Oh please let it come true…
ECMWF Guidance for MSP: weatherbell.com

It Bears Repeating: I’m Only The Messenger

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome wrote Anne Bradstreet. I’m all for winter, if it comes with an expiration date. April is a cruel temptress – equal parts pain and promise.

Since January 1 the average temperature at MSP is 21.7F, which is 4.1F colder than |PART3:average. Welcome to the 57th coldest start to any year since 1873 at MSP. We’ve seen (much) worse, which doesn’t lessen the pain, but perspective can reset expectations.

Perpetual March drags on with colder than average weather into early next week. Winds gust to 50 mph today with a few flakes, but nothing sticks. Weather models hint at a period of slushy snow on Easter Sunday. The Easter Bunny is not amused by this news, but whatever falls will quickly melt. So much for spring on a dimmer switch. A “light-switch” spring returns in a week with 60s, even a shot at 70F and thunder in 7-10 days.

Meteorological whiplash.

What a manic spring.

Thursday Future Radar/Clouds

Wind-whipped Flakes. I don’t see any accumulation in the MSP metro, but a coating is possible north and west of St. Cloud today and tonight; snow finally starting to taper off across North Dakota after some 20-30” snowfall totals.

Backwards Spring. After a few 50s and 60s we’re moving backwards again with predicted temperatures nearly 20F colder than average into early next week – even a coating of slush possible on Easter Sunday. Other than that no complaints.

ECMWF Temperatures for MSP
NOAA GFS Temperatures for MSP

Late-month Moderation. Still no rush to hot fronts anytime soon, but normal (50s) would look pretty good right about now. Looking out 2 weeks temperatures should be in the 50s with a few 60s possible; chilly air poised just to our north (thank you La Nina).


2022: Most March tornadoes on record for US

“We Want to Save Lives”. Volunteer Storm Spotters Help NWS Warn the Public. Doppler is great, but it only goes so far – we still need ground truth. And that’s where Skyward spotters come in, as highlighted in a post at The Providence Journal: …“Storm spotters play a critical role because they can see things that radar and other technological tools cannot, and this ground truth is critical in helping the NWS perform our primary mission, to save lives and property,” the Weather Service says. “Since the program started in the 1970s, the information provided by Skywarn spotters, coupled with Doppler-radar technology, improved satellite and other data, has enabled NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods,” the Weather Service says…”

Climate Nexus

Extreme Weather Has Affected 1 in 3 Americans. Grist has a summary of new findings from Gallup: “One in three U.S. adults report they have been personally affected by an extreme weather event in the past two years. Most commonly, they report experiencing extreme cold, hurricanes, or snow, ice storms or blizzards. The results are based on Gallup’s annual Environment poll, conducted March 1-18. This marks the first time Gallup has asked Americans about their experiences with extreme weather events as part of this survey. Residents of the South (39%) and West (35%) are significantly more likely than those living in the East (24%) and Midwest (27%) to say they have recently experienced an extreme weather event. Southern residents are most likely to say they were affected by extreme cold (12%) or hurricanes (12%) and, to a lesser extent, tornadoes (7%)...”

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

National Weather Service Facing Helium Shortage for Weather Balloons. Say what? A story at Axios got my attention: “Just as the spring tornado season kicks into high gear, the National Weather Service is facing shortages in key gases it uses to fill weather balloons. Weather balloons are usually launched twice daily at about 100 locations nationwide and provide vital information for weather forecasting, from the temperature profile of the atmosphere to the winds aloft. They can help anticipate severe thunderstorms, for example. But several balloon sites have had to limit launches because of supply chain shortages of helium, plus a contract dispute concerning a supplier of hydrogen gas. With extreme weather events on the rise both in number and severity, due in part to human-caused climate change, America’s weather forecasting infrastructure is showing signs of strain…”

Toyota’s first EV

Toyota Finally Has an EV, and That’s OK. They placed a large bet on liquid hydrogen vs. batteries. Is Toyota throwing in the towel? Here’s an excerpt from CNN.com: “..You might be surprised to learn that Toyota hasn’t, before now, sold a widely available, real electric vehicle in America. But they have not. Not really. Toyota, a pioneer in hybrids with the Prius — the name means “To go before” in Latin — hasn’t been “going before” with electric vehicles. Tesla, Nissan, General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Hyundai, Kia and others have all beat Toyota to market with electric vehicles. There were two generations of Toyota Rav4 EVs, but those weren’t available nationwide and, besides, they were really just regular Rav4 SUVs fitted with batteries and electric motors. The second generation of Rav4 EVs had Tesla, not Toyota, stuff inside. Toyota has long had a more conservative view of electric vehicles than some other automakers that have pledged to go all-in, or nearly so, on EVs. Toyota isn’t pledging to make nothing but EVs by any set date...”

47 F. Twin Cities high temperature yesterday.

56 F. Average MSP high on April 13.

37 F. MSP high on April 13, 2021.

April 14, 1983: A ‘surprise’ snowstorm covers east central Minnesota. The Twin Cities receives 13.6 inches, the all-time record for April. Brilliant blue skies and bright sun appear the next morning.

