Hurry Up Spring: Nature Is Teaching Patience
”To be impatient is to be hooked on the future” wrote author Gerald Jampolsky. True enough. Personally, I don’t care who you voted for, who you love or who you worship. Please, just get out of my way. I am tolerant – but not patient. Which is a definite character flaw.
The pandemic and our broken spring, a virus of chilly air, is teaching me patience. I can control what time I take the garbage out to the curb every Sunday evening. Everything else? Out of my hands. Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t change, Paul. Learn better coping skills.
Why has it been so chilly? 2021 was 4.1F warmer than the 20th century average in Minnesota. Our cold bias since January may be atmospheric payback, flavored with a La Nina cold signal in the Pacific.
We’ve had plenty of false starts, but confidence is growing that spring may “stick” by the second week of May with more 60s and a few 70s.
Lawn watering is optional until further notice. Rain is likely Thursday and over the weekend, too.
Bright green lawns are imminent.
Mostly 50s – Mostly Puddles. How relieved I am to see predicted highs in the 50s, still cooler than average but not as cold as recent days. No snow in the forecast, but plenty of rain, with the best chance of puddles coming Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. No need to water the lawn anytime soon.
Second Week of May: Trending Closer to Average. How I long for average (low 60s now) and if GFS verifies we should see more numerous 60s and a few 70s as we sail into mid-May. At some point it has to warm up – right? RIGHT???
Peacetime Emergency Declared for Red River Flooding. The Grand Forks – Crookston area has been hit hardest, a combination of heavy rain, rapidly melting snow and frozen ground. Bring Me The News has details: “The onslaught of spring storms is creating significant flooding issues along the Red River Basin in North Dakota and Minnesota. The situation has escalated to the point that Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has declared a peacetime emergency and authorized the Minnesota National Guard to assist with emergency flood operations in several counties where emergency operation plans are already activated. The Guard was specifically requested to help in Polk County, where sandbagging and other flood defense measures are needed as floodwaters from the Red Lake River have already overflowed numerous roads and highways...”
Live Imagery of Flooding. Here is a YouTube link to a camera on the Sorlie Bridge in East Grand Forks.
April Trending Wetter Than Average. Parts of the Red River Valley are experiencing an April 2-5” wetter than normal, thus the widespread flooding now underway between Crookston and Grand Forks. Recharging soil moisture is great – now it’s a question of when farmers can get out into their fields.
Stinking Hot Summer? Longer-range models continue to hint at a significantly-hotter than normal summer for much of the U.S., including Minnesota. It’s good to be skeptical, but this hot signal has been persistent, and it would be fittingly ironic to have a hot summer follow a chilly spring – as the atmosphere careens from one extreme to the next.
Central Mississippi Faced 76 Tornadoes in Just 35 Days This Spring. CNN.com 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...”
Hurricane Forecast Predicts 22 Named Storms – Including 5 Major Hurricanes. Sarasota Magazine has details: “Sarasota’s Climate Adaptation Center on Friday unveiled its 2022 hurricane season forecast, predicting a total of 22 named storms. According to the center, between nine and 11 are likely to develop into hurricanes, with five predicted to become major hurricanes. Last year, the center predicted 20 storms would form, one short of the actual total. During the previous year, a record-breaking 30 named storms darted across the Atlantic Hurricane Basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. “Fifty-one storms in two years isn’t normal,” said Bob Bunting, the chairman and chief executive officer of the center, on Friday...”
