Jet stream 2.0
People are asking about recent weather extremes: record drought to historic floods, virtually overnight - 18" snows in May? "Is this the new normal?" Time will tell, but researchers increasingly see a link with recent melting in the Arctic. If you've seen the documentary film "Chasing Ice" you know what I'm referring to: 1.3 million square miles of ice lost in 30 years. Warming at the top of the world may be reducing temperature contrasts, turning the jet stream into a "sluggish estuary", according to Rutgers researcher Jennifer Francis.
As jet stream winds slow weather patterns can slow down and even stall, with more of a north-south component to wind patterns evident since record melting in 2012. Details below.
A rumble of thunder today gives way to light rain Thursday. A gusty cool front arrives Saturday; highs in the 50s with a rising barometer. Not sure the walleye will be biting, but it's worth a shot.
Mother's Day looks better: bright sun, less wind - highs near 60F. No accumulating snow in sight.
Models hint at 80s next Tuesday, but no sustained heat or humidity is brewing either. A big silver lining: May 8 and there have been no severe storms near the metro yet.
Opening day temperatures have started as low as 24 degrees at International Falls (1996,2004), with freezing temperatures possible even in Minneapolis (31 degrees in 1979). On the warm side, St. Cloud saw 92 degrees in 1987, Minneapolis reported 91 in 1987, and International Falls reached 88 in 1977. The average early morning temperature varies from the high 30's in the northeast to the high 40's along the southern border. The average afternoon temperature generally ranges from the mid 60's along the northern border, to the low 70's in the extreme south. Along the shore of Lake Superior, highs are held in the mid 50's..."
"The Arctic is warming two-to-three times faster than the rest of the northern hemisphere -- the loss of sea ice, spring snow cover, increased Greenland melting, and permafrost degradation are all symptoms of and contributors to this warming. It's inconceivable that a change of this scale and magnitude will not have substantial impacts on the atmosphere, ocean, and land both within the Arctic and also beyond the Arctic where millions of people live. These impacts will affect not only the physical system -- such as weather patterns and ocean circulation -- but also life on land and in the ocean. Exactly how these effects play out is a wide-open topic of research..."Photo credit above: Climate Nexus.
Photo credit above: "Water covers the intersection of Illinois State Route 100 and Route 3 in Grafton, Illinois, on April 23, 2013." (Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat/MCT)
Photo credit: "As storm cleanup continues in the Rockaways neightborhood of New York, a man walks by a piece of the Rockaways boardwalk atop a car." (Kathy Willens / AP)
Image credit upper left: "A photo taken by Minnetonka resident H. B. Milligan of a tornado crossing to the west of the junction of Hwy 7 and 101 on May 6, 1965. It is believed that this was the tornado that touched down in Chanhassen at 6:27 p.m. and dissipated in Deephaven at 6:43 pm. The photo was published in July 1965 by the Minneapolis Tribune as part of the "Photos of the Week" feature, and photographers received a $5 award."
Image credit upper right: "Radar footage from 1965 was recently discovered, and the 35mm film was converted to digital format, although there was no method available to us other than a somewhat crude technique. So we present them "as is," with little indication of how distant the storm was from the radar, or without any map backgrounds. It will take quite some time, but we hope some day to assign high resolution map backgrounds and possibly filter the radar echoes to highlight the most important storms. This will allow us to study the event in greater detail and learn important lessons from this historic tornado outbreak. The clock uses 24 hour timing, and is in Central Standard Time. For example, 1800 would be 6:00 p.m. CST, and 2100 would be 9:00 p.m. CST."
Graphic credit above: "Hurricane Sandy had a massive tropical storm force wind field that at one point spanned the entire East Coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts." Credit: National Hurricane Center.
Photo credit above: "Motorists drive through a flooded section of Beach Road near Siesta Key Public Beach on une 28, 2012 after rain from Tropical Storm Debby filled streets and parking lots with water on the Sarasota barrier island." HERALD-TRIBUNE ARCHIVE / 2012 / ELAINE LITHERLAND
Photo credit above: J Pat Carter - Associated Press. "National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb talks, Tuesday, May 7, 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla, about the lessons learned from Superstorm Sandy and expectations for the Atlantic storm season that begins June 1..."
Photo credit above: "Terrafugia has announced its plans to develop a vertical-take-off-and-landing flying car, known as the TF-X." (Image: Terrafugia)
Photo credit above: "" archcy.com
Photo credit above: "Are we in the first act of a mass extinction that will end in the death of millions of plant and animal species across the planet, including us?" (Eric Prine/Gallery Stock)