31 F. average high on February 26.
43 F. maximum temperature on February 26, 2016.
February 27, 1981: Thunderstorms move across Minnesota, dumping 1.61 inches of rain at Montevideo. Many places were glazed over with ice.
February 27, 1948: A severe ice storm occurs over central Minnesota. At the St. Cloud Weather Office 1/2 inch of clear ice was measured. 65 telephone poles were down in St. Cloud.
Blizzard Envy - Mourning Minnesota Winters of Old
Nobody likes to be wrong, but Friday's vitriolic reaction to a blizzard shifting south of MSP may have been more than a mocking "schadenfreude". The fact that it couldn't/wouldn't snow was another reminder of Minnesota's increasingly wounded winters.
Spotty snow, shaky ice, more winter precipitation falling as rain? Twin Cities winters are now 5.4F warmer than 1970. That's not a climate model, but based on observations.
We've been sprinkling CO2 hot sauce on our ice cream sundae, then acting indignant when most Minnesota winters don't have the cold, crunchy sweetness we grew up with.
The patterns are shifting - spring routinely comes a few weeks earlier now. To date, February 2017 has set 9,544 records for warmth across the USA; just 137 new records for cold.
A mild bias spills into March with more 40s than 30s for highs; April-like 50s blow in again next weekend. A little rain falls Tuesday, but no big storms of any flavor are on the horizon.
I'd keep a heavy jacket handy but Old Man Winter should pull his punches into mid-March. Another tame/lame Minnesota winter? Yep.
Not Your Grandfather's Winter. You've heard this before, but the numbers are fairly dramatic, especially at northern latitudes. The warming signal is most pronounced during the winter months. Meteorological winter is now 5.4 F. warmer in Minneapolis/St. Paul than it was in 1970. Nationwide winters are close to 3 F. warmer than 46 years ago. Data: Climate Central.
84-Hour Future Radar. NOAA's 12 KM NAM pulls yet another Pacific storm across the Intermountain West today, spreading more rain than snow into the Midwest Tuesday - a cold rain spreading into the Northeast and New England by Wednesday and Thursday. California sees a break from the conga-line of storms Tuesday PM into Friday. Animation: Tropicaltidbits.com.
Map credit: "How do you know when spring has begun? Is it the appearance of the first tiny leaves on the trees, or the first crocus plants peeping through the snow? The Spring Leaf Index is a synthetic measure of these early season events in plants, based on recent temperature conditions. This model allows us to track the progression of spring onset across the country. The map (above) shows locations that have reached the requirements for the Spring Leaf Index model (based on NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction Real-Time Mesoscale Analysis temperature products)."
Photo credit: "San Jose Fire Department rescuers evacuate the last residents from their homes along the flooded streets on Welch Ave and Needles Drive near Kelley Park in San Jose, Calif. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017."
Flood Insurance: Does Your Excuse Hold Water? With flash flooding on the rise it might be wise to review your coverage. Here's an excerpt from The Orlando Sentinel: "We know the old saying: when it rains, it pours… and when it pours, it floods. With winter snow storms coming to an end, the threat of flooding increases as the snow begins to melt and the rivers and creeks begin to swell. It’s easy to forget about how powerfully destructive water can be. In fact, nine out of 10 natural disasters include flood, making it the number one disaster in the United States according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, only 15 percent of homeowners have flood insurance. From 2006 to 2015, total flood claims cost more than $1.9 billion per year and the average claim was more than $46,000 during that time..." (Fort Lauderdale flood file photo: NOAA).
providing critical information to forecasters which will allow them to focus on developing severe storms much earlier than they can currently, and before these storms produce damaging winds, hail or even tornadoes.Such storms exhibit a significant increase in total lightning activity, often many minutes before the radar detects the potential for severe weather. Used in combination with radar, satellite data, and surface observations, total lightning data from GLM has great potential to increase lead time for severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings and reduce false alarm rates.Knowledge of total lightning activity and its extent will help improve public safety..."
