Another Big Storm Brewing This Weekend

I’m deliriously happy for a quiet Thanksgiving. I try to start and end every day with a prayer of gratitude – so happy for family, friends, work, and calling America my home. The older I get the less I take for granted.

Today’s hyper-local forecast calls for 2-4 inches of white meat. Some salting may be necessary. Watch for mashed potato drifts and showers of hot gravy. Cranberry sauce will leave some plates slippery. Am I stuffing too much into this forecast?

So sorry.

Ready for Round 2? After a quiet Thanksgiving an icy mix or freezing rain is possible Friday. Watch the bridges and secondary roads). The main event comes Saturday and Sunday from the same storm that’s battering the west coast with avalanches, flooding rains and hurricane force winds. A mix of rain and snow for Saturday’s Gophers game changes over to snow. The timing is tricky, but I could see 2-5 more inches in the metro, with 6-12 inch amounts for the northern half of Minnesota by

Did I mention I’m grateful for Doppler?

Late Week Winter Storm Watch. No rest for the weary – another watch issued by the Twin Cities National Weather Service late Friday into Saturday night; the threat of accumulating snow greatest north of MSP.

Round 2. NOAA’s NAM model prints out a few more inches by Saturday evening for the Twin Cities metro, with more significant amounts possible over central Minnesota. A mix of snow/ice/rain may keep amounts down a bit in the immediate MSP region Friday and much of Saturday before a changeover back to all snow. Right now it looks like the Dakotas may bear the brunt of this second storm. Map:

Cold Slap After December 11? NOAA’s GFS model keeps daytime highs inthe 30s and low 40s the first 10 days of December, give or take, followed by a rude wintry reminder the second week of December.

Praedictix Briefing: Issued Wednesday morning, November 27th, 2019:

  • Snow will continue to linger across portions of the Great Lakes today in association with the winter storm moving through the region. The greatest additional totals will be in portions of the U.P. of Michigan, where an additional 2+ feet could fall in some locations.
  • This system is also producing very strong winds into the Ohio Valley today, with wind gusts to 60 mph possible in some locations. High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories are in place.
  • The second system we’ve been tracking out west made landfall yesterday and will continue to produce strong winds and heavy rain and snow in the western United States over the next couple days. That area of low pressure will eventually move into the mid-section of the nation this weekend, bringing the threat of strong winds, snow, and ice. Winter Storm Watches are already in place as far east as the Dakotas ahead of this system.

Morning Radar & Snow Totals. Snow continues to fall this morning from Minnesota into the U.P. of Michigan in association with the winter storm moving through the region. Some of the snowfall tallies from the upper Midwest this morning includes:

  • 10″ – Newman Grove, NE
  • 9.6″ – Bloomer, WI
  • 8.3″ – Minneapolis, MN
  • 6.5″ – Hull, IA

Here are links to local DOT website for the very latest road information:

Winter Storm Alerts. While this storm will continue to move east today, with snow ending across Minnesota through the day but lingering into the U.P. of Michigan into tonight, we still have some Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories stretching across portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

  • Blizzard Warnings:
    • Michigan: Keweenaw County through 7 PM for an additional 4-15” of snow with wind gusts to 50 mph.
  • Winter Storm Warnings:
    • Minneapolis, MN: Through Noon for an additional couple inches of snow and wind gusts to 40 mph.
    • Duluth, MN: Through Noon for an additional 4-9” of snow (between 3 AM-Noon) and wind gusts to 50 mph.
    • Marquette, MI: Through 1 AM Thursday for an additional 10-27” of snow and wind gusts to 45 mph.

Additional Upper Midwest Snow. The heaviest additional snow over the next day or so will fall in the U.P. of Michigan, where over two more feet of snow will be possible. Back toward the Twin Cities, only an additional inch or two of snow is likely today.

Strong Winds. This system will continue to produce strong winds today from the Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley, with these winds making their way into portions of the Northeast tonight into Thursday. In some of these areas, wind gusts of 50-60 mph will be possible. Already this morning, a wind gust of 63 mph has been reported in St. Louis (MO) and Peru (IL), 62 mph in Springfield (IL), 56 mph in Des Moines and Mason City (IA), and 58 mph in Lafayette (IN).

Peak Gusts Around Chicago Wednesday. The Windy City will live up to its name today as wind gusts are expected to exceed 50 mph during the day. The highest winds (45-55+ mph) are most likely in the metro between about 9 AM and 4 PM.

High Wind Watches And Warnings. Due to the expected strong winds outside of areas that will receive snow, High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories have been posted for today and Thursday.

