Sunday, April 9, 2017

Rain/snow mix Monday, slushy coating north of Metro

Winter Weather Advisory

A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin from 9AM to 7PM Monday for the potential of 3" to 5" of snow

Snowfall Potential

Here's the snowfall potential through Tuesday, which suggests some 2" to near 4" tallies from north of the Twin Cities metro into Northwest Wisconsin. There could even be some 3" to 5" tallies for some locations close to Duluth.

Rain/Snow Mix Monday, Quieter By Tuesday

Here's the weather outlook from Sunday to Monday, which suggests a fairly unsettled and potentially thundery day across the Upper Midwest on Sunday. As the storm system moves through the region, isolated strong to severe storms maybe possible along with locally heavy rainfall on Sunday, while a rain/snow mix maybe possible on Monday and Tuesday as the storm system moves east.


"Dissecting climate trends in Minnesota month by month"

Mark Seeley is the Minnesota state climatologist and meteorologist at the University of Minnesota and recently wrote about how Minnesota's weather has changed over the last 100 years. He has come us with some interesting findings, especially when it comes to winter temperatures. Here's an excerpt from this week's Weather Talk:

"The biggest change has occurred in January with the monthly mean value now (most recent decade) that is 3.7°F higher than it was a century ago. This is a 57 percent increase relative to the 100 year mean monthly value for January temperature of 6.5°F (from a statewide calculation). By most statistical criteria this is a significant change in mean monthly temperature. Another example is the change in average February temperature. It is now 5.8°F greater than it was a century ago, and this represents 48 percent of the 100-year mean value for the month of 12.1°F. Some other months with significant changes in mean temperature are:
December: +3.0°F increase
March: +4.2°F increase
November: +2.9°F increase

Tropical Cyclone COOK

Another cyclone has developed in the southern hemisphere and has been creating problems in the South Pacific. The cyclone created flooding in Vanuatu's central islands and is set to hit New Caledonia's main island. Interestingly, Cook will be the first cyclone to directly hit New Caledonia since 2003! Also, note that these storms are spinning anti-cyclonically because they are in the southern hemisphere!

Tracking Cook

Here's the forecast for Cook over the next several days. The forecast track has it strengthening as it makes a direct hit with New Caledonia. 

"New Caledonia bracing for Cyclone Cook"

The cyclone caused flooding in Vanuatu's central islands yesterday and is now set to hit New Caledonia's main island with winds gusting now up to 160 kilometres an hour. The storm's centre is forecast to pass to the west of the Loyalty Islands, before making landfall on the east coast of the main island Grand Terre. Cyclone Cook will be the first to directly hit New Caledonia since 2003. Meteo France said the threat was very serious, forecasting gusts of up 200 kilometres an hour.

(Flooding in Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila. Photo: Dan McGarry)


Tropical Cyclone ERNIE

Here's the latest from Ernie as it continues to weaken in the South Indian Ocean, just northwest of Australia. The good news is that this storm system did not impact Australia. 

Tracking Ernie

Here's the forecast for Ernie from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center as it weakens and drifts south-southwest away from Australia over the next few days.


2017 hurricane outlook: Colorado State predicts a slightly-below average season

Here we are at the beginning of April and we're already starting to think about the 2017 hurricane season. With the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season not starting until June 1st, Colorado State is already predicting a slightly below average season. By the way, the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season was the first above average season since 2012! It produced 15 named storms, 7 of which were hurricane and 4 of those were major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). Here's an excerpt from Colorado State University: Colorado State University hurricane researchers are predicting a slightly below-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2017, citing the potential development of El Niño as well as recent anomalous cooling in the tropical Atlantic as primary factors. A weak La Niña this past winter has dissipated, and there is the potential that a weak to moderate El Niño could develop by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. El Niño tends to increase upper-level westerly winds across the Caribbean into the tropical Atlantic, tearing apart hurricanes as they try to form. In addition, most of the North Atlantic has anomalously cooled over the past month, and the tropical Atlantic is now slightly cooler than normal. In addition to providing less fuel for tropical cyclone formation and intensification, cooler tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures are associated with a more stable atmosphere as well as drier air, both of which suppress organized thunderstorm activity necessary for hurricane development.

Named Storms (12)* 11
Named Storm Days (60.1) 50
Hurricanes (6.5) 4
Hurricane Days (21.3) 16
Major Hurricanes (2.0) 2
Major Hurricane Days (3.9) 4
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (92) 75
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (103%) 85
* Numbers in ( ) represent medians based on 1981-2010 data.


Visible Satellite on Sunday
Sunday was another somewhat cloudy day across the region as our storm system moved into place. A few locations started off with sunshine, but it quickly clouded over and widely scattered showers and storms developed across the southern half of the state.

