Spring Shuffles Into Town Next Week
Cringe-worthy weather factoids you won’t find on the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce website. 1). Latest flurries on record in the metro area? May 28, 1965. [insert laugh track here] 2). 26.1” of snow delighted residents of the Twin Cities during April of 2018. [loud, groaning noises] 3). If my sources are correct, and I hope they aren’t, July is the only month in Minnesota where snow hasn’t been reported at some official observing station, airport, etc. [one small gasp] We EARN our springs, and highs near 50F next week will feel nice.
In the meantime a cold rain ends as a little wet snow tonight, with a coating possible in the metro. Oddly enough, a band of plowable snow is possible over northern/western Minnesota and central Wisconsin, but MSP should avoid Slushmageddon this time around.
I see a few (rain) showers Saturday, again Tuesday of next week. In fact I see more green (rain) than blue (snow) on the weather models into mid-April. Twins Home Opener? Sprinkles, flurries and 40s. Tornado-free!
Rain Changes to Snow. In spite of NOAA NDFD data above (blue=snow) I suspect precipitation much of the today in the metro will fall as rain, with a changeover to wet snow by evening and a slushy coating possible overnight. Annoying yes, but not a big deal.
How Many Different Ways Can You Say “Slushy Coating”? NOAA’s models and the European model both predict a coating to an inch of slush on some lawns tonight, with more up north, and across the southeastern half of Wisconsin. No snow day on Thursday, I’m afraid.
Welcoming 50 Degrees with Open Arms. Temperatures slowly mellow over the weekend with a good chance of seeing low 50s the first half of next week. No big storms, but a few light rain showers and sprinkles are possible Saturday, again early next week.
Chilly Twins Home Opener? I’m going with ECMWF on this one with 40s next Thursday, along with a cold wind and a few sprinkles and flurries. No accumulating snow at Target Field, but probably heavy-jacket-worthy. I hope I’m wrong.
Thrilled to be Average Again. GFS guidance fairly consistently keeps our prevailing winds aloft blowing from Seattle, a zonal flow that favors temperatures close to average. By the way, the MSP average high by April 1 is 50 degrees. Which will feel better in early April than it does in late October.
Praedictix Briefing: Issued Tuesday, March 29th, 2022:
- A system moving through the central United States during the middle of the week will bring significant weather impacts across the eastern two-thirds of the nation through Thursday.
- Today we are watching an extremely critical fire weather threat across portions of the central and southern Plains due to wind speeds of 30-40 mph and gusts to 60-70 mph along with low humidity values. Dry fuels are in place, as evidenced by fires across the region the past few days. Any fires that form or are ongoing would quickly spread.
- The severe weather threat starts today in the Plains, but greatly ramps up on Wednesday across the Deep South where strong tornadoes and significant damaging winds are possible.
Severe Threat Wednesday. The severe weather threat significantly ramps up on Wednesday as storms move into the Deep South, with a Moderate Risk of severe weather (threat level 4 of 5) in place from Louisiana to Alabama including Baton Rouge and Monroe (LA), Jackson and Hattiesburg (MS), and Tuscaloosa (AL). Surrounding that is a Enhanced Risk (threat level 3 of 5), stretching from the Gulf Coast to near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, and includes the cities of Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, New Orleans, and Little Rock. Many of these areas were struck by the severe storms that moved across the Deep South last week. The primary threats will be strong tornadoes and significant damaging winds with that line of storms that starts off in the Southern Plains tonight. Remember that all SPC threat levels (besides general thunder) mean that severe storms are possible – as the threat levels increase it means that more storms and more intense storms are possible. This can be evidenced by the tornado that stuck the New Orleans area last week – an area that wasn’t under the highest severe threat that was in place that day.
Damaging Wind Threat Wednesday. With that ongoing line of storms across the region, and the expected atmospheric conditions, widespread damaging winds are expected across the lower Mississippi Valley and Deep South Wednesday. This will particularly be true from the afternoon to overnight hours. The significant hatched area indicates a heightened threat of hurricane-force winds (74+ mph) across the region.