Records Set Out West. The second system we’ve been tracking off the western United States made landfall yesterday, bringing hurricane force wind gusts and record pressure readings. The California all-time low-pressure record was broken in Crescent City. (Image above: Weather Prediction Center).

Messy Western U.S. Weather. We will continue to see this storm produce copious amounts of snow, especially at higher elevations, and the potential of heavy rain in portions of southern California over the next few days as system responsible continues to move eastward.

Numerous Weather Alerts In Place. Numerous winter, wind, and flood alerts are in place across the western United States in connection with this system over the next few days. This does include:

  • A Blizzard Warning for the northern Rocky Mountain Front through 5 AM MT Thursday for wind gusts to 40 mph and total snow amounts through 11 PM Thursday of 6-12” with isolated 28” amounts.
  • A Winter Storm Warning for Salt Lake City through 10 AM Saturday for 5-10” of snow.
  • Flash Flood Watches for San Diego (through Thursday evening for 2-3” of rain) and Phoenix (from Thursday morning through Friday afternoon for over an inch of rain).
  • Winter Storm Watches for Billings (Thursday evening through Saturday evening for 5-13” of snow and wind gusts to 45 mph) and Bismarck (Friday Night through Saturday Night for 8-14” of snow and wind gusts to 40 mph).

System Pushes East Into The Weekend. This system will move into the Central United States late this week into the weekend, bringing another round of wintry weather (including potentially ice and heavy snow) and strong winds with it. As shown in the previous graphic, Winter Storm Watches already stretch as far east as the Dakotas out ahead of this next system.

D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix

Active 2019 Hurricane Season Comes to an End. NOAA has a good summary of another busy season; here are a couple of excerpts: “The season produced 18 named storms, including six hurricanes of which three were “major” (Category 3, 4 or 5). NOAA’s outlook called for 10-17 named storms, 5-9 hurricanes and 2-4 major hurricanes, and accurately predicted the overall activity of the season….This year marks the fourth consecutive above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. The only other period on record that produced four consecutive above-normal seasons was 1998-2001. Also this year, five tropical cyclones formed in the Gulf of Mexico, which ties a record with 2003 and 1957 for the most storms to form in that region. Of those, three — Barry, Imelda and Nestor — made landfall in the U.S...”

Low-Frequency Sound May Predict Tornado Formation. The theory that tornadic storms give off detectable pulses of energy is not a new one – I remember this dating back to the 1970s. But researchers at Oklahoma State are pushing the boundaries and quantifying how/why this may happen. Here are a couple clips from “How can you tell when a storm is going to produce a tornado even before the twister forms? Research from Oklahoma State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln indicates prior to tornado formation, storms emit low-frequency sounds…The researchers wanted to explore how fluid mechanics cause the sounds detected before a tornado is created. Those sounds are well below the range of human hearing. They will present recent infrasound observations from the 2019 as well as discuss how they were able to detect tornado formation, even before they were spotted on radars…”

Photo credit: “Researchers will discuss research on fluid mechanisms behind infrasound emitted before tornado formation at this year’s APS DFD meeting.” Credit: OSU Brand Management/Phil Shockley.

Weather is Big Business, and It’s Veering Toward a Collision with the Federal Government. The Washington Post and has a must-read post; here’s a snippet: “…Private weather forecasting is a $7 billion industry and growing, according to a 2017 National Weather Service study. It’s also increasingly testing the federal government’s hold on weather data and warnings. Those pressures are expected to grow as forecasting moves into environmental prediction, such as anticipating harmful algal blooms and dengue virus outbreaks. The Trump administration has so far shown little inclination to make sure government agencies stay ahead of private competition.bUntil recently, AccuWeather, Earth Networks, the Weather Co. and other private weather providers relied on the fire hose of data from NOAA’s National Weather Service and satellite arm, as well as NASA and other agencies. Now companies are producing their own data and using analytics in business-savvy ways, tailoring their forecasts to specific real-world problems…”

New 5F Wireless Deal Threatens Accurate Weather Forecasts. I mean, what can possibly go wrong? Scientific American frames the threat: “The international agency that regulates global telecommunications agreed to new radio-frequency standards on 21 November. Meteorologists say the long-awaited decision threatens the future of weather forecasting worldwide, by allowing transmissions from mobile-phone networks to degrade the quality of Earth observations from space. Wireless companies are beginning to roll out their next-generation networks, known as 5G, around the world. The new agreement is meant to designate the radio frequencies over which 5G equipment can transmit. But some of those frequencies come perilously close to those used by satellites to gather crucial weather and climate data. To keep the signals from interfering with one another, researchers have proposed turning down the amount of noise allowed to leak from the 5G transmissions...”

