My late mother taught us to celebrate Thanksgiving every day of the year. She had a point. Our ancestors at Plymouth Rock were living meal to meal - trying to avoid smallpox and being murdered by Old Man Winter. It puts our modern-day challenges and setbacks into perspective.
Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day for the first time since 1888. It won't happen again until 78,881. No kidding.
The hyper-local dining room forecast calls for several inches of turkey and blizzards of mashed potato drifts, washed down with a few showers of hot gravy.
Am I stuffing too much into this forecast? My bad.
It's chilly, but at least the sun is out, afternoon highs in the mid-20s. No problems for power-shopping Friday or getting home Sunday. ECMWF model guidance shows a potential for a significant, plowable snowfall from Wednesday night into Friday of next week, followed by a healthy swipe of arctic air in 8-12 days; even a few nights below zero in the metro area?
NOAA's CFS (Climate Forecast System) model predicts 5 inches of snow on the ground for Christmas. We'll see. Statistically 7 out of 10 Christmases at MSP are white.
OK, enough babble. Time for my pre-turkey nap.
"Thanksgivukkah". Today is an extraordinary day in many respects, as pointed out in this amusing YouTube video clip: "The last time Thanksgiving and Chanukah converged, it was 1888. It won't happen again until the year 78811 (and that's CE!). To celebrate, we wrote a song. Happy Thanksgivukkah, everyone!"
* the latest U.S. Drought Monitor update for the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes and Ohio Valley is here.
Graphic credit above: "Map of 2013 tropical storm and hurricane tracks." Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
The lower death toll from this week’s storms was not inevitable; it is the result of a half-century of scientific discovery and technological development: Doppler radar, weather satellites, lightning detection networks and smartphone apps. It is a result of volunteer storm chasers instantly reporting the most violent tornado (the Washington, Ill., storm) when it first touched down near Pekin.File photo above: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast.
No other nation enjoys the quality and breadth of meteorological services available in the United States. It is an area in which federal dollars are put to valuable use and leveraged through the efforts of private-sector weather companies such as AccuWeather, and by meteorologists and emergency managers.
Image credit above: "flickr/A Gude/Waiting for the Word/Frapestaartje."
* 22 degree halo photo courtesy of Steve Burns.
Image credit above: "Astronaut Chris Hadfield was commander of Expedition 35 on the International Space Station, from December 2012 to May 2013." Tavis Coburn.
Photo credit above: "A solar thermal power plant." (Reuters).
On Campuses, A Fossil Fuels Divestment Movement. The Washington Post has the story - here's the introduction: "A divestment movement is marching across U.S. college campuses, borrowing tactics from the 1980s anti-apartheid campaign and using them against oil, gas and coal companies to fight climate change. Students are teaming with investment advisers to convince universities, pension funds and institutional investors that they can take a stand against fossil-fuel companies without hurting their returns. “We have a government that has been taken over by the fossil-fuel industry, so we’re going to pressure the fossil-fuel industry itself,” said Chloe Maxmin, a junior leading Divest Harvard..." (Image: Clean Technica).
Photo credit above: Reuters. "A wall built to protect people from rising tides in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati."