Yesterday I cheered my amazing wife on as she ran her 4th Marine Corp Marathon in Washington D.C. She keeps trying to win a 22 year old Marine. Me? All that cheering, standing, texting & picture-taking? I was exhausted. But I'm OK (thanks for asking).
Minnesota meteorologists are about to embark on their own personal (winter) marathon. "How many inches of snow in my driveway? Please be specific."
Humbling but true: every weather scenario, every storm is different. To be able to predict how much snow will fall we look at the precise storm track, moisture content, the degree of vertical motion within a column of air, temperatures in the lowest mile of the atmosphere, ground temperatures (in case there's melting on contact with warmer surfaces), the location of the dry surge (the dreaded "dry tongue") as well as a myriad of other data.
4 new model runs are issued every day, and we examine trends from run to run. Do the models agree? If so our confidence level goes up.
The latest guidance suggests enough warm air aloft for a light sloppy mix changing to all rain tomorrow. A little slush is possible early Tuesday, with a plowable snow for the Dakotas. A surge of steadier rain arrives late Wednesday into Thursday AM, but it may dry out a little for Thursday PM Trick or Treating (risk of a passing zombie).
November starts out gray & chilly but 50s return in a week. Hardly Indian Summer, more like a not-as-cold front.
12 Strange Weather Features Of Superstorm Sandy. Yes, Sandy set a number of "firsts". AP has an eye-opening list, reported at The Fresno Bee; here's a clip:
3. SNOW: This is the first time the National Hurricane Center ever listed snow or blizzard in their warnings. Three feet of snow fell in West Virginia.
4. GREAT LAKES: It is unusual for 20 foot waves, large surges and tropical force winds to be recorded in the Great Lakes for a coastal tropical storm, but it happened with Sandy.
5. ENERGY: NOAA's Hurricane Research Division has an experiment program that measures integrated energy of a storm's surge and waves on a 0 to 6.0 scale. Sandy reached 5.8, passing Katrina as the highest recorded so far...
Image credit: " NOAA — AP Photo.
A Year After Sandy, A Slow Recovery For Thousands. Here's an excerpt of a good overview from AP and ABC News: "A year after Superstorm Sandy catastrophically flooded hundreds of miles of eastern U.S. coastline, thousands of people still trying to fix their soaked and surf-battered homes are being stymied by bureaucracy, insurance disputes and uncertainty over whether they can even afford to rebuild. Billions of dollars in federal aid appropriated months ago by Congress have yet to reach homeowners who need that money to move on. Many have found flood insurance checks weren't nearly enough to cover the damage. And worse, new federal rules mean many in high-risk flood zones may have to either jack their houses up on stilts or pilings — an expensive, sometimes impossible task — or face new insurance rates that hit $10,000 or more per year..."
Photo credit above: "Christine Cina and her dog amid what is left of her house on Staten Island, a year after Sandy blew through." Photo: Reuters.
Related: Chinese city shut down by off-the-charts pollution
One of the worst of these episodes, and one that helped focus attention on U.S. air pollution, was the choking, deadly smog that covered Donora, Pa., in the Monongahela River Valley, 20 miles southeast of Pittsburgh from Oct. 27 to 31, 1948..."
Photo credit above: "On Oct. 30, 1948, Donora’s main business district was cloaked in smog, the sunlight virtually obliterated by thick low-hanging pollution." (Associated Press).
Climate Change Could Put $6 Trillion In Fossil Fuel Reserves At Risk. And here is the biggest reason there is so much organized, manufactured skepticism about climate change. "If we don't acknowledge there's a real problem we can keep on drilling, and mining, and fracking!" Here's the intro to a story at Quartz: "The International Energy Agency last year warned that if humanity is to have any hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change, a third of the world’s fossil fuel reserves must be put off limits until 2050. That prompted HSBC Global Research to estimate that some oil giants could lose up to half their market value. In other words, we’re talking about trillions of dollars in revenues going up in smoke if governments ever get their act together and issue a no-burn order. Now 70 investors that control $3 trillion in global assets want to know what 45 multinational oil, coal and mining companies intend to do about $6 trillion in potentially “stranded assets...”
Photo credit above: "Ocean acidification due to excessive release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is threatening to produce large-scale changes to the marine ecosystem affecting all levels of the food chain, a University of B.C. marine biologist warned Friday." Photograph by: Nick Didlick , VANCOUVER SUN.
Climate Change Will Make Colorado's Millenial Rainstorm A Lot More Common. Here's an update from Quartz: "The rainfall that caused massive flooding in Colorado last month was a once-in-a-millennium event, according to a recent study (pdf). And climate change is making those kinds of extreme weather events more common. The impressively named Hydrometeorological Design Studies Center, a division of the National Weather Service, has concluded with greater than 90% certainty that the rainfall was millennial in nature. Here’s the chart for one rain gauge in Boulder, Colorado, that was inundated over seven days.."
Photo credit above: "Houses partially submerged last month in Longmont, Colorado." AP/John Wark
Photo credit above: "Elon Musk in the new Tesla Model S high performance electric car in the showroom at Westfield London." Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian.
Open Letter — October 2013
To: Diane Carol Bast, Executive Editor, The Heartland Institute
Re: Release of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Dear Mrs. Bast,
Thanks for sending out your helpful, if somewhat self-congratulatory, memo to so many US teachers (PDF). Its subject is important: the NIPCC’s gripping sequel “Climate Change Reconsidered II”, a title as original as the ‘Not the IPCC’ nomenclature is witty.
While I’m sure nobody would question your organisation’s motive in wanting to reach out to so many young and impressionable minds (and I’m sure very few will conflate this initiative with Heartland’s sturdy defence of the embattled tobacco industry during the 1990s) there are some minor issues that might demand attention....
Photo credit above: "Dead science lives on, thanks to the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change." Scott Beale.