40 Degrees Will Feel Good This Weekend

“I can’t change my past or predict my future. But I can shape my present” wrote Armin Houman.

I am celebrating my 37th winter in Minnesota. Coping skills include a steady diet of undershirts, socks in bed and earmuffs when the wind chill dips to 0F, as it will today. That old adage rings true: “No such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing choices.”

Temperatures bottom out this morning, and no – this is not an atmospheric omen. It doesn’t imply a colder, longer winter is imminent. It’s just a poignant reminder that it can still get cold here.

The pattern remains fairly quiet and benign; no jolt of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico capable of spinning up a real snowstorm until Thanksgiving week. Of course.

Temperatures moderate later this week, and you’ll be impressed (and a bit horrified) how good 40-degrees feels from this weekend into much of next week.

The main storm superhighway stays south of Minnesota until further notice, but the holidays are looming. Hey, what can possibly go wrong?


Sun pillar photo credit: Richard Dandrea.



10-Day Snowfall Potential. ECMWF (European) data prints out a couple inches of slushy snow up north, but little more than a coating for much of central and southern Minnesota between now and midnight next Wednesday night, November 20. Map: WeatherBell.



Big Changes In Time for Thanksgiving? It would be fitting/appropriate for our pattern to take a turn for the worse close to Thanksgiving, when people are traveling and even more at the mercy of the elements. GFS data suggests a mild start to Thanksgiving week, but a deep trough of low pressure in the western USA may eject a significant rain/snow storm by the end of that week.

Study Says “Specific” Weather Forecasts Can’t Be Made More Than 10 Days in Advance. Wait, a 90-day weather forecast for a specific city is rubbish? Here’s a clip from Capital Weather Gang: “...A skillful forecast lead time of midlatitude instantaneous weather is around 10 days, which serves as the practical predictability limit,” according to a study published in April in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. Those limits aren’t likely to change much anytime soon. Even if scientists had the data they needed and a more perfect understanding of all forecasting’s complexities, skillful forecasts could extend out to about 14 or 15 days only, the 2019 study found, because of the chaotic nature of the atmosphere. “Two weeks is about right. It’s as close to be the ultimate limit as we can demonstrate,” the study’s lead author told Science Magazine. The American Meteorological Society agrees. Their statement on the limits of prediction, in place since 2015, states that “presently, forecasts of daily or specific weather conditions do not exhibit useful skill beyond eight days, meaning that their accuracy is low…”


Green Jobs Now Employ 10x More People Than Fossil Fuel. A story at Big Think caught my eye: “According to a pair of economic researchers in the United Kingdom, the United States green economy now employs 10 times more people than the fossil fuel industry. And that isn’t to say that the fossil fuel industry hasn’t been growing. In fact, from 2015 to 2016, the fossil fuels industry, which includes coal, oil, and natural gas, employed approximately 900,000 people in the U.S. according to government figures. But the two British researchers — they are based at University College London — found that over the same period this was eclipsed by the green economy, which actually provided nearly 9.5 million jobs. That’s 4 percent of the population of working age individuals...”


Try to Avoid Dr. Google. The New York Post reports: “Two in five Americans have falsely convinced themselves they have a serious disease, after turning to “Dr. Google” – according to new research. A survey of 2,000 Americans found that 43 percent have looked their symptoms up online and ended up believing they had a much more serious illness than in actuality. Sixty-five percent of respondents have used the internet to self-diagnose themselves, but the results show typing your symptoms into the search bar might do more harm than good…”


Sometimes Doodling Pays Off. Upworthy has the unlikely story; here are a couple of clips: “…So when nine-year-old Joe Whale was caught, on multiple occasions, doodling in his notebooks during class, he got into quite a bit of trouble. He was constantly reprimanded by his teachers and told to focus on his lessons. However, little Joe prevailed. Now, he’s landed his very first job decorating a restaurant with his doodles…His art teacher recognized his talent and decided to post pictures of some of his work on social media platform Instagram. This is when something truly amazing happened…”


Christmas Lights In Your Beard? And why the heck not. Here’s an excerpt from Tips For Home: “…The LED lights come in different colors and there are 18, enough to decorate anything from a goatee to a full-on ZZ Top beard. They are just like normal fairy lights but so small you can hide them in your facial fuzz. You might want to remember that these are so small they are easy to forget you have them in your beard. Just make sure that you don’t wear them out in the rain or in the shower…”


18 F. maximum temperature Monday, tying the record for coldest November 11 on record at MSP.

44 F. average high on November 11.

30 F. high on November 11, 2018.

November 12, 2000: A winter storm system produces a narrow band of heavy snow across extreme western Minnesota. Winds toward the end of the event were clocked between 15 and 25 mph, resulting in blowing snow leading to visibilities of 1 to 1.5 miles. Some snow totals included: Canby (Yellow Medicine County) with 6.5 inches, Madison (Lac Qui Parle County) with 6.0 inches.

November 12, 1940: Record low highs are set in west central Minnesota. Alexandria records a high of 8 degrees Fahrenheit, Springfield and Willmar have highs of 10 degrees, and St. Cloud and Minneapolis have highs of 11 degrees.

November 12, 1933: A dust storm hits southwest Minnesota, while a blizzard rages in the northwest part of the state.



TUESDAY: Chilled sunlight. Feels like 0-5F early. Winds: S 8-13. High: 22

WEDNESDAY: Flurries or snow showers. Winds: NW 8-13. Wake-up: 18. High: 32

THURSDAY: Partly sunny, feeling better. Winds: W 7-12. Wake-up: 18. High: 35

FRIDAY: Mix of clouds and sun, dry. Winds: NE 7-12. Wake-up: 27. High: 39

SATURDAY: Mostly cloudy, late rain shower. Winds: S 10-20. Wake-up: 28. High: near 40

SUNDAY: Early sprinkle, clouds linger. Winds: NW 5-10. Wake-up: 32. High: 42

MONDAY: Mostly cloudy, a bit milder. Winds: S 5-10. Wake-up: 33. High: 43


Climate Stories….

Why the Fed, Long Reticent, Has Started to Talk About Climate Change. It’s all about minimizing (financial) risk. The New York Times (paywall) has the story: “Climate change is risky business — including for officials at the Federal Reserve. An increase in severe weather events could lead to bank failures as property prices rapidly adjust, stoke uncertainty and harm economic growth. That makes global warming and its fallout relevant to the Fed, which is responsible for both financial regulation and for guiding the nation’s economy toward full employment and stable prices. But those threats force the central bank, which prizes its political independence, to walk a tightrope. The Fed could be criticized for weighing in on a highly politicized issue: Survey data suggest that Democrats tend to be much more concerned with climate than Republicans...”

Photo credit: “” Credit: Ting Shen for The New York Times.


Fed Rings First Alarm on Climate: More links and perspective from Climate Nexus: “The Federal Reserve held its first-ever climate change conference Friday, signaling that the US’s central bank is gearing up to incorporate climate impacts and risks into financial assessments and policy. Speeches and findings delivered at the conference, hosted by the San Francisco branch of the bank, highlight various ways that climate change will alter global economics, inequality, and worker productivity. Unlike many of its global financial peers, the Fed, which keeps itself as nonpartisan as possible, has not yet openly embraced examining how climate change will impact its operations or look into green finance alternatives. “To support a strong economy and a stable financial system, the Federal Reserve needs to analyze and adapt to important changes to the economy and financial system,” Fed governor Lael Brainard said in a speech Friday. “This is no less true for climate change than it was for globalization or the information technology revolution.” (New York Times $, Reuters, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Axios, CBS)



Amid Flooding and Rising Sea Levels, Residents of One Barrier Island Wonder If It’s Time to Retreat. Here’s a clip from The Washington Post (paywall): “…Scientists have long warned that Ocracoke’s days are numbered, that this treasured island is a bellwether for vast stretches of the U.S. coast. “Virtually everyone from Virginia Beach south to the U.S./Mexico border is going to be in the same situation in the next 50 years,” said Michael Orbach, professor emeritus of marine affairs at Duke University. “And it’s only going to get worse after that.” If Ocracoke’s ultimate prognosis is grim, Tom Pahl, the township’s county commissioner, remains committed to its recovery. “Is this really sustainable? The answer is pretty clearly no,” he said. “But what’s the timeline? No one has been able to say, ‘You’ve got 15 years, 40 years, 100 years.’ The clear-eyed vision is resiliency then retreat...”

Photo credit: “The home of Edward and Stella O’Neal is torn down due to damage caused by flooding during Hurricane Dorian in Ocracoke.” (Daniel Pullen/for The Washington Post).


A Fine Scandinavian Wine? Warming Climate Tempts Entrepreneurs. The New York Times has another sign of the times: “…A decade ago, winemaking was regarded as a losing proposition in these notoriously cool climes. But as global temperatures rise, a fledgling wine industry is growing from once-unlikely fields across Scandinavia, as entrepreneurs seek to turn a warming climate to their advantage. “We’re looking for the opportunities in climate change,” said Mr. Moesgaard, the founder of Skaersogaard Vin, cradling a cluster of golden grapes. “In the coming decades, we’ll be growing more wine in Scandinavia while countries that have traditionally dominated the industry produce less…”


As Seas Rise, King Tides Increasingly Inundate the Atlantic Coast. A post at Scientific American caught my eye; here’s an excerpt: “…The same is true for communities along the middle and south Atlantic seaboard, where tidal flooding is “becoming a way of life” in Annapolis, Md.; Norfolk, Va.; Charleston, S.C.; and South Florida, said William Sweet, author of NOAA’s annual high-tide flooding report. According to NOAA, high-tide flooding is accelerating in more than 40 coastal communities, and 25 of those are seeing linear growth in such events, meaning tidal flooding will become “more chronic than sporadic.” “When the tides start flooding you regularly like this, it’s a telltale sign that there are bigger problems ahead,” Sweet said in a telephone interview. “And it speaks to the vulnerability of [coastal areas] where people are living. It’s unfortunate, but the reality is that sea levels are going up and our lives and livelihoods are being affected by it…”


Americans Start Adapting to Climate Change. They’re Doing It Wrong. Here’s a snippet from Bloomberg: “…Even as the pace of climate change accelerates, planners and emergency managers across the country still have time to make well-considered decisions. “Ideally, you’d want a leader to sit down and say, ‘Should we build a wall? Should we retreat? Consider all of the options,’” said A.R. Siders, assistant professor at University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center and lead author of the study on how North Carolina has dealt with the issue. “But that’s not really what happens.” The research finds that adaptation projects “disproportionately benefit the wealthy and increase the vulnerability of poor and historically marginalized communities...”

Map credit: “Ocean and Coastal Management. Siders and Keenan. “Variables shaping coastal adaptation decisions to armor, nourish, and retreat in North Carolina.”


Climate Change Deniers May Be Propping Up Home Prices in Waterfront Communities, Research Suggests. MarketWatch reports: “The fate of home prices in real-estate markets that have a high risk of being affected by climate change could come down to how many local residents actually believe in climate change. A new study from researchers at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business in Canada examined the role climate change denial plays in the pricing of these homes. The researchers compared sea-level data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), current real-estate transaction data from Zillow, and geographic data about climate change attitudes from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, which estimates opinions on climate change based on a national data set of 24,000 people. Having a higher concentration of people who deny climate change will cause home prices to be higher in at-risk areas, the study found…”

File image: North Carolina Department of Transportation.


Honolulu Takes a Stand: Climate Nexus has links and headlines: “Honolulu will become the latest city to take action against oil and gas companies for their role in perpetuating the “costs and consequences” of climate change, city officials said this week. Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a press conference Tuesday that the city will file suit against companies including Chevron, Shell, BP and ExxonMobil as rising seas and extreme weather threaten the Hawaiian islands. “We’re struggling with providing more housing at an affordable level, and we’re going to be losing homes,” Caldwell said. “They need to pay just like Big Tobacco needed to pay.” The county of Maui announced similar plans to sue Big Oil last month.” (Hawaii News Now, Bloomberg BNA, Honolulu Civil BeatHonolulu Star Advertiser)

Image credit: Clean Technica.