Saudi Arabia to Curb Oil Use With $50 Billion Renewable Energy Plan. Here's a clip from Good News Network: "Saudi Arabia, the nation ranked as one of the world’s top crude oil exporters, has launched a $50 billion initiative to phase out fossil fuels in favor of renewable energy. The country plans on harnessing 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023 by constructing several wind and solar plants throughout the nation. Saudi Arabia plans on completing the initiative with 700 gigawatts. The initiative will not only be economically beneficial for the nation’s residents, but will also help steer Saudi Arabia’s main federal income away from crude oil as well as help the country meet worldwide sustainable energy goals..."
Photo credit: D.H. Parks, CC.
Study Finds Cyclists 6 Times Healthier Than Other Commuters. Because it's harder to eat chips on a bike. Here's an excerpt from Momentum Mag: "...When many people consider the health impacts of cycling, they think of the sport-oriented form of cycling that involves long-distance, fast rides and lycra, or at the very least a pair of sneakers and a workout shirt. Casual commuter cycling is better for you than sitting in a car or on the bus, sure, but it can’t be that much better, can it? A recent study undertaken at Brunel University in London, England, found that English people who regularly commute by bike are four times more likely than other commuters to get the 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week recommended by the World Health Organization. With its focus narrowed to London rather than nationwide, bike commuters were six times more likely to meet the recommended activity guidelines..."
Photo credit: Kamyar Adl
For Marketers, TV Sets Are an Invaluable Pair of Eyes. How would you like your TV set to watch YOU? For science, of course - and to tell marketing companies whether you're really paying attention during the commercial breaks. What can possibly go wrong? The New York Times reports: "While Ellen Milz and her family were watching the Olympics last summer, their TV was watching them. Ms. Milz, 48, who lives with her husband and three children in Chicago, had agreed to be a panelist for a company called TVision Insights, which monitored her viewing habits — and whether her eyes flicked down to her phone during the commercials, whether she was smiling or frowning — through a device on top of her TV. “The marketing company said, ‘We’re going to ask you to put this device in your home, connect it to your TV and they’re going to watch you for the Olympics to see how you like it, what sports, your expression, who’s around,’” she said. “And I said, ‘Whatever, I have nothing to hide...’”
Photo credit: "Dan Schiffman of TVision, demonstrating the software. “The big thing for TV advertisers and the networks is, are you actually looking at the screen or not?” he said." Dolly Faibyshev for The New York Times.
TODAY: Some sun, milder. Winds: S 8-13. High: 44
MONDAY NIGHT: Partly cloudy. Low: 36
TUESDAY: Light rain and drizzle. Winds: SE 8-13. High: 44
WEDNESDAY: Cloudy and cooler, few flurries. Winds: NW 10-15. Wake-up: 27. High: 36
THURSDAY: Intervals of sun, brisk breeze. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 22. High: 32
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, turning milder. Winds: S 10-15. Wake-up: 19. High: near 40
SATURDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, not bad at all. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 29. High: near 50
SUNDAY: More April than March. Feverish again. Winds:SE 8-13. Wake-up: 37. High: 56
St. Paul Launches Climate Action Plan Effort to Become Carbon Neutral. Here's an excerpt from Star Tribune: "To offset St. Paul's total annual greenhouse gas emissions, the city would have to install 985 wind turbines. Or it could preserve more than 31,086 acres of forests or somehow prevent 575,901 homes from using electricity for a year. But adding a turbine every few blocks or having hundreds of thousands of people go off the grid probably is not the answer, so the city is launching an effort to come up with a Climate Action Plan that provides a feasible path to reduce pollution. St. Paul's goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050, completely offsetting emissions so there would be no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is one of 633 communities across the world that agreed, as part of a compact of mayors, to develop plans to address climate change..."
File photo: St. Paul Chamber of Commerce.
Map credit: coolwx.com.
It Might Feel Good, But February's Intense Heat is a Very Bad Sign. Which makes it a little harder to fully enjoy these freakish February warm fronts. ThinkProgress reports: "...This change in weather patterns does not come without a cost. For those living in frigid Midwestern states, a balmy day in February is a welcome respite from the typical winter chill. But the early thaw — what scientists call “season creep” — can have disastrous consequences for ecosystems. Flowers are already beginning to emerge in Chicago, which has gone a record 67 days without an inch of snow. Early blossoms may wilt before they can be pollinated. Farmers in the region may see their crops bud after an early thaw only to perish in a late-season frost..."
Map credit: "Plants are regrowing leaves days or weeks earlier than they typically do." CREDIT: National Phenology Network