Slushy April Funk
I will never, ever take spring for granted again. You think your colleagues are grumpy? Try being the guy predicting a plowable snow in mid-April. I'm getting my fair share of insults, trash-talk & dirty looks. And that's just from family members.
Glass half-full weatherguy that I am, let me gently remind you of some good news: we have entered a (much) wetter pattern. Gulf moisture is finally reaching Minnesota on a consistent basis.
Precipitation since January 1 is running over 2 inches above average. With any luck the drought will ease, with plenty of water for crops and lakes by this summer.
The storm that dumped up to 6-9" on the western metro is pinwheeling away from Minnesota; flurries taper today - travel conditions improving. A high sun angle should melt the ripples of ice that made Thursday morning's commute a slow-motion nightmare. A coating to an inch of flurries today gives way to some sun tomorrow; a cold rain Sunday may mix with wet snow and sleet up north.
Next week brings more rain by Wednesday, possibly ending as snow Thursday.
Not sure whether to laugh or weep. Long-range guidance shows 50s after April 25.
I'm ready to wave the white flag of surrender.
* photo comparison above courtesy of WeatherNation TV Executive Producer Lori Ryan, who snapped these photos near her home in St. Louis Park. Yikes.
...THE FLOOD WARNING CONTINUES FOR THE FOLLOWING RIVERS IN WISCONSIN... CHIPPEWA RIVER AT DURAND AFFECTING BUFFALO AND PEPIN COUNTIES EAU CLAIRE RIVER NEAR FALL CREEK AFFECTING EAU CLAIRE COUNTY .OVERVIEW... RECENT RAINFALL COMBINED WITH THE SNOW MELT HAS CAUSED THE CHIPPEWA AND EAU CLAIR RIVER TO RISE. HOWEVER...NO SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION IS EXPECTED IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... DO NOT DRIVE CARS THROUGH FLOODED AREAS. TURN AROUND...DON`T DROWN. STAY TUNED TO NOAA WEATHER RADIO OR YOUR LOCAL RADIO OR TV STATION FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS FLOOD EVENT.
"Sandy" Retired From List Of Hurricane Names By World Meteorological Organization. You could certainly see this coming. Any storm that claims considerable lives is automatically "retired"; details from Reuters and Huffington Post: "The World Meteorological Organization has retired "Sandy" from its rotating list of hurricane names because of the devastation last year's storm by that name caused in Jamaica, Cuba and the northeastern United States, forecasters said on Thursday. Atlantic and Pacific storm names are reused every six years but are retired "if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of the name would be insensitive or confusing," forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said. Sandy is the 77th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954. It will be replaced with "Sara" beginning in 2018, when last year's list is repeated..."
Good call on the snow totals! Since you are my weather guru, I'm wondering if you could take a guess at how long this 3-6" in the Twin Cities will stick around? I've seen competing reports about it being gone by the weekend or sticking around into the middle of next week. I am a lacrosse coach, and would like to plan if we will have to be indoors still by Monday!
Karen - most of the snow in the east metro will be gone by Saturday afternoon; it may take a little longer over the west metro, where there is 4-7" on the ground. Rain will accelerate snow melt Sunday, but most lawns in the western suburbs probably won't be snow-free until Monday afternoon. The sun angle is too high for snow to linger for long.
Just wanted to let you know that there are many children who are seriously disappointed they didn't cancel school. They were all betting on a snow day.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks Rod - I'm surprised that more schools didn't cancel or postpone classes Thursday. Roads were terrible, temperatures just below freezing combined with sleet, freezing rain to put down a layer of rutted ice beneath the snow. When is the last time we had a snow day in April? Probably not since 1983, when 21.8" fell.
* February-like snowfall from the Dakotas into Minnesota and Wisconsin - plowable snows possible over central and northern New England over the next 48-72 hours. The heaviest snow is over for the Twin Cities (where 3-7" piled up). Another 1-2" slush is possible by midday Friday, but the worst of the storm is winding down.
* As expected, river flooding is increasing from the Central Plains into the Upper Midwest and Ohio Valley, the result of recent heavy rains.
Photo credit above: "The Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera, or MASC, is able to capture 3D photos of individual snowflakes in free-fall."
How Thoughtful. A friend of mine, Pete Schenck, is on an extended cruise in the Pacific. Yesterday he sent me this photo from Samoa, to "warm me up inside". This is me ignoring you Pete. Thanks for reaching out. Sorry about Typhoon Bubba...
Nothing Can Stop The U.S. Mail! Thanks to AM1240, WJON Radio up in St. Cloud, for sharing this photo. Give that mail carrier a raise!
Think The Planet Isn't Warming? Check The Ocean. Climate scientists estimate that 90-93% of all warming is going into the world's oceans - the rest is heating up the air and melting ice. Here's an excerpt from Discovery News: "A recent article in The Economist stated that “over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar.” The Economist went to great lengths to point out that “the mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures … does not mean global warming is a delusion.” But the piece was predictably lauded by climate skeptics as “further evidence” of the case against climate change. Except that … it wasn’t. As The Economist piece itself pointed out, this wasn’t an argument that “global warming has ‘stopped.‘” The past two decades have been the hottest in recorded history; of the nine hottest years on record, eight have come since 2000. The question, though, is why the year-on-year/decade-on-decade increase appears to have been somewhat less in the past 10 to 15 years, given the ongoing increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations..."
What Is Climate Sensitivity, Why Does It Matter And Who's Got What Wrong and Why? Perpetual climate deniers like to point out that Earth's climate isn't nearly as sensitive to man-made greenhouse gases as all those "alarmist/warmist" scientists claim. Here is a good explanation of climate sensitivity from climate scientist and Minnesota native Greg Laden at scienceblogs.com: "Climate sensitivity is the number of degrees C that the earth’s average temperature (of the atmosphere air and water on top of the “earth” per se) will increase with a doubling of “pre-industrial CO2″ in the environment. This is an important number … and it is a number, and to save you the suspense, the number is about 3 … because it tells us what the direct effects of the release of fossil Carbon (mainly in the form of CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels would be. Here’s the thing. Climate change denialists would like the number to be 1, or some other number lower than 3. Well, we would ALL like the number to be low, but those of us interesting in actual science and truth and such things mainly want to have a good estimate of this important value. Climate change denialists want to pretend that the number is lower than it is, regardless of what that number may be..."