Image credit: NOAA.

Big Box Rebound: How Target Packaged a Turnaround. Fortune has a terrific summary of how and why Target is killing it right now; here’s an excerpt: “…In the release, Target told the world it would sacrifice short-term profitability to make its prices more competitive with those of Walmart and Amazon. It would junk and replace some of its best-known brands. It would overhaul its e-commerce and raise wages for a large cohort of its 320,000 ­employees. And—most unnerving of all to cautious investors—it would undertake hundreds of extensive store renovations. Total price tag: $7 billion over three years. Cornell and his leadership team were convinced that they had the right plan to reverse Target’s severe sales skid. But when their PR crew finally rigged up an iPad to stream CNBC, it became clear that few others agreed. A bemused anchor surmised that there must be a typo in the press release: What brick-and-mortar retailer would spend billions on stores in the Amazon era?…”
Photo credit: “Pack and Play: Prepping orders for delivery at a Target in Burnsville, Minn. Involving stores in online orders helps the company earn more profit from e-commerce.” Photograph by Simone Lueck for Fortune.

Russian Cows Get VR Head Sets to Reduce Anxiety. Sign me up. BBC has details: “A Russian farm has given its dairy cows virtual reality headsets in a bid to reduce their anxiety. The herd donned VR systems adapted for the “structural features of cow heads” and were shown a “unique summer field simulation program”. Moscow’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food cited research which they say has shown a link between a cow’s emotional experience and its milk yield. Initial tests reportedly boosted “the overall emotional mood of the herd…”
Photo credit: “The headsets were specially adapted to fit cow heads.” Moscow Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

At the First National Thanksgiving, the Civil War Raged. Here’s an excerpt of a timely post at The Washington Post (paywall): “…As the Civil War raged in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln and his secretary of state, William H. Seward, issued a proclamation on Oct. 3 calling for a national holiday to be observed on “the last Thursday of November.” That proclamation, a document of unusual literary grace, might do good service again in a nation that could use words of healing.The proclamation is not generally listed among Lincoln’s great achievements, and with good reason…”

Illustration credit: Michelle Kondrich for The Washington Post.

Thanksgiving Trivia. Kudos to for providing food for thought: “...However you plan to celebrate Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday shopping season, we’ve got you covered. WalletHub took an in-depth look at Thanksgiving’s humble roots and how it has evolved over time in preparing this report. The infographic below is filled with all kinds of Thanksgiving facts, from how much we spend to how much we eat. And the Ask the Experts section that follows features a panel discussion on Thanksgiving money-wasters and dining tips...”

THANKSGIVING: Cloudy and quiet. Winds: E 5-10. High: 28

FRIDAY: Light mix or freezing rain. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 25. High: 34

SATURDAY: Sloppy mix changes to all snow. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 31. High: 35

SUNDAY: Few inches of snow. Tapers to flurries. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 30. High: 32

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, melting snow. Winds: SW 5-10. Wake-up: 26. High: 37

TUESDAY: Mix of clouds and sunshine. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 25. High: 38

WEDNESDAY: Sunny peeks, not bad out there. Winds: W 8-13. Wake-up: 27. High: near 40

Climate Stories….

East Coast Snowfalls: More Blockbuster Snowstorms But Less Snow Overall? The “freezer door left open” analogy. Here’s an excerpt of a fascinating post from Andrew Freedman at Capital Weather Gang: “…Judah Cohen, a meteorologist at AER, a Verisk Analytics company, has published multiple studies that link changing snowfall trends in the eastern United States to change in the Arctic. His research shows that the loss of Arctic sea ice is contributing to an increase in fall snowfall in parts of Siberia. This is, in turn, having an influence on weather across the Arctic, extending high into the atmosphere above the vast region, favoring weather patterns that tend to direct Arctic air into the Lower 48 states. Specifically, Cohen has shown that a chain of events beginning with global warming-driven sea ice melt can disrupt the polar vortex, a ribbon of rapidly flowing air at high altitudes above the Arctic circulating around an area of low pressure. When the polar vortex is strong, the coldest air tends to stay locked up in the far north. When it weakens, splits or wobbles, it can allow ultracold air to spill out to the south, including into the Mid-Atlantic…”

Graphic above: Laris Karklis, Washington Post. Source: National Weather Service.

