National Weather Forecast
A multi-faceted system will be rolling into the central United States on Wednesday, bringing blizzard conditions and the threat of severe weather.
A band of at least 6-18” of snow will fall from the Great Basin to the Upper Midwest through Wednesday. Meanwhile, heavy rain of at least 1-2” will be possible from the Great Lakes to the lower Mississippi Valley.
Snow Forecast. From the Great Basin to the Northern Plains, a band of at least 6-18” of snow (with higher amounts) is expected to fall through the middle of the week. This will be a heavier, wetter snow across the region – meaning we will have to watch snow loads on trees and even roofs. With strong winds in place, this snow will blow around and lead to greatly reduced visibility – meaning travel will be an issue.
Accumulating Ice. A band of icing is also expected – mainly in areas that are between where “mostly rain” and “mostly snow” falls. This currently appears to be from southeastern South Dakota northeastward to around both the North and South Shores of Lake Superior. In these areas, 0.1” to 0.2” of ice (with locally higher amounts, especially near the higher terrain of the North Shore of Lake Superior) could fall which would cause slick conditions and difficult travel. With strong winds in these locations, the combination of ice and wind could cause damage and power outages.
Blizzard Potential. Wind gusts will also be strong throughout the storm, with gusts of at least 50 mph possible across portions of Nebraska, the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Where these strong wind gusts correlate with snowfall is where we will see the highest potential of blizzard conditions. In some areas of the Dakotas into northwestern Minnesota (including in the Red River Valley), an extended period of 12-18 hours with blizzard conditions will be possible. These strong winds will also lead to drifting snow. The combination of all of this will likely lead to closed roadways across the region. Power outages will also be a concern with the strong winds.
This system also brings a likelihood of severe weather – including strong tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail. Two Moderate Risks of severe weather are in place (threat level 4 of 5) on Tuesday. The timing on the northern one is late afternoon into the evening, with strong tornadoes possible. The southern one could have strong, dangerous nighttime tornadoes.
Buildings Crumble High in the Alps as Permafrost Thaws
More from Scientific American: “Mountaineers have visited Rifugio Casati, a four-story building 10,725 feet above sea level in the Italian Alps, for nearly a century. In 2016 Renato Alberti, who had overseen the structure for 35 years, noticed a vertical crack in one of the outer walls. Alberti, now age 67, filled the gap with repair foam, but the crack reopened after only a few days. Alberti thought something unusual must be happening. Perhaps the mountain was becoming unstable. … Over the next few summers, as cracks spread across Rifugio Casati’s walls, indoor tiles began to fracture, doors ceased to close properly, and a corner of the terrace sank by more than a foot. Geologic studies confirmed Alberti’s hypothesis: Rifugio Casati sat on permafrost-rich soil that warming temperatures were thawing. The soil’s shifting morphology was straining the building’s foundation, and the southern part of the building appeared to be sinking. Rock falls were becoming more frequent on the mountainside, too, and coming closer and closer to the building. Authorities will have to demolish and rebuild the structure in a more stable position in the next few years, perhaps beginning as soon as 2024. The hut will still reopen this summer.”
EV tax credit rules are about to get a lot more complicated
More from CNBC: “The Treasury Department on Friday proposed new rules for determining which EVs will be eligible for tax credits under the new “critical mineral” and battery component requirements included in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act. While the Treasury Department hasn’t yet said which vehicles are eligible for the credits – that’ll happen April 18 – we now know how the department plans to figure out which EVs do and don’t make the cut. The new rules proposed by the Treasury Department on Friday explain how to determine which EVs meet the requirements for critical minerals and battery components, each of which provides a tax credit of $3,750. An EV that qualifies under both – and that meets the other requirements – will be eligible for the full $7,500 credit.”
The threat of new US solar tariffs is back
More from Canary Media: “Republicans in Congress, joined by a number of Democrats, are trying to reverse President Biden’s two-year pause of new tariffs on some solar panels manufactured in Asia. The effort appeals to China trade hawks, but it could stop large solar projects in their tracks and doom the United States’ decarbonization goals. The lawmakers are invoking the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which gives Congress 60 legislative days to review and potentially undo major regulations enacted by federal agencies. Passage of a CRA resolution to reverse a regulation requires a simple majority in both chambers and a signature from the president. Members of both chambers have introduced a CRA resolution that would undo Biden’s two-year waiver of new tariffs on solar products from manufacturers in Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. If the House and Senate both pass the resolution — which is looking increasingly possible, observers say — it will go to Biden’s desk, where he would be expected to veto it. Unless both chambers could then muster a two-thirds supermajority to override Biden’s veto, the failed resolution would do little more than provide fodder for campaign ads for Republicans and a few Democrats in vulnerable districts.”
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– D.J. Kayser