All-Electric Corvette? CNN.com 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 New Ways Your Boss is Spying On You. Well, this is lovely. The Wall Street Journal (paywall) has an eye-opening article. Here’s the intro: “Your employer may know a lot more about you than you think. The tone of your voice in a meeting. How often you’re away from your desk. How quickly you respond to emails. Where you roam in the office. What’s on your computer screen. To be an employee of a large company in the U.S. now often means becoming a workforce data generator—from the first email sent from bed in the morning to the Wi-Fi hotspot used during lunch to the new business contact added before going home. Employers are parsing those interactions to learn who is influential, which teams are most productive and who is a flight risk. Companies, which have wide legal latitude in the U.S. to monitor workers, don’t always tell them what they are tracking…”
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…”
42 F. Twin Cities high temperature yesterday.
62 F. MSP average high on April 26
55 F. MSP high on April 26, 2021.
April 27, 2002: Heavy snow falls over the Twin Cities and central Minnesota. Chanhassen receives 6 inches, and vivid lightning is seen with the snow during the evening.
April 27, 1996: Embarrass records a low of 9 degrees. Some central, and most northern, Minnesota lakes are still ice-covered.
April 27, 1921: A late season blizzard hits Hibbing. The temperature was 75 degrees three days earlier.
WEDNESDAY: Clouds increase, breezy. Winds: E 10-20. High: 48
THURSDAY: Damp with showers likely. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 38. High: 45
FRIDAY: Cloudy and a bit milder. Winds: SE 10-20. Wake-up: 40. High: near 60
SATURDAY: Rain likely, few T-storms. Winds: SE 15-30. Wake-up: 42. High: 59
SUNDAY: Plan B Sunday. Showery rains. Winds: S 8-13. Wake-up: 47. High: 52
MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, drying out. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 39. High: 53
TUESDAY: Some sun, late thunder? Winds: E 10-15. Wake-up: 39. High: 59
Extreme Heat is a Disease for Cities. Treat It That Way. A post at WIRED.com (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…”
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)
Americans Are Fleeing Climate Change – Here’s Where They Can Go. I guess it’s a good thing to be on this list, right? CNBC.com 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.
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…”
Twitter Bans Climate Disinformation In Ads: Climate Nexus has headlines and links: “Twitter will no longer allow “misleading advertisements” that “contradict the scientific consensus on climate change,” on its platform, the company announced Friday. Earlier this month, the Climate Disinformation Coalition called on Big Tech to confront climate denial, particularly Twitter, which performed the worst on its scorecard. Days later, Pinterest announced robust new community standards to protect users from climate misinformation, and former President Obama praised the company for doing so. That was perhaps the final push Twitter needed to announce, on Earth Day, that it has formalized rules prohibiting climate disinformation in advertising. While existing policies against misleading advertisements already prevent climate denial ads in theory, Axios reported, Twitter is following in Google’s footsteps and heeding activist calls to formally address climate disinformation, earning it additional points on the Big Tech Disinfo scorecard. Michael Khoo, co-chair of the Climate Disinformation Coalition, called it “a welcome step forward in the fight against disinformation,” adding that now “companies like Meta must now take stronger action and stop being the last bastions of climate denial.” (Axios, Protocol, The Guardian, CNN, Washington Post $, AP, The Verge, Fox Business)
How US Gas Exports to Europe Could Lock in Future Emissions. Yale E360 looks at the implications: “In the span of weeks, Russia’s war on Ukraine has created millions of refugees, transformed the geopolitical landscape, upended global energy markets and food supply chains, and hastened Europe’s efforts to transition away from fossil fuels. The war also threatens to alter the trajectory of energy and climate policy in the United States. On March 25, a month after Russia launched its invasion, President Biden met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels and jointly announced a new initiative to help Europe reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuels…”
As Europe Seeks to Move Away from Russian Gas, Which Renewables Will Benefit? Wall Street Journal has the post: “As Europe tries to hasten a push toward more renewable energy sources, and away from Russian gas, which clean technologies are likely to fare the best? Europe is seeking to swiftly curtail its reliance on Russian natural gas, which last year accounted for about 40% of the bloc’s gas consumption, amid outrage over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and worries that supplies could be suddenly cut off by Moscow. The European Union says it wants to reduce imports of Russian gas by two-thirds this year and end its dependence on them entirely by 2027…”