Worried about tornadoes, floods or other weather maladies? I'd be more concerned about slipping and falling on ice. I've heard from hundreds of older Minnesotans who don't mind the cold or even the snow. But ice? Their biggest fear is falling, breaking a wrist, hip, or worse. The odds of dying from falling on snow and ice in any given year are roughly 1 in 5 million. Reassuring. Yet the primary cause of fatal injuries for Americans 65 and older is falling down, on ice, or just a hard surface - resulting in an epidural hematoma.
More details in the article immediately below the column.
We're deep into the freeze-thaw cycle now, melting snow by day freezing into glaze ice at night. Take it easy out there during the early AM hours.
Another forecast with rare 100% accuracy? Potholes. Water expands as it freezes, creating job security for MnDOT road crews.
If you close one eye and squint a little it may almost look like early spring out there the next few days: 40s, even a shot at 50 Saturday. Play in the snow soon, because half an inch of rain will melt much of the remaining snow in the metro Saturday.
With "concrete frost" in the ground there may even be a little street flooding Saturday - another sign of the times. A chilly wind returns for Easter, but nothing we can't handle.
Graphic above: Climate Central.
Experimental Tornado Warnings Extended Into 12 Additional States In April (Including Minnesota). The National Weather Service will be using more urgent language this year when tornado warnings are issued, especially when there is a large, confirmed tornado on the ground near a heavily-populated area. Details from NOAA: "...The project gives forecasters three-tiered tornado warning options:
- When a tornado is possible based on radar data, the warning will include a bulleted list that clearly communicates hazards and impacts. This is the most common type of warning.
- When there is substantial evidence of a large and dangerous tornado, the warning will include the phrase, “This is a particularly dangerous situation,” to identify a high threat level, describe expected damage and promote urgency to seek immediate shelter. A damage threat tag of “considerable” will be embedded in the warning.
- When a known, potentially violent tornado is likely to produce devastating damage, the warning will announce a “Tornado Emergency” and direct the public to seek shelter immediately. A damage threat tag of “catastrophic” will be embedded in the warning. This is the highest level of tornado warning and will be reserved for rare cases like the deadly EF-5 that struck Joplin in 2011.
Photo credit above: West Liberty, Kentucky, courtesy of Kent Nickell.
Photo credit above: "Arctic ice loss adds heat to the ocean and atmosphere which shifts the position of the jet stream, which affects weather in the northern hemisphere." Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA.
Photo credit above: "Librarians are being replaced by vast systems for automatically storing books—but it's Wikipedia and the internet that are the real threat." AP/Uncredited
Field and Stream: The Conservation Hawks is a new group dedicated to harnessing the power of sportsmen to address climate change. Stop. Before you give in to anger, or to the “conservation fatigue” that can fall upon us like a giant wet carpet whenever climate change is mentioned, consider this: If you can convince Conservation Hawks chairman Todd Tanner that he’s wasting his time, that he does not have to worry about climate change, he will present to you his most prized possession: A Beretta Silver Pigeon 12 gauge over/under that was a gift from his wife, and has been a faithful companion on many a Montana bird hunt. I know the gun, and I’ve hunted and fished with Todd for years. He’s not kidding. You convince him, he’ll give you the gun..."
Graphic above: Skeptical Science.
Photo credit above: "Michael Mann testifying before Congress, with National Academies of Science Chair Ralph Cicerone (July 27, 2006)." National Academy of Sciences.
Photo credit above: "A man stands in front of an uprooted oak tree on Louisiana Avenue as Hurricane Isaac makes land fall in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 29, 2012." Courtesy: Reuters.
"First, the main message is:
1. Humans are causing climate change, we’ve know that for well over 100 years
2. We can do something about it now, with today’s technology
3. If we make smart decisions, not only will we help the climate, we will create jobs, improve national security, and diversify our energy supply
4. Doing nothing about the problem is a choice, with tremendous costs
Now, you are right, what should be a scientific issue has become a political issue. There are a number of reasons for that. It is clear that a lot of money is spent by organizations that want to ensure we do not invest in clean renewable energy or conservation. But that isn’t the entire story. A major indicator of how people feel about climate science is how they view collective action. Persons who think working together on a shared problem (like energy and climate) can lead to exciting and profitable solutions are much more likely to accept the science. People who reject collective action or government intervention are much less likely to accept the science. The real tragedy is that many people in this latter category could develop the technologies to lead us into the energy future; instead they have held our country back. We are now at a technological disadvantage and every year we delay taking action increases the future costs to ourselves and our children..."