Tornado Threat Wednesday. That ongoing line of storms will also produce the potential of embedded tornadoes, with the potential of strong (EF-2+) tornadoes across the region due to the expected atmospheric environment. Due to the fast movement of expected storms, we could see longer-track embedded tornadoes than typically occur. While individual cells capable of both strong tornadoes and damaging wind gusts could form ahead of the line of storms, the environment doesn’t favor individual storms to be the primary threat with the line of storms expected to dominate the severe weather picture Wednesday across the Deep South.
Severe Threat Thursday. The severe weather potential will continue eastward into Thursday, with two Slight Risk (threat level 2 of 5) areas in place. One is across Georgia and northern Florida, where the ongoing line of storms from Wednesday may still produce at least some damaging winds across the region. The second area, across portions of the Mid-Atlantic including Baltimore, Washington DC, and Raleigh, could see a couple rounds of damaging winds.
D.J. Kayser, Meteorologist, Praedictix
States Impacted: NM, TX, CO, OK, KS, NE, IA, MO, AR, LA, MS, AL, FL, GA, SC, NC, TN, KY, IL, IN, OH, VA, DC, MD, DE, NJ, WV, PA, NY
Satellite Images Show Extent of Damage from New Orleans Tornado. It was at least EF-3 in strength with estimated winds of 160 mph. USA TODAY has a link to a video showing before/after imagery from the tornado: “Satellite images taken before and after a tornado struck the Arabi area of New Orleans show the extensive damage.” Credit: Maxar Technologies via Storyful
More Women Are Becoming Storm Chasers, Defying Convention and Breaking Barriers. I’ve chased tornadoes with amazing women over the years. The Washington Post and MSN.com take a look at the trends: “…As with many extreme sports and adrenaline-fueled hobbies, storm chasing has a demographics imbalance. Although Helen Hunt played a starring role as a chaser in the box office blockbuster “Twister,” male chasers have historically grabbed much of the spotlight. When a viral tornado video pops up on the evening news or on social media, it’s almost always produced by or featuring a man. But there are signs that the ranks of women storm chasers are growing, with more women attracted to the pursuit by both the intrigue of the science and the adventure. And they are having a positive influence on the endeavor…”
When “Tornado” Was a Forbidden Word. Censorship of weather terms, in the USA? Yep. CBS42.com does a good job explaining this story: “What do “the Ed Sullivan Show,” “I Love Lucy,” and early 20th-century weather reports have in common? Censorship. 74 years ago, the first Tornado Warning was issued and the first tornado forecast delivered, but it wasn’t until 1950 that the word “tornado” was allowed to be used over the airwaves. Just like Elvis’ gyrating hips were cropped from view on “the Ed Sullivan Show” and the word “pregnant” was forbidden when Lucille Ball was “with child” on “I Love Lucy,” the word “tornado” was thought to be too provocative. Some feared the word would panic the public, so it was not used on TV or radio. Before Dr. Fujita (for whom the current tornado severity scale is named), there was an Army Signal Service Officer and meteorologist named John Park Finley. Finley was a tornado forecast pioneer and is the first known author to pen a book specifically about the study of tornadoes...”
44 F. Twin Cities high temperature on Tuesday.
48 F. average MSP high on March 29.
73 F. MSP high on March 29, 2021.
March 30, 1938: Springtime flooding hits Warroad and Grand Marais.
