48 F. average high on April 2.
34 F. maximum temperature on April 2, 2016.
April 3, 1999: An ice storm hits Duluth and the Arrowhead. An 800 foot television tower in Duluth collapses due to the weight of the ice.
April 3, 1982: A sharp cold front causes the temperature at Lamberton in Redwood County to drop from 78 to 7 degrees. This 71 degree change in 24 hours is the maximum 24-hour temperature change in Minnesota.
April 3, 1837: A snowstorm rages for four days at Ft. Snelling and dumps 9 inches.
A Few Light Showers for the Twins Home Opener
You could have predicted this months ago: partly-soggy weather for the Twins Home Opener at Target Field with temperatures in the 50s.
Could be (much) worse: it sleeted on April 23, 1972 at Met Stadium in Bloomington. The Twins Opener in 1962 brought wind chills in the 20s, but the first home game in 1980 featured a sweaty high of 90F. Considering we could be ankle-deep in slush I'll keep my big mouth shut.
It's dry out there; much of the area running a 1-2 inch rainfall deficit, so let's not complain about showers on a Monday. The sun peeks out tomorrow; Wednesday's storm tracks well south of Minnesota. Temperatures may push 70F next weekend close to home with T-storms Sunday.
There's still some lingering confusion over semantics: is it 'global warming' or 'climate change'?
Some federal and state agencies have now banned the use of the word, climate change. Not to worry.
"Late Late Show" host James Corden may have the right idea. He refers to climate change as "endless summer". Tornadoes are now "fun-time twisty winds". And earthquakes can be referred to as "dirt twerking".
Give it a try.
March: 19th Month in a Row of Warmer Than Average at MSP. Here's an excerpt from Dr. Mark Seeley at Minnesota WeatherTalk: "Most climate observers reported mean monthly temperature values near normal, or 1 to 2 degrees F warmer than normal for the month. For MSP Airport it was the 19 consecutive month with above normal temperature. For most climate stations over half the days of the month were warmer than normal. Minnesota reported the coldest temperature in the nation on four dates during the month..."
A Tortured Pattern. Not much of a break in between weather systems right now. Today's storm drags a severe squall line across the Deep South with hail, violent straight-line winds and a few tornadoes. The parent storm pushes rain across the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes and Mid Atlantic, mixing with wet snow and sleet across northern New Hampshire. A second storm on its heels pushes heavy wet snow into Chicago and Grand Rapids by Wednesday and early Thursday. No rest for the weather-weary with this pattern. 84-hour NAM Future Radar: NOAA and Tropicaltidbits.com.
Cyclone, Flood Cost "Beyond Comprehension". Cyclone (same thing as a hurricane) "Debbie" did quite a number on Queensland, Australia. Here's an excerpt of an update at news.com.au: "The full cost of cleaning up cyclone and flood-affected parts of Queensland won't be known for weeks, but local authorities fear "the sky is the limit" for the damage bill. One man is confirmed dead, three others are still missing and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk described the devastation across the state as "huge" after meeting with emergency services in Daisy Hill on Sunday. "It's going to take months to repair," Ms Palaszczuk said. About 650 residences throughout northern parts of the state have been ruled uninhabitable since Cyclone Debbie hit the coast on Tuesday. Flooding has inundated 38 homes in the southeast and continues to threaten about 250 properties..."
Towns Where April Is Snowiest Month of the Year. Who knew? From the Black Hills of South Dakota into parts of Colorado and Wyoming, according to research compiled by prolific climate guru Brian Brettschneider.
Vast, Untapped Potential for Solar Rooftops in the U.S., Says Google. Here's an excerpt of a post at Greentech Media that made me do a double-take: "...Now that Project Sunroof's availability is countrywide, Google’s amassed data has started to reveal some interesting trends and information. For one thing, Google says that 79 percent of the rooftops it’s analyzed are viable for solar, which is good news for rooftop solar providers. That doesn’t mean that 79 percent of rooftops should or will adopt solar, though. Rather, it means that 79 percent technically get enough sun to be able to accommodate solar panels. That finding is likely a generous interpretation of the data..."
Wind Power Cuts CO2. Here's an excerpt from Climate Central: "We’ve reached the end of the windiest month of the year. But in other months, wind will continue to play an increasingly large role in the U.S. power mix. At the end of last year, wind capacity surpassed hydroelectric capacity for the first time in the U.S. Over the past decade, wind power has exploded in the U.S. Over that time, generating capacity from wind has increased by a factor of seven, surpassing 82,000 megawatts, or enough to power 24 million homes. Wind is most consistent in the Great Plains and on the Front Range of the Rockies. The prevailing west winds come rushing off of the mountains, making the area especially conducive for generating electricity, as higher wind speeds produce disproportionately more power from a wind turbine..."