April 14, 1886: The deadliest tornado in Minnesota’s history rips through St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids, leaving 72 people dead. 80 percent of all buildings in Sauk Rapids would be leveled as the tornado’s width expanded to 800 yards. As it crossed the Mississippi it knocked down two iron spans of a wagon bridge and local witnesses said the river was ‘swept dry’ during the tornado crossing. 300,000 dollars damage would occur in Sauk Rapids, only 4,000 dollars of which was insured. The forecast for that day was for local rains and slightly warmer with highs in the 50’s.

Funny Not Funny

THURSDAY: Windblown flakes. Winds: W 25-50. High: 39

FRIDAY: Mostly cloudy and windy. Winds: W 15-30. Wake-up: 27. High: 38

SATURDAY: Partly sunny and brisk. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 25. High: near 40

SUNDAY: Light mix, a few slushy lawns late? Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 29. High: 41

MONDAY: Windy with flurries. Wind: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 27. High: 40

TUESDAY: Partly sunny and cool. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 26. High: 46

WEDNESDAY: Unsettled, few rain showers. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 36. High: 50

Climate Stories…

The 16 plaintiffs who are suing Montana are: row one: Rikki, Lander, Lilian, Ruby; row two: Georgi, Badge, Eva, Kian; row three: Taleah, Olivia, Jeff, Nate; row four: Mica, Claire, Grace, Sariel
Photograph: Courtesy of Our Children’s Trust

Fossil Fuels vs. Our Future: Young Montanans Wage Historic Climate Fight. Here’s an excerpt from The Guardian: “…Three years later Gibson-Snyder upped the ante by teaming up with 15 other young people on a novel approach to climate activism: to sue the state of Montana for failing to protect their generation from irreversible harm brought by the climate crisis. Their case, Held v State of Montana, argues that state lawmakers have prioritized the business interests of the fossil fuel industry over their future. When their case is heard next February, it will be the first in a wave of youth-led climate lawsuits to successfully go to trial. Experts say a decision in favor of the 16 youth plaintiffs could have sweeping implications across the country, setting guard rails for how politicians are able to protect the interests of extractive corporations. “The world is literally burning all around them, and nothing’s being done about it,” said Nate Bellinger, a senior staff attorney with Our Children’s Trust, the non-profit law firm that is representing the youth plaintiffs…”

Our Changing National Parks. Climate Central details the impact of warming on America’s National Parks; here’s an excerpt: “National Park Week kicks off this Saturday, April 16. As our climate changes, national parks are changing too. Since their founding in 1916, all but one of 62 major national parks have warmed—with most (63%) of these warming by 2 °F or more, according to Climate Central analysis. By the year 2100, annual average temperatures across these 62 parks could be 5.5 to 11.0 °F warmer than during 1991-2020, depending on how quickly we reduce heat-trapping emissions. The National Park Service is adapting for the impacts of current and future climate change to ensure the resilience of these treasured recreational, cultural, and ecological resources…”


NASA Mission Will Monitor Air Pollution. Yale Climate Connections has details: “NASA satellite mission aims to help scientists investigate not what’s happening on Mars or in the Milky Way but right here on Earth, in the air we breathe. “It’s a public health mission,” says Yang Liu of Emory University. “It’s designed to have this societal benefit at its core.” Liu is on the team of international scientists and health experts working on the NASA-led MAIA mission. The group is developing technology that will be launched into orbit – likely next year – to monitor air pollution in more than 10 cities around the world. The equipment will observe how tiny air pollution particles reflect or absorb light. Scientists can use that information to determine the concentrations of pollutants such as sulfates and nitrates…”

Climate Change Made 2020 Hurricane Season Wetter From The Standpoint Of Water: Climate Nexus has an overview and links: “Climate change made the deadly, record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season dump more rain than it would have otherwise, a study published Tuesday in Nature Communications found. Across the season’s vocabulary-depleting30 named storms, three-day rainfall accumulations were 5% higher and three-hour rainfall rates were 10% higher than they would have been without climate change. Those increases were even greater in the 14 storms that reached hurricane strength — 11% and 8%, respectively. “It doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you’re near a threshold, a little bit can push you over the top,” Lawrence Berkeley National Lab climate scientist Michael Wehner, a co-author of the paper, told the AP. Previous studies have predicted such impacts, and others have found that individual storms were in fact wetter because of climate change. This is the first study to avoid the potential confirmation bias caused by only assessing major storms and surveying the entire season instead. “It isn’t this end-of-the-century problem that we have to figure out if we can mitigate or adapt to,” Kevin A. Reed, a professor at Stony Brook University and lead author of the study, told the New York Times. “[Climate change] is impacting our weather and our extreme weather now.” (AP, New York Times $, Washington Post $, CNN; Climate Signals background: 2020 Atlantic hurricane season)

The U.S. is using much more low-carbon and carbon-free electricity today than projected in 2005.
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, CC BY-ND

Electrifying Homes to Slow Climate Change: 4 Essential Reads. The Conversation dives in: “…As of 2020, home energy use accounted for about one-sixth of total U.S. energy consumption. Nearly half (47%) of this energy came from electricity, followed by natural gas (42%), oil (8%) and renewable energy (7%). By far the largest home energy use is for heating and air conditioning, followed by lighting, refrigerators and other appliances. The most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from home energy consumption is to substitute electricity generated from low- and zero-carbon sources for oil and natural gas. And the power sector is rapidly moving that way: As a 2021 report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed, power producers have reduced their carbon emissions by 50% from what energy experts predicted in 2005...”


