White-Knuckle March Commute
Nature rarely moves in a straight line. Spring in Minnesota is usually one step forward, two steps back. March is a troubled month, capable of blizzards, floods, even tornadoes. Snow on the ground keeps northern cities chilly, while a rising sun angle heats up the Deep South. The result: huge north-south temperature extremes, capable of spinning up memorable storms.
It's unusual to pick up so much snow from an Alberta Clipper, but this one is tracking slower than usual, compensating for a lack of Gulf moisture. Snow should taper by afternoon. By then a cool 6-9 inches of new snow should be on the ground, probably the second heaviest snowfall of winter so far, behind the 10.5 inches that fell December 9.
Yes, we've been spoiled. Dr. Mark Seeley reports February was only the 2nd cooler than average month since June, 2011. My gut is telling me March will be cooler than average too; a far cry from last year's 70s, early ice-outs and flowers in full bloom in late March.
On the blog below: Washington D.C. is about to get "snow-questered"; 6-12 inches possible tomorrow.
Some melting is likely here later this week with upper 30s. That said, spring will come only reluctantly this year.
* Storm is showing signs of hooking farther north, spreading heavy wet snow into Philadelphia, New York, and far western suburbs of Boston.
* Heaviest amounts west of I-95, where some 12"+ snowfall amounts are possible Wednesday night into Thursday.
* 4-8" still expected downtown D.C. Wednesday, over 12" northern/western suburbs of Virginia and western Maryland (west of I-270).
* High water content (1-2" liquid) may mean an enhanced risk of downed tree limbs and power outages.
* This won't be the scope or intensity of the blizzard in early February, but facilities may be significantly impacted later this week.
* 6-9" snow next 24-36 hours Twin Cities to Chicago; the same system that will redevelop into a coastal storm impacting the Northeast.
Summary: The Confidence Level for at least 4-8" of wet snow in Washington D.C. is a 7, on a scale of 1-10; but only a 5 in Philadelphia and 4 in metro New York. It looks like mainly rain in Boston, but over a foot of snow is possible well inland, over central Massachusetts.
Graphic credit above: "The first column is existing, planned and announced oil sands projects; the orange bars are oil sands production in the IEA future scenarios. Production is assumed to be 80% of capacity, following the IEA methods."
Greg Hunt's Unusually Cool U.S. Winter That Wasn't. A harsh winter for the USA in terms of temperatures? Nope. Here's an excerpt from readfearn.com: "...Even in a warming world, you’ll still get record cold events – it’s just that the hot ones are outnumbering the cold ones. In Australia, for example, for every record cold temperature there’s three record hot ones. In the US, a 2009 study found record high temperatures were outstripping record colds by two to one. I had a quick look at this unusually cold US winter which Greg Hunt alludes to. The government’s National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has all the figures. Incidentally, January 2013 is the 335th consecutive month where global average temperatures have been above average. Final rankings for the US winter are not expected to be out for a week or so yet but, so far, the chilly winter turns out not to have been that chilly after all. In fact, the period November 2012 to January 2013 ranks 109th warmest in a record going back 118 years..."