WEDNESDAY: A cold rain. Slushy coating at night. Winds: N 15-30. High: 39
THURSDAY: Slow clearing, still chilly. Winds: NW 10-20. Wake-up: 29. High: 41
FRIDAY: Partly sunny, nighttime showers. Winds: SW 7-12. Wake-up: 23. High: 48
SATURDAY: Cool and gray, a few sprinkles. Winds: NW 7-12. Wake-up: 24. High: 51
SUNDAY: Glimmers of sun, not bad. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 28. High: 49
MONDAY: Leftover clouds, stray sprinkle or two. Winds: SE 7-12. Wake-up: 30. High: 51
TUESDAY: Steadier, heavier rain. Winds: SW 10-20. Wake-up: 38. High: 52
Hydrogen Could Replace Much of Russian Gas by 2030. A post at Fortune makes for a good read; here’s an excerpt: “…Since taking the reins as CEO of Snam, one of Europe’s biggest natural-gas pipeline operators, in 2016, Alverà has been repositioning the Italian energy giant as a leader in supplying emissions-free hydrogen power. During the COVID lockdown, he wrote a book, The Hydrogen Revolution, outlining his vision for making green hydrogen a key technology to help the world’s biggest economies achieve their net-zero goals. “It’s simple to make and simple to use. You are essentially bottling sunlight from renewable energy sources in the form of hydrogen, and using it to bring clean energy to every corner of the globe,” Alverà wrote of “green hydrogen,” the latest term for using electricity derived from renewable energy sources—solar, wind, etc.—to produce hydrogen power. Alverà is hardly alone in his enthusiasm. Climate hawks, green-energy startups, and dozens of countries are buzzing about the potential for hydrogen, the most abundant chemical substance in the universe…”
Goodbye AC: This New Roofing Material Keeps Houses Cool. A post at Freethink.com caught my eye: “Air conditioning is something you barely notice — until the power goes out, and it no longer works. But what if keeping cool didn’t require electricity at all? A scientist has invented a material that reflects the sun’s rays off rooftops, and even absorbs heat from homes and buildings and radiates it away. And — get this — it is made from recyclable paper. Air conditioners are in 87% of homes in the United States, costing the homeowner $265 per year, on average. Some homes can easily spend twice that. With global temperatures on the rise, no one is giving up their AC. More people are installing air conditioners than ever before, especially in developing countries where the middle class can finally afford them…”
Severity and Sweep of Prairie Droughts Could Spiral as Climate Changes. CBC News has a story focused on Canada, with implications for America’s Great Plains: “As we continue to warm and see more variability in our weather, the chance for longer and more severe droughts grows. While we will likely see more precipitation overall, the nature of the precipitation will differ, with more of it falling in winter or spring or in short bursts with bigger storms, according to Canada in a Changing Climate: Regional Perspectives Report. “When we get the water, it might come all at once as opposed to where we’ve had nice gentle storms that will occur over two or three days and really soak the soil that needs it,” Bonsal says. In the winter, we can expect more rain instead of snow. The loss of snow, which replenishes soils in the spring, will be critical. Despite the odd snowy winter like this one, the snowpack is declining, says John Pomeroy, professor and Canada Research Chair in water resources and climate change at the University of Saskatchewan…”
Extraordinary Antarctic Heatwave, 70 Degrees Above Normal, Would Likely Set a World Record. CNN.com has more perspective: “…With more than 60 years of data, this record “is unheard of in the history of climatology,” according to a Meteo-France analysis. A unique combination of meteorological events had to occur in order for Mother Nature to turn up the heat in East Antarctica that day. “Definitely, a very interesting and unusual set of meteorological events triggered this event,” Cerveny told CNN. There was “the moist inflow of an atmospheric river” — storms pulling large amounts of ocean moisture over land, much like what the West Coast sees in winter, Cerveny said. And there was also an intrusion of very hot air, rare for this time of year, onto the Antarctic plateau. The arrival of the moisture trapped the hot air, allowing for the temperatures to shoot up in East Antarctica…”
Ice Shelf Collapses in Previously Stable East Antarctica. AP News has the latest: “An ice shelf the size of New York City has collapsed in East Antarctica, an area long thought to be stable and not hit much by climate change, concerned scientists said Friday. The collapse, captured by satellite images, marked the first time in human history that the frigid region had an ice shelf collapse. It happened at the beginning of a freakish warm spell last week when temperatures soared more than 70 degrees (40 Celsius) warmer than normal in some spots of East Antarctica. Satellite photos show the area had been shrinking rapidly the last couple of years, and now scientists wonder if they have been overestimating East Antarctica’s stability and resistance to global warming that has been melting ice rapidly on the smaller western side and the vulnerable peninsula...”