There’s Snow Avoiding The Flu: Climate Nexus has headlines and links: “Climate change may actually intensify some of winter’s worst impacts in the US despite shortening and warming the season overall, stories reported by the Washington Post and Nexus Media News show. The Post examines the top 10 snowfalls on record in five major East Coast cities, finding that at least half of these major storms have occurred since 1990 in all cities surveyed. “Instead of expecting a winter full of small snow events to keep things looking wintry, it’s possible that we’ve already entered a climate characterized more by a feast-or-famine scenario, in which a major snowstorm or two accounts for the bulk of our seasonal snowfall,” journalist Andrew Freedman explains. Meanwhile, Nexus Media News reports on how some scientists say that the full-year flu seasons in tropical countries suggest that more mild winters could actually extend the flu season in colder countries, and warmer weather could give the virus more time to mutate and become stronger.” (Snow: Washington Post $. Flu: Nexus Media News)

Americans Like Green New Deal’s Goals, but They Reject Paying Trillions to Reach Them. Here’s an excerpt from a Washington Post (paywall) story: “…The poll found that just under half of American adults — 46 percent — said the United States needs to “drastically reduce” fossil fuel use in the next few years to avoid the worst effects of climate change, while 41 percent said a gradual reduction in fossil fuel usage is needed. Another 12 percent said nothing needs to be done to avoid the most severe impacts. By more than 2 to 1, Democrats believe a drastic, rather than gradual, reduction in emissions is necessary (66 percent vs. 31 percent), while Republicans are more likely to call for either a gradual reduction (51 percent) or no reduction at all (29 percent)…”

Photo credit: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is seen as Michael Cohen, former attorney to President Trump testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 27.” (Matt McClain/The Washington Post) (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Most Millenial and Gen Z Republicans Want More Government Climate Action. Most Boomer Republicans Don’t. OK boomer. Here’s an excerpt from Vox: “…Digging further into the Republican side of the poll, it’s clear there is an ideological rift. Just 24 percent of Republicans who identify as “conservative” thought the federal government is doing too little to combat climate change, while 65 percent of Republicans who identify as “moderate to liberal” thought so. This is an increase from 2018, when 22 percent of conservative Republicans and 53 percent of moderate-to-liberal Republicans said the federal government isn’t doing enough. There’s a generational divide as well. Among the youngest Republicans — millennials and younger — 52 percent said that the federal government isn’t doing all the things it should be doing to limit global warming, compared to 41 percent of Republican Gen Xers and 31 percent of Republican boomers…”

In Bleak Report, U.N. Says Drastic Action is Only Way to Avoid Worst Effects of Climate Change. Here’s a clip from a summary at The Washington Post: “...As part of that deal, world leaders agreed to hold warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius compared with preindustrial levels; the current trajectory is nearly twice that. Should that pace continue, scientists say, the result could be widespread, catastrophic effects: Coral reefs, already dying in some places, would probably dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Some coastal cities, already wrestling with flooding, would be constantly inundated by rising seas. In much of the world, severe heat, already intense, could become unbearable. Global greenhouse gas emissions must begin falling by 7.6 percent each year beginning 2020 — a rate currently nowhere in sight — to meet the most ambitious aims of the Paris climate accord, the report issued early Tuesday found…”

Warming Winters. Graphics above showing temperature trends since 1970 courtesy of Climate Central.

El Ninos Trending More Severe During Industrial Age. A story at caught my eye; here’s an excerpt: “El Ninos have become more intense in the industrial age, which stands to worsen storms, drought, and coral bleaching in El Nino years. A new study has found compelling evidence in the Pacific Ocean that the stronger El Ninos are part of a climate pattern that is new and strange. It is the first known time that enough physical evidence spanning millennia has come together to allow researchers to say definitively that: El Ninos, La Ninas, and the climate phenomenon that drives them have become more extreme in the times of human-induced climate change…”

Graphic credit: “On the right, satellite composition of El Nino in 1997, and on the left, El Nino in 2015. Both were extreme El Nino events that new hard evidence says are part of a new and odd climate pattern.” Credit: NOAA

Hurricanes and Climate Change. InsideClimate News talks about hurricane intensity and attribution to a changing climate (and rapidly warming ocean): “…Scientists, so far, can’t tease out exactly how much of a given hurricane’s size or impact is because of climate change. What they do know is this: Hurricanes draw their energy from the oceans, and the oceans are now warmer than they’ve been in 125,000 years because they’ve absorbed 90 percent of the excess heat trapped in the atmosphere by increased greenhouse gas emissions. The warmer oceans provide more energy to amp up hurricanes by intensifying wind and rainfall—like a steroid enhancing the performance of an athlete. Scientists who research how climate change affects hurricanes readily acknowledge that much remains unknown. The research is constrained by the fact that hurricanes, especially the ones that make landfall, are rare events, which means there’s not a rich historical record to draw on like the record that exists for surface temperatures across the earth…”