Achingly-Slow Warming Trend Into Early May

I keep waiting for Canada to run out of cold fronts. It may be a long wait. Unless you live in a cave (which is sounding better by the day) you know spring is coming reluctantly this year. Most everyone is clamoring to understand why our weather pattern is stuck in a chilly rut. Natural variability + La Nina cool phase in the Pacific + possible climate feedback from rapid melting in the arctic may explain much of what is going on, however unsatisfying.

At some point an August-like sun angle will overpower a cool La Nina signal, and it WILL warm up, however reluctantly. I see consistent 50s into next week, with a run of 60s and a few 70s by the second week of May, as our slow-motion spring limps on. Showers are likely today with steadier rain Saturday, tapering to frequent showers Sunday. A few claps of thunder are possible, but there won’t be enough warming or instability for a severe storm outbreak.

April is our windiest month. A sluggish jet stream parked overhead has keep Minnesota extra-windy this month.

Thursday Future Clouds/Precipitation

Spotty Showers Today – Saturday Soaker. Saturday is the wettest day in sight with steadier, heavier rain. I think the Twins will get their game in this afternoon with a few hit-or-miss showers possible, along with a cool breeze and highs near 50F.

Trending Closer to Average. If skies brighten we may see low 60s on Friday, with a better chance of 60s next week. The average high now in the MSP metro is 62F so, yes, it would be great to have a few average days. A Plan B weekend is imminent with steadier rain on Saturday tapering to lighter showers on Sunday – but I don’t see many dry breaks this upcoming weekend.

ECMWF Temperatures for MSP
NOAA GFS Temperatures for MSP

“Mild-ish”. Consistent 60s should be the rule by mid-May with a few 70s, which would be very nice. The coldest air of April is finally (!) lifting northward across Canada, allowing milder air to push into Minnesota and much of the USA over the next 2 weeks. It’s been a cool spring for much of the northern tier – we are due for more aggressive warm fronts.

Meteorologists Get Key Upgrade Just In Time for 2022 Hurricane Season. A timely weather-nugget from “The official start of Atlantic Hurricane Season is less than six weeks away, and forecasters will be getting an essential upgrade just in time for the season to begin. New technology from the University of Wisconsin will help with preparation of more detailed forecasts and provide more reliable information to meteorologists and emergency planners, which should ultimately result in better, safer outcomes for public safety. The Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) is a satellite-based method for determining tropical cyclone intensity. Planned upgrades include the use of full-resolution images from weather satellites, better identification of the location of each storm’s eye and the ability to better analyze hurricanes occurring outside tropical regions…”

Paul Douglas

Can Bad Weather Affect Your Home Internet? A few surprising discoveries in a post at “…Heavy rain, on the other hand, can be another matter. Fixed wireless internet works by beaming internet signals in a straight line, or fixed position, between the tower and your home. Anything that interferes with that signal, such as a seasonal downpour, can disrupt the signal and hence your internet connection. Rain is less of an issue with 5G home internet services like T-Mobile or Verizon because, unlike with fixed-wireless internet, 5G works by sending signals in all directions. Even if some signals are blocked or diverted due to rain or snowfall, others are still bound to reach your equipment and keep your internet going, though the signal may not be as strong...”

Iowa Environmental Mesonet, NOAA, Judson Jones and Haley Brink, CNN

Central Mississippi Faced 76 Tornadoes in Just 35 Days This Spring. has specifics: “Seventy-six: It’s the number of tornadoes the Jackson, Mississippi, area has experienced in less than five weeks. Seventy-six. If it doesn’t sound exhausting, I don’t know what does. Every week, having to monitor the weather for the potential for severe weather — tornadoes, hail, damaging winds — all of it. It’s exhausting for the forecasters and it’s exhausting for the people living it. “And sure, I know I’m fatigued by it and I’m sure others are,” said Hunter Dickerson, a lifelong Jackson resident and recent storm victim. “Every Wednesday for the past month has been either a tornado warning or watching the news to see if you need to get your safe spot,” he recalled. From March 22 through April 17, there were storms each week...”

