Sunday, April 2, 2017

Risk of a Monday Shower - 60s Return Next Weekend - Twins Opener Weather Stats

51 F. St. Cloud high temperature on Sunday.
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..."

Severe Threat Shifts East. The same atmospheric cocktail responsible for a series of violent tornadoes over Louisiana Sunday will push into southern Alabama today; tornadic storms possible early tonight into southwest Georgia. Map: NOAA SPC.

Tornado Bulls-eye. The greatest chance of supercell thunderstorms capable of tornadoes will be over southern Alabama, especially Montgomery, Greenville, Troy and Auburn into Mobile and the far western Panhandle of Florida, near Pensacola. More violent, long-track tornadoes are expected to spin up later today.

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

Tornado Sirens are "Cold War Technology". Remember that sirens were only meant to be heard outdoors,  not inside homes and businesses. Sirens are part of the warning process, but if you only rely on sirens you're going to get caught with your Doppler down. Here's a clip from News-Gazette: "...While people in the country might not be able to hear the sirens, just about every emergency official interviewed for this story pointed out without prompting that tornado sirens are outdoor warning sirens. "You won't hear them inside your house," Mahomet's Crowley said. "If your windows are closed, you're not going to hear it unless you're right under it." The NWS' Miller said sirens aren't necessarily the best way to learn about a potential tornado. "There's so many ways to get information," he said. "Don't just say, 'I'm not going to go to the basement until the siren goes off.'" He encouraged people to use a weather radio and to monitor social media. Smartphones also now automatically send alerts for tornado and flash flood warnings. "To be honest, it's Cold War technology," Miller said about tornado sirens. "It's an important part of the process, but what people have to understand is, it's not the only part of the process."

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 "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..."

Stumbling Into Spring. Weather never moves in a straight line. Oh, how I wish it did. Expect mostly 50s this week, but both ECMWF (above) and NOAA models show a warm spike next weekend; a growing chance of 70 degrees by next Sunday, depending on convection (T-storms would keep things a few degrees cooler). Twin Cities meteograph: WeatherBell.

Mid-April: Cool & Stormy East, Mild West. The 2 week GFS forecast at 500 mb (18,000 feet) shows a lingering trough of low pressure over the eastern USA, with ridging from the Rockies to the Plains, where temperatures may run above average.

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..."

A "Solar Saudi Arabia". No coal, gas or oil? Not to worry in Chile, which is blasted by free solar energy yearround. There may be no country on Earth in a better position to take full advantage of clean, renewable power, argues The Washington Post: "...It is also the world’s best place to produce solar energy, with the most potent sun power on the planet. So powerful, in fact, that something extraordinary happened last year when the Chilean government invited utility companies to bid on public contracts. Solar producers dominated the auction, offering to supply electricity at about half the cost of coal-fired plants. It wasn’t because of a government subsidy for alternative energy. In Chile and a growing list of nations, the price of solar energy has fallen so much that it is increasingly beating out conventional sources of power. Industry experts and government regulators hail this moment as a turning point in the history of human electricity-making. “This is the beginning of a trend that will only accelerate,” said Chilean Energy Minister Andrés Rebolledo. “We’re talking about an infinite fuel source...”

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..."

Hackers Next Target Could Be the U.S. Electric Grid. Here's an excerpt from CNBC: "You've heard about hackers trying to steal credit card numbers and wipe out bank accounts. But there's another group that many cybersecurity experts say especially worry them. These criminals are targeting critical infrastructure, like power grids — and what makes them dangerous is that some are backed by governments and big money. "Turning off water, turning off electricity. Those are all realistic attacks now," said Liam O' Murchu a director with cybersecurity company Symantec, the manufacturer of Norton security products. Symantec is currently tracking more than 100 government backed groups, more than ten times the number from five years ago..." (Map credit: FEMA).

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?..."

ESPN Has Seen the Future of TV and They're Not Really Into It. Is ESPN reinventing and innovating fast enough? Here's food for thought from Bloomberg Businessweek: "...In some respects, the challenges facing ESPN are the same that confront every other media company: Young people simply aren’t consuming cable TV, newspapers, or magazines in the numbers they once did, and digital outlets still aren’t lucrative enough to make up the deficit. But while most of ESPN’s TV peers have courted cord cutters—CBS and Turner Broadcasting, for instance, are allowing anyone to watch some of their March Madness games online for free—ESPN’s view cuts against the conventional wisdom in new media. “Everything we do supports the pay television business,” says John Kosner, the network’s head of digital and print media. The strategy, simply put: Defend the cable-TV bundle at all costs..."

Elon Musk's Billion-Dollar Crusade to Stop the A.I. Apocalypse. It's cheap hype until it happens, then it's "why weren't we prepared?" Here's an excerpt from Vanity Fair: "...You’d think that anytime Musk, Stephen Hawking, and Bill Gates are all raising the same warning about A.I.—as all of them are—it would be a 10-alarm fire. But, for a long time, the fog of fatalism over the Bay Area was thick. Musk’s crusade was viewed as Sisyphean at best and Luddite at worst. The paradox is this: Many tech oligarchs see everything they are doing to help us, and all their benevolent manifestos, as streetlamps on the road to a future where, as Steve Wozniak says, humans are the family pets. But Musk is not going gently. He plans on fighting this with every fiber of his carbon-based being. Musk and Altman have founded OpenAI, a billion-dollar nonprofit company, to work for safer artificial intelligence..."

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:

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

Climate Stories...

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).

Climate Change Pushing Floods, Cyclones to New Extremes. As ocean waters continue to warm what will be the impact on cyclone (hurricane) intensity going forward? With Australia's Cyclone Debbie in mind, here's an excerpt of a post at Climate Code Red: "...The frequency of major flood events (defined as events which caused extensive flooding within 50 kilometres of the coast, or inundation that extended 20 kilometres along the coast) along Australia's eastern seaboard has doubled in last 150 years, with climate change one of the possible factors, senior Bureau of Meteorology researchers say. Record-breaking heavy rainfall and a clear upward trend in downpours over the last 30 years fits in with global temperature rise caused by greenhouse gases. Statistical analysis of rainfall data from 1901 to 2010 around the globe, shows that from 1980 to 2010 there were 12% more of these intense events than would be expected in a climate without global warming. Wet regions generally saw a bigger increase in deluges and drier regions a smaller one. In southeast Asia, the observed increase in record-breaking rainfall events is as high as 56%..."

General Electric Chief: "Cliate Change is Real". Here's an excerpt from an article at MarketWatch: "General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt defended efforts to reduce emissions and fight climate change, after President Donald Trump reversed rules that pushed U.S. utilities to use cleaner-burning fuels. In a blog post to employees Wednesday, Immelt highlighted the administration’s move and said climate change “should be addressed on a global basis through multi-national agreements” such as the 2015 Paris Agreement. The U.S. hasn’t withdrawn from that agreement, but the executive order has raised concern it will be hard to reach the pact’s targets. “We believe climate change is real and the science is well accepted,” Immelt wrote. “We hope that the United States continues to play a constructive role in furthering solutions to these challenges...”

Twitter Feed. Characteristics of chronic climate science denialism? NASA's Gavin Schmidt reviewed a few symptoms in a recent Twitter exchange that caught my eye.

1 comment:

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