September 2013 tied with September 2005 for warmest on record, worldwide (land and ocean). Source: NASA.
What keeps me up at night? The specter of another historic & humbling storm, similar to the 1991 Halloween Superstorm: 28.4 inches of snow over 3 days & hip-deep drifts, followed by the earliest subzero low ever recorded at MSP.
There was so much snow that I couldn't get my Saab out of the garage. The Chief Engineer at KARE-11 had to bring his Suburban (with a plow on the front) to rescue me. Not good when the weatherguy can't get to the station to talk about the weather.
What happened? A massive storm stalled off the coast of New England, forcing Minnesota's storm to stall out over Lake Superior, prolonging the snow. The models didn't catch this. Yes, when weather stalls bad things can happen.
My take-away? The forecast is close much of the time, but there will be events that stop us in our tracks. Expect more "I've never seen THAT before!" moments.
The bulk of the rain stayed south/east of Minnesota; we dry out today with 40s for Trick or Treating.
A cool & quiet weekend gives way to more rain Monday & Tuesday. The risk of wet snow has diminished, in fact I see 40s & 50s into mid-November.
Whoa. Look at the time. Excuse me while I change into my Miley Cyrus costume.
* image above courtesy of The Star Tribune.
Andy Dean, Techniques Development Meteorologist
NOAA/NWS/Storm Prediction Center, Norman, OK.
Graphic credit above: "Halloween tornado data via the Storm Prediction Center." (Map by Kathryn Prociv).
2. Barrier islands shift
Barrier islands are the long, thin offshore islands that help protect the mainland from a powerful beating by storms. Superstorm Sandy pummeled barrier islands in New York and New Jersey. New York's Fire Island lost more than half of its beach and dune sand. In Mantoloking, N.J. (a borough of Ocean County, N.J.), almost the entire dune vanished from the borough's barrier island. Waves also breached, or cut through, islands in both states.
3. Flood evacuation zones
Drowning poses the highest risk of death during hurricanes. New evacuation zones in New York City and new storm-surge maps for the Atlantic and Gulf coasts will help save lives in the next storm..."
Photo credit above: "This image shows Hurricane Sandy degris and parts of destroyed houses in Breezy Point on Nov. 12, 2012 in Queens, N.Y." Credit: MISHELLA, Shutterstock.com.
Hurricane Sandy's Toll On Health. Beyond the damage and dislocation, residents of the East Coast in the path of Sandy are still dealing with some of the emotional tolls of this unprecedented storm. Here's an excerpt from CBS News: "...Although some 70 million people, across eight nations, were in the path of the storm, their experiences were very different depending on where they lived, said James Shultz, director of the Center for Disaster & Extreme Event Preparedness (DEEP Center) at the University of Miami School of Medicine. "It wasn't a one-size-fits-all storm; it was a very, very complex set of exposures," Shultz said. However, a Gallup-Healthways poll conducted in January this year provides some idea of the storm's mental-health impact. The poll found that among adults living in the most affected ZIP codes in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, there was a 25 percent increase in diagnoses of depression in the six weeks following the storm. That translates to about 540,000 new diagnoses of depression..."
File photo credit: Alex Brandon, Associated Press.
Photo credit above: "A Chinese man covers his nose and mouth as he walks on the street during a day of heavy pollution in Harbin in northeast China's Heilongjiang province Monday Oct. 21, 2013. Visibility shrank to less than half a football field and small-particle pollution soared to a record 40 times higher than an international safety standard in the northern Chinese city as the region entered its high-smog season." (AP Photo).
(Read more: The climate change wake-up call for business?)
Thirty-one percent or $44 trillion of output will be based in countries classified as most at risk from climate change in Maplecroft's Climate Change Vulnerability Index, which considered a nation's exposure to extreme weather events over the next 30 years alongside its capacity to cope with the impact..."
Image above: Clean Technica.
Report: Climate Change May Pose Threat To Economic Growth. The key drivers will be not only sea level rise threatening coastal regions, but warmer temperatures + more evaporation stressing existing water supplies, impacting agriculture - along with more extreme storms impacting infrastructure. CNN has the story; here's the intro: "Nearly a third of the world's economic output will come from countries facing "high" to "extreme" risks from the impacts of climate change within 12 years, according to a new report. The Climate Change Vulnerability Index, an annual report produced by UK-based risk analysis firm Maplecroft, found that climate change "may pose a serious obstacle to sustainable economic growth in the world's most commercially important cities." The index ranked the vulnerability of the world's countries, and the 50 cities deemed most economically important, to the impacts of climate change, by evaluating their risk of exposure to extreme climate events, the sensitivity of their populations to that exposure and the adaptive capacity of governments to respond to the challenge..."
Photo credit above: "Most at risk: Bangladesh: Bangladeshis attempt to stay dry above flood waters in the capital, Dhaka. Bangladesh was ranked the country most vulnerable to climate change, and Dhaka the world's most vulnerable city, due to its exposure to threats such as flooding, storm surge, cyclones and landslides, its susceptible population and weak institutional capacity to address the problem."
Photo credit above: "
Fossil Fuels Divestment Campaign Is Gathering Momentum. Bill McKibbon has an Op-Ed at The Guardian, here's the intro: "The world has a choice when dealing with climate change. One is to decide it's a problem like any other, which can be dealt with slowly and over time. The other is to recognise it as a crisis, perhaps the unique crisis in human history, which will take rapid, urgent action to overcome. Science is in the second, scared camp – that's the meaning of the IPCC report issued last month, which showed that our planet is already undergoing climatic shifts far greater than any experienced in human civilisation, with far worse to come. And those of us urging divestment from fossil fuel stocks are in the second camp too – we recognise that business as usual is quite simply impossible..."
Meet The Pacific Rim's New Environmental Superpower. What's happening on the West Coast is interesting; it may prove to be a catalyst for the rest of the nation, as outlined at Quartz; here's an excerpt: "In Ernest Callenbach’s 1975 novel Ecotopia, northern California, Oregon and Washington secede from a US in financial collapse to form an ecological superpower fueled by renewable energy and electric cars. Yesterday, California, Oregon and Washington, along with British Columbia, signed a pact to form an environmental alliance powered by renewable energy and electric cars. The future is now. The Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy calls on the states and the Canadian province to set common mandates for cutting carbon emissions and link their programs for doing so. Among other things, the governments agreed to adopt low carbon fuel standards and ensure that 10% of all private and public vehicle purchases are zero-emission cars by 2016..."
New Poll: Is Attacking The EPA The Bright Idea Tea Partiers Think It Is? Here's an excerpt from Huffington Post: "...Attacks on the EPA are falling flat. Voters trust the EPA, not a Congress with single-digit approval ratings, to decide whether we need regulations that will reduce carbon pollution. In fact, the polling in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Virginia, showed that nearly three in every four voters in these swing Senate states support EPA regulations that would set limits on the amount of carbon pollution from power plants..."