2017 Ice Out Dates
Here's the latest MN DNR ice out dates, which shows that more lakes across central and now northern MN have officially gone out for the season. Note that ice outs are occurring nearly 1 to 2 weeks ahead of schedule this year!


Active Early Week

Here's the weather outlook through AM Friday, which shows an ongoing thunder threat from the Great Lakes to the Southern Plains on Monday. A few of these storms could be a little on the strong to severe side with locally heavy rainfall. Meanwhile, more Pacific moisture will feed into the Western US with locally heavy rainfall and mountain snow. 

Several Weather Threats Ahead 
Weather conditions across the country look to remain somewhat active through the early week time frame, but not quite as active as it was over the past couple of weeks. According to NOAA's SPC, there is a risk of severe weather on Sunday and Monday across parts of the Central US. Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes maybe possible.

Active Start to April
According to NOAA's SPC, there have been nearly 1,000 severe weather reports through April 8th! While most of the reports have been either hail or wind reports, 78 of those have been tornadoes!
Average Severe Weather For Early/Mid April
Here's an interesting map that shows the average severe weather probabilities for this time of the year and note that the highest concentration is across the Southern US and especially near the Arklatex region.
2017 PRELIMINARY Tornado Count
According to NOAA's SPC, the PRELIMINARY tornado count for 2017 is at 511 (thru April 8). Interestingly, this is the highest number of tornado reports (thru April 8) since 2008 when 550 tornadoes were reported through that time frame. The 2005-2015 average number of tornado reports through April 8 is 274.

Wintry remnants today give way to 60s by Wednesday
By Todd Nelson, filling in for Douglas.
I'm sure you've heard the "S" word being thrown around by now. Yes, the dirty little "S" word that we thought we wouldn't have to say anymore this year. Keep in mind that the Twin Cities still averages 2.4 inches of snow during the month of April, so we're not quite out of the woods yet.
Yesterday's thunderstorm activity gives way to a rain snow mix as the temperature drops through the day. I wouldn't doubt it if some north of the metro see a slushy coating by tonight. However, the best chance of a few inches of slop looks to fall across parts of Northwestern Wisconsin. The good news about snow this time of the year is that it doesn't stick around long. Though, on April 14th back in 1983, 13.6 inches of snow fell in one day. Good grief.
A few folks may get their undies in a bunch about Monday's snow chatter, but the extended outlook will help settle nerves. Sunshine returns Tuesday with high temperatures flirting with the 60s for the second half of the week. Spotty storms may develop late Friday, but should clear early this weekend.
Extended Forecast:
MONDAY: Dropping temps. Rain/snow mix. Slushy coating north of the metro. Winds: NNW 10-15. High: 45, falling through the day.
MONDAY NIGHT: Cloudy with a chance of snow. Slushy coating possible. Winds: N 5-10. Low: 33.
TUESDAY: Sun returns. Feels warmer by afternoon. Winds: WNW 5. High: 54
WEDNESDAY: Clouds thicken, chance of rain late. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 40. High: 62.
THURSDAY: Drying out. Clouds linger. Winds: SE 5-10. Wake-up: 44. High: 64.
FRIDAY: Gusty winds. Spotty PM showers. Winds: SSE 15-25. Wake-up: 44. High: 65.
SATURDAY: Leftover showers early, more PM sun. Winds: WNW 5-15. Wake-up: 49. High: 67.
SUNDAY: Looks dry, mild temperatures. Winds: NNW 5-10. Wake-up: 45. High: 62.
This Day in Weather History
April 10th
1977: A record high of 86 is set at Redwood Falls.
Average High/Low for Minneapolis
April 10th
Average High: 55F (Record: 88F set in 1977)
Average: Low: 35F (Record: 18F set in 1962)
*Record Snowfall: 6.0" set in 1891
Sunrise Sunset Times For Minneapolis
April 10th
Sunrise: 6:37am
Sunset: 7:52pm
*Daylight Gained Since Yesterday: ~3 minutes & 3 seconds
*Daylight Gained Since Winter Solstice (December 21st): ~4 hours & 31 minute

