21 F. average high on January 2.
30 F. high on January 2, 2016.
1.2" snow yesterday at KSTC.
January 3, 1981: Arctic air visits Minnesota. Embarrass, Wannaska, and Tower all hit 38 below zero.
January 3, 1977: 14.2 inches of snow falls in Mankato.
Arctic Exhaust: No Records But "Cold Enough"
I had a fleeting out-of-body conversation yesterday. "Yeah, it won't be so bad" I explained. "Single digit highs, maybe 4 nights below zero, as cold as -7F or so. No big deal". Where else can a meteorologist utter such a thing. Fairbanks? Grand Forks? Bozeman, Montana? And it dawned on me once again: Minnesotans are a race of super-humans.
"Weather Ballers" my friends out east call us, with a mix of awe and reverence. I agree.
Yesterday's rain and ice was a bit odd. Then again Dr. Mark Seeley reports a 4X increase in midwinter rain in the Twin Cities since 2000.
A cruel, unforgiving northwest wind kicks in today; another airmail treat direct from the Yukon. In spite of a pleading sun temperatures are stunted in low single digits Wednesday into Saturday, metro lows sinking to -5 to -10F.
Temperatures warm into the 20s, above zero! early next week; the next shot of premium, Canadian air not as cold late next week. Long-range models hint at a milder, Pacific breeze kicking in the 3rd week of January. No big snows coming but plenty of ice for outdoor hockey rinks this winter!
384 hour 2-meter GFS temperature forecast: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.
Southeastern Snow Event Next Weekend? Confidence levels are still very low, but NOAA's GFS model spins up a storm along the leading edge of much colder air, with potentially plowable snowfall amounts from Oklahoma City to Birmingham, Atlanta and the Carolinas. Too early to panic, but we need to keep an eye on this.
The Term "Severe Weather" May Not Mean What You Think. There is still confusion about terminology, according to Marshall Shepherd at Forbes: "...If a severe thunderstorm watch or a tornado watch is issued, this is what that means according the the SPC website
A Severe Thunderstorm Watch outlines an area where an organized episode of hail 1 inch diameter or larger and/or damaging thunderstorm winds are expected during a two to eight hour period. A Tornado Watch includes the large hail and damaging wind threats, as well as the possibility of multiple tornadoes or a single intense tornado. Typical watches cover about 25,000 square miles, or about half the size of Iowa.Though it varies, the SPC issues about 1000 or so watches per year. SPC only issues watches. Warnings are issued by your local National Weather Service (NWS) office. A watch means that the outlined conditions above are possible during the next few hours or so. A warning means that conditions have actually been observed or expected within the next 60 minutes. According to some studies (and my own personal observations), a “not-trivial” percentage of the population actually confuses these terms..."
Photo credit: Nick Steinberg.
Map credit: "During El Nino events (top) the frequency of U.S. tornadoes typically drops. When a La Nina phase prevails (bottom) tornado frequency goes up (indicated by red areas). The effect is strongest in the boxed area." Nature Geoscience 2015, courtesy IRI.
2016 Weather In Review Around the USA...
Image credit: "Concord experienced a tornado in the summer." (WBZ-TV)
Photo credit: Rick Barbero, The Register-Herald. "A house was forced from its foundation and floated onto Anjean Street in Rupert had to be cut in half to open up the lane."
Freakish EF-2 Tornado for Coastal Oregon in 2016. Beachconnection.net reviews the strong tornado that shocked residents of Oregon in 2016: "...The highest profile event on the entire Oregon coast took place in Manzanita and Oceanside on October 14 when both places had a tornado lumber through. In Oceanside there was no damage, but Manzanita had over 100 homes and buildings torn apart, power lines ripped out and the town was actually cordoned off for a few days. Most dramatically, the town lost one third of its trees. It was later designated and EF2. Footage of the event even made national TV news. Almost as big a story was why this happened. Tornadoes along the coast are nearly unheard of. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), this one was the combination of a lot of different elements coming together, some of them quite unusual. The NWS called the storm itself “rare,” in that it was a low pressure system that coincided with a storm that was atypically strong for this time of year, making things so much more unstable..." (Photo credit: Amy Van Dyck).
