Severe storms are most likely late tomorrow; I expect watches and warnings close to home. I expect a few tornadoes, especially central and southern Minnesota. Photo: Wichita office of the NWS.
"We have limited capability to sustain long-term operations in the Arctic due to inadequate icebreaking capability," Berbrick said. "The Navy finds itself entering a new realm as it relates to having to rely on other nations." - from an article below about Navy readiness and capabilities in a slowly melting Arctic ecosystem.
"The gradual warming of the tropics may not seem as weird as March Madness, but it has much more important implications for biodiversity, food security and the stability of world financial markets. If global warming continues as projected, the global consequences of deteriorating conditions in the tropics will soon be a lot more serious than a foretaste of summer weather in late winter." - from a story at IEEE Spectrum about linking March heat to climage change.
"For example, a 2010 study of trends in European rainfall events between 1950 and 2008 found that there has been a shift toward longer events and that the tendency with the longer events has been for more intense rainfall. A study from last year found that Northern Hemisphere precipitation in general is becoming more intense. Studies examining heat and drought have found that dry periods are increasing in number and getting longer and that extreme summer temperatures are occurring more often in the United States." - from the Dean of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment in a Huffington Post story below.
Growing Severe Risk For Upper Midwest. Strong to severe T-storms are expected to mushroom along a vigorous warm frontal boundary forecast to push northward through midweek. For Minnesota the best chance of hail, damaging straight-line winds and even a few isolated tornadoes will come Tuesday afternoon/evening. It's a mixed blessing: welcome rain from showers and T-storms, but a few violent storms can't be ruled out as the atmosphere shifts gears from mid-March to a truly May-like pattern of temperature and humidity. Forecasts above courtesy of NOAA SPC.
Welcome Rain. The latest QPF (quantitative precipitation forecast) pinpoints the heaviest rains from Kansas City to the Quad Cities and Madison (2-4" amounts). South Florida may pick up 5-8" amounts, with 2-3"+ for the Pacific Northwest. A 1.5" bullseye shows up over the Minnesota Arrowhead. I hope the models are right. Map courtesy of NOAA HPC.
Photo credit above: "Demolition of Joplin High School was underway in early March. After an EF5 tornado struck this Midwestern city on May 22, 2011, duct tape was added to the remaining letters of the school’s sign to read “HOPE.” The tornado destroyed four schools and damaged five, but the schools worked to offer summer school classes the following month and have the school year start on Aug. 17. Jason Morton | Tuscaloosa news."
New Hazard On The Horizon: Amateur Storm Chasers. I had a hunch this would eventually happen. The movie "Twister" launched the current craze - showing video of tornadoes on local TV and national networks accelerated the "storm-chasing hobby". NPR has a story about the implications and dangers of traffic jams of storm chasers clogging highways in the danger zone; here's an excerpt: "When more than 100 tornadoes raked the Great Plains a couple of weeks ago, emergency responders ran headlong into a growing phenomenon: roads bottled up by swarms of tornado chasers. On a sunny day in tiny Solomon, Kan., it's hard to imagine anything stirring the place up. A car eases past every so often, but two weeks ago, a powerful tornado was plowing through the countryside. One road was jammed — and dangerous. "You couldn't get onto this road for the traffic, and someone was in the southbound lane passing everybody at a high rate of speed," says Chancy Smith, who coordinates emergency response in Dickinson County. Tracking the tornado, sounding the alarm, and helping the victims is his responsibility."
Photo credit above: Matt Piechota /YouTube. "Emergency responders are running headlong into a growing phenomenon: roads bottled up by swarms of tornado chasers."
Photo of The Day: "Shelf Cloud". From the NWS office in Springfield, Missouri: "Look at this Shelf Cloud just taken outside our office this morning about 8 am. It will be a wet and stormy Sunday across the Ozarks."
Photo credit above: Kainaz Amaria/NPR. "Natasha Shamone-Gilmore keeps a letter from her father's doctor diagnosing him with dementia on a wall in her kitchen. She uses it at times to remind Franklin Brunson of his condition."
An Olympic Clean Sweep
We had a 24/7 weather channel growing up. It was called a "window". And why not a Spring Cleaning Olympics? I can hear the announcers "the Russians have a legendary synchronized vacuum cleaning team" and "look at those Romanians rake - lovely form, don't you think?" Clothes-shuffling. Competitive dock installation. The USA would sweep up. Literally. I hope someone from NBC is writing this down.
The sun did make a fleeting cameo appearance Sunday; too much low level moisture to keep blue sky overhead for long. No major fireworks today, but 70 should feel great.
A ROF or "ring of fire" pattern is setting up this week; hot, humidified air bulging northward - 80 degree air surging into southern Minnesota by Tuesday and Wednesday. A persistent east-west boundary may ignite a few spirited rounds of thunderstorms. Tuesday may bring the first widespread severe storm outbreak of spring for Minnesota, with a handful of tornadoes possible. That volatile front may get a southward nudge next weekend; most storms rumbling over the Dakotas and Iowa. No guarantees yet.
In news of the weird MLB broadcaster Tim McCarver is blaming a spike in home runs on climate change. Details on the weather blog.
* image above courtesy of someecards.com.
Photo credit above: boston.com.
- The historic drought and record-breaking heat (and resulting wildfires) that began in 2010 across Texas and the Southwest.
- The extreme flooding along the Mississippi River in 2011 (attributed to persistent rain and snow melt) during which parts of the Ohio River Valley received almost 300 percent its normal rainfall amounts.
- "Snowmageddon" of 2009-2010 when blizzards with record-breaking snowfall hit the East Coast. (More on weather extremes.)
Photo credit above: 350.org.
* map above of March temperature anomalies courtesy of NASA's Earth Observatory and Weather Underground.
Photo credit above: "The Coast Guard heavy icebreaker Polar Star is currently on inactive status in Seattle."