UW Professor: The Information War is Real, and We're Losing It. Because conspiracy theories are so much more interesting than reality. Here's an excerpt of a harrowing story at The Seattle Times: "...Starbird is in the UW’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering — the study of the ways people and technology interact. Her team analyzed 58 million tweets sent after mass shootings during a 10-month period. They searched for terms such as “false flag” and “crisis actor,” web slang meaning a shooting is not what the government or the traditional media is reporting it to be. It happens after every mass shooting or attack. If you search for “false flag” and “Westminster,” you’ll find thousands of results theorizing that last week’s attack outside British Parliament was staged (presumably to bring down Brexit, which makes no sense, but making sense is not a prerequisite). Starbird’s insight was to map the digital connections between all this buzzing on Twitter with a conglomeration of websites. Then she analyzed the content of each site to try to answer the question: Just what is this alternative media ecosystem saying?..."
Photo credit: "PROPHET MOTIVE: Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and OpenAI, inside part of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, in Cape Canaveral, Florida, 2010." Photograph by Jonas Fredwall Karlsson.
A Quick Guide to Backing Up Your Critical Data. You can't back up your files enough, I've learned the hard way, especially family photos and videos. here's an excerpt from The New York Times: "...An automated backup system can preserve all the essential files, even your iTunes library, that are stored on your computer. Microsoft includes File Recovery software with Windows 10 (or Backup and Restore if the computer is running Windows 7), while Apple’s Mac operating system has had the Time Machine program for backup since 2007. For those who want more than the basic built-in backup software, third-party programs like Acronis True Image (for Windows and Mac, as well as Android and iOS) or Carbon Copy Cloner (for Mac) can grab a backup of the entire computer..."
An Updated (and Depressing) List of All the April Fool's Pranks on the Internet. Some of these are excellent, I must say. Here's an excerpt of an amazing rundown at The Washington Post:
- Eau de Chlôrine, a perfume that makes you smell like a swimming pool, isn’t real.
- Plated isn’t launching a perfume line that makes you smell like food.
- Coffee-mate didn’t make a coffee-flavored creamer.
- Auntie Annie’s isn’t launching a rebrand that puts a Snapchat filter on their logo.
- You can’t buy these invisible glasses.
- This isn’t a real ad for adult diapers.
- Women can’t rent a fully-furnished storage unit as a “She Shed” to escape their families.
- Progressive isn’t selling insurance for people who are moving to Mars.
- Whopper toothpaste :(
- You can’t ship yourself to a friend in a “man freight”
- Jim Beam isn’t going to start selling canned beans
- “Chugg” isn’t a real energy drink for college kids
- Kars4Kids isn’t really a service that gives cars to children so they can drive them...
TODAY: Clouds, few showers likely. Winds: NE 5-10. High: 56
MONDAY NIGHT: Showers slowly taper. Low: 41
TUESDAY: Peeks of sun, a brighter day. Winds: N 5-10. High: 58
WEDNESDAY: Patchy clouds, storm stays south. Winds: NE 10-15. Wake-up: 39. High: 54
THURSDAY: Partly sunny, refreshing breeze. Winds: N 10-15. Wake-up: 36. High: 53
FRIDAY: Sunny, trending milder again. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 34. High: near 60
SATURDAY: Plenty of sun, hard to stay inside. Winds: SE 10-15. Wake-up: 42. High: 68
SUNDAY: Humid, few strong T-storms possible. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 52. High: 67
Even Fox News Slams EPA Chief's Climate Denial: "All Kinds of Studies Contradict You". Kudos to Chris Wallace for drilling down and challenging the new EPA Administrator, as reported at ThinkProgress: "Even Fox News can’t believe that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, doesn’t accept the basic scientific finding that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to recent global warming. To promote President Trump’s disastrous plan to gut EPA and U.S. climate action, Pruitt has been pushing his dangerous beliefs on all the major networks. Pruitt may have thought the Murdoch-owned network that has led the way on attacking climate science for two decades would be a friendly audience. He was wrong. Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace thoroughly debunked Pruitt for defending his absurd claim that CO2 is not “a primary contributor to the global warming that we see...”
MIT Climate Scientist Responds on Disaster Costs and Climate Change. Here's an excerpt from FiveThirtyEight: "...Looking ahead, I collaborated with Yale economist Robert Mendelsohn and his colleagues in estimating global hurricane damage changes through the year 2100, based on hurricanes “downscaled” from four climate models. We estimate that global hurricane damage will about double owing to demographic trends, and double again because of climate change. These projections are not inconsistent with what we’ve been seeing in hurricane data and in economic damage from hurricanes. Besides this study, there are robust theory and modeling results that show increased risk of hydrological extremes (floods and droughts) and heat-related problems. Some of these predicted trends are beginning to emerge in actuarial data. Governments, markets and ordinary people are beginning to account for the increased risk. Those who wait for actuarial trends to emerge at the 95 percent confidence level before acting do so at their peril." (Hurricane Joaquin file image: NASA).