East Antarctica Ice Shelf Collapse Amid Heatwave A Harbinger Of Things To Come: Climate Nexus has additional perspective, headlines and links: “An ice shelf holding back two glaciers in East Australia (nearest to Australia) collapsed catastrophically between March 14 and 16 as an extreme heat wave drove temperatures in parts of Antarctica 70°F (40°C) above normal. “The Glenzer Conger ice shelf presumably had been there for thousands of years and it’s not ever going to be there again,” Peter Nerff, an ice scientist at the University of Minnesota, told the AP. Climate change, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, is driving up temperatures around the world, but that heating is even greater at the Earth’s poles. More than the 460 square miles of ice, however, scientists are especially worried by the unprecedented collapse of the Glenzer Conger ice shelf (which held back the Glenzer and Conger glaciers from warmer waters) because it calls into question long-held understandings of the stability of the region’s ice and it’s resilience to global warming. The Glenzer Conger ice shelf collapse “is one of the most significant collapse events anywhere in Antarctica since the early 2000s when the Larsen B ice shelf disintegrated,” Catherine Colello Walker, an earth and planetary scientist at NASA and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, told the Guardian. “It won’t have huge effects, most likely, but it’s a sign of what might be coming.” (AP, The Guardian, Gizmodo, Washington Post $, Axios, New York Times $, The Hill, Reuters, Al Jazeera, NPR, CNN, Newsweek, CNET, Clean Technica, UPI, The Independent, BBC, Bloomberg $, Daily Beast; Climate Signals background: Arctic amplification, Extreme heat and heatwaves)
What Climate Change Will Mean For Your Home. The Washington Post examines real estate trends in a rapidly-changing climate: “Not every buyer is as diligent about evaluating the potential risk of a weather-related disaster, but that may change in the future. Violent storms, wildfires, floods, droughts and extreme heat are among the increasingly visible signs of climate change. While safety issues associated with these events are of prime importance, the frequency and intensity of dramatic natural disasters are beginning to have an impact on property values and the cost of homeownership in some locations. Researchers are analyzing data to help buyers, homeowners, lenders, insurance companies and appraisers evaluate what the future may hold and how that could impact the housing market. “Most homeowners should care about climate change and the potential impact on their families and property,” says John Berkowitz, CEO and founder of OJO Labs, a real estate technology firm that owns the Movoto listing site in Austin...”
Climate Change is Spurring a Movement to Build Stormproof Homes. Because every threat is an opportunity. The Washington Post (paywall) explains: “…Just as technology has improved other industries, building science and building materials have evolved in recent decades, Azaroff says. “For example, before construction even starts, architects and builders can put their design through a program to see if any alterations would help the structure be more wind resistant,” Azaroff says. “We can project 50 to 100 years in the future and model how the house will perform under extreme heat conditions or increased precipitation.” At the same time, Azaroff says, architects are reevaluating traditional architecture to respond to environmental surroundings. For example, a hip roof, which has multiple slopes, offers better wind resistance than a gable roof, which has only two slopes…”
With Climate Changing, Get Educated About Flood Insurance. Commonwealth Magazine has an interesting post; here’s the intro: “It’s clear the climate is changing. According to FEMA, the U.S. has experienced more severe flooding in the last decade (18 severe floods during 2010-2019) than during the prior three combined (15 severe floods during 1980-2009). Whether related to hurricanes, extreme rainfall, snowmelt, mudflows or other events, floods cause billions of dollars in losses nationwide each year. New England homes don’t need to be in a flood zone to experience this disaster. However, a recent survey by Plymouth Rock Assurance revealed that 52 percent of homeowners are not concerned about flooding at their house and more than 80% do not even buy flood insurance...”