Limping into Winter
"You can prove anything with statistics" my father warned me. Amen. Minnesota's weather is rarely "average" - we usually ricochet from one extreme to the next. The median date of the first 1 inch snow at MSP is November 18. But the first inch has come as early as September 26 (1942), as late as January 9 (1945). There's no rhyme or reason.
1.1 inches of slush fell at MSP International Tuesday night, but most of that melted on contact. Amazingly, no weather models take soil temperatures into account. It's hard to get accumulating snow when you start the day in the mid-40s. But farther north & west it was 5-8F colder, allowing a whopping 10.5 inches to accumulate at Milroy, Minnesota. Yes, November snows are especially fickle.
This is why my ulcers have ulcers.
Welcome to a drama-free weather zone, at least into the weekend. We warm into the 40s over the weekend; PM rain showers Friday in the Twin Cities - maybe a coating to an inch of slush far north to help with tracking for Saturday's Deer Hunting Opener.
A much colder front is brewing next week with highs from 25-35. Temperatures moderate by the third week of November - jet stream winds aloft howling from Seattle, instead of the Yukon.
I'm OK with that.
* Amazing aurora photo above courtesy of Steve Burns Photography.
- October precipitation totals were above historical averages in most Minnesota counties. For many Minnesota locales, October precipitation totals exceeded long-term averages by an inch or more. In some central and southeast Minnesota communities, monthly precipitation totals topped historical averages by two or more inches and eased drought concerns in those areas.
- Two to six inches of rain fell on portions of southeast Minnesota on October 4 and 5, leading to mudslides, road washouts, and urban flooding.
- The U. S. Drought Monitor places large sections of the southern one-half of Minnesota, and a small area of northwest Minnesota in the Moderate Drought category. Roughly one-quarter of the state is designated as undergoing Moderate Drought. This is an improvement over early October when nearly 40 percent of Minnesota's landscape fell in the Moderate Drought or Severe Drought categories.
* Super Typhoon Haiyan estimated to have reached Category 5 strength, with sustained winds of 160 mph, gusts to 190 mph.
* Slight weakening is possible before Haiyan comes ashore over the central Philippines Friday (local Manila time), but this will probably be the most destructive typhoon of the year for the Philippines, possibly the strongest in several years. Extreme damage and significant loss of life is possible with this storm, mainly over the central Philippines, the eastern coast of southern Luzon and the Samar Islands. The island nation of Palau may take a direct and devasting hit from Haiyan.
* The core of strongest winds, heaviest rains and highest storm surge will pass south of Manila during the day Friday and Friday night, local time, with only minor to moderate impacts for the capital city.
Summary: an especially dangerous typhoon is bearing down on the central Philippines, capable of extreme damage and potential loss of life. The greatest concern is storm surge, the sudden rise in sea level as the eye of the storm passes nearby, as much as 15-20+ feet for some coastal communities well south of Manila. A secondary concern is damaging winds, strongest on the coast at landfall, near Guiuan and Borongan City early Friday, local time. 10-15" rains will trigger extensive inland flooding and mudslides - widespread power outages are likely. I'm concerned about aftermath; a significant risk of disease and even civil unrest, in the wake of what will probably be the most destructive typhoon to hit the Philippines in many years. We'll keep you posted.
Paul Douglas - Alerts Broadcaster
Photo credit above: "China's breakneck urbanisation and industrialisation has created some of the world's worst urban pollution." Photo: AP.
Map credit above: "A new study reports that depression is the second-leading cause of global disability. This map shows nations with a statistically lower rate of depression disability in blue, middle-ranking rates in yellow and high rates in orange. Rankings are relative to global mean rate of years lived with disability." (Plos Medicine / November 5, 2013).
Photo credit above: "Man walking in tunnel." (Stig Nygaard/Flickr).
Photo credit above: "Ben Strauss, Climate Central predicts that by 2100, more than 25% of Boston, Miami, New Orleans, and Atlantic City could be under water." Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP.
Interactive map credit above: Jason Treat, Matthew Twombly, Web Barr, Maggie Smith, NGM staff. Art: Kees Veenenbos. Sources: Pilippe Huybrechts, Vrije Unversiteit Brussel, Richard S. Williams, Jr. Woods Hole Research Center, James C. Zachos, Universoty of California, Santa Cruz, USGS, NOAA, ETOP01 Bedrock, 1 arc-minute global relief model copyright September 2013 National Geographic Society.
Why Even California Can't Stop Catastrophic Climate Change. Quartz has the story - here's the introduction: "For climate change optimists, California is indeed the golden state when it comes to aggressive policies designed to avoid catastrophic climate change. But as a new report makes depressingly clear, even Ecotopia will fall far short of hitting a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 without the invention of new technologies and imposition of more draconian green mandates. That’s the number scientists believe must be met to keep climate change in check. And if California can’t meet such a mandate, what nation can, given the inability of governments to even to agree to take the most tentative steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?..."
Photo credit above: "If even the Golden State can't pull off needed carbon cutting, expect more scenes like this." AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein.
Photo credit above: "Terry McAuliffe made climate realism a big part of his campaign, and won yesterday's election to become Virginia's new governor." Photograph: Reuters.
Photo credit above: "A storm touches down on water off Atlit coast." Photo: Baz Ratner / Reuters