Moon Phase for April 9th at Midnight
1.0 Days until Full Pink Moon
Why is it  the full pink moon? Here's an excerpt from "April 11, 2:08 a.m. EDT – Full Pink Moon. The grass pink orchid, or wild ground phlox, is one of the earliest and most ubiquitous flowers of spring. Other names were the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and — among coastal tribes — the Full Fish Moon when the shad come upstream to spawn. In 2017, this is also the Paschal Full Moon; the first full moon of the spring season. The first Sunday following the Paschal Moon is Easter Sunday, which indeed will be observed five days later on Sunday, April 16."
Weather Outlook For Monday
High temperatures on Monday will occur early in the day as the cold front sweeps through. It is likely that temperatures will slowly fall through the day, which will help to change any rain over the snow.
Weather Outlook For Monday
Winds will also be a bit breezy out of the north as the center of the storm pushes east of the region. Winds could actually gust to 20mph or greater across parts of the state.
 Weather Outlook For Monday
Here are the weather conditions around 1pm Monday. Note that a rain/snow mix will be possible across parts of central Minnesota into Northwest Wisconsin

Precipitation Potential

Here's another look at the precipitation potential through Tuesday, which shows the total amount of liquid expected from this system as it moved in on Sunday through PM Monday.

Extended Temperature Outlook for Minneapolis
Here's the temperature outlook through April 24th, which temperatures taking a bit of a hit Monday and Tuesday in the wake of a storm system. However, the extended forecast brings a string of 60s & 70s back in by the second half of the week and upcoming weekend. We may even stay that warm through the 3rd full week of April! Note that the average high temperatures in the Twin Cites on April 9th is 55F, while the average high on April 23rd is 62F!
______________________________________________________________________________8 to 14 Day Temperature Outlook
According to NOAA's CPC, the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook suggests warmer than average temperatures in the Upper Midwest from April 18th - April 22nd

High Temperature Sunday

Temperatures on Monday will be quite a bit cooler across the Upper Midwest in the wake a storm system that will move into the Great Lakes Region by Monday. Temperatures ahead of the front will still be very mild with highs nearly 10F to 20F above average across the Northeast.

Temperature Outlook
Here's the 8 to 14 day temperature outlook, which takes us into the 3rd week of April. Note that warmer than average temperatures look to develop across the eastern two-thirds of the nation, while the only cooler than average spot would be found across parts of the Western US.
 National Weather Outlook
Here's the weather outlook through the early week, which shows a storm system moving through the Central US with scattered showers and storms, some of which could be strong to severe through Monday. There is also a chance of snow across parts of the Midwest and Great Lakes through early Tuesday. Meanwhile, Pacific moisture continues to roll into the Northwest with areas of rain and mountain snow.

5 Day Precipitation Forecast
According to NOAA's WPC, the 5 day precipitation forecast suggests heavy precipitation across parts of the Central and Western US through the end of the week. While there doesn't appear to be any major precipitation bombs, there certainly cloud be some 2" to 4" tallies in spots.
Snowfall Potential
Here's the snowfall potential over the next several days, which shows snow accumulations continuing in the Western US with colder than average temperatures persisting there. Also note that there could be some minor accumulations across parts of the Upper Midwest through early week as well!
"Most Americans Oppose Climate Science Cuts"
The vast majority of voters do not support the deep cuts to climate science funding now being proposed in Washington, a new poll has found. Three-quarters of voters think it is a bad idea to cut money for climate research, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released yesterday. Sixty-five percent say they believe climate change is caused by human activity, which the majority of scientists in the field concluded years ago, but American politicians have been slow to accept. Meanwhile, the number of voters who say they are “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” about climate change has increased to 76 percent, up from 66 percent in December 2015. “There is more concern now than there has been in the past,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll. He said a growing number of voters feel climate change is an existential threat.
See more from Scientific American HERE:
Credit: Lukas Schulze Getty Images via Scientific American)
"How climate change could mean more jet turbulence"
Admit it. No matter how many times you've taken a flight, the quick up-and-down, side-to-side jolts brought by airplane turbulence can cause a tinge of panic. Now new research has found turbulence could become more severe, enough to heave passengers and crew across an airplane, as more carbon dioxide seeps into our atmosphere. Researchers form the University of Reading found severe and moderate-to-severe turbulence will more than double as a result of expected increases in carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The research, published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, used supercomputer simulations to test how turbulence will change at 39,000 feet when the levels of carbon dioxide doubles. Author Dr. Paul Williams said that level is expected by century's end.
See more from USA Today HERE:
(Photo: Thatpichai, Getty Images/iStockphoto via USAToday)

________________________________________________________________________"Court Rules California Climate Payments Aren’t Taxes"
State judges told the California Chamber of Commerce on Thursday that its members don’t have a right to pollute, rejecting claims by its attorneys that payments required to release greenhouse gases under a marquee climate program are a kind of tax. The state appeals court ruling could have profound implications for the future of the state’s embattled cap-and-trade program, making it more likely to survive beyond 2020, when it could help the state meet some of the world’s most ambitious climate targets.
(Air pollution in Los Angeles. Credit: Prayitno/flickr via Climate Central)