Southeast African Tropical Cyclones Made Worse By Climate Change: Climate Nexus has details and links: “Climate change is making extreme rainfall across southeast Africa heavier and more likely during cyclones, a new analysis finds. The report from World Weather Attribution has special significance for communities in Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi, where a record three tropicalcyclones hit within just six weeks of each other earlier this year, killing a combined 230 people and displacing hundreds of thousands. The WWA analysis found climate change, caused mainly by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, made the storms worse. It also highlighted the lack of data available in the region. “Strengthening scientific resources in Africa and other parts of the global south is key to help us better understand extreme weather events fueled by climate change, to prepare vulnerable people and infrastructure to better cope with them,” Dr. Izidine Pinto, a climate system analyst at the University of Cape Town, told the AP.” (AP)

Climate in the United States. This tool from USAFacts compares monthly temperatures and precipitation to 20th century averages to see the trends: “The United States has experienced a wide variety of extreme weather over the last 125 years, impacting people, communities, and geographies. Track monthly data on how counties experience severe weather, including precipitation and temperature.”

The Razor’s Edge of a Warming World. GQ.com highlights the cities that may be most impacted by extreme heat in the years and decades to come: “…But some have argued that the Paris Agreement is flawed: Even though countries are required to submit plans to reduce emissions, there is no way of enforcing those pledges, and six years after Paris, we remain on a disastrous course. One recent study projected that, under current policies, the world is on track to warm by 2.7 degrees by 2100—a catastrophic scenario. So, without the will to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, what comes next? Around the world, profound transformations are already under way. Ski slopes are bare. Storms are worsening. Regions are becoming inhospitable for human life. In one future, the world warms by 2 degrees or more and these trends continue to their catastrophic ends. In another, we pull the hand brake now and limit warming to 1.5 degrees. “People don’t realize that every tenth of a degree matters,” Baum explains. Here are some places where they matter the most…”

Methane Emissions Surged by a Record Amount in 2021, NOAA Says. Here’s a clip from CNBC.com: “Global emissions of methane, the second-biggest contributor to human-caused climate change after carbon dioxide, surged by a record amount in 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Thursday. Methane, a key component of natural gas, is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide but doesn’t last as long in the atmosphere before it breaks down. Major contributors to methane emissions include oil and gas extraction, landfills and wastewater, and farming of livestock. “Our data show that global emissions continue to move in the wrong direction at a rapid pace,” Rick Spinrad, the NOAA administrator, said in a statement. “The evidence is consistent, alarming and undeniable...”

Climate Central

National and Global Emission Sources (2020). Climate Central has a good overview; here’s an excerpt: “…At 22% of national emissions, the Industrial sector emits a significant share of the U.S. total. Industrial emissions are the result of producing commodities (such as steel and cement) through manufacturing, food processing, mining and construction. Maintaining buildings (by heating and cooling them, managing their waste, etc.) falls into the ‘Commercial and Residential’ sector, accounting for 12% of emissions. Finally, agriculture accounts for the remaining 9% of emissions, including through soil management practices as well as methane from livestock and manure. Now at 414 ppm, atmospheric CO2 concentrations are higher than at any time in the past 800,000 years, which directly relates to the planet’s temperature. The world has committed to keep warming well below 2℃ (3.6°F) globally, and that comes with the challenge of a carbon budget—a low-carb diet, if you will. Scientists estimate that humans can only emit 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide and reasonably hope to meet the 2℃ target—a budget that would be exhausted in 15 years if emissions continue at the current rate of 36.6 gigatons of CO2 a year...”

Climate Central

U.S. counties that would be impacted by six feet of sea level rise are shaded in blue. Inland counties are shaded in red according to how many migrants they would receive from coastal areas.

As Climate Fears Mount, Some in U.S. are Deciding to Relocate. Yale E360 reports; here’s an excerpt: “…After being forced out of their home, the Brazil family joined other Americans escaping the worsening impacts of climate change. These migrants include New Orleans residents who fled their city after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Houstonians who were driven out by flooding from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Other communities have begun to disappear entirely. Residents of the coastal Louisiana community of Isle de Jean Charles, which sits just a foot or two above sea level, are being pushed out by rising seas. Inhabitants of coastal Native Alaskan villages such as Shishmaref and Newtok — where more intense storm surges caused by declining sea ice are eroding coasts weakened by melting permafrost — are being relocated. Increasingly, worsening climate effects, including heat waves, wildfires, floods, droughts, and sea level rise, are leading a growing number of Americans to have second thoughts about where they are living and to decide to move to places that are perceived to be less exposed to these impacts, according to anecdotal reports and a growing volume of academic research. Some, like the Brazil family, are forced to move to safer areas, while others are well-to-do homeowners who are choosing to leave before fires or floods drive them out...”