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Michigan State University

17 Deaths Highlight Tornado Danger to Mobile Homes. E&E News talks about the added risk of being in a mobile home during a tornado: “…Seventeen of the 74 people killed during the devastating tornado outbreak four months ago were in mobile homes, according to reports that NOAA has put on its website since the disaster occurred. In addition to the young boy and girl, those killed in mobile homes included an infant boy. The deaths bring new attention to the disproportionate number of tornado-related fatalities that occur in mobile homes, particularly in Southeastern and Appalachian states such as Kentucky, which have large concentrations of the structures. More than 10 percent of residential dwellings in Kentucky are mobile homes or manufactured homes, according to census figures. The national rate is 5.5 percent. “I tell people, get it anchored to the ground and get to a storm shelter. The only safe place during a tornado is outside a manufactured home,” said Stephen Strader of Villanova University, a leading researcher on tornadoes and mobile homes…”

Social Media Has Evolved into Life-Saving Tool Since 2011 Tornado. One more vitally important channel to get breaking weather-news out. A post at caught my eye: “In the 11 years since a devastating tornado outbreak struck Tuscaloosa, social media has evolved into a lifesaving tool during periods of severe weather, said Richard Scott, WVUA 23 News’ chief meteorologist. Scott said he believed the event was a “game-changer” for social media, since most of its uses before the April 27, 2011, storm were centered on entertainment. The bottom line is that social media applications — Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — have expanded weather forecasters’ ability to warn people about upcoming severe weather, keep them updated during a storm and spread the word about where damage has occurred afterward…”

All-Electric Corvette? has details: “General Motors will produce a fully electric Chevrolet Corvette, GM President Mark Reuss announced in a LinkedIn post Monday morning. Reuss didn’t say when the electric Corvette would come, but he hinted that a hybrid model could come relatively soon. “We will offer an electrified Corvette as early as next year,” he wrote. An accompanying video the company posted to Twitter showed what appeared to be a hybrid Corvette, and in another first, showed the front wheels spinning and throwing snow as if being powered. All Corvettes produced by the company previously have been rear-wheel-drive only. While Reuss’s post implies a hybrid Corvette will be based on the current generation of the car, it’s not clear if the all-electric version will be a variation of this car or a completely different future model…”

The Nuclear Missile Next Door. The Washington Post (paywall) has a vaguely terrifying post; here’s an excerpt: “…The missile was called a Minuteman III, and the launch site had been on their property since the Cold War, when the Air Force paid $150 for one acre of their land as it installed an arsenal of nuclear weapons across the rural West. About 400 of those missiles remain active and ready to launch at a few seconds notice in Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska. They are located on bison preserves and Indian reservations. They sit across from a national forest, behind a rodeo grandstand, down the road from a one-room schoolhouse, and on dozens of private farms like the one belonging to the Butchers, who have lived for 60 years with a nuclear missile as their closest neighbor. It’s buried behind a chain-link fence and beneath a 110-ton door of concrete and steel. It’s 60 feet long. It weighs 79,432 pounds. It has an explosive power at least 20 times greater than the atomic bomb that killed 140,000 people in Hiroshima…”

50 F. Twin Cities high on Wednesday.

62 F. Average MSP high on April 27.

54 F. MSP high on April 27, 2021.

April 28, 1994: Heavy snow falls over parts of Minnesota with 7.5 inches at Tower and 4.5 inches in the Twin Cities.

April 28, 1966: A heavy snowstorm leaves 10 inches of snow on the ground across a wide chunk of northern Minnesota.

THURSDAY: Unsettled, few showers. Winds: SE 10-20. High: 48

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy, breezy and milder. Winds: SE 15-25. Wake-up: 42. High: 58

SATURDAY: Heavier, steadier rain. Winds: E 15-30. Wake-up: 47. High: 54

SUNDAY: Showery rains linger. Winds: N 10-15. Wake-up: 48. High: 51

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy. Winds: N 7-12. Wake-up: 40. High: 53

TUESDAY: Some sun, risk of a shower. Winds: E 8-13. Wake-up: 43. High: 57

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny, springier. Wake-up: 38. High: near 60

Climate Stories…

Climate Central

Wetter Rainfall Hours in a Warming Climate. When it rains the rain is (often) falling much harder, as an analysis at Climate Central shows: “…Climate Central calculated the Simple Hourly Rainfall Intensity Index (total annual rainfall divided by the total annual hours with rainfall) for 150 U.S. weather stations with sufficient data quality over the 1970-2021 period. An increase in the Simple Hourly Rainfall Intensity Index indicates an increase in hourly rainfall intensity—in other words, more rain falling per hour. 90% of the 150 stations analyzed had an increase in hourly rainfall intensity since 1970. Increases in hourly rainfall intensity since 1970 were widespread across the contiguous U.S. and prevalent throughout the Northeast, Ohio Valley, Upper Midwest, Northern Rockies and Plains, and Southwest. The average change in the Simple Hourly Rainfall Intensity Index from 1970 to 2021 was +13%…”