_____________________________________________________________________________"Climate change: three of Australia’s big four banks reviewing exposure to fossil fuels"
Three of Australia’s big four banks are reviewing their exposure to fossil fuels, including their lending practices to households and farmers, in response to climate change. The Commonwealth Bank is conducting a “detailed climate policy review” that will be released publicly pending board approval, and NAB has a working group reviewing the risks from global temperatures rising two degrees. ANZ is conducting portfolio analysis to identify changes in the financial position of business customers in sectors “most exposed” to climate change. It is also working with the Bureau of Meteorology to understand variability in average annual rainfall over recent decades to understand how climate change is affecting Australia’s traditional farming areas.
See more from The Guardian HERE:
(Of Australia’s ‘big four’ banks – Commonwealth, NAB, ANZ and Westpac– only the latter is not currently reviewing its exposure to fossil fuels. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images via The Guardian)

_________________________________________________________________________"Yes, 50 million years ago the earth was hotter. Here's why climate change is still a major problem"
"If we do nothing to reduce our carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, by the end of this century the Earth will be as hot as it was 50 million years ago in the early Eocene, according to a new study out today in the journal Nature Communications. This period—roughly 15 million years after dinosaurs went extinct and 49.8 million years before modern humans appeared on the scene—was 16F to 25F warmer than the modern norm. Climate change doubters often point to these earlier temperature shifts as a way of rebutting the scientific evidence that climate change is caused by human activity. And yes, less than a million years ago parts of the Midwest were covered in glaciers, while 56 million years ago the Arctic was warm enough that crocodiles roamed Greenland. All of this is true."
See more from Popular Science HERE:
(Credit: Pixabay via Popular Science)

_________________________________________________________________________"House tells NOAA in new bill – focus on weather, not climate research"
House Approves Weather Forecasting Bill
Apr 4, 2017
Press Release
WASHINGTON- The U.S House of Representatives today unanimously approved the Senate amendment to H.R. 353, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Vice Chair Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). This legislation directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to prioritize its research to improve weather data, modelling, computing, forecasting, and warnings.
See more from Whats Up With That HERE:

______________________________________________________________________________"SPHERICAL CAMERA IN THE STRATOSPHERE"
On March 26th, as part of our normal cosmic ray monitoring program, and the students of Earth to Sky Calculus launched a Ricoh Theta S spherical camera to the stratosphere. The finicky instrument worked throughout the entire flight, resulting in this view from an altitude of 116,140 feet:
See more from SpaceWeather HERE:

_____________________________________________________________________________"JUPITER AT OPPOSITION"
"the sun, Earth and Jupiter are almost perfectly aligned. Or, as an astronomer would say, "Jupiter is at opposition." From our point of view on Earth, Jupiter and the sun are on opposite sides of the sky. At opposition, the giant planet rises at sunset and stays up all night long.  This is also the time when Jupiter is closest to Earth. Even small telescopes reveal Jupiter's moons and stormy cloud belts. To appreciate the view, cross your eyes and stare into this picture taken by Sylvain Weiller of Jerusalem, Israel: Crossing your eyes and mentally merging the two images, Jupiter pops out of the screen in 3D"
See more from SpaceWeather HERE:


California's Rare "Super Bloom" Flowers Are Migrating North

In March, California made headlines with a so called "Super Bloom" across parts of Southern California. Well now that "Super Bloom" is migrating north and has parts of the Central Valley cascading in color! Unfortunately, those flowers are being trampled by the high volume of tourists checking out the rare view: Here's an excerpt from Architectural Digest: A winter of heavy rainfall in California meant this year's flowers are even more vibrant—and they have spread to new locations. Perhaps nothing announces spring better than a valley of blooming wild flowers. And that is just what residents and visitors of California's Central Valley have experienced this week. After the Bureau of Land Management posted an Instagram picture of the lush landscape yesterday, the Internet took notice as images began spreading throughout the web. "The show is simply something out of a storybook," the Bureau's caption read. "The Valley floor has endless expanses of yellows and purples from coreopsis, tidy tips, and phacelia, with smaller patches of dozens of other species." Generally, California's "Super Bloom" occurs in locations such as the Anza-Borrego Desert outside of San Diego and Walker Canyon near southern Los Angeles. This year, however, the blooming moved some 50 miles north of L.A. in and around Carrizo Plain. This has caused residents and tourists alike to flock the generally quiet valley. As a result, officials have been forced to place signs urging visitors to stay on marked trails as there have been reports of flowers being trampled.
See more from Architectural Digest HERE:
(California's "Super Bloom" has traveled north of L.A. this year to the Carrizo Plain.Photo: Courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management)

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