerous Climate Thresholds. Dr. John Abraham at the University of St. Thomas reports for The Guardian: "...When you use the recommended time period, it turns out that 2015 was the first year on record that passed the 1°C (1.8°F) mark. It means that 2016 was approximately 0.1°C (0.2°F) warmer than we had thought relative to the pre-industrial time period. To put this in perspective, it is almost an extra decade of warming. Why does this matter? Well it means that we have about a decade less time to act on climate change if we are going to avoid the most serious consequences. It means we simply have no time to waste, and no room for error. It also means that even if we take action right now, there will be consequences. That said, it is better in the long run to act now than to wait. The people denying or delaying action are costing us, and our future generation much in terms of financial, social, and human capital..." (File image: University of Wisconsin - Madison CIMSS).
Good Luck Silencing Science. Here's an excerpt from techcrunch.com: "...There’s a word for that — a word frequently misused these days, but the correct word in this case: censorship. Unfortunately for the would-be censors, the days when that sort of thing worked are long past. The Streisand effect has for years proven the stronger force than even the most dedicated of information wranglers. But it won’t even get to that stage. You can’t just tell science to shut up. Climate change in particular is a nasty one to try to put to bed. It’s taken decades of research by thousands upon thousands of scientists all over the globe to arrive and strengthen the theory (in the sense that gravity and evolution are also theories) of anthropogenic climate change, or global warming if you prefer. (A climatologist I spoke to likes “global weirding.”)..."