Climate Change Will Favor More Frequent El Nino Events by 2040. explains: “The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is one of the most significant, but variable, climate patterns in the world. This tropical Pacific Ocean phenomenon affects weather in South America, Australia, Asia, and beyond. During an El Niño event, the sea surface temperature of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean warms, and trade winds weaken. El Niño’s associated weather extremes often have dramatic implications for public health and global supply chains, setting off natural disasters like flooding in Central and South America and droughts in southeast Asia. ENSO is so influential that climate scientists have dedicated decades to tracking and predicting its irregular cycles. Researchers are also studying how ENSO will be affected by climate change. Now, new research published in Nature Climate Change has used cutting-edge climate models to predict that by 2040, El Niño events will become more frequent because of changes to the climate. These events are already in motion and will happen regardless of short-term emissions mitigation efforts, according to the authors…”

NOAA and partners have conducted heat island mapping campaigns in 69 communities from 2017 to 2022.

NOAA and Communities to Map Heat Inequities in 14 U.S. Cities and Counties. The urban heat island coupled with background warming resulting from climate change is increasing the potential for heat-related disasters, according to NOAA: “Extreme heat kills more Americans than any other weather event, but not everyone’s risk is the same. This summer, NOAA and community scientists will map the hottest parts of 14 U.S. cities and counties and, for the first time, two international cities. “Extreme heat kills more Americans than any other weather event and has the greatest impact on our nation’s most vulnerable communities,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “Fortunately, our talented and dedicated researchers and scientists at NOAA are working directly with communities across the country to help them take action to manage extreme heat. As climate change worsens heat waves, this critical information will help bring local and equitable solutions for those facing the greatest threats.” “Our nation faces a climate crisis that has exacerbated inequities for low-income communities and communities of color,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “NOAA is helping communities measure their hottest places so that they can use this information to inform strategies to reduce the unhealthy and deadly effects of extreme heat and help us build a Climate Ready Nation…”

Paul Douglas

Extreme Heat is a Disease for Cities. Treat It That Way. A post at (paywall) caught my eye: “For millennia, cities have thrived by attracting people with diverse backgrounds and talents. But as the world warms, urban areas are attracting something less desirable: heat. A city’s roads, buildings, and other infrastructure absorb the sun’s energy, raising temperatures far above those in surrounding rural areas. This “urban heat island effect” varies dramatically not only from neighborhood to neighborhood, but from block to block and even house to house. Because it’s so hyperlocal and erratic, it’s hard to factor into predictions; a person’s actual experience of heat may be out of step with their local weather forecast. And with climate change, it’s increasingly difficult to keep vulnerable (and rapidly growing) populations safe during extreme heat events…”

USA Facts

2021: 6th Warmest Year on Record for America. Minnesota temperatures were 4.1F warmer than the 20th century average. USA Facts has more details.


Average US Rainfall for the Last Decade Was 3.6% Higher Than Previous Decade. USA Facts has details.


Increasing Human-Driven Global Disasters Risk A ‘Spiral Of Self-Destruction’: Climate Nexus has headlines and links: “Human activity is driving an increase in medium- to large-scale disasters, many of which are fueled by climate change, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction warned in its global assessment report this morning. Between 1970 and 2000, there were about 90 to 100 disasters per year, a number that rose to 400 by 2015 and could reach 560 (or 1.5 per day) by 2030. Extreme heatwaves will be three times more frequent in 2030 than in 2001 with 30% more droughts. “The world needs to do more to incorporate disaster risk in how we live, build and invest, which is setting humanity on a spiral of self-destruction,” Amina J. Mohammed, UN Deputy Secretary-General, told reporters. “We must turn our collective complacency to action.” (Reuters, AP)

Climate Havens, as defined by Jesse Keenan and Anna Marandi.

Americans Are Fleeing Climate Change – Here’s Where They Can Go. I guess it’s a good thing to be on this list, right? reports: “Millions of Americans are living in communities with precarious climate conditions, in houses that feel overpriced. There is a solution for many of these people, though: Move to one of the so-called climate havens. Climate havens or climate destinations are situated in places that avoid the worst effects of natural disasters and have the infrastructure to support a larger population. Many of these legacy cities are located in the Northeast.

Climate Central

Minnesota’s Climate Action Framework. Here is a draft, courtesy of Our Minnesota Climate: “Climate change is no longer a far-off possibility. Minnesotans across our state are suffering its devastating effects right now – and it will get worse. Luckily, we can all be a part of the solution. Addressing climate change presents us with a historic opportunity to strengthen our economy, improve our health, and create a more equitable Minnesota for everyone. To guide this work, the State of Minnesota has developed a Climate Action Framework. This plan sets a vision for how our state will address and prepare for climate change. It identifies immediate, near-term actions we must take to achieve our long-term goal of a carbon-neutral, resilient and equitable future for Minnesota…”