I am in awe of the pioneers, fur traders and homesteaders who settled at Fort Snelling around 1820, grappling with blizzards, bugs and perpetual uncertainty. I've even more amazed by the small band of explorers who must have muttered "not cold enough", and headed north to settle Winnipeg. Who were these people?
Fast-forward 200 years. Now we groan when the mercury drops below 30F, darting from one heated space to the next.
The reality: winters are trending milder over time. Recent decades have brought fewer subzero lows & milder nights. Edina investment banker and prize rose grower Jack Falker has been tracking the coldest lows of winter since the 60s. Back then we saw lows dipping into the -30s. Now -15F is a big deal. It's hard to keep perspective when "average" keeps changing.
I expect a better hair day today; less wind with enough blue sky for low 40s. A cold slap Monday & Tuesday gives way to rapid warming - highs near 50F next weekend, when the atmosphere should be warm enough for some rain on Sunday. Not exactly Indian Summer, but not bad for mid-November.
Soak it up. ECMWF model data shows a real cold front in 8-9 days. No big dumpings of snow in sight just yet.
Coldest low temperatures at MSP International every winter since 1963 (above) courtesy of Jack Falker.
* here's a good link with photos and video clips showing the aftermath of Haiyan from The Washington Post.
* Reuters now estimates the Philippine death toll from Haiyan at "at least 10,000".
Photo credit above: " Loren Holmes photo.
Photo credit above: "This September 1935 file photo shows the wreckage of an 11-car passenger train that was derailed by a Labor Day hurricane in the Florida Keys. The Hurricane Center says no wind measurements were available from the core of this small but “vicious” hurricane, which was a Category 5 storm when it reached the Florida Keys. But a pressure measurement taken at Long Key, Fla., makes it the most intense hurricane ever to make landfall on the U.S. mainland. It was blamed for 408 deaths and caused an estimated $6 million (1935 dollars) in damage." Photo: Uncredited, AP.
Graphic credit above: Storm Prediction Center, Roger Pielke Jr., University of Colorado; 1 - Numbers are for Jan. 1 through Oct. 31 of each year. 2013 number is preliminary; 2 - NOAA estimated. Janet Loehrke and Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
Minnesota Weather History on November 9 (data from the Twin Cities National Weather Service):
1999: Late season hail fell in Eden Prairie. Pea size hail (0.25 inch. in diameter) up to one foot deep collected near storm drains near Hennepin Technical College and Hwy 212. Pea size hail about 4 inches deep was also reported on grass near Hwy 5 and Mitchell Rd. The hail and torrential rains forced drivers off the road in Bloomington.
1998: A potent storm nick-named a "land hurricane" set a new all time record low pressure for Minnesota around noon at Albert Lea and Austin as it passed overhead. The automated weather observing equipment at both airports measured a barometric pressure of 28.43 inches, which broke the previous record of 28.55 inches set on 11 January 1975 in Duluth. The new record for the Twin Cities was set with a reading of 28.55 inches. The previous record was 28.77 inches, set on April 13th of 1964. 10 inches of snow fell at Madison, MN and St. Cloud State University had a wind gust to 64 mph.
1975: The Edmund Fitzgerald sinks off Whitefish Bay with the loss of 29 people.
1913: A severe windstorm occurred on Lake Superior. Three ships were lost. Winds were clocked at 62 mph at Duluth.
* Photo above courtesy of Steve Burns.
"It is a lie that we can continue to live as we have, that our reliance on fossil fuels and our endless economic growth at the expense of our planet is stable and sustainable. Not only does science tell us that, but God's word calls us to account for how we've treated creation." - Jim Wallis, The Huffington Post.
Image credit above: "Graphic showing the total amount of heat energy available for Super Typhoon Haiyan to absorb, not just on the surface, but integrated through the water column. Deeper, warmer pools of water are colored purple, though any region colored from pink to purple has sufficient energy to fuel storm intensification. The dotted line represents the best-track and forecast data as of 16:00 UTC on Nov. 7." Credit: NOAA.
More information on the image above provided by NOAA:
"The intensification of Super Typhoon Haiyan is being fueled by "ideal" environmental conditions - namely low wind shear and warm ocean temperatures. Maximum sustained winds are currently at 195 mph, well above the Category 5 classification used for Atlantic and East Pacific hurricanes. Plotted here is the average Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential product for October 28 - November 3, 2013, taken directly from NOAA View. This dataset, developed byNOAA/AOML, shows the total amount of heat energy available for the storm to absorb, not just on the surface, but integrated through the water column. Deeper, warmer pools of water are colored purple, though any region colored from pink to purple has sufficient energy to fuel storm intensification. The dotted line represents the best-track and forecast data as of 16:00 UTC on November 7, 2013."