-1 F. maximum temperature yesterday. Doesn't seem right calling it a "high".
21 F. average high on January 5.
27 F. high temperature in the STC metro on January 5, 2016.
January 6, 1942: The temperature rises from 32 below zero to 41 above in 24 hours in Pipestone.
10 minutes of additional daylight since December 21, increasing 1-2 minutes every day.
Yukon Bling - We Earn Our Springs in Minnesota
A Minnesota January is an acquired taste. Iced lutefisk - with a Jagermeister chaser. Not for the timid or faint of heart.
And yet, armed with the right attitude (and clothing) these brisk fronts become almost tolerable.
A few things I've learned the hard way: if your feet and ears are warm you stand a better chance of braving the chill. A warm undershirt and socks help for drafty rooms. And warm shoes or boots can go a long way. Research suggests cold feet may cause blood vessels in our noses to constrict, lowering our immune response. Go figure.
20s early next week will feel like a revelation; another arctic slap the end of next week won't last as long. Weather models still suggest a moderate, Pacific flow in 2-3 weeks, with a string of 30s. Woohoo!
Although no mega-storms are brewing anytime soon a series of clipper-like systems next Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday may drop plowable amounts of snow on Minnesota. The GFS prints out nearly 4-8 inches over a 10-day span.
Meanwhile, Atlanta may pick up an inch or two of slush tonight. Uh oh. Call out the National Guard.
Photo credit: UK Met Office.
Not Buying It - Yet. This is 10-Day potential snowfall from the GFS, which has a nasty habit of over-estimating snowfall amounts. Do I think the Twin Cities will see 15-18" of snow by January 15. No, but the transition to a somewhat milder pattern may shift the storm track farther north, with a better chance of accumulating snow from the Dakotas into Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Source: Tropicaltidbits.com.
Plowable Snow for Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh and Richmond? The map above shows 4 KM NAM guidance from NOAA, which has been printing out a consistent streak of accumulating snow. Rain will quick change to snow tonight in Atlanta and then push into the Carolinas an Tidewater region of Virginia. Atlanta may be a mess, the only saving grace: this snow event is coming on a weekend.
AerisWeather Briefing: Issued Thursday, January 5th, 2017:
* Confidence is growing on a high impact snowfall for parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic as we head into the end of the week and the weekend. This includes places like Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh and Birmingham.
* Winter Storm Watches are in effect for 1-4" of snow across parts of the region, which would be enough to cause major travel troubles.
* The heaviest snow will fall in parts of eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia where over a half a foot of snow will be possible.
* Back out west, we continue to watch waves of moisture for California move in into the weekend and early next week.
* Rainfall totals of a foot or more are likely across parts of California through the weekend, which will lead to significant flooding. Flash Flood Watches are in effect. Facilities that have had issues in the past with situations like this will likely see issues as we head into the weekend and next week.
Local Snowfall Forecast:
Newport/Morehead City, NC:
You can see the firehose of moisture coming out of the Pacific into the West Coast into the weekend, likely to cause very heavy rain and snow amounts. What could also make this worse is snow levels are expected to increase heading into the weekend, so heavy rain could fall on top of snowpack, making the flooding situation worse in parts of the mountains.
Rain Into Monday. Almost 4” of rain is expected to fall in the Bay Area into Monday with the weekend atmospheric river event; however the heaviest rainfall totals (a foot or more) will be toward the Sierras, where snow levels are likely to be only as low as 8,000 feet. This heavy rain will fall on top of already saturated soils from the last few days – or, in some locations, on top of snowpack – which will lead to excessive runoff and flooding of roads, rivers and urban areas.
With the very heavy rain expected, I see the potential of a significant flooding event across the region. Facilities that have had issues in the past with situations like this will likely see issues as we head into the weekend and next week.
Significant River Flood Threat. We are expected to see numerous rivers reach or exceed flood stage as we go through the weekend. Already two rivers are expected to reach major flood stage.
Very Heavy Mountain Snow. While snow levels will be high during the next event, we are still expecting the potential of two or more feet of snow in parts of the Sierras.
Summary: Winter Storm Watches are in place across portions of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Friday and Saturday for snowfall accumulations of 1-4”, including in Birmingham, Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh. This amount of snow across these regions will be enough to gum up the roads and make travel difficult or near impossible as we head through Friday afternoon into Saturday. The heaviest snow is expected across eastern North Carolina and into southeast Virginia, where six inches or more can be expected.
Out west, we are tracking very heavy rain as we head into the weekend with another atmospheric river event expected. Rainfall totals of 2-5” can be expected in the Bay Area, but the heaviest will be out in the mountains, where snow levels will be high and 5-10”+ of rain can be expected. This heavy rain will likely cause a significant flooding event across the region. Already some river forecasts would have river levels reaching potentially historic levels. Facilities that have had issues in the past with situations like this will likely see issues as we head into the weekend and next week. More heavy rain can be expected across these regions by the middle of next week.
D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, AerisWeather
Animation credit: "An atmospheric river is sending moisture streaming from the central Pacific to California." Credit: Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies
File photo: Aaron Shafer.
