The Trees Are Confused
I come from a long line of German foresters, so maybe there's something in my DNA. At the first ever Minnesota Climate Adaptation Conference, held at the Science Museum yesterday, Lee Frelich, from the University of Minnesota Dept. of Forest Resources, said something that got my attention. "On the drive to St. Paul I noticed green leaves on deciduous trees. It's the latest I've ever seen this."
He showed a graphic that said "It is possible that the prairie-forest border will move 300 miles to the north & east by 2100, placing the BWCA on the prairie border."
Another fingerprint, as one of the most powerful typhoons ever observed (190 mph sustained winds, gusts to 235) devastates the central Philippines today. It's the 3rd Category 5 typhoon to make landfall there since 2010.
Kind of puts our annoyingly cool breeze into perspective. A few rain showers may pop up later today; maybe an inch of slush far northern Minnesota tonight to help with tracking for Saturday's Deer Hunting Opener.
A cold front is still on track for next week - for about 4 days it'll feel like late December.
No big storms in sight here, but this surge of NUMB may spark snow, rain and beach erosion along the east coast.
- 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 now thought to be the most powerful landfalling tropical cyclone ever observed. It came ashore early Friday morning (local time) with 195 mph sustained winds, gusts to 235. The area around Tacoloban City and Guiuan appears to have taken the brunt of this historic typhoon - no contact has been received from these towns for 3-4 hours.
* The brunt of Haiyan is still forecast to pass south of Manila, but the capital city will be brushed by outer bands of 50+ mph winds and torrential rains capable of 5"+ rains, which will spark minor to moderate urban flooding into Saturday morning, local Manila time.
* I'm expecting damage across the central Philippines to be severe to extreme to catastrophic, with a 100-125 mile-wide band of near total devastation. Survivors will have to grapple with access to food and clean water - the risk of disease and civil unrest is still high, long term.
* Update from the Alerts Broadcast Storm Center: Haiyan has made 4 landfalls so far, but that is to be expected with such a large island chain. Cebu City, the "second city" of the Philippines was brushed. Still no confirmation on that 858 reading. Storm surge in Tacloban City of 17 ft in 30 minutes. As of right now millions are in storm shelters. The area affected is one of the poorest parts of the Philippines. Winds have decreased very slightly to 185 MPH with gusts to 224 MPH.
Summary: Super Typhoon Haiyan is an historic storm, possibly the most intense tropical cyclone to ever come ashore. Damage across the central Philippines will be extreme, but as we've been predicting for 4 days, Manila should be spared major impacts from this system. We're watching a potentially major coastal storm potential for the East Coast, with snow pushing into Georgia as early as Wednesday of next week, spreading up the East Coast Thursday, impacting New England next Thursday night and Friday. Coastal flooding and beach erosion may be significant.
Image credit above: DOST: Project Noah.
• No hurricane in the Atlantic has ever been this strong.
• It's possible Haiyan could become the strongest storm ever recorded to make landfall, anywhere on Earth.
• The storm is over 300 miles wide: The width is about equal to the distance between Boston and Philadelphia.
• Haiyan is the fourth typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2013.
• The Philippines typically gets hit by more typhoons than any country on Earth."
Map credit above: "After publishing a map detailing the theoretical position in the Pacific Ocean of debris from the March 2011 tsunami that hit Japan, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had to issue a clarifying statement: “There is no solid mass of debris from Japan heading to the United States.” (Photo : NOAA / Marine Debris Program).
It's Official: Video Games Make Your Brain Bigger. Well that's a relief. Here's a clip from a story at Quartz: "Those addictive videogames that keep players glued to the screen may actually do the brain some good—or one of them does, anyway. A new study from the journal Molecular Psychiatry digs into the effect of videogame play on the volume of the brain’s gray matter—the tissue responsible for muscle control, memory, language and sensory perception. Researchers from Berlin’s Max Planck Institute for Human Development and St. Hedwig-Hospital recruited adult subjects to play Mario 64 on Nintendo’s portable DS system for thirty minutes per day for two months. At the end of that time, the gaming subjects showed “significant gray matter increase” in both the bilateral hippocampus and portions of the right prefrontal cortex..."
Photo credit above: Brightsource.
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