How To Defrost Your Car Windshield In Less Than a Minute. I stumbled upon this suggestion at Travel + Leisure: "...But Ken Weathers, a meteorologist for the WATE 6 news station in Tennessee, wants to make your winter mornings just a little bit more bearable. Growing up in the Midwest, I know all of the tricks: turn your car on ten minutes before you plan on leaving, expensive defrost spray, buy one of those strange pairs of gloves that has an ice scraper built in. No one method is foolproof nor anywhere near seamless. But Weathers has a homemade solution that will only take you a minute to make—you probably already have the necessary ingredients—and will make defrosting your windows as easy as taking a lap around your car. Mix two-third parts of rubbing alcohol with one-third part of water. Put it in a spray bottle, and you're set for the worst of winter months. Once this solution hits the window, the ice melts right away in seconds..."
Can Carbon Capture Technology Prosper Under Trump? Here's the intro to a New York Times story: "Can one of the most promising — and troubled — technologies for fighting global warming survive during the administration of Donald J. Trump? The technology, carbon capture, involves pulling carbon dioxide out of smokestacks and industrial processes before the climate-altering gas can make its way into the atmosphere. Mr. Trump’s denial of the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting climate change, a view shared by many of his cabinet nominees, might appear to doom any such environmental initiatives. But the new Petra Nova plant about to start running here, about 30 miles southwest of Houston, is a bright spot for the technology’s supporters. It is being completed essentially on time and within its budget, unlike many previous such projects..."
Photo credit: " Credit Michael Stravato for The New York Times."
Photo credit: "Drew and Jonathan Scott of HGTV’s Property Brothers." Photographer: Zack Arias/Used Film Studios via ScrippsNetworks.
Photo credit: "The Magic Kingdom." Anthony Quintano/CC BY 2.0
TODAY: Gusty, feels like -5F. Temperatures tumble into the teens. Winds: NW 15-25. High: 21 (early)
TUESDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: -2
WEDNESDAY: Some sun, feels like -20F. Winds: NW 10-15. High: 4
THURSDAY: Arctic sunshine, feels like -25F. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: -4. High: 2
FRIDAY: Clouds, few flurries. Not quite as numb. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: -5. High: 8
SATURDAY: Blue sky, Dog Days of Winter. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: -3. High: 5
SUNDAY: Clouds and winds increase. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 0. High: 19
MONDAY: Few flurries, feels a little better. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 15. High: 24
Tropical cyclones—which include all hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms and tropical depressions—are expected to change in intensity, frequency, location, and seasonality as a result of climate change. Many of the tropical cyclones of 2016 exhibited the type of behavior we expect to see more of due to global warming. Here, then, is a “top ten” list of 2016 tropical cyclone events of the type we should expect to see more of due to global warming. Tropical cyclones are heat engines which extract heat energy from the oceans and convert it to the kinetic energy of the storms' winds. Thus, the strongest tropical cyclones are expected to get stronger in a world with warmer oceans. It was not a surprise that in 2016—a year with the warmest ocean temperatures on record, globally—we saw the strongest storms ever observed in the two of the six ocean basins that tropical cyclones commonly occur in. If we include the Northern Hemisphere’s strongest tropical cyclone on record—Hurricane Patrica of October 2015—records have been set in three of the six ocean basins over the past two years..."
Image credit: "A visible image of Tropical Cyclone Fantala collected at 1025Z (6:25 am EDT) on April 18, 2016, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor on board the Aqua satellite. The north tip of Madagascar can be seen at bottom. At the time, Fantala was the strongest tropical cyclone ever observed in the Indian Ocean, with winds estimated at 175 mph." Image credit: NASA.
Photo credit: "A firefighter watches as smoke from a wildfire swirls around a stand of trees near Morgan Hill, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. A heat wave stifling drought-stricken California worsened the state’s wildfires in 2016." Photograph: Noah Berger/AP
Photo credit: "Electric vehicles being charged in SanDiego." Photo courtesy SDG&E.
Photo credit: "A view of Positano on Italy's Amalfi Coast. The region is famed for its scenery, but the steep terrain is also vulnerable to mudslides." Alfredo Sosa.
Image credit: Giphy.