Conditions That Favor More Hurricanes Also Protect U.S., Study Finds. Here's a clip from a New York Times story: "...Scientists say a long-term pattern of climate variability called the Atlantic meridional mode helps determine the level of hurricane activity. In one phase, the mode results in warmer surface water in the tropical Atlantic and less wind shear, or changes in wind speed with altitude. Both circumstances favor the formation of hurricanes. But at the same time, conditions near the coastal United States are the opposite: colder water, which provides less energy to a hurricane, and more wind shear, which tends to rip a storm apart. So although more hurricanes may form in the open ocean, as they approach land they are more likely to weaken. This protective barrier, as Dr. Kossin called it, does not exist in the Caribbean. In a period of less hurricane activity, the mode shifts and opposite conditions prevail, both in the ocean and along the coast. That means fewer hurricanes but a greater likelihood of their intensifying near the United States..." (Graphic credit: NOAA).
Pacific Standard has more context and perspective on the new research here.
Press release from Munich Re is here. Flood photo: USGS.
Photo credit: "
Insurers paid out around $50 billion for natural disaster claims last year, almost double 2015's payout of $27 billion, reinsurer Munich Re said in its annual natural catastrophe review on Wednesday. Earthquakes in Japan and devastating floods in China - only 2 percent of whose losses were insured - were the most expensive natural catastrophes of 2016. But the year saw the second-fewest fatalities from natural disasters in 30 years. Some $125 billion of losses were uninsured. It was the costliest twelve months for natural catastrophe damage after three years of relatively low losses, and above the 10-year average of $45.1 billion..."
File photo of Hurricane Matthew: NOAA.
Photo credit: "The $5-billion Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nev., began the mass production of lithium-ion battery cells on Wednesday." (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press).
Photo credit: "
Image credit: "Deputies from Jefferson County Sheriff's Office in Denver freed a bear that was trapped inside a small car. In the video, one deputy asked, "How did he get in? I don't see a broken window." (Jefferson County Sheriff's Office).
TODAY: Mix of clouds and sun, not quite as Nanook. Winds: SW 5-10. High: 7
FRIDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: -5
SATURDAY: Plenty of sun, feels like -20F. Winds: NW 8-13. High: 6
SUNDAY: Numbing start, then breezy with increasing clouds. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: -8. High: 17
MONDAY: Few flurries, temps. near average! Winds: E 7-12. Wake-up: 15. High: 24
TUESDAY: Period of snow, couple inches? Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 18. High: 27
WEDNESDAY: Dry start, more light snow PM hours. Winds: SE 8-13. Wake-up: 8. High: 16
THURSDAY: Mostly cloudy, cold wind returns. Wake-up: 5. High: 10 (falling)
- 2016 confirmed as the warmest year on record, warmer than 2015 by close to 0.2°C
- Global temperatures reached a peak in February 2016 around 1.5°C higher than at the start of the Industrial Revolution
- Extreme conditions impacting several regions across the Earth
The latest figures from C3S, part of the EU’s Copernicus earth observation programme, show that 2016’s global temperature exceeded 14.8°C, and was around 1.3°C higher than typical for the middle years of the 18th century. 2016 was close to 0.2°C warmer than 2015, which was previously the warmest year on record..."
Graphic credit: "Annual global air temperature at a height of two metres (left axis) and estimated change from the beginning of the industrial era (right axis). Sources: Copernicus Climate Change Service, ECMWF, for data from 1979; Met Office Hadley Centre, NASA and NOAA for blended data prior to 1979." (Credit: ECMWF, Copernicus Climate Change Service)
Beyond 2016: Year in Review. More details on last year's warmth from NOAA.
China Aims To Spend at Least $360 Billion on Renewable Energy by 2020. Here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "China intends to spend more than $360 billion through 2020 on renewable power sources like solar and wind, the government’s energy agency said on Thursday. The country’s National Energy Administration laid out a plan to dominate one of the world’s fastest-growing industries, just at a time when the United States is set to take the opposite tack as Donald J. Trump, a climate-change doubter, prepares to assume the presidency. The agency said in a statement that China would create more than 13 million jobs in the renewable energy sector by 2020, curb the growth of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming and reduce the amount of soot that in recent days has blanketed Beijing and other Chinese cities in a noxious cloud of smog...."
Photo credit: I snapped this picture from our room at the St. Regis in Beijing during a severe smog event during the first week of December, 2016.
Photo credit: "Lake Erie at Buffalo, NY." Photo: Angelica Morrison.
Photo credit: "Louisiana is losing its coast faster than any place in the world. As land disappears and the water creeps inland, ancient archaeology sites are washing away. The roots of a dead oak tree at the edge of an ancient Native American mound, are all that hold the land together." Tegan Wendland/WWNO.
New Study Confirms Faster Rate of Global Warming. Here's an excerpt from Dr. John Abraham at The Guardian: "...This paper is another reminder why it is so important to invest in the temperature measurements that are needed to create long-term climate records. We really need uninterrupted measurements that span many years/decades if we want to truly understand the Earth’s changing climate. Even though the costs of making these measurements are very small compared to what we spend on other less important activities, I am concerned that the new US administration will decide to pull the plug on these projects. If that happens, we will be flying blind. Finally, and for those who read my posts regularly, I am sounding like a broken record. Global warming is happening, it never stopped, it never paused, and the models have gotten it right..."